All posts tagged: wellness

How to Heal the Mind and Create Lifelong Benefits in 15 minutes per Day

I woke up this morning thinking about efficiency. I asked myself, if I could only have three practices to increase well-being and life satisfaction, what would I choose?  The Pareto Principle states that 20% of what you do yields 80% of your results, so I wondered how to cut the 80% that’s not pulling weight.

The result: 15 minutes per day is enough to create lifelong mental benefits and heal the mind! For the three practices that you need to know, visit the post!

What Everyone Should Know About Coping Behaviors & Addictions

Let me begin by stating that we all have the so-called “addictive personality”.  This label isn’t reserved for the weak or unmotivated or broken.  The addictive personality is, in fact, the the human condition. I think it’s obvious: each one of us resorts to some kind of coping behavior when life is too stressful and we feel overwhelmed.  Some of these coping behaviors involve legal or illegal substance abuse, but not all do.  Because some are more obvious and readily cause social and financial ruin, they are labeled “addictions”; however, each one of us has a chosen coping behavior or behavior that matters dearly to us and a harmful dependence can develop to any of these behaviors. The fundamental similarity among all of them is the aim to avoid painful emotions. No one is immune to painful emotions such as fear, loneliness, sadness, guilt, jealousy, boredom, inadequacy, etc.   The coping behaviors that allow us to avoid overwhelming emotions tend to fall into three categories: Consumption – e.g., food, media, and shopping Numbing out – e.g. drugs …

A Cheerfulness Practice to Radically Improve Your Mindset and Get Rid of Ennui

Don’t let a chronic case of the Mondays bring down your entire life.   Have you ever felt that each week is more of the same?  You make it through Monday to Thursday.  Finally, it’s Friday! But suddenly it’s Monday again.  How did that happen? The weeks run like torturous deja vu. Or perhaps it feels like every day is worse than the last.  The same breakfast, the same commute, the same crabby coworker.  And even the weekends are starting to seem as bland as plain, congealed oatmeal. It’s not that things are bad.  The response to “How are you?” is  “Oh, I really can’t complain.”  How do we cope with this perpetual, mild dissatisfaction?  Nothing’s really wrong.  Or is it? This listlessness has a name: ennui (pronounced: On-We).  It’s an emotional state of overcast, the kind that threatens of rain for days on end, but fails to provide the relief of a downpour.  It just goes on being overcast.  After the overcast becomes “normal”, you occasionally find yourself nagged by memories of last summer, …

3 Stretches to Relieve Wrist and Forearm Pain Caused by Computer Use

Why do my wrists and forearms hurt after computer work?  What stretches can I do to get rid of the pain? You might think of an office job as not physically strenuous.  What injury could you possibly get from sitting at a desk? Actually, people who rely on electronics at work often complain about tension in the wrists and forearms.  Some computer and office work activities that contribute to compression and inflammation in this area include: Using a mouse or touchpad Typing with the wrists at an unnatural angle (i.e. with wrists dropped) Working for long periods without breaks or stretching Carrying items or keeping the elbow bent at a 90 degree angle. These activities cause inflammation in the tendons (attach muscle to bone), ligaments (attach bone to bone), and muscles.  Stretching can sometimes help to alleviate pain by increasing flexibility and reducing tension in the muscles, both of which will decrease strain on the tendons. Try the following stretches a few times a day to 1) relieve pain and 2) prevent minor injuries from becoming …

Week 11 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Jealousy & Envy

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Jealousy & Envy Last week the questions were about love. With love, naturally comes jealousy.  Therefore, this week the journal questions are about jealousy and the closely related emotion of envy. Jealousy Jealousy starts in the body as an emotional response to external stimulation. This emotion is rooted in a desire to have exclusive possession of someone/something.  In an external situation, you perceive a threat of rivalry and fear that someone/something will take something away from you.  Within you, it’s a fear of being replaced that might cause you to act in a protective and possessive way. For example, you see your significant other with an attractive person.  You believe that relationships only involve two people (i.e., you want exclusive possession). The other person appears as a rival appears capable of attracting your significant other’s affection.  You experience jealousy – a fear of losing something you value. The physical signs of this …

