Bad Decisions: Understanding and Recovering

Everybody makes mistakes because nobody is perfect. Uneventful circumstances brought about by our wrong choices are something we either repeat or learn from. Most of the bad decisions we create in our lives involve an immediate convenience or reward—it’s about choosing to live for now even though the chances of paying its price later is high. This seemingly a carpe-diem philosophy is further strengthened when the consequences are uncertain to happen.

How do we come up with decisions?

According to an article on Mindless Eating, there are roughly 200 food-related choices each person makes on a daily basis. Other choices related to work, family, relationships etc. are not yet included in that approximate and it’s probably safe to tell that we make thousands of choices every moment of our day.

Decisions that don’t feel like one are “unconscious decisions” or more like habits—they are normally included in our routines that doing so becomes automatic in our system like taking a shower, getting out of bed or driving to work. While there are also conscious or “big decisions” a.k.a the ones that can cause you to have anxiety attacks. These are life-changing decisions like, what to do in life, having kids, quitting a job etc.

Psychologist Barry Schwartz points out that when making a decision, it should evaluate these areas:

  • What is your goal
  • Value of reaching that goal
  • Options for reaching that goal
  • Options that will likely produce the desired outcome

It all sounds pretty easy and simple but reason/s why most people screw up may be due to following factors:

Emotions, biases, memories and peers that cloud our thinking:

For the most of us, if only there was less reaction and more action, bad decisions would’ve been limited. Most of us are already aware on what we should be doing. You’re probably aware that you need to take your medicines, that it’s not right to hit your wife or cheat on your husband, or you shouldn’t lie.

Missed opportunities:

It’s when we make a choice, for example choosing a course in college; it seems that all other doors are shutting off. It seems definitive and final that once a path choice is made, all others are no longer an option.

Breaking bad habits

Most if not all of us follow certain habits that do more harm than good. In an article about Breaking Bad Habits on servishero.com/sg, these can be broken by changing our thought processes.

According to Mary Ann Chapman, Ph.D. and scientific communications writer, breaking a bad habit is possible we:

  1. Avoid or minimize the immediate reward
  2. Make the long-term negative outcome more immediate

For example, relying too much on credit card on every transaction can lead to a scary total bill at the end of the month. The most appropriate thing to do is to leave the credit card at home (use it for emergencies) and do a budget planning for the next day’s expenses using cash.

In this example, the immediate reward of incessantly swiping your credit card every time you like to buy something is avoided by planning your daily budget; and the possible long-term negative effect (high credit card bill) is immediately taken into account.

Starting good habits

If you’re eager to start making right choices like doing regular exercise, going back to school or mending a broken relationship, expect that the process will be difficult at first, but the potential benefits are worth it. The idea is minimize or avoid the immediate-negative-and prioritize the lone-term effect in the future, the positive stuff.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Although highly treatable, thyroid disorders are usually underdiagnosed because the symptoms can mimic other conditions. In Singapore, thyroid disorders are most common among adult males and females between ages 20 and 50. Hypothyroidism can be difficult to detect without proper diagnosis because the symptoms and their severity will vary and develop slowly over the years.

Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating several metabolic processes int eh body through the production of hormones. If there is an imbalance of the hormones, the chemical reactions that take place are also affected. Hypo means that the thyroid gland is underactive and is not producing enough hormones. This is opposite of the other condition called hyperthyroidism where the thyroid is overactive.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Sometimes the degree of the hormone deficiency determines the severity of the symptoms, which is why some people can go for years without a proper assessment from a doctor. Ove the years, however, complications can develop from hypothyroidism and that is when the problems emerge.

Usually the first signs are fatigue and weight gain, but slowly your body will show some of the following signs, too: constipation, high blood cholesterol levels, slow heart rate, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, hoarseness, muscle weakness, muscle pains and stiffness, joint swelling and pains, puffy face, thinning hair, depression, bad memory, and irregular menstrual periods for women.

