Ikea’s Hydroponic System Allows You To Grow Vegetables All Year Round Without A Garden

Ikea’s indoor garden system is the perfect option for those who wish to grow their own food all year round but don’t have the garden space to be able to do it. Ikea’s indoor hydroponic garden allows anyone to grow fresh produce at home without the need for soil or any previous gardening experience.

The hydroponic system of the garden means that adequate light and water are everything that is needed to grow the plants successfully, meaning that there is no need for soil. According to the report, many of the vegetables that are widely available today are grown using this method. The absorbent foam plugs that come with the Ikea system enable the seeds to sprout and then proceed to keep the seeds moist without over-watering them. Following the germination of the seeds, all that needs to be done is to transfer the entire foam plug into its own separate small pot and fill it with pumice stones, which can retain a lot of water.

The pots can then be transferred to a growing tray that is equipped with a solar lamp, which will provide the plants with enough nourishment to last all year round. The system is so efficient that it can even be successful in rooms without any sunlight, although they can be placed on a windowsill that gets a lot of sun if it is convenient. The growing tray is additionally equipped with a built-in water sensor, which ensures that the plants are given the perfect amount of water. Helena Karlén, from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, said, “The challenge was to make growing plants in a hydroponic system simple so that anyone could succeed…”

Named in the KRYDDA/VÄXER series, the design was born out of a collaboration with agricultural scientists in Sweden, with a target audience of those who live in apartments or don’t have a garden, as well as people who want completely fresh produce even during the cold winter months. Whilst the system is not the first indoor hydroponic system, it is a more affordable option than most, and ideal for those with minimal space. It also fits with Ikea’s notably forward-thinking over the past few years, as they follow an eco-friendly trend towards sustainability.

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By: Jess Murray

Credits: True Activist

 

The Healing Powers Of Tears

BOTTLING UP EMOTIONS MAKES A PERSON A SITTING RISK: THE MIND WORKS IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU CANNOT IGNORE EMOTIONAL TURMOIL IN ANY WAY. YOUR MIND WILL WANDER RIGHT THERE WHERE YOU NEED IT TO NOT GO.

The rest we all know: depression, melancholia and sadness.

However there is a tiny way out too, something that nature has provided to man as a safety catch. This is one thing that makes man human more than anything else. The thing I am talking about, is crying.

Crying can help humans release things that would otherwise bottle up and fester inside their minds.

Here are some ways in which crying can heal a person’s inner wounds:

1. CRYING HELPS YOU ESTABLISH CONNECTIONS

Crying makes you share your sorrow and we all know that sorrow shared is lessened, while happiness shared is made bigger. Crying appeals to humans on a primal level, a level which urges them to be concerned about the person crying; it’s evolutionary.

2. CRYING CAN HELP YOU MOVE ON

Crying can help you release the sorrow bottled you up. That helps relieve you of what is troubling you, making your heart lighter and your head clearer. So in a way, crying makes you smarter.

3. FLUSH OUT TOXINS

It had been found out by medical research a while ago, that tears eject out a minuscule amount of urea out of your body and helps you see better, by lubricating your eyelids. It actually makes you healthier, even if we discount the numerous benefits to your mental health.

4. INSTANT DE-STRESSOR

This is probably the obvious point on our list. Crying is the body’s coping mechanism, actually the most powerful one in place in the body. This helps your body calm you down and get the parasympathetic nervous system running. It also cause mild release of endorphins which instantly make you happier and if not happier, lighter.

And crying is not just something that releases tension and sorrow, it also helps people release excess joy; hence the proverbial tears of joy.

SO NEXT TIME, SOMEONE ASKS YOU TO “MAN UP” AND STOP CRYING, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. CRY. LET YOUR HEART BREATHE.

Scientists Say It Only Takes 66 Days To Change Your Life, If You’re Strong Enough

There’s no denying that we are, indeed, creatures of habit.

Our minds and bodies are dependent on stimulants, actions and patterns that come to define who we are. Our habits are our security blankets, enveloping us in their consistent presence and comfort of familiarity.

We do them unconsciously, sticking fingers and cigarettes in our mouths and cracking our knuckles only to find that we can’t remember when this habit began.

According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit,” habits are not born, but created. Every bad, good or insignificant habit starts with a psychological pattern called a “habit loop.”

Duhigg reported to NPR, the “habit loop” is a three-part process. The first step is the trigger that tells your brain to let a certain behavior unfold. The second step is the behavior itself, or the routine it creates.

