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Social Media – Developing Healthy Skills and Balance

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I received a lifehack e-mail with a link to a list of reasons why social media can be detrimental to our health.

It’s titled, 
You Should Be Aware Of These 10 Effects Of Social Media On You

By Amanda Rife 

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/you-should-aware-these-10-effects-social-media-you.html

Amanda Rife writes:

“Technology is a useful tool, but many people don’t know how to use it properly which can easily become damaging. As much as you may love your Twitter page is it really worth the toll it takes on your health? That’s for you to decide after you read the following 10 ways social media negatively effects your life:”

She brings up some interesting and important issues and great points with some basis of truth to them and I am elaborating and adding my own views about each one, here.

After each number is her reason why social media may be damaging to us. Under each reason is her view and under each of her views is my own opinion.

1.) Reduces person to person interaction.

Amanda Rife writes:
“Not only do you spend less quality time with is people who are physically present in your life, but they will quickly get annoyed by you when you’re paying more attention to an electronic device than them. Eventually the people around you will even stop wanting to hang out with you.”

My view: We have complete control over how frequently and in which ways we use our social media accounts and our phones, computers, laptops, ipads…and whatever else we use to connect to a social media resource. Connecting with people online and seeing people in person are both great and both have advantages that the other does not. One doesn’t have to take the place of the other one. Social media allows us to share photos, statuses, posts..and comment, tag each other in ways we can’t do in person and allows us to meet people and reconnect with people we would have never met or encountered again if not for social media. Seeing each other in person is different than seeing each other through a screen, we can hang out, look into each other’s eyes(if we can see), hear each other’s voices(if you’re a hearing person), have coffee, tea, food together, laugh together… They’re both great and we don’t have to give up one for the other. It’s all about balance. You can put your phone away when you’re out with someone in person and just because you “see” that person online everyday doesn’t mean you don’t have/want to see the person in person when you can. Social media doesn’t control you if you don’t allow it to.

2.)  Increases your cravings for attention drastically.

Amanda Rife writes:

“Posting vague statuses on Facebook to grab others attention could easily become a nasty habit for people who use social media frequently. The never ending competition for likes and notifications can consume you.”

My view: What can be said about this (and other points brought up here) goes beyond the scope of this post. Many of these are deep psychological issues/aspects that are issues that can have posts of their own. Example: What Amanda Rife states here is true for some people. They need “likes” and comments and shares to feel validated and they want competition, to get more love than others. But that’s not Social media’s fault. That’s an inner issue of the individual self. Social media just provides us with the opportunity to get that kind of attention, to get “likes,” comments, shares…and while it’s great to have that kind of attention, it’s an honor to know that people like us and our content and there’s nothing wrong with desiring it, it’s an indication of a problem to feel that we need it to make us feel worthy or important. It’s a sign of a psychological problem that needs awareness and tending to if we become literally depressed or anxious or feeling excessively low to the point it seriously affects our lives if we don’t get attention on social media. I think the inner problem is what needs to be addressed, not just push it under the rug by criticizing or getting rid of social media for it. It may be helpful to lay off the social media accounts if we are the kind of person to need attention to validate us. It may be very helpful to stay off twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs…but that psychological problem of ours will still be there and may manifest in other ways if we get rid of our social media accounts. It’s not social media, it’s us. Social media can be our wake-up call, to help us realize we have a problem, not caused by social media, but being triggered by the opportunities it allows. We can then use this realization to our advantage, working on and exploring problems we would have not known we have if not for social media bringing our attention to it.

3.) Distracts from life goals.

Amanda Rife writes:

“It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what’s going on in social media that people will neglect their real life goals. Instead of aiming for the dream job by obtaining useful skills people, especially younger people, tend to strive for internet stardom.”

My view: Again, this is something we have complete control over. We can use the Internet and social media for just the opposite, to inspire us and motivate us to fulfill our goals and even come up with new ones. We can meet people, discover new ideas, and have our creativity sparked by the people and things we encounter through social media. Anything can distract us so we don’t work on our goals, TV, work, laziness, and more, we can get wrapped up into anything and become a slacker, not just social media. It’s great and very effective to manage our amount of time spent on each thing that takes up part of each day, not let one take over everyday.

4.) It can lead to a higher risk of depression.

Amanda Rife writes:

“According to recent studies the more people used social media the more negative feelings they experience, including depression. This could partiulalrly harmful to people who have been previously diagnosed with depression. If you beginning to notice you’re feeling down on a regular basis it’s probably time to take a break from your many social media.”

My view: This is probably for different reasons for different people. I suspect one of the the main culprits is negative comparison. We know how our lives really are, every aspect, every event, every thought, every problem…but with everyone else, we only see what they choose to reveal. Some people only reveal the positive aspects of their lives and keep the pain and problems hidden. For some, this is because they want everyone to truly believe they have The Perfect Life, for others it’s not that they want, necessarily, to be judged as having a perfect life, but they fear being judged negatively if they complain on social media outlets, for others still, it’s not at all about coming off as being perfect but they want to use their social media accounts just for uplifting quotes and happy thoughts, as opposed to using them to vent or disclose unpleasant situations or thoughts. They just aren’t drawn to sharing their whole lives, pleasant and unpleasant. When we are struggling and we see photos, posts, and all kinds of happy updates by people who seem to have it all, this can contribute to us feeling low about our own lives. And if we are prone to true depression, it can trigger an episode or the onset of a full blown disorder. A couple of other culprits of social media contributing to depression are cyber- bullying and friend rejection, people blocking and unfriending others, not responding to requests or comments and messages. If you’re prone to depression, this can be a serious trigger. 