What Show Jumping Teaches Us About Injury & Illness

5 Reasons We Hate Being Injured, Anxious, and Sick 1. Pain This is the obvious one!  Being sick or injured is physically uncomfortable and sometimes pain perception increases as the duration of pain increases.  Research indicates that anxiety and social pain is processed in the brain like physical pain.  Some people experience more distress from pain than others. 2. Free time to worry or regret If athletic activities are part of your daily routine, an injury or sickness suddenly creates a gap in your schedule, giving you time to ruminate and worry.  Perhaps you’re experiencing regret, replaying past choices, berating yourself for doing something that caused the injury or sickness, or trying to remix the past. 3. Decreased productivity Being fully or partially out of commission decreases productivity.  This creates uncertainty about future productivity and stress about deadlines.  We are used to working at full capacity and efficiency, so any hindrance carries the possibility of creating stress. 4. Loss of a healthy outlet for stress and anger You might use physical activities as an outlet for stress and anger. …

Willpower and Winter Fitness

How much willpower does it take to stay fit during cold winter months?  Worried or shamed about skipping/shortening workouts?  Plus, reframe and re-up your winter workout!     During the summer months, it’s relatively easy to fit in fitness.  Sunny, warm weather invites us to take a walk, hike, ride, or swim, whereas freezing temperatures encourage holing up indoors. We’re dressed in hoodies and sweatpants but are loathe to get off the couch. How can we maintain or increase our fitness when all we want to do is hibernate? The answer is to find balance in three features of any fitness regime:  consistency, duration, and intensity. Duration: Increasing the duration of the activity will require your body to adapt and grow.  Choose fun activities that keep you active for longer periods of time, such as skiing, snowshoeing, indoor cardio, yoga, or swimming. Perhaps you’re working out less often, but the change still forces the body to adapt and grow! Intensity:  If you experience diminished energy or desire to participate in activities, try decreasing the duration of the activity while increasing the intensity.  For …

Know Thyself in 2019: A Journal Project

The most important thing you can do is learn who you are.  There are so many motivational speakers available to us, so why are we still doing so little with our resources?  I mean, we don’t seem to be getting any happier. That is what we want, right?  Maybe it’s time to admit that motivation enough to find a happy and healthy life. Why write goals and make plans if you don’t know who you are and what you want?  Where does that desire for a six-pack or six-figure income come from? Did society program that want or is it a deep part of who you are? Unless it’s what you really want, then it can’t guarantee happiness. Motivation without self-knowledge is like trying to plan your optimal vacation without knowing where you want to go.  I used to daydream about travel by wishing for a five-star hotel, lying on an exotic beach, sight seeing, touring famous buildings, and meeting the locals.  But because I had no idea who I was, what I liked, what …

2018’s Top Posts from Emily’s Everything

This year I wrote posts on a variety of topics, such as life, philosophy, travel, and health.  Some were much more popular than others and here are the top five by views! 1. My Post-vacation Blues Coming back from vacation is always difficult. Vacations are followed by periods of longing and dissatisfaction.  How do we reintegrate into real life and make it make sense? 2. My Favorite Tool to Break Free from Hopelessness & Depression I used to suffer from deep depression.  Then I realized that the brain gets better at whatever you make it practice.   I created a new habit to break the old habit of hopelessness.  You, too, can open up to enjoy life again. 3. Travel Blog: Food in Japan is too Perfect? Japan is an obsession for many people in awe of attention to detail in tech, food, products, culture, and politeness.  In a travel blog focusing on food, I explain why the charm of perfection wears thin. 4. Philosophy for Real Life: Theories of Truth You use the word truth, but don’t know …

How to Live without Shame and Avoid Rationalizing

A few days ago I was discussing justification with a colleague. The previous two blog posts were about Justification (Parts 1 and 2). He suggested a third aspect of justification: excuse-making or rationalization.  This is distinct from the epistemic notions of justification.  A discussion of rationalization justification falls under the categories of pragmatism (human, goal-oriented reasoning) and psychology. What is Rationalization Justification? Rationalization is an excuse-making behavior we resort to if we commit an act that is deemed unacceptable to ourselves or others. After the conscious realization that the behavior was unacceptable, we begin to feel emotionally uncomfortable – guilty, shameful, inferior, unworthy, etc.  The response to those feelings is to “rationalize the situation”. Rationalization is a type of excuse-making that retroactively justifies the behavior that we deemed unacceptable.  It “makes the situation OK”.  By providing justifying reasons for the unacceptable behavior, we are able to re-interpret our behavior to be acceptable.  Rationalization allows us to avoid painful emotions that we would otherwise have felt when looking back at the behavior. I think there are …