Social Media and Materialism

Almost everyone has a social media account and is exposed to hundreds of posts, pictures, and advertisements about products. Not only is advertisement by companies at an all time high online, social media influencers and celebrities are also flaunting things to buy and possess. It’s interesting how things have become so money-focused and less about expressing yourself online and connecting with others.

I can’t help but think how over time this can negatively impact people, especially young people. Constantly seeing people showing their new car, designer handbags, $500 perfume, or huge collection of home decor items starts to make you feel like you don’t have enough. Not having the latest and greatest things could mess with their ideas of self worth as well as lead to unrealistic expectations.

I think in general U.S. culture has always had this materialistic mindset. Sometimes more emphasis is put on how much money someone makes or what nice things they have versus being a kind and decent human being. More and more people are becoming salesmen and women trying to influence their followers to buy more and get more. Social media used to be a little escape or somewhere to watch fun videos at the end of the day. Now it’s full of advertisements and the pressure to have more or get with the latest trends.

It’s important to be aware that having more material things does not equal more happiness. Social media is a highlight reel, and things aren’t always as perfect and glamorous as it may seem. I think if you’re feeling overwhelmed or negative after being online, it’s a good idea to take a break from your phone. Be grateful for what you have because there’s always someone out there who has less or is going through a more difficult time than you. Kindness and they way you make people feel is worth more than anything money can buy.

Midweek Mindset 02

Wherever you are I hope you are having a great week! Can’t believe it’s almost May.

Today’s Quote

Calmness is a human superpower. The ability to not overreact or take things personally keeps your mind clear and your heart at peace.” -unknown

I can relate to this quote because I would describe my personality as calm. It’s a nice reminder that sometimes you have the ability to not allow certain things or people to bother you. I feel like people are so quick to get angry over little things that aren’t worth it and then spread it all over social media. I don’t understand how some crave drama and need that negative energy in their lives.

I also like this quote because it helps you remember that sometimes you just have to pause and take a deep breath. Some are not able to do this, and I agree that it’s a good thing that can clear your mind and make you refocus instead of blowing up. Sometimes I get so worked up internally that my mind starts racing and it affects my thinking. Taking a moment to calm down those thoughts or feelings is helpful and worth a try.

So what do you think? Are you more calm in nature or the opposite? Do you think society is on a shorter fuse when it comes to how people express their emotions? Be sure to leave a comment! 🙂

Things to do by Yourself

Often times we feel uncomfortable or weird doing things by ourselves. Maybe we’re waiting to do something fun and adventurous until we have a partner, or until a certain time. I’m here to tell you that it’s totally okay to go out and do things by yourself!

As an introvert I enjoy my alone time and feel most comfortable when I’m by myself. Plus, it’s convenient not having to work around a bunch of people’s schedules. Below are some ideas of what you can do by yourself and have a good time.

1. Go on a walk or hike

I’ve recently gotten into walking several times a week. I turn on my favorite music and zone out. Not only am I getting in some exercise, but it’s also a good opportunity to clear my head and release any negative feelings. Hiking is another fun solo activity as long as you know where you’re going lol. I enjoy taking pictures of nature and taking in the fresh air.

2. Eat out

This is something a lot of people are afraid to do, including me. I’ve eaten by myself at a fast food restaurant but not at a sit down restaurant. I think it’s more common to see guys eat by themselves, but when it’s a woman it’s more strange? Lol anyways, I think it would be something fun to try, especially at a really nice place you’ve never been to before.

3. Go to the movies

Another thing I haven’t done solo, but would like to. How many times have you gone to a movie you didn’t really want to see because you went with a group with different tastes? This way you are certain to enjoy what you’re watching and it also provides perhaps a mini escape that you are needing.

4. Go to the library

I’m not the biggest reader, but there’s something so calming about a quiet library. I’m really picky when it comes to books, but it’s kind of fun hunting for one. Reading and drinking some coffee (a must) sounds like a good time to me, especially by myself.

5. Travel

A goal of mine as I get older is to travel. I think it’s awesome how some people go on adventures by themselves. I haven’t worked up the courage to do this myself, but I would like to. I see couples and big groups of friends going on getaway trips and you may feel like you wouldn’t have as much fun or you’d feel awkward if you were alone. If you can afford it, I say why not?

I hope you see that you can do virtually anything by yourself. Society likes to put labels on people, and often times the word “loner” is thrown out when people do things by themselves. That word has such a negative connotation to it. Some people don’t mind being alone and as long as they’re happy and not hurting someone else, there is nothing wrong with it. Someone alone can be just as happy (if not happier) than someone who is surrounded by people or a significant other.

