What Are Useful Ways to Improve Your Creative Thinking?

What Are Useful Ways to Improve Your Creative Thinking?

Some people are not naturally creative and tend to use their left brain more which is their logical, analytical side. It is important once in a while to use our right brain to unleash your creativity. Creativity can come in handy whenever you are told in business or in life to think outside the box so find ways to explore your creative mind further.

Open your mind to different media.

Limiting yourself to only certain kind of entertainment will not encourage any original thought. Step outside your comfort zone and try something different. For example, if you are used to reading romance novels, try reading a science book as you may be surprised that you like it. If you tend to listen to emo music, give classical music a try as you might try to blend emo and classical music if you are an aspiring DJ.

Make a small creative effort every day.

Find some time every day to unleash your creativity. It does not need to be a big practice that will stress you out to get it done but just little things like doodling, coloring, writing, a few stanzas of poetry, etc. Spend about twenty minutes working on that activity and see what you can come up with.

Take a walk.

Walking helps clear your mind of stressful thoughts to leave room for creative thoughts. With no distractions, you are alone in your thoughts. Walk for twenty to thirty minutes on your block or up and down the hallways if it is raining outside.

Write in a journal.

Write in a journal every day and record your thoughts. Maybe you will write a book or a play based on what you see and experience. You can even write down your dreams as soon as you wake up in the morning. Bring your journal everywhere you go as your thoughts come to you.

Find inspiration around you.

Expose yourself to inspiration work that you can use for your next work of art. Read a book of poetry, see a show at a theatre near you, or see a television show that everyone is raving about to draw on inspiration.

Avoid being hard on yourself.

When you make drafts of your work, do not be hard on yourself that you cannot do it. A bad idea can just need to be thought out more. Open your eyes to different possibilities.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Five Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Home

Five Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Home

Spring is the season for the start of something new. In this case, it is the perfect time to give your house the makeover it has needed all year. Spring cleaning does not have to be stressful in which you work each room at a time and make goals to keep.

You do not need to feel overwhelmed by all of the room you need to clean if you take everything one room at a time. The first step is not to do everything at once as it will burn you out. Just dedicate a couple of hours with one room at a time. Do not rush cleaning it as you want your clean room to last until next spring. It will help to put on your favorite music to get you in an upbeat mood and pace yourself.

The second step is to write down what needs to be clean in each room. Take a good look around and find what sticks out the most. Do the windows have too many smudges? Is there too much dust on the shelves? Are your clothes rolled up into a ball in your closet or on the floor? Write down everything you see that needs to be clean. The third step is to get your cleaning supplies or shop for new ones. Make sure you have a mop, paper towels, sponges, duster, Windex, bleach, etc. If you are dusting, try to find masks to cover your nose and mouth with so that you do not get sick.

The fourth step is to throw out items that you do not need anymore. You might have clutter around from when you were little that you never use anymore that is just gathering dust. It helps to think about the last time you used that item and how important it is for you to have it. Will you regret being apart from the item? If an item is a waste of space, either throw it away or donate it to charity as someone else might have better use of it. The fifth step is to check off each item in your list after cleaning and do not leave your room until it is completely clean. Focus on putting items on your shelf or in a box somewhere you can find it. Once you finish, you will be relieved that it is over and done with.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

What Are the Effects of Cocaine on the Brain?

What Are the Effects of Cocaine on the Brain?

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug that has the highest potential for abuse. Not only can cocaine give you blurred vision, convulsions, muscle spasms, and respiratory problems but can do significant damage to the brain. There is no reason why you need to experience the brain effects that a senior citizen has at a young age when you can go to treatment for cocaine addiction before it gets to that point.

Even if you have only done cocaine a few times, this highly addictive drug can lead to brain damage. Cocaine can interfere with the dopamine that is reabsorbed by neurons. Brain releases dopamine in the brain responding to potential rewards like smelling your favorite food. It recycles back into the cell that released it which shuts the signal between nerve cells. Cocaine stops dopamine from recycling which causes a massive buildup of dopamine between cells, causing communication problems.

The effects of cocaine appear quickly but last for a short time. If the brain is imbalanced, you can develop permanent depression. Cocaine can also increase stress hormones like cortisol in the brain which permanently raises blood pressure and damages the cardiovascular system. You can develop anxiety, panic disorders, or become aggressive. If cocaine ruins the lining of the veins and arteries, this can lead to chronic headaches as the blood flowing in the brain is restricted. Blood clots can lead to a stroke. Cocaine can also cause seizures during binging or chronic abuse or you can develop a seizure disorder which you would need full-time treatment.

