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3 Ways to Do Meditation: When You Feel Stress


Are you someone who feels stressed out a lot? Then you are not alone. The world is a stressful place, and it can often have a major impact on the way that we live our lives. We often find that our lives are pressure-filled and stressful to the point where it can make it quite hard for us to do things as we would normally have intended.

When you feel stressed, though, you can find it hard to get a solution. Some of us put our stress down to our diets and lifestyles, so we change how we eat and drink. We do what we can to stay hydrated, and we stop eating so many foods high in fats, sugars, and salts. However, when you feel like you aren’t making any progress through conventional lifestyle means, you might want to take a look at getting into a bout of meditation.

One of the main issues that we find with meditation is that many people do not appreciate just how powerful it is as a source of mental wellness. Our mind is often the biggest barrier that we need to overcome if we wish to live our happiest, healthiest quality of life. Mediation has been shown to have a serious impact on that: the bottom line is that meditation is great for both physical and mental rejuvenation.

Sound like a common problem? Then you should definitely look to the following three ways to do meditation. Alongside making other lifestyle changes like staying hydrated, cutting down on work hours, and being more productive in the hours we do work, the following forms of meditation are almost certain to help you live your happiest, healthiest life.

So, what matters when you wish to take on meditation? How can various forms of meditation help with stress?

1. Focus with Concentrative Meditation

Probably the best form of meditation to start with when you just need to find a focus is to start with some concentrative meditation. This means taking a single object, sound, mantra, whatever, and focusing on that entirely. Turning your thoughts to that entirely.

For example, do you have holiday time coming up and you know you just need to get through the next 2-3 weeks to get there? Then focus your mind on the beach where you are going to be staying. Think about the location, the sights, the sounds, the soothing of the sand on your skin. It gives you an immense sense of focus when you have something so specific to concentrate on.

A bit of focus and visualization can go a long, long way to making sure you can stay entirely focused on the task and journey at hand. Get used to doing that, and before long you will be in a much better place with regards to the quality and intensity of your ability to remain focused on the task at hand.

2. Rhythmic Movement and Mindful Exercise

Another good place to start with meditation is with some exercise mixed in with the meditation itself. While most of us don’t imagine going for a run, a swim, or a cycling session can be particularly calming for the mind, it can be very good for us in some ways. We recommend that you find an exercise that you can do with repetition: for example, riding a bicycle on a stationary surface will ensure that you can rest, relax, and get into your own frame of thinking whilst working the body at the same time.

Like many of us, though, you might find that you try to problem solve when you are working out. Instead, let yourself enjoy the repetition of the physical movement whilst letting your mind get a bit of a rest as well. Instead of thinking about what you will do in work tomorrow, think about all the things happening around you. Think about the feeling of your feet on the pedals, the picking up of the pace of your breathing, the way that your body adjusts and adapts to match and re-balance yourself.

Exercise becomes more soothing when we just let ourselves think of the feelings that the exercise creates in the first place. When you try to exercise and do a bit of life organizing all at once, you will be very much likely to find it hard to make enough of a difference. Instead, concentrate on the repetitive movement and the feelings those movements create nothing else. Before long, your workouts will produce both mental relaxation and physical improvement!

3. Muscle Relaxation

Lastly, one of the best ways to use meditation is to help make your muscles feel a bit more relaxed. Do you ever feel as if all of your muscles are tight and tense? That you cannot get any kind of relaxation in the arms and legs? Then you should look to try out using mediation to help with this. To do so, start working on each of the muscles that you feel needs help by simply tensing them up.

Honestly, just try it! Tensing up a muscle – holding it as tense as you can, while taking in slow, deep breaths – is excellent for then relaxing the muscle. Our body will start to immediately let a tense muscle relax, and you will feel an immediate sense of relief and comfort as soon as you do so.

By simply relaxing the muscles after tensing them up until the count of 10, you can start to feel a sense of total relief in a previously distressed muscle. Do this with one foot, then the other, then move up the body until you have tensed just about every muscle group that you can.


About the Author:

Jessica Max is the community manager at hydration calculator. She is a fitness writer. She uses her training to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. When not working, Jessica enjoys cycling and swimming.



How to Manage Stress at Bedtime

Everyone deals with stress. It’s a part of daily life. And eight in 10 Americans say they feel stress sometimes or frequently during the day.

