Read more to hear how I found my grandfather through a simple mail-in DNA test!
It all started a few months ago when my mom bought me an Ancestry DNA kit. If you don't know about this company; they basically send you a tube in the mail, which you then fill with your saliva (gross I know) and then you mail it back to them and boom! A few weeks later you receive results through an online account showing your DNA matches, as well as your full ethnicity background.
So, I did the deed, sent in the tube and received my results about a month later. I was excited to see my ethnicity background because, my dad has never known who his father was. So, therefore I have never known about 1/2 of my DNA. The results told me that I am 52% British, 26% Scandinavian, 11% Western European and 9% Scottish. Pretty accurate, huh? So, that made me happy and then I basically forgot about it for a few weeks.
One day, I decided to look on my Ancestry account for fun and see what else was on there. I saw a tab that said "DNA Matches". It sounded intriguing so I clicked on it and what I saw next was not what I had expected. There was a random man's name on there who I had never heard of before. It stated that he was a "very close DNA match" to me. As soon as I read this I had the craziest feeling that this man could be my grandfather. Then I realized it wasn't that easy, and gave up the idea.
Have you ever noticed that most people care a hell of a lot what others think of them? Humans naturally posses this quality that makes them want to please others by being liked and accepted. As I have grown to the ripe age of 20, I have come to the realization that the first person I should worry about pleasing, is myself.
Now I am not saying that you should do things that will harm or disrupt others just to please yourself. I am saying that, we as humans need to judge and worry about other people less and focus on ourselves more. This really is the KEY TO HAPPINESS. Take me for example: I used to be very self conscious of myself because I felt that other people were judging me for my actions, as well as appearance. I would always try to "do the cool thing" and focus on other people's happiness and try to please them. Ridiculous, I know! This is something that I have come to realize, many people struggle with.
When I graduated high school two years ago, I decided it was finally time to take my happiness into my own hands (as it should be) and live the life that I want to. I stopped worrying about what other people would think of me, and started focusing on what I think about myself. I have been able to learn and grow as a person because I have allowed myself to live my life without worrying about the judgment of others.
Everyone should be able to feel the freedom of wearing what you want, doing what you want, working where you want, eating what you want, traveling where you want and loving whoever you want!!
"Care about what other people think, and you will always be their prisoner." -Lao Tzu
I bought a denim jacket from a thrift store and decided to do a fun and easy DIY to give the jacket more life for it's new home! I hope you get some inspiration!
Up-cycled denim jacket (better to get a used one to help the environment), Sponge applicator, paint brushes, tape, fabric paint, fabric marker and a stencil of your choice. (I got mine on Amazon for $5)
1. Improves mental well being through stress-relief. Have you ever felt so stressed that you wanted to curl up in a ball and never come out? I know I have.. Yoga has helped me immensely to relieve stress. This is because Yoga involves focusing on your breathing patterns and body movements, which calms the mind while relieving tension in the body. Practicing yoga frequently may help you to relieve stress not only during yoga, but in all aspects of your life.
2. May ease anxiety and depression. This is because yoga helps to relax your stress response system through deep breathing, relaxation, meditation and stretching. These activities will all ease your mind, thus helping you to get through your anxiety and depression. This has been proven through many studies on yoga, so I would highly suggest trying it out whether you are dealing with these problems or not!
3. May lessen chronic pain. Through the many stretches and relaxation techniques in yoga, it may help to lessen your chronic pain levels. Pains such as: lower back, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel may improve with the practice of yoga weekly.
4. Will help to maintain a balanced metabolism and speed up fat burning. Many yoga poses such as the "Twisted Chair pose" or the "Eagle Pose", use many muscles all at once in your body, which aides in increasing the fat burning process, while improving your metabolism. These two poses will also energize your body and aide in digestion.
5. Build muscle and increase flexibility. Regular use of yoga stretches and poses will give your body the ability to push itself further, while building muscle mass. Many poses involve some tricky movements, but after a few weeks of yogic stretching, you will feel your body become more and more flexible. Holding each pose for a minute or longer at a time really works your muscles and will help to strengthen them immensely.
Thank you for reading! Remember when practicing yoga, you need to be in a state of mindfulness in order to reach your full potential. Focus on your breathing and push negative thoughts away and you will love it!