The third step is the reward, or “something that your brain likes that helps it remember the ‘habit loop’ in the future.”

Once we’ve formed habits, they are hard to break because, many times, we forget we’re doing them. Because of the habit loop, we are able to do other things without thinking about our habit.

We will be working on something else while simultaneously biting our nails, not realizing the moment we put them in our mouths.

We become slaves to our habits. They become inhibitors and some have the power to control our lives.

Though some substances we use have addictive qualities that make the habits almost impossible to break, there are ways to replace those bad habits with good ones… and all it takes is 66 days.

In a study released in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally and her team of researchers surveyed 96 people over a 12-week period to find exactly how long it takes to start a new habit.

Over the 12 weeks, the participants chose a new habit and reported each day how automatic the behavior felt. At the end of the period, Lally analyzed the results and found the average time it took for the participants to pick up a new habit was 66 days.

While her results were focused on the time it takes to create a habit, we can look at it inversely, and the time it takes to kick an old one and pick up a better one.

If a habit does not include addictive additives or stimulants, which make the withdrawal and brain processes different, who’s to say it won’t take you 66 days to cut out all those nasty habits that have been overtaking your life?

If you take the habit out of your life, the same way you put one into your life, you will find yourself free of the unconscious and, many times, detrimental patterns that habits cause. You could replace those old bad ones with new good ones.

Instead of watching Netflix before bed, you make yourself read a book. Maybe instead of soda with dinner, you make yourself drink water for 66 days.

Whatever your motives, this research should be the catalyst you need to kick those bad habits and start picking up some good ones.

Because there is no better time to turn over a new leaf (or habit) than in the fall.

BE OBNOXIOUS (DAYS 1- 22)

Shout about it. Tell your friends, family and coworkers you are on a mission. Enlist them as officers to patrol when you’re slipping back into your old ways or not keeping up on your new ones. Tell them you want them to yell at you, bother you and constantly remind you.

Add extra pressure on yourself. The pressure of disappointing other people and going back on your word will make it that much harder to go back to your old ways.

Because sometimes it’s easier to disappoint ourselves than it is other people.

SELF-ANALYZE (DAYS 22- 44)

Take a good look at your life. This is the time to really dig deep and do some soul-searching. What do you want in life? Why are you doing this? How do you want to represent yourself?

Whether you’re quitting a bad habit or picking up a healthier one, get to the core of why you’re doing this and how it’s going to affect your life.

If you can find that reason buried deep in your unconscious, you will be able to carry out these 66 days much easier. You will have an internal force pushing you.

FIND THE LIGHT (DAYS 44- 66)

The third stage is the final push. As far as you’ve come, you still have to make it these last 22 days. It’s easy to burn out, get tired and forget why you are doing this. It’s easy to revert to your old ways because, up to this point, you have yet to rid yourself of the habit.

At this stage, you must find something to hold on to. Something that will that push you to that final goal. It’s the last 22 days that prove how strong and willing you really are.

At this point, it’s about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s about realizing that though you can’t see the other end, you can still see glimpses of it.

TREAT YO’ SELF (66 +)

The only way to solidify the end of an old habit or the birth of a new one is to celebrate it. Throw a party, have some champagne, shout it from your Brooklyn rooftop. Make a day of it or call up your friends and have a swanky dinner party.

If it’s a habit people have been hoping you would break they will be more than willing to celebrate with you. Who knows, you can even make it a yearly tradition.

The 3 Zodiac Signs That Are Always Traveling

There are those of us who simply can’t quell their incessant need to travel. The promise of an upcoming trip is what helps them get out of bed in the morning. They go to sleep at night with thoughts of another world tucked beneath their eyelids. Their favorite part of being alive is getting to experience the tastes, smells, sounds, colors, and dreams of somewhere else. And who can blame them? If we don’t attempt to explore every nook and cranny of this big blue planet we call Earth, then aren’t we wasting our one shot at living? Some of us don’t plan to. In fact, there are certain zodiac signs who are always traveling with all their heart, especially Sagittarius, Aries, and Aquarius.

These three zodiac signs hear the call to explore the world reverberating straight from their souls. Sitting still within familiar surroundings for the rest of their lives is completely out of the question. They need to be moving. If they aren’t learning something new, expanding their horizons, and enriching their memories with beauty, then what’s really the point of all this? And by “all this,” I mean life. It’s too short to waste time and it’s too brief to spend the entirety of it being afraid. There are simply far too many amazing things to see. Why wait?

