How to Change Your Partner’s Behavior … Nicely

There are different types of communication that humans use when we talk to our significant others. Of course, some methods can vary in impact. And one method in particular is the most effective — particularly if you’re looking to change your partner’s behavior (and, frankly, who isn’t?). So the next time you want help with the dishes or your significant other to pick up their socks, avoid the temptation to go the snarky route and encourage them with proactive words. Here’s how …


Let the Kids Sleep In

You know that kids need extra Zs but maybe you don’t know how really life-changing they could be. A study out of the University of Kentucky showed that starting school an hour later led to improved performances and boosted attendance rates. Changes to school schedules may not happen overnight but the data certainly gives educators — and parents — something to sleep on.


Breathing Properly

You do it constantly without thinking, but it’s time to take note. Breathing correctly can go a long way toward easing stress and anxiety, and most people are doing it wrong, says breathing expert James Nestor. You’re probably breathing too deeply and not using your nose enough. One trick to get on the right track? Humming for five minutes a day, which increases your nitric oxide intake, improving your mood, circulation and more.


How to Eat Less and Enjoy More

We often hear that “less is more.” Turns out, there’s a morsel of truth in the saying — at least when it comes to food. And now scientists — not just fancy chefs and culinary snobs — have proved it. If you want to enjoy your wine or your meal more, take it slow and small. Avoid overindulgence, and you’ll take greater pleasure from what you’re ingesting, researchers have found. That’s almost counterintuitive to practices in many popular, less chic eateries — and even in our own homes: Think massive food-centric celebrations, whether a big, fat Greek wedding or Thanksgiving dinner.


When Weed and Nicotine Are Good for You

Few people are more vilified than smokers today. Cigarettes can cause cancer and stoners, supposedly, get little done. But a study from the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas looked at the effect of smoking on memory, and the results were shocking. The study involved groups of participants that were separated based on their type of smoking habit — cigarettes, marijuana, both or neither — and they found those who abstained from both substances for a prescribed period and then smoked weed at least four times a week and 10 cigarettes a day showed the greatest improvement in their memory.


Let Them Eat (a Little) Cake

Depriving a kid of an occasional indulgence can result in overindulging when Mom’s not around. So rather than tell children that cake is evil and happiness is a handful of quinoa-and-flax chips, top scientists are now saying you should teach them about moderation instead. So let Junior have his cake — just not every day.


Want Marital Harmony? Spend Less on Your Wedding

From the engagement ring to a blowout bridal party and custom-designed website chronicling the happy couple’s road to the altar, it should come as no surprise that the average price of a wedding has hit an all-time high of $30,000 (honeymoon not included). But you might be startled to learn that the more the bride and groom shell out for their big day, the shorter the marriage. In fact, say the experts, for the best odds of long-term marital success, you should look to spend less than $1,000.


Let Your Yard Run Wild

Cutting the grass, trimming the hedges, trying to keep up with your neighbor’s lush fairway of a lawn is the worst. You should let it go — not out of laziness or apathy, but because it’s better for the environment! Allowing grass to grow to a healthy height and fostering the return of native species will benefit the ecosystem, and spare the world of disastrous pesticides.


Showering Less

One way to reduce water consumption and save yourself money is to take fewer unnecessary showers and baths. Unless covered in mud, there’s no reason to bathe yourself, or your children, every day. Dermatologists claim that most kids under the age of 11 need to bathe just once or twice a week, or when they get muddy or swim in public pools or lakes. And folks in their 20s to 50s can cut back to every other day, and even less in their golden years because elderly skin tends to dry out.


The Importance of Cuddling After Sex

Sexual satisfaction: It’s what so many seek, but did you know that it depends in large part on what you do after doing the deed? Two studies have concluded that the “duration of post-sex affection was associated with higher sexual satisfaction and, in turn, higher relationship satisfaction.” So don’t skip the candlelight and soft music, but if you really want to leave a lasting impression on your lover, spend some time cuddling in the afterglow. When it comes to sex, it seems the cooldown can make for hotter times ahead.

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