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The Ultimate Guide To Becoming a Happier You!

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Do you aim to live a happier life? With the day to day stresses of careers, relationships and the weight of the world around us, it seems becoming at peace with ourselves is a never ending battle. Follow our guide to get you living and becoming a happier you!

1. Stop worrying

Stress is a main factor that tends to spiral us into depression. Everyday, thoughts are accumulating a mile a minute and our brains never catch a break.

Try to save, set achievable goals and worry less about the things  you do not have yet.

Once you start focusing on the good in your life, you allow yourself the freedom to think positive and enter a grateful and happier space. Remember: there is power is in the tongue; start speaking greatness and abundance into your world.

work out

2. Develop Stress Relievers

Combat any stress that you have with stress relieving tactics. Join a local soul cycle class, boot camps, organize a weekly work out routine, dance like no one is watching and even include lots of sex into your happy diet regime. They all help release much needed endorphins!

Endorphins are brain chemicals that release a feeling of well being and happiness through exercising, excitement, pain, spicy food consumption, love and sexual activity. So get to it!

let go

3. Learn How To Forgive (And Let Go)

Sometimes the main component contributing to our sadness, are the situations and people we can't let go. As influential our friends and relationships are to our well being, it's vital to have a forgiving heart in order to experience the highest element of happiness.

If someone has hurt you, make it a life mission to forgive them. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and puts obstacles in our path. What determines how you survive and who you become depends on how well you train your heart to overcome each unpleasant situation. Learn to forgive and move on!

negative thoughts

4. Counteract Negative Thoughts With Positive Ones

If you're embarking on a spiritual journey or have ever watched the movie, The Secret, then you know there is unlimited power in your thoughts and tongue. Often times we encounter a million of useless thoughts—whether it be those of fear or doubt, manifesting our thoughts into actions. Learn how to separate what is true from what is not. Prepare yourself to put positive thoughts into the universe that will cater to your destiny.

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5. Participate In Life

Hiding behind four walls, or engaging constantly on twitter, vine and IG won't lead you to an abundant and happy life. Throw all of your social gadgets away once in awhile and start participating in this thing called LIFE.

Get a karaokee team, visit an opera for the first time, travel, be silly, do something that excites you without feeling compelled to capture it for the world to see. Start living a genuine life where you're involved and enjoying it for yourself. Not for "likes."

 

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6. Laugh More

Everyone knows how positive emotions work. First comes a happy feeling, followed by a smile or a laugh. Pretty simple right? But did you know laughter relaxes the whole body, relieving physical tension and stress. Your muscles are left relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. It also decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, which improves your resistance to diseases. Also laughing protects the heart and is another technique to releasing endorphins, that promote an overall sense of well-being!

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7. Foster Strong Friendships and Relationships

Having positive people in your corner can contribute to a flowing release of good emotions. You need to develop strong relationships with other people to assist you through pivotal and tumultuous times in life. Positive human interaction is important to successful living, so if you are anti-social or surrounded by negativity then you may want to make the effort for change.

giving back

8. Do Something Meaningful

I don't know about you, but the best part of Christmas isn't the receiving, it's giving. Spending your hard earned money on gifts that you know will make others happy. That same spirit should be applied to other facets of life. We all have a purpose here, and being valuable to someone or something is just one of them. You'll be a happier person learning the art of giving back and doing things for a good cause.

praying

9. Pray and Meditate

Studies continue to show that those who pray or are religious lead to better health and longer life.

Prayer and meditation allows you to clear your mind, casting out your worries and endless thoughts; even if it's for the time being. Developing a strong prayer and meditation routine provides clarity and a effective way to control your negative thinking. By spending some time in personal reflection, you'll gain a greater wisdom of your mission in life, concentration and produce deeper levels of gratitude.

By spending some time in personal reflection, you’ll gain a greater wisdom of your mission in this life, and you’ll be better able to appreciate all that you’ve been given, both good and bad. - See more at: http://evagregory.com/the-benefits-of-meditation-and-prayer-in-everyday-life/#sthash.HWfSecm4.dpuf

Both peace of mind and happiness are true benefits of meditation and prayer. Everyone is seeking happiness in their lives, and when you’re able to find peace of mind through prayer and meditation, you’re also welcoming happiness into your life.

By spending some time in personal reflection, you’ll gain a greater wisdom of your mission in this life, and you’ll be better able to appreciate all that you’ve been given, both good and bad. Meditation and prayer help banish those negative thoughts that threaten your peace of mind.

- See more at: http://evagregory.com/the-benefits-of-meditation-and-prayer-in-everyday-life/#sthash.HWfSecm4.dpuf

Both peace of mind and happiness are true benefits of meditation and prayer. Everyone is seeking happiness in their lives, and when you’re able to find peace of mind through prayer and meditation, you’re also welcoming happiness into your life.

