Monday, October 31, 2016

Dreamers Solve More Problems

Some believe dreams are our imaginations at work, while others maintain that dreams are nothing more than a basic brain reflex, generated by the brainstem - whose function is to control sleep. Still others, like Deirdre Barrett — in her book, The Committee of Sleep: How Artists, Scientists, and Athletes Use Dreams for Creative Problem-Solving—and How You Can, Too — believe dreams can solve problems, and produce masterpieces of literature, art, music, scientific discoveries, and more.

Barrett, a Harvard psychologist, describes dreaming as your mind thinking in more of a heightened state than when you are fully conscious, and proposes the practice of dream incubation to use dreams to for problem solving and creation. People can dream solutions for any subject (according to the author), however they’re most effective in instances where visualization is key to solving the problem, and also when thinking beyond conventional solutions is required to tackle the issue at hand. There are many in the psychological community who subscribe to Barrett’s theory, with some variations on technique. Below are some steps to can take to use dreams to solve problems.

When you are relaxed in your bedroom before you slumber, consider your problem or desired outcome. Focus specifically on what the crux of your problem is. Either ask yourself a question, or make a request with your goal in mind.

Jot the question or request down. Be clear and simple so your brain can easily process it with no confusion. Then ponder this question or request for several minutes, and then set down the piece of paper in a journal on your nightstand (a dream journal), or place it under your pillow and go to sleep.

Relax, acknowledge, and trust that your subconscious mind will be able to take over while you are asleep and figure it out. This act gives your conscious mind permission to let go of the issue so it can “shut down” and get some rest.

When you wake up from a dream — no matter what time it is — write it down immediately in your dream journal. Use as many details as you can recall, as quickly as you can, to log the dream. Go back to sleep

Finally, don’t get impatient. The answer may be immediate when you wake again, or it could take days, weeks or months for a solution to be revealed to your conscious mind. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Be Your Own Favorite Teacher

The term “autodidact” refers to someone who teaches themselves a certain subject. In other words, an autodidact is someone who is self-taught. Some famous autodidacts include Ernest Hemingway, David Bowie, Russell Crowe, Leonardo da Vinci and Frank Lloyd Wright.
We are all autodidacts in the sense that we are always learning. That is to say, we should always be learning. Taking autodidacts to the next level can be something that will enrich your life far more than just the skills you’ll learn. What’s more, with information and resources readily available – for free in many cases – there’s no time better in history than now for the autodidact.
Build your self-confidence as an autodidact
Those who teach themselves develop self-esteem and self-reliance that will positively affect nearly every aspect of their lives. By teaching yourself, you not only learn the specific skill, but you prove to yourself that you are capable of accomplishing many things beyond what you may have believed, or what others have led you to believe about yourself. You learn to trust yourself and your abilities, and you value your own intelligence.
Empower yourself with knowledge
Self-educated people do not shy away from challenges, they relish them. As you have success at autodidacts, you will train your brain to work more efficiently, and improve problem-solving skills too. You will no longer be afraid to tackle something you don’t know. You will know from experience that once you set your mind to learning something, you will be able to find the information you need, and have the ability to learn. Aside from boosting your own confidence, you will gain respect from others, and be able to serve them with your knowledge. You’ll be that person friends and relatives turn to when they don’t know how to do something.
Practical benefits of autodidacts
Another sense of pride you will obtain is from the amount of money you will save by teaching yourself. Everyone feels smart and savvy when they find a way to save money. Just imagine the sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction you’ll experience when you save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars teaching yourself something – even figuring out how to fix something yourself.

Teaching yourself to gain a specific skill, or just for the fun of it opens up countless opportunities. The sky’s the limit to what you can learn and experience in your life.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Support Networks Are Very Important When Relocating

The advantages of extended family living in close proximity to each other – or even together – are things that many modern-day nuclear families are missing. Sharing financial, emotional, and child-care support across generations used to be the norm for most American families. However, since the Industrial Revolution, this trend has been greatly reduced, and the nuclear family is now usually separate from their extended family network. To make matters worse, today, people need to move far away from their families in order to secure work, or start their own families.

Breaking from family can leave people feeling disconnected and lonely, so it’s important for these individuals and families to start making connections immediately within their new communities.
The challenge to these newly relocated people lies in finding the networks that will help them to start feeling like they belong.

Start Building Support Systems Immediately After Move
Some of the best ways to start building a support network in a new community are: getting involved with religious organizations, business associations, neighbors, community and cultural events, joining social groups such as, volunteering time, or signing up for a sports team in the community, and more. The key is for the newly relocated to reach out as early as possible, which will help them feel less isolated and more supported, making for a smoother transition in the beginning.

Start Small, and Build Upon Successes
A few things to keep in mind while building your support structure are: starting small and building up networks is the best way to find friends and acquaintances with similar values and interests as you. These people will introduce you to more people, and so on, and so on.  It’s also important when establishing social networks for you to give the kind of support to others that you are hoping to receive yourself. Stay open to new adventures and people. Don’t be shy; invite someone you have a lot in common with to lunch or dinner. Regularly participate in hobbies or leisure activities that you enjoy, that involve other people. This is a great way to meet new people that share your passions. Don’t forget to use the internet.

There are so many wonderful opportunities for people to explore, and feel like they fit in. These things may never take the place of family, but they will make things easier and more enjoyable.