Learn the vitamin ABC!

Give me the food, I said give me the food
Give me no fruit if you love me
Give me the food, I said give me the food
Give me no fruit if you love me
~Miss Platnum~

Everyone knows a little something about vitamins. Vitamin A is good for your eyes and can be found in carrots. Vitamin C is good when you have a cold and you can get plenty of it from lemons and oranges, right? Or is there more about them? Then, there are other vitamins which are not as well-known as the “stars”, but whose utility might bring anyone many benefits and a great disposition. So why not know them better? There’s nothing to lose!
Vitamin A (retinol) This vitamin is good for your sight as it helps your eyes adapt to different kinds of light. However, it also stimulates growth, skeleton’s development, helps your body, especially the skin fight infections and thanks to this vitamin the liver functions better. It also improves your sleep. Although vitamin A can be found in carrots, peaches, flour, dried plumes, spinach and tomatoes in another form which is called carotene, most of the retinol comes from products of animal origin.
Anyone lacking this vitamin should worry, as this can lead to blindness, growth problems, infections, lung diseases, headaches, insomnia and anxiety. You should get about 0,6-0,7 mg everyday and no more than 1,5 mg. Continue reading

One day to defeat your negative feelings

The world seems not the same,
Though I know nothing has changed.
It’s all my state of mind,
I can’t leave it all behind.
Have to stand up to be stronger.
~Within Temptation~

You don’t want to see anyone and you would rather be left alone. Your head spins and a million thoughts storm inside your mind. Maybe everyone should just disappear, maybe everyone is incapable of understanding you, maybe they should all stop judging you and maybe those neighbors should stop with their music! But maybe a new day is what you need to pass over everything…
7:00 Wake up- Be at peace with yourself. A disease, the death of someone close, debts, a bad relationship, the others’ attitude…one of them or even more would be enough to shake anyone’s stability, at least for a while. Hiding your problem or not acknowledging it will do nothing but to make you sadder, mare incapable of communicating with the others and with yourself and will affect your self esteem. Whatever your problem is, it’s absolutely normal to come across a difficulty, so hating yourself or the others won’t bring you absolutely any good. Acknowledging your problem is maybe the most important step.
Continue reading

How to become a remarkable objective critical thinker, part 1, the why the what and the how

Due to the fact that modern life takes us so fast through so many different situations, it’s hard to even fully understand what’s even happening, let alone take into consideration all the information and sort it out to get to the right conclusion. Still, despite what you may think and despite it’s obvious utility, logic is not a friend of many, and really few understand just how much plain logic and objectivity can help you out in day to day life. It’s not a solution to all your problems, it’s not a magic ring, but it’s what should be done.

Credits

The modern man who gets what he wants pretty much all the time without cheating, lying and stealing is by definition a critical thinker, even though he may not realize it; your mind is working at all times, even when you sleep (actually, it’s believed that finding the answer to some problems which seem unsolvable could just arrive in your sleep). Life is all about the decisions you make, and when you make decisions what you basically do is look at what you should do, why you should do it and how you should do it; these are the steps to take if you want to become a critical thinker as well.

So what is critical thinking?? It’s the process of verifying the accuracy of the information you have and using it using your own effective personal set of criteria to get to the result which you want to achieve. It should be used in virtually all of the circumstances you will encounter in your life.

Credits

Still, what makes taking decisions so hard, at least most of the time, and especially the important ones ?? The main disadvantage is that it’s really tempting to think about your problem from the inside. This way you can’t really see the big picture, and you tend to neglect the negative aspects hoping they won’t happen. But closing your eyes doesn’t mean the others can you, it just means that you can’t see the others. You have to analyze your situation from many (if not all) perspectives, and only after that, by a process of deduction, get to the right conclusion and avoid the distractions.

Credits

Also, another thing that has to be understood is that thinking logically doesn’t limit your creativity, on the contrary. Many things you find unbearable could be turned into something really easy with a minimum effort and consideration of the things involved. It’s really hard if you can’t do it naturally, but it’s really easy once you see how to do it. That’s what the point of this series is, to help you find the critical objective thinker within you, and let him lead you towards solving your problems. It’s going to be in three parts: the why, the how and the what.

This is part 1 of Becoming a Remarkable Thinker
Parts 1, 2, 3, 4

How to become a remarkable objective critical thinker, part 2, the why

As I said in the prologue of this series, using your analytic critical abilities is very important for a man, no matter what he does and how he thinks; it’s something required by more than our society, it’s something required by our inner nature. But some people might find it hard to believe that, so here’s just some of the reasons why you should think and use logic to solve your problems.

