Blog

Great Sleep for Health, Wellness, and Great Work

Good nutrition, exercise, and sleep are three key drivers of our health and wellness. No surprise there, but that doesn’t mean we’ve got them covered. In this article, we focus on great sleep for health, wellness, and great work. (We covered nutrition and exercise in previous articles.) Sleep is the “sleeper” of the three—often overlooked but hugely important. I used to focus mostly on exercise and nutrition but have recently come to see how sleep really is the linchpin. “Sleep is the most underrated health habit.” -Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer, Wellness Institute, Cleveland Clinic   Many People Struggle

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Exercise and Movement for Health, Wellness, and Great Work

There are three key drivers of our health and wellness: good nutrition, exercise, and sleep. They may seem simple and obvious, but that doesn’t mean we’ve got them covered. In this article, we focus on exercise for health and wellness. (We cover nutrition and sleep in separate articles.)   The Problem of Not Enough Exercise Many people struggle with not getting enough exercise—and with too much sitting and sedentary behavior. Adults between age 20 and 75 (from a sample of more than 2,600) reported spending an average of 9.5 hours of sedentary time each day, not including sleep. It’s been

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Good Nutrition for Health and Wellness

Three things can rev up our health and energy engine: good nutrition, exercise, and sleep. They may seem simple and obvious, but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy to implement consistently over time. Here, we focus on good nutrition for health and wellness.   The Problem of Poor Nutrition Unfortunately, many people struggle with poor nutrition. The “standard American diet” as they call it is, well, SAD. In his book, How Not to Die, esteemed American physician and author Dr. Michael Greger notes the following: “Our diet is the number-one cause of premature death and the number-one cause of disability.”

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The Incredible Grounding Power of Self-Acceptance

The Incredible Grounding Power of Self-Acceptance

We humans just want to fit in. A big part of our sense of security comes from feeling accepted by the group. But what about accepting ourselves? Many people struggle with self-acceptance. That means acceptance of all of our attributes, positive or negative. It means accepting our strengths and faults without judgment. For us to enjoy life and thrive, we must learn to embrace all aspects of ourselves, not just the positive or admirable. We must get better at accepting our thoughts, feelings, intuitions, values, preferences, and actions. Can we acknowledge our faults, weaknesses, and mistakes without beating ourselves up

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Getting Good at Asking for Help

Many people struggle with asking for help. It just doesn’t feel right, or it goes against their nature. This fits with a narrative we’ve been fed all our lives. In our culture, we tend to worship the self-made man or woman. We’re told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps (a truly ridiculous phrase, if we stop to think about it). Perhaps we grew up admiring the Lone Ranger, Superman, Ironman, or Wonder Woman. It’s part of U.S. history, with the rugged individualism and self-reliance inherited and lionized from the frontier days of the Wild West.* We value being independent

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Setting Boundaries—Why It’s Hard and How to Do It

Article Summary:  Setting boundaries is one of the hardest things for many people to do but it’s a powerful and empowering personal development practice. And costly if we don’t do it well. This article addresses why it’s hard, its benefits, and how to do it well. +++ Boundaries are dividing lines that mark the limits of an area. If we pause to notice, we can see boundaries all around us. The boundary of our body. Our apartment walls or home and property line. State and national borders. The boundaries of sports. In soccer, it’s sidelines, penalty areas, goals, and goal

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The Powerful Practice of Acceptance

The Powerful Practice of Acceptance

We all face challenges, uncertainties, and disappointments. These are features of human life. The question is how we react to them. Often the way we react to something ends up being worse than the thing itself—causing us more pain for much longer. We wallow in resentment or bitterness, adopt a victim mentality, or ruminate and complain, extending the cycle of misery. When we take something difficult and add resistance to it, it only adds to our suffering. One powerful practice to break this cycle is “radical acceptance,” accepting situations outside our control without judging them. The idea is to reduce

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How to Stop Our Negative Self-Talk: 15 Practices