I have been a vegetarian for about 4 years now and I constantly get a lot of questions from many people who are curious about it. I really love being vegetarian and would recommend it to anyone! I am going to answer some of those for anyone who may be interested in becoming vegetarian. (Which is a diet consisting of everything EXCEPT for animal meat/meat by products)
I hope you enjoyed and possibly learned something new!
As far as New Year's resolutions and goals go, I think that most of the time we don't actually complete the goals we set for ourselves each year. This could be due to our laziness as a society or even a lack of clarity in what goal it is that we want to achieve.
I personally never usually set goals for myself when the year starts. This year however, I want to try it and see how it goes. I also want to challenge you as you are reading this to start thinking of a 2018 goal that you wish to achieve.
Goals of course must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and fall under a certain time frame. And you are probably saying "duh, I knew this", but I think this is why most goals do not get completed, due to us not making a set plan that is realistic enough that we will actually achieve our goals.
I am going to post one of my goals for the year as an example.
My goal: I want to be able to run one mile in 9 minutes or less by the end of 2018. This is a specific goal that is measurable (by stating it is one mile), it's attainable (because I can run at my local gym), it's realistic (because I run multiple times per week) and it falls under an exact time frame (by the end of the year).
I suggest writing out your goal somewhere that you will consistently see it throughout the year, so that you do not forget about it. Of course if new year goals are not for you, you could say screw it and stick to your routine! I think that goals are helpful in keeping us always working toward that end result. I know that when I accomplish my goal, it will feel amazing to prove to myself that I can accomplish anything with hard work. I would start by writing a small goal that you know you can complete and then also write down a major goal that will make you push yourself. This way you can see just how much you are capable of.
As always, I hope this brings you something to get your brain rolling and motivate you!
Stay humble, Mads.
Many people think that they constantly need to rush through life. Sure, there's a lot to experience in the world and a lot to get done in our daily lives, but do you ever pause to take time for yourself?
I have always been someone with a full calendar 24/7 and I would never take time to relax and just enjoy the moment. I have realized since starting college and seeing just how fast life moves, that self care should be very high up on my to-do list.
I have been better at self-care and taking time for myself in the past year in my life than ever before, because of a few key things I have added to my to-do list.
1. Write in a journal.
Writing in a journal to some may seem silly or a waste of time. I have found from my own experience and the opinions of others, that writing in a journal is a very great way to spend a little time each day to relax and reflect. Whether you write down what you are grateful for, your goals, your accomplishments of the day, or even just want to blow off a little steam about something, write it down. Writing down your emotions and feelings can actually help you to understand them more clearly and improve your mental health. For me, it is very relaxing and I think that it could highly benefit everyone.
2. Take time to reflect.
Whether you go up into the mountains, sit on a bench at the park or even sit in your room and stare at the ceiling; taking time to reflect and just breathe is always a great way to soothe your soul. I can't stress enough how important it is to sit back and just think about your life. You can use this time to think about your relationships and how you can better them, or even to decide if you may have some relationships that need to be cut off in order for you to grow as a person. You could use this time to analyze experiences that you have had or are going through. This is a very great way to truly think about your life and in my opinion, is the best way to figure out what you need to change, in order to be fulfilled with your life and the choices that you are making.
3. Take baths, lots of them.
Taking a bath is a very simple way to calm your mind and body. Draw a warm bath, pour in 2 cups of lavender Epsom salt, light a candle and prepare for a relaxing experience. I always took baths as a child and played with barbie dolls and what not, but it wasn't until I was about 16 that I realized the amazing relaxation that can come from a hot bath. It is a great way to have some alone time while your body relaxes and your mind clears. Forget about your work schedule, your to-do list and your worries for twenty minutes. Trust me when I say, it is amazing for your mental health.
4. Do something artistic.
Art, believe it or not, is used as a form of therapy for many people. You can paint a picture, sketch a drawing, write a poem, take pictures, make a collage, dance, anything that you want! Bottom line, when you do something creative, it really gets your mind flowing and not only opens your mind, but can be very calming. It does not matter whether you are "good" at art. Everyone starts somewhere and any art, whether considered to be "good or bad", will bring you a calmness of mind. My personal favorite is to go on YouTube, look up "art tutorial", and there are TONS of videos that you can follow along and create an amazing painting that you had no idea you could accomplish.
These are just a few ideas of ways to take time to yourself, while relaxing your mind and body. Mental health is very important, don't forget that. Hope you enjoyed!
Tip of the week:
Treat others how you want to be treated.
Quote of the week:
"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."