Say Goodbye To Your Belly Fat By Doing These 6 Effective Yoga Poses

6089536847_7dc2005461_b

Belly fat is literally the toughest kind of fat to lose. People try every diet craze that hits the market; they exhaust themselves with strenuous exercise and workouts. But still that persistent belly fat lingers. And most do not even consider Yoga as a means to reduce belly fat, because somehow Yoga is just for those “inner peace” relaxation folks.

You would probably be surprised to learn, then, that football training now includes many Yoga positions and poses, because they tone muscles and increase flexibility, reducing the risk of serious injuries. But you don’t want to play football – you want to get rid of that belly fat. So – here are 6 Yoga poses that will do just that.

1. Mill Churning Pose

This pose actually imitates a churning work activity in India, and the motion you will be performing will look a bit like you are churning, except that you are seated on your mat and only your upper body will be moving.

Explanation of Steps:

  1. Sit on your mat as shown in photo #1
  2. Be certain that you fingers are clasped.
  3. Rotate your arms in a circular motion, starting clockwise
  4. Breathe out as you move forward and to the right; breath in as you move backward and to the left
  5. Do not raise your legs or feet – all of the motion is only in your upper body.
  6. After 10 clockwise rotations, do another 10 in counter-clockwise motion.
  7. You will really feel the pull on your stomach as you do these rotations, and isn’t this better than those pesky sit-ups and rowing machines at the gym?
  8. Other Benefits: All Yoga positions and poses have multiple benefits to both muscles and joints, but to internal organs as well. The mild churning pose has toning benefits back and thigh muscles too. Internally, it assists feminine uterine muscles and menstrual regulation. For everyone, it enhances digestive health.

2. Bow Pose (aka Rocking Bow Pose)

This pose may take a bit of practice if you have not developed good flexibility, so work first on just getting the pose, then work on holding it for longer and longer durations and, finally rocking with it.

As you can see, this pose is achieved as follows:

  1. Lie flat on your stomach
  2. Bend your knees, bring your feet up toward your buttocks (exhale during this movement)
  3. Grab your feet with your hands
  4. Inhale as you lift up your head and chest, pulling on your feet, so that your thighs come up off the mat.
  5. Hold this raised position for 20 seconds (you may have to work up to this)
  6. Instead of holding it, try rocking back and forth on your abdomen
  7. Exhale as you return to your original position, and rest.
  8. For maximum benefit, do this 8-10 times
  9. You will feel a strong pull on your stomach, and the rocking will serve to loosen fat cells as well.

Other Benefits

  • This pose strengthens and tones our thighs, groin, back and chest muscles
  • It works to improve intestinal problems and liver function
  • After your 8-10 bow poses, you will be amazed at how the stress has just disappeared.

3. Boat Pose

BoatPose

This is one of the very best poses for winning the belly fat battle! This gif above shows the boat pose that will be held once you get there. Here is how you get there:

  1. Sit on the mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mat
  2. Place your hands palms down on the side of your hips
  3. Inhale, press on your palms and pull yourself back slowly, keeping your hips on the mat
  4. Lift your feet off the mat and straighten out your legs
  5. Extend your arms out in front of you on either side of your leg
  6. Try to bring your legs up as high as possible, putting your body in a “V” position
  7. Hold this position as long as possible, taking deep breaths as you do
  8. Exhale as you bend your knees and bring your feet back onto the mat.
  9. Hug your knees and lower your head to the top of your knees. Breathe deeply.

Benefits

  • This pose improves the function of several organs – thyroid, lungs, liver, pancreas
  • It also improves circulation and helps to lover blood sugar levels

4.  Cobra Pose

The Cobra pose is a part of a sequence of poses, known as the sun salutations. This series is usually begun at the beginning of a Yoga session, to open up the body. The Cobra position is that part of the sequence which works specifically on the abdomen and spine, as you can see from the position. During this pose you will really feel your stomach being stretched.

