Decluttering Your Mind: 5 Simple Tips on Letting Go of Negative Thoughts

The day-to-day grind of life can be a lot for your brain as one thing always seems to stack on top of another. When this happens, our minds can get completely cluttered, only making the situation worse, as negative thoughts can start to creep in. Here are five simple tips on letting go of negative thoughts so that you can declutter your mind.

Distract yourself  

When your mind is clouded and racing with negative thoughts, sometimes all you need is a good distraction. Negative thoughts can weigh you down and greatly affect your mental, emotional, and even physical health. Distracting yourself with activities like television, music, spending time with friends, going for a walk, or doing something fun, or that keeps you focused, will help to ease your mind. Don’t focus too much on the fact you’re trying to let go of negative thoughts and try to immerse yourself in your distraction. 


What drives away negative thoughts? Well, positive thoughts and mediation of course. Reinforce positive self-talk and replace those negative thoughts with happier, more relaxed ones. Meditation can do wonders to clear your mind and rid it of thoughts that make your mind feel bogged down. Leaving you plenty of room to fill your mind with positive thoughts of self-love. Go to your most favorite, comfortable destination to seek peace and meditate. Practicing meditation when negative thoughts hit will help to control how it affects you. Soon enough, your mind will be full of positive, happy, and relaxing thoughts. 

Talk it Out 

Sometimes negative thoughts take so much space in our minds that getting them out is the only way to soothe our troubled minds. Bottling up your emotions is detrimental to your allover health. It’s important to seek support and trusted people in your life that you can vent to. Make sure whoever you confide in is comfortable with taking on your troubles. If you feel you don’t have enough support, therapy is a wonderful tool you can use to unravel your negative thoughts and find professionally recommended ways to cope. 

Self Care  

Self-care is extremely crucial to your well-being in all forms. Positive self-care can help rid you of negative thoughts and feelings by replacing them with cozy feelings. What better way to put your mind at ease than indulging yourself? Self-care can come in all forms. Going to the spa, getting your nails done, treating yourself to your favorite meal, taking a trip to your favorite place, or splurging on a well-deserved gift for yourself. Whatever it may be, the positive emotions you’ll feel will drive away the negative ones little by little, decluttering your mind and leaving space for happier thoughts. 

Remind Yourself That Thoughts Aren’t Facts 

When negative thoughts take over, it’s helpful to constantly remind yourself that your thoughts are not facts. Your negative thoughts and feelings do not determine who you are as a person. Negativity is an overwhelming feeling and you might begin to spiral into a depressive episode if the thoughts linger. That can result in feeling guilt and self-loathing for believing the thoughts, or thinking you’re responsible for them. Gentle reminders from yourself and others that they are simply thoughts and nothing more can help ease your mind and free you of any guilt you feel as a result of those negative thoughts. 

The Impact of Computing on the Music Industry

These days, using computers is an absolute necessity when it comes to making music. Computers are used for just about everything, and it’s hard for people in today’s society to imagine what it was like to record a song before computers came around. An entire record would have to be recorded in one take, and sound editors would have to splice in bits and pieces to enhance the song’s quality using reel-to-reel tapes.

It was a painstaking job that could take weeks back then, but now a song could go from being unwritten to ready-for-release within a matter of hours. Almost every aspect of music has been digitized these days, and the industry has been affected by computers just as much (if not more) than most others. Let’s take a look at the impact of computing on the music industry from production to distribution.

History of Computer Music Production

Most of us don’t really think of computers as something that came around until the 1980s and eventually became a portal for the world wide web and gaming. However, computers had been used for decades leading up to the 1980s, and music happened to be one of the more basic things that computers could do back then.

During the late 1940s, the CSIR Mark 1 became the first computer to play music, but it would be quite some time until computers were used to aid popular acts. Musicians like Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, and many more from the pre-1980s era didn’t have computers being used in the development of their albums, but that all changed with the new sound of the 80s era.

Production Through Computers

While major studios were beginning to use computers to mix music during the 1980s and 1990s, it wasn’t until the 2000s that it became essentially the only option, and people could even do it from their own homes. Instead of needing a full studio with space for drums, guitars, speakers, and more, people could create a song from scratch using at-home programs like Ableton Live and Pro Tools to create beats, replicating the sounds of real instruments.

