Holistic Health

5 Positive Affirmations for Success

5 Positive Affirmations for Success

Declaring great things about yourself can seem weird and bizarre. However, you might find it surprising that there are genuine theories and neuroscience behind the practice. So, what are positive affirmations, what is the science behind them, and how can you implement them today on your journey towards success and positivity?

Positive affirmations have become increasingly popular as time and scientific research continues to prove their efficiency. However, the idea might still seem incredibly awkward and hard to embrace when people first hear about it.

What are positive affirmations?

Positive affirmations are positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative self-talk and unhelpful thoughts or habits. If you are constantly battling low self-esteem or harmful thinking, positive affirmations have the ability to combat these subconscious patterns. Thay can then replace them with a healthier narrative. Positive affirmations are also helpful for individuals lacking in motivation and determination regarding goals, projects, and dreams. Many use them as daily motivators to keep themselves under check and highly functioning.

The science behind positive affirmations.

The success of this practice is based on concrete and well-established psychological theory. There are a number of empirical studies based on the idea that we can influence our lives positively by telling ourselves these affirmations. The growing popularity of this method has led to neuroscientific research aimed at whether we can see any changes in the brain when we self-affirm.

These efforts resulted in MRI evidence suggesting that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks (Cascio et al., 2016). More specifically, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex – which deals with positive valuation and self-related information processing – becomes more active.

5 Positive Affirmations to Get You Started

However much science backs it up, talking to yourself can feel silly at first. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of daily affirmations to ease you into the habit of positively affirming yourself on a daily basis.

  • “I believe I can do anything”

Even the most cynical out there can benefit from this phrase. Even if you don’t believe it at first, you might find yourself motivated and encouraged to undertake any task that comes your way as this declaration comes into effect. 

  • “Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good”

More than anything, this affirmation functions as a reminder for yourself. Knowing that even the bad has its purpose in your life is empowering and can replace unhealthy defense mechanisms when you are confronted by a negative or otherwise, upsetting situation.

  • “I’m the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents”

By declaring this phrase, you are giving yourself control over your life that you might have lost in the past. Not only is it empowering but it holds you accountable for your decisions, ultimately creating greater confidence in yourself.

  • “I can achieve greatness”

One of the most powerful affirmations is to tell yourself you can achieve greatness in your life. It is common for people to let their skills and talents lay dormant inside of them. By voicing your ability to achieve greatness, you are tapping into those skills and talents on a daily basis. This affirmation not only works as a reminder of those abilities left unused but helps create new ones that you might have otherwise not discovered.

  • “Today, I’m brimming with energy and overflowing with joy”

You are not always in a good mood or at your best. However, affirming this can help you tap into positive feelings that are becoming overshadowed by negative thoughts. Learning how to tap into these positive feelings even when you are feeling down can help you battle detrimental feelings that can negatively affect you in the long run.

Positive affirmations can be a refreshing way to reverse negative internal messages. Whether you are seeking ways to battle low self-esteem, anxiety or simply need the motivation, know that although positive affirmation cannot completely fix your problems, they lead you towards a path of recovery and positivity. If these affirmations don’t hit home, try coming up with your own. That way they can be more personal and have greater impact on your life.

Connor Bearse5 Positive Affirmations for Success
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How to Stay Energized at Work

How to Stay Energized at Work

Are you constantly combating low energy during your day? Do you find it difficult to remain focused? Tiredness at work is a common ailment for most people. It can harm your work performance while also making your job less enjoyable. And in some professions, it can be a bigger problem than it seems. Whether you work from home, part-time, in a team, or independently, use these tips to keep yourself motivated and the most productive you can be:

Get moving

Research has shown a clear correlation between exercise and brain function time and time again. A short workout in between tasks can help improve your job performance, productivity, and might boost creativity. An article from the Huffington Post in 2013 emphasizes that there are 13 mental benefits to working out, a few of them being improved brainpower, better memory, and increased energy. If you can’t seem to find space between your schedule to fit in a workout, there are other alternatives that might be more realistic for your specific situation. For example, you can do leg lifts while reading emails. Others might prefer parking far away from their building’s entrance in order to jog their brain awake before starting their day. Any amount of movement will help you stay energized and on top of your game.

