What Is Optimal Experience?

What Is Optimal Experience?

Time goes by fast when you're having fun
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So I learned this really interesting term in one of my Personality Theory class this semester. I learned this phrase called “Optimal Experiences.” These are your hobbies; these are activities that you enjoy doing, you turn to these activities when you are in any kind of mood and to you it may help reduce stress and just shut the world out for a bit. You are so “in the zone” of what you are doing. These kinds of “experiences” is you doing something you love, maybe its art, crafting, reading, writing, anything you truly enjoy. It could even be physical activities like dance, singing, working out. Anything that makes you truly lose track of the time around you because you are so invested in it. They call it optimal because you optimistically loosing track of time for yourself, you are doing something that truly makes you happy. Finding something you consider an optimal experience is helpful for raising happiness.

My kind of optimal experience is practicing my makeup skills. Personally I love just sitting in front of my mirror with all my clean makeup brushes and sponges, look up a new look I never tried before or want to improve on and just go to work. I get so lost in the colors, so lost in the glitter that before I know it 15 minutes will go by and I JUST finished my eyebrows. As time goes on and as my collection of makeup grew I realized how important it is for people to have this kind of optimal experience. Whether you only have one or you have more than one, having optimal experiences is such a self-fulfilling feeling and actually does increase your happiness. Maybe that is where that old saying comes from “time goes by fast when you’re having fun.” When you are putting your attention on one thing truly no matter what it is your sense of time vanishes and your investment into whatever you’re doing increases. I do not want people to lose that sense to them. Everyone deserves to have something they are passionate about in their life, even though I will not pursue makeup as a career choice the idea that it is a fun (yet expensive) hobby is just what I need for some small balance in my life. I know this world is huge, I know not everyone may have found their optimal experience. But I am here to tell you to go out into the big scary world and find it, I was not expecting to find it in makeup but when I saw the creativity and the art behind it all, I knew I wanted to be able to do that too. So go out there and find your optimal experience I will be cheering you on (and maybe thinking about what kind of makeup look I can do on you)!

Cover Image Credit: YouTube.com

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chafing. So much chafing.

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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming, and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts-shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chafing. So much chafing.

No better feeling than four minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's No. 1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swimsuit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chafing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one-size-fits-all" for plus-size women. As if there's just one way to be plus-size. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Is Technology Helping Or Hurting Introverts? There's Some Debate With 3 Pros And 3 Cons

While telecommuting delights most introverts, the temptation to do more work and impress supervisors can lead some to feel permanently on the time clock.

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If you're an introvert like me, you probably revel in the ability to work and communicate in our modern world without needing to leave the house or even put on pants.

However, some experts feel that our technological ability to reach others without speaking a word makes IRL interactions even more stressful for the bookworm set.

Technology does provide many useful advantages. It allows those in the workforce to skip the morning commute, reducing carbon emissions, it opens up new educational opportunities and it even promotes discourse between relative strangers on opposite sides of the world.

But can too much of a good thing lead to further isolation and disconnect at work?

Pro 1: Technology lets introverts be heard

Have you ever had a brilliant solution cross your mind while in a meeting but hesitated to share your insight? You're not alone.

Many introverts hesitate to speak up in group settings either out of fear of embarrassment or from struggling to get a word in edgewise around more gregarious peers. Technology permits introverts to share their stroke of genius via email or message as opposed to sharing it verbally

Pro 2: Technology opens creative career doors

In earlier times, success in the creative world meant writing, painting or acting — three fields notoriously difficult to earn a living in unless talent, determination, and serendipity collided perfectly.

However, if you're a creative introvert today, you can find career success in designing web pages, coding apps, and software or producing internet content.

Pro 3: Technology celebrates unique talents

No, you may never knock recruiters' socks off with slick-talking braggadocio, but the right employer will honor your unique abilities nevertheless. Introverts take to deep work like baby ducks to water and easily maintain their attention span when working on tasks that interest them.

Whether your boss needs you to prep a carefully written legal brief or reconcile the company's balance sheet, they'll know you're someone they can count on to do the job right.

Con 1: Technology can contribute to burnout

While telecommuting delights most introverts, the temptation to do more work and impress supervisors can lead some to feel permanently on the time clock. If you work from home, establish a regular schedule just as if you still clocked in and out of the office daily. This helps to preserve work-life balance.

Con 2: Technology can increase social anxiety

While social anxiety is a very real disorder, avoiding contact makes interactions all the more difficult when real life discussions need to occur. Try your best to initiate at least one IRL interaction each day.

No, this won't turn you into an extrovert, but you can improve your conversational skills just like you hone your programming or accounting prowess.

Con 3: Technology can hinder coworker relations

Even extroverts dislike dealing with certain coworkers, but if you gain a reputation for being snooty or stuck-up simply for being quiet and skipping out on after-work gatherings, you can stymie your career progression.

Yes, the office Chatty Cathy may drive you batty, but when promotion time comes around, guess whose name sticks in your manager's mind? You don't need to go to happy hour with the team every single Friday, but making an occasional appearance brands you as shy but a still a team player, not an aloof ice princess.

Finding balance as an Introvert in an extroverted world isn't easy.

If you're an introvert like me, thriving in a talkative world may seem a feat akin to scaling Mt. Everest without the benefit of ropes and Sherpa guides. But plenty of introverts achieve enormous career success and contribute immensely to society with their insight and creativity.

By balancing technology with IRL contact, you can reach your work goals without needed to spend too much time making small talk about the weather.

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