Giving up all of social media may be a solution for some but I think the underlying depression and/or insecurity is what mostly needs to be addressed.

5.) Relationships are more likely to fail.

Amanda Rife writes:

“No good comes out of online displays of jealousy and snooping. It may seem like an easy option when it comes to dealing with relationships, but in reality it does more damage than good. In fact, studies show that the more a person uses Facebook the more likely they will be to monitor their partner, which leads to arguments and crumbling relationships.”

My view: Again, this is not social media’s fault but the fault of the persons involved. It’s how we go about handling our circumstances while also using social media. Relationships and the use of social media are compatible. We have to use our common sense about what is wise to do and not do in terms of social media. Or learn what to do and not to do if it’s not common sense to us. It’s all about our underlying insecurities and issues, not the social media. Social media just provides us with the opportunity to see and reveal all kinds of stuff that can bring out our insanity if we allow it to. We don’t need social media to spy on or stalk people, it just makes it easier to engage in those unhealthy things. If we feel a strong desire or need to obsessively monitor our lover every second of every day , the problem is either us or the lover. Maybe I’m very insecure and my lover is trustworthy. Or maybe I’m not overly insecure but he is being really suspicious and there is some reasonable explanation for my monitoring.

But the true underlying problems would likely be there with or without social media because they lie within us. They are what need to be addressed.

6.) Excessive use of social media stunts creativity.

Amanda Rife writes:

“I can speak from personal experience that social media is the easiest way to stunt, or kill, the creative process. Surfing social media sites, especially Tumblr. in this scenario, has a numbing effect on the mind that’s similar to mindlessly watching television. If you plan on being productive today shut off those apps!”

My view: This definitely has some truth to it and the word “excessive” is the key word here. Nothing is good in excessive amounts, that’s why it’s excessive! It’s also about being mindful and active in all that we do. Mindlessly scrolling through a bunch of mindless drivel thrown about by others is bound to numb anyone’s creativity and decrease our IQ a few points! But when we are mindful of what we’re reading or looking at and fully engaged, our creativity can deepen and we can come up with new ideas. While looking at pics on Tumblr, reading blog posts, Facebook statuses, or anything else, it will benefit you to pay close attention to what you are doing, thinking, feeling, reading. Is it serving you well? Is it inspiring you, motivating you, challenging you? Do you feel peaceful, calm, happy? Or is it just mind numbing stuff you’re surfing through because you feel you have nothing better to do? If so, you definitely have better things you can be doing! Finding something else to read or look at, meditate, tune into your surroundings, the scents, the feelings, the sounds, the colors and textures…your possibilities are endless.

7.) Cyber bullying is alive and well.

Amanda Rife writes:

“People feel too comfortable on the web and say things they wouldn’t normally say in real life. If you’re not the one say horrible things, you’re still inevitably going to be exposed to it. And if you are one of the people talking trash? Cut it out! You’re not as anonymous as you think. With the rampant cyber bullying on the web, people are also becoming more rude off the web as well.” 

My view: This is so true. Cyber-bullying is something we have little control over for the most part. For those of us who aren’t cyber-bullies, we still have to witness it or just really negative, uncalled for comments everywhere. Have you seen the YouTube comments on even the most inspiring, positive, beautiful, uplifting videos?! Good grief, they’re horrible. I rarely even read the comments because they’re so dumb and uncalled for. Internet trolls are everywhere and unfortunately here to stay. I suggest you don’t feed them. It’s what they want. So let’s let them starve. They are people who feel so low about themselves and their own lives so they insist on attempting to drag others down with them.

And it can crush our spirit to see even when it’s not happening to us, personally. Being a witness to uncalled for negativity can be so life-draining. But we can develop habits and skills to not let it get to us to the point it’s overwhelming and leads us to depression or anxiety. We can stand un-buffeted against the negative attention seekers who get off on inflicting pain upon others just for thrills. Focus on your own positive qualities and all the love and positivity you receive and remember as much as it sucks being bullied or being the target of cruelty, it has to suck way more being a bully. To sink to that level, there has to be something seriously wrong. Pay the callous comments no mind, I suggest you don’t respond to bullies directly but when you see it happening to someone, you can write positive things to the person to uplift her/him.

8.) Constantly comparing yourself to others online will make you miserable.

Amanda Rife writes:

“The digital persona people display on Facebook is often much different that what actually goes on in their lives. After awhile you may feel like you know your online aquainences better than you do, creating a social gap. Try to remember that everyone is just as human as you are.”

My view: Like I said in response to #4 about depression, negative comparisons aren’t good. It’s not healthy for us. When we’re comparing ourselves negatively to others we’re either making ourselves out to not be as good or making ourselves out to somehow be above the other person/people. It’s uncalled for. We all have good things and bad things and it’s all about our attitude. We can’t control what other people put on social media but we can control our own attitudes and reactions. Like Amanda Rife says, we are all equally human. Focus on the goodness of yourself. Bask in your own beauty while truly, relishing the beauty of others. 

Let other people’s happiness, accomplishments, success, and beauty inspire you and motivate you, not depress you or trigger jealousy.