Cocaine abuse can reduce the levels of glucose metabolism which means that neurons will underperform or start dying. The University of Cambridge did a study where they discovered that the average brain loses 1.69 milliliters of gray matter a year. Losing gray matter means having memory problems, dementia, and changes in cognitive ability. People who abuse cocaine lose double the rate of gray matter loss of an average of 3.08 milliliters a year. John Hopkins University also discovered that cocaine causes brain cells to cannibalize themselves. Cocaine can trigger autophagy in neurons which means that the cells are eating themselves from the inside out. During metabolism, cells throw out useful resources which leads to a stress reaction on cannibalizing other cell structures. Going into treatment will prevent these long-term problems in the brain from happening, leading to you leading a healthy life.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Celebrities Influencing Teen Drug Use

Celebrities Influencing Teen Drug Use

With reality shows, movies, and television shows that show teens using drugs or alcohol having the time of their lives, producers do not think of the audience watching it. When teens see a celebrity advocating a product, they will want to try it themselves because their “role model” told them to. It is important that parents tell their children the true horrors of drug addiction and that celebrities who get away with their crimes are not true role models.

Entertainment and media plays a big part in a teenager’s life. According to Addiction.com, teens spend twenty to forty hours a week watching television or going on the internet. They see celebrities living the high life going to nonstop parties and in and out of rehab. Teens can learn from these behaviors and abuse substances they did not know was possible like when Lil Wayne went to the hospital for his prescription-strength cough syrup addiction. If a bunch of celebrities who are on these teen shows and movies treat drug use like it is normal and that it is cool, teens will want to mimic that behavior and be just like them.

It does not help when teens hear on the news when celebrities do not get punished for their wrongdoing when arrested on drugs. For example, Robert Downey Jr. was once arrested for passing out at a neighbor’s house as a result of his drug use and was only sentenced to probation and mandatory drug testing. Paris Hilton was charged of DUI, cocaine possession twice, and leaving the scene of the accident but got no punishment for it because of her high-profile celebrity status at the time. Celebrity overdoses will have little impact on teenagers as they will just think those celebrities were not careful or that same result will not happen to them. All teens want is the fun and excitement instead of thinking of the serious consequences.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine says teens listening to marijuana references in song lyrics will make them likely to abuse drugs. Let your children know that these celebrities are not true role models to look up to. Talk to them about the shows and movies they are watching and the true horrors of what having an addiction is like such as statistics, side effects, withdrawal symptoms, etc. Let your children distinguish what is real from what is fake.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Can Transgender People Change Their Voice?

Can Transgender People Change Their Voice?

It can be tough to be transgender when your voice does not match the gender that people see you as. Having your voice not match with your gender appearance can lead to harassment and not passing. Vocal therapy and speech therapy are the keys to help people who are transgender to pass into society.

What is the difference between a trans woman’s voice and a trans man’s voice?

A man’s vocal cord are longer, thicker, and less tense. Testosterone will change the muscularity of the body. A transgender man will try to bring the feminine pitch down through speech therapy. Transgender women, on the other hand, need surgery as therapy will not be enough for them.

What kind of vocal surgeries are there?

There is Cricothyroid Approximation which pulls and sutures two pieces of cartilage together. Other surgeries involve cutting the vocal cords to make them shorter or using a laser to scar a section of the vocal cords, increase the tightness, and higher the pitch. Another procedure involves cutting and removing a section of the thyroid cartilage so that the vocal cords are shorter and tighter.

What are the risks in vocal surgery?

Vocal surgery can leave a small scar on your neck where the incision was made but it is barely noticable. Your voice can feel hoarse and lower sound like when you have laryngitis or a bad cold. Because of the swelling or temporary scarring, it is best to be on vocal rest for two weeks.

How is vocal transitioning important in gender passing?

How we identify people is based on the way they sound. Different factors affect your voice like your voice box size, the tension and thickness of vocal cords, and the shape of your ribcage and mouth. It is also about the rate of speech and how you enunciate your words. For peers feel you are the gender that you identify with, an important step is making your voice match.

How can vocal surgery be life-changing?

