I can’t live, I can’t die
After birth, he lived and died.
In case you missed me, I am doing well and I hope you are too! As stated earlier, I will officially continue blogging in mid-October. I thought that posting a six-word story would be a fun thing to do, so here you go. Well, it was in my opinion brutally simple and straightforward, but it was worth a shot. What do you think about it? Post your comments down below. If you enjoyed this post, do consider giving it a like! Follow me for more articles and stay tuned for more!
Sleeping early. These 2 words somehow elude many students, employees and professionals alike. Sleep deprivation has worsened to the point that some of us might be asking ourselves, “What is sleep?” I’ll do you one better – “Why is sleep?” Seriously, many of us now find the concept of sleeping early foreign. We actively forgo it for work, study and commitments, even though we knew all this while the consequences of doing so. Forgoing sleep has adverse impacts on our health in the long term and would reduce our ability to concentrate in the short term. Without the ability to function at peak performance, we are less able to learn and chase after success. Thus, I can safely say, to sleep or not to sleep early is to sleep early. In this article, we will be detailing why this is the case. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: Sleeping Early Keeps Your Mind Healthy
As you slumber, your body parts are working hard to regenerate themselves. New cells are regenerated and dead cells are removed, while your brain and other organs work hard to detox themselves. All in all, your body slowly recharges itself and prepares for a new day. This is especially important for the brain. During sleep, neurones decrease in size by up to 60%, increasing the space between them for waste and toxic materials to be washed away easily. In fact, the brain removes significant amounts of a toxic protein known as amyloid-beta, which is involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, science has shown that sleep and learning are closely linked. Here, new memories are processed and consolidated in the brain, as neurones in the hippocampus repeat the activation patterns that took place while the individual was conscious. This helps to transfer short-term memories held in the hippocampus to other parts of the brain, so as to facilitate the formation of long-term memories. Thus, missing out on sleep could cause one’s learning ability to decline by as much as 40%. That is something that you clearly want to avoid!
#2: Detoxification Of Body Parts
The brain is not the only that needs to clean itself. Sleep affects almost all tissues and organs in the body, from your heart to your skin. As mentioned above, your brain has something called a Glymphatic system which involves the shrinking of neurones so as to create room for toxins to be flushed out. Meanwhile, the body also secretes hormones, which decreases one’s breathing rate and promotes muscle relaxation. On the other hand, sleep deprivation increases inflammation levels, which restricts the body from effectively cleansing itself. The removal of toxic materials allows the unrestricted movement of essential substances and oxygen, which ultimately aids in the regenerative processes of the body. Missing out on sleep impedes the aforementioned processes, which may even cause the stunting of growth in children.
#3: Sleep Improves Immunity
Since sleep affects nearly every part of the body, it is no surprise that it also has a tremendous impact on our immune systems. Consistent sleep increases one’s immunity, while a lack of sleep increases the risks of diseases. When T cells detect an infected cell, they activate integrins, which allow them to adhere to and destroy the latter cells. The T cells of consistent sleepers have been shown to have higher levels of integrin activation than those of sleep-deprived individuals. Moreover, stress hormones may even restrict the functions of T cells in poor sleepers. High concentrations of these hormones may in turn decrease the ability of T cells to kill pathogens, thus weakening the body’s immune system. Another example is the fact that the body releases cytokines, in the presence of infection and inflammation, which help to fight diseases. Without adequate sleep, the body will not be able to produce as much of these cytokines and antibodies. During periods of sickness, the body utilises more energy so as to battle infections and eradicate diseases. This means that the body will have less energy on hand for other processes. During these times, sleep is of paramount importance as it helps to conserve energy and resources.
After reading this article, were you surprised by how important sleep is? Why or why not? Will you be sleeping earlier now? Jot down your comments in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more.
