Yes, I am an Adrenaline Junkie!

I am a walking contradiction in the sense that I love both adrenaline, but also I fall fool for romantic things. It may be connected to the fact that I like living everything with passion and intensity, so then pumping up some adrenaline just comes naturally.

Therefore, I thought I would mark down my top five adrenaline sweethearts in Europe (subjective view of course, and also from what I have experienced and I am aware of). So here it goes:

1. Sky diving in Interlaken – the mountains and the lake view is absolutely breath-taking. I believe Switzerland is one of the best places to jump with the parachute if you ever want to do it or go paragliding because the scenery is something spectacular indeed. (pending for me)
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2. Ride Europe’s tallest/longest/fastest rollercoasters (completed all of them)
a) Shambhala coaster in PortAventura – Barcelona (tallest & steepest slope) – you just have to try this one! It is unforgettable – truly unique freedom experience!
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b) Silver Start Mercedes Benz in Europa Park (longest/steep slope) – breathtaking coaster!
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c) Blue Ride in Europa Park (fastest start: goes from 0 to 100km in 2.3 seconds) – simply awesome feeling I would describe it!!!
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d) Hollywood Tower in Disneyland Paris (best free-fall coaster)
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3. The 007 Golden Eye Bungee Jump in Ticino, Switzerland, next to Lago Maggiore (pending for me) – this is the one that I am most nervous about, but it is a must-do! My friend, Ella, told me about it and since then I am building up courage to do it 🙂
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4. Fly pulley/Zip line (pending for me)
There are two spots I would like to try: one is over a valley near Lake Como (www.flyemotion.it) and the other one is over a village/valley and it is 1440m long (it is called Volo D’Angello: http://www.latitudeslife.com/2011/11/volo-dangelo-adrenalina-pura/)
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5. White Water Rafting (pending for me)
Some people naturally feel more comfortable on the water than they do on land and that is me :), so white water rafting on fast flowing river rapids is something that I would really want to try. Some best fast flowing waters are in the Alps. During the spring, as all the ice starts to melt quickly, the rivers rapidly fill up creating quite a torrent. For some of the most breathtaking settings for white water rafting, Switzerland is no. 1 for sure:)
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So this is my short term adrenaline fav list so far! I hope to cross off the list what’s pending in max 1 year! 🙂 Would you be up to any of the adventures above?

My winter slim fit nutritional diet

photo meIf during summer time I go for the strawberry, raspberries & watermelon detox, in winter I always choose something more nutritional to built up my resistance, but also keep a healthy/slim body.

Last winter I found this Japanese Morning Banana diet that worked out very well for me. Also, together with regular gym exercising (2-3 times per week), it helped me tone for my kite-surfing trip in Boracay (kite surf strength and beach body), so I decided to do it again this autumn/winter season. Just in case I end up somewhere sunny 🙂

So here it goes:

Eat a banana for breakfast!

  • You can eat more than one, like two, but don’t stuff yourself to the point of fullness or discomfort.
  • Eat only raw, uncooked, unfrozen bananas.
  • If you are still hungry 15 or 30 minutes after your banana, you can eat other food like oatmeal, muesli, yoghurt. It must be light however.

Eat normally for lunch and dinner

  • Dinner must be eaten by 8 p.m. at the latest (6 p.m. is better).
  • There are no explicit limits on the types of food you can eat for lunch and dinner, or the amount. But avoid friend, lot of bread, lot of carbs – eat in moderation and healthy. Also avoid strict food rules to prevent a sense of deprivation.
  • However, you should not eat a dessert with dinner or any of your meals; you’ll need to satisfy your sweet tooth during a snack, but we’ll get to that later.
  • At all meals you should eat only until you’re satisfied but not full or stuffed. T

Drink only water

  • The only beverage allowed at most meals is water, preferably mineral or filtered.
  • There is no quota of water to drink, and you should not drink it in excess.
  • Outside of meals non-caloric beverages like tea, coffee, and diet soda are generally allowed but somewhat frowned upon, and in general water is encouraged as much as possible; frequent consumption of milk products is discouraged.
  • On social occasions you can drink wine.

Exercise! But only as much as you feel comfortable to

    • Put no pressure on yourself to exercise.
    • If you want to exercise, go ahead: the test is to do what puts the least stress on you.
    • Try to get some walking in every day if possible (but again, don’t force yourself if it stresses you out).

