6 Ways Your Dreams Can Help You in Real Life

Photo Credit: trösta box subscriber, @have_a_day, on Instagram

The positive impacts of dreaming are pretty well documented. But sometimes, it can be hard to really apply any of the principles we read about to our own lives. We’ve collected six benefits of recording your dreams and how they can apply in a situation you may currently be facing.

Improve Your Creativity and Problem Solving 

According to Amy Cope, dreaming is the time when you brain’s creative center goes into hyperdrive. By actively working to record your dreams, you can uncover new creative insights from your own mind that you might not be able to access in a normal day. I don’t think this means that people who feel like they dream more frequently are necessarily more creative than everyone else, but if you’re looking for a creative spark, try recording your dreams for a couple weeks, reviewing your journal, and seeing what pops out.

Increase Your Self-Confidence

DreamMoods.com has a ton of resources related to dreaming, including how to keep a dream journal and tips for recalling your dreams more easily. According to them, recording and remembering your dreams can increase self-knowledge, self-awareness, and even self-confidence. Additionally, they say this can lead to having a more assertive and confident personality (duh)! If you feel your having trouble advocating for yourself or your own self-care, dream journaling could be an avenue to increase your confidence in this area.

Deal With Unprocessed Thoughts and Emotions

According to the Natural Health EZine, psychologists believe that there are connections between what you dream and what goes on in real life. Oftentimes, this means that dreams can unlock emotions or thoughts that may have been repressed during our daily lives. If you have feelings or emotions bottled up during the day, or you feel like it’s been difficult to cope with a recurring situation, collecting your dreams and reviewing your journal may be a good way to being processing some of your more challenging thoughts.

Find the Information You Need to Make Choices

Life Coach Fran Kramer writes that analyzing our dreams and looking especially for patterns can reveal a clear decision path we may not readily notice during the course of our normally distracted days. Choices, especially important ones that are made over a long period of time and involve a lot of cognitive processing, can be difficult to make, especially when it’s difficult to focus on all the pros and cons of the situation. Dreams can unlock what’s going on beneath the surface and reveal the true ways you think about the decision.

Prove How Much You’ve Grown Over Time

Lifehack.org has a great list of reasons why recording your dreams can be of great benefit to your life, but one of the most interesting benefits is that a solid record (e.g., months and months of recorded dreams) can allow you to look back on how much you’ve grown, mentally. Think about if you had started keeping a journal in your early teens. Pretend you’ve written in it every day until today. How much different would what you’ve written be today versus when you were 13 or 14? Seeing this kind of growth can serve as a huge self-confidence booster and perhaps can give you the courage you need to be bold every day.

Start Controlling the Events in Your Dreams

Lucid dreaming isn’t something I’ve studied too much, but when I hear about it, it sounds like fantasy. According to NY Mag, I think this way partly because I’m like most other people who have been socialized to believe that thinking about or talking about my dreams is something I should have “grown out of” as I became and adult. However, the positive impacts of dreaming, especially lucid dreaming, are well documented for both kids and adults. Lucid dreamers can use dreams to help design more meaning in their lives, among other things.

Subscribers: Start making your dream catcher today!


Eat popcorn, and these other healthy snacks that help you sleep

Welcome to October! If you received a box this month, you’ll notice a yummy little addition—Popart popcorn! But why popcorn?

Well, this month is all about caring for yourself by crafting healthy habits of sleep. Did you know that nonfat popcorn is actually one healthy snack that can help you sleep? According to Shape, the carbs in nonfat popcorn can help deliver tryptophan (think that Thanksgiving Day turkey) to your brain.

So, if you haven’t already (I know, it’s tough), crack open your bag of Popart popcorn and dig into it tonight.

Here are five other food, thanks to Shape, that can also, healthfully, help you create a habit of healthy sleep.

  1. Dried tart cherries (which we wrote about and found an awesome recipe here)
  2. Halibut (a great white fish)
  3. Garbanzo beans (why not make some homemade hummus?)
  4. Honey
  5. Chamomile tea (combine with #4)

Sleep tight!


4 Reasons Puzzling is a Great Idea Tonight

If you’re like a sizable group of curious folks, I’d bet you enjoy the occasional crossword, Sudoku, or jigsaw puzzle. And if you’re not, there’s good reason to become interested in the practice of “puzzling.”

Mind games get a lot of attention for everything from helping our memories to feeding our brains in a way that could make them healthy over the long-term. While there isn’t a lot of strong science to suggest that regular puzzling can help our brains later into life, some studies do exist, which discuss how mind games can possibly delay the onset of memory loss or Alzheimer’s.

But, even though the jury is still out on the positive long-term effects of playing with puzzles, there are still loads of other reasons why doing a puzzle can be a great thing for you every day. Here are just a few of them:

  1. Puzzles as a grounding exercise: One of the most popularly recommended ways to ground ourselves is by rubbing something smooth (like a river stone or beads) with our thumb or finger. Most jigsaw puzzle pieces are shaped with smooth edges or a smooth finished surface on top, making the small pieces great for conducting short periods of grounding.
  2. Instant, continuous gratification: Unless you’re the kind of person who competes in Sudoku championships, puzzles can take a bit of time to complete. Think about the last jigsaw puzzle you finished on your own. How long did it take? The beauty of this, though, is that puzzles bake in tons of positive feedback as your work your way toward your ultimate goal. Even if you don’t finish, the act of snapping a new piece into place or finding the answer to 6-down may be enough to boost your mood in the moment.
  3. Puzzles can be brain food: There’s a lot of research out there talking about how new mental challenges can strengthen your mind. Even small changes to a routine can have an impact on your brain in a good way. Puzzles can provide some much-needed diversity to our lives, especially when taken on in favor of watching another six episodes of our favorite rerun on Netflix.
  4. Puzzles pair well with other fun things: Jigsaw puzzles especially can be great social challenges. One of my favorite things in the world is having a game night with friends. But, if you’d prefer to take on these challenges solo, it can always be nice to curl up with some relaxing music, a glass of wine, and a 500-piece puzzle.