Explanation of Steps

  1. The pose begins by lying flat on our stomach on the mat.
  2. Put your hands, palms down, under your shoulders
  3. Keep your legs stretched out and span out your toes if you are able, placing all of those toes on the mat.
  4. As you inhale, gradually push your chest and shoulders off the mat, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  5. Stretch up as high as you are able and hold the pose for 15-30 seconds
  6. Exhale and slowly return to the flat prone position
  7. Try to repeat this at least 5 times with a 10-15 second rest in between.
  8. As you get better, you will be able to stretch higher and higher and the higher you go the more you are pulling on those stomach muscles

Benefits

  • In addition to working to reduce belly fat, this pose is great for the following:
  • It strengthens you back muscles and increases flexibility in your spine
  • It improves blood circulation, relieving fatigue and stress
  • It helps to improve breathing and digestion

5. Wind Relieving Pose

DigPose1

As the name suggests, this pose has as one of it purposes, the reliving of gas that may be trapped in your intestine. However, because of the movements involved in this pose, it is also recognized as a great method of working those stomach muscles and breaking up and reducing that fat.

Explanation of Steps

  1. Lie flat on your back on you mat
  2. This one is easy. Exhale.
  3. Slowly bend your right knee up toward your chest beginning to inhale
  4. As your knee comes up grasp it with both hands and pull your head and chest up toward your knee. Hold it. Let your leg slowly return to the mat as you exhale
  5. Repeat the same procedure with your left knee.
  6. Then repeat the exercise with both knees together.
  7. You have finished one round. Try to doe 3-4 rounds at a time.

Benefits

In addition to strengthening and toning those stomach muscles and helping to relieve trapped gas, there are a few other things this pose does:

  • It helps to strengthen your hips and thighs
  • It reduces levels of acid in the stomach and provides relief for constipation
  • It can help relieve loser back pain.

6. Standing Forward Bend

1410212283-forward_bend

You are probably thinking that this looks like it would really hurt. Actually, once you have achieved some flexibility, it a relatively easy pose. The other key to achieving this pose is to really relax as you are bending down and go slowly. You will be surprised how much more you can stretch when you do this.

Explanation of Steps

  1. You want to stand straight with your arms at your side.
  2. Raise your arms up straight above your head. Inhale deeply as you do this.
  3. When you inhale is complete, you are ready to exhale as you bend from the hip.
  4. Keep your back straight as you bend. Slowly bend down as far as you are able to go.
  5. If you are able, place your palms on the floor. If not, don’t worry. Eventually you will.
  6. If you can put your palms on the floor, try to turn your hands over and place your fingers under your toes.
  7. Until you reach the point of being able to get those hands all the way down, just grab the backs of your legs with your hands, hopefully as far down as the ankles.
  8. Now you are ready to tuck your head in as close to your legs as possible.
  9. Hold the pose as long as you can – maybe a minute at first – and breathe deeply.
  10. To return to your standing position, you want to remember one word – slowly. Try to think of “rolling” up rather than jerking quickly.
  11. The slow return to a standing position is what is going to pull on that stomach, and that’s what you want.
  12. Try to do 5-10 of these in a session, but give yourself a break between each one.

Benefits

This pose benefits that protruding belly in two ways. First, when you are in the full pose, your stomach is compressed, and that compression burns belly fat. As you come back up slowly, you are toning and pulling on those muscles. Here are the other good things that happen:

  • All of the muscles on the back of your body are stretched
  • Obviously, you have increased the blood supply to your brain
  • It really helps fatigue and insomnia

A Word of Caution

Do not engage in these poses if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, hip, back or joint pain, or if you have recently had abdominal, lung, brain or spine surgery. And many of them are not good for 2nd and 3rd trimester pregnancies. If you have any of these conditions, check with your doctor and show him/her the photos and videos in this post to see if you can safely adopt this program of exercise.

Featured photo credit: raganmd via flickr.com

The post Say Goodbye To Your Belly Fat By Doing These 6 Effective Yoga Poses appeared first on Lifehack.

via Lifehack http://ift.tt/1KJNlrZ

Advertisements

What Every Successful Person Knows, But Never Says

Ira Glass is the host and executive producer of the popular National Public Radio show, This American Life.

