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  • 50 Easy Yet Highly Effective Ways to Motivate Yourself

    If you can't seem to find yourself motivated because of several reasons, take a deep breath and try to motivate yourself with these simple yet effective tips:

    1. Close your eyes, and visualize yourself reaching your goals.
    2. Try something new today.
    3. Take a walk in a park, and let nature reset your mind.
    4. Make a to-do list. You'll feel encouraged as you cross off items.
    5. Get more sleep. Sleep deprivation could be making you less motivated.
    6. Drink coffee for a quick jolt.
    7. Start exercising, and you'll feel like yourself
    8. Take a small step. You don't have to immediately immerse yourself in the project and see it until completion right away. Just make baby steps, and take it one day at a time.
    9. Wake yourself up from your slump with a cold shower.
    10. Have a reward system, so you'll have something to look forward to.
    11. When doing a task you don't want to do, play energizing music to help you get through it.
    12. Get the hard stuff done first thing in the morning. Once you're done with the most challenging projects, you'll be able to tackle the others with ease.
    13. Prepare early so you're not in a rush. When you're late all the time or feel rushed, this may stress you out and kill your motivation.
    14. Push yourself. Realize that getting things done means giving yourself a little push sometimes.
    15. Grow your willpower. 
    16. Make motivating yourself into a habit. 
    17. Set a deadline for a task to spur you to get it done before the time is up.
    18. Focus. Doing too many things at once can overwhelm you, so drop the multitasking and focus on one thing at a time.
    19. Get a friend to join you to make whatever you're doing more enjoyable.
    20. Clean up your home or your workspace, and you'll feel like you can get more done in a decluttered environment.
    21. Let go of your fears, and you may feel brave enough to take on challenging tasks.
    22. Eat right. Treating your body well will put you in a better place mentally.
    23. Take a break to get some rest and recharge your mind.
    24. Do something you enjoy when you first get up. Whether it be drinking hot chocolate while reading a chapter of a book you're currently glued to or taking a hot shower, start your day off on a positive note.
    25. Share your goals with others. Being public about your goals will give you a sense of accountability, which may make you more inclined to get going.
    26. Fake it till you make it. Act like you're motivated, and it'll become a reality in time.
    27. Focus on the positive instead of the negative, and you'll feel more inclined to start new projects and take risks.
    28. Bring light into your room. Open up your curtains. Let fresh air into your room by opening up windows if it's not too cold and if it's not polluted outside.
    29. Find out what it'll take to get there. When you set a goal for yourself, begin by doing some research, and you'll be done with the first step.
    30. Encourage others, and you'll automatically start seeing encouragement from them in return. It's a cycle of positivity!
    31. Don't compare yourself with others or you'll get discouraged. Compete against yourself.
    32. Have realistic expectations. Know yourself and how far you can go.
    33. Stay excited. Experiment and keep coming up with new tweaks so you won't get board.
    34. If you fail, pick yourself up and keep going. Don't let it derail you or cause you to lose confidence, which ends up affecting your motivation.
    35. Keep track with a journal. If you track your progress, you'll be able to see it, which will help motivate you to continue or try even harder.
    36. Read biographies of the people you look up to for inspiration.
    37. Listen to motivational stories from audiobooks, documentaries, and more.
    38. Place motivational quotes around your home and workspace. They can come in such forms as a sticky note on your memo board, a note taped to your mirror, or an inspiring quote on a coffee mug.
    39. Volunteer. It'll help ground you and make you realize that you're fortunate, so you should take the opportunity to make the most out of your life.
    40. Write down a few things you're grateful for. If you have a more positive mind-set, you'll find yourself more motivated and looking forward to what's in store for you.
    41. Reflect on the times when you worked hard and succeeded at your task.
    42. Remind yourself that it's better to try and fail or succeed than living with regrets.
    43. Give yourself a pep talk, and tell yourself that you are awesome.
    44. Drop the projects that you might not be totally committed to and focus on the ones you're really passionate about.
    45. Tell yourself that nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
    46. Know that only you have the power to create your dreams and generate motivation.
    47. Write down where you see yourself in five years, and stick that note in a visible place.
    48. Turn it into a challenge with a time limit. You can create your own or join an existing one. 
    49. Set your alarm clock to remind you when it's time to start on your task.
    50. Find something you truly enjoy, and do it. Pick up a hobby or start a collection, and it'll make you excited about life.