If you really feel utterly miserable because of someone else on social media accounts, analyze yourself, think about why this is. Do you feel like you are lacking in some respects? Missing out? Then do something to fulfill yourself. It doesn’t matter what others think. Do what you have to to bring joy to yourself as long as you are not hurting or directly interfering with others. And if someone is trying to intentionally make others jealous, unhappy, miserable, you can unfriend, block, ignore that person and get on with your own life.

9.) Loss of sleep.

Amanda Rife writes:

“The light emitted from your various electronic screens tricks your mind into thinking it’s not time for you to sleep. Getting enough sleep each night is already difficult enough without extra complications. Perhaps it’s best if your phone doesn’t stay with you though the night.”

My view: This is true but has nothing to do with social media itself, really. If we have our phones by our side in bed, we may see the little flashing lights, hear beeping or other sounds, or just be so tempted to check Facebook and other things. Over and over and over. But this has to do with discipline. Self control. Get into the habit of sleeping at night, not playing with phones. If it’s really too difficult, the phone can be put in a different room while going to sleep to make the temptation less irresistible.

After a while it becomes a habit. Then it will be easier and easier to resist until eventually your brain is trained to not think of that phone and Facebook or Twitter at night. 

10.) Lack of privacy.

Amanda Rife writes:

“Between social media websites saving (and selling) your personal data and the whole NSA mess involving unsolicited government access of personal data including email, Skype calls, and so much more it’s very clear that privacy and the internet don’t mix at this point in time. If you post every last thought that pops into your head it could just as easily come back to haunt you in the future.”

My view: This is really very simple. Don’t ever put on social media, anywhere including what you think are personal e-mails or inbox messages, what you don’t want everyone to see. Even if your account is blocked so only people on your list can see, someone, somewhere, can get access to it if those people really want to. Once you put something out there, it’s out there for good, somewhere, even if you delete it and it looks like it’s gone. It can be retrieved. People can get into your e-mail box and any other thing you have on the Internet. Whatever you would never want others to see, keep it to yourself or tell someone in person if you can. Any other way is not safe. But this is a choice. When we put something stupid out there, it’s on us. It’s not Social media’s wrongdoing, it’s ours. Many people don’t realize that when we put something out there into cyber-world, it’s here to stay. They think it can be easily removed because there are “delete” buttons so it’s important to educate people.

Social media itself isn’t the problem. It’s how we use it and perceive it. Social media is limited in its power over us. It mostly only has the power we allow it to have. We can empower ourselves to have a healthy, balanced, positive relationship to social media and those people we connect with online.

We can greatly benefit by developing healthy skills and habits and cultivate a positive attitude about ourselves, each other, and social media. Social media provides us with amazing opportunities and has much potential for great things. We don’t have to give it up to avoid all our problems that arise while using it. It’s ourselves we need to work on.

It’s not the use of social media that is the problem, it’s misuse.

I’m very thankful Amanda Rife brought up these important issues. It is crucial to address them in this age of social media where so many feel that it has a power and mind of its own, where people feel like victims in the face of struggles made possible by social media. Social media is a blessing, certainly not without its negative consequences and distress in some cases, but it’s definitely a positive thing if we allow it to be and use it wisely.
,
Xoxo Kim 

Fifteen Happiness Killing Habits

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Here are some little habits that I believe get in the way of happiness & joy and cause unnecessary stress. I have done all of these and I think many or most people probably do a few of these every now and again. I think we should not make these things into serious habits and if they already are a bad habit for us, we can “unlearn” them. With practice, we can learn to avoid these happiness killers and cultivate positive habits instead.

1.) Overly comparing yourself with others
This is something so many of us do constantly.   I used to do this so much. We look at people around us, people on Facebook & blogs, coworkers, celebrities, peers, family members….and see how much “better” we think they have it. Everyone lives at their own pace and even some people who seem to “have it all”  are often unhappy and people with very little material objects & things can be very happy & fulfilled. If you catch yourself comparing yourself negatively to others, it may benefit you to stop and remind yourself of a few things that are going right for you and make that a habit until eventually the negative comparisons will mostly stop. Let us be inspired, motivated by, and in awe of other people’s successes and not jealous or depressed over them.  It’s better to focus on being better than your previous self, not better than someone else.  Dwelling on feeling low about your own life or self won’t help you. Change what you can if you really want to; it’s worth it! And accept what you can’t change!   Let you & your life be your own kind of beautiful! 

2.) Dwelling on or obsessing over what other people think 

It’s ok & healthy to care to a certain degree what others think of us but it should not be so important that it stresses us out or takes over our lives, making us deny or repress our true selves.  Everyone has good things & bad things, people who like them and people who don’t. It’s good to just focus on being our true selves no matter what.  What YOU think of you matters most! 🙂

3.) Putting happiness on hold until the “perfect” moment or until something big happens.

Often, we feel that we can’t or won’t be happy or we can’t celebrate life until….we have a better job, more money, lose five pounds, have kids, get married, graduate, get a work promotion, go on vacation, the weekend, next year…..and it’s ok to want and work for all of that but we should never let it take away right NOW.  Ordinary occurrences, days, & moments are just as important and are a true gift. Let’s not lose them for something “bigger & better.”
Wear your favorite earrings, your favorite clothes, buy yourself flowers, NOW!
 Celebrate NOW. Celebrate you.  Celebrate life itself.   Be happy NOW!.   ;-D

4.) holding onto grudges 

Almost everyone has been or will be hurt in some way by someone else. It may be a small way or in a significant, tragic, life-changing way. I don’t believe that forgiveness is always necessary but whether or not we completely forgive, we should not let what someone did to us, destroy us. We can let go or find ways to cope with the hostile feelings we have for people who hurt us and not dwell on the person or incident.   Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean believing what the person did is ok, it means we choose to no longer let it have a hold on us.
You don’t have to love or accept the person, just let go for yourself. And accept yourself!