Each week, This American Life is broadcast to more than 1.7 million listeners across 500 different radio stations. For Glass, who is featured in almost every episode, the show has led to a wide range of opportunities including book deals, feature films, and appearances on popular television shows.

Of course, it wasn’t always that way.

What Every Successful Person Knows, But Never Says

Glass started out at NPR as a 19-year-old intern. The next decade was filled with a lot of hard work and very little payoff as he worked as a reporter.

Fifteen years into his career, Glass finally began co-hosting his first show, which was called The Wild Room. The show was his idea, but Glass would later describe it by saying, “One show would be horrible and two shows would be decent.” The Wild Room aired during a particularly unpopular Friday evening slot. Interestingly, in Glass’ own words he says, “It deserved its time slot.”

After struggling through two years of The Wild Room, Glass finally pitched the idea for This American Life and received meager funding to get it started. Over 15 years and millions of listeners later, the rest is history.

But here’s the part that I find really interesting.

Check out how Ira Glass describes his long struggle to create something noteworthy.

From Ira Glass:

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, and I really wish somebody had told this to me.

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there is this gap. For the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good. It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not that good.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase. They quit.

Everybody I know who does interesting, creative work they went through years where they had really good taste and they could tell that what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. Everybody goes through that.

And if you are just starting out or if you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you’re going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.

I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It takes awhile. It’s gonna take you a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just have to fight your way through that.”
— Ira Glass

If you’d like to hear Glass say it himself, listen to the audio clip below.

The Thing That Got You Into The Game

We all have reasons for being pulled to the things we love.

When he was just a 19-year-old intern, Ira Glass had a taste for journalism and storytelling. He knew what good journalism looked like when it was done well. However, it took him 17 years of work before he could start to do it well himself. As he says above, that was rather frustrating.

I think you and I face a similar type of battle.

  • Spend a year or two in the gym and you’ll start to recognize good technique, even if your own could use some work. This is something I’m struggling with right now. I know a great clean and jerk when I see one, but when I grab hold of the bar it’s still hard for me to pull it off.
  • Start writing consistently and you’ll begin to take notice when you read great work. That said, good luck trying to produce your own brilliant words. In the beginning, it can be difficult just to get something on the page. Even when you can hammer out sentences, young writers quickly learn that all words aren’t created equal. Even with consistent writing each week, I still feel like I fail to produce something of note.
  • Watch a dozen TED Talks and you’ll be able to point out what you like and don’t like about certain presenters. However, if you were to jump up on stage yourself, the difficulty of captivating an audience — even for a minute or two — would become quite apparent.

And so it goes for virtually any skill. There is always a gap between being an apprentice and being a craftsman. The apprentice has the taste, but not the skill. The craftsman has the taste and the skill.

It’s easier to recognize beauty than it is to create it. You’re good enough to know that what you’re doing isn’t good, but not good enough to produce something great. When you find yourself in this frustrating limbo, the challenge is to never forget what got you there in the first place. Remember that thing that got you into the game.

Your love. Your passion. Your taste. That’s the reason you’re here. You still belong, even if you don’t feel like it right now. Your taste can be killer even if your ability is questionable.

Commit to the process and you’ll become good enough, soon enough. Put in a volume of work. Close the gap.

What to Do Next

Developing skills that are as good as your taste comes down to habits. The ability to “fight your way through” – as Glass says – hinges on your consistency to show up and do the work. Can you build the habits required to make small improvements day after day?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but my hope is that I can help a little bit. I’ve spent the last year writing and researching the science of habit formation. Much of what I have learned (including strategies for becoming more consistent and improving your performance) is covered in my free 46-page guide called Transform Your Habits. It’s available for free to anyone who subscribes to my weekly newsletter.

If you haven’t already read it, you can download a copy here.

James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he shares science-based ideas for living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance by 10x, join his free newsletter.

This article was originally published on JamesClear.com.

