The holiday season is often a time of reflection, and many people pause to consider what they are grateful for. Gratitude has been shown offer many health benefits such as:
  • Improved immune health – Gratitude has been linked to optimism, which has been demonstrated to strengthen immune systems.Stress management – Feeling grateful can help people manage stress, and lowering stress has been associated with decreased risks of heart disease, cancer, and other debilitating conditions.
  • Stronger relationships – When people focus on aspects in their life that they are grateful for, especially related to the people in their lives, it can make people feel more connected, can strengthen personal relationships and can boost pro-social behaviors like helping others.
  • Better sleep – Studies have shown that people who write down what they’re thankful for before hitting the hay fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Research shows that grateful individuals who see gratitude as a permanent personality trait instead of a transient state of mind tend to look after themselves better than those who don’t. They are likely to engage in more preventative health activities such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and scheduling regular checkups.
So, what are some steps you can take to increase the level of gratitude you feel throughout the year
  • Keep a gratitude journal – By taking time out to write down what you are grateful for each day, you become more aware of the blessings in your life and maintain a more optimistic outlook.
  • Engage in positive self-talk – Studies have shown that being grateful helps people cope with difficult circumstances and the stress resulting from negative events.  By reframing situations or reflecting on the benefits that may arise from an otherwise difficult situation, you can increase your feelings of gratitude and dispel some of the negative feelings in the process.
  • Meditate – This is the perfect time to focus on particular aspects of your life that you are grateful for without life getting in the way.  Doing so can improve your outlook, mood, and health.

This holiday season, as you gather with friends and family, try to remember that gratitude has a place in your everyday life.  If you can translate your once-a-year feelings of thankfulness into common feelings of gratitude, you will likely find even more physical, mental and social benefits that you can be thankful for!

Photo Courtesy of CityRugs.com

It’s not uncommon for people to immediately think about the Islamic faith when considering the tradition of using rugs in prayer and other religious rituals. However, there are some religions across the world and throughout the time that have also used rugs as part of their individual and group worship.

Though many rugs on today’s Oriental rug market aren’t used for religious purposes, they often come from countries and people who employ religious themes, also, secular subjects, in their construction. From India come rugs with Hindi designs, from Muslim countries, stem Islamic motifs and even Buddhist, and Christian beliefs are portrayed on rugs from places in Asia and European nations.

With that in mind, here is a brief history of how rugs have played an important part in many of these cultures.

On Yom Kippur, rugs have often been used when Orthodox Jews kneel and bow on stone or tile floors. Initially, parishioners used towels to kneel upon, but these were soon replaced with handmade rugs due to both the beauty and comfort they presented.

While it’s not always common amongst every Jewish sect, the practice of using these rugs is part of what’s considered prostration, where individuals put their backsides near to the ground and lower themselves for prayer. In some synagogues, rugs are also used to sit upon instead of chairs or benches, though this is most common in the Karaite community.

Rugs haven’t often been utilized in Christianity, yet there have been numerous instances where handmade textiles featured Christian themes throughout history. In fact, an early Christian sect is known as the Coptics, who originated in Egypt in the 1st century AD, produced these textiles from linen or wool and used them in religious burial ceremonies, with many of these articles still surviving to this day.

From the Medieval and Renaissance periods, too, have been discovered textiles featuring everything from prominent religious figures to those of deity, and often made from the very same materials and similar looms as Oriental rugs.

Of all the religions, the Islamic faith is by far the most prolific in the use of handmade rugs, which are usually pile carpets placed between the ground and those who are praying or worshipping. On these rugs is often found a niche, which represents the mihrab (a niche in the wall of a mosque), pointing towards Mecca where Muslims direct all of their prayers.

Other decorations included in Islamic prayer rugs are commonly attributed to their area of origin, which can range from tribal and village designs, to various other types denoting a wide range of symbolism and uniqueness from a particular artist or family.

Though rugs were common in Buddhist culture and history, early writings indicate they were most frequently owned by those who served as prominent religious figures. Despite this, Buddhist rugs are still very common, and their significance stretches back for centuries, if not millennia, as items to meditate upon or as ornamental d├ęcor.

One of a unique elements of Buddhist rugs is their use of shocking designs, as they sometimes depict what many Westerners would term as shocking in nature, including flayed animal and human skins. The reason behind these designs is the Buddhist’s pursuit of bodily detachment and the search for a higher level of consciousness. Many of these rugs also include other subjects as well, such as Lotus blossoms or other indigenous flowers, religious figures, local wildlife or mandala-like designs.


Clothing in neon colors is appropriate for night outs or working near vehicles because of its high visibility. They are sometimes called "fluorescent" colors because they absorb UV light and release it as energy as visible light. 

Neon colors are dazzling and vivid. It has the high impact that makes it eye-catching. That's why DR NEON chooses to coat their strings with neon white because it looks better with lights. Under a backlight, it glows and is dazzling bright. You should consider these strings if you are playing a gig in clubs with real lightning. It brings your guitar to life and beautiful pop of color for your photos too. DR Neon is made from nickel-plated steel in super bright color that lasts for a long time, perfectly made to look fresh and to make the sound exceptional.