Transform negative emotions to find clarity

This post originally appeared in my free weekly newsletter that’s filled with tips and tools to keep you living well every day. If you liked this post, and want to have more messages like this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here! Thanks.

 

What do you do when a negative emotion arises? Unfortunately, most of the strategies we use are not very good at helping us move past those emotions. Some of us ignore the sadness and put on a happy face, perhaps you talk to yourself about why your anger is justified, or get stressed about your stress. I am a classic ruminator, telling myself a story over and over in my head about what I am feeling and why I shouldn’t let it go. But I’ve been using a new strategy that has completely changed how I deal with my negative emotions to lessen their impact on my life.
 
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Are all sugars created equal? Look beyond the label

sugar photo

 

When you look at a nutrition facts panel, there is one devilish line that seems simple, but causes stress and anxiety for millions of Americans: Sugar.

 

Talking about sugar and health requires a nuanced message. We can’t demonize all carbohydrates – we couldn’t survive without them. But we do know that too much sugar is a bad thing: The World Health Organization recently recommended that adults get less than 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. Meanwhile, there are many different types of sugars – natural, refined, and added are just some of the descriptors we regularly hear – and yet, it’s not clear from nutrition panels or the popular press if it actually matters where our sugar comes from, or if all sugar is unequally unhealthy.

 

So today, let’s dive in to the world of sugar, and I’ll share what can you do today to make healthier sugar choices.

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Make things happen

make things happen photo

This post originally appeared in my free weekly newsletter that’s filled with tips and tools to keep you living well every day. If you liked this post, and want to have more messages like this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here! Thanks.

 

Life is pretty simple: you can let things happen to you, or you can make things happen.

Want to meditate? Make time for it. Need to stay focused at work?  Close your email. Want better connections with your loved ones? Look away from the phone and have a conversation.

These sound simplistic or contrived, but so often we spend time and energy blaming the world around us for the situations we find ourselves in, rather than acknowledging and accepting our present moment, and then doing something about it.

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You can master networking *and* take care of business

be a better networker photo

 
There’s a funny paradox in running a business: on the one hand, your business is built on the fact that you can out-think and out-sweat your competitors to bring a compelling product to the market.
 

However, your great idea is worth nothing if no one hears about it. And so we take time away from the creating and strategizing to network. We get coffee, a beer, a walk. We know that these meetings can garner key insights to our business, our process, or our customers that we wouldn’t have been able to formulate on our own. But we also realize that this time spent in networking is time spent away from our core work.

 

If you’re struggling to manage your meetings efficiently,

if you’re taking too much time to schedule and plan,

if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of your meetings, 

here are 3 keys to networking like a boss, while still getting your job done:

 

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Why imperfection trumps perfection

imperfection photo

I’m going to tell you about a moment I am not proud of.
 
I was driving to work Tuesday morning, and I drove up behind a guy in a new Prius. I was perusing his “eat local” and “eco friendly” bumper stickers when I saw him stick his hand out the window. And in his hand was a cigarette.

 

I had an immediate reaction. I started saying to myself “what is this guy doing? He’s driving around, proclaiming his love of personal and environmental health, and he’s smoking? The cause of not just cancer and disease, but also a major contribution to litter and environmental damage?”

 

I know. Not attractive. Luckily, about 10 seconds into my diatribe, I realized what I was saying to myself and stopped the mind chatter. Maybe I can blame it on early morning fog, but some judgmental part of me took over and decided that if he was going to support one area of health, he should be equally applying that metric to all areas of his life. Ohhh that pesky “should” word. Always a red flag.

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Two truths and a lie: vegetarian and plant-based diets

facts and myths about vegetarianism photoTo start, I have to let you know that I am not a vegetarian. I appreciate a good chicken wing (I am from Buffalo, after all), and I would be remiss to give up prosciutto forever.

 

That being said, I have dabbled in vegetarianism and veganism many times over the years, inspired by books like Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and definitely have vegetarian tendencies.
But, I wanted to write about this topic today because, as a slim, 20-something yoga teacher, I am often asked whether I am vegetarian and if I would recommend that others go on a vegetarian diet.
So today, let’s play Two Truths and a Lie: Vegetarian edition.

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You are Stronger than you Think

Cover of The Flinch by Julien Smith

I always take some time on Sunday evenings to gather my thoughts and plan out my week ahead. Usually, this planning gives me calm, as I reconnect with my priorities, and figure out my action plan for the week.

 

Last Sunday though, my weekly planning was accompanied by some self-doubt. A few of the activities on my agenda, some positive and some not-so-positive, tested my comfort zone. Looking at them on my calendar gave me a little squirmy feeling, and I found myself asking “can you really handle this?”

 

This squirmy feeling reminded me a lot of my first stand up paddleboard yoga class, which I took last fall. A stand up paddleboard is essentially a big, heavy surfboard, and just like it sounds, you do a yoga class on one of these. In the water. Talk about testing your balance, especially with chilly lake water down below. Needless to say, these classes can add an extra layer of mental barriers and challenges to an already demanding yoga class. So, perhaps unsurprisingly, you walk into class with some feelings of squirmy anticipation.

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Meditate at work? Why it’s good for business & how to

how to meditate at work photo

I know what you’re thinking. You have enough stuff going on throughout your workday without adding meditation to the list. But even if you’re swamped, taking a measly 5 minutes out of your workday to meditate is feasible and can make a huge difference to your attitude, emotions, and productivity.
In this article, I’ll tell you why taking a few minutes to meditate in the midst of your workday is the easiest thing you could be doing to ensure your business success. Plus, I’ll teach you how to take a brief meditation break at work without your co-workers knowing what you’re up to.

 

First, the why.

I’ve written before about the vast benefits of meditation. Even a 10-minute daily meditation practice can improve your stress levels, your relationships, and your productivity. But why meditate at the office?

 

If you’ve been having a hard time starting (or sticking with) a meditation routine at home, changing up the locale might just be the ticket to making it work. Some of the common issues my clients deal with when building a meditation habit include: their dog, child, or spouse constantly interrupting them, they can’t carve any more time out of their morning routine, or there are so many distractions at home that they have a hard time settling down for their practice. Maybe you’ve run into similar issues. And that’s when office meditation becomes a great idea.

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Why “made with love” actually works

made with love photo

Today I took a trip down memory lane to my days as a barista. When I was training, I struggled to make latte art – the pretty heart design you see on lattes at your favorite local coffee shop. I would stand there, jaw clenched, pouring latte after latte, convinced that some magic or miracle would make it finally appear. No dice.

 

One day, I took a different approach. I said to myself: “Samantha – it’s like hitting a baseball. You keep you eye on the ball, you watch it approach, and you see yourself make contact. Now go for it.”

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3 books that completely changed the way I think about food

nutrition food books photo

I was asked recently about the books that inspired me to study nutrition and to be a wellness coach, and I initially paused. I’ve been gobbling books about nutrition and health (pardon the pun) for as long as I can remember – it was difficult to work out which of those first books really convinced me that I wanted it to be part of my career.

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