Writing is something we have been doing ever since our childhoods. All we had to do was pick up a pen or pencil and scribble away. Back in our younger days, writing seemed fun, even transcendent. Now, many of us find it a boring to do, even worse so when we don’t have the option to type. Technology has rewired our minds to prefer things that are more efficient, simple and elegant. We hate apps that have an obnoxious design. Meanwhile, tech companies are trying to make their devices and appliances thinner and lighter. Many of us fail to see the value of writing and dismiss it as a mere hobby or an ancient relic of the past. At most, we only write down what we need to get at the supermarket. What’s even funnier is that our vocabulary has gradually degraded overtime. In fact, I encounter many people who know no substitute for the word “happy” when chatting on WhatsApp. So why should we write then, given that technological advances have basically eroded the need for writing? In this article, I shall discuss this topic in greater detail. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: Writing Helps You To Express Your Feelings
Writing is a great way to release stress – a feeling we all know too well. We have become increasingly absorbed with our jobs and commitments, leaving us with little time for reflection. Many of us have become mindless robots, following a set routine – wake up, work, sleep, repeat. To many, the word “tomorrow” is no different to the word “today”. It’s all the same to them. Writing gives you a sense of time, a sense of what you have done in the present day and what you look forward for the next. This helps to break the monotony between days and allows us to better understand our deepest emotions. Often, we ignore these emotions, hiding them. And when they finally explode, our lives take a big hit. In summary, writing is a great way to understand your thoughts, thoughts that disappear and appear throughout the day. By penning them down on paper, you will be able to capture and study them.
#2: It Lets Your Creativity Run Wild
Much like drawing or painting, writing is a way to express your innate creativity. You can write anything you want. Love science fiction? Go ahead and describe the world of your dreams. It could even be something as simple as planning for your team project tomorrow. Point is, your paper (or text file, if you are using a computer or device) is an open canvas awaiting your ideas. Armed with ideas, a vivid imagination and your amazing brain, anything is possible. Meanwhile, writing activates both your left and right brain hemispheres. According to research, students who read and write extensively show greater creative performance than those who do not.
#3: It Improves Your Communication Skills
Those who write regularly are better able to understand their emotions and those of others. In fact, the ability to empathise is an essential skill in the social world. Furthermore, writing enhances your ability to organise and express your thoughts. This also leads to an increased fluency of speech. This will be useful in team projects of any kind, as you will be able to bring your messages across much more easily, thus allowing your subordinates and superiors alike to understand your ideas at a much deeper level.
Writing is something I would encourage all of my readers to try. Perhaps you could try to write a few lines or keep a personal diary. I hope that you did enjoy this article, and if you did, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading!
So, many of you might have noticed that is the 3rd post for this week. You might ask, “What? I thought you said that you would be only blogging once every two weeks or sometimes maybe once a week?” (check out my blogging plans for 2021 at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/28/my-blogging-plan-for-2021/) Well, I figured that since I have some free time, why not blog? After all, it’s my passion!
Right, so let’s focus on the subject matter at hand. For this post, let us discuss the reasons as to why you should try listening to classical music. For instance, classical music has been shown to stimulate the mind and improve sleep quality. I personally listen to classical and orchestral music whenever I read or complete a task. You might say, “Hey! Classical music is boring and old! How could I possibly enjoy it?” While it is true that classical music might be considered old, they are gems of the past and are worth listening to. This article will show you why. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. (Do fill in your email in the newsletter registration section of the website) Without further ado, let’s begin.
#1: It Improves Sleep
Studies have shown that listening to classical music helps to improve sleep. It helps to relax the mind and remove anxiety, thereby making sleeping easier. Research has shown that listening to classical music reduces nervous system activity, decreases anxiety and blood pressure. It helps to distract you from your thoughts and relaxes your muscles, getting you in the mood to sleep. This effect is corroborated and confirmed by the fact that children of all ages, including infants and school-going children, sleep better after listening to relaxing, classical music. Below is a list containing some of the best pieces of relaxing classical music to help you sleep.
- Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy
- Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt
- Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie
- Nocturne No.2, Op.9 by Chopin
- Moonlight Sonata, 1st movement by Beethoven
#2: It Improves Memory
As mentioned above, the relaxing effect of classical music not only helps to improve sleep, but also improves memory. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to memorise or learn something when you feel stressed? You’re not alone. Anxiety makes memory formation and retrieval more difficult, and stress has been shown to be one of the prominent causes of neurone death. Yes, you saw it correctly. Stress has been shown to kill brain cells and reduce their ability to function properly. On the other hand, listening to classical music has been shown to enhance memory retrieval and helps to trigger and strengthen neural pathways, thereby strengthening synapses between the respective neurones.
“Neurones that fire together, wire together.”Donald Hebb
#3: They Are Precious Relics Of History
There is a reason to why classical music was able to stand the test of time. Some of the greatest classics still continue to be played and enjoyed by many. The classical period has produced some of the most legendary pieces of all time, which never fail to captivate audiences and listeners of every age. In fact, many of these pieces are used as background music in movies and musicians of all kinds are required to study them, with good reason.
Classical music still plays an important role in the evolution of culture and heritage. For many, it has become an integral part of their lives, something they can’t live without. For musicians, the classical period is an essential part of musical history that has helped to shape our overall understanding of music and its associated cultures. This is exactly why classical music is something you and I should listen to. If you did enjoy this post, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe my newsletter if you haven’t done so. Stay tuned for my next articles!
Some of us might end up gambling from time to time. We are enticed by the opportunity to earn some cold, hard cash. But is it worth your time and your money? Gambling has been shown to be a harmful and destructive habit which destroys relationships and induces poverty. In this article, we shall discuss this topic in further detail. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
#1: You Will End Up Losing Money
Many become excited by the prospect by earning large amounts of money in the casino or even illegal gambling dens. However, overall, you will only end up losing your hard-earned money. Let’s take a look at an example. About 85% of adults in the U.S. have gambled at least once in their life and the gambling industry takes in about $500 billion a year. Yes, that’s a lot of money. In fact, statistics have shown that over 95% of gamblers end up losing money overall. But how? This is because the games in casinos are handled in such a way that the casinos, otherwise known as the “house”, will almost always have the advantage. Furthermore, casinos leverage on the compulsion of gamblers to keep them coming back.
#2: Relationships Are Destroyed
People who suffer from gambling addiction may find themselves siphoning large amounts of money from their precious savings and those of their loved ones, just to sustain their habits. Some might even engage in illegal activities so as to repay the debts caused by gambling. Furthermore, these addicts almost always spend large amounts of time gambling and report difficulty in quitting. Consequently, the time these people spend with their loved ones and family decreases, and naturally relationships are broken. A child might be ashamed of his father’s compulsive gambling behaviour, while a spouse might become increasingly suspicious and untrusting towards his/her partner. This is often worsened by financial difficulties caused by the aforementioned addiction.
#3: Mental Health
By itself, gambling can be a highly stressful activity, with numerous highs and lows. As a gambler becomes increasingly consumed in the activity, he/she might experience mood swings, anxiety and decreased self control. He/she might find himself/herself worrying constantly about whether he/she will gain or lose money in the next run. Losing money can be extremely uncomfortable and demoralising for such individuals, thereby triggering explosive outbursts of anger. This is just the tip of the iceberg. After a long period of time and without changes to such behaviour, the individual might find himself/herself in financial difficulties. This is worsened by the broken relationships caused by gambling. As such, the individual’s stress might culminate to a point where he/she thinks of suicide. To add credibility to this point, research commissioned by a leading UK gambling charity, GambleAware, found that gamblers were six times more likely to have thoughts of suicide or attempt suicide.
Gambling is not a reliable way to earn money and most of you who have done so before might find yourselves losing large amounts of money. I hope that this article was helpful to you, and if it was, do give it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next article.
During this time of the year, with COVID-19 ravaging the world and forcing us to stay at home, having a pet can have untold benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing. For those introverts out there, having a pet will provide you with a great friend. Also, for those stuck and bored at home, owning and taking care of a pet will be a great experience. In this article, we will discuss why you should own a pet and whether or not they are worth your time. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Let’s jump right in!