What are some of the reasons you like (or perhaps don’t like) puzzles?


Reorganize a room for calm and relaxation

It’s the weekend, and high means there’s no better time to clean up and reorganize. Cleaning up or organizing your things can have a great impact on your positivity and help you feel accomplished. One of my favorite things about a clean bedroom is just how easy it feels to sleep the night after I’ve cleaned.

This week, spend some time rearranging a room in your home so that it can be a calming place for you to decompress after a long or stressful day.

In this article from Bustle, there are several great ideas about how to turn a bedroom into a sanctuary. Here are some starting tips.

  1. Opt for lamps and dimmers for a sense of warmth instead of cold overhead lights.
  2. If you don’t have candles or incense, get some and create an aromatherapy environment. 
  3. Treat yourself to plush and soft items for sheets, comforters, seating, and carpet.
  4. Eliminate electronics.
  5. Find a space for your things and keep it that ways.

What ways have you found to create spaces in your home that encourage calm and relaxation?

rescue kitten

Do one thing that you can be proud of

If you follow trösta box on Instagram, then you’ll know we had the great fortune of being able to take in a rescue kitten that we found in a colony of feral cats. The little guy is so cute and friendly and, having been around many feral cats before, exhibits hardly any of the less desirable characteristics you might associate with a feral cat.

We’ve now been working with a rescue agency to ensure the little guy finds a new home. It makes us really proud to think that we did something we could feel proud of in rescuing him. Playing with him every day and making sure he’s healthy reminds us of how proud we feel in the decision we made to rescue him instead of just letting him live in the wild.

While rescuing a kitten is pretty big task, there are a lot of little things we can do every day that can make us feel proud in our actions or thoughts. Doing something that makes you feel proud can give you a huge self-confidence boost and help power you through a day that might otherwise feel tedious or difficult.

So, what is one thing you can do today to make you feel proud of yourself? Maybe you’ve got a goal that you’ve been struggling to achieve. What’s one thing you could do today for no more than 5 minutes that would help put you on the path to achieving your goal? Maybe there’s a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to recently. What if you dropped them a note or sent them a text message?

A piece of advice I heard recently was that if you have something you need to do, and that thing will take less than 1 minute, you should do it immediately. Treating ourselves to a small boost in self-confidence is always worth the 1 minute you could spend doing something that makes you feel proud of you.

What will that thing be and where will you begin today?


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Daily Self-Care: Make a Green Smoothie

My favorite thing about a good smoothie is how nutrient dense they can be. A lot of the time, I think about smoothies as a meal in a cup. A lot of people will tell you, especially if you’re trying to lose weight, drinking your calories isn’t the best strategy. However, there are many benefits tied to making the right green smoothie. The benefits of constructing the perfect smoothie are found the dense nutrients that can be found in the fruits and vegetables you load up your blender with.

I love smoothies. One of my favorites combines frozen mangos, bananas, mixed berries (usually a combination of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries) whey protein powder, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

When I’m really feeling like a treat, I’ll make an imitation of Jamba Juice’s chocolate peanut butter smoothie, using a frozen banana, some ice, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and milk (not exactly high on the detox scale, but it does provide a nice alternative to a piece of cake or some cookies).

After scouring the internet for the best green smoothie recipe, I found this one over at The Green Forks. Before I started writing this post, I didn’t realize how “adventurous” a smoothie can be. But, take a look at the ingredients:

  • Spinach
  • Romaine
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Pear
  • Banana
  • Coconut water
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Lemon
  • Chia seeds
  • Ginger root
  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric

While I haven’t gotten around to making this great smoothie every morning, drinking just one is definitely a self-care act when you’re feeling the need to detox.

What smoothie recipes do you love?


Self-Care Act: Appreciate Your Feet!

In our August box we wanted to help you appreciate your body as you get out and enjoy the sunshine. Yoga is a great way to show your body some love as you practice new moves and breathing techniques to help you handle life’s daily stresses and ups and downs. That’s why we loved including the Yoga Deck to give you a chance to learn yoga basics and create routines that work for you.

But self-care isn’t just about clearing your mind and stretching those muscles. It’s also about learning to love you for you – to embrace your own beauty and feel comfortable in your own skin. That’s why August’s box included goodies to help you love the area we all tend to be a little self-conscious of: our feet.

And what better time to embrace our feet than in the summertime, am I right?

First off, we can’t get enough of the vegan nail polish from Black Dahlia Lacquer. This is powerful stuff – 30 days after my pedicure and my toes are still sparkly strong! One of the best things you can do to show your feet some love this weekend is to pick out your favorite nail polish and give your nails a shine.

trosta box nail polish

Even more amazing this month were the trösta box original barefoot sandals. At the beach or at the yoga studio – these are sure to make you smile! What I love about barefoot sandals is that they’re a little funky and are a way to get us all out of our comfort zone when we’d rather just be silent.


So go on, start loving your body this month and start out by appreciating your feet and wear them proud!