Feeling like you’re in a slump? Research has shown that expressing gratitude on a daily basis can improve your energy levels and mood as well as help you get more sleep, boost your immune system, and lower your risk of disease. Try this “Three Good Things” practice to help cultivate gratitude in your own life.
3 Good Things Practice:
~ Take out a piece of paper
~ Write down 3 good things that you are grateful for today
~ Keep up the practice for at least 2 weeks before reflecting on your experience
When we are feeling anxious or scared, we tend to breathe quicker, shallow
breaths. This leads to a lower concentration of carbon dioxide in our blood
causing us to feel lightheaded, clammy, sweaty, and have tingly fingers or toes. Learning how to control our breathing can help us better manage the emotions we are feeling. Next time you are feeling anxious, scared, or upset try this:
~ Sit comfortably. Close your eyes if you want to.
~ Breathe slowly and steadily in through your nose for a count of 4.
~ Hold your breath for a count of 2.
~ Breathe out slowly and steadily for a count of 4.
~ Repeat for a few minutes.
Snacking at work can have a huge impact on our health goals. Stay on track
with your personal health goals with these office snacking tips:
~ Not an option to remove office candy, sweets, or salty snacks? Store in
opaque containers and/or place them in low traffic spots.
~ Keep a few of your favorite snacks on-hand for convenience.
~ High fiber snacks (like nuts, fruit, whole grains, & veggies) will curb your
hunger for longer!
Eating well doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out these tips for eating well while sticking to a budget.
~ Meal plan:
o Plan your meals before you shop based on what is on sale/in season, meals you actually enjoy cooking and eating, and ingredients that can be used in more than one meal.
~ Grocery Shopping:
o Make a list and stick to it.
o Shop at home first. Use ingredients you already have in your pantry
instead of buying new.
o Shop in season.
o Buy bulk when appropriate.
~ Skip eating out. Preparing your meals at home can cut food costs dramatically
Did you know the average American consumes a total of 350 calories a day
from added sugars? In one year, most Americans will consume anywhere
between 80-150 pounds of sugar! Consuming this much sugar can put us at
higher risk for developing things like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other health problems. Try out these tips for reducing your added sugar intake:
~ Choose plain water or carbonated water with lemon instead of a soda or
~ Buy plain varieties of products like yogurt or cereal and add fruit as a
~ Avoid making treats an everyday food and reward yourself with non-food
~ Enjoy desserts occasionally, a smaller portion will help keep calories down
while still satisfying your sweet tooth.
Mindful eating can help you enjoy your food more and reach your health goals. Try:
~ Taking note of the color, texture, and smell of your food before taking a bite. What do you notice that you haven't noticed before?
~ Chewing each bite entirely before having another bite. Notice how the food's taste and texture change with each chew.
~ Enjoy an entire meal free of distractions. Just you, your thoughts, and your food.
Resistance training helps maintain and combat the loss of muscle mass that occurs as we age. In addition to increasing our muscular fitness, resistance training can help prevent osteoporosis, decrease our risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and lowering body fat. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that resistance training be done at least two (non-consecutive) days each week. Each workout should consist of 8-10 exercises and 8-12 repetitions for each exercise.
Did you know we sit an average of 12 hours each day? Research suggests prolonged sitting is wreaking havoc on our health. Excessive sitting is cited as a key risk factor in 4 of the top 7 killers: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. It is also linked to obesity. Lower your risk, sit less, stand up more, and keep your body moving. Standing, for even short periods of time, also can increase focus, alertness and productivity. Stand up to sitting during your workday with these tips:
~ Take a walking break, alone or with a coworker
~ Stand, stretch, jump, walk, or get moving at least once every hour
~ Take the stairs, even if it’s just one flight
~ Walk to speak in person instead of emailing
~ Stand up or walk in place while on the phone
We all lose motivation from time to time. When you are feeling unmotivated, try one of these strategies to get yourself back on track toward your goal.
Put your goal on the calendar where you can see it every day.
Make working toward your goal a habit built in your routine.
Plan for imperfection and do not let it derail you.
Set small goals to build momentum.
Track your progress so you can see results.
Reward yourself for the little wins as well as the big ones.
Embrace positive peer pressure and encouragement.
Practice gratitude (including for yourself).
Do mood lifting activities and self-care.
Change your environment so you keep creativity flowing.
Remember your “why” and let that be the beacon that guides you.
This technique can help return your breathing pattern to a relaxed rhythm. It can clear and calm your mind, improving your focus.