How Does Human Touch Affect Us?

At one point in life, you may wonder why holding hands or hugging feels so good. Sometimes you may find yourself yearning for human touch, whether from your family, friends, boyfriends, or girlfriends. After all, there’s good reason for that.

The importance of human touch
Compared to being able to “feel” our surroundings with our hands, being on the receiving end can have just as much importance. Infants, for example, who are usually exposed to human touch can gain healthy weight faster and have improved mental development.

This, of course, carries on as we grow older. Sometimes though, social expectations limit our tactile interaction with others. A naturally touchy person will usually restrain himself/herself from hugging or touching strangers or people they just met, well, for obvious reasons.
Benefits

Reduce stress and anxiety
There are some Singaporeans, for instance, who walk along nature parks with their partners as a stress reliever. If you happen to try this out, you’ll know that it is effective. Human touch, especially non-sexual acts like hugging or holding hands can provide a feeling of comfort and assurance that can ease anxiety and stress.

Can improve mood
During tactile interactions, our body gets a boost of the “happy hormone”, oxytocin. This mainly helps to improve our mood, hence encouraging positive thoughts and increased feelings of compassion for others.

Strengthen relationships
Occasional tactile interactions with our family, friends, and partners can help strengthen our bond with them. Hugging, holding hands, light touches, or even massaging can promote trust and compassion between both parties.

Boost our immune system
Just like how human touch can increase oxytocin, it can also lower the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol in the body. This then contributes to a stronger immune system and better health overall. Also, it is said that hugs can promote the maintenance of our white blood cells. This is also said to help improve immunity.

Different body parts and human touch
• Hands – hands are obviously the most common because they are what we mainly use for our sense of touch. Although that’s the case, our hands can also be on the receiving end (e.g. when someone holds our hands).
• Neck – for many people, the neck is the most sensitive to human touch. Although much exposed to others, our neck is considered an intimate area. You may notice that if someone is anxious or afraid, they will usually cover their necks with their hands or clothes. While a person who is comfortable sits back and opens up with their neck usually exposed.
• Back – Majority of men and women also prefer their back to be stroked and caressed. This is probably because the back is the most easily accessible. We are also usually fine when friends and companions touch our back every now and then.

How to Take Care of Your Refrigerator in 5 Easy Steps

Since your refrigerator runs 24/7 to keep your food fresh and cool for a long time, it’s likely that it will be the first appliance to start showing signs of being worn down with use. But with proper care and maintenance, you can make your appliance last for as long as possible.

Here’s how you can take care of your fridge in five easy steps:

1. Clean the interior regularly
Seeing the dirty interior of a refrigerator can be off-putting and unsanitary, as well as pose all kinds of potential health problems. You can avoid this by wiping them down once a week using a cloth made damp with warm water.

All-purpose cleaners are also commercially available, and can do the job without taking as much effort.
You should also eliminate any odors using a freshener that’s specifically designed for fridge interiors, which can usually last you up to six months.

2. Replace the rubber gasket as needed
The gasket outlines your freezer and fridge doors, and is easily one of the most overlooked parts of the whole unit. However, it’s also one of the most important, so when it starts to weaken or loosen after a while, be sure to clean and replace it with a new one as soon as possible.

This is because without the rubber gasket, your fridge won’t be able to do its job normally since the former is responsible for sealing out the hot air.

3. De-frost regularly
Regular cleaning also includes regular de-frosting to get rid of the ice that has accumulated on the inside of your freezer. When doing this, clear out your fridge and wait for the ice to melt – to not
However, if your fridge de-frosts on its own, you don’t have to do anything except clean the pan where the water drains into, as this can easily accumulate odors and bacterial growth. Be sure to clean it with warm water and a small amount of detergent when doing so.

4. Check your condenser coils
Your refrigerator unit can’t run efficiently if your condenser coils are covered with dust, so when you do clean out this part of your fridge, be sure to unplug the machine and reveal the coils in the back before vacuuming using a brush attachment.