Sometimes, the thyroid enlarges (called goiter) because of the pressure to release more hormones. There is also an advanced stage of hypothyroidism called myxedema which causes low blood pressure and a decrease in body temperate and breathing. Babies can also show signs of hypothyroidism, so parents should watch out for the following: puffy face, jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes, protruding tongue, constipation, excessive sleepiness, and frequent instances of choking.

Complications and Treatments

Hypothyroidism is caused by several factors such as an autoimmune disease, congenital disease, pituitary disorder, and iodine deficiency. But it can also be triggered by medications, thyroid diseases, radiation treatment, and postpartum hypothyroidism.

If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause several complications such as cardiovascular diseases, enlarged heart, high cholesterol levels, goiter, peripheral neuropathy or damage to the peripheral nerves in the arms and legs, infertility, slowed mental functioning, depression, and birth defects if a pregnant woman has not undergone treatment previously.

Children with hypothyroidism will experience delayed puberty, poor mental development, poor growth, and delayed development of teeth. In extreme cases, myxedema can lead to a coma. Fortunately, there are ways to diagnose and treat hypothyroidism. Blood tests, T4 tests, and TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone test are administered.

Treatment can alleviate most of the symptoms and prevent complications. This is done through thyroxine or T4 replacement to bring hormones back to normal levels. The hormone is a synthetic replacement in the form of a pill that must be taken daily. Regular blood tests can monitor hormone levels, but you should also be careful about your diet and which medications and supplements you can take.

Quick Ways to Freshen Up Your Beauty Look in the Office

We can’t be the only one to start out our work day looking lovely while getting all the tasks done, only to find our makeup melting down by 4PM. Sure, there’s something to be said about long-wear makeup, but long-wear can only go so far when fluorescent lights and desks are involved. Don’t despair though, for there’s hope for your work day makeup look. Here, we listed down five quick ways on how you could possibly refresh your look for that after-work party.

1.  Scrunch Your Hair With Damp Hands

Running a few drops of water through your tresses will help in refreshing and reactivating any product that you applied on it. Simply flip your head upside down and massage your scalp using your fingertips to enjoy increased hair volume. If frizz is your issue, use your palms to smooth down those unruly layers. If you’re thinking of sporting a super smooth look, rub a bit of hand cream on your palms and run them over the outer layers of your hair.

2.  Carry a Pick-Me-Up Blotting Paper

If you haven’t been carrying blotting papers in your purse, then let this tip be a sign that you should start investing on one. Blotting papers have a multitude of uses aside from controlling your oily skin. They can be used to blow down your lipstick and blend your concealer or foundation into perfection sans the need to apply more.

3.  Opt for a Tinted Lip Balm

We don’t need to remind you that lipsticks don’t always hold up after a long, stressful day at work. Even if its colour remains intact, there’s a huge chance that your lips will feel dry underneath. So instead of layering more lipstick, smooth on a complementary tinted lip balm to achieve a hydrated, plump-looking lips.

4.  Reapply Your Blush

Blush is the key to achieving that glowing look, but it’s also one of the first things that fade considerably as the hours pass by. If there’s one thing you should do before leaving the office, it is to put some colour back into your face. If you haven’t brought your blush with you, simply use your fingers to blend a bit of lipstick onto the apples of your cheeks.

5.  Curl Your Lashes

Avoid reapplying your mascara as it often results in clumping and spidery lashes, and just give your eyelashes a squeeze using your curler instead. It’ll instantly open your eyes, giving them a wider and more awake appearance. Just make sure that you curl your lashes gently if you’re already wearing some mascara so you could avoid breaking or pulling them out. Ensuring that your makeup lasts all day requires more than just using long-wearing beauty products. So be sure to keep these tricks in mind, and we guarantee that your 9 to 5 face will be very grateful.

5 Makeup Habits That Might Be Making Your Pores Appear Bigger

There’s just something about flawless skin that all girls love and strive to achieve with the help of their daily skincare regimen. While there are numerous ways to make your pores appear smaller, there are also certain makeup habits that could make your pores look bigger than they actually are. To keep that from happening, steer clear from these makeup no-no’s to ensure that you achieve a flawless and youthful-looking skin.

