Tricks From Counselors On How To Boost Creativity

 

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Oftentimes, it feels like other people are merely blessed with the ability to be creative. If you feel like you’re not one of those fortunate few who doesn’t have that creative gene, this doesn’t imply that you can’t learn to be creative.

It is important to note that creativity is not something passive. Just lying in bed and waiting for something to inspire you is not a recipe for improvement. Rather, concentrate on finding ways to enhance your own creativity. Think of things, ideas, or ways that would help you focus your mental and emotional energy on the task in front of you.

Below are some tricks shared by some experienced counselors that might help improve and inspire creativity in you.

Enclose Yourself With Inspiring Things

Psychologists agree that the environment or surrounding plays a crucial part in the creative process. Provoking your surroundings can elicit creativity, so get close to things, people, and ideas that spark inspiration drive you to think creatively.

Create Boundaries

When you are attempting to find solutions to problems, people occasionally depend on what’s obvious and build on ideas already there to come up with the most convenient solutions. This would probably result in positive results, but it can result in functional immobility and mental sets that make it difficult to generate creative solutions.

A way of overcoming this is to create boundaries in your thoughts. Learning to do this can actually lead you to come up with more creative solutions. The next time you try to find a solution to a problem, try restricting the ideas or things you can utilize to solve the problem. You will notice that you’ll be able to bring up fresh and new ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of before.

Go Walking

Past research revealed that people are inclined to become more artistic when they walk instead of just sitting down or laying back. The research also showed that simple physical activities could help enhance and safeguard cognitive abilities, although the research revealed that simple walking could briefly improve some forms of thinking. Go for a short walk to find out if you might experience a spark of creativity.

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Give Yourself A Reward

Remunerating things that are inherently rewarding can actually backfire and decrease motivation, an occurrence called the over-justification effect. So it would feel like giving some kind of reward for creativity might produce the reverse effect, reducing drive and creativity. However, studies found that when remunerations are given openly for yielding creative work, creativity then increases. If you’ve been seeking inspiration, commit yourself to some kind of wonderful prize for finding creative solutions. Don’t exaggerate, though, or you’ll risk losing that motivation.

Fantasize

Presently, there are plenty of distractions, especially since we are in a digitally connected world. Rather than spending your idle time visiting websites, using apps, and playing online games, bore yourself by just fantasizing or daydreaming. A study on bored participants showed that they did better in their creativity evaluations than those laid back, distressed, and relaxed. Boredom provides people time for daydreaming, making way for improved creativity. It encourages creative thoughts because it transmits a warning that the present scenario is missing, and finding fresh concepts helps surpass that.

Blue For Creativity

In color psychology, various colors produce various feelings, behaviors, and moods. According to studies, blue makes most people come up with creative ideas. This is because the color blue apparently encourages people to think about less simple concepts or thoughts. It is extremely linked to nature, peace, and calmness, giving people a sense of safety. Try surrounding yourself with the color blue and find out if you’ll get creative ideas.

Get On Your Emotional Side

Experts have suggested that positive feelings were heavily connected to creativity, although further studies revealed that both strong negative and positive emotional states were related to creative thinking.

This doesn’t imply that you should quickly make yourself furious or moody just to get that inspiration you so need. But if you find yourself in an unpleasant mood, try releasing that energy towards confronting a problem or finishing a task instead of just lying around and getting mad. Negative feelings can be bad, but you can use them to work on something constructive when you are feeling off.

Relax And Meditate

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There are certain forms of meditation that are associated with the development of creative thinking. Meditation was used a long time ago as a technique for relaxation, but current studies have confirmed that the health benefits of meditation go far beyond just calmness and relaxation.

One type of meditation known as open-monitoring meditation, where the person is responsive to all his sensations and thoughts without concentrating on any specific idea or thing, is believed to alleviate conflicting thoughts and generate new and better ones.

Conclusion

Find ways to integrate meditation and other positive mechanisms into your everyday life. Merely concentrating on your experiences and thoughts might help instill creativity. Good luck!

 

 

Work Stress And Stress Counseling

 

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Going through stress at work is not uncommon, and sometimes it can be useful – for instance, it could motivate you to do better at work – but at the same time, it can become difficult if you’re experiencing extreme stress regularly.

In this situation, work stress can disrupt your professional goals and interfere with your personal life too.

Work Stress

There are different meanings of work stress, but most involve the concept of physical, emotional, and mental tension due to career and work-related factors.

When a person is stressed, he might feel drained, experience indications of mental health disorders like depression or anxiety, or have difficulty concentrating or sleeping.