Use scents as brain food

A wildly underrated member of your five senses, your sense of smell, might be the puzzle piece you’re missing to solve your low energy problems. Essential oils have been proven to increase alertness, memory, accuracy, and mental clarity. Specifically, a peppermint scent. A study in 1990 proved that smelling peppermint essential oil enhanced alertness, focus, and concentration. Essential oils can be applied topically, inhaled, or even sometimes ingested; however, most studies out there have used the inhalation method, which might be easier to do in an office space.

Stare off into space

No, we are not advising you to daydream at work or to stare blankly into an abyss of nothingness for 30 minutes straight. Staring off into space purposefully, however, can have its benefits. Especially if your work is done while staring at a computer screen for hours on end. Your eyes strain themselves when staring at a screen. This worsens exhaustion when they do so for long periods of time. The 20-20-20 rule advises you to look at a point 20-feet away from you, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes. This breaks the continuous screen fixation and allows your vision to refocus. This method enables your brain to gather the needed energy to continue your task without losing momentum.

Your workday is challenging enough with imminent deadlines, projects, and assignments to complete. Therefore, don’t let low energy throw you into a dangerous cycle of unproductiveness. Instead, actively fight it by applying these methods into your everyday work routine. By doing so, you will lead a productive work environment that fosters creativity and establishes a positive relationship with your job as a whole.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanHow to Stay Energized at Work
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Why Therapy May Be A Good Thing (Even If You Think You Don’t Need It)

Why Therapy May Be A Good Thing (Even If You Think You Don’t Need It)

Holistic health is defined as the health of the entire being. Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. One way to nourish your holistic health is to partake in therapy. You may hear the word “therapy” and immediately protest, thinking “Why should I talk to a stranger about my life?” You may even feel relatively content, lacking any notable problems you feel are worthy of discussion. But while therapy is excellent for problem solving, it isn’t only for those who feel overwhelmed by life’s issues. Therapy is self-care: consider it a mental and emotional check-up of sorts. And as we all know, routine maintenance is beneficial, even when we don’t notice any problems under the hood. Keep reading for three reasons why therapy may be a good thing, even if you think you don’t need it.

Mental Health

Mental health is vital. We invest in our physical fitness by eating the right things and exercising regularly, but how do we tend to our mental well-being? Because the answer to that question can sometimes feel unclear, many people place mental health on the backburner. Instead, let therapy be the solution. Psychologists are trained professionals who are there to listen. They are a neutral party to vent to, with an added safety net of privacy. Nothing you share with your therapist has to leave the room, providing a rare opportunity to be completely uninhibited. Therapists are also able to suggest solutions and coping techniques to help aid in your overall mental peace. Even if you don’t have negative things to share, you can still use a therapist as a sounding board for your good news, especially if you don’t have many conversationalists in your daily life.

Improved Interpersonal Relationships

Not only can therapy enrich your inner world, it can also help you interpersonally. Whether dealing with coworkers, our teenage children, or close friends, we all experience communication issues and hurt feelings from time to time. Because we don’t want to exacerbate the situation, we tend to leave negative conversations and experiences unfinished and unresolved. Therapy then provides an avenue to talk through those buried emotions without having to confront the other party. Therapists are there to suggest possible solutions, allowing you to get the closure you may need. They can also help us learn how to apologize, see things from a different perspective, and aim to do better in the future. Over time, you’ll develop more effective communication techniques, helping you prevent miscommunication before it has a chance to happen.

Personal Growth

Lastly, therapy can aid in your personal growth. Even if things are well, you have the opportunity to take your strengths and make them greater. Therapists are trained to guide you toward your next steps. Whether in your career, relationships, or self-care, there’s always room to improve. Use your time in therapy to set new goals and map out specific ways to achieve them. Devoting time to improving your future will also help you feel productive and proactive. 

Because therapy treats several aspects of overall health, it is a holistic endeavour. Your body and mind are the most valuable things you own, and they are irreplaceable. Do yourself a favor and give therapy a try (even if you don’t think you need it).

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanWhy Therapy May Be A Good Thing (Even If You Think You Don’t Need It)
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3 Time Saving Ways to Stay Healthy in the New Year

3 Time Saving Ways to Stay Healthy in the New Year

A new year brings a fresh opportunity to take control of your health. A few weeks in and you may be faced with the harsh reality that you don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish all the well-intentioned resolutions you set for yourself. You have two choices: either allow your goals to fall by the wayside or adapt them to better fit your schedule. When it comes to resolutions that pertain to your health, it’s best to choose the latter. Fortunately, there are multiple techniques available to help you achieve your health goals while still being mindful of your busy schedule. Here are three time saving ways to stay healthy in the new year.  

