Time Out Tip Of The Day: September 23, 2013

Time Out Tip Of The Day: September 23, 2013
Need a time out? You’re in luck. In honor of Bliss’ Triple Oxygen Month, HuffPost’s GPS for the Soul has teamed up with Bliss spa experts to provide the best tips to take a rejuvenating time out each and every day for the month of September. We want to help you make the next 30 days a time of reflection and renewal. Make sure to check back here every day for your new Time Out Tip, and learn more about Bliss’ new line of Triple Oxygen products by clicking here.

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Step Away From the Phone!
Whenever Michael Carl, the fashion market director at Vanity Fair, goes out to dinner with friends, he plays something called the “phone stack” game: Everyone places their phones in the middle of the table; whoever looks at their device before the check arrives picks up the tab.

Incredible Mountain Tops From Around The World (PHOTOS)
The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life — and your well-being — off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others’ stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing “secret weapons” that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

We all have those days — the ones where nothing seems to go right and our to-do lists keep growing. It can be easy to let stress sink in and become overwhelmed. Sometimes we just need a different view to change our perspective and refocus on our priorities. Take a mental vacation with the slideshow below and allow these mountain tops from across the world to offer you a moment of clarity.

For more GPS Guides, click here.

Shades of Truth: The Many Ways We Lie
There’s a scene in the movie Something’s Gotta Give that simply and succinctly captures one reality about the truth. After catching the man she loves on a date with another woman, Diane Keaton is chased out of the restaurant by a guilty and distraught Jack Nicholson. When he finally stops her, he pleads, “I have never lied to you, I have always told you some version of the truth.” She replies, “The truth doesn’t have versions, okay?” And that’s the truth. The truth may have many sides to it. It may be complicated or hard to understand, but it exists. In one version. Yet, most of us have trouble with the truth. We may not be outright liars, but we certainly shade the truth to make it fit more comfortably into our lives — to keep it from disrupting anything from our careers to our relationships to our afternoons.

In her research, Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., found that people lie in one in five of their daily interactions. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, claims in her TED talk that we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times per day. It’s important to consider: how honest is the world we’ve created around ourselves? How often do we ourselves tell lies? And, on the flip side, do we intimidate others in ways that might encourage them to shade the truth?

It’s common for people to only say the parts of the truth that they feel are acceptable or that they think people want to hear, leaving the full truth hidden away. They may lie by omission or tell “little white lies” that paint a very different picture of reality. It’s no surprise that these lies don’t just hurt relationships, they can outright destroy them. Even lies told in the name of protecting others can leave you feeling pretty bad about yourself, because you don’t feel like an authentic, strong individual when you aren’t being honest. Here are some examples of the many ways people lie and how these lies hurt them in all areas of their lives:

Controlling a response — When you talk to a close friend about an interaction with a co-worker or lover, do you only tell your side of the story? Do you leave out a small but significant detail about something you brought to the table? Do you rephrase the less desirable words you said in the moment? Think about how these subtle changes may influence your friend’s attitude and response. Are you just getting your friend to say what you want to hear? In the end, how authentic is their response if you strategically manipulated the outcome?

When you control a response by shading the truth, you create an alternate, agreed upon reality between you and another person. You then get advice that may be based on faulty information. Plus, you deny yourself the value and integrity that another person’s true opinions might have awarded you.

Lying by omission — Ever complained to someone that you aren’t losing weight without mentioning the grande Frappuccino you downed as an afternoon snack? Everyone has times when they leave out less-desirable details. Sometimes you do this to be sensitive or to spare a person’s feelings, but sometimes those details matter, and you know it. For example, if your partner asks what you did that day, you may not mention that you wound up running into an ex and having lunch. Maybe you try to conceal an ongoing flirtation with a co-worker. These may not feel like acts of deception to you, but imagine how your partner would see them. Whether there’s nothing to hide or something real you’d rather they not know about, leaving out significant facts will make you feel shady and create a hotbed for further deceptions. On the other hand, creating an environment where you can be open about these things will promote a feeling of mutual trust and honest communication.

Exaggerations — People’s insecurities about themselves may lead them to try to preserve a certain image of themselves, and they may experience a need for approval from others. However, when you exaggerate or don’t represent yourself honestly, you are left feeling like a fraud, which further hurts your self-esteem. There’s a fine line between highlighting your attributes and completely inflating your abilities. At work, you may promise to finish a task you know you won’t be able to complete on time. You may exaggerate to a boss when it comes to your progress or skill level. Doing this will lead to trouble when, most likely, your actions will fail to match your words.

At times, you may lie to compensate for guilt. Parents often do this with their children, missing a soccer game, for instance, then promising they’ll show up at every game for the rest of the season — only to disappoint again soon after. It’s hard to hide a broken promise, a missed meeting or a poor performance. Exaggerating deems you untrustworthy. Your words start to mean a lot less when the reality doesn’t match up. Plus, you may never believe that you’re being chosen or cared about for who you really are.

Self-Protection — Too often, people are coached by an inner critic to not express directly what they want or feel toward other people. You may have a guard up that tells you not to be too vulnerable. You may downplay your emotions or act like you don’t care, because you don’t want to feel or look like a fool. But defending yourself with deceptions or false portrayals of who you are will drive you further from your goals and will likely prevent you from getting what you want in life.

Gossip or covert communication — Gossip is an epidemic. It’s in every household, office space and coffee house. It’s a booming industry taking over our media. The biggest problem with talking about someone behind their back is that you may flat out deny these observations when face to face with that person. You can see how this can be harmful to your relationships. A true friend or loved one should be someone you can talk openly with, someone to whom you can offer feedback and welcome the same in return.