Of course, this hasn’t stripped away the traditional way of recording music, though. There are still plenty of big acts that will make their way to a studio and record together as a band. Each one of the instruments and vocal tracks are captured by microphones and isolated using computer technology.

From these tracks, producers and editors are able to change the pitch, speed, and any other aspect of the sound so that it fits. This is something that has always been done, but computing has made it a much, much easier process. What would sometimes take hours or days can now be adjusted within a matter of seconds. If you notice that the drums start to sound a bit louder when the singer is taking a few beats off, it’s because the volume was digitally increased back to what you would normally hear in the studio before mixing.

Age of Autotune

How music is spliced together and edited hasn’t changed much over the years other than that it’s all done digitally now compared to the reel-to-reel days. However, there is one major aspect of music that’s been completely different since the late 1990s. That’s because, in 1997, autotune was introduced by Dr. Andy Hildebrand and quickly became a staple of the industry. You may remember the 1998 hit “Believe” by Cher, which truly put the production process on the map.

While not everyone is a fan of autotune because they feel that it’s not “authentic,” autotune helped make stars out of people who didn’t have the traditional voice to make it big. Even those who were established singers like Shania Twain, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga have used autotune to sharpen their records a bit more. Future Music editor Daniel Griffiths said that, now, all of the big names use autotune because of its ease of access and that about 99 percent of recorded music uses this pitch-correcting tool.


Knowing that your favorite band was releasing a new album used to be quite a mystery. You’d either happen to walk into a record store and spot the newest release, or hear about it from a television or radio interview. Some even waited at record stores until the release date so they could be the first ones to hear the new music.

Those days are long gone, though, and very few physical copies are made of each new album. Instead, they’re released through streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, and more, while midnight releases on YouTube are commonplace for singles (and in some cases full albums). These new tracks are also released to radio stations (both satellite and antenna) to help promote the new releases.

Musicians don’t make much at all through these digital sales, though. Just to make $1, a musician would have to have a song streamed 125 times on Apple Music and 500 times on YouTube Music. That’s why this digital age of music distribution is mostly a promotional tool for concerts, where musicians make the big bucks.

Optimizing Your Online Presence to Make Professional Connections

There was once a time in the job world when you could simply walk into a building, ask to speak with a manager, hand over your resume, and likely get an interview right on the spot. Things are much different these days, though, as a majority of available jobs are never even published and these positions are typically filled through recruiters and networking. One major study showed that more than 80 percent of jobs are filled via networking, so it’s important to establish these connections.

The best way to establish these connections is through the internet, and with each passing year, it’s important to establish yourself online so that these connections can hook you up with jobs while recruiters can see your skills without you even needing to submit a resume. Let’s take a look at some ways to optimize your online presence so that you can establish these online connections and find the career that you want.

Clean Up Social Media

For those of us who were born during the 1980s and 1990s, social media came out at a time when we were very young. As such, we used our social media accounts exclusively for personal use and may have some pictures or posts that could be deemed unprofessional. While you could spend a lot of time cleaning up your social media pages so that there isn’t anything that could be misconstrued or seen as unsavory.

What more people are doing to establish their online presence, though, is to completely get rid of their personal social media pages and create all new ones that are focused primarily on their professional careers. While sites like Facebook aren’t really considered premier destinations for building a professional presence, there are still websites like LinkedIn where it’s important to establish connections and make sure that your resume is up to date and that all posts are professional and well-written.

Create a Website

Your resume can say a lot about you, but it can’t really show what you’re capable of. Now more than ever, it’s important to create your own website that also doubles as a resume. This will be the chance to showcase your skills and will make resume writing a lot easier. Instead of writing a resume that’s several pages long and trying your best to describe your skills, a website shows firsthand what you can do without needing any references or contacting previous employers.

Thankfully, it’s also easier than ever to create your own website. Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, GoDaddy, and more offer easy website builders, and many of them have free options. You don’t have to be incredibly well-versed in HTML to be able to build a good-looking website thanks to the tutorials and user-friendly tools that are offered. Even getting a professional website these days costs just a few bucks, and websites like Fiverr can get you access to people who can help you operate your site for cheap.

Respond to People

While you could have the best-looking resume, website, and social media page around, there’s still a chance that people may never even find you if you don’t interact with others. On websites like LinkedIn, you’ll have a newsfeed that contains suggested posts from people either in your circle or those that are suggested to connect with.