Work is among the most typical causes of stress in America. A study published by the American Psychological Association noted that almost 60% of people surveyed said that their job was somehow a very significant factor that stressed them out. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America also reported that more than those who participated in the study stated that work stress frequently affected their work performance and their other relationships negatively. More than 80% of males and about 70% of females – claimed that work stress impacted the quality of their life even outside of work.

Work Stress Symptoms

Everyone responds differently to stress. Below are a few of the most popular indications of work stress:

  • Physical indications. Stress frequently emerges along with other physical indications, including headaches, digestive problems, and muscle tension. You might notice these symptoms worsen when you’re in your workplace or perhaps when you think about work.
  • Trouble sleeping. You could have insomnia, wake up feeling still feeling tired, or always sleeping.
  • Worry or anxiety. You may often be disturbed with thoughts about work and find it hard to concentrate or relax.
  • Feeling drained. Stress can cause you to feel like you can’t deal with the demands of your job.
  • Decreased work performance. If your occupation is causing you so much stress, you could become less capable of being efficient at work, and this causes more stress.

Stress is essentially not an illness in itself. Still, longstanding stress can result in severe physical and mental health problems for workers, mostly contributing to accidents and deaths in the workplace. Sometimes, work-related stress can be useful because others often work efficiently when they’re under duress or a little tense. However, as a bigger part of our lives is expended while on the job, exposure to too much stress can result in fatigue and unhappiness. On the other hand, persistent stress could result in other physical and mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, back problems, fatigue, and headaches.

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Stress Counseling

Professional psychologists find the prevalent sources of stress at work include being unappreciated, being overworked, prolonged hours working, management’s poor supervision and communication skills, bullying, conflict with co-workers, and workplace restructuring. Stress counseling with a competent counselor can help recognize the emotional factors that affect you. Many people don’t even have an idea why they’re so drained and stressed, which only worsens the problem. You need to listen to your body and mind and relax if you need it.

Some individuals are physically affected by stress – persistent colds and flu, and other problems might emerge. Others go through emotional responses like developing low self-esteem, feeling depressed or anxious, or becoming dazed when assigned to finish a task.

Indications of stress are typically felt in the body. Physical cues such as stomach problems, tight muscles, flu, or colds can all indicate work-associated stress. Inability to sleep during normal hours is also common, as your brain could still be busy even when you have finished working for the day. If you are constantly going through stressful situations in your workplace in a tense environment, this can generate impulse choices resulting in lasting outcomes.

Additionally, when stress arises, the hormonal levels in the body heightens, mobilizing it to prepare for the fight or flight situation. Survival thinking typically sets in like having ideas or thoughts. For instance, “Should I stay or do I stop” – choices that can leave enduring effects on you, your family, and significant others.

No Reckless Decisions

Stress counseling for work-associated stress concerns can tremendously help. The advantages of stress counseling include increasing self-awareness and comprehension about yourself and of others.

Counselors and stress counseling psychologists offer a personal and private approach to assist you in trying to alleviate work-related tension and stress across all fields and all working environments.

Counseling sessions are done in an impartial space where you can open up about matters regarding your job, including the actual job you’re currently in, your work conditions, and how you feel about the whole situation. By trying out counseling, your counseling psychologist will comprehend and recognize your present coping abilities when managing your work-related issues, conflicts, and targets and can help you learn the best techniques and relaxation mechanisms to overcome the difficulties you’re going through.

Managing Work-Related Stress

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Some strategies for managing work-related stress – even longstanding stress – are listed below.

  • Exercise
  • Stress counseling
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Opening up to a trusted person
  • Write when you are stressed to alleviate bottled up feelings
  • Spend time alone
  • Listen to music
  • Meditation

Stress can be daunting and lonely, and by spending some quality time with people who are important to you, you can better manage stress. Stress counseling with an impartial and experienced individual is also very therapeutic. You learn to relax, practice coping skills, and be better at dealing with yourself.

 

 

Anxiety And Caffeine: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Caffeine is known to be the most popular and commonly used drug across the globe. As a matter of fact, more than 80% of the American population consumes caffeine daily. But is everybody fine with consuming caffeine? The National Institute of Mental Health reports that more than 30% of adults in the United States will have anxiety disorders. Is caffeine-related to or does it potentially cause anxiety?

Anxiety And Caffeine

There is apparently a connection between one’s mental health and caffeine consumption. This is confirmed by the DSM-5 or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which the American Psychiatric Association and healthcare professionals utilize as a guide for diagnosing mental disorders. The DSM-5 has listed four caffeine-related conditions, including caffeine withdrawal, unspecified caffeine-related disorder, caffeine intoxication, and other caffeine-produced conditions such as sleep and anxiety disorders.