Thanks for reading today’s thoughts! Do you like doing things alone or with other people? What’s something you want to do by yourself?

Creativity & Mental Health

Do you consider yourself creative, or is art and self expression not really your thing? Regardless, today’s post is all about tapping into your creative side and learning about the benefits on how it could give you a mood boost!

What is Creativity to You?

To me, creativity is more than just arts and crafts. It’s self expression through any medium. Creating something with your hands, mind, or even voice can result in something incredible. Creativity could be writing a story, singing, designing, painting, building, making your own recipe, photography, and so much more.

I encourage you to pick an activity and give it a try. Sometimes when we feel down or unmotivated we skip over doing something creative because it feels like a waste of time or maybe you find it unproductive. I think being creative allows me to get out of my head. If I’m so focused on something that’s bothering me I tend to sit on it and my mood continues to decrease. Using your hands to physically make something gives you a sense of control that sometimes feels missing.

My Favorite Creative Activities

1. Painting

I have been doing fluid acrylic painting for several years now and I love it! This style of painting involves mixing paint and tilting the canvas to spread the paint into marble-like designs. It is very satisfying and I can produce totally unique results. Working with color is always a mood booster in my mind. I’ve recently become hooked on painting flower pots too! Whether you’re painting with a brush, drawing with a pencil, or coloring with markers, art has proven to be a stress reliever for many.

2. Cooking

I became interested in cooking after watching Food Network and Rachael Ray when I was a teenager! Lol I love browsing Pinterest for new recipes to try. Cooking is a creative process because you start with random ingredients, add your favorite herbs and spices, and end up with a delicious result. It makes me happy when I’m able to share my creations with loved ones.

3. Writing

This may be the most recent hobby and creative thing that I enjoy. I’ve realized that I am better able to explain myself and articulate my thoughts through writing versus through speaking it on the spot. Sometimes I get nervous or anxious talking to others because I’m thinking ahead of what I’m trying to say and I stumble over my words. However, with writing (and now blogging) I’m able to take my time and really speak with more intent because I feel more comfortable in this way. Writing also allows me to take what’s been circulating in my mind and extract it and put it out in an organized manner. I think this could be helpful for others who are feeling a certain way and want to get it out of their head and express themselves through story telling, song writing, or through poetry.

Benefits

I believe trying something creative is a good thing to think about. Feeling anxious and sad has a way of keeping you down and not allowing you to think in a different way.

As kids a huge emphasis was placed on creativity. Why does that seem to decrease as we get older? Being creative stimulates your mind and awakens your senses. Don’t we want to utilize all parts of our brain? Almost like meditation, being creative shifts your thinking and you are able to control your thoughts and have a focal point to direct your energy.

In the end, being in a creative flow can allow you to have feelings of peace, calm, and happiness. I think this is because you are able to remove yourself from negative thinking and external factors that weigh you down. Plus being creative is just fun!

I hope you enjoyed this topic. What is something creative you enjoy doing or would like to try? Don’t forget to follow me for more!

Midweek Mindset 01

Happy Hump Day! Every Wednesday I’d like to share a post I’m titling Midweek Mindset. It’s an opportunity to share how I’m feeling during the week and also an opportunity for you to do the same! I love quotes (as cheesy as some may be) and some of them really speak to me. For these posts I’ll pick a quote that I can relate to and give you my thoughts on its meaning or importance.

Today’s Quote

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” -Denis Waitley

I like this quote because it reminds me that happiness comes from within and it’s a choice you have to make. Happiness can’t come from material things. I’ll admit I’ve had some retail therapy when I was feeling down. The excitement of buying new things wears off fast and then I end up feeling guilty for spending unnecessary money. Something I am working on is being present and happy in the moment, especially throughout the daily routine and everyday life. It’s easy to wait for something big and exciting to happen to be in a good mood. I have to remind myself to be grateful and to treat others with kindness, even when I don’t feel my best. The energy you put out tends to find its way back to you. Make sure it is positive.

Sidenote: It’s easy to sit here and type out how to be happy. Please know it’s something I have to work on every day. Part of this blog is me expressing out how I feel and also truly believing what I say and speaking (or typing) it into existence!

