All posts tagged Happiness

5 Ways To Kick Stress To The Curb

Turns out, sweating the small stuff can have a major impact on the well being of your heart, mind and body.  Considering the fact that bumps in the road are inevitable in life, it’s best to learn how to manage this dooming stress that we often encounter so we can live our Ultimate Life:

 

1.Be Solution-Oriented

“Try to focus on solving the problem if it’s solvable, rather than focusing on your emotions about the problem,” Almeida says. Make a list of all the steps you need to take to get something accomplished and then cross them off as you complete them. When you see that you’re making progress on smaller, more manageable tasks, the job as a whole will feel less overwhelming, Dan Ariely, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and economics at Duke University who studies irrational behavior.

2. Laugh It Off

The people who do best at not dwelling are those who have some sort of positive outlook on life, Almeida says. “In the face of challenge they can maintain joy, happiness, or humor—that seems to help a lot in limiting the duration of the stress response,” he says.

Research shows that smiling and laughing increase feel-good endorphins. Cracking up also causes levels of the stress hormones to plummet. Your laughter Rx? Hit up Buzzfeed.com and belly-laugh at animal photos or watch a YouTube clip from your favorite comedian.

3. Count Your Blessings

Being grateful can help calm you down. In a study published in Applied Physiology, people who focused on feeling grateful at bedtime were less worried and anxious and their overall sleep quality was better compared to previous nights.

4. Massage It Out

A rub doesn’t just make your muscles feel good—it can also do wonders for your anxiety. When the nerves in your skin sense firm pressure, your brain activates your parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, your adrenal glands cut back the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and vasopressin and your brain boosts production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.

5. Eat Your Veggies

New research shows that happiness is highest among people who eat seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The more good-for-you foods people ate, the more likely they were to report satisfaction and happiness and the less likely they were to experience nervousness and “feeling low.”

 


 

Related Post: 5 Ways to calm your waves of frustration

 

Orignial Source:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/stress-management

5 Harmful Habits You May Not Realize You’re Doing…

Going through life, we tend to get caught up in ‘going through the motions’ and sometimes we don’t realize our actions have consequences. These consequences can either affect the people in your environment, you personally or sometimes both. These five habits are something to be aware of as they directly affect your brain and self:

 

1. Immediate gratification.

Our consumer mentality has made us believe we can have anything our way. You can, most of the time, but going after what makes you happy all the time actually makes you sadder. You want what you want all the time and that expectation simply can’t be met.Instead, define your bigger goals. M. Scott Peck’s classic The Road Less Traveled emphasis on delayed gratification can be taken to a new level when you know why waiting for something matters.

2. Personalization.

Thinking you are the cause of something that has gone wrong, even though you were not responsible, creates a cycle of unhappiness known as personalization. Your brain starts thinking every grumpy person or negative event is because you were bornIts antidote is to assume it’s not about you. We have to trust that adults will tell us when they are angry with us. We cannot take on the world’s problems in a day and age when we can see all of them in living color on our smart phones

3. Perseveration.

Find a safe person to talk about with for a limited period of time. In many situations, we can’t get the answers we need to the small and significant pains we experience. You may never find the phone you lost or know why the person didn’t invite you, but if you want to stop perseverating, you have to put a limit on the amount of time you stay stuck.

4. Projection.

There is a lot of ambiguous stuff out there these days. Uncertainty is normal. That means that our feelings are constantly forming and we can’t keep track of all of them. We face too much pressure and change. And if we can be compassionate to ourselves and kind to the people around us, you shine light on your shadow. It’s hard to be judgmental when you want to understand the other person.

5. Catastrophizing.

The answer to catastrophizing is doing a little CSI on your own thoughts. Are you really going to get fired for being late once? Will a stock market drop leave you destitute? If your spouse says something about your clothes do they really never think you are attractive? We all make things bigger than they are sometimes, and all of us have the capacity to challenge our own thoughts to decide if what’s happening is really a disaster or we simply need to go get lunch.

In each case, these brain habits have an alternative. And our problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors usually do. As we evolve as human beings, we don’t have to keep making the same mistakes personally and in our relationships. When we know we have options, that’s when we can develop patterns of living that are good for us and the people in our lives.

 

 


 

 

Read up on a few tips to keeping the brain happy and keeping the positivity flowing here!