A study from a few years back revealed how caffeine heightened alertness by inhibiting adenosine, a brain chemical that causes you to feel fatigued while triggering the surge of adrenaline, which is a chemical that increases one’s energy. If caffeine’s level in the body is too much, these effects become stronger, leading to caffeine-produced anxiety.

There has been proof of mental benefits to consuming caffeine. Still, too much of it has also been shown to provoke anxiety symptoms, and individuals who experience social anxiety and panic disorder are particularly sensitive.

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Below are frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers about how caffeine and anxiety are associated. 

Can caffeine reduce anxiety?  

The caffeine in coffee can apparently help you concentrate and be more efficient, which leads to a reduction of your anxious feelings. When people are overwhelmed, they frequently get worried and anxious. This anxiety could result in decreased productivity in your day-to-day activities, like work or school performance.

Is caffeine bad for anxiety and depression?  

Depression and anxiety most often occur side by side, and caffeine worsens anxiety. Quitting suddenly has been shown to worsen depression. If you are a regular drinker of caffeinated products, stopping can lead to a depressed mood until your body can adjust. This could also cause other indications and symptoms like fatigue, irritability, and headaches. 

Can caffeine cause panic attacks?  

If you consume more than your usual caffeine dose in a day, it can potentially result in jitters. In individuals who are prone to experiencing anxiety, caffeine can produce a complex set of sensations, such as pounding heart, cold sweats, and a ringing sensation in the ears. All of these may lead to a full-blown panic attack. 

How long does caffeine anxiety last?  

The effects of caffeine anxiety can appear within 45 to 60 minutes and can persist for as long as 4 to 6 hours, although these are seldom dangerous. However, the effects are different from person to person because it will depend on their sensitivity, tolerance, and caffeine dose that they are used to consuming. 

What can I drink instead of coffee for anxiety?  

These are equally tasty alternatives that you can drink instead of coffee:

  • Matcha tea
  • Lemon water
  • Chicory coffee
  • Yerba Mate
  • Chai tea
  • Apple cider vinegar

Is decaf better for anxiety?  

Consuming decaffeinated coffee means decreased anxiety and enhanced sleep, which are essential for improving mental, emotional, and physical well-being. 

How can I calm my anxiety?  

You can try these simple suggestions to help calm your anxiety:

  • Spend quality time with family, friends, and yourself.
  • Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Get a sufficient amount of sleep daily.
  • Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol.
  • Practice meditation and deep breathing.
  • Be physically active regularly. 

How long does anxiety take to heal?  

Treatment success differs, although most individuals with anxiety disorders could be managed with professional mental healthcare. The benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy are typically seen between 12 and 16 weeks. Prescription medications also have short-term and long-term options and will depend on the severity of the individual’s anxiety and other diseases that he may have. 

Can anxiety go away with time?  

The first form of anxiety disappears by itself, but the second one might not. Most individuals with anxiety disorders never completely get rid of their anxiety. Still, they can definitely learn how to manage their emotions and tremendously decrease their anxiety by going through therapy and taking medications when necessary. 

Is anxiety all in your head?

This statement is true in a way, as anxiety begins in the head. Everyone experiences some form of anxiety at some point in his or her life. It is the brain’s way of preparing us to confront danger, escape it, or deal with a stressful event.

Can anxiety be cured completely?  

Anxiety cannot be fully cured because a person’s propensity to anxiety is part of their genetic structure. This is something that no single treatment can modify or alter. This is the reason why anxiety cannot be completely cured.

What helps anxiety naturally?  

Here are simple things that you can try to help you naturally get rid of your anxiety:

  • Be physically active. Exercise is great for your mental health.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid drinking too much caffeine and alcohol.
  • Get sufficient amounts of sleep daily.
  • Maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet.
  • Practicing deep breathing and meditation. 

Can I beat anxiety without medication?  

Anxiety is a monster, but it is possible to overcome your struggle without taking medications. Sometimes, getting rid of tension and worry is merely a matter of changing your thoughts, behaviors, and your lifestyle. You can begin a medication-free approach and then talk with a mental health professional if your anxiety symptoms have worsened or have not improved. 

What vitamins help with anxiety?

Some of the most common vitamins and supplements that could help relieve stress and anxiety include vitamin B, Glycine, L-theanine, and Ashwagandha. 

What deficiency causes anxiety?

Some experts suggest that being vitamin-D deficient can also lead you to experience anxiety. In a study done in 2015, individuals with reported anxiety or depression symptoms showed decreased levels of calcidiol, which is a derivative of vitamin D.