#1: You’ll Never Feel Lonely Anymore
To own a pet is to have another friend. If you are feeling lonely and are in need of some company, a pet is the way to go. They help to provide companionship and improves your mood. In fact, owning a pet has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve mood.
#2: They Bring People Together
Believe it or not, pets are great catalysts for conversations. You will be able to form meaningful friendships with other pet lovers, too. In fact, research has shown that those who walked their dogs, were more likely to befriend someone they met through a pet-related connection.
#3: They Help You Keep An Active Lifestyle
Having a pet helps to increase your levels of physical activity. Those who own dogs, for example, might find themselves walking with their dogs more often. If walking with your dog sounds boring, you could take it for a swim or even rollerblade together with it. In the long run, this will bring you numerous health benefits, including improved blood pressure, reduced risk of coronary artery disease and obesity.
#4: It Teaches Your Child How To Handle Responsibility
Taking care of a pet isn’t easy at all. Depending upon the type of pet you own, you will have to attend to its numerous needs, including regular baths, feeding and grooming. Letting your child take care of his/her pet will teach him/her the importance of responsibility, a highly essential life skill.
#5: They Provide Unconditional Love
Compared to humans, pets will not love you any differently every day. They won’t love you less just because you didn’t give it its favourite food or are unable to accompany it 24/7. They will always be unwaveringly loyal to you, even if you cannot reciprocate it.
#6: They Provide A Sense of Safety
This builds upon point #1. Silence and loneliness can be quite unbearable for most people who live alone. A pet helps to fill that void, so you’ll always sleep at night knowing your little friend has your back. This is especially true for people who own guard dogs which provide you with protection even when you’re out for a run or walk.
#7: They Help to Reduce Stress
There are days where we feel overwhelmed and pressured. Owning a pet will help to lighten your mood as you have fun interacting with it. They help to provide comfort and reduce anxiety. This helps to reduce the risks of depression and PTSD. If you would like to learn more about how stress can harm you, do read my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/11/is-stress-good-for-you/.
Sometimes, because of our hectic and busy lifestyles, our loved ones are unable to spend time together with us. During these times, we might feel abandoned and uncared for. A pet will help to ease these feelings and provide you with joy and fulfillment. I hope this article was helpful to you and until then, stay tuned for my next post!
Stress is something we all face very frequently. It could be because of our deadlines closing in, relationship problems or more. Sometimes, we even start to panic and act recklessly. But could stress have any benefits for us, or is it 100% harmful to our mental and physical wellbeing? In this article, I will discuss how stress can be harmful, yet beneficial if used correctly and appropriately. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Without any further ado, let’s hop right in!
How Stress Can Be Harmful
#1: It Causes Anxiety
When you are pressured, you naturally start to worry. Negative thoughts start to invade your mind and you start to imagine all the worst case scenarios possible. You start to have difficulty sleeping, cold sweat and become unable to concentrate. Even when there is no danger, you start to see it everywhere. Your body becomes overly alert and wary. If left untreated or unresolved, this could potentially harm your physical and mental wellbeing.
#2: Difficulty Controlling Your Emotions
Irritability is a common symptom of stress, too. We naturally become defensive as stress triggers the fight-or-flight response in our bodies. This builds upon symptom #1, where anxiety can lead to your body perceiving normally harmless events as threats. When this happens, you naturally lose self-control and may even throw tantrums. Many people end up acting recklessly if they are unable to control their emotions or thoughts.
#3: Bad Habits Start to Resurface
Your levels of willpower decrease as the feelings of stress kick in, and self-control is lost as well. When this happens, old habits start to pop up again. For example, some people start stress-eating while others start chain smoking in a bid to reduce their feelings of stress. Suddenly, you can’t stop what you are doing as it is too addictive and you relapse on the bad habits you had once kicked.
#4: Lowered Immune System
Stress reduces the body’s ability to fight off antigens and you become more vulnerable to becoming infected by numerous diseases. Your body’s ability to recover is also impeded due to inadequate sleep, which is caused by excessive worrying. Feelings of anxiety also causes your heart rate and breathing rate to increases, thereby causing feelings of tiredness.