Quick Workouts

Staying physically fit is an important part of any health journey, but finding the time to fit a traditional workout into your day can be difficult. If you are struggling to get enough exercise in, change your approach by making your workouts shorter. Be intentional about pinpointing specific exercises that target multiple muscles (termed compound exercises). Because you’ll be working on several muscles at once, you won’t need to waste time on extra machines, consequently making your gym time more efficient. Try mixing a few combined exercises into one workout to maximize your time investment.

Quick Meals

In addition to genetics and regular exercise, your diet is one of the single most impactful factors that affect your health. Although many people know the foods they eat contribute to overall wellness, most still fail to prepare healthy meals consistently. If your reason for skipping out on healthy eating is lack of time, there are several solutions that can assist you in saving some time in the kitchen.

  • Try meal prepping. Meal prepping is a time saving method of cooking that focuses on preparing large quantities of simple foods, then dividing and packing repeated meals for the whole week. Because all the cooking is done in one day, you won’t need to worry about cooking throughout the week.
  • Consider a meal delivery service. If grocery trips for healthy foods are cutting into your schedule, a meal delivery service may be a perfect fit for your needs. A meal delivery subscription enables you to choose your meals. The ingredients and recipes will be delivered right to your door – all you have to do is prepare the meal and enjoy.
  • Research easy recipes that emphasize speed. Both instant pot and one pan/pot meals allow you to combine multiple ingredients to be cooked all at once, saving you time and frustration. Cold lunches and dinners (i.e. salads and sandwiches) skip the cooking aspect altogether and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. Recipes that include the phrase “last minute” are also specifically curated to save time.

Quick Germ Eradicators

During the winter months, flu season is at its peak. Managing symptoms can be a tedious process that consumes time that you don’t have to begin with. Instead of wasting precious moments sitting in a doctor’s office or making multiple trips to the store for cold meds, make better use of your available time by being proactive instead of reactive.

  • Drink more water. Increased water intake helps the body remove toxins more efficiently, which may prevent illnesses from taking root before developing into a real issue.
  • Get more sleep. Your immune system needs the proper amount of rest to recoup its defenses to ward off sickness.
  • Get in the habit of using natural immune boosters to prevent colds. Daily consumption of ginger, garlic, nutrient dense foods and warm liquids (like tea or broth) can help your body fight off infection.

It’s easy to take your physical well-being for granted when you give a higher focus to everything else in your life. However, good health isn’t guaranteed. It’s easier to prevent a disease than to treat one, which means it is vital that you do your part to prioritize your health. While it may take a bit of extra planning and ingenuity, it is indeed possible to remain health-minded while managing a busy lifestyle. Use these three tips to make this the year that you make the most of your time and remain consistent about placing your health first.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Time Saving Ways to Stay Healthy in the New Year
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Three Ways To Begin a Diet Transformation For Busy Lives

Three Ways To Begin a Diet Transformation For Busy Lives

It takes roughly 21 days to make a habit. Though that in itself does not seem difficult, we can all agree that when you toss children, work, and quite frankly general life into that mix, it suddenly makes it darn tough to maintain a lifestyle makeover. When prioritizing family, career and a social life it’s hard to carve out time to sit down and reevaluate your entire dietary routine. While body types and metabolisms vary, here are three simple changes to implement in your day to day life to kickstart your journey to a better you.

Cut Down On Liquid Calories

Let’s be honest. A lot of beverages on the market are inherently good for us; coffee, tea, and smoothies have their nutritional benefits. Unfortunately, a handful of places that dish up these drinks on-the-go load them up with artificial sweeteners and additives. Yes, the surge of energy that the refined sugars in sodas, energy drinks, and our go-to coffee concoctions put into our bodies is satisfying. However, what I’m sure everyone has learned to loathe is the blood sugar crash that follows and has us ready to toss everything from our desks, hop into sweatpants, and take a nap. This sluggish afternoon drag can be avoided. It’s a tough habit to kick. Try amping up your water intake as you lower the liquid calories to avoid dehydration. By removing simple processed sugars from your diet, you’ll see an improvement in your mood as well as your waistline. Your body will feel refreshed and function better with increased hydration levels.