You can’t estimate your position without being objective; sometimes it’s hard to understand exactly where you really are, whether it’s your job, your relationship or something else. It’s in the human nature to think about the best and put the bad things aside, but it’s important to really understand where you are, so you can prepare yourself for any obstacles which might appear in your way; and if it’s all good, than it’s all good.

Credits

Objectivity is a must for long term success; you can reach success on a whim, or by pure luck, but it’s the staying up that’s hard. It’s really hard to lose yourself once you achieve your goal, whether it’s your dream job or just the pretty girl that lives next door. One of the big secrets of life is to take nothing for granted and to understand that anything could go bad at any moment. For example, they might have hired you because they just didn’t have anybody else, or the girl might have been drunk that evening. That doesn’t mean that you can’t keep them; if you work hard and smart and treat the girl just right, you might keep both of them, but not without understanding where you stand.

Credits: that probably won’t be the girl next door

A critical mind can eliminate the unneeded, leaving just what you need for a great life; the process here is simple, you analyze your options and step by step reach the best one. How?? That’s easy. Let’s say you’ve got to decide where to go on your vacation (it is summer time, after all). You look at your options, and see if there’s anyone that just stands out, somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go and have the chance to do at this point. If so, that’s the choice for you. If not, you should eliminate those which are less apealing, by taking into consideration the factors which might influence your decision. Try to think about as many of these as possible, as this will greatly increase the accuracy of your decision making process. After you do this, repeat these steps again, until you reach the great vacation you’ve been dreaming of all year; somebody who would’ve decided on a whim without even thinking the least bit critical has every chance of getting a lousy vacation.

When the odds are against you, logic is what could tip the balance in your favor; this one’s easy too. If you see for example that you’re working on something and you can in no way finish in time, what do you do?? If it’s not done on time it’s worthless. Working continuously and hoping it will be enough will probably be not enough. Now is the time to stop and ponder your options; perhaps you’re not doing something right, perhaps there’s somebody that could help you, or perhaps you could cancel other projects. Find the right way so you can finish on time instead of brainlessly working ahead.

It’s a very good exercise for your mind; have you wondered why people solve logic problems, or just think about certain issues ?? Have you ever wondered why a student that has been seriously learning for several months for his tests uses his mind more effectively than usually?? Critical thinking is an essential process that cultivates and educates your mind, increasing your sense of reality and effectively making you smarter. It opens new doors in what concerns your understanding, as well as the circumstance and situation of your life.

“>Credits for this great pic: Nothing better than a workout

You could check for further info on adam sicinski’s blog; the man has absolutely great advice. So hopefully I’ve convinced you (at least a bit) that thinking is a really useful (no, really), but often underestimated method of solving your problems. But you have to think the right way, objective and critical, cause otherwise you would just do some more work in vain.

This is part 2 of Becoming a remarkable thinker
Parts 1, 2, 3, 4

How to become a remarkable objective critical thinker, part 4, starting and improving

Now that you know why you should why it’s important to think clearly and what a critical thinker shows, it’s important to know how you can start to develop this ability and how you can improve it. No subtle and crowning exercises here, just some basic tips to get you started.

Credits: “A man is not an orange. You can’t eat the fruit and throw the peel away”

The first thing you should do is refrain from acting by your first impulse

  • Why?? It’s simple: you’ll do things you’ll probably come to regret later. How many times haven’t you said or done something than regretted it, just because you were nervous?? Probably many times. It’s the first step in overcoming your instinctive atavic reactions.
  • How?? This is where it gets a bit more complicated, because first you have to be sure you’ve fully released yourself from whatever emotions you may feel, and then start thinking about what you have to do. If you can’t do that at first, try counting in your mind (no limit), drink a glass of water, or just take a short walk.
  • After that, it’s really important to synthetize the facts, eliminate what’s irrelevant and keep only what is useful as information, so you can analyze it. You could find this difficult, because sometimes it’s hard to draw the line as to what’s useful and what should be neglected, so don’t be discouraged if you make some mistakes at first. You’ll improve in time.

    Credits
    After you’ve synthetized the facts, it’s time to analyze. It’s the step which will lead you towards the decision and definitely the most complex one, so in order to employ some help for yourself and ask some questions, such as:

  • Are there any more facts I can aknowledge before I start analyzing?
  • Is there something that I’m missing?
  • How is this related to that?
  • What are the causes that led to this situation?
  • What’s most possible of happening and how can I prepare myself for that?
  • What other ideas back that other idea up?
  • What would happen if I did that?
  • Suppose this happens, what would happen after that?
  • What’s the best possible solution for this problem?
  • How would I test the possible outcome and make it better?
  • Of course these are just small samples, and you could think of some questions yourself, that would perhaps apply better to your situation.

