Emodiversity...What Is It? by Lori Zabka
Being Good Every Day by Sarah Nuse
We know that our emotional health is tied closely to our physical health, and visa versa. (Food/Mood; Mind/Gut) We’ve heard that those with a “cheerful” disposition have stronger immune systems, recover faster from setbacks, and even live longer…..but recently, an amazing discovery was made.
Have you ever heard of the word: Emodiversity? Hmm….Does it sound like I just made it up? I take no credit! Researchers at Cornell coined “Emodiversity” after their study revealed some surprising results. Simply stated, they found that a “diverse spectrum of positive emotions reduces inflammation inside the body.” Additionally, the study found that a limited range of positive emotions did not seem to reduce systemic inflammation.
When "What if..." Strikes
I was working out at my Crossfit gym, a very normal morning for me with my usual crew of people that I have grown to adore over the years. At my gym, you walk into what I call beautiful chaos, in that things are organized enough, but not in a perfect order. There is a gritty feeling that instantly makes you want to work hard and sweat. There is a rubber floor where chalk from the previous workout is scattered and chalkboards adorn the wall with workouts written in a rainbow of colors.
Is This Working for You?
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Listening to speaker and author Bob Goff speak about fear got me to thinking. “Fear is a punk,” he said. And I knew he was right: fear isa punk. It paralyzes us and tricks us into believing lies that keep us stuck.
I believe fear—and the anxiety it brings—is the enemy’s most powerful weapon. It keeps us from living out our true potential or sharing our gifts with the world.
How to Hold a Grudge
Why is it we often don’t want to ask for help? Sometimes it feels like admitting we are weak. Sometimes we don’t want to be a burden. Sometimes it seems like everyone else has it all together, so it is embarrassing to admit we don’t.
Instead, we keep it in, stuff our feelings, and push harder.
It’s as if we walk through life carrying a bag of bricks over our shoulder. It’s exhausting, yet we keep going—even when others offer to help. Instead of sharing our load, we decline and keep carrying our bricks. Somewhere, we bought the lie that we have to carry them alone.
Is It Too Late to Find My Purpose?
I get it. You want her to know how badly she hurt you. I would too.
You want her to know the damage is severe. Absolutely. It is so severe.
You want her to understand your pain.
That is just the way it is. Hurt people, hurt people. And they don’t look back; instead, the cycle continues.
The truth is, forgiveness isn’t about condoning another’s hurtful actions or forgetting what happened. Rather, it is about freeing ourselves from living each day inside the resentful memory.
The Happiness Factor
Do you ever feel like something is missing? Does it seem as if you are going through the motions but not living a life of purpose? You want more, and you need more. But you can’t figure out what it could be. You don’t quite know how to get there.
Guess what? Your hunch is correct. You were created for more. You do have a purpose here on this earth. But as long as you are unsure of what it is, you are robbed of your brilliance.
Maybe you are just out of college and you don’t know what you want to do with your life. You got a degree, but now you are not sure where to get a job. Perhaps you are a new mother. You are so grateful to have your child, yet you long to be making a difference in the world as well.
Are You Doing This in Your Marriage?
Do you remember playing games with your girlfriends at recess? I remember playing games like M.A.S.H. This game was designed to predict who you would marry, how many kids you would have, what type of car you would drive, and if you would live in a Mansion, Apartment, Shack, or House. I never focused on the details of these predictions, but I did know that I wanted to be “happy.”
Happiness. It is something we all long for, yet it seems so difficult to find. We search for it in food. In relationships. In retail stores. In restaurants. In wine bottles. In social media posts. And these things often do offer a temporary reprieve from pain. But long term, we come up empty. The hollow part we tried to fill with “happy” still remains.
How to Get off the Drama Train
Sure it looks like it, as you notice their pictures on social media. They look so happy all of the time. Their Christmas card pictures each year couldn’t exude more joy. Absolutely, it sounds like it, as she shares about her amazing husband who brings her champagne while she is taking her nightly bubble bath. She makes sure everyone knows that he is the best husband ever.
But friends, it is not true. No one has the perfect marriage. It is impossible because we are ALL human beings, filled with flaws and imperfection. There is no way to take two broken and imperfect individuals, put them in the same living space, add the responsibility of child rearing to those who have kids, and expect it to just work out magically, without putting in effort and sweat equity through the years. Marriage is hard. Relationships are hard.
Do My Kids Define Me?
I can go back there like it is yesterday. Junior high. Bad bangs, bushy eyebrows, blue eye-shadow, crimped hair, fluorescent t-shirts, and all. If you weren’t raised in the ‘80s, you missed out on some “totally rad” fashion trends.
