Have you ever wondered how that voice in your head came to be independent from your actual brain? You know; your mind, your consciousness. It’s a mysterious piece of humanity that countless people have been trying to solve for centuries, and while we’ve been able to figure out quite a bit about it, there’s still much more that eludes us.

Here are five things about your mind that you probably didn’t know:

1) No one knows what it is or how the brain manifests it
We know that the mind is created by the brain, but we don’t exactly know how. After all, the brain is three pounds of mushy tissue resting inside of an extremely hard protective case. But, those three pounds of tissue influence a great deal of our lives in almost every way. The mind may be generated by the brain, but the mind often functions independently from it. Not to mention, the mind has the ability to change the brain.

2) You are able to “watch” your mind as it works
How often do you reflect on the things that your mind is constantly churning up? If our thoughts are the mind speaking to itself, then you can easily listen to what it has to say. This is called the “observing self” and it’s separate from emotion. It allows us to objectively observe the thoughts that are constantly being spoken.

The best way to achieve an observing self is by reflecting on your thoughts with as little judgment as possible. When you do this, you can start to make changes to the mind and brain because you are capable of monitoring what’s being said.

3) The mind goes wherever it pleases
Have you ever noticed a particularly disturbing or bizarre thought pop into your head? Maybe you have them all the time. It’s completely normal and due to the fact that our minds are basically circus shows without limits. Rest easy knowing everyone’s mind is like this. We all have crazy thoughts, fantasies, stories and images appearing at any moment.

Some are good, some are bad, and while we might not be able to control where the mind goes, we can manage how it affects us. By learning to recognize our random thoughts as random thoughts we can label them as such, or tell ourselves not to worry about them.

4) Your mind is capable of rewiring the brain
If you’ve ever heard of neuroplasticity, you know what I’m talking about. The brain’s wiring can be altered and changed based on the mind’s habits, meaning you can (and will, if you’re not careful) literally change it by thinking certain things. The more you think a certain way, the more your neurons get used to firing in that way. When you repeatedly use certain neurons and not others, you build patterns that your brain gets used to and starts to prefer.

5) The brain is naturally inclined to be negative, but the mind can help promote positivity
Biologically speaking, it makes sense that the brain would have stronger reactions to negative stimuli than it would positive stimuli. Things like danger, threats, mistakes and problems all cause disruption in life. They also make it very difficult for us to relax and be content in our lives.

But, we can use the mind to focus on the positive things in life. And by doing so we build new thought patterns in the brain that it will routinely go back to. The best way to do this is by remembering happy, positive experiences. Bring those to the forefront of your mind and really think about them for at least five seconds.

h/t Psychology Today

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This Unique Spanish Home Was Built Under a Rolling Hill and Is Completely Eco-Friendly

You wouldn’t know there was a home resting inside of this rolling hillside were it not for the roof sloping downward over a parked car and bicycles. Known as the Live Garden House, this vaulted home was built into a hillside and features traditional construction techniques practiced in Zaragoza, Spain.

Spanish designers sought to create a fully sustainable home that used locally-sourced materials for its construction. They achieve their vision with this zero-energy structure that lets in natural sunlight, has a natural ventilation system and features a rainwater collection system.

All of its sustainable features are made even better by placing them underneath an undulating green roof (which has plants and vegetation growing on top of it). Not only does the home look beautiful inside, it fits in perfectly with the surrounding landscape.

And the inside is just as welcoming and serene as the outside. Take a look for yourself!

h/t Inhabitat

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The REAL Reason Barns Are Usually Red

Almost every barn I’ve ever seen has been red, and I never knew why. I mean, I love red as a color, but it never really made any sense why every single barn I’ve ever come across had to be red. There are so many other colors to choose from!

The real reason barns are painted red actually has nothing to do with color preference, and everything to do with practicality.

When the very first New England settlers were building farms, many of them lacked the necessary funds to paint their buildings. However, they still needed a way to protect their barns’ wood from the elements, so they came up with their own solution to the problem: by mixing skim milk, lime, and red iron oxide, they successfully created a plastic-like substance that they could coat their farm buildings with to protect them.

Eventually, paint manufacturers would mix in chemical pigment and red was the favorite due to how cheap it was. And, as with many things in this world, people never sought to change it. So, red was how it began and red is how it has stayed.

h/t Business Insider

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Professor Who Predicted Donald Trump Becoming President Has a New Prediction: Impeachment

Image via: Max Goldberg from USA - Trump CAUCUS

Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University, has gained quite a bit of notoriety over the years as he’s successfully predicted the outcome of every presidential election to date, starting in 1984. He correctly predicted the Donald Trump would win the 2016 election and is now making another prediction: Donald Trump will be impeached.

"Now, he focuses on the 45th President of the United States and his next forecast, that it is not a question of if President Trump will be impeached, but a question of when," said Shelby Meizlik, spokesperson for HarperCollins.

In fact, Lichtman has written a book stating his argument for why Trump should be impeached. The Case for Impeachment is being published by Dey Street Books and will release to the public on April 18th.

Lichtman made the prediction that Trump would be impeached alongside his prediction that he would be elected and his book will go into detail as to why.

Lichtman told the Washington Post this past September:

"I'm going to make another prediction. This one is not based on a system; it's just my gut. They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I'm quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook."

It certainly seems as though there is a strong case for impeachment, especially when considering Trump's Russian connections and the multitude of conflicts of interests surrounding his businesses, as Lichtman argues.

Do you think Lichtman’s fortune-telling capabilities will ring true once again?

h/t Time

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6 Bizarrely Beautiful Houseplants You've Probably Never Heard Of

Houseplants are a great addition to any home as not only do they bring a clean, fresh aesthetic to the space, they also help improve air quality. If you’ve ever wanted to bring plants into your home, but think that they’re kind of boring or not worth the effort, try out one of these bizarre houseplants that are anything but boring.

Mix it up a little with these six houseplants that are beautiful, but also a little strange.

Euphorbia Caput-Medusae
Succulents a great option for everyone who’s looking for a low-maintenance plant. They only need watering about once a week and even just once a month during the winter months. The type of succulent shown here is referred to as “Medusa’s Head,” a moniker taken on because of its likeness to the Greek monster with snakes for hair. It is native to South Africa.

The Trachyandra also looks as if it’s some type of snake plant, or maybe silly-string growing out of the ground. This plant is real and you can find it in Eastern and Southern Africa.

If you’ve ever wanted a plant that looks somewhat like it has antlers, grab a Platycerium. This plant, which is often called the “Staghorn Fern”, can even grow on the side of things, such as trees or walls.

Gentiana Urnula
These beautifully-patterned succulents are known as “Starfish Succulents” and are at home in the rocks. These are also a perfect option for those seeking low-maintenance plants.

Sedum Morganianum
These crazy looking plant is often called “Donkey Tail” and its stems regularly grow up to two feet in length. Its leaves are normally a bluish-green and it is native to Mexico and Honduras.

Haworthia Cooperi
This plant looks like some type of glass flower or maybe even some type of gelatin, but these clumps you see here are actually green leaves that simply look as though they’re something else.

h/t Woman's Day

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