5. Clean/replace the water filter regularly
If your unit has a dedicated ice-maker or a water dispenser as an additional feature, it must also have a water filter that needs to be changed regularly.

Be sure to check your owner’s manual on how when you should do this, as well as how often. However, a good rule of thumb is that you should change it at least once a month, and don’t wait around until the water starts to taste bad.

When Should You Get Your Refrigerator Serviced?

Simple maintenance and cleaning can do a lot to extend your refrigerator’s shelf life and keep it running smoothly, but even with the latest models with great insulation and cooling models, your fridge will eventually need servicing and repair as time goes on.

When to Get Your Refrigerator Serviced
If you notice that you’re using the same amount of energy per month and yet see a rise in your electricity bill, the biggest reason may be your fridge. Here are a few signs that maintenance is no longer is enough and that your refrigerator needs servicing:

• The motor runs hot – It’s normal to feel a warmer temperature change at the back of your fridge since the coils give off heat. However, the coils are insulated, so when it gets too hot, this is a sign that something is wrong.

• Food spoils faster – Another sure-fire sign that your fridge is about to break down is when food starts to spoil longer than it normally would, or that it takes longer for the interior to cool.

• Your fridge is more than ten years old – Refrigerators have an average shelf life between ten and twenty years, but the older it gets, the most expensive it may be to replace it.

• You can hear your fridge running – You should really call a technician to see what’s wrong if you can hear it running. While refrigerators aren’t usually the quietest home appliances available, an ongoing buzz or hum can indicate a serious problem.

• The freezer is too cold – Another way to indicate that your fridge needs servicing is when the freezer starts to look like an iceberg, and the frozen food stored in it becomes difficult to remove.

Keep in mind that these problems can occur with any refrigerator whether it’s new or old. When you’re dealing with a newer unit that has problems, you might be better off having your unit serviced.

However, if the fridge is nearing or well past its lifespan, you might be better off replacing it.

Should You Replace Your Refrigerator?
When given proper maintenance and care, a refrigerator usually doesn’t give you much trouble, but there are various reasons why it’s better – and much cheaper – to simply buy a new refrigerator for your home.

The biggest reason for this is because of the repair costs that mount the older the unit gets: not only are the replacement parts more difficult to find, but as each part slowly starts to wear down, you might as well be better off buying a new refrigerator and scrapping the old one instead.

Be sure to talk to your refrigerator servicing company about the best action to take.

What You Need to Know About Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used for a long time in different cultures for all medicinal and health purposes, and they can be made from a lot of different types of plants. These oil-based aromatics are often derived from different kinds of plant parts.

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).

While they have been used for as early as five or six thousand years ago, earlier methods of making are quite different than the ones we have now. Today, many producers of essential oils focus on the purity of the oil extracts.

Plants Used for Essential Oils
A lot of different plants are used for their essential oils, which contain these medicinal and health properties, for medical and hygienic purposes. Here are a few of them:

• Lavender – Lavender extracts are great for relieving stress, anxiety, and mental fatigue, as well as for treating bruises and stretch marks
• Peppermint – Used for nausea, vertigo, headaches, and even for exhaustion
• Tea tree – Extracts from this plant can be used for disinfectant and for treating skin blemishes, as well as acne.

How Essential Oils Are Extracted
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.
The result of distilling is a highly concentrated amount of the plant’s oils, which has both the fragrance and the properties of the plant itself, and can be used to treat different conditions in different ways.

The Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils have a lot of therapeutic properties that make them great to have at home, whether they are inhaled or applied as a topical ointment, such as:

• Balance hormones – Certain essential oils can do a lot to balance out hormone levels in the body, such as estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, and especially the stress hormone cortisol.

• Boost your immune system – Whether it’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, or antifungal, essential oils can help boost your immune system due to the chemical substances in them that can help your body fight off foreign pathogens.

