Archive for the Lifestyle Category

How Can You Tell if You’re Addicted to Gambling?

Monday, December 9th, 2019 | Permalink

For most people, gambling is just another form of hobby played with friends, but there are individuals who gamble not just for money and prizes, but because they want to chase losses and because it’s almost like routine. How can you tell if you’re in need of help from gambling addiction?

What Type of Gambler are You?

Identify whether you’re an action gambler or an escape gambler, because one of these can be the first indicator of gambling addiction.

  • An action gambler usually prefers betting on sports, racing, poker, and other skill-type games. Their mindset is guided by the belief that they can find patterns in the system that will give them an advantage over other gamblers, making them more likely to beat the odds. Action gamblers also usually start young unlike the escape gamblers.
  • Escape gamblers on the other hand, get into the habit to escape their other problems, such as stress, depression, bad marriage, and money issues. They usually prefer games that will take their mind off their problems, such as bingo, lottery, slots, and others.

Stages of Gambling Addiction

Most of us have gambled at one point in our lives, but we consider gambling as just like any other game. Gambling addiction on the other hand usually has a pattern.

  • Winning Stage. This is the discovery stage where the person feels for the first time what it’s like to win. At this point, the gambler is just enjoying the win to forget problems in life and do not use up the time and money to play some more.
  • Losing Stage. Gambling, however, does not guarantee a win all the time. Once the person has experienced winning, he/she will be seeking that feeling again through gambling, and will be more inclined to spend more money to win just to make up for the losses. There is a feeling that if he/she can win again, it will make up for all the time and money lost in the process, but if the losing streak continues, the guilt and shame slowly takes over the happy feeling from winning.
  • Desperation Stage. By this time, the gambler would be more likely to use his/her money to fund the obsession, resulting in tense relationships at home and at work, mounting financial problems, and mental and physical problems.

Signs of Gambling Addiction

Like any other type of addiction, gambling addiction could be just a symptom of another problem. If a loved one shows any of the following signs, look for help immediately:

  • Financial problems (debts, late bills and collection notices, disappearing items at home, high-risk investments, etc.)
  • Secrets about money or lying about money (lack of funds to pay for the bills, but has a stash of money for gambling)
  • Missing work or being late to work more often
  • Reduction in the quality of work or failure to meet deadlines
  • Failing relationships at home, work or school
  • Irritation, lack of sleep, depression, and attempts to end life

Why Do Some People Enjoy Scary Stories?

Friday, July 26th, 2019 | Permalink

Everywhere you go, there will always be that one person who’s deeply interested in urban legends and paranormal affairs. Whether it’s about creepy stories during the Hungry Ghost Festival or a famous horror film, this person loves hearing all about it.  Call them thrill seekers or horror junkies, there are many reasons why people like these things. But really, why do some people enjoy scary things much more than others?

Fear as a natural feeling

Fear is hardwired in us humans. All throughout history, it’s been part of a human’s fight-or-flight response. It’s basically what’s kept humans “safe” for the most part of the past. When we watch horror movies or listen to scary stories, we are able to fuel that feeling of fear, which is definitely one of our primal emotions. In this case though, we become afraid but we still have full control over ourselves. In watching a horror movie for example, you can always close your eyes or cover your ears when you sense that a frightening scene is about to come. You experience fear in some scenes of the movie but you know that in the end the monsters are defeated or suppressed.

A trip to another world

We enjoy reading a book, hearing a story, or watching a movie about something scary because it fuels our imagination. We get taken to a place where we can feel fear but typically don’t need to worry about our own safety. There are stories all about zombies, vampires, witches, and a lot more, all in which feed our “otherworldly” imagination. They spark our excitement because we know we are physically safe but the stories make us think we’re actually in danger. It all really boils down to how we were created as humans. We’re curious about fear and death but we dread it when it happens to us directly in real life, that’s why we prefer to hear or watch them in stories.

Because of things that can’t be explained

You can’t deny that a lot of things can already be explained by science. But when something happens that we can’t particularly comprehend, we immediately associate it with other forces of nature, whether good or bad. This, as we know, is tied to our culture and traditions. This is also what makes scary stories exciting for some people because even though they don’t experience it themselves, they become curious of the possibility that these things actually happen in real life. It also has something to do with a human’s urge for adventure. “If people experience this phenomenon, maybe I can too.” For some reason, the idea that something supernatural or paranormal happens is quite alluring to some people.

