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Strong relationships necessitate open lines of communication

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Strong relationships rely onl open lines of communication. Being a better communicator may appear daunting, but it's actually only a matter of honing a crucial skill: listening.

It appears to be straightforward. We (mostly) listen to our loved one's queries, opinions, anecdotes, gripes, and helpful suggestions. But how frequently do we actually pay attention?

We often register that they're chatting on the surface, waiting for our time to jump in and say what we want. Something has to be done about it.

Everyone that is close to us wants to be heard in their relationship. It's for a good reason, too.

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person holding dual bell alarm clock reading at 12:14 o' clock

If you're anything like me, you might have felt that working from home has its ebbs and flows.

For one, you can work from the comfort of your own home or now, since restrictions are somewhat lifted in the United States ( I'm in New York City), you could go to a coffee shop if you want to change your scenery.

On the other hand, working from home can have its pitfalls because it can be easy to be distracted by your phone, television, or outside noises.

Essentially, productivity can easily fly out of the window.

But how can it be easier to make the most out of the day while working from home?

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Cast Members Of NBC's Comedy Series "Friends." Pictured (L To R): David Schwimmer As Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston As Rachel Cook, Courteney Cox As Monica Geller, Matthew Perry As Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow As Phoebe Buffay And Matt Leblanc As Joey Tribbiani.

Photo By Getty Images.

Friends fans finally received the highly anticipated reunion show. Although there were some mixed reviews from critics, it was a sentimental and nostalgic moment for fans.

A moment in particular on the HBO Max special centered around Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer revealing something that we might have suspected already—their feelings for one another outside of the show.

Aniston and Schwimmer, a.k.a Rachel and Ross, were the center of a fictional romantic relationship in the iconic show. But now, they revealed that they had a lot of feelings for one another in real life.

James Corden, who hosted the segment, asked the two if there were any romantic feelings.

"The first season, I had a major crush on Jen – we were both crushing hard on one another, but it was like two ships passing 'cause one of us was always in a relationship, and we never crossed that boundary," Schwimmer said on the reunion special.

Aniston then said that the feelings were "reciprocated" and that they would "spoon and fall asleep on the couch" with one another when they had rehearsal breaks.

Everyone should remember these three buzzwords, according to a relationship therapist

The revelation makes complete sense to me due to the undoubted chemistry they bring to roles of Rachel and Ross.

Schwimmer then wondered why no one knew they "were crushing on each other." Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow all responded, saying they "knew."

Cox described their feelings for one another as "palpable" while suggesting that it's for the best that they didn't pursue a relationship because if they did break up, the couple scenes "probably wouldn't have been as great."

Aniston also got into some details about their first on-screen kiss and how there was more meaning to it, saying it would be a "bummer" if they kissed for the first time on the big screen—which ended up happening.

"Sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop," Aniston said per The New York Post. "So we just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel."

No matter what, it's safe to say they developed a bond that's irreplaceable.

I love to see it!

Have you got something to say? Want to share your experiences and opinions with the world? Submit a post to Conversations today.

woman walking on pathway during daytime
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Have you ever woken up to a bunch of thoughts about all the things that you have to do today that you forgot to do the night before? Do you just want to roll back over, hit snooze on your alarm, and go back to sleep?

Many of us have experienced this feeling, but it doesn't have to feel this way all the time.

What we think can dictate how we feel. So when we can have control of what we think, such as having negative thoughts about "what could possibly go wrong in the day?" but then changing the wording to "what are all the good things that could happen today," it brings a sense of power to the beginning of your day.

Check out the list below for 11 hacks that can help bring a little positivity to your morning.

1. Have an uplifting alarm clock sound

Instead of the classic alarm or bell sound, try something with a tropical beat or something easygoing and melodic. It won't make you jump out of bed when you hear it, but rather gracefully ascend off the bed, feeling refreshed.

2. Don't pick up the phone—until later

Yes, I know our alarms can be on the phone to wake us up, or there's an important email we need to respond to, but once that's out of the way, try to avoid scrolling through social media until a little later.

Research from RescueTime, an iOS and Android app that helps you allocate more time in the day to feel more in control of your day discovered people spend roughly three hours and fifteen minutes on their phones daily.

