28 January 2018

A sketch for you...


I've decided to start something new on my blog! As I'm currently working on my drawing/designing skills I thought it would be a fun idea to get you guys involved too. So instead of just drawing random outfits, I decided to do a new 'series' of posts. This new 'series' is basically outfit sketches based on your style. So if you would like to get involved, all you have to do is be following me on bloglovin' (or by email) & twitter, and DM me that you're interested! As much as I love sketching, I also thought it would be the perfect way to get to know you guys a bit better. I hope you enjoy this first post, and be sure to let me know what you think of this idea in the comment section! 

23 January 2018

Brain stuff - Why do we feel sad?


I've always been intrigued by the way the brain works, why do we feel happy? What makes us feel sad? Why is it, that a simple smell can bring back a wave of emotions? And, while simple curiosity is my main reason for this post, I also find the notion of emotions being nothing more than mechanical/chemical changes of the brain somewhat comforting. I know, I’m a little odd. But seriously, take a minute to think about it, really think about it. It’s strange right. The idea that your mood essentially starts from a tiny electrical impulse. But sometimes after a really bad day, or when I start to get that nagging sad feeling, I can take comfort in this idea. I just take a moment to focus on why I’m feeling that way, completely remove myself from the external processes (although that can help too) and imagine the internal ones.

I find it funny that even at this moment, as you read this, chemicals in your body are transmitting from one neuron to the next to stimulate or inhibit certain areas of the brain. (1) Perhaps you’re feeling happy, so the ‘pleasure centres’ of your brain are being activated and releasing dopamine, an excitatory neurotransmitter. (2) Or maybe you’re just feeling painfully bored by this and the hormone melatonin is increasing (3), causing you to feel sleepy. See what I did there… technically it’s the hormone making you sleepy, not me! It all comes down to chemicals, which brings me to question, what are the chemical/s behind sadness?

While I found tons of information concerning happiness and the brain, I found a great deal less on sadness. Depression, yes, but the simple emotion of sad, no. Compared to depression, which is long term and known to be linked physical brain differences, simple sadness is brief and much harder to pinpoint. Although I never really found my answer I did find an interesting study explained on Newsweek about the emotion sad. It stated that Drs Peter J. Freed and J. John Mann conducted 22 studies with non-depressed sad volunteers and found that, “sadness appeared to cause altered activity in more than 70 different brain regions.” (4) These regions were also known to process things like, conflict, pain, social isolation, memory, reward and body sensation (& many more). They also noticed that sadness was triggered by different stimuli depending on the person. I found this fascinating, 70 different places... that's crazy! 

After looking into the actual areas that showed altered activity, I was particularily drawn to the ones that linked to memory (the hippocampus & amygdala) and taste (the insula). (4) I mean how does sadness link to taste!? The science museum website notes that "when you recall an emotional event, you recall not only what happened, but also how you felt," (2) which explains why the memory region of the brain showed altered activity. Perhaps whatever stimuli shown to the participants triggered another emotional memory? Along with this, strong emotional memories can also bring back memories of other senses that were present at the time e.g. smell & taste. You might be thinking, well of course, that happens to me all the time! And yes it does, but I'm interested specifically in why it happens. 


So, why write this? Well in all honesty its mostly just my string of thoughts, something that I find interesting that I thought I'd share. I'd also love to hear your thoughts on this and find out if you have any interesting mind/brain related posts! 

What are you particularly interested in? 

Follow me on twitter  & bloglovin' to stay updated

References: 
1. UPMC, (2016). How brain chemicals influence mood and health[online], Available at: http://share.upmc.com/2016/09/about-brain-chemicals/ [Accessed 22/01/2018].  
2. The Science Museum, (2017). Who am I[online], Available at: http://whoami.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbrain/whatareemotions/whichareaofyourbraincontrolsemotions/areyouhappy [Accessed 22/01/2018]
3. Harper, K. (2015). So tired in the morning... The science of sleep, American Chemical Society [online]. Available at: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/past-issues/archive-2014-2015/the-science-of-sleep.html [Accessed 22/01/2018] 
4. Miller, M. (2008). Sad brain, Happy brain, Newsweek [online]. Available at: http://www.newsweek.com/sad-brain-happy-brain-88455 [Accessed 22/01/2018] 

Other resources: 
  • Integrative psychiatry, (2018). Serotonin, [online], Available at: https://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/serotonin.html [Accessed 21/01/2018] 

17 January 2018

My Designs - The Burberry copy


I actually made this skirt a while ago, but completely forgot to post it! It's just a simple skater style skirt, with a zip at the back. The one thing I love the most about it, would have to be the materiel. Not only is soft and easy to work with, but it also looks very much like the famous Burberry pattern. I'm not huge into brands, but I have to admit that there's something very appealing about this specific pattern. The muted colours make it easy to wear with a variety of styles, and yet the checks also give it an element of interest. 

11 January 2018

Discuss - Is social media healthy?


So, one of my new year goals was to post regularly on this blog, ironically new years was over a week ago and I have yet to post anything… So yeah, if any of you are feeling bad about struggling with new years resolutions, just know that I’ve pretty much failed before the year has even started. Anyway, as much as I love dwelling on my failures, what I really want to discuss today is social media or, more specifically, the impacts of social media.
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