Feel stuck? Think different! 5 ways – backed by neuroscience – to break out of a rut.
Have you ever felt stuck? Or like your life was on auto-pilot? Did you feel bored with the trajectory of your life?
Why we’re feeling stuck can be caused by any number of situations. We might be uninspired. We might be overstimulated. We might not feel accomplished. We might be afraid. We might be overly stressed. We may also have everything we want & need and we’re not used to it. There’s many routes to the same outcome.
Boredom has an evolutionary purpose.
Interestingly Dr. Sandi Mann, an Organizational Psychologist who specializes in boredom, suggests that it has an evolutionary function. The fact that our brain automates our actions until they become second nature, allows us to be attentive to new stimulus. Imagine if everything you did every day felt new & exciting; like a mystery to solve and conquer? It would be hard to evolve past that specific state.
So boredom exists both to allow for the automation of daily tasks, but to also create the stimulus for evolution. Because when we’re bored/stuck, our brain actively searches for something new.
No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
In some situations we may go for giant upheavals. We may leave our jobs, our career paths, our cities, even our spouses. This is guaranteed to bring a whole lot of change, which can solve the issue in the short term. Of course in any new situation, we inevitably develop another set of patterns, or habits, and then we’re back where we started.
To stop feeling stuck , you don’t have to uproot your whole life. To keep our brain from settling into full auto-pilot mode, there are small steps we can take that can help us satisfy our craving for the novel.
The phrase “step out of your comfort zone” is basically the recipe. Meaning that you want to intentionally create time to do things differently, even be uncomfortable.
Here’s a list of ways you can bring excitement to your mind, without having to undo your life.
1. Take a class
Learning has been found to promote neurogenesis. This means that the brain creates new neurons which make new connections. You literally expand the network in your brain. Using neural-pathways that are different & creating new ones, “shakes” up your brain. Not to mention that this expands your thinking, and – depending on the class – can add valuable skills to your tool belts. In a research paper I did on stress management tools, I discovered that skills are a fundamental key to improving self-esteem. Improved self-esteem and skill confidence shows up as positive changes in your life & at work.
2. Take a new route to work
When we do the same route everyday, our brain essentially falls asleep during the process. We’re trained to a path and we rarely stray from it. Taking a new route forces your brain to wake up. Pay attention to your surroundings and embrace the trip as an adventure. Are there new restaurants, stores, parks that you could try in the future? This search is what your brain needs to feel refreshed.
3. Cook something for the first time. Experiment with different cuisines.
This feeds into learning as well, but you can also get additional dopamine hits (the feel good hormone) in the planning phase, the preparing phase, and eating/sharing phase. As long as you don’t put a perfection burden on yourself, this process of creativity and discovery can create hours, even weeks, of feeling good and rejuvenated. Studies have also shown that cooking as a group is great for a sense of belonging, positive emotions, self-esteem and an increased sense of quality of life.
4. Research a destination for a vacation
There’s scientific evidence that PLANNING experiences is one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve our mood. Simply the anticipation of places we could go to is enough of a mood booster to make you feel rejuvenated.
5. Rearrange the furniture on occasion
We all know the Kondo joy of decluttering, but just moving pieces around in your space can make your entire environment feel brand new. This can spark your creativity and may give way to other projects or ideas – but surely a sense of newness.
Out of the comfort zone.
Remember it will feel uncomfortable. That’s the point. Anytime you do something new, it is uncomfortable to the brain. Your own thoughts may even try to talk you out of it. But if you’re trying to break out of being stuck in autopilot living, discomfort is natural.
Lean into your sense of creativity – in whatever form it comes to you – as this is the path straight out of stuck.
Exclusive Interview with The NET ZERO ENERGY Buildings Expert Anastasia Makarska: Shaping a Greener Future
Welcome to an exclusive interview with Anastasia Makarska, a renowned figure in the world of commercial real estate development. Anastasia’s resolute commitment to sustainability and her unique background in physics and engineering have revolutionized the real estate landscape, transforming spaces into sustainable and coveted marvels.
