Blog Posts by Oprah.com

  • How to Trick Yourself into Thinking It's Warmer Than it Is

    By Jena Pincott

    Photo: ThinkstockReplay Your First Real Kiss

    Or listen to the songs you loved when you were 18, driving your first car, the wind whipping through your hair. When asked to recall old times or to listen to nostalgic music, people reported feeling physically warmer than when they were asked to remember ordinary things, found a study published in the journal Emotion. As proof, they could immerse their hands in ice water longer and thought a cold room was a higher temperature than it really was. Psychological warmth activates the same circuits in the brain associated with physical warmth, the theory goes...which effectively convert memories' golden glow into (the perception of) heat.

    Take a Vase Breath

    First-time students who took a mere half-hour lesson in g-Tummo, a Tibetan "inner heat" meditation, increased their body temps in just 10 minutes...without moving. Learning the "vase breath"--a technique that involves contracting the abdominal and pelvic muscles while holding hot

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  • 5 Decorating Trends to Try This Year—And One to Avoid

    By Candace Braun Davison
    Photo: Courtesy of Sherwin-WilliamsTry: The Light That Brightens Things Even When It's Off

    With mixed metals on the rise, it's no surprise that interior designer Holly Mathis has seen a sudden interest in adding brass pendant lamps to what once was stainless-steel-only territory: the kitchen. "A few years ago, I couldn't talk anyone into a brass light," she says. "Now, it's so popular I've practically memorized the SKU." The no-fuss semicircle works with almost every taste, from traditional to country to steampunk.

    Try: The Shine-Free Style That's Surprisingly Low Maintenance

    From honed countertops to flat finishes on the walls, the matte look is spreading to all areas of the home, says Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. High-gloss and polished surfaces can feel overly formal, like you can't relax in your own home, which is why some people are gravitating to the softer, unvarnished look matte provides, she explains. New paint technology makes the chalkier

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  • Surprising Things that Cause Bad Breath (and One Cure)

    By Corrie Pikul

    Photo: ThinkstockYour Stuffy Nose

    Pass the tissues--and some gum, please. When a cold prevents you from breathing through your nose, you're forced to inhale and exhale through your mouth. This dries out the tissues and reduces the flow of saliva-the mouth's built-in cleanser, which not only rinses away food particles but also neutralizes decay-causing acids and acts as a natural antiseptic to keep bacteria in check. The less saliva, the more bacteria-and the more potent the odor. An easy remedy (for your breath, if not your cold): Chewing gum--as long as it's sugarless--has been shown to increase the flow of saliva.

    Your Movie Treats

    Bacteria have a sweet tooth, too. When you eat sticky candy like gummy bears, cherry vines and even mint chews, the bacteria "has a party," says Kimberly Harms, DDS, the consumer adviser for the American Dental Association. It feasts on the sugar and spreads to all areas of your mouth--including hard-to-reach areas in the grooves of the teeth.

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  • 5 Shampoo Mistakes You Didn't Know You're Making

    Photo: Thinkstock1. You use the same shampoo seven days a week, 365 days a year...

    Not only are you shampooing too frequently-every other day is usually enough, says hairstylist Mario Russo-but you should also switch shampoos occasionally to prevent buildup of certain ingredients (like silicones). Every couple of months, replace your current shampoo with another formulated for your hair type, says cosmetic chemist Mort Westman. You can also use a clarifying shampoo once a month, says celebrity hairstylist Kimberly Kimble.

    Read More: 8 Ways to Feel Beautiful Inside Out


    2. You're not completely wetting your hair pre-shampoo...

    Without enough water, shampoo doesn't lather-and you may be inclined to compensate by using more product (stripping your hair and your wallet). Stand under the shower spray for an extra minute before sudsing up.


    3. You always begin by applying your shampoo to the same spot on your scalp (usually at the crown)...

    You might notice that the top of your scalp is dry

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  • 7 Items Every Person Should Get Rid of (But Doesn't)

    By Candace Braun Davison

    Photo: ThinkstockThe Paper Jam in Your Junk Drawer

    When your blender finally pureed its last kale-apple smoothie, you gave it a proper farewell, but what about the owner's manual and now-expired warranty paperwork that came with it? If you're like us, they're what's crammed in that holds-everything-I-might-someday-need drawer in your kitchen. While you clear out those forgotten papers, financial expert David Bach recommends also checking for a few other clutter culprits: outdated wills, credit-card statements from closed tax years and old annual reports from stocks and mutual funds.