Stress is a natural reaction to challenges. When we’re stressed, we get a boost of energy with an elevated heart rate and higher blood pressure. It’s nature’s way of offering support as we deal with threats or challenges. However, experiencing stress all day every day is not good for your health, and can result in increased cardiovascular risk, smoking, overeating, and headaches. Common sources of stress include politics, money, work, violence, and crime.

But for some people, stress is debilitating, and can interfere with sleep quality. We may stay up at night thinking anxious thoughts, or find it difficult to get good quality rest while feeling particularly stressed.

In fact, it’s common for adults who experience high stress to say they don’t sleep enough because their minds race at night. And 35 percent of teens, 31 percent of Millennials, and 27 percent of Gen Xers say stress keeps them up at night.

And although stress can so easily interfere with sleep, getting a good night’s sleep can relieve stress. When we’re well rested, we’re more mentally and physically prepared to face the challenges of the day at full capacity. If we’re short on sleep, we may struggle to concentrate, manage emotions, or deal well with fatigue.

What to Do to Relieve Stress and Sleep Well

Combining stress relief and healthy sleep habits can offer a better night’s sleep and may improve your stress levels throughout the day. Take these steps for relief:

  • Manage stress with relaxation practices. Proven stress relievers may make it easier to calm down and relax before bed and get a good night’s sleep. Practice yoga or meditation as part of a bedtime routine to wind down and release tension before it’s time to rest.
  • Keep a journal next to bed. If stressful thoughts at night are a problem, a journal may help.
  • Address fears. It’s ok to feel scared at night sometimes. Dark shadows, strange noises, and general uneasiness plague adults as well as children. Consider comfort items, such as a nightlight, which may make it easier to feel more secure at night.
  • Commit to healthy sleep. Good sleep can support stress relief, so practice healthy sleep habits. Keep a regular sleep schedule and maintain a regular bedtime routine. Steer clear of pitfalls including late night screen time and caffeine.
  • Get support for stress. No one has to go it alone when dealing with stress. Talk to friends, family, and counselors who can help when working through stressful situations that call for help.
  • Eliminate stress as much as possible. Overdoing it can easily lead to stress, so it may be a good idea to cut back. If possible, eliminate stressful activities and prioritize commitments.


Stress and sleep often go hand in hand, so improving one can often improve the other. Focus on managing stress and practicing healthy sleep habits to support good mental health.

Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.

Busting Stress

It’s a question I ask during every initial visit: “Tell me about your stress.” Oftentimes, people don’t even recognize their stress as stress. We are so conditioned to think being “go-go-go” all the time is ‘normal’ that we don’t even realize it’s not. More and more, I am convinced that stress is the epidemic of our time.

Back to the Basics

During hunter-gatherer days when we would see a wild animal our stress would peak, our adrenals would put out adrenaline and cortisol, our bodies would shunt blood from our inner organs to our limbs and muscles, and we would run away. This is fight-or-flight, also known as Sympathetic Mode. The sympathetic nervous system increases heart rate, increases blood flow to extremities, diverts sugar to the blood (increases blood sugar levels), increases blood clotting, increases inflammation.

We would get back to the fire and safety, our stress would decrease, our adrenals would relax, our bodies would deliver blood back to our inner organs, and we would rest. This is rest-and-digest, also known as Parasympathetic Mode. The parasympathetic nervous system stimulates digestion (enzyme production, stomach acid production), peristalsis (the movement that moves food the intestines), regulates deep sleep (stage 4), and stimulates sex organs (libido and fertility).

Cortisol is known as our stress hormone, and we should have a regular rise and fall in cortisol throughout the day, which is countered with melatonin. In the morning, cortisol peaks while melatonin hits it’s lowest. Then throughout the day cortisol slowly decreases and hits it’s lowest before bed, while melatonin starts to spike which signals sleep. This constant interplay between cortisol and melatonin creates our circadian rhythm. Our ideal cortisol graph would look something like this:

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After each stressor we are able to return to a relaxed, parasympathetic state, and the stress resolves. However, more and more this rhythm is disrupted with stress. Usually when I am told that, “I’m not stressed, I’m just a busy person. I like it though, I can’t just sit there,” I follow up with, “okay, tell me about your day.” The response usually looks something like this:

“Well, I wake up at 6 am, I get the kids up, make them breakfast, pack their lunches, drop them off at school, head over to the office. We are really busy at work so I usually work through the day, sometimes I forget to have lunch or I’ll just have a quick snack at my desk. Then after work I pick up the kids, get them a snack, drop them off at hockey/music/dance/soccer/etc. Then I go to the gym for a bit, then I pick them up, we have a quick dinner, I clean the house, put the kids to bed and I sit down to watch something but often times I fall asleep right away. Then I’ll wake up and go to bed.”

