The actual benefits of living an aesthetically pleasing life

I know I’m not the only one who has to clean their room before sitting down to study.  Something about a cluttered workspace creates an environment where practically nothing can get done.  Many are under the impression that if we have these feelings we need to worry.  “Does this mean I have OCD?”  There is no need to freak out over wanting a certain appearance.  But why do we prefer a neat, tidy space over a messy, comfy one?  Obviously there’s the external impression we’re giving others to think about.  No one wants the embarrassment of their guests seeing a bra laying on the side of the bed.  But there’s something more to it.  Feeling organized helps us feel more in control.  Maybe this is why, if given the option, many of us find comfort in a clean room.  Stacking, folding, and sweeping, although not very euphoniously pleasing (something that sounds fun to the ears), are still very effective forms of stress relief.

tidy deskneat candy

We can go as deep as what shapes we prefer, too.  Scientists conducted a study in the AAAS Art Gallery in Washington in which they showed visitors a series of shapes.  These shapes were nothing but blobs with varying appendages.  However, the ones that tended to be curvier were the ones the majority liked (Megan Gambino).  Our brains gravitate towards shapes  without straight lines or sharp edges, not only in art, but also in architecture- and attraction.  Men are instinctively attracted to women with curves.  And both genders are more attracted to someone with a symmetrical face.

What benefits do these things have for our bodies and minds?

modern curved table

Like I said before, stress relief.  Lance Hosey of the New York Times tells us in an article that anxiety levels will drop up to 60% after subjects look at someone or something that, to them, is aesthetically satisfying.  On the other hand, more complicated images can fatigue our eyes, simply by being in our field of vision for too long.

symmetrical face

So!  Next time you’re struggling to focus on an essay, or feeling stressed out, take a second to rearrange your room, or visit an art museum.

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Good morning!

IMG_1488Good morning, beautiful people.  This is going to be yet another early morning post, so if I have any typos, please be easy on me.  I had a surge of motivation yesterday, specifically in my Journalism lecture around noon.  I tend to do this.  For a week or two, I will struggle to locate my motivation, not concerning myself with exercise, time management, etc.  When I do find the will to end these bad habits, it’s way overwhelming.  So, following class, I had a list in my mind of what I hoped to do.  It went as follows:

  • Begin homework as soon as I arrive home, and not stop until it is all done.
  • Write out an exercise goal chart (in big, colorful markers on poster board, of course)
  • Buy a boat load of new, healthier food items (I did this one!!)
  • Find the ASPCA’s website and sign up for monthly donations

You may think, it’s okay, we all feel this way about once a month.  But I’m telling you, that’s not what it was!  I let myself practice bad health for the last time last night, my final supper consisting of leftover potato skins and chicken wings from a birthday dinner I recently went to.  This morning my guilty first meal consists of a gummy like pack of energy chews (this is to replace my religious urge for iced coffees).  They’re not bad at all!  Hummus, fresh salsa, rice, lettuce, and beans fill my fridge, ready to satisfy my snack cravings if need be.  For meals, I went for a rice based diet with things like noodles in vodka sauce for my very small, small amount of carbs.  I will keep you updated, but it feels good to just set standards for yourself.  I encourage you all to do the same.  Make your inside feel as beautiful as your outside!  Wish me luck! (Feel free to steal some ideas from my little collection above, the tomatoes dipped in hummus are amazing!)

Hello, friends!

It’s Monday morning;no, it’s EARLY Monday morning, and I can only attribute my happiness at this moment to three things:  I have finally finished my daunting paper on the rogerian argument of female soldiers(bleh), it is a very close one’s day of birth, and it is #makeupfreemonday.  This is in no way, shape or form an event I would have celebrated five years ago.  Are you kidding me?  Brace-faced, awkward teenage girl?  Going all natural?! HA. Now don’t take this as me saying all girls relied on make up in junior high.  Some of you (the lucky ones) got through those years generally scratch free.  I envy you.  As for the rest of us, we may have just recently found that level of comfort, or we may not even be there yet.  I am an advocate for this day of self-love, not just for the symbolic purposes, but because that personally cuts out at least ten minutes from my morning routine.  Before I get too carried away I need to clarify-I do not think that makeupfreeMonday is always used in the right way.  Oftentimes girls like to head to instagram for a quick selfie, in which they casually throw in the hashtag, #makeupfreemonday.  This is great.  Go you, I stand behind you the whole way.  But doing this every week may turn out to be a promoter for self-hate in others, not self-love for you.  This is not just a girl thing, so boys don’t think you’re in the clear.  We all have that friend who cannot go to the gym without taking a picture.  Captions like, “Gainz,” and “gym all day, every day” clog up my feed on the daily (doucheheads).  So how do we love ourselves without making others feel poorly for not doing the exact same thing we’re doing? …. I don’t have the answer.  To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out myself.  But for now, look in the mirror, and focus on being happy with yourself.  As long as that’s achieved, the rest is insignificant.  HAPPY MONDAY, xoxo