    Read More: The 5 Prettiest Bed Ideas to Steal Right Now

    The Furniture That Has Its Own "But..." Clause

    Everybody has a "But..." item. It's that décor item you don't love-or even like-and yet, every time you consider getting rid of it, the "buts" come out. You'll toss the dog-chewed ottoman, but the matching mauve armchair? "But I might need an extra seat the next time company comes

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  • 5 Ways You'll Be Seduced into Buying More This Year

    By Jena Pincott
    Photo: ThinkstockWhat lures you in: The flooring of your favorite store

    How it keeps you spending: Standing on a soft carpet makes objects from a distance, or in dim light, seem cozier and more comfortable than they would seem if you were standing on a hard surface...a perception that may help pave the way to more furniture or home-furnishing sales, found Joan Meyers-Levy, PhD, a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. A floor with tiny, uneven tiles causes your cart to rattle noisily, making you think you're moving faster than you really are, so, naturally, you slow down...and buy more stuff. Smooth, friction-free floors may also work on our unconscious, says Dr. Meyers-Levy, by luring us onward (to the food court, for instance) with a sense of ease and efficiency.


    Read More: 6 Things You'll Never Regret Doing


    What lures you in: Lemon, pine and other simple smells

    How it keeps you spending: Any commuter who has ever passed a

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  • David Schickler: The 5 Days I Fell Hardest for My Wife

    By David Schickler

    Photo: Courtesy of David SchicklerThe Day She Stood Out Against the Sky

    My wife Martha and I honeymooned on Kauai. We snorkeled one day at Tunnels Beach and had an isolated cove to ourselves: Adam and Eve in flippers. The coral were purple grandeur, but sharp, and after some almost sliced my stomach, I headed for the beach. Martha kept snorkeling another hour. I'm a worrier, so I stood by our blanket, watching for her. At one point, she stayed under for too long and I panicked and ran to the water, about to dive in and search for her. But then she surged up, way out there, and whooped and waved, and across that blue distance, with sky and surf dwarfing her, I could still see her face telling me, "It's all right, Anxious Man. I'm with you."

    The Day Our Son Wore Crap Gloves

    Our baby had awful colic. He would only stop crying if I did a jig with him in my arms while we played Paul Simon's "The Obvious Child" at blasting volume. At a year old, he started producing toxic waste. One day, I

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  • 8 Habits of Women Who Love Their Age

    By Corrie Pikul

    Photo: ThinkstockThey rock out to vintage Madonna records.

    Note, we said records-not albums, not tracks, not MP3s. In one study at Harvard University, people who were placed in an environment that resembled their youth-with movies, music and memorabilia from the past-experienced marked improvements in their memory, vision, happiness level and overall health.

    They're always looking for the hardest way to do things.

    Here's how this works: Studies show that trying new and challenging activities (like aqua spinning, learning how to make kimchi, editing 15-second videos on your phone) force us to think in a different way, increase our brain volume, protect against cognitive decline-and can help make us a more open-minded person. And those who become more open to new experiences are more likely to be satisfied with their lives, found another recent study about personality.

    Related: Everything You Wanted To Know About The New Fitness Trends

    They swap cola for cherry juice.

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  • How to Finally Kick Unwanted Habits

    By Corrie Pikul
    Photo: ThinkstockTry the Lesser of Two Evils

    What to do: Replace the bad habit with a good one-or at least one that's more benign.

    Why it works: It's much easier to slightly change a mental pattern than to reconstruct it entirely, says Jeremy Dean, PhD, psychologist and the author of Making Habits, Breaking Habits. Since you've already trained your brain to respond a certain way in a certain situation (wake up, drink coffee), you can "trick" it by directing it to respond to the same situation-with a slightly different activity (wake up, drink green tea).

    What habit it helps break: Substitution can probably help you quit Candy Crush-for good, says Jamie Madigan, PhD, a psychologist who writes about the overlap between psychology and video games. There are many reasons why this game is uniquely addictive: mandatory time-outs that make you long to keep playing, one-handed controls that let you play anywhere, notifications that nudge you to sign in and the ability to compete

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  • Can You Get More from Your Checkup If You Share it with Strangers?

    By Emma Haak

    Illustration: Maria Bruni

    At 8 a.m. on a crisp fall morning, Allison*, a woman in her late 40s, is bending at the waist in an attempt to touch her toes. Allison suffers from back problems and numbness in her leg, and the doctor wants to see how low she can go before the pain hits; she gets to about midshin and stops. Most days, she says, her discomfort registers an eight out of ten.

    Allison has a roomful of observers who feel her pain-almost literally. Around her, in a loose semicircle, are three other patients with back problems awaiting their own turns with the doctor, Terence Doorly, MD. They're all first-time patients of his and have signed up to see him in a group session. They watch as Doorly, an energetic neurosurgeon, tests Allison's reflexes, then pulls up her latest MRI scans and points to the large herniated disk near the base of her spine. They learn, along with Allison, that this is the root of her pain, and that she'll likely need surgery.

    Read More: 6 Ways to Become a

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