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Lee Mayer – Positive Prescription – Positivity Article

Lee Mayer, CEO, and founder of Havenly, started an online platform with her sister to make home design accessible, personalized, and fun. Havenly offers convenient and affordable interior design services to help bring your personalized home vision to life. WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR STARTING YOUR COMPANY? I was motivated by solving a pain point that I thought was pretty prevalent, it’s hard to design and decorate your home. I thought that there had to be an easier way to…

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Manage Uncertainty With This Tool – Positivity Article

When you are feeling overwhelmed try to pinpoint exactly what is bothering you and describe your feelings more precisely. Are you frustrated? Disheartened? Despondent? Exasperated? Instead of resigning yourself to a generalized negative mood for the next few hours, try to label your emotions. People who are able to differentiate their negative emotions are better at regulating and managing them, according to science. Rather than being consumed by a general feeling of malaise, differentiators are more action-oriented. Knowing what is…

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Yes, Just 10 Minutes a Day Can Turn Your Life Around – Positivity Article

Consider the following experiment: researchers asked employees of an outpatient family practice clinic – nurses, assistants, and receptionists – to complete an online “survey” at the end of each workday. They were unaware of the purpose of this exercise. The survey asked them to spend five to ten minutes writing about events that had gone “really well” that day and to explain why they believed they had gone so well. The participants could write about anything—events large or small, personal…

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Happiness Does Not Come From Within – Positivity Article

“Happiness comes from within.” We hear this phrase all the time. It is predicated on the belief that if you dig deep enough into yourself, you will figure out who you are and everything else will fall into place. While I agree with the overall message in that you are responsible for your choices, it has become increasingly apparent to me that happiness comes from “with” as much as it comes from “within.” The problem with the relentless quest for…

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Resilience Is the Norm, Not the Exception  – Positivity Article

A few days ago, my 12-year-old daughter showed me a video montage she made filled with photos of her and her friends hugging, dancing, and laughing — all the things 12-year-old girls love doing together. That was before coronavirus. The final image is of her looking sad with the tagline, “What Corona Took From Us.” The novel coronavirus came crashing into our lives, upending life as we know it. Overnight, how we work, learn, and socialize capsized, and the waves…

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Don’t Keep Gratitude To Yourself – Positivity Article

Many people keep gratitude to themselves. They feel it but don’t express it. Like you, they assume the other person already knows how much they are appreciated or they worry about finding the right words to say what they want to say. Putting pen to paper or sending a thank you email may seem unnecessary or feel awkward but it’s definitely worth it. According to a recent study, we systematically underestimate the positive impact of expressing gratitude and overestimate how…

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Stay Connected While Keeping Your Distance – Positivity Article

As a psychiatrist, I recognize how valuable everyday interactions are for mental health. We are deeply social creatures who need others as much as we need air to breathe. Studies show that frequent positive interactions with others is at the heart of our wellbeing. People who experience “felt love”—brief moments of connection in everyday life—are happier and healthier compared to those with lower felt love scores. Of course, these moments are best experienced in person. Chocolate tastes better when shared.…

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Not For The Purell-Obsessed – Positive Prescription – Positivity Article

Why do some people get the flu while others get through the entire winter without ever needing a Kleenex? General health, genetics, and environment influence immunity but what else is involved? According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon, mood and emotional style play a role too. In one experiment I am grateful not to have been a part of, the researchers infected participants with the rhinovirus, the virus that causes the common cold. They were then placed in quarantine and closely…

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Why Chasing Happiness Can Make You Unhappy – Positivity Article

We are constantly reminded of the benefits of being happy: Happy people are more successful, have better sex, have more friends, have better bodies—the list goes on. While evidence supports the overall benefits of happiness, research shows that the more we think about happiness and how to pursue it, the less likely we are to find it. For one, being told how important it is to be happy can lead to feelings of disappointment. Constant analysis of how happy you…

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Pop & Bottles Founders Blair Fletcher Hardy and Jash Mehta – Positivity Article

Blair Fletcher Hardy and Jash Mehta are the co-founders of Pop & Bottle, the wellness-first coffee brand known for its organic, dairy-free lattes with no refined sugar or junky extras. The two met in London more than 10 years ago while they were both working and studying abroad, but after relocating to the Bay Area a few years later, the two reconnected and bonded over their love of San Francisco’s farm-to-table food culture and, of course, coffee. The two founded…