(Imagine this said as quickly as possible with few breaths…)

That go-go-go is stress. Aging, food, alcohol, coffee, other stimulants, working long hours, and lack of bonding is all stress as well. That is being in sympathetic mode all…day…long. With a graph that tends to look more like this:

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This means we are rarely getting into parasympathetic mode, and that will take a toll on our body.

Stress and the Body

It probably comes as no surprise that chronic stress will take a negative effect on the body, but some of the stats and facts might actually surprise you.

  • 79-90% of all visits to primary health care practitioners in North America are due to stress-related illnesses. (Perkins 1994, Saving Money by Reducing Stress. Harvard Business Review 72(6):12)
  • 68% of women say they are chronically stressed, yet only 25% say they are doing anything about it. (Statistics Canada)
  • 11% of Americans age 12 or older report taking antidepressants. (CDC data)
  • Both effects (acute and chronic stress) increase HPA stimulation and result in greater hippocampal and amygdala atrophy, biphasic alterations in structure increasing swings from depression to anxiety in women as compared to men. (Without clinical diagnosis of bipolar). (Bruce McEwen, Glucocorticoids, depression and mood disorders: Structural remodelling in the brain. Metabolism, May 2005, Vol 54, Issue 5, page 20-23).

The last fact regarding anxiety and depression may be the most ‘shocking’, but under chronic stress our bodies and adrenal glands get taxed and coping decreases, which includes regulating mood.

So, what should you do?

It would be awesome if we could all just quit the stress in our lives, move to Mexico, and lay on a beach. But unfortunately that’s not reality, so it’s about finding ways to cope and manage stress. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I will often use nutrition, herbs and nutrients to help support your body and correct depletions. Chronic stress takes a serious toll on the adrenal glands and those don’t bounce back quickly as they won’t ever get a real ‘break’. However, without the tools to mange stress, even supplements are a bandaid and not a solution. My main recommendation for combatting stress is working on getting your cortisol down and into parasympathetic mode. Thankfully, there are a bunch of different ways to do this. Here are my top 5 easy to incorporate ways to manage stress:

  1. Yoga: In yoga, physical postures and breathing exercises improve muscle strength, flexibility, blood circulation and oxygen uptake as well as hormone function. In addition, the relaxation induced by meditation helps to stabilize the autonomic nervous system with a tendency towards parasympathetic dominance. (Europe PMC) In one study, researchers evaluated the effects of yoga in females subjects who participated in a 3-month yoga program compared to tScreen Shot 2017-07-06 at 3.42.07 PMhose on a waitlist and found that those who participated in the yoga program demonstrated pronounced and significant improvements in perceived stress, anxiety, well-being, vigor, fatigue and depression. Physical well-being increased, headaches and back pain decreased and even salivary cortisol decreased significantly after participation in a yoga class (compared to before the class). (com)
  2. Guided Meditation/Breathing: This is an easy one to incorporate throughout the day. I will often recommend a quick 2 minute breathing exercise before each meal to help move towards parasympathetic mode and improve digestion. I also love guided imagery. A subscription to Apple Music or Spotify will provide you with a HUGE selection of various guided imageries that can be downloaded and listened to. This type of mindfulness has been shown to improve mood, decrease stress, boost the immune system, and even improve fertility. Studies are also showing there is huge benefits in children as well. My own daughter has a full playlist on Apple Music of children’s guided imagery that we wilScreen Shot 2017-07-06 at 2.43.03 PMl use after school, before bed, or any time we need a bit of calm.
  3. Adult Colouring: I know it’s all the rage right now, but for good reason. In a recent study, participants had their salivary cortisol
    measured before and after 45 minutes of adult colouring/art making. The results showed a statistically significant decrease in salivary cortisol levels and participants reported feeling much more relaxed with lower stress. It makes you wonder why we adults ever stopped colouring in the first place!
  4. Sleep Hygiene: We can’t look at stress and cortisol without also looking at sleep and melatonin. If cortisol becomes unbalanced/spiking improperly then the interplay between melatonin and cortisol will also become unbalanced, and sleep often gets affected. A good sleep routine helps to keep those circadian rhythms in check and allows your body to know when it should be producing more cortisol and when it should be producing more melatonin. Make sure you are following these basic sleep hygiene practices:
  • Keep a regular sleep and wake time (as much as possible) to keep your circadian rhythm regular.
  • Keep your room completely dark – remove clocks, use black out blinds etc. This helps signal your body that it’s time for sleep and to produce melatonin.
  • Avoid electronics before bed – this plays into the dark point above but even more, electronic screens (tvs, phones, e-readers, etc.) emit blue light, which further disrupts melatonin production. So make sure you are avoiding it before bed. You can also download blue light blocking apps, or on iPhones you can set your screen to “night mode” which removes the blue light.
  1. Assemble your team: You’ve heard it before. “It takes a village.” And this rings true for your stress and mental health as well. The majority of our stress these days is kind of unavoidable – we have to get to work (traffic), we have to take care of kids, we have to have jobs, etc. Completely removing stress is unrealistic, but it is important to find people who can help you to manage your stress.
  • Find a counsellor or therapist that you click with. I know there is still some lingering stigma around seeing a therapist when there really shouldn’t be. These are skilled practitioners who are well trained to provide you with an outlet to work through stress, as well as an array of coping mechanisms and tools to help manage or reframe stresses.
  • Get a massage. Multiple studies show the benefits of massage. It has actually been shown that massage can decrease cortisol levels and actually increase dopamine and seratonin levels!
  • Participate in mindfulness. Whether through a yoga class/instructor or finding a mindfulness or meditation coach, working on retraining your body to get into parasympathic mode is a huge step in reducing stress and cortisol. There are even group meditation classes in Uptown Waterloo!
  • Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor. Optimizing diet, nutrients and lifestyle goes a long way in dealing with stress and coping. Herbs and supplements can also help support those adrenal glands and give them the nourishment they need after chronic stress.

However, it’s not just finding tools, it’s also allowing yourself to make self care a priority. How many people feel ‘guilty’ sitting down in the afternoon or evening, thinking about all the ‘other’ things they should be doing (dishes, laundry, errands, emails, tasks, etc.)? Many times, these moments of just relaxing are thought of as ‘wasted’ time. Working on shifting that mindset to view those times as important moments of self care will be an important way to allow yourself to truly get into parasympathic mode. Remember, self care is never wasted time. If you are feeling stress or overwhelmed, it is never too late to reach out and start making changes.

In Health,

Dr. Jessica, Naturopathic Doctor at The Coach House Therapeutic Centre

This post originally appeared on The Coach House Blog

Disclaimer: The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or your primary care provider for individualized health recommendations.

Dr. Jessica Gurske completed her Bachelors of Science at the University of Waterloo. After her third year of studies, she traveled to Central America with International Service Learning Organization where she spent three weeks providing healthcare to under-serviced areas throughout Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It was a life-changing and educational experience. Jessica went on to complete a four year Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario. She has successfully completed two national board exams through NABNE (North American Board of Naturopathic Examinations) and provincial licensing through the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapies-Naturopathy (BDDT-N). Jessica also has additional training in facial rejuvenation acupuncture. Jessica is also a mother which has sparked her interest in pregnancy and newborn care, women’s health and paediatrics.


Meditation to Release Anxiety

Feel free to set a timer for 10 minutes.

Sit in a comfortable position on a pillow on the floor or in a chair. Find a focus point to gaze at, or softly close your eyes.

Be present in the moment.

Don’t worry about what has happened earlier today or what needs to happen later on.

Be here in the moment and focus on the breath.

Let the space around you be free of judgement. Imagine sitting by the window and the sun beaming with light. The rays of the sun are shining in through the window and radiating positive energy all around you.

Take a deep breathe in through the nose and exhale through the mouth, two times. Inhale cleansing air in, exhale any tension that does not serve you. Inhale Confidence, Exhale Fear.