In this interview, we delve into the concept of Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and the challenges associated with building codes for NZEB. Join us as we explore the visionary force behind Anastasia’s remarkable projects and her dedication to shaping a greener future.
Anastasia, thank you for joining us today. Let’s start by discussing the concept of Net Zero Energy Buildings. Could you explain to our audience what exactly is meant by a Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB)?
Anastasia: Certainly. A Net Zero Energy Building, or NZEB, is an approach to construction that focuses on creating energy-efficient buildings that are connected to the power grid while also generating renewable energy to offset their energy consumption. The aim is to achieve a balance where the amount of renewable energy produced either on-site or nearby matches or exceeds the building’s annual energy needs, resulting in virtually no net energy consumption.
That’s fascinating. It’s clear that NZEBs hold tremendous potential in terms of sustainability. How are developers and building owners embracing this concept, and what are some innovative features we can find in NZEBs?
Anastasia: Developers and building owners are increasingly interested in constructing zero energy buildings, driven by corporate objectives and regulatory requirements. The building and design community is actively embracing this challenge and leading the way with innovative and forward-thinking projects.
NZEBs incorporate a wide range of energy-efficient strategies, from simple to highly intricate. These include maximizing the utilization of passive solar heat gain and shading, integrating high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, appliances, windows, and doors, enhancing insulation, natural ventilation, air sealing, and incorporating advanced renewable energy solutions like solar photovoltaics and geothermal energy systems.
The goal is to create buildings that regulate temperature fluctuations, minimize energy consumption, and reduce environmental impact.
It’s impressive how NZEBs combine various technologies and strategies to achieve sustainability. Now, let’s delve into building codes. What role do building codes play in the construction of NZEBs, and what codes and standards exist for this purpose?
Anastasia: Building codes play a crucial role in guiding the construction of net zero energy buildings. Currently, there are codes and standards in place to assist designers, architects, builders, and contractors in creating more energy-efficient and sustainable structures compared to previous years.
In the United States, professionals in the building industry can refer to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which has been adopted in approximately 44 states and territories. Across North America, ASHRAE 90.1 provides significant guidance, and the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) serves as another valuable resource. In Canada, there are the National Energy Code of Canada (NECC) and the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB).
That’s helpful to know. Given the increasing need for more rigorous energy and building codes, what are some of the challenges faced in developing codes specifically tailored for NZEBs?
Anastasia: The development of codes specifically tailored for NZEBs faces several challenges. As industry professionals and officials work on designing new codes to facilitate the transition to net zero energy, there is still no consensus on the structure of the code, its comprehensive scope, and ensuring that buildings achieve net zero energy status throughout their lifecycle.
To ensure buildings perform as intended, it is essential to establish post-construction reporting, analysis, and a framework for oversight and enforcement.
Current codes and standards often rely on energy proxies without a requirement for actual quantification of energy usage. There are also gaps in the inclusion of certain types of energy usage in calculations.
To achieve the goal of net zero energy buildings, methodologies need to evolve, modeling capabilities should be enhanced, and real-world outcomes must be measured.
Overcoming those challenges will be crucial for the success of NZEBs. Could you tell us about the advantages that net zero energy buildings offer to building owners, occupants, and the environment?
Anastasia: Absolutely. Net zero energy buildings provide several advantages. Buildings account for a significant portion of fossil fuel energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. By increasing the number of net zero energy buildings, we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and effectively lower carbon emissions.
Some key advantages of NZEBs include protection for building owners against future energy price hikes, enhanced occupant comfort, health, well-being, and productivity, reduction in energy consumption and associated costs, improved reliability of energy supply, increased resale value due to high demand for net zero buildings, contribution towards achieving zero energy targets, and minimized environmental impact. These advantages create value for building owners, occupants, and the planet.
Those advantages make a compelling case for embracing net zero energy buildings. As a visionary force in real estate development, how do you see the future of NZEBs and their potential impact on communities and the environment?
