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What to #STOP! doing to reduce stress, enhance joy and live a life on purpose

September 24, 2016

Wellbeing is defined as the state of being happy, healthy, or successful. My friend Gene Harker, MD, PhD, defines well-being as a state that exists when organisms function in an environment in harmony with how they were made. A plant is in harmony with its environment when it has the proper amount of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide and nutrients. Humans experience well-being when they are in harmony with their environment, when they know their needs and have the means to meet them while also helping to meet the needs of others.


Removing barriers that zap our energy, like distractions, multi-tasking, poor eating habits and lack of exercise frees us to focus on our strengths, talents, and experiences that bring joy and reduce stress for...

September 17, 2016

I love naps!  As often as I can I take a fifteen- to thirty-minute nap after lunch.

By the way, when did Americans stop taking naps? My grandparents took a nap after lunch every day, and they accomplished more on their farm daily than most non-nappers. Naps are a lost art and indulgent pleasure, not to mention a ritual that provides health benefits.

Here are 3 great reasons to #STOP! in the middle of the day to take a short nap.

  1. A nap is an indulgent pleasure to close your eyes and fall asleep

  2. A nap allows your body to use energy to digest your lunch rather than to sluggishly power your brain

  3. A nap restores your energy for the afternoon.

Some employers are installing nap pods like the one pictured here to allow employees to take a short nap.  The pod is equipped wit...

September 9, 2016

Even when faced with death, most people didn’t STOP stressing their bodies and minds. If you’re stressed out, your life may depend on how willing you are to STOP doing what’s gotten you into your current state. Einstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.

More than 97 percent of American adults do not meet four basic characteristics of a healthy lifestyle, researchers at Oregon State University found in a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings at the time of this writing. Although two-thirds had at least one or two vital healthy habits—a good diet, moderate exercise, healthy BMI, and not smoking—researchers were stunned that so few people had all four.[i] We have to STOP and look at ourselves.

I wel...

September 1, 2016

Researchers at MIT attached brain scanners to rats and placed them in mazes to find the exit.  They learned that a great deal of activity took place in their cerebral cortex while learning the maze.[i] However, after numerous attempts, the rats learned the route and the cortex registered less activity.[ii] The brain converts the sequence of actions into chunks or bundles and transfers those bundles down to the primitive part of the brain, the basal ganglia. This transfer frees up the cerebral cortex for good slow thinking.[iii] In this regard, we are like rats. 

One way in which we think fast is to form habits. According to Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit, we respond to cues, such as time of day, location, or our emotional state with routines that deliver a reward.[iv]...

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#STOP! Thinking fast to do a behavior tune-up

August 18, 2016

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© 2016 by Eric Parmenter