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How Robby Takac from the Goo Goo Dolls and Other Artists Deal with Stress

How Robby Takac from the Goo Goo Dolls and Other Artists Deal with Stress

When it is your job to create art and entertainment everyday people, it can be downright stressful at times to push forward. Sometimes pressure comes from the business end, as commercial expectations must be met. Sometimes pressure comes from a deadline or tough timeline. And sometimes pressure comes from within.

Regardless of where that stress comes from, a positive approach is often key to finishing the task at hand. To learn more about how some very creative people stay both positive and productive, I spoke to seven artists on behalf of Lifehack.org.

Robby Takac, Goo Goo Dolls Bassist/Vocalist & Founder Of Music Is Art:

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    I just try to remember that not every idea is the best in its raw form, but most ideas are worth pursuing. If it doesn’t pan out, there’s nothing wrong with just putting it into your memories file and maybe revisiting it later…and if not, at the very least, you have learned how to write something in a way you can avoid ever doing again.

    Lucy Woodward, Singer/Songwriter:

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      Staying positive can be one of the biggest challenges no matter how “positive” of a person you are. I can become the queen of despair when dealing with a difficult person, a rejection or an overwhelming wave of catching up on the daily check-off lists. I have learned that most times — and I emphasize most — that my state of mind is the only thing that can change itself.

      I change little things like eat cleaner (therefore I sleep better), relax a little (have wine and chocolate), hang with people who make me belly laugh deeply. On a deeper level, I stare my “blues” right in the face and ask why it’s taking over my life right now. Once I sit and arm-wrestle it a bit, I create a new relationship with it. But I have authority. It ends up passing through me like the stomach flu.

      Cassandra Seidenfeld, Actress & Philanthropist:

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        Living in New York City can be both stressful and exciting. In a place where it’s critical to stay on top of one’s A-game at all times, health and attitude can be amongst our greatest assets.

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        I live in such a fast-paced environment that requires lots of juggling such as juggling schedules, appointments and time. In the frenzies of balancing life, where time is precious, the best center I’ve found is keeping a positive attitude!

        Keeping a positive attitude enables me to meet the challenges of juggling and balancing my life, because no matter how I get through the day, the way that I get through it makes all the difference. At the end of the day, the quality and effectiveness of it all depends on how I dealt with each moment. In keeping a positive attitude from the start, I try to make every day a great productive day from the moment I awake!

        Keith LuBrant, Composer/Songwriter:

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          For me, when I have a lot of projects in the air, whether it be a work for hire situation or a request by a publisher or music supervisor, I work best with physical lists. I can prioritize and schedule everything and when I complete a project, the feeling of striking an item off the list is like a mental “win.” This “win” propels me to get the next item finished. It sounds pretty obvious, but for me, physical lists work the best.

          Kurt Ralske, Fine Artist:

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            I try to remember that whatever is going on around me is is different from my internal state — I can’t control the world, but I can be responsible for my emotions. “Stress” is a sign that I am not allowing myself to enjoy the process, or that I’ve placed myself into a situation that’s not right for me. A small mental shift — like focusing more on the people around me — can work wonders.

            There’s also the physical side of anxiety, which is only a health issue. It doesn’t effect me if I exercise, sleep well, and eat moderate amounts of good food. I don’t go near stimulants like caffeine; I need the sustained energy of a marathon runner, not a sprinter. Sometimes I use supplements like magnesium and L-theanine for proper sleep.

            Also, putting away all the distractions, whether it be the phone, 895 cable channels (!), or social media. Some people work well with taking these breaks. I find myself down a YouTube rabbit hole looking at guitar shredding. (laughs)

            Marissa Levy Lerer, Musician & Technologist:

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              Art — more specifically, songwriting — is how I de-stress from my “real” life. I can sit down and write a song in 15 minutes, practice that song over and over until it feels right, and then take a deep breath. At the end of that time, I can listen back to what I created and think, “I did that. I made something from nothing. That’s like a superpower. What do I have to be stressed about?”

              I stay positive knowing that those bursts of creativity are inside of me and can come bounding out at any time. I can’t force it but I can have faith that they will come.

              Marina V, Singer/Songwriter:

                Staying positive while stressed or depressed has been a challenge for me all my life. But over time I learned a few good tricks.

                One of the most effective ones is exercise: the influx of positivity during and after working out is like no other. The hardest part is starting the workout — especially when I feel down — but remembering that I’ll be feeling so much better afterwards really helps me get my s**t together.

                Featured photo credit: Yamaha Corporation via youtube.com

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                Darren Paltrowitz

                Writer, Editor & Researcher

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                Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

                20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

                Dreams — Mysterious, bewildering, eye-opening and sometimes a nightmarish living hell. Dreams are all that and much more.

                Here are 20 amazing facts about dreams that you might have never heard about:

                Fact #1: You can’t read while dreaming, or tell the time

                  If you are unsure whether you are dreaming or not, try reading something. The vast majority of people are incapable of reading in their dreams.

                  The same goes for clocks: each time you look at a clock it will tell a different time and the hands on the clock won’t appear to be moving as reported by lucid dreamers.

                  Fact #2: Lucid dreaming

                  There is a whole subculture of people practicing what is called lucid or conscious dreaming. Using various techniques, these people have supposedly learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things like flying, passing through walls, and traveling to different dimensions or even back in time.