How to Stop Our Negative Self-Talk: 15 Practices

Many of us struggle with negative self-talk—an inner critic that savagely sabotages us with doubts and harsh judgments. We’re our own worst enemy. We think we’re struggling with the outer game but it’s actually the inner game that’s tripping us up. “Happiness is an inside game, literally and neurochemically.” -Shirzad Chamine, executive and best-selling author   How to Stop Our Negative Self-Talk There are many things we can do to hush the inner critic in our head. Doing breath work: breathing deeply and intentionally (as in yoga, meditation, and “box breathing”). This will change our physical and mental state. “Breath

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How to Stop Overthinking—28 Practices

How to Stop Overthinking—28 Practices

Many of us get caught up in overthinking. It’s very common. We analyze things excessively. We worry too much. We replay things over and over in our head. We ruminate. It’s a big problem for many people. In my Traps Test, with responses from more than 600 people around the world so far asking about more than 60 common traps that inhibit people’s quality of life, overthinking is the number-one trap. (See my article, “18 Signs You’re Overthinking,” to determine whether you struggle with this.) The question then becomes how to stop it.   How to Stop Overthinking Fortunately, there

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18 Signs You’re Overthinking

Many of us get caught up in overthinking—excessively analyzing something or dwelling on possibilities. We think about some things—mostly bad things—too much and for too long. It can be mentally replaying embarrassing moments or worrying about an upcoming meeting. Our thoughts spiral out of control when someone mentions out of the blue that we need to talk. There are two prevalent forms of overthinking: ruminating (involuntary, compulsive thinking) and worrying (fretting about potential problems or imagining bad outcomes). Overthinking is very common. In my Traps Test, with responses from more than 600 people around the world so far asking about

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face and hands being buried

The Common Traps of Living: Which Are You In?

We all want a good life. To be healthy and happy. We want to love and be loved. To have experiences, enjoy comforts, and do certain things before we die. All well and good. But too often we focus on what to do to get the things we want in life—and not enough on what not to do. That’s where the common traps of living come in—the things that inhibit us from leading the life we want. We all fall into traps in life. All of us. Moms. Dads. Leaders. Professionals. Interns. Students. Retirees. Geniuses. Dopes. We all fall into

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Time to Check the Path You’re On?

Article Summary:  How to know if we’re on the wrong career path—or the wrong path in life? Is there a right path? How to decide and move forward? +++ Sometimes in life we may wonder if we’re on the wrong path. Things can feel off. We may wonder if we’re pursuing a path that doesn’t align with who we are and our core values and aspirations. We can wonder if the path we’re on is taking us somewhere we want to go. At the end of all our hard work, all our pursuit, what’s the destination we’re headed to? Is

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The Trap of Workaholism–And What to Do About It

Article Summary:  Everything you need to know about workaholism (work addiction): its prevalence, signs, causes, and costs—and how to overcome it. +++ Many people today struggle with workaholism—being addicted to work and struggling to switch it off or stop thinking about it Psychologist Wayne Oates coined the term “workaholism” in 1971 in his book, Confessions of a Workaholic: The Facts About Work Addiction. He defined it as “the compulsion or the uncontrollable need to work incessantly.” In 2014, researchers C.S. Andreassen, J. Hetland, and S. Pallesen defined work addiction as “being overly concerned about work, to be driven by strong

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The Trap of a Victim Mentality—And What to Do About It

Article Summary:  What a victim mentality is, signs of it, where it comes from, its many costs, and what to do about it.  +++ When we have a victim mentality, we believe that bad things we experience are the fault of others and will keep happening so there’s no point in changing. We may even feel that the world is against us. Essentially, we identify ourselves as a helpless victim of negative circumstances. It’s a form of self-sabotage and often comes with an addiction to drama. When we have a victim mentality, we have thoughts like the following: Why me?

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The Trap of Being Unrealistic

Many of us have fallen into the trap of being unrealistic—of being overly optimistic and downplaying the difficulties we’re likely to encounter. This is not a new problem. In fact, it’s been documented across the ages. In the 5th century B.C., Thucydides, a Greek historian and Athenian general, wrote, “it is a habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for.” Julius Caesar, a Roman general and emperor in the 1st century B.C., added, “Men willingly believe what they wish to be true.” The idea of unrealistic optimism also famously goes back to German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm

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