When these posts pop up, make sure that you’re interacting with them more than just simply hitting the “like” button. Make some comments that pertain to the post or talk about business. Also, don’t be afraid to send messages to people in the field that you’re interested in. The worst case scenario is that they simply don’t respond, while the best case scenario is that you open up a dialogue with someone who can advance your career.

Learn SEO

Earlier we said that you don’t have to be an HTML expert to bring attention to your website, but it doesn’t hurt to know some ins and outs so that your website and social media pages will be better optimized for search engines. When recruiters and executives are looking for someone to fill a position, they may simply pop up the skills in a Google or Bing search.

If your website is optimized for these search engines, you’re more likely to appear toward the top of the list and get noticed by these important people. SEO even applies to social media sites including LinkedIn, which is even more paramount for success. The more your profile sticks out above the rest in the eyes of the algorithm, the more views you’ll get.

Don’t Forget Mobile Users

You can spend all day working on things that are optimized for recruiters who are going to access your resume, social media pages, or website on their personal computers, but don’t forget those who are using mobile. More than half of all web page traffic comes from mobile users, but not all websites are optimized for this.

Make sure that you are creating separate templates for both PC and mobile so that it’s user-friendly no matter how your information is accessed. Almost all of us have been on a webpage on our phones and immediately backed out because it wasn’t optimized, and you don’t want that to happen to your webpage.

Protecting Your Privacy and Security in the Age of Computing

When we think of privacy and security, we think about the day and age that we live in now. That’s because, over the internet, hackers are able to gather your information seemingly within a matter of seconds. Prior to the internet era, criminals would have to go to great lengths to steal your information. They literally would go through your trash to collect private information, but it was much more rare.

After all, you could stop an identity thief in their tracks if you were to step outside while they were dumpster diving and you could identify who was doing it. These days, though, thieves are almost entirely anonymous and could be on the opposite end of the world when they take your information. What they do with it could damage your finances, your credit, and even your reputation. Let’s take a look at the importance of privacy and security in the age of computing, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Why They Want To Know You

During the early days of the internet, you didn’t have to agree to have all of your personal information tracked. You simply went onto whatever website you wanted, clicked around for a little bit, sent some emails, and called it a day. Times have changed rapidly, though, and every website seems to want to know everything about you.

The biggest reason for this is focused advertising. There is only so much money that can be squeezed out of the internet that your browsing information is sold quite frequently. Facebook is perhaps the biggest perpetrator of this, as you agree to have your browsing history tracked by the social media site so that they can present targeted advertisements to your news feed. While it may seem intrusive, it’s actually a necessity to keep these expensive large sites running.

Many people are becoming more informed on the ways that social media is tracking their information and opting to avoid this part of the internet altogether. Outside of major websites and social media companies, though, there are individuals who want your information for more nefarious reasons. These people want your passwords so that they can access your banking information, social security number, and much more.

Protecting Your Privacy

Privacy is one thing that most of us wish we had more of, especially in the age of computing. After all, privacy is a fundamental human right, but with many people carrying around cell phones that are ready to record at a moment’s notice, it can be hard to come by. The last place you want to lose your privacy is in your own home, but your computer can act as a gateway to a loss of that privacy.

When you aren’t staying on top of your privacy on your devices, you’re able to be tracked anywhere that you’re going and what you’ve been looking at online. With that said, always check the privacy settings on each one of the apps or websites that you visit to make sure that you’re only sharing the bare minimum of information. Location tracking is one of the big ones that almost every website seems to want to collect from you, so turn it off for everything except for directional apps like Google Maps or Waze.

At the same time, it may be a good opportunity to purge yourself from any apps that you aren’t using as they can still track your information. Your private information is only for you to know, and who you want to share with is entirely up to you. Even on search engines like Google and Bing, you can change your privacy settings so that your every search isn’t being recorded.

Staying Secure

The first cybercrimes that were committed didn’t come from an individual accessing someone’s checking account online. Instead, these early crimes focused on obtaining military passwords, which was a matter of national security. While there have been some leaks and hacks through computing when it comes to the government and military, they’re always upping their security systems to the point where their systems are nearly impenetrable.

As for your cell phone and computer, that might not be the case. There are security programs like Bitdefender, McAfee, and ESET that can help keep you secure, and they really come in handy with all of the fake links that are presented on the internet. It’s easy to be fooled by a legitimate-looking website or email, and it could lead to serious problems.