SAGITTARIUS: THEY WANT TO SEE THE WORLD

There’s no zodiac sign more taken with the concept of traveling than Sagittarius. These aren’t people who take the time to solidify their home base — to them, the whole world is their oyster. It’s simply up to them to explore it. Their souls move wherever the wind blows and they’ll gladly leave their fate in the hands of something larger than themselves. A Sagittarius wants life to be one long and exciting experience. What better way to ensure that than through travel?

If a Sagittarius doesn’t have the means or freedom to travel and take on the world, they’ll often become lethargic and bored with existence. They need spice, variety, and richness in order to feel truly satisfied.

ARIES: THEY’RE ALWAYS ON THE MOVE

An Aries doesn’t stop for anyone or anything. To them, time is not only money — it’s possibility. They’re on a mission to gather as many experiences under their belt as they can. They’re greatest competition? Themselves. If an Aries isn’t living up to their own standards, they’ll grow insecure and frustrated with life. Seeing as much of the world as they can is almost always on the top of their list.

An Aries lives for adrenaline rushes and pushing their soul to the edge. They’re rarely afraid of their own shadow and they’re always the first ones to jump at the opportunity to open their eyes to something strange, new, and beautiful. No matter how wild, challenging, or bizarre your travel idea may be, an Aries will always be game.

AQUARIUS: THEY WANT TO BECOME BETTER PEOPLE

An Aquarius travels with the world in mind. They almost always have a vision for how much better they can be, how much better our entire planet can be. While most of us may entertain daydreams of humanist efforts, an Aquarius gets down to the knitty gritty and effects real change. However, before they can make an impact on the world, they must at first see it. An Aquarius is by no means ignorant of that fact.

When an Aquarius travels, they take note of every single detail and attempt to get to know each location as though they themselves are locals. They’re not superficial vacationers; they’re soul-searching revolutionaries, here to take their humanity to the next level.

30 Things You Can Do To Relax In Under 5 Minutes

With the busyness that today’s world brings with smartphones continuously pinging and technological noise coming at us from every direction, it can all get a little overwhelming. And that’s with just having to deal with your social media accounts, what more work? These days, people need ways to relax, albeit quickly. And while not everyone can afford to take a vacation, there are a few ways to get through the day without wanting to pull your hair out or scream at your next-door cubicle neighbor.

Take a look at these 5-minute relaxation techniques that can help you make it happily through the day and actually find a short moment of relaxation and peace.

JUST BREATHE

It may sound simple, but the art of breathing in and out slowly not only helps lower blood pressure, it truly helps clear the mind. This would explain why ‘taking a breather’ is so common, because sometimes removing yourself from a rather stressful environment and literally breathing in and out can make a world of difference.

TAKE A WALK

No matter what kind of situation you’re in, or whether you just need some fresh air, taking a much-needed walk outside can work wonders. By stepping out of certain annoying situations, a 5 minute walk to just leave your troubles behind for a minute, or five, will allow you to get back in the saddle on a higher note.

TURN UP THE VOLUME

Listening to your favorite music can really help take the edge off for a few minutes. Whether you prefer rock, pop, jazz or classical, hearing a few chords of what you consider soothing can help you take your mind of the negative and come back more positive than before.

HAND PRESSURE POINTS

5 minutes are surely not enough to get that full body massage you’ve been dreaming about for so long. But figuring out where your hand pressure points are can do the trick in the meantime. These so-called points are connected to key areas in the body, so depending on what needs more focus, or more relaxation, then that’s where you should apply the pressure. May sound simple, but it works.

DRINK A CUP OF TEA

It’s been said that tea soothes the soul, and we can’t help but agree. There’s nothing like a warm cup of something soothing and tasty that feels like it flows into all the parts of the body as it slips down the throat. Another upside, there are hundreds of flavors to choose from, custom make your own relaxation medley for that perfect cup.

TAKE A SHOWER

Just like a cup of tea, showers have an incredible way of easing your body, soul and mind, especially when it’s a warm one. And the beauty in it is that 5 minutes may be the only time you need to clear your mind, soothe the body and rest your soul.

SNIFF SOME HAPPINESS

There’s a reason why aromatherapy has become all the rage. Smelling some fresh citrus smells or comforting woodsy scents can trigger much needed calming emotions in the brain. Plus having such a large array of scents to choose from means that you can sniff something new everyday.