 

References:
1. Ira Glass interview.

Featured photo credit: Ricky Montalvo via flickr.com

The post What Every Successful Person Knows, But Never Says appeared first on Lifehack.

via Lifehack http://ift.tt/1FCvMvd

Why An Independent Woman Is the Role Model For Everyone

Indwoman

Have you ever read any comments in posts about independent women? If so, you will see a lot of poisonous comments from men who imitate the media in portraying these women as anti-men, resentful, and out to get revenge! There are comments from women’s advocates who say that many women receive rape and death threats on a daily basis. In the past, Hollywood has portrayed women in their films as stereotypes who need men to rescue them from many difficult situations. In spite of all the hype, myths, and futile sexist attitudes that are abound, an independent woman is a role model for everyone. Here are 10 reasons why this is true.

“My greatest ambition is to have a career without becoming a career woman.” – Audrey Hepburn

1. Because she sees the value in education

Many women go over and beyond the lure of looking good and seek out real development as a fully rounded individual. They are curious and want to learn. An excellent example is Emma Watson, who had it all made as an actress and a model. However, she did not stop there. She completed a degree course at Brown University, taking a year off her acting career to do so. This is an inspiring example of a superb work ethic.

“I want to find something that will let me use my brain in another way. I like connecting people who aren’t part of that world, too.” – Emma Watson

2. Because she is determined

Many women face the glass ceiling in their careers and are not put off by this at all. They show persistence and true grit in getting what they want. One example is Hope Powell, who became the first woman to be granted the UEFA Pro License, which is the highest coaching award available in a field which is normally reserved for men. She is one of the 8 women coaches (out of 24) in women’s football and has played a leading role in getting the game recognized and followed by both men and women. She was instrumental in getting the Football Association to take women’s football seriously and has helped to reduce the stigma attached to women footballers.

“Work hard to get what you want. If it’s your ambition, go for it. You don’t have to be the best in the world to make it as an elite athlete. You need to be a grafter and be prepared to sacrifice.” – Hope Powell

3. Because she can communicate clearly

A superb example of somebody who can communicate complex subjects in a simple and easy to understand manner is Stephanie Flanders. She spent two years at Harvard and has worked for the United Nations, the New York Times, and was the Economics Editor at the BBC for a number of years.

Explaining global finance in everyday terms and how it impacts our daily lives was not easy, but Stephanie communicated her deep understanding of finance in a most effective way. Her TV program, Masters of Moneywas an inspirational example. “Stephanomics” has even been coined to express her unique way of communicating complex subjects to the masses. She now works for JP Morgan.

“Do not be alarmed by simplification; complexity is often a device for claiming sophistication, or for evading simple truths.” – John Kenneth Galbraith, American economist.

4. Because she cares about humanity

It takes courage to act when the migrant humanitarian crisis which is now sweeping the world leaves nations perplexed and passive. We need inspiring humans to show they care and take action. Whether it is taking part in a volunteer group or financing a project for talented girls in disadvantaged areas of the world, the message is the same. Oprah Winfrey has set an excellent example by establishing the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, which helps talented girls in need of a free education. This is just one of the many charities she actively supports

“What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people’s lives.” – Oprah Winfrey

5. Because she refuses to be judged by her appearance

Independent women will never fall into the trap of thinking that presenting themselves in a sexualized way is appropriate. She knows that she will be judged on her performance, her abilities, her communication skills, and ways she connects with others. These are the important things she is aiming to achieve. The independent woman will never put her appearance as the number one priority. She will not be brainwashed into behaving the ways that society expects her to. She will never fall victim to emotional and verbal abuse. Sandra Brown’s fascinating book, Women Who Love Psychopathspraises independent women who can do this. These women are inspiring role models to follow.

6. Because she knows the true value of a relationship

No independent woman needs a loving relationship. She wants one, just like everyone else, and will not compromise on that. She is not prepared to get involved just to help with her rent or because her new partner has a car. Above all, she can balance the need to be alone with her own space so that she can maintain her life without sacrificing personal freedom for the sake of a relationship. She can balance the two successfully. This is a model for everyone to follow.