Tackle Your Biggest Monster First

Everyone is guilty of a habit that they’re aware is detrimental to their health. It may be swinging through the fast food drive-thru on your daily commute home. For some, it’s sweet treats during breaks. And for others, it’s half a dozen soft drinks to make it through the afternoon. Pick the one aspect of your diet that you think is making the heaviest impact on your health and decide on a game plan to change this. Focus on this single habit and make a conscious effort to improve this focus dietary change. Make a promise to yourself to cut down to half or a third of the amount of your regular routine and gradually phase it out as the month goes on. It’s a process that will be much easier if you are slowly finding substitutions you enjoy to replace your guilty pleasure versus depriving yourself. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Be Prepared To Fight The Hunger Battle

We’ve all been victim to hunger striking at an unexpected hour of the day. As cliche as it may seem, if you’re needing an afternoon pick-me-up, try opting for fruit or a healthy fat. Though it still contains sugars, fruits are natural sugars which make them easier to digest in your body, and the carbohydrates in an easy to grab a snack like heart-healthy nuts will also give your body the fuel it needs to work through the afternoon. Choose two or three snacks over the weekend to bring to stash at your workspace. The variety will add excitement and make it tougher to fall into a rut.

Not only will all these simple swaps be beneficial to your health, but things that you can share with your kids. As busy parents sometimes we because guilty of a “do as I say, not as I do” and that’s no fun. Spending time tackling these bad habits now will lead to healthier times with your family in the future.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanThree Ways To Begin a Diet Transformation For Busy Lives
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Simple Tips to Take a Holistic Approach to Working Out

Simple Tips to Take a Holistic Approach to Working Out

Working out can easily transition from a stress reliever to feeling like another job that you’ve grown to dread. It’s important to think about your health from a holistic perspective; consider the wellbeing of your mind, body, and soul as a system of interconnected components. While being active, think of your whole being, not just specific muscles. Taking a holistic approach to your health and life, in general, can help ensure that you stay on a healthy track.

Working out can easily transition from a stress reliever to feeling like another job that you’ve grown to dread. When being active, it’s equally important to think of your wellbeing as much as your muscle mass. Approaching your health and daily life from a holistic way can help you enjoy staying on track and avoid feeling burnt out of your usual routine.

Living an active lifestyle rather than living at the gym

Many people directly associate working out with signing up for a gym membership. Instead of joining a gym, strive to increase the activity in your everyday life. Take the stairs, take a short walk during lunch or opt for a standing desk. There are many small changes you can make to your everyday routine to live a more active lifestyle. This can also be very helpful when planning workouts.

If you dread your workout- find a different one!

If you have a planned workout scheduled every day that feels more like a chore than an escape, it’s time to change it up. Being active should be fun! If you don’t find joy in the types of workouts you do, the desire to keep up with your workouts won’t last. Everyone is different, so take care in finding what works for you. Even taking the “routine” out of your routine may be the answer to more holistic health. Instead of scheduling a trip to the gym every day at 7 am, fill your week with multiple activities that you enjoy. There are many activities that don’t sound like traditional workouts but do your body good just the same. Taking the dog on a long walk, going on a bike ride with the kids, taking a morning hike on your day off, jumping on the trampoline, cleaning out the garage, or planting a garden in the backyard can all be beneficial to your health. Think about filling your week with meaningful activities that get your body moving.

Take some “me time” to exercise your mind, body, and soul

Workout classes and working out with a group of friends may be fun, but some time alone can be great for your mental stability. Take a run by yourself or do some yoga outside. This quiet session with yourself can help you clear your mind, de-stress and organize your thoughts. Taking time to refresh can help you ready yourself for work and other day-to-day tasks. If your life tends to involve constant interaction, a quiet retreat of an hour by yourself can do your mind, body, and soul some good.

Take a Spa day

Yes, you read that right. Taking care of your body means more than just working out and eating right. A massage can do wonders for your lymphatic system, circulation, loosen tight muscles, and de-stress your body. Take an hour to get a facial to take care of your skin and help you relax and unwind. Sometimes we get so caught up in taking care of the tasks and other people in our lives that we forget to take a moment to take care of ourselves.

