Chris Toplack | Blog
Chris Toplack, London Ontario, Voice Over Artist Canada, Voice Over Canada, Consulting London Ontario, Voice Over London Ontario, Podcaster, Podcaster Canada, Toplack,
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Neti Pot Review

Millions of Canadian’s suffer from nasal problems and are constantly seeking different forms of relief. Sprays and allergy medication tend to be the most common solution to this ongoing issue. For years, I have met dozens of individuals who have raved about the benefits of the Neti Pot. I decided to test out this product first hand to see if it truly lived up to the positive reviews.

The brand I chose: NeilMed Sinus Rinse Neti Pot

How to Use a Neti Pot:

Step 1: Boil some water and once cooled, pour it into the pot.

Step 2: Pour in the Sinus Rinse mixture packet.

Step 3: Stand in front of a sink, lean forward and tilt your head to one side. Keep your mouth open without holding your breath. You place the tip of the pot in one nasal passage and allow the solution to flow until the solution starts draining from the opposite nasal passage.

Step 4: Gently blow your nose.

Result

After following the instructions, my nasal passages were clear and I was able to breathe, but the results were only temporary. The symptoms of my cold were back within 15 minutes and I was left unable to breathe through either. nostrils. I can understand the appeal of the Neti Pot, but would instead recommend the Vicks VAPOINHALER or the Otrivin Saline Nasal Spray.

The Neti Pot 6.5/10

I will revisit this product once my cold passes.

 

Additional Information

http://www.neilmed.com/can/netipot.php

 

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How to Become a Better Listener

We live in a world full of endless distractions which directly affects our ability to listen intently. In my opinion, listening is perhaps the most important aspect in any dialogue. The funny thing is, we can all learn to be a better listener. But how? 

Eliminate Distractions: In order to provide an individual with your full attention, you should avoid multi-tasking or anything that steers away your attention.  

Make Eye Contact: Nothing says “I could care less about what you’re telling me” like avoiding eye contact. It shows that you are being attentive.

Stop Talking: It’s perhaps the most obvious piece of advice, but you should wait for your turn to speak. 

Don’t Interrupt: It’s proper etiquette to allow the party to finish what he/she is saying before you chime in.

Asking Meaningful Questions: When appropriate, feel free to ask thought provoking questions that may allow the individual to reach their own conclusions.

“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”  – Zeno 

 

Additional Information:

www.wikihow.com

 

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My Four-Step Iced Coffee Recipe

Spring is just around the corner and if you’re a coffee drinker like me, then you will likely turn to iced coffee on some of the hotter days. Here’s my simple four-step recipe to making a homemade iced coffee.

Here’s what you need:

Plenty of ice

Coffee (A fairly light blend)

French Vanilla International Delight

Sugar or Sweetener

Caramel Flavouring (This can be found in the baking aisle at any grocery store) 

Step 1: Brew a small batch of coffee 

Step 2: Fill a plastic cup full of ice until it’s packed

Step 3: Pour the coffee into the cup full of ice

Step 4: Pour in a generous amount of International Delight followed by a spoonful of sugar or sweetener. Add a few drops of caramel flavour. Mix with a long spoon.

Those are my four simple steps to creating an incredible iced coffee. Just in time for the spring season!

 

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10 Questions

“Inside The Actors Studio” has been a show that I have thoroughly enjoyed watching for the past 10 years. Host James Lipton does a masterful job of bringing the best out of every guest who appears on the show. Towards the end of each episode, James asks each guest a series of 10 questions. This questionnaire concept was originated from a French television program. Never the less, I thought it would be fun if I answered each of these questions. Here’s an opportunity to learn more about your friendly neighbourhood Chris.
 

What is your favourite word?

Incognito

What is your least favourite word?

Fungus

What turns you on?

Humour

What turns you off?

Big egos

What sound or noise do you love?

Uncontrollable laughter

What sound or noise do you hate?

Sirens

What is your favourite curse word?

F%#*

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Television Producer 

What profession would you not like to do?

Politician or Oil Rig Worker 

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

“The self-serve frozen yogurt bar is located directly beside our comedy club. Unlimited toppings. You earned it.” 

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Anger Management

A car has just blatantly cut you off and you are forced slam on the breaks. How do you react? Do you honk the horn? Swear? Shake your fist? It’s safe to assume that you are probably irritated. Anger is completely normal and a typical human emotion. While anger can be considered healthy, it can also spiral out of control into fits of rage. This is far from healthy and could affect several aspects of your life. But how does one deal with anger?

Here are some crucial tips:

Don’t Bottle It Up: The admission of anger is a very important step. Otherwise, the bottle could crack and all of those suppressed angry moments could leak out and snowball out of control.

Exercise: This is perhaps the best outlet to relieve any feelings of anger. Something as simple as a walk could put your mind and body at ease.

Recognize Solutions: Go to the source of what causes your anger and attempt to find common solutions. Does the traffic on the way to work drive you mad? Allow yourself extra travel time in the morning or choose an alternate route.