7. Because she has overcome prejudice and discrimination

According to Pew Research, about 40% of Americans believe that women are expected to reach higher standards when they are promoted to top positions. About the same percentage are not yet ready to elect women to prestigious political posts. Approximately half of the women say that they have to go the extra mile to prove themselves when they get promoted to top business positions. Gender equality in the workplace is still a long way off. Independent women are a great role model to follow as they have often had to fight against discrimination and overcome it.

8. Because she knows that she does not have to copy male standards of leadership

The temptation for many women when they get to the top is to copy the male pattern of leadership. They tend to take aggression, toughness, and competitiveness to exaggerated levels. Hilary Genga, who founded Trunkettes swimwear, says that this is unnecessary and a mistake. Relying on gender role models is foolish.

“Be yourself, and have confidence in who you are. Don’t try to be a man. You made it to where you are through hard work and perseverance, but most importantly, you’re there. Don’t conform yourself to a man’s idea of what a leader should look like.” – Hilary Genga

9. Because she is confident

An independent woman has great confidence. It is a fantastic asset. Many successful women have achieved this by using their common sense, intuition, and people skills to great effect. Preparation is key as Sandra Rowlands, CEO of ReachLocal, has remarked.

“I had confidence in my abilities to run the business. I just made sure that any initiative I was trying to move forward was backed up by a solid business case. I was never unprepared for the questions that I knew would come.” – Sandra Rowlands

10. Because she has achieved a healthy work / life balance

Any working person strives to achieve the elusive work/life balance. When an independent woman achieves this, it is usually because they have successfully juggled the dual relationship of running a home and a business at the same time. It is often difficult to achieve; however, 78% of American mothers who use the Internet are convinced that it is possible to be successful in their career and in parenting. One of the secrets of their success is that they concentrate on running an efficient home, rather than a perfect one.

“I have set clear boundaries around family and work, and I get home for dinner with my kids. Most important, I am present when I am home with my kids. It’s the quality of time, not just the quantity that matters. I know there is always more I can get done at work, but I will never be able to redo these years with my kids!” – Jessica Herrin, CEO and founder of Stella & Dot.

Let us know in the comments how independent women have inspired you to be successful.

Featured photo credit: She’s in Fashion/Lauren Hammond via flickr.com

The post Why An Independent Woman Is the Role Model For Everyone appeared first on Lifehack.

via Lifehack http://ift.tt/1iJUteq

Easily Annoyed By The Sound Of People Chewing? You Probably Have Misophonia

115H (1)

Smack-smack-smack-crunch-slop. The person across the table from you is doing it again. It’s been like this for three straight days. The headphones you brought aren’t going to cut it.

Why is the sound of the person at the table chewing away on her lunch disturbing you to your core? According to research done in 2013, it’s because you might have misophonia.

What’s That Again?

Misophonia is defined as a hatred of sound. However, having misophonia is more nuanced than that. People with misophonia don’t hate all sounds. The sounds that provoke episodes of anxiety, social isolation, and depression are usually those that are repetitive and easily ignored by the majority of the population.

It is reportedly common among those suffering from tinnitus. Those afflicted with tinnitus account for roughly five to 10 percent of the adult population in the United States. There is debate whether misophonia is its own psychological disorder, or an aspect of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Regardless of its place in psychology, experts agree that misophonia, OCD, and anxiety disorders have close relationships.

Because of a decreased tolerance for sound, people who are likely sufferers of misophonia will avoid social situations that might involve even the possibility of repetitive noises like people chewing or pens clicking. Even the tapping of a hand can be enough to trigger misophonia. Social avoidance to this degree can lead to depression because of the isolation it causes.

One sufferer reported no longer being able to eat meals with her own husband. “The reaction is irrational,” she stated in a N. Y. Times article. Another sufferer reported fixating on the noises which sparked the aggression or irrationality, which led to near insomnia.