Many of these viruses put in keyloggers that can find out the usernames and passwords to your most valuable information like your bank account. Always make sure that your passwords are changing frequently, using password managers like Google to make them more secure. You can also enable two-factor authentication on all of your more sensitive apps and websites to make hacking nearly impossible.

While we entrust our privacy to be protected, it can always be exploited. With that said, it’s important that we do our part to make sure we’re on top of all of our security so that we aren’t victims of the fastest-growing form of crime in the world.

The Best Edible Flowers for a Beautiful and Tasty Garden

When people are starting a garden, they often think of only plants and vegetables as the only things that are edible. Not many realize that edible flowers exist, and some are more common than you might think. If you want to include some edible flowers along with the other plants in your garden, here are the best ones that will make for a beautiful and tasty collection.


Not only are roses classic and gorgeous, but there are also over 150 varieties of roses, all of which are edible. Making them a fabulous addition to any garden. Roses petals are elegant and have a mild floral flavor. They contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants, and are often used in herbal medicines. Add some rose petals to your dishes for a classy splash of color, or try some rose water in light desserts. 


Marigolds are known for being the bright orange flowers placed on ofrendas for Day of the Dead rituals. Well, they’re also used in lots of tasty dishes. Marigolds can be used as a dye to make cheese, teas, and other foods richer with color and appealing. They can also be used in savory dishes like stews, braised meats, or pasta. Also in sweet dishes like cakes, cookies, and tarts. 


Hibiscus is a commonly used flower for its edibility and homeopathic qualities. Hibiscus tea is the most popular way to consume vibrant flowers. Did you know the seeds, flowers, and leaves of the plant are all edible? They can even be consumed raw. They’re full of antioxidants and can promote heart and liver health. 


Often given as an inexpensive alternative to more extravagant flowers, carnations are surprisingly delicious. The flowers taste mild and sweet, with hints of nutmeg and clove, giving them a unique flavor. Carnation color varieties make them top-tier edible flowers to add to sweet and savory dishes. The stems are inedible, so be careful to consume the flower itself. 


Dandelions are seen as a nuisance to some, but to those who love edible flowers, dandelions are a real treat. The stem is inedible, as it contains a bitter and milky inside. The rest of the weed is indeed edible and has a tangy and bitter flavor. They’re often infused in jellies, syrups, and honey. 


You’ve likely heard of chamomile tea. What exactly is it? Chamomile is an edible flower full of health benefits. It can be made into tea, desserts, and jams. It has a smooth and mellow flavor with notes of honey and apple. Chamomile is renowned for its relaxing properties and for promoting digestive wellness. 

Squash Blossoms 

Squash blossoms don’t only look vibrantly beautiful, they make a rather delicious appetizer. They’re typically covered in a light tempura batter and quickly fried. Ensuring the batter is crispy and the delicate flower within stays tender. They melt in your mouth and taste a bit like squash, which makes sense considering they come from winter, or summer squash plants. 


Likely one of the most visually appealing edible flowers out there, pansies are completely edible through and through and lend a magnificent burst of color to any dish. They are typically added to dishes as is, because of how beautiful the flower looks on its own. The flavor is described as mild, peppery, and sweet, with a hint of evergreen. They’re great for decoration on sweet and savory dishes. 

5 Questions To Ask Yourself To Choose Your Ideal Home

Each year, millions of Americans make their way into a new home, whether it’s a brand-new construction or a house that belonged to another family for generations. It’s a process that requires a lot of thought and planning as it’s typically the biggest financial decision that you’ll make during your lifetime. Because of this, there are going to be a lot of second-guessing and questions that you’ll want to ask yourself during the process.

Let’s take a look at some of those questions so that you’re confident that you’re finding the ideal home. Once you’ve comfortably gotten an answer to these five questions, it should be easier to breathe a sigh of relief and get the keys to your new house.

City, Suburbs, or Rural?

It’s an old saying that the most important part of real estate is location, and where you want to live is the most important question that you should be asking yourself. Think about your work and family situation while shopping for homes. Do you live alone and don’t need a lot of room but have a solid income and work in the office? Then you might want to look into homes that are located within the city to make the trip easier.