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Bosom Buddies – Positive Prescription – Positivity Article

You need friends. Certainly, eating well, exercising and a healthy lifestyle are known to increase longevity and reduce the risk of death, but research reveals that having a lot of friends contributes to living a long and good life. The numbers are staggering, actually. Studies show that social connections—friends, family, neighbors and colleagues—improve our odds of survival by 50%. The following statistics from a recent study put it in perspective. Having few friends and low social interaction is equivalent to: Smoking…

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Why Your Partner Should Not Be Your One and Only – Positivity Article

Not all stress is created equal. An argument with your significant other has been found to be by far the most upsetting of all daily stressors. As one patient told me, fighting with his wife in the morning sets a negative tone for the rest of the day. He described it as a dark cloud that hangs over him and follows him around until the issue is resolved. In addition to taking an emotional toll, there is a physical cost to…

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RoboDoc: Is it Time to Fire Your Therapist? – Positivity Article

There are many things computers already do better than we do. In fact, a 2013 Oxford study forecast that machines might be able to perform half of all U.S jobs in the next 20 years. I never imagined my job could ever be “computerizable.” How on earth could a machine do a better job than I do in evaluating patients, providing therapy and recommending treatment? Well, in some cases, it can. By using cameras to follow subtle cues such as…

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CAN A WALK IN THE PARK INCREASE WELL-BEING? – Positivity Article

“In happiness, as in so many other things, location is key.” According to research, a location that maximizes proximity to the natural world is one of the best ways to maximize well-being. Study after study shows a link between nature and wellness. Just 20 minutes outside can boost your mood, broaden thinking and improve memory. Even exercise performed in outdoor natural environments versus indoors has been shown to be associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in…

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Here’s How to Make a New Year’s Resolution That Will Stick – Positivity Article

After a busy and perhaps (overly) indulgent holiday season, radical change might feel like the answer. Before you embark on a period of punishing deprivation, consider a former patient of mine who lost more than 10 pounds after going on a green-juice diet for the first two weeks of January. She was thrilled about the weight loss but ravenously hungry and in a terrible mood the entire time. A few weeks later, she had regained all the weight … and then some.…

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Suzy Batiz – Positive Prescription – Positivity Article

Suzy Batiz, founder of Poo-Pourri discusses bankruptcy, resilience, and the motivation to start her own company. What was your inspiration for starting Poo-Pourri? I swore off of business after my second (yes, second!) bankruptcy. I realized that what was even worse than losing everything is looking back and realizing you didn’t even have a good time along the way. I’d sold out and compromised to get what I wanted and I knew I would never do that again after I…

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Master The Art of Small Talk – Positivity Article

While it’s fine to talk about the weather, quality conversations that deepen your understanding of another person or topic are more gratifying and meaningful. People who engage frequently in such conversations are happier than those who don’t, according to research at the University of Arizona. “I would like to experimentally ‘prescribe’ people a few more substantive conversations,” said one researcher. Good conversations take effort but are more rewarding. Just the sight of a phone—yours or someone else’s—is enough to undermine the quality of a…

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The Paradox of the Perfectly Wrapped Present  – Positivity Article

Great news for those who are terrible at wrapping presents. A study found that badly wrapped gifts are better received than those that look like they belong under Martha Stewart’s Christmas tree. This is especially true for gifts that aren’t expected to knock the recipient’s socks off. An exquisitely wrapped present with crisp edges, expertly hidden tape, and a beautiful velvet ribbon tied in a perfect bow heightens expectations. If what’s inside the box underwhelms, the recipient’s high hopes will be…

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My 2019 Holiday Gift Guide – Positivity Article

ChromoClear™ is the first-ever luxury eyewear collection to transcend how we see and address how we feel. The lens has been shown through scientific research and clinical testing to help enhance mood and performance. The Relax may help migraine sufferers reduce head stress, shed tension, find calm after a trying day. A classic comfort food and childhood favorite, our PB&J Collection includes Peanut Butter, Blackberry Jam and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam in a festive birch box. This splendid volume is a…

