Here’s Why You Should Listen To Music

Listening to music is something many of us do to counteract boredom and for good reason. Many of us subscribe to Spotify and Deezer, while others listen to the radio. Indeed, music is an integral part of our lives. Many of us wouldn’t be able to live without it. But did you know that it has many benefits? This article will show you why you should listen to music. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

#1: Music Brings Us To Other Worlds

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You could be listening to Vivaldi, Beethoven or Taylor Swift. Music offers us a break from our hectic lifestyles and brings us to other worlds. As you listen to Vivaldi’s pieces, you might imagine and contemplate the beauty of the four seasons. Meanwhile, Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries gives you the feeling of adventure and excitement. You could feel like Rambo eating that sandwich or Indiana Jones driving to work. I am unable to account for all genres of music, but you get what I mean.

#2: Music Boosts Memory

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The brain is a muscle. Use it and it grows; leave it and it atrophies. Music stimulates many parts of the mind. Like reading, listening to music ensures that our minds are in top shape and running well. Improved memory also comes with reduced stress and anxiety, which we will touch in point #3.

#3: It Relieves Stress and Anxiety

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Music shifts our attention away from our surroundings. Our feelings of stress and anxiety fades away as we listen to the music we love. For example, some intense orchestral tracks might make you feel like you’re saving the world. On the other hand, tracks with a slow tempo might help you to relax.

#4: Provides Concentration

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I think we can all agree that silence can be very grating and unbearable at times. We start to become distracted by just about everything in our surroundings. This is especially true when we feel unmotivated to complete our tasks or assignments. Slipping on a pair of headphones, however, solves this problem. The music you are listening to shuts out the world around you and focusing becomes much easier. Now Math homework feels like Mission Impossible. (Not because the Math is impossible, mind you, but rather because of the intensity of the movies)

Conclusion

Listening to music is part of being human. Our ancestors understood the value and significance of music as a form of communication, a form of enjoyment and a form of entertainment. What’s stopping us from doing the same? If this article was a good read, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!

The Importance of Habits

There are many things we do everyday without a second thought. Our bodies automatically react and act accordingly to the cues of our surroundings. These are called habits. Some habits are great, while some others are destructive. The habits we possess defines who we are and who we will become, as actions speak louder than words. However, we must realise that our habits are the driving force behind our actions. In fact, the importance of habits is often ignored and overlooked by many. This article will discuss the importance of habits and how they influence our lives, even in seemingly small ways. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in.

#1: Habits Define Who We Are

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Habits determine our identity and the way we see ourselves. For example, if you play badminton regularly, you might see yourself as an athlete. Likewise, if you write regularly, you might see yourself as a writer. Your perceived identity influences most of the actions you take in your life, your values and guiding principles.

#2: Habits Can Lead Us To Success or Failure

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Good habits inch you closer to success while bad habits nudge you closer to failure. The actions we take everyday due to our habits, while seemingly insignificant, influence how we manage our finances, set our goals and work towards them. Good habits like reading, for example, provides us knowledge related to our fields. The habit of planning a timetable also helps us to use our time wisely and productively. However, bad habits like smoking wastes your hard-earned money and damages your health. It could also be as simple as being addicted to that latest mobile game or playing tons of ranked Mobile Legends everyday. These habits above waste time and decrease productivity, thereby leading you away from success.

#3: Habits Help You To Be Productive Even When You Feel Unmotivated

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There are days we find hard to be productive. You might have worked a long shift the previous day and missed out on sleep. The good news is that habits require little willpower to work. The University College London defines habits as “behaviours which are performed automatically because they have been performed frequently in the past. This repetition creates a mental association between the situation (cue) and action (behaviour) which means that when the cue is encountered the behaviour is performed automatically. Automaticity has a number of components, one of which is lack of thought.” Your body naturally acts the way it has multiple times before, with minimal to no effort. However, there is a limit. If you haven’t been sleeping for the past few days, even your habits can’t save you as the human body can only go so far.

#4: Habits Provide You With Calmness

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As stated under point #4, habits help to simplify our lives. We no longer have to use our precious willpower to get something done. As a result, we are provided with calmness of mind as our stress to get things done is removed. We start to lead happier lives as our minds are able to focus on the more important things of life. Indeed, a detached mind naturally possesses clarity and makes wiser choices.

Conclusion

Habits play an important part in our lives. We must learn to master the power of habits and use them to our advantage. If you are interested in learning how to build habits effectively, do visit my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/30/how-to-build-a-habit-effectively/. On the other hand, if you would like to learn how you can destroy a habit, visit my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/05/how-to-get-rid-of-a-bad-habit/. If this article was in any way helpful you, do consider giving it a like! Thank you for reading!

Is Stress Good For You?

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Conclusion

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!

Why Exams Are Useless

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

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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

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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

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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.