Things to Consider Before Getting Inked

Friday, October 19th, 2018 | Permalink

For a long time tattoos carried a stigma, given their association to unsavory people like gang members and prisoners. However, tattoos aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, they can be a good mark of your personality and taste. But before you decide to get inked, mull over these points first:

1. It will be part of you. Tattoos are for life, so you better be sure that you can live with it. If you feel like you’d be embarrassed to show it to people, then it’s probably not for you.

2. Your pain tolerance. Most people who have had a tattoo say the pain was not as bad as they thought it would be. That said, know that getting ink drilled into your skin will hurt.

3. Your tattoo artist. Check that his tattoo parlour is clean and that it displays the necessary certificates prescribed by the government. During your initial consultation, make sure whether you will actually be comfortable with him modifying your body: the trust between artist and client will largely affect the success of the tattoo.

4. The quality of work. Check your chosen tattoo artist’s portfolio to guarantee that he can superbly bring to life your chosen design. The marks of a good tattoo are clear lines, smooth shading and vibrant colors. Choose a reputable establishment to avoid complications—whether aesthetic or medical—in the future.

5. Your budget. Of course, make sure you can afford your ink. In Singapore, prices usually start at $100, and goes up depending on the size, colors, and complexity of your design. Pricing is subjective so feel free to negotiate, but don’t be niggardly. A 4×4” tattoo should cost about $300 to $400.

6. Meaning of your tattoo. Your tattoo is a tag that you choose for yourself. Don’t choose a design just because you think it looks cute: it should also have a personal significance. The best tattoos have a story behind it.

7. Avoiding stress. Getting repeatedly punctures is not a pleasant experience, but it doesn’t have to be distressful either. If you choose your tattoo artist well, you should be able to relax and talk to him as you get inked. You can take some non-steroidal pain relievers before the session to minimize pain.

8. Touch-ups. When your tattoo has healed, and you find that a little more coloring or adding a few lines or shades could improve it, don’t be afraid to request your tattoo artist for a touch-up. This shouldn’t cost much and could be done easily.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Essential Oils for Your Body

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 | Permalink

Essential oils are taken by distilling plants whose oils can have certain therapeutic properties. The process uses different parts from different kinds of plants, such as roots, leaves, stems, and even the flowers and tree bark.
These oils can either be used by themselves or as a base for a perfume, and are often either topically applied on the skin or inhaled as a fragrance (this makes them widely used for aromatherapy).

When used properly, essential oils are not just relaxing, but also boost your immune system and relieve headaches and stress that comes after a long day’s work, which makes them great to have for your home or office in Singapore.

Do’s
If you know how to use essential oils the right way, they can actually have benefits for you. Here are a few ways that they should be completely okay for you to use:

• Try it if you’re anxious. Even though they won’t take all your stress away, essential oils such as those made from lavender and chamomile can work wonders in helping to keep you calm and relaxed.

• Tell your doctor. As much as possible, your doctor should know if you are using essential oils especially if you happen to be taking medications – essential oils and medications can sometimes cause allergic reactions to occur.

• Toss out old oils. Because of how long they have been exposed to oxygen in the air, essential oils also have a shelf life and you should toss them out if they haven’t been used for more than three years.

Don’ts
There are also ways that don’t allow these essential oils to work their benefits onto your body but instead cause adverse effects, such as the following:

• Rub them anywhere. While you can rub certain oils on your arms and legs, they may not be safe to apply to your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth. Some examples of these include lemon and peppermint oils.

• Trust buzzwords. Certain natural substances can be irritating and cause allergic reactions, even if the label says it’s “pure”. To be safe, test the oil out by applying a small amount onto a small area of your skin to see how your body will respond.

• Use them on injured or inflamed skin. Unwanted skin reactions can happen when you’re not diluting your oils, and this can especially be dangerous on injured or inflamed skin.

But perhaps the most important thing you want to consider when using essential oils is the age – children under the age of 1 and pregnant women may get allergic reactions to certain oils. Before using essential oils at home or in your office, always be sure to consult your doctor.