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Feasting Together Can Help You Succeed in Business and in Life – Positivity Article

While meal replacements like Soylent are ideally suited for those who prefer to get sustenance through a straw and on their own time, don’t discount the immeasurable benefits of sitting down for a real meal with other people. It’s important to break bread. It’s even better to break it with others. Research from the University of Oxford found that the more we eat with other people, the happier we are and the more satisfied we are with our lives. Social…

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What Makes a Good Doctor? – Positivity Article

“I don’t care if she’s nice. I just care that she’s the best.” My patient’s internist was retiring and he was eager to find a new one. Like most people, he relied on credentials and reputation to assess expertise. “Where did she go to medical school?,” he asked. “Is she on New York Magazine’s Best Doctors list?” How caring or warm she is didn’t factor into his analysis. He believed that competence, not kindness, mattered most. Research from Stanford University suggests otherwise. Volunteers in a study were pricked on their…

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An Antidote for Pathological People-Pleasing – Positivity Article

John Templeton famously said, “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.” Science backs this up. Nice people live longer, they are happier and they are less stressed. That said, being “too nice” isn’t healthy either. Those who never say no and who always give at their own expense run the risk of becoming doormats. Being too much of a people pleaser often leads to festering resentment in the pleaser and the perception that you’re insecure…

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What You and Leonardo da Vinci Have in Common – Positivity Article

I have always thought of creativity as something you are either born with or not. Without disclosing too much, I didn’t win any awards in art class. But research tells a different story. A study found that imagining you are an eccentric poet can significantly boost divergent thinking, a key indicator of creative potential.   The people in the experiment who channeled their inner Lord Byron managed to generate significantly more original ideas when asked to generate creative uses of everyday…

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Parents, Save Your Breath – Positive Prescription – Positivity Article

What’s the best way to motivate a student who lacks motivation?  I frequently encounter parents who ask me this question. Full disclosure, it’s a question I would like an answer for myself. Getting my children to do homework is no easy feat.  Punishment for not doing it is one strategy but realistically, how many times can you take away their phone? Rewards are another option but studies show that this is not necessarily a good idea. It might work for…

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Kiana Cabell and Gigi Goldman – Positivity Article

Kiana Cabell and Gigi Goldman are the Co-Founders of Kopari Beauty, a company that makes clean, coconut products ranging from skin, hair and personal care. WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR STARTING KOPARI? KC: I was born in Hawaii, where coconut is a staple in the culture and I remember collecting coconuts and other tropical fruits to make my own skin and hair treatments at a young age. Years later, I went on to a health-focused culinary school at New York’s…

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Help! Climate Change Is Stressing Me Out – Positivity Article

The health of the planet is deeply connected to our mental health. While people who are directly affected by environmental disasters and climate change are at the greatest risk of developing mental-health problems, many who aren’t in the line of fire are suffering as well. Increased awareness of the looming threats to the environment and bearing witness to the current changes are psychologically distressing. Watching the toll of these irreversible changes on the planet can lead to what is known…

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I Want It And I Want It Now – Positivity Article

Patience may be a virtue but it’s wearing thin. A study of over 2000 British adults confirmed what most of us already know, we hate to wait and we are less patient than ever. Frustration sets in after: 25 seconds of waiting for a traffic light to turn green 20 seconds for ink to dry on a greeting card 18 seconds looking for a pen 16 seconds of waiting for a webpage to load 14 minutes waiting for an order…

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If You Are Floundering, Read This – Positivity Article

Graduation Speech by Angela Duckworth to the 2018 graduates from Penn Arts & Sciences. She is the founder & CEO of The Character Lab and a Professor at The University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. ************************************************************************ Let me begin with gratitude. Sixty years ago, my mother emigrated to this country from Taiwan. Like you, she’s a proud graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Were it not for Penn, my mother—who was…

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Plants, Positivity & Performance – Positive Prescription – Positivity Article

Luther Burbank (1849-1926), the famous botanist and creator of more than 800 new varieties of plants, once said: Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. Surely receiving flowers is enough to brighten anyone’s day but as Burbank appreciated, they do so much more. A slew of new studies demonstrate the positive impact plants have on mental and physical health: Mood Boosting Studies show that indoor plants enhance mood and…

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