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Welcome to Thriving Mind, a resource to help you understand your individual signs of stress, take small steps to recharge, and unlock better mental health.

Saturday, 12 October 2019 09:04

6 Ways to Perfect Your Morning Ritual

Here are some of the more simple practices that helped me along the way, and still do.

On your busiest, most stressed-out days, you may not be thinking much about what ends up on your lunch or dinner plate. In fact, you may count yourself lucky if your meal didn’t come out of the vending machine at work. But abandoning your healthy eating goals stands in the way of your ability to fully thrive. After all, plenty of research shows that a diet rich in produce offers valuable nutrients not just for your body, but for your mental well-being.

By the “safe-enough classroom,” I do not mean that oft-imagined place where frightened teachers and undergrads “walk on eggshells” for fear of saying something that might be offensive to someone else. I have been teaching humanities classes for four decades, and I don’t see eggshells on the floor of my classrooms. Which is not to say things haven’t changed over that period. Many schools are much more concerned today about the student as consumer, and many teachers have been convinced that even if their customers aren’t always right, they never want to hear that they’re wrong. Professors must be encouraged to push back against this creep of the consumerist creed, and they must be supported by university administrators if their institutions are going to offer truly educational experiences, not just cushy ones that earn high marks in student satisfaction.

Odds are, you’ve received constructive feedback during your career. Whether someone pointed out a specific mistake, or forced you to acknowledge an unproductive habit, getting this kind of feedback from a manager or coworker can feel tough. For some people, it triggers self-criticism, and even rumination — but experts assert that doesn’t need to be the case. The key is to shift your mindset from thinking about feedback as being either negative or positive — in the end, all feedback is just data: one nugget of information about yourself. And if you assume the person giving the feedback has positive intentions, you can see it as a compassionate gesture that can ultimately help you grow.

Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you retained the same sense of joy you had as a small child? For starters, you’d probably feel a lot less overwhelmed. Studies have shown that incorporating moments of joy into your day-to-day life can help you recover from stressful situations, solve problems, and fend off disease — not to mention that making an effort to feel joyful can also aid longevity. Best of all, you can find little sparks of joy in the things, places, and people you connect with every single day.

Whether you’re presenting in a team meeting, or pitching an idea to a group of executives, having a colleague interrupt you at work can be a stressful experience. Aside from the fact that it’s rude, the interruption itself can hold you back from getting your point across — and when it happens often, it can make you less passionate about the work you’re doing, and less happy at your job.

“Messy bed, messy head.” “A clean space promotes a clean mind.” Cliches like these have been muttered for ages — and scoffed at by anyone who, like me, may have missed the Marie Kondo gene. But eye rolls aside, there’s research to support the fact that too much clutter can negatively affect our well-being and stress us out more than we think.

Wednesday, 02 October 2019 06:31

The 3 Words That Can Ruin Your Relationship

“Figure it out,” my friend Beth said, recounting the last three words she’d told her husband before leaving the house. She slumped down into a chair at Starbucks and huffed, “It was a simple ask… Just pick up a birthday present for Katie’s friend on the way to the party, and now I get a text that says: At the mall. Gift ideas?”

You’re in a meeting and offer a suggestion that barely gets acknowledged. You pitch an idea to your boss that she says “might work” — but then it never gets off the ground. Meanwhile, your colleagues seems to have a magical ability to get everyone to listen to them. What gives? Feeling like no one is listening to you is no doubt a frustrating experience. But it’s also one that can zap your energy, create extra stress, and derail your productivity and motivation.

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