5.) getting wrapped up in trivial arguments/not letting things slide 

Some things really have to be confronted but many things can be let go before anything even begins…maybe a rude comment made by someone, a stranger pushing you out of the way on a crowded bus, someone accusing you of being wrong about something trivial when you know you’re right, someone trying to start a frivolous argument with you….these things can often be brushed off and are often not even worthy of your attention.  Definitely stand up for yourself, express yourself, have a backbone but there’s no need to blow things out of proportion. Some things can be ignored so we can move forward and get on with our lives. 
It may appear to be a “weakness” on your part or like the other person got over on you but I believe just the opposite. When you can maintain your composure and keep calm in and out that is a true strength and no one got over on you! When you get all worked up and furious then someone got over on you. Even if you punch the person in the face or yell insults, you let your anger get the better of you.

6.) doing things for people just for “credit” or appearance or for something in return 

Being “fake” and acting kind & friendly to people just for a certain reputation or to get stuff out of it is likely to leave someone feeling unfulfilled. If you really just don’t care about being kind to people, helping others, maybe you can find something else you love instead of putting on a show. Doing something you don’t like, pretending to be someone you aren’t can make you feel hollow inside.   Emptiness is an unpleasant emotion. And as the saying goes, it’s better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not. It’s so true, imo.
I think we should help others because we genuinely want to even if no one knows and even if we don’t get tangible rewards out of it. Helping people is beautiful!   And helping animals too!

7.) being too concerned with money

It’s ok to want & work for money but it’s not the best thing in life, in my opinion anyway. There are more fulfilling things, like rewarding jobs helping people or ones that are fun and interesting, even if they are low paying jobs. We don’t have to be stacked to be happy! ;-D. We can do volunteer work or paid word that is truly rewarding. This is just my opinion. I think some people feel like they need money to be happy when if they look within themselves they’ll see it’s not so true. But if someone really is interested in money more than anything and has no problem with that and is fulfilled anyway, that’s ok! Whatever floats your boat! 
:-D. As long as you’re truly fulfilled!

8.) Dwelling on lack  & loss instead of abundance & gratitude 

We all lack something & will eventually lose something.   And we can dwell on that if we want to. But we also have so much to be grateful for and can dwell on that instead! 

“You can cling to your loss or learn to dance again.”
This can be difficult but it is possible with practice & a positive frame of mind. 

This quote helped me tremendously when my grief over the loss of my dog was overwhelming me, many months later. I think it may be a biblical/spiritual quote. I’m not religious or anything but I still find beauty and inspiration in some religious/spuritual stuff. I still have difficulty coping with the loss of my dog in April 2013. But it helps me to focus on what I do have.

You can work for more while still Acknowledging and appreciating what you currently have.

9.) being stuck in the past or obsessing over the future

Remembering & planning is good. But we are alive now and should not let our past imprison us either by regretting it frequently or mourning it and we don’t have to fear the unknown of the future or put happiness on hold for it.

10.) resisting the flow of life/reality

We should definitely work to make things better. But life will always be happy & sad, positive & negative, pleasant & unpleasant & joyful & painful. That can’t be changed. Not all bad can be eradicated. Some things just have to be accepted for peace of mind. We should in no way ignore or deny negativity or pain, just accept it and embrace it when it can’t be changed.

11.) taking life too seriously.

Some things just have to be laughed at, joked about, and let go. Everything doesn’t have to be a big thing to get angry over, stress over, break down over & held on to. Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff! 😉

12.) perpetuating gossip/drama:
Even if you yourself aren’t into gossip & drama, as long as you live and interact with people, at one point or another you will probably encounter someone who spreads gossip about you or tries to bring drama to you one way or another. I see so frequently on Facebook, usually girl’s, posting statuses like “She’s talking shit about me again..blah blah blahhh…” & “Shut your mouth instead of blabbing stuff about my life….” & “People are talking so much about me and I’m tired of the drama….” & “I want to punch her in the face or bitch slap her….”.
Some of these girls probably really are innocent “victims” of someone gossiping and being dramatic and want nothing to do with it and are just venting  but when I see statuses like that I often think that many of these girls secretly like being the “victim” of it or engaging in it and they want everyone on their list to see that they have something going on in their lives. They often don’t post names but just allude to someone. If you really don’t like gossip & drama, I believe that it’s best not to even post statuses like that at all and either ignore the gossipers & drama queens or confront them in a calm civil manner & just focus on being a great person yourself. Even if you don’t post names, you’re still engaging in & perpetuating it. I don’t mind seeing these statuses at all, they have nothing to do with me and I can always block or “x” the person’s posts out if I want. People can post whatever they want on their account but my point is that negative girly gossip & drama can stress us out & in my opinion isn’t at all attractive or interesting. Those have to be some of the most boring statuses I have ever read. But some people really take pleasure in them. Whatever floats your boat! :-D. I’m not innocent of those posts, I have posted a couple some years ago on rare occasions and it brought me nothing good.