CALL A FRIEND

Have you ever noticed what a mood lifter it is after you’ve had a chat with your best friend? That’s probably because you can be yourself, talk your mind, not hold back yet not get judged for anything that comes out of your mouth. True friends will always understand that you just may say something you don’t mean and need to take back, it happens to the best of us.

CUDDLE A PET

There’s a reason why dogs are called ‘man’s best friend.’ There’s nothing like taking your cuddly and furry little friend into your arms, feeling warmth and complete acceptance in the paws of something so cute. This is why people with depression are encouraged to get a pet, they help alleviate feelings of loneliness, sadness and anxiety.

EAT SOME CHOCOLATE

Chocolate, dark chocolate to be exact, releases the same endorphins in your brain that make you happy. In fact, it’s even said that chocolate can help your brain work better. So the next time that you need a little bit of joy, or a new idea, make sure you have a chunk of dark chocolate to nibble on.

MEDITATE

The beauty in meditation is that you don’t need anything but yourself, some quiet and the ability to focus. The next time things are getting to you, find a space on the floor, sit down in a comfortable position and try to empty the mind. It’s amazing what kind of clarity can come from 5 minutes of basic stillness and ‘non-thinking.’

TAKE IT OUT ON A STRESS BALL

Stress balls come in all different shapes and sizes, scents and smells, and even textures. When you feel that tension building up in your shoulders and need to do something to release it, take it out on a stress ball. It’s amazing just how much feeling can go into squeezing a little ball of polyurethane foam rubber, and what’s even more amazing is just how much that little ball can take.

Science Explains How Staying Near Water Can Change Health Positively

People associate water with calm, relaxation and connection. In fact, when taking vacations, spending a day at the beach is often included on the to do list.

We often see large crowd of people gathered at the beach, by the lake, or at the waterfalls than we do in the mountains. This is how we can see the magical effect of the water element has on people.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols said that we have a “blue mind” that he describes as a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, a sense of happiness and a satisfaction with life at the moment, which are all triggered when we’re in or near water.

Water has a positive effect on our brains due to its simplicity. It’s a kind of break our brain needs from the clutter it has always been exposed to.

By gazing at the blue sea or serene lake, our thoughts suddenly pause for a while from all the overstimulation. Even listening to the sounds of a running brook or splashing waves can turn our minds into a relaxed and hypnotic like state.

Aside from the transformative and healing effects water has on us, it also boosts our mental health and enhances our well being.

6 Ways Staying Near Water Can Affect Your Health:

1. Water calms your mind.

Water can calm your mind not only through observation but also through listening to the sounds of different water forms.

Listening to the sound of the crashing waves by the sea alters your brain’s wave patterns and induces a meditative state. Observing the water’s movement also calms your mind.

When your mind is in a state of calm, your stress levels drop, and your mind becomes much clearer.

2. Water helps you to get creative.

Because staying near water promotes a relaxed state of mind, your brain opens up to more inspiration and creativity.

Great insights only come up when your mind is switched off from overstimulation. And water has the ability to naturally get your focus off from that million thoughts.

3. Water amazes you in unexpected ways.

By simply observing water that cascades over a lofty waterfall, you can’t help yourself but be amazed and feel a sense of awe.

Recent studies that explored the feelings of awe found the connection between the experience of awe and an enhanced critical and creative thinking faculties.

By being in a state of awe, you immerse yourself in the present moment.

4. Water amplifies the benefits you get from exercise.

Water alone has its own benefits. When combined with exercise, like running or walking by the sea, you’re increasing ten folds the benefits that you reap.

It’s because you’re surrounded by an environment that triggers a more positive benefit to exercising and increases the negative ions into your system.

5. Water provides you more negative ions.

The positive and negative ions have an influence on how we feel.

Positive ions emitted by electrical appliances, like computers and microwaves, drain our natural energy. On the other hand, negative ions that are generated by water forms, like waterfalls, ocean waves, and thunderstorms, enable us to absorb oxygen much quickly.

Negative ions help us balance our serotonin levels and rejuvenates our mind, making us more alert and focused.

6. Water revitalizes your body.

When you submerge yourself in a sea or lake, the natural water revitalizes your body. The cold chill of the water soothes and treats your nerves while refreshing your body and stimulating your mind.

A warm water relaxes your muscles and eases your body of tensions.

If you’re feeling out of the blue, treat your blue mind with a blue space.

Whether you choose to be in the sea or be at your locality’s fountain, your brain is sure to achieve a mental clarity and you will have that extra dose of a sense of well being.