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The Happiness Advantage

happiness advantageI came across an excellent TEDx video, only 12 minutes long, about THE SECRET TO BETTER WORK.

Not only is Psychologist Shawn Achor hilarious in this presentation, he presents some truly useful research.

Consider this:

It is not reality that shapes us but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.

And then he goes on to talk about how we can change that lens.

Conventional wisdom says: I will be happy when I am successful. Unconventional wisdom says it’s the other way around. “If happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there,” Achor says.

He says we need to find a way of becoming positive in the PRESENT, and then happiness leads to success. It’s Not the other way around. It’s Not success leads to happiness.

There are ways to train your brain to become more positive and Achor gives us that list.

I hope you listen to this. It’s definitely worth the 12 minutes.

Getting healthy – the Fitbit and the Air Cast

Right about the time I published THE THURSTON HEIRLOOM, my good friend Anna Marie suggested a reward. This would be for publishing, and for my birthday (the 27th of November) and for a Christmas present to myself.

Since THE THURSTON HEIRLOOM involves an amethyst that looks like this—
HeirloomI decided on a purple-banded Fitbit that looks like this—
Fitbit Alta

I bought the Fitbit Alta, Anna Marie and I became “fit buddies” and we started cheering each other on in our fitness efforts. However, the best laid plans often run into snags.

I found I was walking more, but I was also limping. More and more. A minor detail, I thought, and I hobbled on. Until I couldn’t.

After the Christmas rush, I was finally forced to make time for a doctor visit which involved, first, an X-ray of my foot. The X-ray only showed swelling. Then, second, came the bone scan which shows stress fractures of the third and fourth metatarsals and cuneiform. In other words, I broke my foot. It was probably the time I did a quick rollover of my ankle while rushing about the kitchen. It turns out kitchens are dangerous and I will try my best to avoid them in this new year.

Fortunately, they have invented the air cast. It looks like this—
air castApparently plaster casts are only used for really bad breaks, and for non-compliance. I will comply . . .

I can take it off for sleeping and for showers. It was time for a shower this morning and that proved challenging. My good leg is strong, but not really strong enough for the one-legged standing of a long shower. I used my walking sticks for hopping around in there but I will have to work on something easier.

In the meantime, Anna Marie and I will continue our fitness efforts, though my steps probably will not be as high as hers. Since the air cast boot is made of plastic and since the sidewalks are often snow-covered, there is a risk of slipping if I walk outside. So, my walking needs to be indoors.

The other minor issue is that this is my right foot, so I can’t drive. Fortunately I have a hubby and friends who are happy to chauffeur for January. At least, I hope I only need this thing for a month.

Have you ever had an air cast? Or a plaster cast? Do you use a Fitbit to help motivate you to step away from your desk?

The Stages of Exercise

The Stages of Exercise

After almost a month of fighting this flu, I am feeling ready to start exercising again. Before Christmas, I had a routine of Yoga and Aquafit. I was also going to physiotherapy to deal with an old SI joint injury. That was tricky because I couldn’t tell what was a joint issue and what were plain old aches and pains from this endless flu.

Now it’s time to get back to fitness. If you are newly setting up a fitness routine, you might like to know that there are “stages” involved.

  1. Pre-contemplation – This is kind of like denial. As in, “Maybe exercising would be a good idea, but I’m not sure.”
  2. Contemplation – OK. We’ve got a problem. We need to do something about it.
  3. Preparation – This is the research phase. People sometimes skip this step and jump right to . . .
  4. Action – Now you’re doing something. This could get you to . . .
  5. Maintenance – Or it could get you to . . .
  6. Relapse – Otherwise known as Throwing in the Towel.

If this happens, you go back to Stage 3 – Preparation. If walking is the activity, maybe a kilometre is the goal for a few weeks. But first, you have to get back to No Pain.

Some people decide to run, and develop shin splints. Then they must gear down to walking, until there is no more pain.

A typical plan might be:

  • Walk 10 laps at the gym (1 km).
  • The next week, run a half lap, and walk the other 9 ½ laps.
  • The next week, add another half lap, and so on, until you are running half a lap and walking half a lap.
  • Then start running a whole lap until you can run the whole kilometre.
  • And then, do more Preparation.

You just need to give yourself time and stay with it.

Have you got an exercise routine? If not, are you contemplating one?

running shoes from bigstockphoto.com #42724783

Fast away the old year passes . . .

Fast away the old year passes . . .

Two days until the New Year and I need to get over this December flu. I feel like I’ve been sick off and on all month but I think I’m almost better. Now is the time to focus on lots of fluids, lots of fresh fruit and making time to get outside for some fresh air.

I hope you have managed to avoid the flu this season. And if not, hopefully, the New Year will see us all in better health.

Teddy bear from bigstockphoto.com #70568188