Original Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-wortmann/5-habits-ruining-your-brain_b_8990006.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

How To Have a Constructive Argument With Your Partner

“I love you, but I don’t have to like you right now”, is definitely a quote that comes up in relationships every now and then, as arguments inevitably come up… It’s whether we argue in a constructive way or throw tantrums that determines the route of the relationship. So the next time he leaves the toilet seat up, or she spends too much of the budget on shopping, remember these tips from psychotherapist Vikki Stark, director of the Sedona Counselling Center of Montreal, that will leave you holding hands in no time… or whatever else you like to do to make up 🙂

 

Don’t run from fights. 

Couples in it for the long-haul don’t shy away from discussing topics that could just as easily be swept under the rug. They ask the big, scary questions ASAP — “When, if ever, are we going to have kids?” “What are we going to do if you get that job in another state? I don’t want to move to there!” — so they don’t become bigger isssues in the relationship later on, said Diane Sawaya Cloutier, an author and relationship expert.

“When taboo or uncomfortable topics remain unaddressed, they can turn any benign event into a big drama that could have been avoided in the first place,” she said. “Couples who talk about it can manage potential dramas.”

Start slow and take turns talking.

Arguments generally end the same way they began, said Bonnie Ray Kennan, amarriage and family therapist based in Southern California. Couples who’ve mastered the art of arguing fairly take things slow, addressing difficult conversations with a soft, reassuring tone and dialing it down whenever things get too emotionally charged.

“Starting a difficult conversation softly and respectfully dramatically increases the chances of a good outcome,” she said. “Conversely, a ‘harsh start-up’ is very hard to process well, especially for men.”

Couples who argue with finesse also know the value of give and take: “One person speaks and the other person truly listens,” Ray Kennan said.

Acknowledge each other’s feelings and points of view.

They may be bumping heads but couples in happy, long-time relationships try their best to see the other side of the argument, Kipp said.

“They may say, ‘I know you see it differently than me, but I appreciate that you are listening to my perspective,'” she said. “These positive moments decrease defensiveness and allow for a more productive conversation.”

They never forget that ultimately, they’re a team.

Even during their most tense arguments, healthy couples never forget that they’re a team: for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…  and until the argument exhausts them and both parties agree that they’d rather call a timeout and get a bite to eat.

“Couples in satisfying long-term relationships are able to remember that, no matter how angry they may be, life will continue after today,” said Stark. “Because of that, they don’t want to do lasting damage. Even in an emotional state, they are able to hang on to the long-term value of the couple. They’re a team, protecting their future together.”

 


 

Read more from the original source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/8-things-successful-couples-do-differently-during-arguments_us_569fd4f0e4b0875553c2a5e0?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

5 Habits to Keep the Positivity Flowing

There is too much good out there for a few bad mishaps keep us down.  It’s easier said then then done but it is important to keep positivity flowing throughout your day so you can be the best you can be. Below are 5 habits to integrate into your life so positivity comes natural:

 

#1 — Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
You’ve heard the phrase, “choose your battles wisely” — this is more important than ever when steering clear of additional drama and headaches that may taint your mood. If it’s not going to affect your health, livelihood, marriage or family, chances are it’s a molehill and not a mountain.

#2 — Breathing Space

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evgenyataman

Having a space to decompress after a long day or sometimes mid-way through the day is essential in focusing your energy on the right things. We must center ourselves and make certain we have a full tank before we continue to extend ourselves to others. When you run on empty, resentment, anger and frustration are sure to follow.

#3 — Who’s Your Squad?
Who are the people you can go to at a moment’s notice and they rally around you with positivity and encouragement? It may be a special co-worker, a long-time friend, your spouse or maybe a parent. Identify your biggest cheerleaders in life. They make deposits into you, not debits. These are the people who will remind you of your worth when you can’t do it for yourself.

#4 — Encouragement Breeds Gratitude
They say giving is better than receiving and when it comes to kindness, this couldn’t be more true. Giving words of encouragement and praise to others is great way to boost yourself. You’ll be surprised at how awesome it feels to push someone else forward with kind words.