The suburbs can offer lower prices and a lot more room but can require a long commute to work unless you’re hybrid or remote. For those who are fully remote (which is a growing number of people), you may want to consider living in a rural area. Housing is going to be much more affordable and you’ll get plenty of extra space that cities simply can’t offer. Throw in the fact that you won’t have to pay for monthly parking that costs nearly as much as a rural mortgage, and you can see why country living can be enticing.

How Much Can You Afford?

We can talk all day about the advantages and disadvantages of living in the city, suburbs, or rural areas, but it really comes down to how much you can afford. These days, houses are being scooped up left and right with cash offers that often surpass the asking price. Because of this, it’s a cutthroat real estate market and simply putting down the minimum payment for a mortgage might not be good enough.

With that said, try to save up as much money as you can and start shopping for houses that are within your price range. Do a breakdown of your monthly finances and see how much is left over. It typically doesn’t cost anything to speak with a mortgage banker to see what’s going to realistically be in your price range. You may have more purchasing power than you thought because of good credit and debt-to-income ratio, or you may realize that renting for a couple more years is the right call.

What Needs To Be Done To The House?

You may find the house of your dreams and it’s within your price range and the right location, but there could be some hidden costs that will truly make it a place you want to live in. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always make sure that an inspector goes through the house to see if any expensive repairs have to be made. Everything from the foundation to a busted water heater can add up quickly, putting the final cost well above the market price.

When we talk about what needs to be done, we’re talking about the aspects of the home that need to be done. Things like replacing curtains or reupholstering shouldn’t be taken into account because those are optional costs that you can take your time with. 

Will We Have (More) Children?

Plans can always change when it comes to starting or growing a family, but if you have made long-term choices about having children, then your house should be able to accommodate that. Those who already have children will want to make sure that there are enough bedrooms and bathrooms so that everybody is comfortable, and having a spare bedroom couldn’t hurt.

That extra bedroom could be used for a lot of beneficial things. Either one day you decide to have another child and it becomes their bedroom. If not, then that room can simply be used for storage or converted into a recreation room or home office. Obviously, more bedrooms are going to mean more money, but it’s always better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

What Is Your Biggest Neighborhood Need?

We all want to live in a neighborhood that has low crime rates, but outside of that, what’s the most important aspect of the neighborhood that you want to live in? Do you want to have easy access to the freeways? Do you want to live close to your child’s school or your job? These smaller questions make up the bigger question of your biggest neighborhood need.

Once you determine this, you’ll be able to whittle down the list of houses available pretty quickly. From there, determine your price range and the type of house (along with bedroom and bathroom amounts) and you’ll find your ideal home before you know it.

5 Body Language Habits For Assertive Communication

According to research, face-to-face conversation is comprised of only seven percent words, 38 percent voice/tone, and the other 55 percent body language. Despite being a majority of conversations, body language is something that not a lot of people know how to do properly when they want to convey an assertive message.

It can be easy to slump around and stare at the ceiling when someone is talking, especially in this age when more and more conversations are held online. It’s important to remember how to learn body language habits, though, especially for assertive communication. Here are five tips on how to do just that.

Posture Check

Whether you’re sitting down or standing up, you’ll want to make sure that your posture is in order for assertive communication. It can be easy to slump, slouch, or place your head into your hand or resting on your fist, but these should all be avoided. Doing that makes you look aloof and unattentive, while also more passive and easier to take advantage of in a discussion or negotiation.

When sitting, make sure that you’re sitting with your back perfectly straight and your chin up. If you’re standing, check that you’re standing up straight and that your feet are firmly on the ground. We all know that our backs are the biggest part of our posture, but our legs are just as important. Try not to rest your feet on something (think of the Captain Morgan pirate logo, it’s best to avoid that).

Watch Where You’re Looking

Being very aware of your posture is actually one of the easiest things to do once you’re thinking about it, but making and keeping eye contact can be one of the more difficult aspects of assertive communication. Even if you remind yourself, again and again, to maintain eye contact throughout a conversation, you can find it intimidating or become restless and have your eyes wander away from the person you’re speaking to.

One of the tricks is to start making eye contact before the conversation even begins. You also don’t have to keep eye contact for 100 percent of the time, either. Maintaining eye contact for about half of the conversation is a good baseline to have, and will also make the person you’re speaking to more comfortable when you aren’t staring through their soul. If you’re making gestures throughout the conversation, it’s easier to maintain eye contact, and that leads us to our next point.