How Curiosity is Relevant in the Modern World

Curiosity is the art of asking questions, no matter how dumb it might seem. As we age and mature, we gradually lose this ability. We are afraid that people would judge and criticise us. This is worsened by the fact that we are accustomed to following orders blindly, in the workplace or in school. As a result, we become mere machines, made to follow a specified routine or order. Our lives become meaningless. Curiosity, on the other hand, grants us the ability to think for ourselves and explore more about this world. In fact, many inventions would not exist if not for the curiosity of the scientists and engineers who designed them. In this article, we will explore why curiosity is important and how it influences our way of thinking. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Remember to like and comment down below as well!

#1: It Enhances Observational Skills

Source: https://www.csoonline.com/article/3268030/the-best-cybersecurity-analysts-should-play-the-part-of-detective.html

Curiosity is said to be the defining factor which separates Sherlock Holmes from everyone else. While climbing a staircase, Sherlock would count the number of steps while a normal person would happily do so without any second thoughts. It is the curiosity of this famed detective that allowed him to be mindful of his surroundings and solve a crime using the tiniest of details, which an average joe would dismiss as normal or insignificant. As Sherlock famously proclaims, without curiosity “You see, but you do not observe.”

#2: It Lets You See Things In Different Perspectives

Source: https://www.livescience.com/can-you-ever-stop-thinking.html

As humans, it is common for us to think in a fixed and biased manner. Unable to see the world in a different perspective, we become rigid and inflexible. We are afraid to ask ourselves “what if?” Curiosity, however, grants us the ability to analyse a problem in different angles and find a solution, despite it being seemingly unsolvable. Sometimes, the solution to a problem is right in front of us. It just takes a curious mind to identify it. Nothing becomes unsolvable for you and with this mindset, you will have the potential to change the world.

#3: Your Mind Becomes Active and Sharp

Source: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/you-have-the-power-over-your-mind/

Instead of waiting to have answers delivered on a plate, as we are so used to, a curious mind will seek them for itself. In other words, it becomes proactive. Your mind becomes hungry for knowledge and starts to notice details which would otherwise be ignored. The mind is like a muscle; use it and it grows, leave it and it atrophies. Curiosity always gets your mind working and this results in greater intelligence, concentration and memory. As Samuel Johnson once said, “Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigourous intellect.” Indeed, intelligence is useless without curiosity, as the latter is the one that brings the former to use.

Conclusion

Curiosity is a skill that everyone must possess in this ever-changing world. We must not become overly dependent on the internet or technology to solve our problems. Only when we open our minds to different possibilities and perspectives can mankind advance further. On a side note, if you are curious about how you can build or destroy habits of any kind, check out my blog at www.bestofwrite.com/blog/. Thank you for reading!

How to Get Rid of a Bad Habit

Bad habits are indeed like a comfortable bed; easy to get into, but hard to get out of. If left untreated, bad habits can escalate into an addiction. It is therefore important to get rid of these bad habits before they go out of control. In this article, let us see how we can effectively eradicate these habits. Before you continue reading, remember to follow me and subscribe to the newsletter.

Tip #1: Make it Hard

Source: https://breakthrough-sales.com/2019/01/18/a-sales-managers-most-difficult-task/

The first step to breaking a bad habit is making it difficult to accomplish. To do so, you must identify and destroy your cues. For example, if you are looking to quit smoking, throw away all your cigarettes and never go near a shop selling them. Most people relapse from their bad habits as they think that it wouldn’t hurt to just see it. But that isn’t true. It’s the same thing as a gambling addict watching people gamble. By putting yourself in temptation, it makes it very easy for you to relapse. At the same time, write down the negative consequences of the bad habit you are trying to get out of. For example, you could write “Smoking can cause lung cancer and kill me.” or “Gambling will cause me to waste my hard-earned money and destroy my family.” Every time you feel yourself slipping back into it, remember what you wrote and that should deter you from doing it again.

Tip #2: Replace it With a Good Habit

Source: https://www.inc.com/james-paine/5-billionaires-who-credit-their-success-to-reading.html

Introducing another habit such as reading will distract your mind and keep you occupied. The previous bad habit suddenly becomes less pleasurable and addictive as your body focuses on the new habit. Try to engage in something you love. Your mind does not have time to think about the old habit anymore and naturally quitting it becomes much easier. If you want to build a good habit effectively, check out my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/30/how-to-build-a-habit-effectively/ to learn more.

Tip #3: Reward Yourself

Source: https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/to-reward-or-not-to-reward/

By rewarding yourself for quitting a habit, you make it much more enticing to do so. These rewards inspire and push you forward even when your motivation and willpower is low. Give yourself something you like to eat. Give yourself a movie.

Tip #4: If You Relapse, Get Back on Track Fast

Source: https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/12042/follow-give-up-on-dreams/

You might be tempted to give up when you relapse. You start to doubt whether your efforts are working and giving results. The truth is, all of us slip and fall sometimes. It’s okay to make mistakes, but what’s most important is to pick yourself up and push on further and don’t give up. By doing so, you avoid derailing your hard work and become one step closer to success.