Anastasia: I believe the future of net zero energy buildings is incredibly promising. As awareness of the need for sustainability grows, NZEBs will become the norm rather than the exception. They have the potential to reshape communities and serve as catalysts for positive change.
Net zero energy buildings can create vibrant, sustainable communities that prioritize the well-being of both residents and businesses. By reducing energy consumption, minimizing environmental impact, and offering enhanced comfort and productivity, NZEBs have a transformative effect on the communities they serve. They not only contribute to the preservation of our planet but also provide value for investors, businesses, and communities alike.
Thank you for sharing your insights, Anastasia. Before we conclude, could you tell our audience about any upcoming projects or initiatives that you’re particularly excited about in the realm of net zero energy buildings?
Anastasia: Certainly. I’m thrilled to be working on a groundbreaking project that aims to create a net zero energy residential community. This community will embody the principles of sustainable living and showcase the potential of NZEBs on a larger scale. It will integrate cutting-edge technologies, energy-efficient systems, and sustainable materials to provide residents with an exceptional living experience while minimizing the community’s environmental footprint. I believe this project will serve as a blueprint for future developments and inspire others to embrace the vision of net zero energy living.
As we conclude this insightful interview with Anastasia Makarska, it is evident that she is a visionary force transforming the real estate industry through sustainable development. Anastasia’s dedication to creating sustainable and desirable spaces, her commitment to excellence, and her unwavering belief in the power of net zero energy buildings have positioned her as a leading authority in commercial real estate.
Through her innovative projects and expertise, Anastasia is shaping the world we live in, one groundbreaking project at a time. Her visionary approach, fueled by her unique background in physics and engineering, has redefined the boundaries of commercial real estate development and paved the way for a greener and more sustainable future.
Witness the remarkable journey of Anastasia Makarska as she continues to revolutionize the real estate landscape and leave an indelible mark on the communities she transforms into sustainable and coveted marvels.
If you would like to get in touch with Anastasia Makarska you can contact here
Devin Millar Promotes the Normalization of Cross-dressing Through his Music
An independent music producer, who’s name is Devin Millar, hailing from the Portland Oregon area is bringing a new approach to fashion, animation, and music.
Devin is on YouTube and creates animations to go with his music, which is modeled after 90s children’s animations with adult themes and references. He grew up his uncle Grayson, and with his parents, and Grayson showed him how to create Dance music which was how Devin got his music-making knowledge. Clothing-wise, he wears skirts and dresses similar to Melina Martinez, and is heavily inspired by her. He says he always felt like a kid even at the age of 22.
Devin claims that modern society should treat crossdressing the same as how women and girls are viewed when dressing the same way. Millar believes everyone should be understood and that skirts and dresses should become everyday clothing regardless of who is wearing it.
One view and song in particular, is “Doll Life”, a song Devin released which focuses on the main mascot of his music, Jack.
Jack is a teenage boy who dresses up like a girl as part of his feminine style and goes on an adventure with his friends to fight the underwater mafia in his Cadillac Escalade. Everyone becomes friends and all perform together. The song has been viewed many times on YouTube many times and has been a hit for the last couple of months. One may notice the boy characters also wear dresses with the girls and women, which are identical to the one Jack is wearing. For that reason, the song subliminally sends Devin’s message.
Promoting a sense of animated nostalgia and creating songs with happy tones mixed with Dance music through his YouTube channel, Devin has been creating melodic, inspiring Pop music since he was 14 and continues to inspire others. Devin is also on a mission to inspire the world to not label clothes and fashion based on gender.
The Three Most Crucial Supplements to Take During the First Trimester of Pregnancy
A healthy first trimester is critical to the normal growth of the fetus. You may not be exhibiting much on the exterior, but on the inside, all of the fetus’s vital organs and systems are developing.
Several changes occur as the embryo attaches itself to the uterine wall. During the first trimester, the fetus is most vulnerable to harm from substances such as alcohol, narcotics, and some medications, as well as infections such as rubella (German measles). Throughout the first trimester, both your body and your baby’s body are rapidly changing.
