Merlino & Gonzalez - October 2021

breaks, or else we’ll stress ourselves out and negatively affect other areas of our lives. Stress tends to keep us from sound sleep, but reading fiction before bed engages the imagination, taking us away from the stresses of everyday life before we drift off. More Comfort With Uncertainty Even though many stories (particularly those portrayed in popular movies) have nice happy endings, most people would agree that life sometimes leaves things a little more open-ended. While this fact might stress out some people, researchers have discovered that fiction readers don’t need “cognitive closure” as much as nonfiction readers. Greater Happiness Even if none of the benefits of fiction interest you, everyone wants to find ways to make themselves happy — and for many, that is reading fiction. According to one survey, 76% of participants said that

Many CEOs and other successful individuals continually espouse the benefits of regular reading. Many times, leaders read self-help books to improve their leadership skills and become more successful. This is all well and good, but even the most successful people in the world could be missing out on the unique benefits that come specifically from reading fiction. But what are those benefits exactly? Greater Empathy When a psychologist analyzed 86 functioning MRI (fMRI) studies, he found that the same parts of the brain that fire up when reading fictional stories also fire up when we’re seeking to understand the thoughts and feelings of others. That’s because when the characters in the book we’re reading are thinking or feeling a certain way, we tend to think or feel that way with them. Less Stress and Better Sleep When we read fiction specifically, we tend to disengage from the world — and that’s a good thing! Our brains can’t always be functioning at their peak capacity. We need


reading makes them feel good and improves their lives. So, what are you waiting for? Dust off that novel you’ve been meaning to read and crack it open! You Can Use WHAT to Tidy Up?!


your hand along the length of it, you will gather tons of nasty dirt and dust onto the sock.

Prepping for the holidays is exciting and fun, but it requires tons of planning, cooking, decorating, and cleaning. To avoid getting bogged down while preparing for cheerful celebrations with friends and family, try these easy ways to get your house sparkling clean and ready to host. Roll the Ceilings When it comes to ceilings, especially if they are textured, thoroughly cleaning off dust, dander, and cobwebs can be challenging. When you use a broom, chunks typically go flying around and make a larger mess. However, if you whip out a painting roller, dampen it, and roll your ceilings just like you are painting, you are sure to get the job done!

Cleaning Balls Utilizing tennis balls for your house chores may sound strange. However, when drying a bulky bed comforter in your dryer, adding a few tennis balls will ensure the stuffing does not gather all to one side. The balls help keep everything nice and even. Pillowcases and Fans Your ceiling fans collect all of the nasties — dirt, dust, bugs, and allergens. For an easy way to clean them without spreading all the grime around your home, turn to old pillowcases! Simply slip the pillowcase over each individual fan blade and then wipe. All of the debris will end up in the pillowcase itself. A clean home is the key to happy living and is paramount for hosting over the holidays. With these tricks up your sleeve, you are now a cleaning expert!

Socks on Your Hands Have you ever run a finger along a panel of your blinds and it comes up black? Blinds tend to be huge dust collectors. By throwing some socks on your hands, you can get back to clean blinds. All you have to do is find a pair of old socks, “glove up,” and dampen them. From there, if you grip each individual blind panel and slide


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