Then coming to the natural rhythm of your breath as you breathe in and out of your nose.

Inhale, bring awareness to your breath.

Exhale, ground your feet into the earth.

Inhale, lengthen through from the base of your spine to the crown of your head.

Exhale, draw the navel slightly back towards the spine.

Inhale, rest your hands in your lap on top of one another, palms facing up or hands resting on your knees.

Exhale, relax your jaw, allowing space between the teeth but still keeping your mouth closed.

Inhale, lift the shoulders up towards your ears

Exhale, round your shoulders back and down.

Inhale, soften the muscles in your face including the space between your eyebrows.

Continue to breathe, feel free to count your breath. Inhale 1, Exhale 2, Inhale 3, Exhale 4. Continue at your own pace until you reach 10 then start from 1 again.

When thoughts arise and distract you from breathing, imagine a cloud gently floating the thoughts away.

Bring awareness back to the breath; feel free to place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your heart. Inhale to feel the stomach lift, exhale to feel the stomach to lower.

Bring attention to your heart, inhale love, exhale anxiety.

Continue to breathe at your own rhythm.

Once the timer goes off slowly open your eyes to come back to the present moment.

Meditation on a regular basis helps us become more focused, reduces anxiety and helps to increase our self-awareness to our physical body, emotions and thoughts.

Take a moment to thank yourself for taking the time to practice.

Stacey Harris, MSW, RSW
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Credit for window photo: Sunlight, Jason Tessier

Stress and the Pelvic Floor

Your palms begin to sweat, your stomach feels uneasy, you are tired but you cannot sleep. There is a pounding in your head, you have chest pain, your sex drive is negative. There is pain and tightness in your muscles. These are all COMMON EFFECTS OF STRESS ON THE BODY.

You cannot sit still, you are overwhelmed and irritable. You feel anxious, with a lack of motivation and focus. You feel alone even in a room full of people. You are sad, and possibly depressed. These are all COMMON EFFECTS OF STRESS ON MOOD.

You are socially withdrawn, no longer exercising, and cannot eat or are overeating. You become angry and short tempered, and may have outbursts. You rely on crutches like smoking, drinking or drugs to help you cope. These are all COMMON EFFECTS OF STRESS ON YOUR BEHAVIOR.

The human body is designed to experience stress, and to react to it. Stress can be a very important protective mechanism whereby the body becomes alert and ready to avoid danger. This positive stress is referred to as “eustress”. The opposite occurs when stress becomes negative and an individual faces continuous challenge without relief. This type of stress is called “distress”, and it is this stress that impacts the body in the ways outlined above.

So what does all of this have to do with the pelvic floor you ask? Wait…WHAT IS the pelvic floor you ask? Believe me when I say you are not the first to ask, and you will definitely not be the last. You should have a better understanding when we are through.

The pelvis is the “bony container” that surrounds the bowel, the bladder, and the reproductive organs. The pelvic floor muscles present like a hammock and span the bottom of the pelvis, holding the pelvic organs in place and playing a vital role in bowel, bladder and sexual function.

What you may not know is STRESS CAN DIRECTLY AFFECT YOUR PELVIC FLOOR!!! Remember, we talked about the body’s response to stress? When we experience stress, particularly that of a prolonged nature, we hold our muscles very tightly – all muscles, even our pelvic floor muscles. Stress plays a major role in pelvic floor disorders, and many of my clients experienced their first pelvic floor symptom during or following a particularly stressful time in their lives.

We have all encountered cyclical situations situations at some point, and a chronic state of stress is no different. Stress and the tightening of the pelvic floor muscles (consciously or subconsciously) can lead to conditions such as:

  • Urinary or fecal incontinence (leakage)
  • Urinary urgency
  • Urinary frequency
  • Sexual pain, difficulty with sexual arousal and orgasm
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic pain including vulvodynia and vaginismus
  • Bladder pain including painful bladder syndrome
  • And many others

These conditions then lead to stress and anxiety – possibly because people are afraid to discuss them – and so the cyclical pattern continues.

The only way to initiate the healing process is to break the cycle!