13.) Harboring excessive or delusional guilt: Sometimes we may feel guilty when our lives are going well and tragedy has struck somewhere else. But repressing our own gratitude will not help in any way. It’s ok to be happy even when others aren’t. We can have empathy & compassion for them and reach out to them while still embracing our own lives.  
We don’t have to be “in their faces” with how great it’s all going for us but we don’t have to feel guilty and repress our own happiness either. We can find a healthy balance when being around people who are suffering when we are not.
And if you unintentionally hurt someone and are truly sorry, forgive yourself even if that person doesn’t.   We all make some kind of mistakes.   And if you hurt someone intentionally, still, you deserve your own forgiveness. You can learn, realize you were wrong, and move forward with true intentions to not hurt people on purpose again. 
You cannot take responsibility for the entire world or everyone you know. Go easy on yourself.   You can’t do everything, cure everyone, or help everyone.   Just be the best you that you can be without trying for some objective sense of Perfection.   

14.) Obsessing over/attempting perfection :

No one can be perfect in everyone’s eyes and even if we could, we shouldn’t try, in my opinion. We should just consciously be our authentic selves. Perfection is actually subjective for the most part. What’s perfect to me may not be to you.   Why be my definition of perfect?   Or Society’s? Or your friends’, family’s, or lover’s? Making some compromises to be compatible with others is sometimes a very good thing but denying your whole true self or most of yourself for someone else is detrimental to you. You are just as important as anyone else.

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.
Harvey Fierstein 

15.) Treating yourself horribly/thinking/talking negatively in reference to yourself:  

Many people mistreat themselves terribly in ways they would never dream of treating others. They verbally abuse themselves frequently with words like “Stupid,” “fat,” “loser,” “no good,” and the list goes on…..

Would you call your best friend “fat” or your mom? Do you constantly call your friends “stupid” not just in a playful way but seriously to offend?   Probably not. And you shouldn’t do that to yourself!   You are no less than anyone else! Instead when you catch yourself calling yourself insults or thinking negatively about yourself whether it’s true or not, think of how you can work on yourself to change for the better.  If you really think you’re stupid see what you can do to not feel that way. And when you think of Negative words about yourself, then think of three or more positive qualities you possess. And if there’s ones you would like to have but feel that you don’t yet have them, think of ways you can work on yourself to develop or strengthen them. But don’t abuse yourself. 
I have worked hard to change certain ways and things I think about me. Years ago I constantly referred to myself as a “loser,” “piece of shit,” “worthless,” “taking up more space then I deserve in this world,” and I would frequently say and think things like “I would rather be dead!” or “If that ever happens I will die!” 
Now I do not say or think those things. Not even in jest. It’s not funny and even as a joke it may unconsciously bring me down.

Habits can be intentionally and unintentionally learned and ingrained.   And they can be un-learned with practice and conscious application.   It is definitely worth the work!

“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
John Lennon 

If you have any you would like to share, you can post in the comments section! I would love to know! 😀

Thank You!!!!!!

Much love & happiness to you!

Xoxo Kim

Creativity – Don’t Hold Back!!! :-D

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I have been feeling this creative energy just surging through me like never before and have no idea why! Lol! I have never considered myself to be creative and have always felt a kind of block when attempting to think or act creatively.   I’m better at research/academic/analytical stuff. 

I have often put off doing things I either knew or assumed I wouldn’t be good at.   I would try it and quit right away.  I know that’s not a good idea and is a self imposed creative block. First of all, if it’s fun and interesting to you, it doesn’t matter if you’re good at it or not.

Also there’s a chance you will become better with practice.  Creativity doesn’t just have to be things like drawing and writing. It can be things like problem solving and thinking about things at different angles and with different perspectives.

I have noticed I am more creative now in writing poetic -like writings and with problem solving. People have sometimes told me I have a poetic way of speaking, which comes naturally to me but I’m not so sure I have ever been great at writing actual poetry or stories. But I feel more creative than ever now!   I have been trying to analyze why this is and one thing I think is, it may have to do with increased confidence in other areas. Confidence in one aspect of life can permeate to every other aspect, which is very good!

I have been meditating upon the concept of “When one door closes, another opens.”. That is a creative way of thinking.   Instead of dwelling on what is lost, we can use the experience to make way for better things.

If we allow it, it can help us look at things differently.   I used to often, and sometimes still do, dwell on previous pain and struggles, allowing them to hold me back and imprison me. But more and more I have been using them as resources to guide me and strengthen me.

So I believe this is contributing to my general creativity enhancement.  Also, I have been posting here in this blog much more frequently than ever. I have said before, I have always been so inspired to write but often felt too fatigued to put much thought into things. I consume too much sugar and it tends to make me sluggish.  Also depression can make me fatigued, sluggish, like a zombie.

But I have made some minor lifestyle changes such as stretches more frequently which help with fatigue and so I have more energy to put thought into what I write here and that helps me be more creative all around.   It’s like strengthening my “creative muscle.”. Also I have come to sometimes allow my depression itself to inspire me by looking at it in various ways other than just cursing it.  This is hard but can sometimes be accomplished. 

Sometimes now, instead of succumbing to my bed or the floor in a depression, I create a blog post with something positive to focus on!

I let it inspire new ideas, coping mechanisms, and other things in me.

Also, I have been giving in and not holding back. When I feel like writing poetically or creatively I do no matter how much I think it will suck. Lol. This gets my creative juices flowing.