After your vocal surgery, it is possible that you will feel shocked in how different your voice sounds and how it matches your true gender. It can be hard if you are a singer or other vocal professions for it to suddenly sound different or vocal delivery complications. If your voice lacks in pitch variation or becomes hoarse, speech therapy will help you but not cure your voice.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Why We Should Smile More

Why We Should Smile More

There is never any harm in wearing a smile. It may not feel right to smile when you feel there is nothing to smile about but wearing a smile more can greatly improve your attitude. By smiling more, people will feel they can come to you and you will feel good about yourself.

Smiling will make you more likeable and approachable compared to wearing a frown or looking deadpanned. A study from the University of California says that those who genuinely smiled with positive emotion still have a healthy marriage when they were still in their 50s. The University of Kansas says that whether you are smiling because you mean it or you do not, your body will recognize that there are no threats and your heart rate will slow down along with your cortisol levels and blood pressure.

It is possible to also live longer as a result of smiling more. Wayne State University did a study to show that Major League Baseball players from 1952 who had genuine smiles on their baseball cards lived to be around 79.9 years old while partial or no smile players lived five to seven years less. Smiling will make other people happy. When you smile at strangers, the chances are that they will smile back at you. People want to match the emotions of others which is why adults who spend a lot of time with children will have a better attitude than around adults. If you are a waiter or waitress and the people at your table do not look friendly, if you smile at them when you say hello to them, they will most likely smile back at you knowing that you are friendly and can talk to you. You will be able to gain trust from them if they ask you whether or not a certain item on the menu is any good and could get better tips.  

Not only will others feel good at your smile but you will feel good as well. Smiling activates the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain which processes sensory rewards where your smiles will feel like gifts. When people recover from depression, psychiatrists will see their patients smile more as it releases endorphins. A morphine-like action occurs that relieves stress and reduces the pain perception in the brain. Wearing a smile all of the time will make you and others very happy.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What Exercises Help You Lower Cholesterol?

What Exercises Help You Lower Cholesterol?

When you have too much fatty substances in your blood, which is called cholesterol, it can stick to the inside walls of arteries which increases the risks of cardiovascular disease. A Duke University study said that exercise improves the number and size of particles that carry cholesterol. Exercise can increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein) good cholesterol which will make you a healthier person as well as create larger and softer particles that are less likely to clog arteries.

Running or Jogging

Jogging or running for a few miles down the block will make a difference in your cholesterol levels. According to the Archives of Internal Medicine 2013 study, long-distance runners have better improvements in their HDL cholesterol than people who run a short distance of less than ten miles. Your blood pressure will also get better as well.

Bike

Biking is another good exercise that is good on the joints. According to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, people who bike to work are less likely to have a high cholesterol. A study in Circulation journal said that adults ages 50-65 had eleven to eighteen fewer heart attacks in the past twenty years than those who did not bike ride.

Swimming

Metabolism Journal 2010 study says that women ages fifty to seventy found their swimming improved their body weight, body fat distribution, and better LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels better than those who walk. The International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education says that swimmers have a 53%-49% lower risk of dying of any cause than sedentary walkers or runners.

Lifting Weights

Lifting weights is the most recommended exercise to reduce the risk of heart disease to our health. Atherosclerosis Journal says lifting weights will clear LDL from the bloodstream than those who do not. Any age can lift weights as Journals of Gerontology said women ages 70-87 lifted weights for eleven weeks and had not just lower LDL levels but total cholesterol levels than those who did not lift weights.

Yoga

Yoga can affect our cholesterol levels as well as reduce the risk of heart disease. Indian Heart Journal said that three months of yoga helped reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. HDL levels also improved for diabetics when done yoga for an hour a day. The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology said there was better results in LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Being Addicted to Pregnancy

Being Addicted to Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful change to happen to a woman. You are holding life inside your belly with nine months until you can meet your child. For some women, it is just the idea of being pregnant that they are obsessed with so they can get attention, forget their problems, and to make sure their pregnancy glow never goes away.

According to Boston psychiatrist Keith Ablow, M.D., believes that pregnancy addiction is a real thing and that women have those addictions when they have underlying problems and feel insecure. The problem is that women with this addiction are so in love with being pregnant and having children that they start to neglect the ones they have. When the baby is born, they could love the idea of a baby being a baby until they grow up and they feel they are too much to handle. This causes them to want to have another baby not for the purpose of raising a child but to have another baby.

Mothers may feel that their only purpose is to be a mother and that pregnancy would fill in the responsibilities of getting a job or having a social life. They can just use being pregnant as an excuse to avoid those responsibilities since they will have the excuses of doctor’s appointments and bed rest to be busy. Most women with this addiction feel more feminine and womanly with a baby in their womb. Being a pregnant woman also means being the center of the universe with being treated like the star. People give you gifts at baby showers and send cards and flowers for you to have a successful pregnancy. These women do not want that feeling to go away.

