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Top 10 ways to celebrate Christmas and bask in yule tide cheer

Photo credits: Paramount/Everett/Rex Features Enjoy these Christmas activities for festive fun all month long:   See a Christmas play. I recently saw The Christmas Schooner at Mercury Theater in Chicago and I recommend it. Last year I saw a play about Sherlock Holmes solving the mystery of a Christmas Goose. Whatever your tastes, I’m sure that there is a holiday themed play that you’ll enjoy.   Walk around and soak up the Christmas splendor. Also, every Chicagoan should check out Zoolights at the Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s free and a holiday tradition for me and my family.   Call-in sick…
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Watching YouTube can give you the health benefits of laughter as therapy

This week, I found myself using periodic breaks to watch funny YouTube video compilations of vines, pets, or game show fails. This got me wondering about whether watching 15-20 minutes’ worth of YouTube videos was useful, or simply a waste of time (because we all know that you can’t just stop at one video!). I decided to do some digging and I’ve come to the conclusion that watching funny, or even just aww inspiring YouTube videos may be a great, and free form of Laughter Therapy! It has been known for decades now that laughter has a profound positive effect…
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Stress levels could be harming your body without you knowing

Image Credit: Dawn Willow Iceberg stress can be affecting your mental, psychological, and physical health without you even realizing you're stressed! Find out how to de-stress. People are spending more time than ever before at work, and it seems like social media is being used to replace a nonexistent social life. David Lewis, , is a psychologist whose research points towards the dangerous effects of stress below the surface that we aren't even aware of: he calls it iceberg stress. This type of stress lurks below the surface of our consciousness and affects our health, even though we may only…
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How to: write a friendly letter that warms hearts

Credit: Jessica Gale via morgueFile I know, the title is a bit strange since most of you already know how to write letters, but are they actually effective? We’re used to business letters, company emails, and you may have even written or received a few love albeit mine we’re of the kindergarten variety (‘do you like me?’ Check ‘yes’ or ‘no’). But I really love to write letters to my friends from time to time that let them know that they are a very appreciated presence in my life. When you consider how fast-paced life is, it seems like I…
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Are you in a relationship with your smartphone?

I have recently joined the 'Dark Force' and am now a proud owner of, yes, an iPhone. While having the 'world' at my fingers tips has made my life seem more productive, I began to wonder. Is it really?!   After AsapSCIENCE video, 5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now, I am not so sure. I've embedded the video below. Apparently, heavy social media usage triggers the same impact as a having a beer, in that it limits our decision-making capabilities and triggers the immediate pleasure-seeking side of our brain (Darn Reptilian brain!). (more…)
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