RescueTime also found that we check our phones 58 times a day, which is a lot.

Give social media a little break in the morning, and you'll feel more at ease.

3. Get a little workout in

woman doing yoga meditation on brown parquet flooring Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Whether that's following a YouTube workout routine or going for a run in the neighborhood, or getting zen with yoga, get your body going and raise those endorphins!

4. Eat something good!

red strawberries on brown waffles Photo by Joyful on Unsplash

Sometimes when time is limited, we grab a cup of coffee and head out, but let's take some time to eat!

Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast improves your energy and ability to focus for the short term. It can also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Whether it's a plate of fresh fruit or stacks of waffles with maple syrup, give your body the added nutrients.

After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

5. Take a second to breathe.

As we navigate the day, sometimes we are met with stress and anxiety. When this happens, we may not even notice that our breathing pattern changes when we feel stressed about something.

How to tell? Your breathing will feel more shallow, or you might chest tightness, to name a couple. When you feel like this, Healthline recommends that we practice diaphragmatic breathing via your diaphragm. The diaphragm is essential for efficient breathing. They recommend that you sit comfortably with your head supported.

Then, placing one hand on your chest and the other below your ribcage, breathe in slowly through your nose as you feel your stomach expand against your hand. Then exhale! Experts suggest that this be done for five to 10 minutes a day.

Do this a couple of times and enjoy an increased feel of relaxation within minutes.

6. If you have pets, play with them!

woman carrying cat while standing on porch Photo by Mel Elías on Unsplash

In a press release from Banfield Pet Hospital, they conducted a study that found nearly 70 per cent of pet owners go to their pet to destress versus 63 per cent listening to music and 44 per cent who read to decompress.

Not only is playing with your pet a great way to bond with your adorable pets, how can you be mad at such a cute face?

7. Download a quote/affirmation of the day app

stay close to people who feels like sunshine quote Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

There are numerous apps available for download on our phones that will give us quirky and inspiring quotes to get off on a good foot in the morning. Some personal favorite apps that made me feel great are Motivation and Daily Quote.

8. Ask yourself how you can make the most out of the day

Although we may not know what the day holds, asking yourself how you may the day a positive one shows you just how much you control how you feel and react to things within the day. If the day seems to be going a little blah, change it up!

9. Read a good book or article

woman sitting on brown ledge while holding book Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Reading something that'll give you some inspiration in the day will help get you in the spirit to seize the day.

10. Focus more on things that make you happy

Our thoughts can affect our mood. So if we think of happy thoughts, we generally feel happy. It's super simple but it holds so much truth— consider all things that make you happy. Even if it's just a visualization, you'll feel joy!

11. Show off those pearly whites and smile!

black and gray i love you print textile Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The University of South Australia researchers had people replicate the facial movement of a smile by holding a pen between their teeth, which caused the corners of their mouth to spread like a smile. Although some of the smiles were fakes, Dr.Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, a researcher from the University of South Australia, notes that their brains couldn't tell the difference because it stimulates our amygdala.

The amygdala is in charge of our emotions in our brains which plays an important role in responding to anxieties and fears. It also plays a part in how we make decisions and our memory.

When I tried randomly smiling for the first time, I felt awkward because it was the smile was for no real reason. Soon after, I realized that I wasn't feeling as down, and my perspective of the day changed for the better.

Have you got something to say? Want the chance to see your writing here? Submit a post to Conversations today.

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Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash

Life is filled with many moments to build experiences and perspectives. Throughout this time, many of us will end up rising and excelling at everything we do, or sometimes we fall.

Some lessons are learned through lived experience, while others are learned by watching or reading things in newspapers and books.

As much as we can learn from books, there is a fundamental difference between theoretical and practical experiences.With that in mind, there are several lessons in life that we won't know until we encounter these situations for ourselves.

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woman in pink shirt holding white smartphone
Photo by Joyce Busola on Unsplash

Since March 2020, the world has experienced something unexpected in this lifetime— a global pandemic. The pandemic claimed the lives of almost half a million people in the United States. The nation experienced the senseless murders of Black and Brown people riots at Capitol Hill and the loss of jobs and homes. Others experienced depression, which is heartbreaking.

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