Want to Feel Better About Yourself? Try Washing your Hands

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Need to feel more optimistic or confident in your decisions? Try washing your hands.

A recent study performed by Dr. Kai Kasper, from Germany’s University of Cologne, reveals that people who cleaned their hands after attempting an impossible task were more confident that they would do better at completing the same task the next time around.

The same study also reveals that, although the clean hands test group felt more optimistic at completing the task the next time around, they were actually less likely to successfully complete it.

“While physical cleansing after failure may eliminate negative feelings,” explains Dr. Kasper, “it reduces the motivation to try harder in a new test situation.” Dr. Kasper’s study is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Either way you look at it, hand washing is physically and emotionally cleansing. And washing your hands immediately after making a difficult decision will help you feel more confident, optimistic, and comfortable with the decision you made.

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Stop! Don’t Hit the Snooze Button!

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If you’re like me, you probably hit the snooze button each morning. And hitting that tiny little button just once is never enough, right?

People generally think they’ve had a bad night’s sleep if they have a hard time waking up. According to author and writer Maria Konnikova, this is not necessarily the case. She says if you keep a regular schedule, your body has conditioned itself to start the wake up process for about one to two hours before that annoying alarm goes off. Hitting the snooze button actually messes with your sleep cycle by restarting it.

“You end up right back to where it began and you’re making all those preparations for nothing,” explains Konnikova. “You end up being even sleepier, even groggier than you would have been had you just dealt with it and gotten up right away.”

I’m going to try to remember to not hit the snooze button tomorrow morning but… old habits die hard.

For more information on this topic, please visit CBC News.

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Not to Be a Debbie Downer But… A Bit about Shrimp

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If you enjoy feasting on shrimp, you’re not alone. Americans eat, on average, 4.1 pounds of shrimp per year. That’s per person per year. With figures like these, it’s no wonder shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States. Now for the Debbie Downer part…

Shrimp is either farmed or caught in the wild. Unfortunately, neither method is good for the environment. In fact, both options wreak havoc on the environment.

Stephen Messenger, freelance writer for numerous online and print publications including The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo!, Huffington Post, and TreeHugger, explains the harmful effects of shrimp farming in plain terms: “It takes five square miles of cleared mangrove forest to produce just over two pounds of shrimp—and that land is typically left depleted within 10 years and rendered unusable for another 40. By comparison, the devastation left behind from cattle-ranch deforestation seems, well, quite rosy.”

Jill Richardson, author of Recipe for America and founder of the sustainable food and agriculture blog La Vida Locavore , explains that catching wild shrimp isn’t a better option because “it usually involves the use of deep-sea trawlers, which kills 5 to 20 pounds of bycatch (unwanted species of fish accidentally scooped up by the trawler’s net) for every pound of shrimp.” The bycatch is tossed over the side of the trawler without a second thought.

As for health risks, according to Richardson, most shrimp is not FDA approved. When tested, researchers found that imported ready-to-eat shrimp were contaminated with 162 separate varieties of bacteria that were resistant to 10 antibiotics. Yuck!

I don’t know about you, but I think I am going to lay off the shrimp until standards of production increase dramatically. For my own health. And for the health of our planet as a whole.

For more information on this topic, please visit TreeHugger.

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(Photo by 51ststate)

Most Women Are Rushers… What Are You?

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It’s not just what you eat but rather the way you eat that will lead you to living a healthier lifestyle. Determining your eating personality may be a winning factor in the battle against the bulge.

Researchers in Britain report that there are seven types of over-eaters. A whopping 69 percent of the 500 women surveyed classify themselves as Rushers.

Types of eaters:

Rushers make bad eating choices because they don’t have time to prepare proper meals;

Pickers snack between meals;

Bingers starve themselves all week and then eat a huge amount all at once;

Settlers put on weight during relationships by eating the same sized portions as their partners;

Rewarders use food to reward themselves for good deeds or getting through a tough situation;

Socialisers use getting together with friends and family to eat more and drink more than they normally would;

Comforters turn to food when they’re feeling stressed, sad, or disappointed.

I’m a combo of sorts. I’m part Binger, part Rewarder, part Socializer, and part Comforter. What type of eater are you?

For more information on the types of eaters listed above and tips for breaking poor eating habits, please visit Reveal.

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Are Your Kids Eating at the Table?

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Where a child eats can affect his or her chances of becoming overweight. Researchers in the US studied children aged two to five from over 100 daycare centers.

Results show that children who eat meals at the table, and who are allowed to serve themselves, are less likely to be overweight than children who are served a plateful of food in front of the TV.

The study reports that when foods are pre-plated, children never learn to read their body’s hunger cues. Also, parents shouldn’t pressure children to finish a serving because it can encourage them to over eat.

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