During the first trimester, the most dramatic changes and development occur. All nutrients are vital throughout pregnancy, but some are especially important for your baby’s growth and development.
Taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy can help avoid neural tube defects (NTDs), which are birth malformations of the brain and spine. According to some research, consuming folic acid may help prevent birth malformations in your baby’s mouth (called cleft lip and palate).
Spina bifida and anencephaly are the most common NTDs. In the United States, around 1,500 newborns are born with spina bifida each year. Spina bifida occurs when the small bones of the spine fail to close completely, and a portion of the spinal cord pokes through the spine. Children with spina bifida may have paralyzed legs and difficulty managing their bladder and intestines (going to the toilet).
One of the most severe NTDs is anencephaly. It affects approximately affecting about 1 in 1,000 pregnancies in the United States each year. However, because the majority of these pregnancies end in miscarriage, the prevalence of this disease in neonates is far lower. Anencephaly affects approximately one in every 10,000 infants in the United States. Anencephaly occurs when the upper portion of the neural tube that develops the brain does not completely seal. Major regions of the brain, skull, and scalp are missing in babies with this disease. They are usually only alive for a few hours after birth. Anencephaly affects girls three times more than boys.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that promotes growth and development. DHA is required throughout pregnancy to aid in the development of your baby’s brain and eyes. DHA promotes the growth of the cerebrum, which is in charge of thinking, remembering, and feeling.
Autism and schizophrenia disproportionately afflict males and are closely linked to early life adversity caused by maternal stress and other variables, which may be influenced by nutrition. However, the fundamental causes of these male-specific effects are not fully understood. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and the MU Thompson Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment have discovered potential explanations for male vulnerability in the womb, and they’ve discovered that a specific maternal nutritional supplement called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may protect unborn males during early development from the effects of maternal stress.
Iodine is a mineral that your body needs to produce thyroid hormones, which aid in the usage and storage of energy from food. Additionally, iodine is required throughout pregnancy to aid in the development of your baby’s nervous system. Your baby’s neurological system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) allows him or her to move, think, and feel.
During pregnancy, iodine requirements rise by 50%. A lack of iodine during pregnancy can result in maternal and fetal hypothyroidism, as well as impaired fetal neurological development. The effects are determined by the severity and timing of the hypothyroidism; the most severe symptom is cretinism.
Controlled studies in iodine-deficient areas have shown that iodine supplementation before or during early pregnancy eliminates new cases of cretinism, increases birth weight, lowers rates of perinatal and infant mortality, and improves developmental assessments in young children by 10-20%.
You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of Choline. Although it is suggested that it be included in all prenatal vitamins, most do not contain a significant quantity of Choline, if any at all. While Choline occurs naturally in foods such as cow liver and whole eggs, up to 95% of pregnant women do not consume enough prenatal Choline to meet their nutritional needs.
Choline is a “vitamin-like” important ingredient, which means that while it is not a vitamin, it functions similarly to one. Choline is necessary for optimal bodily function and is especially vital during pregnancy to support the adequate intake of Omega-3 DHA, general baby growth, and the mother’s personal health and wellness.
Furthermore, Choline prevents birth abnormalities. According to research, the lowest incidence of neural tube abnormalities is directly tied to the mother’s choline status during pregnancy.
Choline acts against factors that cause pregnancy problems preventing a variety of pregnancy complications, including low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, and recurrent pregnancy loss.
Furthermore, choline decreases the baby’s stress response, helps increase childhood visual memory, and improves motor performance in tasks that require accuracy. Additionally, prenatal choline supplementation enhances a child’s attention span.
You’re effectively working overtime to build a human being, thus a good, balanced diet is vital to compensate for this extra energy expenditure. Appropriate supplementation is essential to guarantee you’re meeting your higher prenatal vitamin demands.
Supplementation varies based on the particular woman, and it is strongly advised that all supplements be pre-approved by your doctor or medical expert.
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