How to Make Your Own Essential Oils in 5 Simple Steps

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 | Permalink

Essential oils have been used for a long time, and if you’ve ever tried to use them at least once, you know that they can be quite expensive, especially if they have certain antibacterial and antiviral properties.

While they are similar to fragrance oils, the difference between the two is that fragrance oils simply imitate the smell, while essential oils are the plant’s essence concentrated and have more benefits.

Fortunately, you don’t always have to spend a lot to get the oils you want. With the right know-how, you can make your own oils for your own use at home anytime, anywhere.

On Choosing Plants
You can use a good number of garden-variety herbs when it comes to making your own essential oil. Some types of plants you can use for making oils include peppermint, rose, and even lemon.

These aromatic oils are made from different plant parts, and the best way to make sure you get as much of the extract that you can is by chopping them. Ideally, you want 3-4 cups of chopped plant materials to get you started.

In addition to the chopped up plants, here are the supplies you need to make your own essential oils:
• Crock pot with a cover
• Water
• Time

The Process of Making Essential Oils
1. Place the chopped-up plant material in the crock pot and add distilled water (it should fill up to ¾ the crock pot. Cover the pot with the lid upside-down and place the crock on the stove.

2. Heat the water on high, and turn it down to low once the water starts to get hot. When the setting is on low, leave the crock to simmer on the low setting for three to four hours.

3. Once the plant material has cooked down after simmering, turn off the heat and let it cool down enough before placing the contents into the refrigerator (you can transfer the plant material and the water if the crock pot doesn’t fit) and leaving it overnight.

4. Take the pot out the next morning and carefully lift the fond. This fond is the oil that you want, and it will melt down quickly if you’re not quick enough. Place this in a properly labeled bottle and seal it.

5. If there is a bit of liquid-based fluid on the bottom, you can heat the oil on a gentle simmer for a short amount of time to allow that liquid to turn to steam and separate. Once it’s separated, store it in a colored glass container in a cold, dark place. Doing this will help to keep the oil in good condition for as long as possible.

6 Reminders to Comfort You in Times of Loneliness

Thursday, July 26th, 2018 | Permalink

Your heart starts beating faster, your body temperature rises, tears are slowly gathering in your eyes, and the stories in your mind are getting out of hand—as though you’re about to see your life and dreams all crashing down under you.

Sometimes, when loneliness takes over, for whatever reason, it can make anyone feel powerless—except that isn’t true. It’s normal and human to feel like this but we are the owners of this feeling, and we have the power to will it away.

When days get a little rough, may these simple and real life reminders comfort you:

1. This too shall pass, and faster if I don’t resist it
It is a wave that you must allow to hit you—ride the current and let it take you somewhere for a little while until it passes. Going against the tide will prolong your struggle; strong waves will eventually spit you out so just go where the flow is and it is going to be alright.

2. Your thoughts hurt you when you allow them to
Thoughts are only what they seem. They do not bear meanings unless you let them. When they visit your head, allow them to come in and go out, but do not fuel them nor make them stay. They are not necessarily your reality and often times, they do not represent it. You have to assert power over them.

3. There is no need for you to have everything figured out right now
You don’t need to figure out everything you are supposed to do or not in your life in one sitting. Take one day at a time, breathe, calm your mind and heart, and then you can make clearer, better decisions. Remember that life is a marathon and not a sprint.

4. Your time will come and never doubt that even for a second
The right circumstances will never skip the person whom they are meant for. You may be struggling about achieving your dreams or due to other things right now, but every person in this world has his own time to shine, you just have to believe your own.

5. You will get out of this and this can make you braver
What pains you is what can actually strengthen you. You can manage whatever happens, it does not matter how many times it hit you, what matters is the fact you choose to stand up every single time—and that is bravery. Remind yourself that you are way stronger now than what you were before.

6. A lot more things are going right
Notice the little things that are going right for you. You are safe, someone loves you, you are not hungry, you are not homeless, and you have a job. Keep this going until you feel the anxiety and tension leaving. As Goh Keng Swee says, to avoid wrong things is to do nothing at all, and that is the ultimate wrong act. Slowly but surely, you can clean up your mind from unwanted thoughts. Count your blessings.