Being healthy shouldn’t be a chore! It’s important to take care of yourself, in all aspects of your mind, body, and soul. Your health is your wealth. Approaching your life with a more holistic way of thinking can help you achieve a healthy ‘work-life-family and whatever else you can think of’ balance.

Pete and Rachael HerschelmanSimple Tips to Take a Holistic Approach to Working Out
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3 Easy Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle in 2018

3 Easy Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle in 2018

No matter how extensive your list of resolutions is for the new year, we’re willing to bet that somewhere on that list is a bullet point that reads something along the lines of “eat better” or “exercise more.” And while those are both great goals to set for yourself, staying physically fit and healthy is so much more than that. It involves every aspect of your lifestyle. So this year give your body everything it deserves to feel its best. Here are 3 easy tips for a healthier lifestyle in 2018.

Go outside your comfort zone

2017 may have been the year of self-care, but we’re saying 2018 is the year to be bold and unapologetically yourself. And with that boldness comes risks, adventures, and new discoveries. So take risks in every area of your life––your diet and fitness regime included. Make a point this year to try new meals and explore the benefits of foods you haven’t had before. When it comes to fitness, challenge yourself to break out of your go-to workout. If you’re an avid runner, challenge your mind and body by signing up for a yoga class. Or instead of following your regular gym routine, grab a friend and sign up for a HIIT class. You’ll never know all of what your body is capable of unless you push yourself past your comfort zone.

Drink more water

It’s the oldest tip in the book, but for good reason. No matter your lifestyle, hydrating a little more throughout the day will make your body feel better and look healthier. Purchase a new water bottle to keep with you throughout the day, so you can fill up whenever you need to. At the very least, challenge yourself to drink a cup of water right when you wake up and before you get in bed.

Listen to your body

A healthy body looks different to everyone, so staying in touch with what your body needs is the key to reaching your optimal level of health. Believe it or not, sometimes your body needs a break from the high-intensity workout sessions and strict diet regulations. So this year don’t be afraid to take a day off from the gym if you’re feeling a little rundown. And if the slice of cake is really speaking to you, remember that no one is stopping you. Healthy lifestyles are all about moderation after all.

Make 2018 your year. Follow these 3 tips to make the next 12 months your healthiest ones yet.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Easy Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle in 2018
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3 Habits That Are Making You Less Productive

3 Habits That Are Making You Less Productive

One of the best ways to make the most of your life is to be sure you are using your time in the best and most efficient way possible. Time management and productivity is the key to success, but unfortunately, a lot of us establish habits that sabotage our time management skills. Between endless notifications and constantly buzzing smartphones, there are now more distractions than ever, and it has never been easier to get sidetracked. However, your productivity is what allows you to get things done, reach your goals, and be there for the most important moments in life. Here are 3 habits that are making you less productive.

Checking your email throughout the day

We get it. Your inbox is constantly filled to the brim with e-mails coming in at an astonishing rate. But how are you supposed to ever get anything done if you are constantly responding to other people’s questions and concerns? Instead, carve out a designated time each day to clear out your inbox and try to only glance back at it when absolutely necessary. Any emails that don’t require immediate attention should be checked during the designated time the following day. In doing so, you get yourself into a routine, answer emails efficiently, and check items off your own to-do list.

Putting off the longer tasks until later in the day

Most of the time it is so much easier to put off more time-consuming or difficult tasks until later in the day. However, in doing so, it’s easier to fall into the dreaded habit of procrastination. And we all know that it’s nearly impossible to be productive if procrastination is your go-to response to stress. Not only does procrastination take a serious toll on your own productivity, but it can also ruin deadlines and potentially destroy relationships with the people you work closely with.  

Hitting snooze

When your alarm goes off at an ungodly hour to get you up and moving for the day ahead, nothing sounds better than hitting snooze and rolling back over to doze off again. However, hitting snooze can actually throw off your entire day. By waking your body up just to go back to sleep again for a few minutes, you are throwing off your internal clock and might find yourself feeling sleepy at odd times throughout the day. The more you press snooze, the more confused your body feels, which will leave you feeling groggy later in the day––most likely when you should be your most productive self.

Give yourself the respect you deserve by making sure you are doing everything you can to produce your best work and avoid these 3 habits that can make you less productive.

Pete and Rachael Herschelman3 Habits That Are Making You Less Productive
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