    Upon analyzing, you have to think about the short, medium and long term implications. There’s a big chance you will be put into a situation which has short term benefits, but affects the long term progress, or the other way around. You have to try to anticipate what will happen and again think realistically about what the situation is and how you can adapt to it. There’s no reason for being optimist here, because it’s hard to say what will happen and how things will evolve, so it can’t hurt to be prepared for something.

    Another thing that you can do is ask some other people who could give you a different perspective. But that doesn’t mean that they are right, you should still rely on yourself and your judgements, but it’s sometimes refreshing to hear things from a different perspective. It’s why brainstorming relies on too.

    Credits
    After you’ve made the decision, you’re still not done yet. You have to prepare in case things don’t go your way; prepare for the bad things, because there’s no need to prepare for the good ones, is it?? That way if things go wrong, at least you’ll be prepared. All you’ve got to lose is some times, and you’ve got a lot to win.

    This is part 4 of Becoming a Remarkable Thinker
    Parts 1, 2, 3, 4.

    The blue pill or the red pill? – how to handle hospital life

    Now will you ever rest your head?
    You end up feeling mostly dead,
    Pretending you’re the last one,
    Hiding with your eyes shut tightly,
    all the way to the hospital.
    ~The used~

    I’ve recently found myself in the very unpleasant situation of spending quite some time in a hospital bed. As most of you must know, this can prove to be one of the must difficult moments in your life as there are a lot of things that can literally drive you insane. So this is why after getting here you must make a choice; we’re going to picture it metaphorically. Let’s say you can do 1 in 2 things: either take the blue pill, relax (as much as possible) and try to handle things as well as you can, being positive about it or take the red pill and just make everyone’s life, including yours, harder. So learn to take the blue pill!

    1. Optimism

  • The red pill- having a serious condition can prove to be challenging and difficult not to mention extremely unpleasant. It’s very easy to become nervous and to get angry from virtually everything or even worse, to become depressed. So you can end up spending your time reproaching things to everyone including yourself or just counting the minutes until you can finally go home. Falling into a total apathy or becoming a shrew will help nobody so try not to fall into this trap no matter how easy it is.
  • The blue pill- Remember that you are there to receive treatment and to recover so in the end it’s for your own sake. Keep in touch with friends and family and remember that they may feel even worse than you by knowing your situation. Keep them positive too by smiling, being active and telling funny stories about all the odd things you came across in the hospital: it does miracles! Always keep in mind the fact that soon you will be healthy again and try to fill your time so that you will not find yourself looking at your watch continuously. Keep your mind positive by reading, talking to the people around you or having short walks if possible.
  • 2. Interacting with people

  • The red pill- suddenly finding yourself in the same room with other people and losing much of your intimacy can prove to be rather tricky especially as many can prove to have very unpleasant habits and reactions. You can end up easily having fights over nothing or you can just as well become isolated from them. Your neighbor eats all night long, some other one has a poor hygiene, one of the patients has noisy children who come visit way too often…As your patience is put to the test you will do nothing but to increase the gravity of your situation as everything will seem unbearable to you. You can keep the others awake so that you can read as a revenge, but that will do no good for anyone.
  • The blue pill– none of us is perfect and you may just as well annoy the others with your behavior. So learn to accept them and that might easily make the situation better. Usually people are very talkative in the hospitals mostly because they tend to be bored. Starting a conversation can be very easy. Talk about your family, work, whatever makes you feel good talking about. Sharing is also something that makes hospital life pleasant, however don’t stare at your neighbor’s cookies and don’t try to convince a patient to eat something if he or she is on a diet- your good intentions might not turn out very well in this case. Respect the others and their condition and you will receive the same treatment. Giving a hand can also be great for your state of mind!
  • 3. The doctors and the nurses

  • The red pill- as you don’t seem to recover as fast as you would want to, you start making suggestions and giving all kinds of indications. Complaining all the time and asking for special attention won’t work as you are not the only patient in the hospital. By making them stressed you will only make more problems and even if they are professionals they can easily become a little subjective when it comes to you. They are humans after all! Asking questions is very good but exaggerating and putting their knowledge to the test won’t work. Also if you are not satisfied it’s very easy to start gossiping and talking behind the doctors’ back. But words can travel fast…
  • The blue pill- be polite, interested in your treatment and always ready to give a hand. A “Thank you!” from time to time is something that should become a personal rule to follow. Don’t lie about your condition and follow the rules, there is a point for them! Whenever something is not clear ask- not everyone has thorough medical knowledge and it’s not a shame to want to know more.
  • Either way, you should relax, as relaxing helps the body fight the disease and try to not make a tragedy out of it, as it helps you more than everyone else; when you are finally back home remember to take the blue pill from time to time- a good state of mind, politeness and better social skills can do nothing but to help you!