So this is it. If you want, try it out, and I’m sure you will see results in the first week! 🙂

What happy people do differently

It happened to me several times that I was asked how come I always keep positive or happy no matter what life throws at me. This was both in the office or in my personal life. My nicknames went from “trouble maker” to “yes, woman” to “Hollywood” and so on… The truth is, I do get sad or stressed many times as an instinct but it lasts little because then I realize that a low mood will never move me forward nor solve anything going less fortunate in my life. So, every time, I just prefer to take a deep breath, lift my head up, hope for the best, learn from the unfortunate or challenge my skills to overcome it…and joke…and smile. My sense of humor helped me always even in the lowest points of my life. I recommend it 🙂

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Because more often than not happiness is a choice. And happy people do things differently, better, are healthier and manage to get more of what they want in their lives. Below there are a few aspects of life in which happy people just make better emotional choices that lead to a calmer/better life overall.

LOVE vs. FEAR & HATE. People who are really happy fear less and love more. They see each moment, each challenge, and each person as an opportunity to discover more about themselves and the world around them. Hate is non-existent.

ACCEPTANCE vs. RESISTANCE. Happy people understand that you can’t really change a situation by resisting it, but you can change it by accepting that it’s there. More so, happy people strive for understanding that there might be a reason for its existence. When something unpleasant happens to happy people, they don’t try to fight it, knowing a fight will make the situation worse. Instead, they ask themselves questions like: What can I learn from this? and how can I make this better? They focus on the positive rather than the negative.

FORGIVENESS vs. UNFORGIVENESS. Happy people know it’s not healthy to hold onto anger. They choose to forgive and move forward, understanding that forgiveness is a gift they give themselves.

TRUST vs. DOUBT. Happy people trust themselves. No matter who they encounter, they strive to make the person they’re interacting with feel important. They understand that beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies, and because of that, they make sure to treat everybody with love, dignity, and respect.

MEANING & PURPOSE vs. AMBITION. Happy people do the things they do because of the meaning it brings into their lives; it gives them purpose. By doing so, they often reach both meaning and success, just because they focus on doing things they love. Money is not a sole motivator.

PRAISING vs. CRITICIZING. Happy people reinforce positive behavior in themselves and other people, and because of that, they often get wanted results.

CHALLENGES vs. PROBLEMS. Happy people see problems as challenges; as opportunities to explore new ways of doing things. They acknowledge even difficult challenges help them grow.

SELFLESSNESS vs. SELFISHNESS. Happy people do things for the good of others. They look for ways to give and share, helping others become happy.

ABUNDANCE vs. LACK/POVERTY. Happy people have an abundant mindset living a balanced life, achieving abundance in all areas of life.

DREAMING BIG vs. BEING REALISTIC. Happy people don’t really care about being realistic. They dare to dream big, listening to their heart and inner intuition. They don’t fear taking risks.

KINDNESS vs. CRUELTY. Happy people are kind to themselves and others. They understand the power of self-love, self-forgiveness, and self-acceptance.

GRATITUDE vs. INGRATITUDE. No matter the circumstance, happy people have the capacity to see beauty, opportunity, abundance, and gratitude. They don’t see the ugly in things.

PRESENCE/ENGAGEMENT vs. DISENGAGEMENT. Happy people know how to live in the present and appreciate what they have and where they are. At the same time, they are still forward thinking, planning for a successful future.

POSITIVITY vs. NEGATIVITY. No matter what happens, happy people strive to keep a positive perspective on things. They are very serious about surrounding their inner-self with peace and harmony.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY vs. BLAMING. Happy people take ownership over their lives and rarely use excuses. They understand that the moment you choose to blame an outside force, you are surrendering your power. Blame is a form of weakness.

So how about a conceptual change when bad things happen in life and shift the thinking towards positivism and learning with thoughts like: “I’ll make it”, “It will be ok!”, “What can I learn from this?” and so on? 🙂

My BASICS of style

There are some key starting points that every woman should take into consideration when shopping to suit one’s style.

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Throughout the years I realized that you must be a smart fashion shopper in order to keep the pace with the fast-fashion trends resulting into changes of collections every month for every brand. It can become overwhelming and you can easily waste a lot of money on many unnecessary items. And honestly, since I live in Switzerland, smart shopping became a must at these high prices! 🙂

Therefore, I believe the below basic simple guidelines should always be considered when shopping for a new season.

The feel good factor
It’s important for you to feel good about what you wear and not just follow trends for the sake of it. Your clothes are really your ‘second skin’ so to speak so it’s important that you feel good in it!