Laugh: Learn to laugh instead of lash. It’s often the most trivial and silly things that make us angry.

Do Not Overreact: Take a step back and ask yourself, “Is this situation really as bad as I am making it out to be?”

Ask a Professional: Learning to control your anger is an ongoing challenge. If it seems out of control, perhaps seeking the help of a professional would be an ideal avenue to venture down. Anger management classes and counseling is surprisingly inexpensive and extremely beneficial.

 

Information Provided By:

www.mayoclinic.com

www.cmha.ca

 

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Be Curious. Not Judgemental

Whether we would like to admit it or not, we can all be a tad judgemental. Perhaps we are simply creatures of habit and continue to unknowingly mimic previous actions and thought patterns. Being judgemental does not make you a bad person, but it does show evidence that you may lack the art of acceptance and understanding.

Here is something that I was taught at a very young age.

 

“If you judge others, prepare to be judged yourself.” It’s a simple, self explanatory and effective statement. I have carried those words through every path I have crossed in life.

Walt Whitman once said, “Be Curious. Not Judgemental.” To dig a little deeper into this quote, Walt is implying that it’s okay to question things or be curious, but don’t be closed minded or judgemental.

You know that grumpy old woman down the hall who never smiles? Perhaps she just lost her husband. Or that neighbor who walks with a limp? Perhaps he just had a hip replacement. It’s easy to judge before you know their situation.

The art of acceptance and understanding is quite simple. Put yourself in another person’s shoes, listen, and try to accept their situation. No, you don’t have to love every person that you encounter or constantly pretend to be someone’s best friend. It’s simply about opening your mind and heart and avoiding that one habit that seems all too natural. We breathe the same air; we take the same steps and our hearts all beat. I firmly believe that we have just one shot at this life, so let’s try our very best to live the remainder of it “judgement free.”

 

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Valentine’s Day

Do the chocolates, flowers or romantic dinners really matter on Feb 14th? No. It’s a thoughtful gesture, but what really matters is expressing your love and appreciation to the most important individuals in your life rather than celebrating the bells and whistles. Perhaps you don’t have a significant other, well express those feelings towards your closest friends and family.

Sure, Valentine’s Day is just another corporate holiday meant to make an extra dollar off of us, but the least you can do is phone, text, email or visit those who have truly made an impact in your life and simply say, “I love you.” You just never know when it might be your last opportunity to say those 3 little words.

And by the way, you don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day to share those loving thoughts. These power messages tend to mean a great deal more when they are delivered unexpectedly. 

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5 Ways To De-Stress

You just received another bill in the mail, you’re starting to feel under the weather, the car isn’t running properly and you are under constant pressure at work. Does this sound familiar? In one form or another, stress tends to affect us all. Is there a way to de-stress? Yes!  Here are my personal tips to the rescue!

Laugh – A little laugher may not solve your problems, but it will certainly distract you from them. Perhaps a funny movie or YouTube video will do the trick.

Go For A Walk – The combination of exercise and fresh air is one of the most effective forms of de-stressing. Speaking of which…

Get Some Sunlight – I’m talking about natural sunlight, not the artificial type. It’s a common fact that serotonin levels are increased in the presence of the sun. These levels are responsible for mood elevation. Simply put, a little Vitamin D could easily boost your spirits.

Breathe – Taking deep breaths can be an instant stress reliever. I tend to practice these from a laying position.

Listen To Music – Listening to music tends to have a very relaxing effect on our mind and body. Don’t be afraid to sing along to your favourite song either as it can also release tension.

The next time you are stressed out, which could be at this very moment, try out these tips out and let me know if they worked for you! 

 

 

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How I Build My Confidence

Confidence can be defined in several different manners, but I sum it up with just one simple statement, confidence is all about believing in your self. As you have likely experienced, building up confidence can be a rather daunting challenge. There have been several occasions where I have doubted my abilities or lacked confidence as a whole. Can you boost confidence with time? Absolutely. I didn’t truly begin to feel confident until I was 18. Whenever I am full of doubt, I go back to the tips that were always effective.

 

Be Positive – Simply put, a positive attitude can work wonders for your confidence. 

Talk To Your Friends And Family – Your friends and family always have your back. They will always be the first to cheer you up and bring you back to reality. The reality is, they care about you for a reason.

Acknowledge Your Insecurities – We all have flaws. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life. By addressing your insecurities, you can either work on them or move on.

Don’t Obsess Over Perfection – There is no such thing as perfection. Michael Jordan missed thousands of basketball shots and Donald Trump doesn’t close every deal.  Greatness is an achievable feat, but perfection is not.

Recognize Your Accomplishments – Yes, you do have an accomplishment to be proud of. Go back into those memories, dig them out and then pat yourself on the back.

Focus On Your Goals – When you focus on a goal, you are more likely to achieve some form of satisfaction.

Life is an unpredictable storm. In order to weather that storm, you need to believe in your self. 

 

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