By spending some time in personal reflection, you’ll gain a greater wisdom of your mission in this life, and you’ll be better able to appreciate all that you’ve been given, both good and bad. Meditation and prayer help banish those negative thoughts that threaten your peace of mind.

- See more at: http://evagregory.com/the-benefits-of-meditation-and-prayer-in-everyday-life/#sthash.HWfSecm4.dpuf

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10. Eat Healthier and Take Vitamins

On the road to happiness, maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes being cautious of what you are downloading into your body. We are not only what we eat, but certain foods tweak our brain chemistry to help us stay happy, energized and even calm.  According to Elizabeth Somner, author of Eat Your Way To Happiness, foods have the power to significantly boost your mood and alter your stress levels.

Why do we have an attraction to sweets? Because they raise levels of those brain chemicals called endorphins. Chocolates boost levels of brain chemicals that give us a euphoric or "in love" feeling, similar to the fats in fish, which can result in a feeling of happier or smart. However, bad fats in meat clog our blood vessels in the brain, which tends to muddle our thinking and overall mood. Eat smart.

blue

11. Surround Yourself With The Color Blue

Colors play an important role in brain identity—it can ignite emotions, draw consumers to products and impact our brain recognition. Red, yellow and orange, are used to evoke feelings of happiness, optimism, energy and hunger.

According to studies, blue evokes feelings of calmness and spirituality as well as security and trust. Seeing this color causes the bod to create chemicals that are calming. Hence the connected feeling you receive when sitting by the ocean or staring into the sky.

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12. Take Sleep Seriously

Who has time to sleep, these days? Well, you'd be happy to know that research shows more people would be happier, healthier and safer if they acquired the appropriate amount of sleep every night. Sleep improves memory, increases our ability to concentrate, strengthens the immune system, and decreases risk of being killed in accidents. And it's all for the price of nothing! A happier you, completely free.

outside

13. Enjoy The Outdoors

Sometimes it's hard pulling away from the weekly sitcoms and dramas! After work, we'd like nothing more than to catch up on our favorite programs. Subconsciously and often times, we're just uprooting our stress to watching someone else's. Step away from your television more, and enjoy the outdoors, whether it's going for a nature walk, hiking, or a jog at a local park.

Remember as kids, our parents would demand for us to go outside and play—we need that same discipline to attain our childlike joy that has become so aloof from our every day reality.

say it

14. Say  What You  Need To Say

Have you ever swallowed yourself whole because there are words you are holding back from saying or feelings that you have yet to express? Because of fear we may not be expressing ourselves to experience that euphoric feeling of closure, or to simply feel better.

As John Mayer sang, "even if your hands are shaking, say what you need to say." It's better to say too much, then never to say what you need to say again. Be brave and stop fearing the non-existent repercussions of what could happen.

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That Glow, Tho: How To Revive Your Skin After A Brick A** Winter

Whew, chile! Freshly fallen snow may be nice to look at, but the dry skin that accompanies the winter months ain’t it. And by the time the first tulip blooms come springtime, best believe your skin—which just endured months of humidity-deprived conditions—is super parched. Pass the moisturizer, please!

“The lack of humidity during the winter months is the main cause for the ‘winter’s itch’ and dryness,” Dr. Meena Singh, board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon, told VIBE Vixen over email. And let’s not forget how the shorter days rob us ladies of the melanated variety of our warm and natural glow.

Luckily, there are many ways to combat such cold weather woes, both during and after the winter.

“I personally change my regimen significantly between seasons,” Singh added. “In the winter time, I am more prone to use heavier ointments and butters. Whereas in the spring, I can typically get away with moisturizing with emollient creams and lotions.”

But that’s not all you can do to whip your skin back into shape. Looking to bring your fly and radiant self back to life? Look no further. Vixen reached out to five women of color dermatologists, who’ve shared the following tips to help you get started.

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Hydrate From Within.

How many times have you asked a woman with bomb skin what her secret is and been met with the “I drink a lot of water” response? Did you figuratively roll your eyes? We’ve been there and we get it, especially since science says genetics do play a role in how your skin behaves—but homegirl wasn’t wrong!

Dr. Fran E. Cook-Bolden, board-certified NYC dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, tells Vixen that while you may not feel as thirsty when it’s cold out, it’s still important to stay hydrated and drink your eight glasses of water a day.

“The best way to avoid dry skin in the winter is to tackle it from the inside out,” she says.