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Conclusion 

There is a connection between anxiety and caffeine consumption, and this includes caffeine-induced anxiety. However, for most individuals, consuming caffeine moderately is quite safe and may even benefit them.

On the other hand, eliminating or instantly decreasing the amount of caffeine from your diet could result in withdrawal, which can also trigger anxiety.

If you think that your anxiety has aggravated because you consumed caffeine, or if it’s making you feel more nervous or anxious, contact your doctor about it and discuss how to consume caffeine appropriately.

 

 

Sustainable Homes, Better Mental Health

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It has been a known fact that our planet has been going through a lot the past couple of years. From carbon emissions, pollution, global warming, and climate change, our planet has experienced a lot of struggles every day. So, as a race, we should be thinking about how we could best help sustain Mother Earth as best as we could.

Continue reading “Sustainable Homes, Better Mental Health”

Family: Home Improvements Beyond The House

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Everybody in this world belongs to a family. May it be biological, adoptive, or even just a group of people who you have grown with as a person, everyone has someone whom they call their family. It is human nature to yearn and seek for a family, for people who love you regardless of fault. We are programmed to be social beings and a family is our first-ever chance to become social.

Continue reading “Family: Home Improvements Beyond The House”

What Watching Tiny House Nation During Quarantine Has Taught Me

I got the key to my 130-square-foot house and lot last January. I know it is small, but I have a lot of money-making plans for it, to the extent that the property can pay for its own mortgage. I intend to dress it up, make it look spacious, and then rent it to short-term guests through Airbnb. However, there is one problem: I don’t know how to turn the unit into a full house.

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I have been sitting on this idea for months now. The quarantine orders even took place, and I still hadn’t taken a single step towards my goal. Then, one day, my sister screamed for me to come downstairs because she “saw something cool.” When I reached the living room, an episode of the Tiny House Nation was playing.

Though I had never heard of the show before, I was pleasantly surprised by how the builders managed to transform a cramped container into a real home. It was complete with a living room, dining room, full bathroom, and two bedrooms, but there was plenty of legroom for everyone. At the same time, it gave me hope that I could use the same approach that they followed to my new tiny house.

Here’s what I learned while watching the Tiny House Nation.

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Bright Colors Work Like Magic

The first thing to bear in mind is that bright colors are essential for small homes. White is fantastic, but the lighter shade of any color you may like will work, too. That will give anyone the illusion that your place is bigger than it seems from the outside.

In case you are a fan of dark hues, though, that’s okay. I have seen episodes in the show where the main colors were navy blue, emerald, or dark brown. The illusion of spaciousness remains because the builders complement them with brightly colored pillows, rugs, furniture, etc.

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Imagination Is Key

Even before getting my tiny house and lot, I accepted that I wouldn’t be able to fit a ten-seater dining table or an L-shaped couch in it. If I tried, there wouldn’t be enough space for at least a twin bed. I also thought that it was impossible to invite my friends or family for a sleepover, considering I could not take all the furniture out every time they visited.

Watching the Tiny House Nation has helped me see that I can have the best of both worlds, even if I don’t have a regular-sized home. For instance, I can customize an L-shaped couch and turn it into a daybed. A center table can become a dining table or back support for another bed as well. Thanks to the show, I have even learned about murphy beds and tables, which proves that imagination is the solution to my problem.

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Leave It To The Experts

Furthermore, I have realized that I should not try to DIY this project. While there are not many of them, a few contractors specialize in tiny homes, and I can contact them for their services. They have been doing it for a while, so they must know the best ways to maximize the little space I have.

Final Thoughts

To date, the construction inside my small house has still not started. I want it to be perfect, so I have been going back and forth with the contractor to ensure that everything I ask for is in the blueprint. Besides, I don’t want to contribute to the virus’s potential spreading by asking them to work in a cramped space. Now that I already have a concrete plan, my dream of renting out the place will undoubtedly come true—thanks to Tiny House Nation.

Small Home? No Problem!!! Beat The Lockdown Blues – Read This!

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Most single women and bachelors are living in small apartments, pads, or condos. That’s because it is easy to maintain, lesser lease or rental fee, and they won’t be staying there for the most of the day. But then, this COVID-19 drops the bomb on Mother Earth and bam! Everybody needs to stay at home and do a self-quarantine. No business or office is open, not until there is a cure or the curve is flattened.

Continue reading “Small Home? No Problem!!! Beat The Lockdown Blues – Read This!”