However, you might argue that there are always problem areas of body vs. ‘body type’. Many magazines and books will tell you that you should only shop for clothes which suit your body type i.e. shop appropriately for the pear shape etc. While this is of course true to a certain extent, it’s also important not to get too obsessed by your body shape and the restrictions it may place on you. The same can be said about colors depending on your skin tone. I think the most important thing to pay special attention to is what suits your body shape but not according to the ‘rules’ which govern the different body shapes. Not one of us fits the atypical body shape e.g. of a pear (small waisted, shoulders and bust not as wide as hips and bottom and thighs are quite rounded).

What you need to focus on are some of the ‘problem areas’ of your body and work on ways to address those issues.

The importance of neutral colors and simple/classical in your wardrobe
Trend or accent colors are of course good to have in your wardrobe. However, don’t go overboard with your purchases in this area as trend colors are exactly that….just trends. They are the type of pieces that could quickly go out of fashion or you may simply don’t like them anymore at some point. As a result, makes more sense to have more classic items in neutral colors so that you can mix and match (with your statement colours) most effectively. In this way, you’ll be able to create more outfits.

Accessorize!!!
The importance of accessories! It’s important to remember that accessories can really give a personal or statement touch to an outfit and at the same time, help you to re-create outfits for very different looks. So next time you go shopping look for necklaces, bangles, bags, bracelets, scarves and shoes etc. You’ll be amazed how many different looks can be accomplished with the same items reshuffled!

The above represents just a framework for surfing for your style and shopping efficiently. I believe these three simple rules truly help at the foundation of ones wardrobe every season. Happy Styling for autumn/winter! 🙂

Happiness: 10 Fascinating Facts I Came Across

Happiness is not a given…you must inherently CREATE it in any context as you go through life. Yesterday, I was reading a few articles and recent studies about what effect happiness has on our body, health and life in general. You might say this is fairytales, but I will prove it in the below it is not, as honestly happiness is not about sitting around and waiting for it to happen out of the blue. As I said you built happiness with pieces and bits of your reactions to the outside world and happenings in your life. The outside world you can’t control and most of the time it is neither pretty nor prefect, but your reactions, that is something you can control.

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So below is what I came across when it comes to happiness:

1. Happiness activates the whole body

Unlike thoughts, the emotions don’t live entirely in the mind, they are also associated with bodily sensations.

Thanks to a new study, for the first time we now have a map of the links between emotions and bodily sensations. Finnish researchers induced different emotions in 701 participants and then got them to colour in a body map of where they felt increasing or decreasing activity.

Below are the body maps for six basic emotions.

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Yellow indicates the highest level of activity, followed by red. Black is neutral, while blue and light blue indicate lowered and very low activity respectively.

It’s fascinating that happiness is the one emotion that fills the whole body with activity, including the legs, perhaps indicating that happy people feel ready to spring into action, or maybe do a jig.

2. Happiness changes our genetic code

The right kind of happiness doesn’t just feel great, it also benefits the body, right down to its instructional code.

A recent study examined the pattern of gene expression within the cells responsible for fighting off infectious diseases and defending the body against foreign materials. Among people experiencing higher levels of ‘doing good’ happiness, there was a stronger expression of antibody and antiviral genes. Pretty cool, right?

While doing good and feeling good both make us feel happy, it’s doing good that benefits us at the genetic level.

3. People are happier when they do the right thing

What has happened to people’s happiness all around the world as they’ve faced the economic crisis? How have they coped with job losses, less money coming in, the sense of despair and lack of control over a nightmare that seems to have no end? One answer is: some have pulled together.

Data from 255 metropolitan areas across the US found that communities that pull together — essentially doing nice little things for each other like volunteering and helping a neighbor out — are happier. Now this is where it is proved that optimism under any circumstance benefits us.

4. Act like an extrovert — even if you are an introvert

Acting like an extrovert — even if you are an introvert — makes people all around the world feel happier, recent research suggests.

The findings come from surveys of hundreds of people in the US, Venezuela, the Philippines, China and Japan. Across the board, people reported that they felt more positive emotions in daily situations where they either acted or felt more extroverted. Participants in the study were told to act in an outgoing way for 10 minutes and then report how it made them feel. Even among introverts — people who typically prefer solitary activities — acting in an extroverted way gave them a boost of happiness.

5. Happiness is contagious online

Emotions expressed online — both positive and negative — are contagious, a new study concludes. One of the largest ever studies of Facebook examined the emotional content of one billion posts over two years. Software was used to analyze the emotional content of each post. It turned out that positive emotions spread more strongly than the negative, with positive messages being more strongly contagious then negative.