Other ways to stay hydrated? Health.com suggests eating fruits such as apples, pears, and clementines, which are all over 80% water. Plus, not only will the vitamin C content of these fruits help you ward off the flu in the winter, but they’ll also keep you cool and refreshed once the weather warms up.

We stan a multifaceted solution.

Don't Forget To Cleanse.

As important as it is to drink your eight glasses a day, it’s also important to keep up with your cleansing routine—even if you’re not sweating as much.

In fact, board-certified Chicago dermatologist Dr. Caroline Robinson tells Vixen that maintaining moisture during the harsh winter months begins with cleansing. Washing our face removes makeup, dirt, and debris from the day, preventing buildup and breakouts. This also means the expensive serums and moisturizers you’ve probably splurged on are better absorbed by the skin.

But don’t overdo it!

“I find that many patients are over-cleansing, over-exfoliating or using cleansers that are not appropriate for their skin type and this is causing excess dryness,” she added. “Using a more mild cleanser can help tremendously in the battle against dryness.”

Our dermatologist-recommended favorite? CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser Bar.

It may also help to reconsider what you’re washing with when the weather changes. Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, Medical Director of Ingleton Dermatology, adds that as the temperatures go up, your routine should become “less heavy.”

“Switch from more hydrating cleaners and oils to foamy, gel-based cleaners” and to “a lighter weight daily moisturizer,” she advises. And if you’ve been skimping on the SPF don’t—you’ll definitely need it when the sun is back in these streets.

Keeping Up With "Wash Day" Is Important, Too.

Otherwise, you may end up with a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which often appears on the scalp as a result of product buildup, but can also show up in skin folds such as behind the ears, under the breasts, etc.

“A dry, itchy and flaking scalp is very common in the winter and becomes more common as the frequency of washing the hair decreases,” Cook-Bolden tells Vixen. “When seborrheic dermatitis presents, it’s a common belief that applying scalp lotions, gels or pomades will help to treat the condition and is indeed sometimes helpful in temporarily soothing the itching and irritation.

However, as these products build up on the scalp, they can actually worsen the inflammation and overall worsen seborrheic dermatitis.”

So keep up with your hair care regimen, and if you do find yourself with a case of the seborrheic itchies, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dermatologist for an anti-inflammatory treatment.

Ceramides & Antioxidants Are Your Friends.

If you’re not familiar with ceramides and their superpowers, now’s the time to get familiar. Why? Because they can be extremely healing for desiccated skin.

As Atlanta board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tiffany Clay explains, ceramides are fats in the surface of the skin. When added to skin care products, they not only help your skin retain moisture, but they also give your skin a boost after being exposed to the elements like pollution and icy wind.

In terms of what to use, you’ll want to look for products described as “non-comedogenic,” which means a product is less likely to clog your pores. Additionally, products containing hyaluronic acid (HA) are also a win because of its ability to attract and hold water at the surface of the skin.

“I typically recommend patients keep their antioxidant serum/lotion (vitamin C) and their retinol on board no matter the season,” Clay also notes. “Over- the- counter retinols and prescription retinoids are vitamin A derived medications that most people use in a topical form.”

And they’re a major win-win. Using retinols/retinoids short term will help exfoliate your skin and give you that Kelly Rowland glow. Their long-term use helps to promote collagen production in the skin, minimizing fine lines and decreasing excess melanin production, which will even your complexion, reduce hyperpigmentation, and help reduce photo-damage.

As for vitamin C, look at it as SPF’s best friend.

“Vitamin C is an antioxidant that, when applied topically in combination with daily sun protection, decreases free-radical damage from ultraviolet exposure,” Clay shares.

Those rays don’t stand a chance.

Exfoliate, But Make It Gentle.

It may be tempting to grab the St. Ives but don’t. Instead, Clay suggests, get acquainted with chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandolin acid, or salicylic acid.

These strong but gentle powerhouses typically come labeled as AHAs and BHAs (alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid) and are way less harsh on the skin. Those over-the-counter scrubs you’re used to? They tend to leave scrapes and cuts on the skin, which can lead to inflammation and—you guessed it—hyperpigmentation... and we ain’t ask for all’at.

If you do decide to use a traditional scrub, Ingleton suggests trying Dove’s Exfoliating Body Scrub.

“This will help to slough away dry, dead cells on the surface and also hydrate/moisturize the skin in the process,” she says. “Apply a hydrating body lotion after doing the scrub.”

But again, be gentle!

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Kylie Jenner attends the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Kylie Jenner Doubles Down On Being Crowned A "Self Made" Billionaire

The premise of "self-made" and its interpretation when it comes to privileged celebrities has been a huge debate. When Kylie Jenner was named Forbes' youngest self-made billionaire, debates were raised due to her timeline in the limelight and her wealthy family. The 21-year-old defended her title, explaining how she doesn't fall into any ofter category.