One problem I recently had is somehow my phone service got switched over to Android. I have a Blackberry, never an Android. But someone switched it in the T-Mobile system and it took my phone’s Internet away. This is a permanent switch. It can often be fixed just by the phone service people switching it in their system but sometimes that won’t work. To spare you many boring and confusing details I will just say it did not work and my phone needs a Master reset which will permanently delete all my photos, songs, writings, everything.  And even that may not bring my Internet service back to this phone.

I can back it up on a computer but currently have no computer Internet so that’s out of the question.   I tried writing stuff on paper but it’s overwhelming. I have so much amazing stuff on here! Lol

But I kept calm. I was disappointed but not angry. I know someone just made a mistake and there are way worse things than losing files on a phone no matter how amazing they are.

But because of all my creative thinking /acting lately, I thought of a “solution ” and although my phone isn’t fixed and I can’t get on the net using the browser icon on my home screen, I thought of another way to get on the net.  It’s more complicated but it’s a way!  I found two ways actually.  So thankful!   

 I think I’ll keep it this way for now. There’s a chance I may need a new phone and eventually lose everything but for now I will do what I can to keep it.   And feel gratitude in the process for everything I have and am.

I decided to compose a list of tips that I find helpful for enhancing creativity since I am a creative genius now. Lol jk. I’m nothing of that sort! ;-). But I’m in the process of learning and would love to share.

To enhance your creativity maybe these will help:

1.) Don’t let lack of or perceived lack of skills or talent hold you back. This is probably the most crucial tip. You will never know how great you can be or what you can accomplish or attain if you never try. Keep trying.   Maybe your drawing, writing, painting…..whatever it is you want to do will suck but so what? And if you don’t want to, you don’t have to show it to any one. Don’t hold back!  Channel your inner child. Lose your inhibitions, your fears, your feelings of things being only for children or only for professional people.

2.) Explore. Reflect. Look deep within you. This can be done with meditation of some sort or  reflective thinking. Think about how you feel right now or how you feel or have felt about certain things. Write a poem about it. Draw a picture representing it. Make a collage.   Go to stores, flip through magazines and see what jumps out at you. Last night I was having great difficulty sleeping and felt the urge to write poetry but felt not inspired enough. So I thought deeply about how I felt at that very moment and how I feel about certain situations and people and was suddenly so inspired to write poetically/creatively.

3.) Look at song titles, blog post titles, and other titles like of books and write a poem or short story about that concept without copying the other person’s work. You can just look at them randomly without even reading or listening to the content.

4.) Try hard to understand a view opposing your own on a certain topic or try to see how someone else can feel that way even though you do not. This stretches your “mind” and gets you outside the “box.”

5.) Look to others for inspiration. Pay close attention to other creative work. See what you like, don’t like, what challenges you…and start your own creative journey. I would suggest to consciously try not to rip of their work though.  You probably want yours to be original and probably don’t want a lawsuit. Lol

6.) Take pictures and look at pictures! It’s amazing what photographs can elicit. You can make the photos themselves your creative project or write poems about them! Don’t reserve picture taking for only “special occasions.”. All occasions are special.

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7.) Inhabit your body, be mindful of your senses and how things feel to you, the experience of experiencing. Write or draw about the experience. Write or draw using your senses for inspiration.   What’s does something feel like, sound like, look or taste or smell like? Use imagery in your writing. Try to paint a vivid picture or image in the heads of your readers or viewers or listeners. Use your imagination/fantasy as well as reality.

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I wrote the quote in the picture and I took the pic and put the quote onto it.

Here’s an example of something I recently wrote as part of a poetic-like short story:

“She stands alone with just the stars in the palms of her hands and the moonlight streaking her long flowing hair, meadows painted across her sky blue eyes, butterflies & sparkles woven through her lashes.”
& this: 

“And I watch
Chromatic
Florets 
Bloom
Into the vibrant blue
A fluorescence
Of tranquil tunes
As pastel colored
Butterflies 
Parade
Like a
Slow song
Around the
Floral
Array
In the air”
This is part of a poem I wrote a while ago.

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The line in the pic above is one I wrote as part of a poem and the picture is mine which I took and out the quote on it.
and here’s another of my creations:

image

8.) Put some color and design into your world. Surround yourself with bright or soothing colors, various colors and designs…

9.) Try new things to get your brain stimulated. Brush your teeth using your non dominant hand, go for a walk in a place you don’t go to much, drive to work a different route.

10.). Pay attention to kids. They are fearless when it comes to creative projects. Take their lessons to heart. This kind of hinges on Tip #1.

11.) Let other people inspire you, not intimidate you. There are people out there with more developed or stronger skills than you and with more experience. There always will be.  Don’t let this discourage you.  Just be content with where you are. You don’t have to be the best at anything. Focus on your needs and desires. Some people are more experienced so have better skills. Some are just naturally more creative or skilled. And that’s ok. Be grateful you have come across them and their work as opposed to being so envious you can’t see straight.   Jealousy is normal and it’s ok but don’t let it hold you back or make you have animosity for others.

12.) Be willing to create or do things which are or may be viewed as “bizarre ” or “weird” or “unusual” by others. “Thinking outside the box” can get that creativity flowing.

13.) Keep going even when you doubt yourself. And keep going even when your creative work doesn’t turn out how you expected or hoped!