Having a lot of babies can also be a way to avoid empty nest syndrome when it is time for your kids to go to college or move out. You can just erase those feelings of sadness with another child. Pregnant women also tend to feel oxytocin which is a feel good hormone that gives women that pregnancy glow. Once the baby is born, they tend to lose that or develop postpartum depression. Having another baby would erase that feeling. It is important for women with pregnancy to get help right away to determine the need to go through pregnancy so many times that you would avoid your family and life itself.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What Can Parents Do to Prevent Their Children from Being Admitted for Drug Overdoses?

What Can Parents Do to Prevent Their Children from Being Admitted for Drug Overdoses?

When we look at the drug statistics for common opioid overdoses, we tend to think of adults. The truth is that for the past eleven years, teens and children have been admitted to the hospital for drug overdoses. It is important for parents to keep a close eye on their children and to keep medication away from their kids as they can become the next victim of opioid addiction.

From 2004-2015, according to CBS News, children and teen overdoses have doubled with teens abusing drugs and children getting their hands on drugs lying around. Federal estimates say that 2.4 million Americans abuse opioids like Vicodin, OxyContin and heroin. In 2013, 135 kids a day were tested positive for opioid dependency. Some came to the hospital in respiratory distress in need of a ventilator and others needed medications to raise their blood pressure. In 31 children’s hospitals, more than 3,600 children were admitted and 43% were taken to the ICU. The numbers rose from 367 kids from 2004-2007 to 643 kids from 2012-2015. A third of those kids were younger than six years-old who took someone else’s medication. Two percent of those children died.

The problem is that health care can be scarce where there are only 4,000 pediatric ICU beds available in a hospital. It can cost $4,500 to care for a child who overdoses. The best thing that parents can do is to keep their medications away from their children and out of reach of them to grab hold of it. One fifth of children also abuse methadone that doctors prescribe to them to treat their opioid disorder but that medication can also be abused. Providers need to teach children how to safely used methadone at home so that they do not replace one addiction with another.

Chief of adolescent medicine Dr. Sheryl Ryan suggests that children keep their prescription opioids in a lockbox to store the medication and for parents to dispose of any extra painkillers. Some police departments have take-back programs where you can give them any unused painkillers. Ryan suggests that parents become a good example to their children as if they see parents abuse substances, they will find that acceptable as well. From ages eight to ten, children should be knowledgeable about substance abuse so that they learn about the negative side effects of addiction and the importance of getting treatment.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Yoga Myths To Ignore

Yoga Myths To Ignore

People may have seen yoga classes on television and taken a peek through a studio and feel that this is not for them. They could have their own myths and beliefs about yoga that is stopping them from trying it out. Yoga is very spiritual and does wonders for your body that you should not miss out on because of false rumors.

One common rumor about yoga is that you need to be flexible to give it a try. Yoga can help you build strength, tone your muscles, and improve your breathing. Flexibility is a small component in yoga that will improve over time. Another common myth is how yoga is only for women. Yoga can be for any gender or race. Men will miss out on a physical, spiritual, and mental practice if they do not give it a chance. Some feel that you will not burn any calories doing yoga since it is spiritual. The truth is that there are different types of yoga that can involve more activity than others like full body workouts, some focus on breathing and stretching, and other incorporate cardio routines.

Some also believe that yoga is a religion since it is a part of Buddhism and Hinduism. Even though it may be a part of a religious practice, you do not have to belong to that religion to do yoga. Yoga has no theology, church, or temple but it is all spiritual. Another false myth is that there is only one type of yoga. Like it was mentioned before, yoga involves a number of different types. There is Yin yoga which is slower and holds poses for a long time. Ashtanga yoga is fast paced and rigorous. Restorative yoga achieves relaxation with blocks and straps which is good for your digestion. Alignment-based yoga is good for your back pain.

Yoga is also not just practiced in a yoga studio as you can practice at home with online classes, DVDs, apps, and websites. Some people do yoga at home first where they are more comfortable and then join an official class or the other way around. Others may feel yoga is too expensive to do. In cities, yoga is $16-$23 a class. Some studies are donation-based, community-based, and local recreational facilities that have free yoga classes. Give yoga a chance to gain a connection with you body that you never had before.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.