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October 26th, 2020
Halloween Spook-tacular!
Happy Halloween! In this edition of HWLH, we go over some tips to get you through the sugar highs and lows inherent to Halloween. Enjoy and have a safe holiday!
Health
Curb your sweet tooth.
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Dipped your hands into the candy basket a couple too many times? Here are some tips for weaning yourself off that sweet sweet sugar.

Substitute with fruit. Fruits are filled with natural sugars! There are some notable differences between natural sugars and added sugars. Fruits have vitamins, minerals, and fibers that allow for the sugar to be processed more efficiently within your body. Unnaturally added sugars are considered "empty calories", contributing significantly to weight gain as well as other health issues.

Baby steps. Some studies have suggested sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Accordingly, the best method to cut back on sugar may be dialing back in moderation. Try one less packet in your coffee as opposed to quitting cold turkey.

Swap out soda! Cutting out soda can be a simple way to greatly reduce your sugar intake. If you enjoy the carbonation, a sugar-free beverage like flavored seltzer may be the solution for you! If not, you can never go wrong with water.
Wealth
The most evil force in Finance...
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Today, we talk about the scariest concept in all of Personal Finance. If you frighten easy, I would recommend skipping this wretched article...

What's so scary? The concept I'm referencing of course... is Lifestyle Inflation. Lifestyle inflation, courtesy of Investopedia, refers to an increase in spending when an individual's income goes up. In other words, when people start making money, they begin to spend more frivolously, mistaking wants for needs

You don't scare me! What's so scary about spending money if you have money to spend? To illustrate why lifestyle inflation is so detrimental, I'd like to start with a quote that you may be familiar with.

"The difficult thing in life is not making it, it's keeping it."
- Attributed to John McAfee

K.I.S.S. In plain terms, anybody can catch a break and fall into some money, but it takes intelligence and integrity to keep that money around for years to come. Why do you think that so many lottery winners end up losing everything? They quickly get hiked up to an income level they could've never imagined, and even quicker, they develop unsustainable spending habits, throwing all of their money at shiny things.

It's true for many people who come into mass amounts of wealth quickly. There are endless examples of athletes signed to multi-million dollar contracts who end up losing it all, inevitably having to work a 9-5 instead of rightfully enjoying early retirement. Lifestyle inflation is a cruel mistress...

Ok, I'm scared. Don't be! Here are 3 ways you can combat lifestyle inflation as your coin purse gets heavier.

Be conscious. Be aware that lifestyle inflation is a disease that creeps up on many people. Make conscious purchases, asking yourself whether this INSERT ITEM HERE is something you would have purchased 5 years prior. Maintaining a strong budget and regularly monitoring your spending habits are also good ways to minimize holes in your checkbook.

Value experiences. Try not to equate success with shiny things. If you must spend, do so on experiences rather than material possessions. New purchases may put a smile on your face for a short time, but an experience such as a family vacation or investing in a new skill can lead to years of enjoyment or stories to recall upon.

Make relatable friends. Keep people around you with similar spending habits. Find friends who have comparable budgeting practices or financial goals to avoid the social pressure of overspending. Keeping up with the Joneses is a dangerous game.
Love
Handling a breakup.
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How to healthily handle a breakup. What's spookier than a broken heart?

Breakups happen. They aren't fun or pretty, but they don't have to be exclusively negative. Here are some habits to consider if you're newly single.

Invest in your health. Exiting a relationship is a great time to reevaluate some of your health habits. You likely have some newfound free time that you can dedicate to pushing yourself forward. Whether you'd like to start a new diet or just a new skin-care regimen, anything that contributes to a healthier you is our prescription. So go nuts! Go vegetarian, put on a face mask, and yes, (at risk of sounding cliche), go to the gym!

Distract yourself. When the break-up is fresh, thoughts of your ex can be intrusive and relentless. It may be a good idea to engage in some activities that keep your mind off them. Developing a new hobby or spending time with loved ones is always a good start.
Side-note: Practice math! Mathematics engage the logic and motor skills portions of your brain, very different areas than those that process emotions.

Reflect. Don't get caught up in all of the negatives. It's common for people to have feelings of guilt after going through a break-up, thinking about what went wrong. But, it's just not the right place to focus. Instead, think about what you learned and carry it forward with you. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about your partner? Have your partner "must have's" changed? Use reflection as a tool to move forward stronger.

Bonus: Cry! Allow yourself to go through your emotions. Find cathartic relief in as healthy a manner you can. Whether your outlet is music, exercise, yelling into a pillow, or yes, crying, releasing emotionally is a vital part of the healing process.

Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be your knight in shining armor. But, a break-up isn't totally negative. It leaves you wiser, opens you up to positive change, and might leave room for that person that's actually supposed to be in your life.
Happiness
How horror films can help you conquer your anxiety.
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Texas Chainsaw & Chill? It turns out horror movies might be the remedy for those with frequent anxiety.

Why do we watch movies designed to terrify us? Dr. Mathias Clasen, Associate Professor at Aarhus University has done extensive research on the Horror genre, yielding useful answers to this question and more. Dr. Clasen describes Horror movies' allure by first explaining the inherited system our fears are built upon. The "Evolutionary Fear System", as Clasen calls it, was an evolutionary advantage afforded to our ancestors. Stereotypically monstrous features such as an intimidating stature or large jagged teeth prompt physiological responses designed to repel predators. Some examples of these are as follows.

Accelerated Heartbeat: Your heart pumps blood faster into your large muscle groups. This allows your body to better prepare for a fight or flight response.

Goosebumps: A relic from when we were covered in fur. Our hair would stand up allowing us to look bigger and scare attackers.

Screaming: Screaming is effectively an effort to send a signal to others nearby that you are in distress. It can be used as an indication for others to help or to travel far from the threat that you are facing.

These monstrous features are exploited in today's Horror movies, evoking the same fear response that has proven less useful as we've continued to evolve.

So how do horror movies help me? Exposing yourself to Horror allows you to safely test-run these physiological stress responses. While at the moment there may be discomfort associated with ingesting this content, your brain inevitably realizes that no direct threat is actually being posed toward you. Horror movies can act as a good training camp, acclimating you with negative emotions in a completely fictional environment. This exercise can help you handle these emotions more effectively when they come about in real-life.

What horror movie kept you up as a kid? Mine was Nightmare on Elm Street. Share it with us on Twitter using #HWLH.
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Written by Ayden Vaval

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