Along with the leg warmers, I can also remember the girl drama that, sadly, goes with every decade: the queen bees, the criticism, the hurt feelings, and the exclusion. Junior high—or, middle school as we now call it—was one of the most difficult stages in my life. I imagine it was in yours, too.
I feel particularly compassionate toward moms who believe the lie that their kids define who they are. My heart hurts when moms take on their kids’ successes or failures as their own. I see it so often in my office and truthfully, there are times I have walked down that path myself. And let's be honest. It is so difficult not to.
This issue has only gotten worse in today’s world. Social comparison is ready and waiting the moment we open social media. It’s easy to say we aren’t affected, but I think we all may be on some level.
Since it is easy to get caught in this trap, I always like to remember what is true:
3 Reasons to Stop Putting Off
You’re busy. I get it. So am I. In a world where technology is supposed to save us time and create short cuts, the hustle seems more intense than ever. Oh, how I long to go back to days before cell phones and the internet. I think my brain would rest more. But . . . here we are, and technology is here to stay.
I have a question that might help with the hustle: are you workinghardor workingsmart? Being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. Constant striving doesn’t guarantee you are going anywhere. Is it possible that you are spinning your wheels without accomplishing anything?
Are You Living Intentionally?
I can be the worst procrastinator. Truly. I know that sounds funny coming from a coach and counselor who helps others not toprocrastinate. Don’t look in the gardener’s garden.
The truth is, I get overwhelmed with what I know I am called to do. The plans and dreams seem too big. I knew I was created to be a therapist, but for years, I put it off. I didn’t think I could do it. Going back to get my master’s degree felt overwhelming. During that season, my husband was often deployed with the military, and I was raising two little ones. The time never seemed right, and even though I felt it was clear, the challenge felt like too much.
How to Reduce Conflict
I had the night all planned out. My husband was out of town, so I was going to put dinner away, get our son to bed, and spend the rest of my night writing. The discipline of writing does not come naturally to me, so I purposefully reserve blocks of time to work. And I needed the time. Every minute of it.
As I was turning off the kitchen lights, feeling accomplished that my dishwasher was loaded and running, my teenage daughter asked if I would sit with her and watch Gilmore Girls. Gilmore Girls has been a fun opportunity for us to bond. She has already watched the entire series, but she is watching it again with me.
3 Ways to Invest in Others
My son, Luke, and I were on our way to his weekly guitar lesson and decided to stop by Taco Bell for some after-school nourishment.
It took Luke a while to decide what he wanted to order, but once he did, I started ordering through the intercom. I misspoke more than once and had to correct my order. The young man on the other side of the intercom was extremely patient and gracious with my errors.
3 Ways to Connect with Your Daughter
Our daughter is an enthusiastic fan of the musical Hamilton. She has listened to the soundtrack relentlessly, memorizing every word. She has sung it for our family continuously, ensuring welearned every word. She has read books about Alexander Hamilton and books about the making of the play. She follows the cast on Instagram and knows their stories and families—really, anything they share publicly.
How to Handle Blind Spots
One of my favorite events of the year is a Mother + Daughter wellness retreat I plan with friend and personal trainer Jayne Chapuis. It is called Inside & Out and it is a great opportunity for mothers and daughters to bond, learn about their own unique personalities and ways to live a healthy lifestyle. It is such a gift to see moms and their tween and teen daughters connect and grow, away from the hurry and chaos of their regular lives.
A New Kind of Lonely
A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to head out the door to work. I followed my usual routine. Shower. Make-up. Breakfast (while hair begins to dry in my Turbie Twist). Hair.
Except this time, I was interrupted. I received a phone call and deviated from my standard routine. I had blown out the front and sides of my hair, but the phone call hijacked my normal order, and I completely left the back of my hair wet and stringy. My frizzy hair definitely needs a good blowout, or it looks like a bad perm!
When I Put My Foot in My Mouth
It is said that truth is stranger than fiction, and, folks, I can't make this stuff up.
I have written before about the epidemic of loneliness and how pervasive it is in our world today. So, of course, I had to read an article titled “How to Hire Fake Friends and Family” when I saw it posted by friend and amazing pastor, Scott Sauls (scottsauls.com).
Missing Connection with Our Kids
I often regret the things that come out of my mouth. I am a verbal processor, and sometimes I don't realize how things sound until I hear them myself. And then . . . it's too late. I can't get them back.
It's kind of like toothpaste. Once you've squeezed it out, it’s not going back in the tube. No matter how hard you try.
There I was, sitting at the doctor's office, waiting to be seen. While waiting, I couldn't help but notice a mom with her young daughter, maybe ten years old, and teenage son, who shut out the world with his headphones. The daughter was coloring a picture and wanted her mom to see it.