Active Listening and Speaking

So far we’ve figured out the posture and eye contact, but if you sit up perfectly straight and stare at the person you’re speaking to, then it’s going to come off as extremely weird. Making sure that you’re moving throughout the conversation and exhibiting gestures is a great way to show active listening while making the other person more comfortable. Keep an expressive face and smile at the right times while nodding when agreeing.

Things you should avoid include tapping your fingers on your table, fidgeting around, frowning, or really anything that you can think of that would make the other person believe that you don’t care what they have to say. Again, nodding is one of the best things that you can do for active listening, but make sure that you’re nodding at something you agree with instead of every sentence.

Setting The Right Tone

We’ve now learned what it takes to be a good listener for assertive communication, but now it’s time to start doing the talking. Speaking is one of the more difficult parts, and you have to show confidence when you’re speaking or else it’s going to be passive communication. If you have to, practice speaking in the mirror or with people that you’re more confident around. Speak clearly and at a volume that can certainly be heard, as having to repeat yourself can derail any assertive communication in a hurry.

One of the hardest things to do is to get rid of the dead-air fillers in your speech like the “um” or “so” that we all do, but ironing those out is paramount. You also want to have a tone of voice that isn’t just shouting, as that can be seen as aggressive. Show some inflection and interest when you’re speaking, and that assertiveness will come through in your speech.

Where Is Your Body?

Once we’ve combined all of the good body language habits for assertive communication, there’s just one more minor detail that you’ll need to be aware of, and it’s what your body is doing during a conversation. You don’t have to constantly keep walking during the conversation, but your orientation will be important.

Always have your body faced toward the person that’s speaking, as it shows that your entire attention is directed to them. You can appear passive-aggressive when you turn away from the speaker, and completely passive when your body language is closed off. Stay standing (or sitting) up straight and your shoulders facing the person you’re speaking to, and everything will be just fine.

5 Bad Habits You Probably Didn’t Know You Should Be Avoiding

Everyone has bad habits, though some are much more obvious than others. Smoking, biting your nails, slouching, and some others come to mind first and foremost. However, there are plenty of other bad habits that people might not even know that they’re doing. Let’s take a look at five of those more subtle bad habits that you probably didn’t know you should be avoiding and what sort of physical harm they’re causing.

Eating Before Bed  

As classic as the “midnight snack” is, eating too close to bedtime is not recommended. Food takes a few hours to fully digest, so it’s best to wait at least 3 hours after eating to lay down and drift off to sleep. Any sooner and you’ll likely feel the effects of eating too close to bedtime. It can cause indigestion, where undigested food and acid buildup make their way back up into your esophagus while you’re laying flat. 

Did you know weight gain is more likely to occur with nighttime eating as well? Your metabolism slows while sleeping, causing your body to struggle to break down late-night snacks. You risk waking up with raised blood sugar levels, too. Of course, not everyone’s body is the same, but eating within the two-hour window of going to bed usually results in these common symptoms.

Not Getting Enough Sleep 

As most would argue, sleep is simply the best. Especially when it’s quality sleep. Just how vital is healthy sleep hygiene? Well, a consistent lack of sleep can contribute to health issues such as stroke, coronary artery disease, mood instability, depression, and obesity. Getting less than seven hours of sleep nightly can result in a buildup of various health concerns over time. 

To best prevent these from happening, it’s recommended to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. If you’re someone who struggles with insomnia, it would be a good idea to book an appointment with a specialist, or cycle through different helpful methods to improve your sleeping patterns. 

Consuming Too Much Sodium 

We all know that salt is an essential part of a healthy diet and a proper seasoning regime. It brings out the flavor of your dishes and just makes everything taste better. Did you know that too much sodium can put your health at risk? 

The recommended daily intake of sodium for the average adult is 2,300mg. As a society, we tend to consume far more. An overconsumption of sodium can cause hypertension, heart disease, dehydration, and strokes. As important as sodium is to our health and well-being, it’s equally as dangerous to our health if not carefully monitored. 

Brushing Your Teeth Too Much  

Brushing your teeth can’t be bad for you, right? Generally speaking, no. If you brush too much, or too roughly, though? Then you can run into some uncomfortable dental problems. Our teeth’s enamel can easily break down over time with exercise and hard teeth brushing. 