What’s your favorite quote at the moment? What does the one mentioned above mean to you? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments. Hope everyone has a great rest of the week 🙂

Color Psychology

Magenta, lime green, black, turquoise (my favorite), red, and yellow. Color is all around us and brings things to life. Many believe that different colors can affect how we feel. In fact, color psychology is becoming a popular topic of research, especially in marketing. I am by no means a researcher but I’d like to share some things that I have learned or noticed when it comes to color and how it influences us.

Warm Colors

Warm colors are actually my least favorite, at least when it comes to what color clothes I tend to gravitate towards lol. But I do appreciate a good Oklahoma sunset that beautifully displays pinks, oranges, yellows, etc. I think warm colors evoke feelings of warmth and comfort. These are good feelings right? But, there could also be feelings of anger. I personally dislike the color red because it is too strong and dominant (unlike my personality) for me. I have also heard that marketers/designers utilize warm colors in fast food marketing because it appeals as more appetizing.

Cool Colors

In contrast, cool colors such as blue, green and purple, tend to evoke feelings of calm. These colors make me thing of spas with the light blues and greens (anyone else need a spa moment?). I think these colors are used a lot in house paint too because they make the space airy and light, leading to feeling peaceful. However, some cooler tones could bring out feelings of sadness as well. Think of a cloudy and dreary day or waking up feeling “the blues.”

Culture and Individual Differences

It’s worth noting that culture plays a role in colors and how people perceive them. For example, in North America, the color red symbolizes passion and love. But in the Middle East, red is associated with evil and danger. With the color yellow, most Americans think of happiness, sunshine, and optimism. However, in Latin America, yellow is associated with loss and mourning. Finally, the color green in North America is connected with nature and luck. But, many in China see green and associate it with infidelity.

I also believe that one’s life experiences can affect how we see color and how it makes us feel. For example, color association is subjective to each person. Sadly, I think of trauma that can take place and how fixating on a color that was present during that particular time can stick in your head. On the flip side, prominent colors that were present during happy times can make an impression as well, such as the color of walls in your childhood bedroom or your wedding colors.

What Do You Think?

Although some believe color psychology is skeptical, I find it very interesting and do think that colors have universal meanings. I love color and am lucky to have the ability to see it. I think it’s something some of us take for granted. If you enjoyed this subject, please leave a comment! What’s your favorite color and why? What do you associate with the colors of the rainbow?

The Social Clock

From the moment we’re born we’re conditioned to do certain things at certain times. We freak out when babies don’t talk or walk as quickly as others and we automatically think something is wrong. This continues throughout life and I think we become more aware of it in adolescence and adulthood. Do you think society places pressure on people to achieve more, possess more, and be a certain way just because of their age? It can feel like a lot and like “the clock” is always ticking.

Higher Education

I first noticed this feeling at the end of high school. I was unsure of what I wanted to do next, yet everyone expected me to go to college. I did want to attend a college, but I knew I would have to attend the local university. The idea of leaving my family terrified me (plus I couldn’t afford leaving). I was an undeclared major for most of my time, while finally deciding on Psychology. The theories intrigued me and I found it less intimidating than other majors. Still I didn’t know where it would take me. They say you “find yourself” in college, yet I never experienced this. I made good grades and went on to get a Master of Science in Behavioral Sciences, but there was always the thought in the back of my mind of ok now what? I guess the point of this is to say I feel like I rushed into college unprepared and not knowing my end goal (something I still struggle with). Yet I felt the pressure to dive right in because it’s what an 18 year old out of high school does.

Relationships

Perhaps an area in life I have the least experience in is relationships. Being more introverted, I keep to myself and the thought of socializing is draining. Therefore, I don’t really meet new people. I’m in my late 20s and I am single and do not have children. Sometimes I think that time is running out for me. Will it always be a party of 1 or will I make room for someone else? Most people my age are married and have kids. It’s easy to compare my life to theirs and how see how different it is. I tell myself that that’s okay but I still feel like I’m falling behind.

Last thoughts

In the end I try to tell myself that as long as I’m happy, that’s all that matters. I am aware that everyone’s timing is different, but it’s difficult to shake the feeling of having to play catch up with everyone else. Have you experienced this? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear your perspective on how our culture likes to push timetables on life events.

Welcome 👋🏻

Hello and welcome to my first blog! My name is Sam and I look forward to expressing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of topics. Do you ever feel like your mind is constantly wandering? As an introvert it is easy for me to take in the world around me and internalize it. This can be good or bad depending on the situation. In future posts you will get to know my perspectives on personality, psychology, and navigating this thing called life as an introvert.