Research has shown that misophonia and the tolerance of noises such as sniffing, chewing, or pen clicking may exist along a spectrum, like the Autism Spectrum. Some people are simply annoyed by the sounds; others are so angered they are pushed to fits of rage or into states of anxiety.

Nowhere may this spectrum of misophonia be more prevalent than the workplace, for both triggers and those who are sensitive to them. There’s the foot tapping, the pen clicking, even the clacking of long fingernails on a keyboard. However, in a workplace, there are very few outlets for the therapies and behaviors associated with dealing with misophonia.

What To Do About It

Misophonia and its associated anxieties can be especially hindering when in the workplace. You can’t just raise your hand and ask your boss to move you away from that musical colleague with the twitchy fingers. Even if you do ask to be moved, your misophonia will likely lead you to be afraid of the change. You may worry that the person you sit next to this time will be just as twitchy. You can’t just yell, “stop it!” at your neighbor, though some people with misophonia have been known to deal with their triggers by doing so.

Unless you work for a place that actively supports mental well-being, you might have to suffer alone. It’s a relatively new disorder, and isn’t currently part of the DSM-5 or other diagnostic manuals. However, there are therapies available that help alleviate some of the anxiety of coping with misophonia. The most common are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Neurofeedback, and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. Trying a combination of these or other therapies will be more effective than picking just one.

One CBT used mimics the noise prompting the misophonia. Another is to actively engage in something else during the situation that causes the anxiety. If mealtime is when your misophonia typically presents itself, make sure you are conversing with people at the table and not simply eating. Having or creating distractions of your own will help you focus on something other than what is compelling you to throw your dinner roll across the table at the “offender.”

There’s An Upside?

If you take Misophonia.com’s test and find you may indeed have the disorder (or you just can’t stand it when you hear the ticking of the clock in the next room), don’t despair. There are upsides. For example, you may be as intelligent as Charles Darwin and Marcel Proust.

Northwestern University conducted a study on sensory gating, and found that the leakier their sensory gate, they more creative they were. Those who were unable to filter out all the inconsequential noise were more likely to have higher creative intelligence.

Whether you’ve self-diagnosed or you’ve been to a mental health counselor to discuss the reasons for your depression and social isolation and have narrowed them down to a leaky sensory gate, having misophonia doesn’t have to be debilitating.

Just remember that Chekhov probably had misophonia, too.

Featured photo credit: 115H/Gratisography via gratisography.com

The post Easily Annoyed By The Sound Of People Chewing? You Probably Have Misophonia appeared first on Lifehack.

via Lifehack http://ift.tt/1FCvKn8

Life is a Fairytale… Here’s the Proof

Warwick Castle

Once upon a time, a reader stumbled upon beautiful pictures of faraway lands. There were ornate castles on hilltops with towers and spires that touched the sky. There were fortresses surrounded by moats and drawbridges to keep the residents safe. There was a castle built over a river and another perched like a bird, high above the sea. They saw a photograph of one of the seven wonders of the world and read how it was a romantic tribute to lost love. The reader longed to visit these magnificent sites, but for now, they would have to use their imagination to travel to these enticing destinations.

If you long to see magical castles that look like they were pulled from the pages of a fairy tale, we have hand-picked 15 for you. Because, once in awhile, in the middle of an ordinary day, fairy tales do come true. Happily ever after is out there — where will you find yours?

1. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited castles in Germany and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. It’s called the “Fairy Tale” castle because it is said to have inspired Walt Disney to create the Magic Kingdom.

2. Chateau de Chenonceau, France

Chenonceau France

Chenonceau boasts five arches spanning over the Cher river in France. Called the “Ladies Castle” because it was built and later improved upon by queens of France.

3. Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

One of thirteen small monasteries or “tiger’s lairs” where the Guru Rinpoche, also known as the “Second Buddha” of Bhutan, is said to have meditated.

4. Notre Dame Cathedral, France

Notre Dame France

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is the setting for the story The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world.

5. Blarney Castle, Ireland

Blarney Castle Ireland

This historic castle is most famous for its stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it.