• Improve your digestion – Aside from helping with stomach spasms, indigestion, and diarrhea, essential oils can even help your digestion to make it easier to break down and absorb nutrients that your body needs.

Essential oils can also have stimulating effects and leave you feeling refreshed and energized, which is great if you find yourself tired out and need to get your energy back. They can also improve your cognitive performance, and even lift your mood.

The Different Types of Essential Oils and What They Can Do For You

Essential oils have been used for a long time in different cultures for all medicinal and health purposes, and they can be made from a lot of different types of plants. These oil-based aromatics are often derived from different kinds of plant parts.

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).

The Benefits of Common Oils
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.
What’s even better is that there are all kinds of essential oils made from different plants and can help you with all kinds of health benefits.

Tea Tree Oil
Also known as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil has strong antimicrobial properties and has a long history of being used as an antiseptic in Australia.

When inhaled, tea tree oil does a lot to relieve cough and prevents yeast and fungal infections from growing, and can be applied topically to heal cuts and wounds.

Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils, and has been known to improve sleep quality and concentration. It also encourages hair to grow for those who are suffering from a type of hair loss called alopecia areata.

Additionally, lavender can be used to fight anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder without having any harmful side effects that could lead it to being abused.

Peppermint Oil
Alleviating digestive problems can call for the use of peppermint oil, which not only alleviates nauseas, headaches, and stomach gases, but also calms the stomach’s smooth muscles and allows the bile to move more freely in the digestive system.

Peppermint oil can also be used to treat symptoms of the HSV-1 virus by acting as a virucide, though more research may be needed for this.

Jojoba Oil
Derived from the seeds of a woody plant native to certain areas in the United States, jojoba seeds can be distilled to make jojoba oil. This essential aromatic oil is often used to help heal wounds faster and reduce symptoms of acne outbreaks.

How You Can Use Essential Oils
Using essential oils after a long day is easy, and there are a lot of ways that you can enjoy it to get the best effects for you.

However, you should keep in mind that more doesn’t always mean better with essential oils because they are highly concentrated extracts of the plant oil. For instance, one drop of peppermint oil is just as strong as twenty-eight cups of peppermint tea.

Steps for an Idyllic Retirement

Everybody here in Singapore wishes for an idyllic retirement. Thankfully, we can make this happen if we start young. This is not something that we can leave to fate or to the government. Idyllic retirement entails a lot of planning and making it happen.

retirement-planning-tips

Other people believe that planning for retirement can be postponed but that is where they are wrong. As much as possible, we have to start young so we can do a lot of things and ensure that bright days are ahead. Here are some steps that we can consider so we can have our idyllic retirement in 40 to 50 years from now:

  • Put aside 10% of our income for retirement: We are not keen on saving for our future because we are enjoying the present but we should at least put aside 10% of our income for retirement. If 10% is a big amount, we can start little say 2%.
  • Focus on our earnings potential: If we cannot make a lot of money, we have to focus on our earnings potential and increase it. We can do this by completing certifications, advanced degree and good experience.
  • Invest aggressively: According to financial experts, we should have at least 80-100% of our portfolio financed in equities. Even if we lose money, we can still cope up because our stocks and other investments will grow more in time.

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  • Automatic deposits: If we want a long-term savings, it is best to set up automatic deposits. This means that our banks will automatically deposit a certain amount to our account so we do not miss it.
  • Set up health allowances: We do not want to spend all our retirement money for staying healthy in the future therefore it is important that aside from retirement savings, we have health allowances. We have to remember that health concerns will be the biggest financial issue we will encounter when we retire.
  • Look for retirement plans: There is definitely a plan for everyone. It is just a matter of looking for it and making it happen. For the information of everybody, there are many life plans here in Singapore which pay dividends on top of pension funds.

At the end of the day, the key here is to start early. Retiring without a penny here in Singapore is difficult so we have to ensure our future and the future of our family. Do not put off retirement because time flies. The next thing we know, we have grandchildren and retired.

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