14.) Try looking at things which are usually considered ugly, plain, unattractive, in a more positive light. You can write poems about sadness and pain or take pictures of or draw bare trees, muddy puddles, car oil puddles, snow blizzards, insects…things often seen as miserable. I believe there is beauty almost everywhere if we really look and you can take something typically considered not beautiful and put a beautiful spin on it, poetically, lyrically, artistically…

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15.) Try meditation specifically to get creativity energy flowing.   You can go to http://www.meditationoasis.com/
And you can go to http://www.youtube.com/
And put in words like “meditation for creativity.”. I would include some links here to videos but I’m using my phone and can only get the mobile link and I never know if that works for anyone else. 

Here are two links that are supposed to go to the same video. One is for a computer and one is for mobile phones. I somehow managed to get the desktop link. If it works for others though, I have no clue.   Both links work for me when I click on them.

Computer link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=CPrk4_JFA90

Mobile link
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CPrk4_JFA90

Also here is a list of tips I found:  http://www.creativitypost.com/create/101_tips_on_how_to_become_more_creative

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night and hope you find some creative inspiration if it’s what you’re searching for.   😀

Xoxo Kim 😀

Dandelions

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(I took this lovely pic with my phone!!!)

“When you look at a field of dandelions, you can either see a hundred weeds or a hundred wishes” ~ Unknown 

I love taking walks and taking pictures of all the incredible wonders I see around me. My mom often scolds me and my little sister gets annoyed because when we’re outside walking to a store or walking the doggy.  I stop every other second to snap a picture of some beauty I see before me. I see beauty & inspiration everywhere I look. I’m not a photographer ; I merely take pictures with my cell phone.   It takes amazing pictures. I’m constantly taking pictures of the sky, usually sunsets and the bright azure sky dappled in white fluffy clouds.I love pictures of birds and insects.

Words cannot truly express the way it feels when I look up at the sky During a sunset or a bright sunny Afternoon or when I look out a window at the sunrise when the new dawn is awakening or looking out the window seeing, listening to the rain or seeing snow falling before my eyes, and the scents the rain brings forth, I love the feel of cool breezes in the summer and the warmth of heat in the crisp Wintery magic. I love the seasons changing and the taste of sweet fruit and chocolate sundaes.   And beautiful , vibrant colorful flowers. 

When I look at all of the incredible, wild joys of Nature, life surges through my veins, my heart races at the breathtaking beauty. My veins throb with life, electricity pulses through me like a thousand heartbeats.

It comes naturally to me. I’m very aware of the beauty that all of my senses allow me to experience each moment of each day. 

But, although this generally comes naturally to me, I have made a conscious decision to strengthen my natural ability and habit of being mindful of the simple pleasures of life and making it a general habit even when it’s hard to see beauty. Some days it seems there’s nothing but ugliness all around. But even on those days,I have the choice to look for wonder. It may not naturally pop out at me like usual but I can look and I can find, hard as it may be.

In this life there is an incredible abundance of wonder and joy and beauty. By being blessed with life, we have the chance to take advantage of this. Take advantage of being alive. Instead of trudging through life in a sense of hopeless drudgery, we can choose to learn and practice being truly and fully alive.  

Here are some ways I have strengthened my natural ability to see simple joys everywhere and ways I think can be helpful to people. Not everyone has that natural ability but even ones who don’t can learn & practice .

1.) Breathe and inhabit your body. Your body, which is you is here now. Not in the past, not in the future. Here, now. You’ll never, ever go back to the previous moments you once lived and you can’t change them. And the future is always just out of your reach. When the future arrives, it is now your present, all you will ever have is now. Make this your conscious reality.
Take notice of the way your body feels right NOW. All the sensations, the pleasures, the pain, relaxed parts, stressed parts, stiff parts, numb parts, healthy parts…

2.) Try not to force yourself to not think about other things or about your past or future. When you try to intentionally not think about something, it tends to pop into your head more frequently.   Instead focus on what is here.

3.) Practice mindfulness meditation. Meditating regularly will help you develop better control over your thinking and even when you’re not meditating you will be better able to live in the present.

https://livingmindfully.org/
http://www.meditationoasis.com/

4.) slow down. When you’re constantly in a hurry you can’t take pleasure in much of anything.

5.) Try to create a schedule everyday or almost everyday where you can take a few minutes, hour, or hours to do nothing but something that brings you immense joy and serenity.   Walks in nature, observing natural settings, drawing, running, taking pictures,  things like that and soak up all the beauty.

6.) really, truly look. Look and see what is around you. Don’t just give it a quick, passing glance. Let the feelings it provokes in you, surge through you and cherish those feelings.

7.) I think about all of the people who have died and who have never been born or created/conceived to begin with. What they wouldn’t give (if they could know) to have a chance to live or to live again and feel, experience what I can because I am Alive. 

8.) I think about if everything I have ever known, ever loved, ever owned or possessed just disappeared temporarily, unexpectedly and then all came back. How would I feel then? Would it awaken me? Make me realize how wonderful, how miraculous, how joyous it all truly is?

9.) stop waiting.   “People wait all week for Friday, all year for Summer, all life for happiness.”. You may not have all you want right now but you can still be generally happy and joy-filled. You don’t need that perfect weather, that perfect day of the week, that perfect lover, that perfect body. All you need is life. All you need is now. Right now. You got it!

