Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Time to Chill Out, Not Stress Out

Learn to avoid holiday blues. [Pic]

Tis the season to be, wait, not quite.

Ironically, during this festive season, most people experience very high stress level. The reasons are aplenty. Here are a few common experiences and some of these may have hit your stress button:

  1. Rushed - You are running out of time and you work feverishly to clear your work before your year end break.
  2. Cash trapped - You have a long shopping list and you feel the strain on your wallet.
  3. Lonely - The sight of family reunion, friends get-together or loving couples sparks a bout of loneliness in you.
  4. Irritable - With all the hustle and bustle around you, you begin to feel an overdose of jingle bells and Santa Claus.
  5. Brain drained - You run out of gift ideas but refuse to settle for the cliche.
  6. Resentful - It's never your cup of tea to socialize and celebrate. You don't understand and resent all the excitement around you.

Life is not stree-free but you can do with less. [Pic]

There you go, you are stressed out and may have some of these stress symptoms. While life is never stress-free, you cannot afford to leave it uncontrolled.

There are many ways to eliminate stress and they are not new to you. Let me put some of those together and hopefully the list is a timely reminder at this time of the year. Revisit it whenever you need a nudge.

Understand what stresses you. [Pic]

9. Know your stressor

If you do not know what bothers you, you do not know how to respond. Spend some 10 minutes to think about how you feel and why you feel that way.

8. Check your commitments

List your commitments and consider how each of them add on to your stress level. Sort them in a descending order and delete from the top of the list.

7. Have a 'do it now' habit

Very often 'later' becomes 'never'. The more you allow your 'to-do' list to grow, the more you feel stressed. Read more in "Procrastination is Best Left Till Tomorrow".

Multitasking can be stressful and unproductive. [Pic]

6. Learn to single-task

If you have been duped to believe that multitasking is the way to raise productivity, think again. You might be one of the many victims who are so stressed out juggling from task to task at the same time. See "So Clever ! You Can Multitask !" and "Farewell to Multitasking".

5. Motivate yourself

Stop blaming others for the lack of motivation. Let's face it, it would have to come from you. See "Get Your Daily Motivation" and "How to Kill Your Motivation?".

4. Balance your calories account

How much must you eat and how much exercise do you need? I don't know! All I know is that you never take in more calories than you burn. I will leave it to the experts to give you tips on exercise and healthy diets.

Take time to feel grateful. [Pic]

3. Be grateful

Appreciating what you have gives you instant richness. Sometimes, you just need to remind yourself how much more you have compared to millions others and how good you are and can be. See "Sometimes, I Forget..." and "You Are in a Top Ten List".

2. Choose happiness

That's right, choose, not pursue. The thing about happiness is that it is always with you. If you want to be happy, just be. See "Happiness is a Choice" and "Happiness Quotient".

1. Quit your job

Hang on and don't jump in yet. I do not want to be responsible for a workplace exodus anywhere. This is an option albeit a drastic one but do it with your eyes open. See "To Quit or Not to Quit?" and you may not have to quit after all.

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. [Pic]

Our body is built to feel stress when danger is sensed. The Adrenaline rushes make our body works efficiently and it is important for a 'fight-or-flight' situation. However, when stress is sustained, our body will protest over time. 

Take control of your life and manage your stress level. The colors of Christmas are red and green. Not blue.

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." (William James)

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Monday, December 5, 2011

The Amazing Jelly Beans

Jelly bean colors and  flavors - Endless possibilities [Source: Wiki]

I am fascinated with Jelly beans. Or should I say, with their colorfulness?

Jelly beans are a type of bean-shaped candy with a jellylike center and a firm sugar coating. Honestly, I don't really like how they taste but when they come in loads, it is definitely a feast to my eyes.

Colorful and flavorful

No one knows the exact date of their birth but these colorful beans have been around for a long time. The first jellybean was created by an unknown American candy maker in the 1800s. An 1861 advertisement recommended sending jelly beans to soldiers fighting in the Civil War.

From the 1970s, jelly beans were not only multi-colored but multi-flavored. Just take a look at Jelly Belly's Official 50 Flavors Guide and you will be amazed by the choices available. Too boring? Try "Tropical Mix" flavors or "Cocktail" flavors.

Exotic or simply bad taste? [Source]

Jelly bean in the wizard world

In "Harry Potter", the novel and movie, 'Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans' encompasses any flavor you can imagine, including puke-inducing ear-wax flavor. Check out the full list of flavors.

The jelly bean President

The 40th U.S. President (1981-1989), Ronald Reagan's favorite candy was jelly beans. He began eating jelly beans in the 1960s when he gave up smoking and kept up the habit ever since.

He kept a crystal jar full of jelly beans in the Oval Office and often offered them during Cabinet meetings. He once said, "You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful."

'Jelly bean portrait' of Ginger [Source]

Jelly bean art

President Reagan even has his own portrait made of 10,000 jelly beans. It is displayed in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

If you do not have any jelly bean, you can create your own 'jelly bean portrait' digitally. I had it done for our pet cat. Try making one with your own photo.

What can you do with 288,000 jelly beans?

Jelly bean MTV

What can you do with 288,000 jelly beans?

It took 30 people, 1,357 hours over a period of 22 months, lots of dedication and creativity to produce a 'Jelly bean' MTV. They worked with singer Kina Grannis and 288,000 beans for the MTV "In Your Arms" (Watch MTV).

Jelly bean and technology

The popular Android operation system was first released in Sep 2008. Since then, many updates have been added on. From Apr 2009, each version was codenamed based on dessert items in alphabetical order. Starting from Cupcake, we have Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb and the latest Ice Cream Sandwich.

There have been some unconfirmed suggestions that coming up next would be, yes, what else? Jelly bean! Time will tell if this is true. (see article)

What comes after 'Ice Cream Sandwich'? 'Jelly bean'?

Celebrating 'Jelly Bean Day'

22 April every year is the 'Jelly bean Day'. I have no idea why that is so. To me, everyday is 'Jelly Bean Day'.

Jelly bean quiz

Let's take a leisurely closure to this sweet and colorful story by taking a quiz. Find out "Which Jelly Belly Bean Flavor Suits Your Personality?". Just for fun. Don't take it too seriously.

"The colorfulness of your life can be tainted by your monochrome mind." (Vanilla Lenscape)

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