This is my absolute favorite time of year. I love holiday decorations, the music, parties and even the hustle and bustle of crowded stores and busy shoppers.
Yet it can also be very stressful. Studies have shown that 88% of adults feel the holidays are too stressful and according to the American Psychological Association 41% turn to food and 28% turn to alcohol to manage their angst.
I remember years ago someone asked me, “How were your holidays?” and after a long pause I responded, “I have no idea.”
I felt like I had been on a super high-speed train from Thanksgiving to Christmas and everything in between was just a blur.
And while it was still fuzzy, I did know Christmas was over, I was sick, exhausted, and suddenly sad. I had been so frantically “busy” that I missed out on the joy and fun of my favorite holiday season.
That day I decided I was never going to do that again. So, I sat down and wrote my own holiday manifesto with the intention to...
Have you ever felt like achieving success is a hidden mystery and that only certain people have the key?
Or perhaps you are wanting more relationship, health or business success and it feels so far out of reach?
The fact is success leaves clues and if you are ready to put on your best trench coat, dark glasses and detective hat, you can crack the code.
This happened recently as I was catching up with my long-time friend Pam. Our conversation touched on everything from travel to family and relationships to business.
When we landed on work she sighed and said “It’s been so long since I was successful, I’m not even sure it’s possible anymore.
“What?” I protested, as the “life-coaching” hair on the back of my neck stood up, “You are one of the smartest and most creative people I know. Of course, you can be successful.”
Just for the record, she was a highly regarded creative director at a prestigious advertising firm when...
What is one thing that Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Virginia Wolf and Henry David Thoreau have in common? They all had a regular practice of walking. They understood the incredible value that walking had on the body and the brain.
Henry David Thoreau famously said “Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
And while creativity is one of the many benefits of walking, there are several other surprising reasons why you may want to get those legs moving too.
The average recommended time for exercise is 150 minutes per week. However, for greater weight loss results, the American College of Sports Medicine suggests 200-300 minutes of moderate intensity walking per week.
When I ask the question “Do you think you are addicted to your emotions?” I usually get a very stressed and uncertain response. “I’m not sure, is that possible?
The answer is YES, and it is surprising how many of us are addicted to our default emotions and don’t even realize it.
Just to clarify, it’s not actually the emotion itself but the chemical release that comes with the emotion. Each emotion has a chemical reaction, and our brains respond by giving us the feeling of relief or a reward. So, the more we experience that “chemical hit” the more we need or crave it just to get ourselves back to what feels “normal.”
It’s not that different from an addiction to sugar, alcohol, or drugs only this shows up in the form of anger, anxiety, sadness, victim thinking, blaming, guilt, shame, etc. Don’t’ get me wrong, all these emotions may be valid, and I am a huge believer in feeling your emotions and working...
In 1964, the journalist Norman Cousins took a really stressful trip to Russia. Work was wearing on him, and on top of that, his surroundings were pretty unhealthy, exposing him to dangerous fumes like diesel exhaust. Those factors, doctors believed, came together to cause the grave illness that overtook him soon after: ankylosing spondylitis, a degenerative spinal disease with a grim prognosis. Cousins was told he had a 1/500th chance of survival. Over time, he would lose all physical mobility.
Stress, combined with a weakened immune system, had caused this horrible condition, doctors said. Well, if that's true, then the opposite of stress should heal it, Cousins reasoned. And so he set about creating positive emotions that would boost his immune system.
Cousins checked himself into a hotel, where he pumped himself with vitamin C and embarked on an experimental form of therapy: laughter. He watched Marx brothers movies, read humorous books, and focused his mind on all things funny....
I had a session with a client last week and she was complaining about having a terrible headaches, including a bad one that day.
I asked a serious of questions, obviously trying to rule out serious issues, then I simply asked, “How much water did you drink today?” She hesitated, and then sheepishly responded, “I think I only had 2 glasses and 2 cups of coffee.”
It was 4pm, so I double checked, “Are you sure you only had 2 glasses of water?”” Yes” she said as she rubbed her temples, “I was so busy I didn’t even think about it”.
Water impacts every system, organ, and cell in your body. Hence health experts, recommend drinking ½ our body weight in water. So, for example, a 140 lb. person would need 70 oz of water per day.
Yet according to the USDA, Americans drink an average of 3.9 glasses of water a day…..that is less than ½ of what is recommended for most individuals.
And coffee is a diuretic, so...
“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.”
I just returned from an amazing two-week vacation to Norway where I reconnected with extensive family, toured some Nordic cities, climbed the highest mountain (in Norway and Northern Europe), zip-lined down an Olympic Ski Jump, and took part in the latest Norwegian trend: hot sauna, cold plunge and repeat.
Before I left, I was very stressed about the time away and all the things I wasn’t going to get done. Funny thing happened, the world didn’t fall apart and it was all there waiting when I got back. The difference is now, I feel rested, reenergized, reinspired, and ready to go.
It turns out those feelings aren’t a coincidence. Research proves that vacation is critical to our health and well-being.
In fact, Europe mandates 20 days of paid vacation, (some countries have increased that to 30 days) Unfortunately, the US is known as the “no vacation nation”. Some employers...
Years ago, I began to hear how cold plunges and cold shower were healthy. That sent shockwaves through my system, and I vacillated between total denial and the compelling desire to prove that theory wrong …. surely subjecting yourself to freezing cold water, by choice, was a terrible idea.
You see, when I was young…okay, okay, I admit, even now as a grown adult, I would stand by the side of the ocean, lake, pool or anywhere there was cold water and wait until everyone was about to get out. Then I would jump in and immediately jump out again…just so I could say I did it but I wouldn’t have to spend any time in the .
I know it’s kind of wimpy, but I’ve been just fine with that. However, recently I've had several teachers, friends, and even strangers, yes, a woman on the subway tell me about the incredible value of cold showers and how I "had" to do it. Ugh…..it was clearly a sign.
So I begrudgingly tried to...
Recently, I stumbled upon the question: Where are you accommodating in life?
In what ways are you settling or compromising? Letting someone else get what they want, but not you?
We do that for a variety of reasons. We want to be liked or needed. We want to fit in. We want to keep the peace. Maybe we’re afraid to go the extra mile. Or maybe we don’t believe in ourselves, so we just do what works for everyone else. We people-please, we discount our own needs.
Interestingly, this came up again when a client of mine, “David,” told me about a business class he took. He went in hoping to learn about negotiating, and came out with a lesson on accommodating.
The instructor began class by asking them to pair up and negotiate a deal. Each person would be marked on various aspects, including whether or not they actually made a deal.
David went about it the way he knew how, in a way that’s worked for him in the past. He started off by asking his partner,...
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