6. Ageing changes what makes you happy

With increasing age, people get more pleasure out of everyday experiences. I guess it is about appreciating really life… we get to learn that with experience. A recent study asked over 200 people between the ages of 19 and 79 about happy experiences they’d had that were both ordinary and extraordinary. Across all the age-groups in the study, people found pleasure in all sorts of experiences; both ordinary and extraordinary. But it was older people who managed to extract more pleasure from relatively ordinary experiences. They got more pleasure out of spending time with their family, from the look on someone’s face or a walk in the park. Younger people, meanwhile, defined themselves more by extraordinary experiences.

7. Why materialistic people are less happy (a watch-out for many I would say!!!)

The reason that materialistic people are less happy is that a focus on what you want — and therefore don’t currently have — makes it more difficult to appreciate what you already have. A recent study found that materialists also feel less gratitude which, in turn, is associated with lower levels of life satisfaction.
The study quotes the words of Greek philosopher Epicurus, who said: “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

By law, all credit cards should have this quote across the front in fluorescent pink :))

8. The power of social connections

Relationships have stronger associations with happiness than academic achievement, according to a recent study. While strong social relationships in childhood and adolescence were associated with happier adults, the associations with academic achievement were much lower.

It seems that all the education in the world won’t necessarily teach you much about what it means to be happy, in either the emotional or philosophical sense.

9. Goals that lead to happiness

Surprisingly, people are often wrong about the type of goals that will make them happiest. New research suggests that certain concrete goals for happiness work better than abstract goals. The study found that acts performed in the service of a concrete goal (making someone smile) made the givers themselves feel happier than an abstract goal (making someone happy). By thinking in concrete ways about our goals for happiness, we can minimize the gap between our expectations and what is actually possible.

10. Unexpected pleasure from everyday moments

Everyday experiences can provide unexpected joy down the line, new psychological research finds.

In one study, 135 students were asked to create a time capsule at the start of the summer which included:
◾a recent conversation,
◾the last social event they’d attended,
◾an extract from a paper they’d written,
◾and three favourite songs.

At the time, they also predicted how they’d feel about these items when they opened the capsule three months later. Despite being relatively mundane, the students significantly under-estimated how surprised and curious they would be when they opened it. The study is a reminder of how we tend to undervalue the happiness we can get from everyday events.

Source of data: Psyblog

So, why not make a little happy time capsule today and built your life this way no matter what it throws at you? 🙂

Original sin

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I don’t know how or why
But I was tempted
To sip a delicious time
From a glass of sin.
I obeyed,
I tasted in reluctance,
And I was shuddered,
As it was bitter sweet.
I did not expect to like it.
But since that day,
I remained with silent lips…
And I kept silent.
As I was wondering:
“What would have happened if during
that sip I would have tasted
the flavor of his soul?”

When “unhappiness” should be a source of inspiration

photoI don’t believe in unhappiness, I believe in evolution. I believe every unfortunate or painful event lived should be regarded as an opportunity to take something good or useful out of it in order to grow and become a better self or develop better reactions to happenings in one’s life. I have been rock bottom several times, I have lived less happily ever after events, but I never saw it useful to stay sad, depressed, lament or be hopeless. I get mad, I let it out and then I stand up, understand my lesson, acknowledge it, gather the broken pieces and move on.

Life more often then not will give you lemons, and this is because as humans we live to always learn and grow. There is no end to it, and one should accept this. You are not born WITH IT…the HAPPINESS or the happy ending. There is no such thing as a happy ending…as when life ends…you actually seize to exist and that is not the point of living. So stop waiting or looking for that happy ending. Embrace the journey, as life is indeed a journey with events that you create by the way you react to what is happening around you.

There is one important thing I have learned and that is we are not in control of the things surrounding us, events, people, and so on (the context so to say of our living), but what we can control is our REACTION to things, people, happenings. Now if we manage to turn around any unfortunate event, and control our reaction to it, we might be happier, enrich our life, and not be easily put down by less fortunate incidents.

Most of us love complaining about how hard it gets sometimes and there are times we are stuck in points of low mood and depression. However, we need to train ourselves to respond differently when it gets tough. “Complaining” is not a verb of movement, so it will not change the things for us in better, it is static. Now a verb like, “move on” implies an action which may lead to moving to a different point of reference and a change in the atmosphere around us. Makes simple sense, right?

In the end, I believe “unhappiness” should be an INSPIRATION for any woman who does not like to victimize herself. The pain is sometimes there to remind you better times are coming that we need to appreciate and the hard times are there to grow, and develop us, shape us into better versions of ourselves. Just sayin’…