Remembering who you are

When faced with a difficult situation: remember who you are. It will keep you from letting that negativity spread through the rest of your life.


This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!


Being friendly doesn’t mean you never run into conflict.


Case in point: I had a pretty tumultuous relationship with my advisor in graduate school. It cause me a lot of stress and distress. There was tossing and turning, there was anger and frustration, and there were a lot of tears.


Even after I graduated and I was living in a different city, the mention of her name or conversation about my dissertation would make this wellspring of anger rise up in me.


I was incredibly uncomfortable with this feeling, and throughout my time at UNC I did whatever I could to keep my anger in check proceed peacefully with my advisor.


Luckily, this extreme distress didn’t overwhelm my entire life, likely because I was working so mindfully to contain it. Many people aren’t as fortunate: a negative relationship or work environment overtakes their lives. They stop exercising, seeing friends, and taking care of themselves. They act in ways they wouldn’t under normal circumstances.


I think the best tool I used during that time to maintain healthy habits and my happiness was to remember who I am.


You see, whenever I was dealing with my advisor, I would forget. I would forget who I was. I would get angry, sad, and stressed. I wouldn’t living up to my own values and standards for how I want to live my life. I felt like I didn’t even recognize myself.


So I took measures to remember who I am.


My officemate and I decorated the office with inspirational quotes that correlated with the weekly newsletters I was writing each week. I made yoga a non-negotiable in my day. I made time to talk with friends and family who I was comfortable with being silly, happy, and carefree.


Remember who I am. That was the secret.


Now whether you’re going through a difficult time or not, figuring out what it means to “remember who you are” is incredibly important. For some people, it involves retreating and spending more time at home. For others, it’s getting out and getting active.


Ask yourself: Who am I? What do I value? What are the non-negotiables I need in my life to remember who I am?


If you have those practices in place, then the other ups and downs don’t phase you as much. Hard situations aren’t as serious, because you’re still you. You’re still taking care of your needs.


No matter the situation – you are you. Sometimes we just need help remembering.


This Week’s Assignment:

What makes you you? Make a list of some of your favorite activities that you want to maintain, no matter the circumstances Has there ever been a time in your life that you forgot who you were? How did you remember again?  Head on over to our private Facebook group and answer our poll. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig
This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

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How stress leads to digestive issues

how stress causes digestive issues photo

The “mind-body” connection used to be seen as a fringe science reserved for hippies and people who didn’t trust mainstream medicine.


But the more we learn about our bodies and disease progression, the more we find that the healthy of your mind and your body are truly connected. This connection has been appreciated by Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for hundreds of years, and now Western medicine is starting to keep up.


In today’s post, we’ll talk about the many ways stress can cause digestive issues. Then, I’ll share 4 things you can do to keep your belly healthy and reduce your stress!

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

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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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How to cut your checklist in half and still get things done

choose your attitude photo

Life moves pretty fast. Between careers, families, friends, communities, all of can claim we have “busy” lives. But do we use busy as an excuse for not returning a phone call, for why we were a little short with our spouses, or for furrowing our brow and plowing through a checklist of tasks?


I’ll let you in on a little secret: you will always be busy, and the checklist is neverending. This became very apparent to me this past week when I finally made it to the holy grail of internet productivity: inbox zero.

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Time to start meditating: How finding your personal style will help the habit stick

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Meditation gets a lot of buzz these days, and for good reason – a consistent meditation practice is associated with reduced anxiety and depression, improved creativity, better focus, and legitimately changes your brain.


But if you’re anything like me, you’ve resolved to start a meditation practice many times, and subsequently haven’t follow through with it, either because the actual practice of meditation is unfamiliar, or you begin and can’t seem to take the time every day to practice.

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Turn Distress into Eustress


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Photo by Wellington Sanipe via

Yes, yes, yes, stress is important, nay, necessary for survival. Despite being a biological system critical for our health and wellbeing, however, the human stress response is a rather blunt instrument. We have the same surge of adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine each time we encounter a stresser, whether it be an injury, a verbal attack, exercise, or anxiety about a future event. Even though these very different situations require different responses, our body’s chemistry treats them essentially equally.
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Choosing your health goals

Working together for Health goals
Image courtesy of natural news

Every day we are bombarded by messages about the newest diet craze, a medical study with surprising findings, and an expert who knows what we “should” be doing for our health. However, at the end of the day, we all have different needs. And unfortunately, it’s practically impossible to be a a paleo, gluten-free, vegan who does 8-minute high intensity workouts 3 times a day, wakes up before 6am, and manages to retain her sanity.

…Well, actually it’s pretty fortunate that we can’t do that. But it’s unfortunate that most of us walk around thinking that we should be able to hold ourselves to these health standards that are almost impossible to achieve.

Eventually, you have to choose which health messages you’re going to listen to, and which you’re going to decide are not worth your time.

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