    Source: popsugar.com

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  • The world’s most welcoming countries – as voted by you

    Whether it’s a friendly face at check in or a taxi driver who’s full of useful tips, nothing beats getting a warm welcome on your travels – and our interactions with local people have a huge impact on how we view countries as a whole. This month, we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to share where they’ve found the most hospitable places around the world. Here’s what they said.

    10. Bolivia

    This South American country has been voted among the world’s least friendly tourist destinations in the past – but we’ve always thought Bolivia has been a bit misunderstood. And it looks like our readers agree. As long as you make an effort to learn some key phrases in the local languages, you’ll find out exactly how hospitable Bolivians can be. From the otherworldly Salar de Uyuni to the vast, sapphire-blue Lake Titicaca, the country’s spectacular sights make it worth going the extra mile.

    9. Finland

    Finns are famous for being uncommonly reserved, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a welcoming bunch – all you have to do is join them in the sauna to find out. Sweating it out together has become a national obsession, and you’ll no doubt come away from the experience with plenty of new friends. Once you’ve beaten each other with a bunch of leafy twigs and plunged feet first into a pool just a shade above freezing, you’ll at least have plenty to talk about.

    8. Myanmar

    Cut off from the rest of the world for decades, Myanmar only recently began emerging from its period of isolation – and now is a fascinating time to go. Visit any one of the traditional teahouses to meet the friendly locals, who generally still view tourists as a novelty. In 2016, Myanmar was voted the world’s most generous country in the World Giving Index for the third year running. The index takes into account the kindness to strangers, so you can expect to be warmly received on your travels.

    7. Kenya

    It’s likely that the spindly acacia trees, dusty plains and ochre-hued sunsets that come to mind when you think of Africa belong to Kenya. It hosts a breathtaking range of natural habitats, from the reefs and lagoons of the Indian Ocean to the fertile plains of the Maasai Mara. And its cultural heritage – with more than 40 ethnic groups – is just as rich. It’s common for locals here to speak three languages – their own, Swahili and English – so you’ll find it easy to start up a conversation.

    6. Indonesia

    Home to everything from rumbling volcanoes to orangutan-filled rainforests, and surrounded by some of the best dive sites in the world, Indonesia’s 17,000 tropical islands are extraordinarily diverse. Meanwhile, the people that live here share around 300 ethnicities and many hundreds of languages between them. Locals are outgoing and accustomed to seeing new faces, so you shouldn’t be surprised if a complete stranger introduces themselves.

    5. Japan

    Stepping off the plane and into Japan can feel a bit like strolling onto another planet. There’s everything from ramen vending machines to futuristic capsule hotels to get your head around – and the rules of etiquette can seem just as tricky to navigate. But there’s no need to worry, as Japan is regularly heralded as one of the most welcoming and hospitable countries in the world. That means you don’t have to fret if you’ve accidentally forgotten to switch to toilet slippers or committed a chopstick-related faux pas.

    4. Colombia

    Colombia is widely regarded as one of South America’s rising stars, with the gradual decline of the drug cartels and improving security conditions finally granting access to its charming colonial cities, cloud forests and palm-fringed beaches. Locals here are famous for their hospitality, and you’ll no doubt get to experience this first-hand with a visit to the country’s underrated capital city or thriving Medellín.

    3. Uganda

    Once dubbed “the pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, Uganda still has plenty to be proud of, including a healthy population of mountain gorillas, the source of the world’s longest river and the Mountains of the Moon, the continent’s tallest range. Many years of civil strife have largely kept it under the tourist radar, though travellers have begun flocking back in recent times with the fostering of stability. Now, you’ve voted it one of the most welcoming countries on Earth, so it’s the perfect time for a trip.

    2. India

    In big Indian cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, you’re almost guaranteed to meet a new person every minute – and the welcome could initially seem a shade too warm. Everywhere you go, local people may introduce themselves, stare at you, or take photos, and you might even find yourself faced with awkward questions such as “Do you have a boyfriend?” or “How much money do you earn?” All of this is perfectly normal in India, and it’s simply a friendly way of showing interest in a new face.

    1. Ethiopia

    Top of the list sits Ethiopia, a profoundly beautiful East African country with a history that stretches back many thousands of years. It was never colonized, so the tribal customs and hospitable traditions you can see here are largely just as they’ve always been. Take the Ethiopian coffee ceremony: the women of the household meticulously roast, grind and boil the aromatic beans, before presenting three consecutive cups of exceptionally fresh coffee to their guests. The process can last for hours, but it’s considered a real mark of friendship.

    Source: roughguides.com

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  • 7 best free language learning sites

    Learning a language has a multitude of benefits including making us smarter, building our multitasking skills, improving our memory, and making us more perceptive. In order to aid the development of this important life skill we have compiled a list of top websites for language learning.

     1. Busuu

    As well as winning the the BETT Innovator Award, TechCrunch Europe Award, Busuu has also been named ‘Best Education Startup in Europe’ by EdTech Europe. It has an international community of over 50 million native speakers and is available in 12 languages. The content is curated by an in-house team of educational experts and teachers and the site provides you with personalised feedback on your exercises via an integrated chat feature.

     2.Duolingo

    Duolingo provides language lessons in 13 languages with speaking, listening, translation, and multiple choice challenges at different levels. You can instantly see which answers are correct and set new challenges to help further your progress. Duolingo helps you stay on track by recording how many days in a row you use it and allowing you to earn points from your progress. Teachers can also track students’ learning.

     3. Learn a language

    Learn a language offers interactive audio/visual Learning Lounge to assist you in learning a foreign language. There's also a Lingo Dingo game to help learn a language online. The site includes important phrases like greetings, survival expressions and slang words in 19 languages. 

    4. FSI Languages Courses

    Foreign Language Institute courses were designed by linguists and have high-quality learning materials. They were developed by the United States government and lessons are available in 48 languages.

     5. Open Culture

    Open Culture offers a repository of free resources in 48 languages. Resources are curated on a regular basis. 

     6. Erasmus Plus Online linguistic support

    There is a specific tool available for Erasmus Plus participants, the Erasmus Plus Online linguistic supportThis tool is available in six languages and it is specifically designed for participants in mobility. These courses are developed to assist beneficiaries to improve their language skills before they travel to their country of destination. Students are required to undertake a language assessment and need to have been selected by their sending institutions before they use the tool.

    7.Memrise

    This site uses ‘mems’, which are mnemonic flashcards that use your pre-existing knowledge to help remember new vocabulary. The Portuguese mem for “yo quero,” for example, showed a man in a shop saying to the helpful clerk, “you care! Ohh!”

    Happy language learning!

    Sources: https://ec.europa.eu  and http://www.telegraph.co.uk 

     

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  • 10 Techniques to Instantly Reduce Stress

    Stress can appear in our lives at any time with varying levels of intensity. It could arise from a conversation you have or get triggered from an event that takes places. Stress can even emerge after a slow build up, with one event pushing you over the edge. No matter how it’s caused, the fact is consistent stress in our body is not only detrimental to our health; it’s also preventable and unnecessary.

    Physiologically, stress exists as our body’s response to life threatening situations. When we feel endangered, our nervous system responds by releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. This is our body’s way of protecting us through the “fight or flight” stress response. In emergency situations stress can help us stay alert, energetic, and give us superhuman strength to get out of danger.