Dentists refer to the effects of overbrushing as toothbrush abrasion. Our teeth can become overly sensitive when brushing too much. Instead, you’ll want to make sure that you’re brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and sensitive toothpaste 2-3 times a day as it can greatly improve your dental health and keep irritation at bay. 

Consuming Too Much Caffeine 

These days, it’s clear that caffeine is what makes the world go round. Did you know that the overconsumption of caffeine does more harm than just simply making you feel wired? An overabundance of caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety, irritate your bladder, cause dehydration, and upset your stomach. 

Though some caffeine is seen as healthy, clearly there’s a limit. It’s important to stay within the recommended daily intake of caffeine, under 400mg, which equates to around 4-5 cups of coffee. Surprisingly, the average American consumed less than half of that amount on a daily basis despite the common belief that many of us consume coffee around the clock.

The Best Flowers for Attracting Bees and Other Pollinators

Almost all of us love looking at and smelling flowers, but there are some caveats that come with growing them. One of those is the fact that some flowers can attract bees, and there are a few reasons why people really don’t want that. There are plenty of people who are allergic to bee stings, and some are just downright terrified of the creatures.

However, bees and other pollinators are incredibly important to our ecosystem. After all, more than one-third of the crops on Earth depend on animal pollinators. That means many of us have to do our part to make sure that bees and other pollinators are able to do their job and keep things moving. If you want to contribute to pollination, here are the best flowers for attracting those creatures, including bees.


If you’ve seen a sunflower in real life, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen a few bees hanging around it, especially honeybees. While sunflowers are self-pollinating plants, having insects around can help speed up the process. Outside of honeybees, butterflies and hoverflies are other pollinators that love to find their way to sunflowers. Sunflowers are fairly easy to grow, too, with more than 80 countries able to grow them, including a large portion of the middle United States.


Bumblebees are perhaps the favorite bee for most humans, and fans of these types of bees should fill their gardens with lavender because bumblebees love them. Lavender is best suited for areas that lack humidity. This is why in the United States, most of the lavender that you’ll see grows in the western states where air moisture is almost non-existent.


These bright blue flowers that look like they have a tiny bit of mold bring in quite a few pollinators, though around three-quarters of them are species of bees. Borage, while native to the Mediterranean part of the world, can actually be grown just about anywhere. In the United States, borage has been shown to grow in most regions whether or not there’s high humidity.


If you like bright colors while also attracting pollinators to your garden, then the crocus is a great selection. Known for being one of the favorites of honeybees, the crocus can bloom into a wide range of colors from orange to cream and yellow. Crocus grows best in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, though it does thrive in the United States, as well. Interestingly enough, states that have colder climates can end up being the best place for crocus to grow.

Bee Balm

You probably don’t need more than one guess to figure out what type of pollinator bee balm flowers attract the most. Because of its need for constant sunshine, bee balm is best suited for regions in the southern parts of the United States, especially in the southwest. Arizona is perhaps the area where you’ll see the most natural bee balm, while New Mexico, Nevada, and California also have plenty.


One of the most popular flowers for bees to make their way to, the fuchsia is a very unique-looking one with purple, pink, and white colors that really stand out in any garden. You’ll have to go outside of the United States to find the most abundant areas for fuchsia. Central and South America are home to some of the biggest fields of this flower, while the Andes Mountains are where they grow as commonly as weeds thanks to the cool and moist air.


The Goldenrod flower is an absolute magnet for pollinators, including beetles, butterflies, bees, and more.  Unlike Fuchsia, you’ll be able to find Goldenrod growing abundantly in the United States. More specifically, the Great Plains region all the way to the east coast is where Goldenrod grows best, especially in swampy, mountainous, or wooded areas.


The extremely common daisy brings in its fair share of bees, while also attracting butterflies that like to spot up for an extended period of time. Almost everyone has come across plenty of daisies in their lifetime, and that’s because they grow commonly on every continent (sans Antarctica). Daisies do need a lot of sunshine but are still able to grow even in areas where there isn’t all that much.


The marigold is a colorful flower that starts to resemble the colors of the sun when it’s fully in bloom with orange, red, and yellow hues. Honeybees love marigolds, and they’re also helpful in getting rid of pests when placed near vegetables. Marigold thrives when there isn’t much moisture in the air. As a result, you’ll find them most frequently in Mexico and Central America, as well as parts of the southwestern United States. In the summertime, though, marigolds can still grow in northern areas with lower humidity levels.