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

― Mary Jean Irion

     
“Oh the wild joys of living! The leaping from rock to rock … the cool silver shock of the plunge in a pool’s living waters.”
 Robert Browning quotes

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” ~
Albert Einstein

Paul Valéry – “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.”

 

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Me.

Xo Kim

Staying Positive even during negative situations

Here are some tips for how to stay positive even during difficult struggles and pain or during other people’s negativity when you have to be around it.

These are things that help me and I hope they will help you too. We are all different and unique and not everything that helps one of us will definitely help another so you have to try and practice various things until you find what is best for you but I believe these things will help many people.

 

1.) Give thanks.

Think of the things that actually ARE going right. You can start with simple things like your health, your senses, the sky, stars, daylight, sun, moon. Maybe you have wonderful friends and great family even if you cannot be near them as often as you would like. Do you have a fantastic job or at least an ok one for now? Or maybe sweet pets or great food! Make a list of all you have.

 

2.) Color/arts and crafts

 

If you are into creation you can draw or color and get lost in the activity to take your mind off of the negativity for a while. It can help you to create something and be proud of your creation!

You can cut colorful pictures out of magazines or cut out letters and make them into inspirational quotes to glue on construction paper.

3.) Meditate

Mindfulness mediation is something I love and it puts my entire body at ease. Close your eyes, sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath. Check out meditation Oasis. http://www.meditationoasis.com/podcast/listen-to-podcast/

 

4.) Walk –

If you can, go for a walk. Pay close attention to your surroundings. Take in the wonder of the colors, the sounds, the feel, the scents…everything. It can help relax you and put your mind onto something positive in the present moment.

 

5.) If you can, try writing to, calling, texting a positive friend. True friends are always so uplifting and great to talk to. Even if you don’t want to spill your problems at the moment, maybe you can talk about pleasant things.

 

6.). Try positive journaling where you write and focus on the good in your life or about yourself. List your dreams, goals, hopes, plans, great qualities, fun things…

 

7.) Positive music, songs, read positive lyrics and quotes, print them out, write them down

 

8.) Exercise – this is a great outlet for stress and frustration and makes your body feel amazing. You can engage in a vigorous work out or jump on a trampoline or something simple like a quick walk.

 

9.) Read uplifting books

 

10.). Search the net for some positive outlets to take your mind off of the pain & craziness of the moment.

 

11.) Animals – animals are beautiful and loyal friends. They love unconditionally. If you have none, try to be near a friend’s, walk by a dog park and see the joyfulness that runs wild in there! 😀

 

12.) Take good, loving care of yourself! You deserve it! No matter what is going on, nurture yourself and speak/think kind, loving things about yourself. Think of your good qualities – physical and emotional. Get good rest and good sleep. Maybe a full body massage? Or a mani/pedi. And reward your body with healthy foods and maybe a delectable snack like chocolate cake or whatever you consider a delicious treat. Treat yourself how you would treat someone you love.

 

13.). Do not put off stuff you love. Still put on your makeup if that’s what you like. Get dressed up, fix your hair…

 

14.). Watch an uplifting, comical movie

 

15.) Read funny jokes, get a good laugh! 😀

I hope these things help you!

 

X0xo Kim 🙂 😀

 

P.S. The picture is one I drew to represent peace of mind. It’s a white dove still flying with her wings up even in the midst of a wild storm with rain & lightening. It’s meant to show the fact that we can stay peaceful, calm, and serene even during environmental turmoil. My sister and me came up with the picture and I drew it.Image

The Importance of Acknowledging Gratitude

Why gratitude and consciously making a point to acknowledge it is important:

 

1.) It makes us focus and be aware of the positive in our lives. We all have good & bad. Too many of us too often let the bad take over and weigh us down. It’s so often so easy to get caught up in the stress and negative of life. So consciously and intentionally making a list of the positives and even negatives that we are grateful for can train our minds to live gratitude as a way of life and it will seep into our beings unconsciously as well. The list can me mental but it’s great to write it down

 

2.) It can transform your bad or negative point of view into a positive perspective: If you have come across a difficult person, you can be thankful you are not that person or like that person and focus on what that person can unintentionally or unknowingly teach you. We all have lessons and things we can teach each other. If your job sucks, you can focus more on the fact that you have a job! If your kids are causing you stress, you can dwell more on the great love you feel for them anyway….

 

3.) Negatives can remind you of how well off you actually are even when you may not feel that you are doing well or have many blessings:

Is your job stressful? At least you have one until you can focus on getting a new and better one. Too many bills? At least you have a house, phone, internet, shelter….. Arguing with a friend or lover or family member? At least you have a person in your life that you are close to. It may not always be easy but still worth it! 

 

4.) Acknowledging your blessings in a positive way can make you act more positively:

When you live in gratitude, it makes sense that you’ll be happier and more pleasant in general. And you’ll treat others pleasantly.

 

My suggestions:

<3. Have a gratitude session or meditation when you wake up to think of everything and everyone you are thankful for.

<3. Thank people personally when they do good for you. Thank Your friends, family, strangers, anyone. You can say it in person or text, message, e-mail, or call. No matter how small the act of kindness is, it deserves a thank you. ❤

<3. Have a gratitude journal where you frequently list things you are grateful for.

<3. Always make an attempt to see the positive even in negative situations or events and then giver thanks for it.

<3. Be thankful everyday all year, not just on the holiday.

 

I am very open to other people’s ideas so please if you have any to add, let me know!  

Thank you so much for reading! 😀 ❤