Another problem is that gossip breeds cynicism and destroys compassion. It’s a nasty way of indirectly dealing with real observations or competitive feelings. When you favor direct communication over gossip, you become a more genuine, more compassionate and not to mention, more appealing person to be around.

Some people believe you need lies to survive in a relationship. I would argue that this is untrue. Misleading a person distorts their reality and makes them feel crazy, which is one of the most unethical things you can do to another person. So what can you do to be more honest? You can begin by being honest with yourself.

First off, you can stop listening to your “critical inner voice.” Shading the truth often comes from listening to an inner coach that’s not on your side, that instructs you to self-protect by telling you things like you can only be accepted if you say the right thing or don’t really reveal yourself. In relation to your boss, it may tell you, “You’ve been messing up lately, so make your boss think you solved this problem without the help of your co-workers.” With your spouse, it may say, “Don’t tell her you forgot her birthday, it will only lead to a fight.” In relation to a competitor, it may advise you, “Don’t let him know you think he’s talented. Don’t let your guard down. He’ll just use the truth to hurt you.” By getting to know this inner critic, you can separate it from your real point of view and act against it.

Next, you can take chances on the people you care about by being a lot more honest and direct with them. You can find healthy and considerate ways to express yourself and to be sensitive to the other person’s sense of reality. The truth may not always be easy to hear, but in the long term, you will earn a lot more trust and respect from the people whose opinion you value the most.

When it comes to the truth, it’s important to think about whether you want people to trust you. Do you value integrity and want your words to be reflected in your actions? If you commit to these attributes on a behavioral level, you’ll be better able to gain trust and live your life with honest, open communication. This world may not be perfect, nor the truth always easy to take, but you can find peace and freedom in the security of knowing that the world you’ve created around you is as real as it gets.

Read more from Dr. Lisa Firestone on deception at PsychAlive.org

For more by Lisa Firestone, click here.

For more on conscious relationships, click here.

Everything You Thought You Knew About Creativity Is Wrong
We tend to think that creativity is innate — you’ve either got it or you don’t. Our “creative type” friends are artsy, full of wonder and always wanting to dig into something deeper. The rest? They’re investment bankers.

Contrary to popular belief, no one is born without a creative bone in his or her body, and not all creative types are starving artists. In other words, we’ve all got it, but our personalities play a role in the kind of creative we are, and how we best feed into it.

“Our creative process is how we see the world and how we make decisions,” David B. Goldstein, artist, researcher, management consultant and the co-author of “Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive” told The Huffington Post.

While we might typify creativity, Goldstein says this is limiting. “There’s more than one way to be creative — everyone is creative and can be creative in their own way.”

In his book, Goldstein reveals 16 different paths in which people can unearth their creativity, all of which depend on their psychological preferences. The author connects the personalities dictated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, a test developed on the basis that we all have particular preferences in the way we translate our life experiences and values.

Since many of us still think of creativity as a rote personality type of its own, there’s a lot about the phenomenon about which we’re misinformed. Below, find five creativity myths that, hopefully, once you see past, will unleash your inner creative genius.

Stepping “outside of your comfort zone” is the best way to elicit creativity.

“Creativity comes from finding our comfort zone and standing in it,” Goldstein says. “When we’re comfortable and acting in our preferences, we have the courage to take risks.” The artist explains that when you’re not comfortable, you’re less likely to take the risks that could lead to that bright idea.

Plus, some of our best ideas come in the most unexpected places — like in the car driving home — where we feel mighty comfortable. These physical locations aren’t new to us, but they give our minds the “OK” to wander. As Woody Allen recently told Esquire, his creative thoughts brew best in places like the shower. “It’s the change of venue, the unblocking the attempt to force the ideas that’s crippling you when you’re trying to write.”

Brainstorming sessions are the best ways to come up with brilliant ideas.

Some, namely extroverts, feel most alive when surrounded by a group of people. But this is not the case for all — especially the introverted types who experience a sense of draining when they’re around others for too long, Goldstein explains. The trick is to find what setting works best for you. “Often for an introvert, their best ideas come when they’re driving home,” says Goldstein. And that could have huge implications for creativity in the workplace.

Being creative means being spontaneous.

Some of the most inspiring, creative works came with a set of plans. Painter Henri Matisse, for example, constructed all of his paintings before he began. He even wore a suit and tie while he created — not exactly the splattered, ragged overalls we associate with artsy folk. Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell were also big planners, says Goldstein, who admits to meticulously strategizing the layout of his paintings before he puts the brush to canvas.

Creative people must invent something new.

Only 30 percent of the population have the personality of the “intuitive types.” These are the Einsteins and the Edisons — big picture thinkers who create something out of nothing. (The lightbulb, for example, did not exist until Edison decided it should.) Goldstein says these kinds of thinkers are abstract and impractical — they contemplate the future and solve “future problems.”

And yet, the “sensers” — the majority of us — aren’t any less creative, just a different kind. Sensers create by combining existing ideas. Think of Henry Ford, who didn’t invent the car, but thought up many ways to improve it.

Of course, a person isn’t necessarily strictly a senser or an intuitive: “There’s an overlap,” Goldstein explains. “The intuitives can pay attention to detail and do think in the moments, and sensers can look into the future and see the bigger picture.”

Creativity means having a finished product.

You don’t need to create something worthy of display to be considered creative. Those with a “perceiver” personality type tend to never see things as entirely complete, because they’re always inspired to add more. “If you’re a perceiver, you prefer endlessly modifying, editing, repainting and revisiting since there is an unlimited and continuous flow of data to consider,” Goldstein writes in his book.

Picasso, undoubtedly a perceiver, had strong feelings about this: “To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense!

To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul.”

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