Gratitude and Stress Management

  Feeling extra stressed this time of year? Press pause and practice a little gratitude. Studies have shown that gratitude can help improve your mood and create more positive feelings. The “feel-good” hormones like dopamine and serotonin are often released when we practice gracious thoughts and actions. This can help cultivate happier moods and a better headspace for managing stress (Positive Psychology). Giving thanks comes in many forms. Use the tips below to learn how you can be grateful every day. Count Your Blessings Taking time to count your blessings can cultivate a thankful mood in a hurry. In a moment of frustration, stop and think about 3-5 things that you are grateful about. For example, when traffic is stressing you out, pause and think about the blessings of transportation, the weather, or even a favorite song on the radio. [...]

Gratitude: Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Read Time: 1 min 35 seconds According to research, perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone), and age slower than the average population. Performing acts of kindness not only enhances others’ lives but is rewarding to our bodies and minds through feel-good hormones that are released. However, the effects of kindness aren't long-lasting, which means cultivating a daily practice of kindness for ourselves and others, is key. Each year, Random Acts of Kindness week is recognized from February 14th to February 20th. There is no better time to cultivate kindness than now!   Benefits of Kindness Have you ever felt that warm feeling when you’ve done something kind? When we perform acts of kindness, hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin are released in the brain. These hormones can give you feelings of satisfaction, [...]

Modern Meditation

What comes to mind when you think of meditation? Many people imagine cross-legged monks in Zen rock gardens. While this might be a great place to meditate, it’s probably not all that relatable if you live on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Luckily, there are many places and many ways to meditate besides sitting in a lotus position for hours on end in silence among rock gardens. What is meditation? Meditation is a mind and body practice akin to yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy. The goal is to connect mental focus, controlled breathing, and body movement (or stillness) to elicit relaxation. A typical meditation misconception is that you need to empty your mind and leave the world behind. But consider a different perspective. Instead of draining your brain, focus on filling it with love, gratitude, and compassion while [...]