    Insomnia? just a bad dream!

    I’m wide awake in my kitchen
    It’s dark and I’m lonely
    Oh, if I could only get some sleep
    Creeky noises make my skin creep
    I need to get some sleep
    I can’t get no sleep….
    ~Faithless~

    Tired of staring at the ceiling for endless hours night after night? Frustrated because others can sleep without any problem? You’re definitely not alone as more and more people suffer from sleep disorders. Insomnia is caused most of the times by unhealthy habits which affect people’s ability to sleep. So this is why a few changes in your schedule should be enough to sleep again and to be more healthy and productive.
    – Create a sleep schedule in order to wake up at about the same hour everyday. Waking up one day at 6 AM and the second day at 12 AM will do nothing but to affect you in a negative way. If your work schedule is flexible choose an hour to wake up and this will also allow you to do other things around the house or just to spend more time doing something pleasant.
    Don’t stay in bed more than you used to before having insomnia! This way your body will not be tired and it will be more and more difficult to fall asleep. Choose an activity which is not too challenging instead such as walking, or going out with your friends. Continue reading

    Here we are! – how to live in a collectivity

    People, when things go wrong
    As they sometimes will
    And the road you travel
    It stays all uphill
    Let’s work together
    ~Canned heat~

    Spending six or seven hours five days a week in a group of 20 or even more people can prove to be a little tricky sometimes as conflicts become something regular. Especially as we grow up, they tend to become more complex and relations can be easily influenced in a negative way. Of course, sometimes you feel that you can’t take it any more. It’s normal, but remember that by having the right attitude from the beginning, you will find the hours you spend with the others pleasant and even relaxing.
    1. When you are new in a group the best thing you can do is to meet the others, begin a conversation and introduce yourself. Still, try not to exaggerate and try to spend the first days noticing what the others like end dislike before getting too personal. Try to learn something about them before offending anyone by mistake. Try to keep the conversation neutral!
    2. Everyone has their own role in a group. One can be the clown, another one the hard-worker and so on. Try to be as balanced as possible and to create an image of yourself. You mustn’t expose very much, but try not to create a fake image of yourself; it won’t work. If you are not the party starter don’t try to act like one, it’s ok. This is who you are and you should not try to change it or lie about it.
    Continue reading

    Fight Your Phobias!

    You’re so afraid of what people might say
    But that’s okay cuz you’re only human
    You’re so afraid of what people might say
    But that’s okay you’ll soon get strong enough
    ~Nelly Furtado~

    Many people complain about having a phobia, but in reality, what they experience is a simple fear caused by the preservation instinct. A phobia is much more than this, as it’s irrational and can affect one’s life completely. But no matter how severe a phobia is, it’s not impossible to cure. However, this is not a matter of medication, as their effect lasts only for a short period of time, it’s a matter of will and of knowing yourself.
    Although there are strange fears such as the fear of snow, clocks, numbers or sitting which are less frequent, other fears such as the fear of being ridiculed, social phobias or the fear of failure can be found in many individuals.

    The Fear of Crowds And Open Spaces (Agoraphobia)

    It is experienced by quite a lot of people and even more claim to feel bad physically in such situations. It manifests itself through nausea, sickness and trembling but also psychologically through an unexplainable and very strong fear of traveling alone in a plane or bus or even of crossing a street or a bridge. Does this situation sound familiar? Don’t be ashamed! Therapy is not for mad people so don’t be afraid to talk to a specialist as soon as you’ve acknowledged you have a problem. Moreover, don’t let the others pamper you, so try to travel alone, at first on small distances and then more and more. It’s not impossible to fight your own fears! This fear can also be caused by childhood experiences so finding the exact cause can also help! Continue reading

    Monday again? No problem!

    Every other day, every other day,
    Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
    But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
    You can find me cryin’ all of the time
    ~The Mamas and the Papas~

    We all hate Mondays, that’s a fact. Just thinking about this day can cause head aches to any student or to anyone having a job. Maybe this is why this day is the least productive of the whole week. So how about a little change of attitude in order to be more successful?

    1. Remember that it’s all in your mind and the way you see this situation affects all your behavior. So don’t spend your Sunday thinking about the fact that you will start work again, that you’ll have classes and that it will be hard to do everything! Be positive and optimistic about it as there is nothing particularly scary about a Monday.

    2. Get yourself a head start – knowing that the second part of any Friday isn’t too productive you could use it to make a plan for the following week so that your Monday morning will be less agitated. Then, by cleaning your desk and arranging your papers you will find your Monday start a lot easier and you will improve your work. Continue reading