finding our sweet spot

One of the biggest questions I have for the universe is why we were created with such a critical human nature.  From what I’ve found, it is way easier for us to find fault than to find something we think we deserve.  Earlier today, I was sitting in a chair, one of fifty in the room, facing a computer.  The screen was lit up with the words, “Congratulations, you passed!”  I had studied.  For hours, I had studied.  So why did I sit there, shellshocked, when I have should have come in with confidence in the first place?

Apart from boring academic situations, this can happen anywhere.  Especially for us girls.  We are bred to be compulsive comparers.  By comparers, I mean offenders of judge crimes.  We love to set ourselves up in a juxtaposition to a girl we consider around our equal.  And then, (let’s be honest, no one is innocent), we pick out every single thing they beat us at.  Maybe they have less split ends, or perfect eyebrows.  They might be wearing the same boots, and even worse, they might look better in them.  We use these tiny little features to rank each other.  “She’s prettier than me,” or, “She’s good at everything she does.”  These comments don’t usually come with friendly delivery either.  Something about this interminable cycle takes things that should be recieved as compliments, and use them as motivation to hate.

fake smile gif

If anything, this new found hate brings us to our final step:  picking apart every last flaw of that bitch’s stupid, perfect body.  This brings us full circle.  We, as a gender, have figured out a way to take a person’s best features and give them a negative connotation.  It’s like the cable commercial series.  Signing up with cable (looking at our own insecurities) can in some way, shape, or form lead to losing your marriage, your home, and even the clothes off your back, (the complete detestation of another human being). Don’t worry, though.  I’m not going to throw all of this depressing news at you without a solution.  We, [as a herd of beautiful, limitlessly powerful women], can….wait for it… show kindness towards each other!  Send one another nothing but good vibes, build others up instead of down!  Most of the time these things will immediately be returned to you.  We can fight the system.  The first step is finding that mindset where it is easier to love ourselves and one other than to degrade our personal selves and those around us.  This is our “sweet spot”.  Find it ladies, and flourish in it.

Take T.'s example. Turn away, take a deep breath, and smile like a glam goddess.

Follow T’s example. Turn away, take a deep breath, and smile like a glam goddess.

What is college (to you)?

Continued education is one of the biggest decisions that arrives with your ascent into adulthood.  It’s an all-encompassing experience- draining your bank account, giving you your first gray hairs, along with some of your most exciting independent successes-then spitting you out to face whatever career path you chose like a deer in the head lights.  A really anxious, eager, deer.

Hollywood likes to paint college as the most exciting years of your life.  Endless beer pong tournaments, afternoons of frisbee, and hilarious professors.  Don’t get me wrong, these things all do exist.  College is awesome.  But it is also one of the most taxing things you’ll ever face.  Just ask anyone who’s earned a degree.  Attending a school for four years does not guarantee you a healthy credit score, a stable job with health benefits, and a house with a white picket fence.  It’s weeks of eating ramen at a time, with no promise that the exam you’re staying up till two AM to study for will be an ace.  It’s a chance for you to further your collection of tools.  An opportunity is the most appropriate way to look at it.  Once you’re out, it’s up to you to utilize what you’ve gotten out of that time.

I know I won’t be able to relate to all of you.  But to me, college is something that I can’t describe in one satisfying sentence. In fact, I don’t think I could describe it in a whole page.

It’s late nights, completely unplanned, where you end up at a place you’ve never been, sharing stories you’d never share with the kids you’ve known your whole life back home, with a girl from your English class.  It’s discovering your new favorite hole in the wall with the best pizza. College is a cluster of feelings.  Completely foreign ones, that seem to come out of nowhere.  It’s seeing a woman from the Times walk into your Journalism lecture hall, and suddenly drowning in the passion you’d forgotten about, to be a columnist, or an editor, and create your own powerful presence in the world.  It’s falling in love.  And then falling out of love, before it’s even started.  It’s doing the same thing.  Over. And over again.  It’s proving yourself.  Not only to that harsh professor, who seems to be bound and determined to fail you, but to yourself.

My self image was never that of the woman who stole the show when she walked into my Journalism class that day.  But through grieving for my mother’s homemade chicken and rice, and exploding with happiness upon writing my first article…through working, harder than I ever have; I have been able to find, and create myself.  I am whoever I want to be.  And college is helping me do that.