This beautiful purple flower with a spiky bloom is great for butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. Also known as the gayfeather, the liatris flower attracts pollinators on a year-round basis. Liatris is most commonly found in the central part of the United States, ranging as far north as parts of North Dakota and as south as Florida. These flowers tend to grow stronger in more humid regions, so you’ll see them in brighter colors in the southeast.

Handling Pressure: How Competitive Sports Prepare You For Life’s Challenges

While not everyone is a major sports fan who reads statistics from professional organizations on a daily basis, a vast majority of the population has competed in organized competitive sports at least once in their lifetime. Whether it be at a neighborhood level or national level, competitive sports can teach us a lot about life.

One of the biggest ways in which sports help us with everyday life is how they teach us to handle pressure. Let’s take a look at the beauty of competitive sports and how it helps you on a daily basis to get that edge you need while allowing you to keep your cool.

Pressure Faced At All Levels

No matter what level of competitive sport you’re at, there’s going to be a lot of pressure. Even if you’re in low-competition youth sports, you can tend to put a lot of pressure on yourself because you know that your coaches, teammates, and parents are watching. At the highest level, there could potentially be billions of people watching with millions of dollars at stake for your own salary and the lasting legacy left behind when the media’s talking heads discuss public opinion on your career.

The pressure that we face in sports is similar to the pressure that we feel in real life. Let’s say that you’re interviewing for a new job and there are other people going for the same job. There’s pressure to stand out above the rest so that you can land the dream job you want and start earning more money. You have to outperform those other people, and your ability to stay cool and nail the interview is like hitting the go-ahead three-pointer to win a basketball game.

Working Together

Handling pressure isn’t the only other big aspect of life that competitive sports teach us on a daily basis. Most competitive sports rely on you working with a team of people to accomplish your goals, and even individual sports like golf and tennis have coaches that you can learn from at the highest level. There’s always going to be feedback whether it’s coming from a teammate or authority figure, and how you handle that feedback is going to make or break your career.

When you look at some of the most accomplished athletes in sports history, many of them are applauded for being great teammates who are capable of handling constructive criticism. When it comes to the NFL, you think of guys like Patrick Mahomes, Ray Lewis, and Drew Brees as terrific leaders in the locker room while others like Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, or Johnny Manziel couldn’t handle the pressure of being leaders and found themselves as some of the biggest draft busts in league history.

Remember that the pressure that you feel doesn’t apply only to you. There are others relying on you to come through in the clutch and elevate the entire team to the top. When everyone is able to handle pressure without breaking, then the whole team is likely to find success in their personal and professional lives.

What The Greats Have To Say

When you think of the greatest athletes in each major sport’s history, there’s one thing that they have in common, and that’s how to handle the most pressure-filled moments. Let’s take a look at what some of those all-time greats had to say about pressure, and how that can be applied to your everyday life.

Michael Jordan

Considered by many to be the greatest and most accomplished player in NBA history, Michael Jordan was given the ball in almost every pressure-filled situation as a member of the Chicago Bulls during their six successful NBA title runs. “The only way to relieve that pressure is to build your fundamentals, practice them over and over, so when (the) game breaks down, you can handle anything that transpires.” Practice makes perfect in every aspect of life, and relying on what you know when things go haywire is a good way to find success in an unconventional way.

Wayne Gretzky

Without a doubt, the greatest player in NHL history, Wayne Gretzky was heralded as the next Gordie Howe from the time he was in his young teenage years. “The headline said, ‘(Bobby) Hull, (Maurice) Richard, (Gordie) Howe, and Gretzky,’” he said of his first interview. “That was lots of pressure.” Despite all of the massive expectations, Gretzky was able to exceed those thanks to his tight-knit family. “I think the most important thing is your parents,” Gretzky said. “The one thing that we all have in common is that we have such a close bond with our moms and dads.”

Tom Brady

With a record seven Super Bowl wins, no football player faced as much pressure as Tom Brady, and he thrived on it. “I feel like I’m just really focused and I feel like I really can hone in on what I need to do,” Brady said. “There’s pressure on you from the day you walk in the door…Whether it’s practice, walkthrough, meetings – ultimately as it comes up to the game, this is when you need to be at your highest.”