"There’s really no other word to use other than self-made because that is the truth," she said in Q&A with Interview Magazine's German edition. "That is the category that I fall under," she started.

She acknowledged how her fan base equated to her success but refuted claims that she used her family's money to jump-start her wildly successful Kylie Cosmetics line.

"Although, I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans. I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100 percent of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited… and I am very proud of that."

Earlier this month (March 5) the mother-of-one officially surpassed Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest person to reach billionaire status, when Kylie Cosmetics hit a billion dollars in revenue.

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'Boomerang' Episode 7 Recap: Family Matters And Pride

Bryson and Simone are a thing, like for real for real. They can’t keep their hands (or tongues) off of one another. As the two of them get steamy in the jacuzzi, a sexually riled up Simone tells her new beau that she wants to treat his face like a bean bag. They are in it, y’all. There’s just one problem — they may be half-brother and sister (insert vomit emoji here). The excitement of finally landing the girl of his dreams is shut down when he reveals that his mother, Jacqueline, informed him that Marcus Graham may be his papa. (Wait. Does that mean Marcus cheated on Angela back in the day? Regardless, what a way to ruin a mood.)

As they wait for the DNA test results, Simone and Bryson still try to be business as usual, you know, chillin’ like they used to. Speaking of business, Bryson is all that. Ari may be his boy and all, but when it comes to directing Tia’s music video, Bryson wants an Italian dude to shoot it instead. He just doesn’t believe Ari can execute. All great directors have vision and through Bryson’s eyes, Ari has none. Simone can’t help but agree. It’s obvious that Tia and her bae are not at all pleased with the video production of her single. Bro gotsta go. Tia has never been one to hold back and in a fit of frustration, she does what Simone couldn’t verbalize; she fires Ari.

Like the “big bad boss” he is, Bryson harshly tells Ari that not only will he basically fail at being a producer, but people will notice that he doesn’t belong here. Hold up. Are we sure Bryson and Ari are friends? Tough love is understandable but to completely obliterate the dreams of someone you’ve been rocking with? That’s foul. Unlike Ari, Bryson knows that he was brought up with the keys and basically helped himself to whatever role he wanted in the industry, a luxury he can afford to extend. Why not help your friend out now even with a little guidance knowing his career aspirations?

Bryson may be able to but Simone is not willing to give up on Ari just yet. She lets Ari collaborate Bryson’s pick, Shayan, who is also seemingly having a hard time capturing dope shots. A conversation with Simone about perfecting his craft leaves Ari somewhat disappointed but open to the constructive criticism.

While enjoying the Atlanta Black Pride festivities, an old filing recognizes Ari and waves him down. In catching up, the discussion quickly takes a turn to sexual orientation labels with a judgemental tone and Ari is not having it. Sure, while he was with her, he liked women but sometimes he’d rather be with a man. “Bisexual,” “Gay,” call it whatever, he just likes who he likes, refuses to be put in a box, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What is not about to happen is him being judged by a woman with five kids and three baby favas. Yikes.

That frustration instantly births inspiration. Instead of dryly shooting Tia performing with Pride weekend just happening around her, Ari points out how the world needs to see all black people not caring about what anyone has to say about them, especially when the world includes women rocking $12 jewelry. Sashayers, milly-rockers, and twerkers galore, the video shines on the culture, highlighting Kings and Queens of all shades, ages, genders, and sexualities. It’s a good time. Even Bryson can give up his props and that lead director credit to Ari. You see, Bryson? You gotta have a little faith like David always has.

Speaking of our fave pastor, unlike many Baptist churches, it’s amazing to see that David embraces and participates in the Atlanta Black Pride weekend. With the help of Crystal, David is preaching a message of loving who you are and loving others. His sermon last week no doubt spoke to the soul but if you recall, Crystal did notice that a lovely lady attended the service moreso for David and less so for Jesus. That obviously triggered something. Crystal and David may not have been able to work out their marriage but the attraction is absolutely still there. Could it be one-sided though?

You didn’t think we forgot about Bryson and Simone, did you? It should be noted that for his entire life, all Bryson ever wanted was to be like Marcus Graham, but not like this. David is right: be careful what you pray for. No matter the outcome of the paternity test, Simone and Bryson will undoubtedly be in one another’s life (maybe less like Whitley and Dwayne and more like Denise and Theo).

Well, folks, the results are in (insert Maury voice). In the case of Bryson J. Broyer, Marcus, you are NOT the father! But, you may still have some ‘splaining to do. Now that they are officially not related, Simone can finally go ahead and have that seat. We know, sis has been tired all day. Ow!

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