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The most important message I can convey is that we need to talk about pelvic pain. NO. MORE. WHISPERING. How will people ever understand the relationship between stress and pelvic pain if we do not talk about it?  Each day, I challenge every one of my clients to discuss their pelvis with one other human. This might be their partner, their best friend, or a random stranger in line at the grocery store (you may never see them again, so go for it). It might seem like unconventional advice, but people should NOT have to suffer in silence or go through life with the belief that peeing your pants when you age is normal. Or that the inability to hold a bowel movement after giving birth is normal.  Or that the stress associated with a traumatic event will forever define your ability to have pain-free intercourse. Common, yes! Normal…NO!

There is help out there, and people who want to help!  As mentioned above, sometimes it does take a village, and as a pelvic health physiotherapist I am fortunate to have established a wonderful reference team that I confidently refer to when needed. You have to start your journey somewhere – start by talking!

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 5.42.15 PMKeri Martin Vrbanac

Registered Physiotherapist, Pelvic Health Physiotherapist & Owner of a Body in Motion 

Keri has been a Registered Physiotherapist since 1997 when she graduated with distinction from the University of Toronto. Prior to beginning her physiotherapy studies, Keri completed a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education and a Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, from Queen’s University. Keri’s clinical expertise has included orthopedics, pediatrics, neurological specialties and sports therapy. Keri discovered her passion for Pelvic Physiotherapy in 2013 and has continued to further her education in the areas of sexual pain, incontinence, special topics in women’s health including endometriosus, infertility and post hysterectomy treatment. Keri enjoys her work with her children with pediatric incontinence, her pre-natal and post-natal clientele, as well as men and women suffering with pelvic pain as a result of bladder or bowel difficulties, interstitial cystitis and prostatitis, just to name a few.


Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time


Ask any busy person what they need and most will respond with “MORE TIME”. More time to work, more time at home, more time to relax. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for all of the things we need or want to do. While committing more time to a job or a project might seem like the solution to your stress, it is important to remember that time is a finite resource. By spending more time on something that stresses you out, you are stealing hours from other activities that are important to your health and wellbeing.

Energy is a different story. Energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind, and spirit. Learning how to manage your energy will help you to use your time more effectively and reduce the pressure of to-do lists and deadlines.

The Body: Physical Energy

Cultivating physical energy requires you to develop healthy habits surrounding nutrition, exercise, sleep, and rest. Significant lack in any of those areas can impact your basic energy levels, as well as your ability to manage emotions and focus your attention.

Identify rituals that will help you with the process of building and renewing your physical energy. These rituals could include:

  • walking, jogging or running
  • a yoga or gym routine that you enjoy
  • cooking meals that you can love to make (and to eat!)
  • finding a restaurant you love with a relaxing atmosphere and healthy food
  • a bedtime routine to help you wind down
  • a relaxation technique that you can employ quickly and in public when needed (such as a breathing or visualization technique that works for you)

The Emotions: Quality of Energy

The ability to manage your emotions is an important skill, and can improve the quality of the energy you bring to your work regardless of the external pressures you face. To do this, try to check in with yourself at various points in your day – how are you feeling? How is that affecting your ability to remain present or work? What can you do to help yourself navigate or process what you are feeling? If we routinely check in throughout the day, we are better able to stay on top of emotions that normally would affect the rest of our day.

You can also cultivate positive energy by learning to change the stories you tell yourself about the events of your day. Develop more hopeful stories, and that positivity will help you keep negative emotions in check.

The Mind: Focus of Energy

Many view multitasking as a necessity in the face of all the demands we juggle, but it actually undermines productivity. Think about what multitasking requires of us – a temporary shift in attention from one task to another. Multitasking is just a glorified version of yielding to distractions, and distractions are costly. It’s far more efficient to focus your full attention on one task for 90 to 120 minutes, take a true break, and then devote the same attention to your next task.

The Human Spirit: Energy of Meaning and Purpose

We tap into the energy of the human spirit when our activities are consistent with what we value most and with what gives us a sense of meaning or purpose. If what you are doing really matters to you, you are more likely to radiate positive energy and enjoy yourself.

To access the energy of the human spirit, you need to clarify your priorities and establish accompanying rituals in three categories

  1. Doing what you do best and enjoy most.
  2. Consciously allocating time and energy to the areas of your life—work, family, health, service to others—that you deem most important.
  3. Living your core values in your daily behaviours.



Kelly McDonnell-Arnold, MA, MBA, RSW

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