 

Original Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tina-b-ladson/5-lifestyle-habits-of-optimistic-people_b_8958974.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul

10 Hacks To Give Yourself Motivation on That Blah Day

Somedays are just harder to get out of bed than others and our motivation is nowhere to be found… It happens to the best of us and unfortunately our productivity level seems to dip on those more than ‘blah’ types of days. Below are 12 tips to get yourself goin’ so you can crush that to-do list and wave goodbye to the Monday Blues!

 

  1. Start very small if big leads you to procrastinating. If a project or task feels too big and daunting don’t let that lead you into procrastination. Instead, break it down into very small steps and then take just one of them to start moving forward. Because the most important thing is to just get going and to build momentum forward.
  2. Get accountability from the people in your life. Tell your friends what you will do on social media, via phone or in real life. Ask one or more of them to regularly check up on you and your progress. By doing this you’ll be a lot less likely to try to weasel out of things or give up at the first obstacle.
  3. Get motivation from the people in your life. Spend less time with negative people who always look at the dark or apathetic side of things. And spend more of the time you have now freed up with enthusiastic or motivated people and let their energy flow over to you.
  4. Play music that gives you energy. One of the simplest things I do when I feel low in energy or motivation is to play music that is upbeat and/or inspires me in some way. A break with a few songs or working while listening to them for a while usually works well.
  5. Be constructive about the failures. To make your setbacks more valuable and less hurtful be constructive about them. When you stumble ask yourself: what is 1 thing I can learn from this setback? Then keep that lesson in mind and take action on it to improve what you do.
  6. Remind yourself of why you are working toward this. When you’re feeling unmotivated and low in energy it is easy to lose sight of why you’re doing something. So take 2 minutes and write down your top 3 reasons for doing this work, getting an education, working out, saving that extra money or something else. Put that note where you can see it every day or keep it in your smartphone for easy access when you need a motivational boost.
  7. Mix things up. A rut will kill motivation. So mix things up. Make a competition out of a task with yourself or with someone else. When you work out vary what you do instead of going through the motions. Listen to music and podcasts that you usually don’t listen to. New input and variation tends to be a good way to keep the motivation up (or to recharge it).
  8. Declutter your workspace. Take a couple of minutes to clean it up. I find that having an uncluttered and minimalistic workspace helps me to think more clearly and I feel more focused and ready to tackle the next task (or small step).
  9. Don’t forget about the breaks. Few things can in my experience drain the daily motivation like just working non-stop. Instead, work for 45 minutes each hour and use the rest for a break where you eat snack, got out for some fresh air or do a bit of stretching. You’ll – perhaps somewhat counter-intuitively – get more done in a day and week and do work of higher quality because your energy, focus and motivation will simply last longer.
  10. Exercise. Working out doesn’t just affect your body. I find that just 20-30 minutes of lifting free weights releases inner tensions and stress and makes me feel more focused and motivated once again.

 

Original Source:

http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2015/12/02/motivate-yourself/

Introducing The Desks That Will Bring More Happiness and Productivity to Your Day

There is plenty of research out there that suggest Happy Healthy workers = productive workers. So creating a space for your employees or for your home office that endorses healthy habits will benefit you in many ways! From standing desks, which offer the opposite of the sedentary workweek, to desk that offer a little more privacy, these desk will offer more productivity and happiness within the office. Sounds like a win-win to me!

 

Stir Kinetic M1 smart desk

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 2.52.03 PM

Researchers at Stir have found that users of manually adjustable standing desks can stay sitting for weeks before they change positions. But the Stir Kinetic M1 design takes the standing desk to a whole new level, targeting those who may need a little push to get up from their chairs.

This smart desk emits a small sigh to let you know when it’s time stand up, then it automatically adjusts to a new height. It’s equipped with a touchscreen that keeps track of how much time you’ve spent sitting and standing each day, and counts the number of calories you’ve burned.

Price: $2,990.

 

Public Office Landscape

public desk

This collaborative work unit from design firm Herman Miller has modular desks, seating and storage, all of which can be re-arranged to suit various needs.

Recognizing that the majority of work interactions still occur near desks, the firm added the option to trick out the desk unit with an ergonomic, cushioned “social chair.” The desk-chair arrangement creates what the company calls a “social pod,” offering comfy seating for visitors and allowing employees to pivot easily from desk work to teamwork.

The workstation uses recyclable steel parts in its frame, and the seat cushion is recyclable, too.