6. Chateau de Chambord, France

Chateau de Chambord, France

Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley and was never completed.

7. Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

Dunrobin Castle Scotland

The Castle of the Earldom of Sutherland — one of the seven ancient earldoms of Scotland.

8. The Swallow’s Nest Castle, Ukraine

Swallow's Nest Castle, Ukraine

The neo-Gothic Swallow’s Nest castle was built by a German noble in 1912 and perches 130 feet above the Black Sea near Yalta in southern Ukraine.

9. Bodiam Castle, England

Bodiam Castle, England

Bodiam Castle was built from 1385 and is surrounded on all sides by a moat.

10. Eltz Castle, Germany

Eltz Castle, Germany

The Eltz Castle is surrounded on three sides by a river and is still owned by the same family that lived there in the 12th century, 33 generations ago.

11. Alcazar of Segovia, Spain

Alcazar of Segovia, Spain

The Alcazar of Segovia is built upon a large rock promontory, which is shaped like the bow of a ship. This castle is also said to have inspired Disney’s Cinderella castle.

12. Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

One of the most recognized castles in Scotland and most popular visitor attractions in the Highlands.

13. Corvin Castle, Romania

Corvin Castle, Romania

The castle has a well 30 meters deep. Legend says that the fountain was dug by 12 Turkish prisoners, promised liberty if they reached water. However, when they did just that 15 years later, their captors did not keep their promise.

14. Prague Castle, Czech Republic

Prague Castle, Czech Republic

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world.

15. Taj Mahal, India

Taj Mahal, India

One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife of three, Mumtaz Mahal.

These are just a few of the fairytale destinations the world has to offer. If you could leave today, where would you go first?

Featured photo credit: Phil Dolby via flickr.com

The post Life is a Fairytale… Here’s the Proof appeared first on Lifehack.

via Lifehack http://ift.tt/1FCvKn3

How to Find out Whether You Have Psychic Abilities

16812966275_826c61d769_k

Have you ever entertained the idea of possessing some kind of psychic ability? No need to laugh—a lot of people have them, but they either remain in latent form for their entire lives or they dismiss the possibility, trying to find mundane explanations to unusual things happening in their life. Are you one of these people? Do you wave off your déjà vu experiences, premonitions, and intuitions as coincidence and freak accidents? If so, you are probably missing out on a lot of things that may potentially change your life. And if you have even the slightest inclination to believe you have some kind of ability, check out this list—these are the most common signs that may help you come to a conclusion.

1. You have an unusual degree of intuition.

Have you ever noticed that you know who is at your door before checking, who is calling on your phone before picking up, knew what the person you are talking to is going to say right before they open their mouth? If so, you have a higher than usual level of intuition, which may serve as a sign of some other psychic abilities of a higher order—for example, many renowned Tarot card readers claim that they’ve first learned they are able to see farther than most people by simply using their better intuition.

2. You dream frequently and vividly.

If you have dreams that feel extremely real, and dream more often than most people, it may be a sign of strongly developed psychic abilities. The reason is that when we sleep our conscious mind doesn’t stand in the way of subconscious intuition, which normally cannot manifest itself when we are awake. If it manages to get through when you are asleep, it means that it is already rather strong and, with the right training, may be controlled.

3. You have frequent Déjà vu episodes.

Déjà vu (lit. “already seen”) is a strong feeling that something that happens has already happened in the past, that you are already familiar with a place or a person you see for the first time in your life. Most people encounter déjà vu at least once in their lifetime, but if you experience it noticeably more often, there is a very good chance of your having some kind of psychic ability, probably precognition.

4. You are able to sense it when your loved ones are in trouble.

Of course, we all, irrespectively of paranormal abilities, worry about those we love—especially when we have reason to. But people with inherent psychic abilities often tend not to simply worry, but to know that something bad has happened to their loved ones, even in cases when there is absolutely nothing to tip them off. It is especially common for parents and twins.