However, if controlled and contained, healthy amounts of stress can be helpful too.
How Stress Can Be Beneficial
#1: It Provides Motivation
A healthy amount of stress helps to fight off feelings of laziness and procrastination. It creates a sense of urgency that urges you to act. This helps in completing tasks and avoids the last-minute rush. “But how?” you might ask. For a student, the heaps of content tested in an exam and the fear of failure is enough to spur him/her to revise early. However, as you have read above, do not stress yourself excessively.
#2: It Makes You Battle-Hardened
A healthy amount of stress can help us to be resilient. While it can feel overwhelming, it can train us to be calm and detached in times of crisis. As as result, we are not easily beaten down and are able to make sound decisions even when times are desperate. The feelings of fear and anxiety are now insignificant as you have been trained for it.
Stress is part of a meaningful life. Without it, we would not have the motivation to do anything. However, too much of it can destroy and shut us down. In other words, stress is a double-edged sword. The key to it all is moderation; not too much and not too little. A good amount of stress can help us to achieve our goals in life and push us on. If this article was in any way helpful to you, do consider liking this post. Thanks for reading!
Exam” is a four-letter dirty word no student wants to hear. Ever since its inception, it has been associated with stress and competition. Many students dread the daily trip to school all because of it. It’s also frightening to see the school curiculum revolving around exam preparation and nothing more. In my opinion, examinations themselves are not the problem as they also serve as a method for students to gauge their learning ability. What renders exams useless is the way society views exams. To most people, grades are all there is to an exam and failure is not an option. As a result, many take an exam for the sake of taking it or just to attain a grade to show off to everyone. As result, exams become “do-or-die” as students feel stressed due to the fear of failure and humiliation. This completely defeats the purpose of examinations. In this article, I will discuss how and why exams have become useless in the modern world. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to the newsletter!
Reason #1: Unnecessary Stress
Because of the way society views examinations, students are pressured to excel and succeed. It’s now all about the ‘A+’ on the report card and nothing more. In the mind of a student, his/her success is wholly dependent on his/her educational qualifications. As a result, many students go to extreme measures just to obtain a desired grade. This includes forgoing sleep, long study hours and endless tuition classes. Instead of allowing students to enhance their learning, examinations now do more damage to their mental and physical wellbeing. Only if society learns not to treat failure as the end can learning be possible. Schools should also not focus solely on exam preparation and cut down on the content tested at one time.
Reason #2: The Joy of Learning is Taken Away
Students are now given piles and piles of homework, forced to study many subjects and take exams they clearly dread. Learning now becomes confined to mere memory, answering techniques and essay writing skills. Instead of cultivating students who are attuned to the world and are enthusiastic to learn, schools produce students who have been trained to become answering machines in every respect – “If A, then B; if question asks X, I give Y.” For the joy of learning to be present in the classroom and beyond, society needs to place less emphasis on the importance of academic qualifications and a person’s learning abilities. Now, students memorize heaps of knowledge just to regurgitate it on the exam paper. In fact, most students forget all the knowledge they have learnt right after an exam and do not follow up on it, unless a future exam requires it. Evidently, most students of the modern world do not possess curiosity or the desire for learning. If you would like to learn more about the importance of curiosity and how it is relevant in the modern world, check out my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/07/the-importance-of-curiosity/.
Reason #3: Exams Become a Race to the Top
Instead of learning for themselves, students now, in a sense, learn for others. Due to the fact that society places so much emphasis on academic success, exams become a platform to show off their intellectual prowess. Students work themselves to the bone just to beat each other and become the best among their peers. Learning now becomes all about winning. Because of this, those at the top start to become arrogant while those who are struggling at the bottom are looked down on. The truth is, life is not all about winning or losing. It is better to be at the bottom and be contented than be at the top and be unhappy. All men strive for happiness, do they not? There is no point in learning if it brings no happiness. Rather than focusing on having their students achieve academic excellence, schools should focus on cultivating the joy of learning in students. It is better to have average but enthusiastic and happy students rather than disgruntled and insecure students who have ‘A+’s everywhere.