1.  Failing to Remove Your Makeup

This is not just a makeup habit that can make your pores appear bigger, it’s a beauty sin in general. Failing to remove your makeup, especially on areas where your pores are the largest will allow your beauty products to clog your pores – and clogged pores mean bigger and dirtier pores. So make sure that you do some double-cleansing to ensure that every bit of product is removed before it hits the sheets.

2.  Using Dirty Makeup Tools

Whether you admit or not, we’re all guilty of not washing our makeup brushes regularly. But aside from being completely unhygienic, using unclean beauty tools will only help dirt and bacteria accumulate in your pores, causing them to enlarge in the process. So be sure to give your tools a good cleaning every time you use them to prevent any skin mishaps from occurring.

3.  Applying Too Much Powder on Your Nose

If you’re blessed with oily skin, then you might’ve relied on powder just to keep your T-zone dry. While it’ll greatly help in keeping the oiliness at bay, the powder could crawl into your pores through the day and enlarge them. Rather than using too much powder and risking a cakey makeup, opt to use a blotting paper to manage your facial oils instead.

4.  Using Your Fingers to Apply Your Makeup

While there’s no harm in using your fingers or a sponge blender in applying your foundation, using a makeup brush will definitely give you better coverage. A makeup brush with soft bristles and volume will be able to touch those hard-to-reach areas on your face, while blurring your pores more effectively.

5.  Putting On Too Much Foundation

Your foundation is meant to enhance your skin and not suffocate it. Apply too much, and it’ll end up emphasizing your pores and other crevices on your face like the wrinkles and fine lines. So opt for a lighter coverage to ensure that your makeup won’t go awry.

A person’s pore size is actually genetic, but that doesn’t mean that good makeup habits and proper hygiene can’t make your big pores appear smaller. In fact, simply putting the aforementioned tips to work will already help you get the pore-less and flawless skin that you’ve always wanted.

Why You Should Start Boxing Today

Boxing is an awesome physical activity. It’s a form of healthy exercise, it can be done for stress relief, and it’s even an essential life skill. Whether you want to be a professional, or just do it for exercise, here are some reasons you should try boxing.

For self-defense

Learning to box can actually be considered an essential life skill. Most of the time, when tension arises and talking it out doesn’t work anymore, you might be forced to use your fist. Boxing is one of the many effective approaches to defending one’s self as you’ll learn strike efficiently while also anticipating the other person’s attacks. 

It is a great workout

Boxing is an incredible full-body workout. Many people assume that it focuses mainly on the upper body because of all the punching but this isn’t actually so. The legs and the core are obviously important for stability and movement but also play a huge role in adding power to punches. Boxing is also an extraordinary cardio exercise. There’s a lot of running involved, intense punching drills, and strength training that will leave you gasping for air (in a good way).

Improves coordination

Good eye-hand coordination is required and also developed in boxing. When using a speed bag or sparring against someone, you’re sharpening your coordination and ability to react to certain movements effectively. Your improved coordination will then translate to your day to day activities naturally. Like if your work involves a lot of physical movement, for example.

To relieve stress

Can you imagine how satisfying it is to punch a dummy bag after a long, tiring day at work? Boxing allows you to release all the anger and stress that has been piling up on you through your fists. And just like in other physical activities, it also boosts our production of endorphins which can leave us in a better and more positive mood.

Mental toughness

Boxing is just as much a game for the mind as it is for the body, that’s one reason why it’s called “The Sweet Science”. It allows you to enhance your mental strength, especially on the ring where you’re always under pressure of getting hit by the opponent. This disciplines you to use your mind sharply when the situation calls for it.

Allows for more social interactions

Whether you go to Spartan Boxing, Ares Fight Club, or wherever, you’ll see that there are also a lot of people who are into boxing. You’ll learn and share knowledge with these people no matter if they are professional fighters or just boxing for leisure and exercise. This is because most boxing gyms have a very warm and welcoming environment, contrary to what many might think.