    Once the threatening event is over, our body is designed to return back to its natural calm and relaxed state. Although life-threatening situations are not as common in Western Society, what is common is for people to be constantly living in “flight or fight” mode. Staying in this mode over extended periods of time can cause health problems such as nervous system disorders and fatigue. This in turn can create ongoing anxiety as we are constantly on alert waiting for a crisis to happen at any time. For a lot of us, entering the office switches our body into a life-threatening state.

    Next time your chest gets tight or you feel overwhelmed, try these techniques for instant relief.

    1. Focus on your breath
    Your thoughts are directly related to your breath. If you have a tight chest, worried thoughts, or feel anxious, chances are, you are breathing too fast or shallow. Slow down your breath to balance your mind by inhaling for a count of 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, and exhale for 5 seconds.

    2. Cool down
    Cooling down your mind and body re-balances your energy and allows you to take action from a more centered place. An ancient yogi technique to cool down your mind and body is shitali pranayam. Open your mouth slightly, curl your tongue and allow it to slightly protrude past your lips. Breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. If you can’t curl your tongue, inhale through a round O mouth instead. Try this technique for 2–3 minutes.

    3. Pause
    If you react too soon during stressful situations, you may say or do things you later regret. Unless you are in an emergency situation, your response can often wait at least a few seconds. Transform the pattern of immediately responding to taking the time to pause, breathe, get calm, and gather yourself. Then respond verbally or by taking action.

    4. Get out in nature
    Getting out in nature has an instant calming effect. Whether you choose to sit on a beach to hear the waves crash, walk through a lush green forest, listen to the sounds of a nearby waterfall or hike up mountains, just get yourself outside and allow nature to put everything back into perspective.

    5. Mindfully exercise
    Exercise releases natural adrenaline and endorphins that make you feel good. Add more mindfulness to your workout by focusing intently on the activity you are doing. Observe your technique and how it makes you feel. Get connected to your body. This workout window allows you to get fit and even take a break from your stress. Head outside and run or cycle, hit the gym, or attend a yoga class. Working out during your lunch beak also allows you stay more focused and calm when you return to work.

    6. Take a cold shower
    Hydrotherapy is a precise and sophisticated science with a multitude of benefits for your body and mind. As well as reducing stress, cold showers open up your capillaries which when returned to normal push the blood back to your organs. This causes a flush effect in the heart, kidneys lungs and liver. This process stimulates the healthy secretion of the glandular system, which leaves your skin radiant and keeps your blood chemistry young healthy. Remember to start with outer extremities—feet, hands, and arms.

    7. Put on relaxing music
    Everything is made up of energy including both our bodies and music. Music has the power to instantly transform your energy whether that’s by lifting you up or pulling you down. Choose music that is uplifting in tone, lyrics, and beat so your body’s energy can match this higher energy frequency. Positive music also helps create more positive thoughts.

    8. Give gratitude
    Whatever you are stressed about is just a thought pattern or belief. You’re ultimately in control of your thoughts (even if it often doesn’t feel that way). Two people could be in exactly the same situation and only one could feel stressed because they have a negative thought pattern. So take a break from worry or panic and make a list of what you are grateful for in your life—whether that’s having a roof over your head, living in a nice city, having a vehicle that gives you freedom etc. List around 10 things.

    9. Visualize success
    Prevent your mind from imagining the “worst case scenario” or “what if” by visualizing and focusing your whole attention on what you want to bring into your life, not the fears of what you don’t want. Remember where your attention goes energy flows, which means you can’t afford to spend anytime engaged in picturing what you don’t want.

    10. Drink a green smoothie
    Get a natural mental boost from the phytochemicals of green vegetables. Smoothies are a great way to gain all the nutrients from vegetables and fruit as all the content remains in the drink. Green smoothies can also help strengthen your immune system, eliminate unhealthy cravings (which can cause more stress), and give your brain more energy. Try kale, spinach, ginger, and lemon with a touch of banana and blueberries.

    Source: lifehack.org

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