A unit with a Public desk and cushioned seating starts at around $1,600.

 

The NextDesk Fit

nextdesk fit

Those looking for a more active workday (and who have enough floor space) can opt for a treadmill desk. The NextDesk Fit offers walking speeds between 0.4 and 4 mph, and connects to Bluetooth to let you track your progress. It senses when you stop moving; and if you get off and walk away while the treadmill belt is still going, it’ll pause after 20 seconds.

You’ll have to pay $999 to get those daily 10,000 steps in. (Of course, you could also take a break from work to circle a few blocks outside, no desk required.)


 

Original Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/06/desks-healthier-workplace_n_7162954.html?ir=Business

4 Traits All Good Listeners Possess

Being a good listener is difficult, especially with all of the noise in our society today (texts, reminders, emails, to- do lists, etc)… However, good listening skills effect many aspects of our daily lives, from the success of our business to nurturing relationships, so it is important to really sharpen those skills. Listening expert Paul Sacco, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, explains, there are just a few simple habits that set the real good listeners apart from the rest:

 

They’re present.

Being mindful in conversations is a hallmark characteristic of a good listener, Sacco notes. When you’re fully aware in the moment, you’re more likely to retain what you’re hearing and respond with more authenticity. That means stashing those phones and ridding yourself of all distractions. “Good listeners really put everything down and focus on [the person in front of them],” he says. “And as a result, the other person becomes instantly aware that they have an interest in what they have to say.”

They’re emotionally intelligent.

Emotional intelligence, or the awareness of our emotions and the emotions of those around us, can help enhance any interaction — especially when it comes to listening.

According to Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, cultivating a high “EQ” is paramount when sharpening your listening skills. And all it takes is practice and focus. “When you’re caught up with thinking about what you’re going to say next, you aren’t listening,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 2011. “But if you stop what you’re doing, and really focus on the person talking, you activate neurons in your brain and your body starts to hone in on the other person. This helps you retain more information.”

 

They pose significant questions.

Part of active listening isn’t just lending your ear, but asking appropriate follow-up questions to draw out more information. This ability to provide thought-provoking feedback is one of the best ways to show you’re engaged in what the other person has to say, Sacco says. “People who are good listeners validate other people’s feelings,” he adds. “It shows that what they’re saying makes sense.”

They’re not on the defensive.

Not all of the things you hear are going to be rosy. “I’m great at listening when someone is telling me things I want to hear,” Sacco explains. “It gets a little more difficult when someone gives you feedback that you find troubling or you perceive as being damaging to your ego.”

Effective listeners don’t block out negative criticism. Instead, they listen and develop an understanding of what the person is trying to convey before responding. “They’re aware of their own reactions to other people,” Sacco says. “The difference between a terrible listener and a great listener can sometimes be the response time. A lot of conversations … can go pretty bad or pretty well depending on the ability to step back and just take a moment [before responding].”


 

Read more from our blog on how Poor Listening Skills directly effect your business’s bottom line here.

 

Original Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/habits-of-good-listeners_n_5668590.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

Humans Now Have a Lower Attention Span Than a Goldfish… Why Nobody is Listening to You…

Do you ever feel like nobody is listening to you? Well to be completely honest, nowadays, they probably aren’t.. Our world has evolved into mindless zombies with their eyes glued to their phones and our attention span as a result of all the media consumed is now less than that of a goldfish… The problem? Managers in the workplace are not excluded from this study…

According to ResourcefulManager.com, a website that offers advice and resources for managers, the average Fortune 500 manager scores a 2 out of 5 on listening abilities.

There’s a cost: errors, miscommunication, wasted time, and employee turnover.

listening infographic final


 

Source: https://www.resourcefulmanager.com/

Scientifically Proven Habits to Make Your Brain Happier

Who doesn’t want to be happier in this world of chaos and negativity that we battle each day?! There are multiple ways to train your brain to be happier, but below are a few scientifically backed habits that will guide you on the path to happiness:

Ways To Wake Up Easier- Proven Scientifically

Waking up in the morning can be one of the most difficult things you face all day: You vs. The Alarm… but lucky for you, this video will show you multiple ways you can defeat that obnoxious, loud device and really show it whose boss, because your waking up on the right side of the bed tomorrow!