                  Want to learn how to control your dreams? You can try these tips:

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                  Lucid Dreaming: This Is How You Can Control Your Dreams

                  Fact #3: Inventions inspired by dreams

                  Dreams are responsible for many of the greatest inventions of mankind. A few examples include:

                  • The idea for Google -Larry Page
                  • Alternating current generator -Tesla
                  • DNA’s double helix spiral form -James Watson
                  • The sewing machine -Elias Howe
                  • Periodic table -Dimitri Mendeleyev

                  …and many, many more.

                  Fact #4: Premonition dreams

                  There are some astounding cases where people actually dreamt about things which happened to them later, in the exact same ways they dreamed about.

                  You could say they got a glimpse of the future, or it might have just been coincidence. The fact remains that this is some seriously interesting and bizarre phenomena. Some of the most famous premonition dreams include:

                  • Abraham Lincoln dreamt of His Assassination
                  • Many of the victims of 9/11 had dreams warning them about the catastrophe
                  • Mark Twain’s dream of his brother’s demise
                  • 19 verified precognitive dreams about the Titanic catastrophe

                  Fact #5: Sleep paralysis

                  Hell is real and it is called sleep paralysis. It’s the stuff of true nightmares. I’ve been a sleep paralysis sufferer as a kid and I can attest to how truly horrible it is.

                  Two characteristics of sleep paralysis are the inability to move (hence paralysis) and a sense of an extremely evil presence in the room with you. It doesn’t feel like a dream, but 100% real. Studies show that during an attack, sleep paralysis sufferers show an overwhelming amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct and the emotions of fear, terror and anxiety. Enough said!

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                  Fact #6: REM sleep disorder

                  In the state of REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of your sleep your body is normally paralyzed. In rare cases, however, people act out their dreams. These have resulted in broken arms, legs, broken furniture, and in at least one reported case, a house burnt down.

                  Fact #7: Sexual dreams

                  The very scientifically-named “nocturnal penile tumescence” is a very well documented phenomena. In laymen’s term, it simply means that you get a stiffy while you sleep. Actually, studies indicate that men get up to 20 erections per dream.

                  Fact #8: Unbelievable sleepwalkers

                    Sleepwalking is a very rare and potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is an extreme form of REM sleep disorder, and these people don’t just act out their dreams, but go on real adventures at night.

                    Lee Hadwin is a nurse by profession, but in his dreams he is an artist. Literally. He “sleepdraws” gorgeous portraits, of which he has no recollection afterwards. Strange sleepwalking “adventures” include:

                    • A woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking
                    • A man who drove 22 miles and killed his cousin while sleepwalking
                    • A sleepwalker who walked out of the window from the third floor, and barely survived

                    Fact #9: Dream drug

                    There are actually people who like dreaming and dreams so much that they never want to wake up. They want to continue on dreaming even during the day, so they take an illegal and extremely potent hallucinogenic drug called Dimethyltryptamine. It is actually only an isolated and synthetic form of the chemical our brains produce naturally during dreaming.

                    Fact #10 Dream-catcher

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                      The dream-catcher is one of the most well-known Native American symbols. It is a loose web or webs woven around a hoop and decorated with sacred objects meant to protect against nightmares.

                      Fact #11: Increased brain activity

                      You would associate sleeping with peace and quiet, but actually our brains are more active during sleep than during the day.

                      Fact #12: Creativity and dreams

                      As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and are generally just incredibly interesting. They are also “recharging” our creativity.

                      Scientists also say that keeping a dream diary helps with creativity.

                      In rare cases of REM disorder, people actually don’t dream at all. These people suffer from significantly decreased creativity and perform badly at tasks requiring creative problem solving.

                      Fact #13: Pets dream too

                        Our animal companions dream as well. Watch a dog or a cat sleep and you can see that they are moving their paws and making noises like they were chasing something. Go get ’em buddy!

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                        Fact #14: You always dream—you just don’t remember it

                        Many people claim that they don’t dream at all, but that’s not true: we all dream, but up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams at all.

                        Fact #15: Blind people dream too

                        Blind people who were not born blind see images in their dreams but people who were born blind don’t see anything at all. They still dream, and their dreams are just as intense and interesting, but they involve the other senses beside sight.

                        Fact #16: In your dreams, you only see faces that you already know

                          It is proven that in dreams, we can only see faces that we have seen in real life before. So beware: that scary-looking old lady next to you on the bus might as well be in your next nightmare.

                          Fact #17: Dreams tend to be negative

                          Surprisingly, dreams are more often negative than positive. The three most widely reported emotions felt during dreaming are anger, sadness and fear.

                          Fact #18: Multiple dreams per night

                          You can have up to seven different dreams per night depending on how many REM cycles you have. We only dream during the REM period of sleep, and the average person dreams one to two hours every night.

                          Fact #19: Gender differences

                          Interestingly, 70% of all the characters in a man’s dream are other men, but women’s dream contain an equal amount of women and men. Also men’s dreams contain a lot more aggression. Both women and men dream about sexual themes equally often.

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                          Fact #20: Not everyone dreams in color

                          As much as 12% of people only dream in black and white.

                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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