3 Foolproof Tips About Choosing Your Interior Paint

Everyone dreams of being able to say that they have a guest house. Not many people are vocal about it because it seems like a silly dream to have. However, I am sure that you can relate to it even if you don’t admit it verbally. 

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The reason is that owning a guest house practically shows that you have made it in life. A lot of individuals do not even have an apartment or car under their name, but you have a special place for your visitors. You do not need to live in it; it is just there anytime your friends or relatives come by, whenever that is. There is nothing more amazing than that!

The thing is, you cannot leave your guest house empty. You want it to look and feel like a home if you genuinely wish to impress your future visitors. Otherwise, they may think that you have pushed them to sleep in the storage room. 

The first step to decorating your guest house is painting the walls. Now, remember that this project is not cheap at all. You may have to cough up anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the size of your guest house. Thus, you need to know what colors and brand will suit your new place and budget best.

When choosing your interior paint, therefore, you need to:

Know Your Pricing Options

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Pick the color combinations and see which paint brands offer them based on the funds you have set aside for this. If you are looking at a mid-range rate, to be specific, you will be safe with brands like Valspar Signature, Benjamin Moore, Glidden, and Behr Premium Plus. Their prices play between $20 to $50 per gallon.

Don’t bother checking out paints that are above your budget. Doing so will either make you max out your savings or feel depressed for not being able to afford them.

Decide Between High Or Low VOC

VOCs are harmful organic chemicals used to stabilize the base paint’s consistency. However, you can opt for brands that add very little of them to their products or not at all, considering low-VOC products are more kid-friendly.

As a rule, paints that contain a high amount of VOC are less costly than the ones without or this chemical. Again, you need to consider this fact before buying interior paint.

Choose The Right Finish 

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Flat, eggshell and semi-gloss are the paint finishes you need to know about. If you have to cover up a patched wall, you can go with the first one. If you don’t want a stained wall, however, you may opt for an eggshell or semi-gloss finish.

Final Thoughts

Excellent paintwork can do wonders for your dream guest house. In case space is small, for instance, you can use light colors to create the illusion that it is bigger than it seems. If you do not want to add a lot of other decorations, you may turn the walls into canvases. 

Nevertheless, set your ideals straight before you visit the paint center. Like what most people say during the election period, choose wisely.

Repurposing Ideas For Your Home (Part 2)

How was your experience doing the small projects in the first half of this two-part blog? What did you enjoy more, the thought of showing your creativity or the fact that the ideas allowed you to save money?

There is no incorrect answer for the latter question, to be honest. You can be glad to be able to spend less on every project and have a gorgeous decoration as an output. That’s our goal here, after all: to show you that you don’t need to use all your savings to make your house pretty.

Still, wreaths, pots, and lamps cannot complete the revamping task that you may have in mind. You need larger items to display and become the centers of attraction when guests come. That way, you can entertain them even if you are busy cooking or doing something else for them.

Here are the other repurposing ideas that you may want to do as well.

Ladder Shelves

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Metallic or wooden ladders can easily get transformed into instant bookshelves. For the folding type, you may cut the parts that prevent both sides from being extended too far. That will be great on the wall corners. A single ladder, on the other hand, is suitable for horizontal or vertical use.

Bar Headboard Rack

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When you feel like changing your old spindly headboard into something that suits your contemporary lifestyle, you may turn it into a towel rack in the bathroom or kitchen. If you live in a small apartment where space is scarce, it will be cool to make a new hanging spot for your clothes out of the headboard as well.

Stool Caddy For Umbrellas

While umbrellas are helpful whether it is rainy or sunny, they have no use when you enter the house. Hence, upcycling your timeworn kitchen stool to create a unique umbrella caddy will be amazing. All you need to do is turn the chair upside down and perhaps repaint it before dropping all your umbrellas in it.

Chandelier Wine Bottles

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There must be a period in your life in which you have consumed one too many drinks with your friends. You know that it is going to be a bit embarrassing to let your neighbors see you hauling a big box of empty wine bottles out of your home. The smartest thing you can make out of this situation is to tie strings on the mouth of each bottle, hold them up together, and put a lightbulb in the center. Now, you can say that you have made a chandelier by yourself.

Final Thoughts

Only the size of the outputs in this blog makes it different from the ones in the previous article. The ease of making them, though, does not change. You merely have to imagine what other things can get created out of the items that are practically trash at home.

There are more repurposing ideas that you can surely do on your own at home. How about crafting a desk or utensil organizer from scraps of wood? Why don’t you use the old TV set to build an aquarium, a dollhouse, or a bed for your pet? After all, imagination is the only restriction here.

Good luck!