Posts in gratitude
Feel All the Feels: Emotional Management for Optimal Health
 
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By Hannah Woit

Your emotional feelings and physical feelings are connected. Positive emotions can benefit your health while negative ones can harm if they are not dealt with in the right way.

So, with that in mind, where do we go from here if we want to cultivate an emotional life that supports our overall health? Are we supposed to walk around pretending everything is fantastic and that we actually love the fact that we just dropped our ice cream cone on the ground or got all the way to the office only to realize we left our cell phone at home?

Deal With It:

For better or worse, life has its highs and lows. It would be silly to act as if that’s not true. In fact, ignoring your feelings--negative and positive--may be the worst thing you can do.

According to the University of Minnesota, failing to deal with or ignoring your anger can be associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, infection, and digestive issues. Instead, you should feel your emotions and express them without judging yourself.

Feel it, then you can let it go.

Work It Out:

If you tend to hold on to negative things that have happened, this doesn’t mean you are doomed for poor health. A study supported by Stanford and the Department for Veterans Affairs showed that you can learn how to forgive. In the study, adults who were trained in forgiveness experienced fewer physical ailments, less anger, and fewer feelings of hurt.

If you want to develop a more positive approach to life, there are things you can do to mould your outlook for the better. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson suggests that you aim to experience three positive feelings for every negative one to reverse the potential physical damage that negativity can inflict. And, she posits that positivity is like a muscle that can get stronger over time with practice to make you more resilient emotionally.

So, just like you have a gym or workout routine, it may be worth implementing a routine for checking in on and working through your emotions--your body will thank you.

 
Do Your Surroundings Spark Joy?
 
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By Hannah Woit

Skip spring cleaning this year? It’s not too late!

You’ve likely heard of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It is based on her KonMari Method of curating and organizing your living spaces in a way that creates joy in your life. There are 6 rules:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up.

  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

  3. Finish discarding first.

  4. Tidy by category; not by location.

  5. Follow the right order.

  6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

Some might assume that decluttering enthusiasts believe the fewer items, the better, but it’s not that simple, at least not when it comes to the KonMari Method. The key is having items around you that spark joy and to be grateful for them. You can also apply the principle to other areas of your life. For example, think about your schedule and ask yourself, what can you get rid of so that you have more time for what makes you happy and what really matters?

It’s not as simple as looking around and throwing out the junk mail that has piled up. Lisa suggests going deep--taking everything out of where it is stored so you can see everything. You may even rediscover something you’ve forgotten about that deserves to have a place in your home where you see it every day!

Intrigued? If you are a Primary member, please join us at Primary on Tuesday, July 10th at 5:30pm for “Tidy Up Your Home With KonMari & Start Living Your Best Life!”. Certified KonMari Consultant Lisa Tselebidis will teach you how to simplify your home space and life in a way that maximizes your joy. 

Lisa will cover:

  • The effects of clutter & disorganization on your well-being
  • Benefits of a tidy home
  • Vision creation
  • Introduction to the KonMari Method
  • Example of a KonMari transformation
  • Clothing folding demonstration

Calm your surroundings so you can calm your mind. And, make room for joy!

 
An Attitude of Gratitude
 
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By Hannah Woit

When William Arthur Ward said, "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it,” he probably wasn’t thinking about showing gratitude to others as a gift to yourself. But living a life of gratefulness can actually boost your own health and happiness.

Research has demonstrated that those who take stock of what they have to be grateful for in life tend to be happier. Focusing on gratitude has also been found to help with depression--in a study at Berkeley, a group of students receiving mental health counseling were asked to write weekly letters of gratitude to another person for 3 weeks. It seems you don’t even need to send the notes--only a minority of letter writers actually sent the letters, but still reported better health outcomes over time as compared to those receiving counseling who didn’t write letters.

Gratitude may also be the gift that keeps on giving. When the Berkeley researchers looked at the brain activity of the students using an fMRI scanner, the results they saw led them to surmise that you can make your brain more sensitive to gratitude over time, which could make you happier in the long run.

If writing isn’t your thing, you can also take a few minutes to meditate and/or visualize the things you are grateful for. If you work in Primary’s coworking space or offices, take a few minutes each day in the nap room or attend a meditation class to build a gratitude practice into your schedule.

Expressing thanks can also help your team’s performance at the office. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that participants who received a pep talk that included a thank you for their work were 50% more productive than ones who did not get a pep talk. If you are getting frustrated with the pace of a long term work project, focusing on gratitude can also make you more patient, other research indicates.

After all, as Eckhart Tolle has said, "Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance."