Posts tagged: Fresh perspective

Workbooks you don’t get in school (but you should)


Remember the familiar call of the high-schooler: How am I going to use this in real life? That won’t be a question with any of these funny and thoughtful workbooks from publisher TarcherPerigee. Instead, you’ll write, sketch, and ponder your way to a better understanding of yourself and how you interact with the world. (Disclosure: Unstuck will receive a small stipend from any purchases on this page.)

 

In a Daze Work: A pick-your-path journey through the daily grind by Siobhan Gallagher, $10.85

Made for the under-30 set, In a Daze Work helps navigate the decisions of daily life. Do you stay in or go out? Is it too soon to creep on your ex? This illustrated guide brings humor and whimsy to the practice of adulting. Buy now.

 

 

 

1 Page at a Time: A daily creative companion by Adam J. Kurtz,
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Instant Insight: The real things don’t change


As we grow, develop, succeed, meet new people, or take on different challenges, it’s important to remain anchored to a few, real, central principles.

Some of these truths are highly personal and based on our experiences as well as the lessons we’ve learned along the way. Others are a bit more universal and part of a greater human understanding — being kind to people, for example, is important, but so is recognizing what we individually gain from practicing kindness every single time that we
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Summer is the best time to solve problems


What? Work harder in summer? But it’s the season of relaxation. To which we say: Exactly. Let us explain.

Problems are easier to solve when we stop trying so hard. A tad ironic, but true. There’s a thing in our brain called the default mode network (also known as the resting state) that activates when we’re not focusing on things, like solving a problem. In this relaxed mindset, our brain connects the dots differently, coming up with ideas that don’t occur to us when we’re making a concerted effort.

That’s why Eureka! moments occur in the shower. You’re pretty much on autopilot as you lather and rinse, so your brain shifts to a sort of neural serendipity that makes way for solutions.

This is incredibly good news for the vacation-minded. For one, it relieves the guilt that too many of us feel when we take time off. You’re
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Why nostalgia is good for your self-esteem


We’re all familiar with that overwhelming sensation that bubbles up whenever we hear a certain song, eat a certain food, or maybe walk down a certain street. It’s that feeling of emotional homesickness, best known as nostalgia.

But nostalgia gets a bad rap. The word itself — a bittersweet combination of nostos (a return home) and algos (the accompanying pain) in Greek — emphasizes the sadness of memory. And for centuries, it’s been labeled a disorder and attributed with negative thinking and depression.

However, researchers have recently come to believe there is more of an upside to nostalgia than a downside. Looking back at your life isn’t just about feeling loss, but also has the potential to deliver a sense of meaning and self-continuity. For example, revisiting old pictures can remind us of memories that are positive; we see ourselves among the networks of friends and family that we’ve built across our lives and we feel rooted.
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21 tiny ways to stop feeling hopeless


When hopelessness hits, we feel sunk. All our worst stories swirl in our head, punctuated by words like can’t, won’t, never, impossible. Life feels bleak.

If only there were a switch we could flip that would turn our thoughts and emotions around.

Until there is (we’re not holding our breath), we can take tiny steps that will gradually restore our faith in possibility. To start, summon your strength and any of the twenty-one ideas below that feels right for you. Consider the smallest sense of relief as great progress, because it is. Then engage your relief to try another.

One request: If you believe your depression is clinical, please reach out to a professional.

When you’re feeling hopeless, ask yourself:

1. “How important is this to my life overall? Does it really make everything else worthless?”

2. “What can I control?”

3. “What makes me feel worse? Should I do something other than play the same game on
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Divorce! Job loss! How yoga helped me release the grief


yoga

In our Reader Stories series, Unstuck readers share personal stories about getting stuck — and unstuck. Here, author and writing coach Jen Violi explains how yoga helped her move through the shock of loss. 

On the hallway floor of my new apartment, I sat and leaned against the closet doors. It felt safer down there, in part because moving around meant I would see painful reminders of my husband, now in a different state, now not living with me. Last month: us. This month: me.

In this moment, moving around also meant I might step on broken glass. Because, of course, the front of the frame of a picture collage of us had shattered when I tried to put it in the closet, out of view. Of course. Metaphors can be so distressingly obvious.

A grain of hope

Eventually I got up, led by a need to pee, as well as the
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Jealousy is a gift — embrace it


We’re raised to think of jealousy as something to avoid. If we’re jealous of someone else’s life, it must mean we aren’t grateful for our own — right?

Jealousy can in fact be a positive emotion, and an opportunity to shift our perspective. When we’re jealous of someone, it’s usually not so much about what they have, but about what we perceive ourselves as not having. As Julia Cameron wrote in her creativity guidebook, “The Artist’s Way”:

Jealousy is always a mask for fear: fear that we aren’t able to get what we want; frustration that somebody else seems to be getting what’s rightfully ours even if we are too frightened to reach for it.

3 questions to ask about your jealousy

The next time you feel yourself becoming jealous, consider it an opportunity to ask yourself:

  1. What am I afraid of?
  2. What do I really want?
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Making decisions in pencil


making decisions in pencil

A few years back, I was at a career crossroads and fortunately had an insightful coach to guide me.

I’d always imagined my life as a chess game where I could see multiple moves out — if I do this, it puts me in position for that, which will ultimately land me at my goal. My crisis was that I no longer saw the chess board and I couldn’t tell how the opportunity I was considering would play out in the long
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How to feel better in your bathing suit — and enjoy your summer


Bathing suit

It’s summer. Finally. So we start to fantasize about a trip to the beach, only to interrupt our reverie with fear or loathing about how we’ll look in a bathing suit. Or we go to the beach, but when our friends peel off their extra layers to jump in the water, we hang back. We don’t want to expose the parts of us that are too big, too small, too lumpy — too imperfect.

If this resonates, you’re not alone. One survey found that 89 percent of American women are unhappy with their weight. And men are hardly immune from the pressures to look a certain way. As Shape recently reported, the implications of a negative body image strongly affect our happiness:

Researchers from Chapman University in California surveyed over 12,000 participants about their body image and attitudes about their overall happiness and satisfaction with life while
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