5. Your dreams come true.

All people dream, and most people remember their dreams; so it is only natural that from time to time we dream about something that to a lesser or greater degree comes true later. If, however, you often dream about events that haven’t happened yet, it is a sign of something more than mere coincidence. Prophetic dreams are often reported to be much more vivid, realistic, compelling and emotional than normal dreams—if you often experience them, you will do yourself and your abilities a world of good if you start writing a dream journal.

These are, of course, far from being the only signs that may show that you have psychic abilities of some sort—but they are the most frequent and can most likely encourage you to look further. So start with analyzing yourself from these points of view, and who knows? Perhaps you will find out a lot more about yourself than you ever imagined!

Featured photo credit: PSYCHIC (Selfie, or Nosce te ipsum, NY, February 2015)/ Lepidoptorologic beauty* via flickr.com

The post How to Find out Whether You Have Psychic Abilities appeared first on Lifehack.

via Lifehack http://ift.tt/1iJUtel

6 Ways to Make Money Online

455279239_720dfc98c8_b

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Working from home or online doesn’t mean you’ll end up making millions while sitting around in your underwear and barely lifting a finger. While it definitely is possible to make a living using some of the following tactics, they each require a certain amount of effort. However, unlike your average hourly job in which you get paid the same regardless of how much (or how little) effort you put into it, the best part about working online is you’ll be rewarded based on your willingness to commit to a specific task, and are free to create your own destiny. Here are some ways you can make money online.

1. Website Testing

Sites like UserTesting give you the opportunity to review new and upcoming websites, giving the creators feedback as you explore them. It’s possible to make a pretty decent hourly rate testing and reviewing websites, as a single task usually takes less than a half hour and pays around $10 per gig. However, sites like UserTesting often have a large pool of candidates, and you’ll only be asked to review sites that fit your interests, so the workload may not be steady enough to create a consistent cashflow.

2. Data Entry

If your keyboarding skills are up to snuff, you might want to consider signing up for websites such as VirtualBee, which connects typists with clients in need of data entry transfers. After signing up, you’ll be given an aptitude test to determine your eligibility. It’s possible to make up to $20 an hour on gigs, but, like website testing, the work is sporadic and may not be enough for a full-time income.

3. Completing Surveys

You’ve probably seen sites advertising surveys for cash, and blown them off as a pipe dream. While many of them are full of empty promises, some sites actually do follow through with their pledges. Sites like iPoll and MySurvey make it possible to earn some side cash while you relax on the couch watching TV. Some websites even offer signup bonuses that will result with quick cash just for logging in. You probably won’t make a killing completing surveys online, but it is possible.

4. Tutoring

Regardless of whether or not you’re a certified teacher, you can find ways to make money online by tutoring high school and college students in need of test prep. TruePrep is a site dedicated to connecting tutors with high school students who need help studying for the SATs. After completing an aptitude test and going through an audition, you’ll be able to set your own hours and rate of pay. Some tutors make around $50 per Skype session.

5. Proofreading

If you love poring over newspapers, magazines, and books looking for typographical and grammatical errors, you should look into getting paid to do it. While sites like Fiverr and Elance exist to connect proofreaders with clients, you’ll often end up underselling yourself due to the sheer volume of workers advertising their skills. Take a look at Proofread Anywhere, a site offering a course not only on how to become an expert proofreader, but how to find clients that pay well and will consistently need your assistance. Caitlin Pyle, the founder of Proofread Anywhere, makes a full-time income proofreading for less than 30 hours a week.

6. Create a personalized online store

This is perhaps the most involved entry on the list, but it also has the most potential to end up becoming a full-time gig. An entry on Bitcatcha’s blog fully details the best methods for creating an online store in which you can sell your personal crafts, creations, or services. Again, this is in no way meant to be a get rich quick scheme. However, creating a business that operates almost exclusively online is the best way to ensure your fledgling company reaches a variety of audiences across the globe.

Featured photo credit: Paying attention to detail / Nic McPhee via farm1.staticflickr.com

The post 6 Ways to Make Money Online appeared first on Lifehack.

via Lifehack http://ift.tt/1YN5NHu