Ways to Stay Happy and Positive

When we get buried with too much work and stress, we find it hard to see the positive moments in our day to day life. When we get all that to build up, we’re setting ourselves up for anxiety and a depressed state. Here, then are some ways for you to stay smiling even on gloomy days!

Step out of your comfort zone

Learning to overcome your fears helps you become more confident and also make discover more things about yourself. When you open yourself up to new experience, you’ll always see life with fresh eyes and you’ll always have something new to learn and be proud of. Consequently, you’ll have lesser regrets in the future if you’re able to step above your fears.

Eat healthily, have enough sleep, and exercise  

Eating and sleeping are already obvious things that we do on a regular basis. But eating right and sleeping enough hours not only helps us live a healthy lifestyle but also gives a significant boost to our mood. Exercising, though, can be quite challenging for some people. When you do it though, you’ll find that it can be a great stress reliever. Go and lift weights at ActiveSG or any gym at all, hike or jog around MacRitchie, or cycle around the city even just once a week.

Find the positive in a negative situation  

There will always be challenges in our life that seem hard to win against Staying positive in those times can help us go through them faster and easier. Remember that there will always be something positive in every bad circumstance we encounter. It can be life-long knowledge or a temporary solution, either way finding that positive side will help you big time.

Don’t take criticism too hard

Because we are social beings, other people can also affect how we feel. Understand that even when you feel happy, there will be others who feel otherwise. Taking criticism healthily allows you to avoid conflict and also helps you learn from that situation, whether or not you were in the wrong.

Let your emotions flow

Especially if it’s an unavoidable circumstance, it’s better to recognize and accept the situation as it is. If you’re really sad, then be sad. Numbing your emotions and pretending that nothing is wrong will only do you more harm than good in the long-term. Letting your emotions flow can help you move on from that situation and enable you to think more positively in the future.

Help others

You may at times notice that smiling is contagious. When you’re feeling happy, it becomes easier to lend a hand to others. If they’re having a hard time, chances are you’ll make them feel better and they may even return the favor soon. Doing this will also help you build better relationships with the people around you and provide you with a healthier and more positive environment.

How You Can Make the Perfect Salad for Any Occasion

From vinaigrettes to Caesar, salad is a dish can either be a side dish or a main course depending on what you add to the mix.

And because there are so many ways you can make a salad, there are also just as many ways you can get it wrong. Here are a few guidelines on how you can make the right salad for any occasion:

  • Wash the vegetables first. This applies whether you bought them at the wet market or at the supermarket. Running them through water and giving them a generous shake in the colander (sealed with aluminum foil) will get rid of any debris in your greens that could ruin the salad.
  • Make the dressing. Dressings are surprisingly easy to prepare. For instance, homemade vinaigrette is simply made of a ratio comprised of three parts oil to one part vinegar. You can even mix in mustard and honey to taste.

Once you start doing this, you’ll find that even the dressing will taste so much better when you make it yourself. 

  • Season your greens! What makes restaurant salads stand out is the seasoning. Even with greens, pro chefs make it a point to introduce a sprinkling of salt and pepper to enhance the flavor.
  • Mix up the said greens. Aside from the seasoning, adding a little variety in your veggies elevates the salad’s overall flavor as well. Fresh herbs also count as greens in their own right, such as cilantro, parsley, and basil, so try giving them a shot when looking for some diversity.
  • Don’t fear the fat. Fat doesn’t have to be wholly unhealthy. In fact, in the right amounts, it can greatly enhance the flavor of your vegetable dish. The best part about them is that they don’t even have to come from meat – avocado, toasted nuts, and chees are all excellent flavor enhancers for your leafy greens.
  • Add the dressing last. It’s easy to forget the dressing when preparing the right combination of vegetable for your salad, but it’s just as important.

While you have the choice of simply leaving on the side, you can always add it in beforehand and distribute it to coat your greens evenly. The trick to keep them from wilting is by adding them only just before you eat, and by adding only a little at a time.

The good news is that vegetables are cheap and easy in Singapore, and you can make just about any salad you want depending on the occasion.

You can even add all types of meat or dressing in your salad if you want – nobody said they had to be healthy!

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