5 Ways to Change your Thinking and Be More Positive

2 Minute Read

It’s normal to have a little bit of stress in our everyday life, especially if it’s the kind to help motivate us to get the work done. However the issue arises when we let constant stress overcome us and take control of our mood, our thinking and our perspective. Negative thoughts and stress come hand and hand, so it’s clear that eliminating one, diminishes the other. As a wellness advisor, I help create content that easy and quick to use during workdays in order to help promote positive growth, in order to see change that help with long term health outcomes. The following 5 ways are simple tips that can be implemented to encourage positive thinking in both your work life and home life.

Smile

Smile-sized

Ever heard of the common phrase, “fake it till you make it”, this works the same way for smiling. Smiling is known to be a powerful tool, research suggests that when one smiles, feedback is sent from the face to the left frontal cortex, which releases two neurotransmitters: serotonin and dopamine into the brain. These hormones are known as the happy hormone. These chemicals are what helps improve one’s mood. This also applies when we smile at someone, when we smile at somebody, they automatically smile back, and that smile will trigger corresponding feelings, which results in positive emotional changes in the brain, bringing about overall positive feelings, which improves mood and reduces stress.  

Change your mindset

B97750001Z.120171222153351000GIMJBI0K.11

It’s easy to dwell on situations that didn’t occur the way we wanted them to, but these negative emotions and thoughts only bring us down. It’s important to think objectively and more rationale. Don’t lock down negative situations as a concrete failure, by starting to think about certain setbacks as possible growing opportunities, or feedback is known as a “positive feedback response”. Positive thinking, doesn’t ignore the situation in its entirety, it’s just a matter of approaching the situation from a positive and realistic mindset. This positive approach helps eliminate stressful situations which result in overall better health.

Set Clear Goals

tfj-1@2x.jpg

Setting clear and concise goals helps us become lastingly happier and more successful. This is because when you have measurable goals in mind, it takes us down a particular, focused path, where we feel more motivated to fulfill the required objectives to meet those goals. When achieving the goal in itself will help promote happiness due to the success of the completion.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

social-benefits-of-smiling

Surround  yourself with people who will uplift and encourage you. These people provide supportive and positive feedback that help shape your positive mindset. They can be anyone from, friends, family, or coworkers. In the workplace, positive people are those who have the determination to achieve their  goals. They are the most productive of the group, and don’t stray away from their schedules. Being around people like that helps you create and achieve meaning in the things that you set out to do. They also double as a social support group, which would help you cope with any stressors you may have, leading to less stress and better overall health. Check out this blog to learn more tips on how to engage and connect more authentically with people.

Exercise

914171-bigstockSideplankyogaposebythree-1435988616

Exercise is a multifaceted activity that has numerous benefits on an individuals physical health. Exercise is also shown to have tremendous positive impact on an individuals mental health. Those who exercise, regardless of what fitness level or age, exercise is proven to boost brain function, improve mood, and memory as well as  help relieve stress, and help individuals sleep better. Exercise helps increase the release of norepinephrine hormone, which helps manage any mental or physical stress. Check out this helpful webinar on helpful shortcuts for getting in a quick workout on a busy workday without wasting hours at the gym.

As an employer it’s essential to provide employees with the tools and resources they need to flourish and succeed in the workplace. The easiest way to improve an employee’s positive mindset is to start by showing them that you care.

Facebook Ads
At Optimity we can help make this easier, Optimity’s technology platform is scientifically supported. We help the average worker take productive 30 second to 2-minute micro-breaks that have long lasting beneficial impact. These micro-habits boosts their mood, by providing them with a variety of activities for different health and wellness topics. The app also helps encourage social connectedness, through the team challenges which supports the organization’s culture for teamwork.

Want to know more about how we can help you implement a personalized coaching program in your company? Reach out to us at engage@myoptimity.com and lets have a chat.

Or sign up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards!

iOS | Android

How to Deal with the Holiday Blues

Posted by Jeff Cai

Being grateful for what you have this Christmas

TIMESTAMP: 3 MINUTE READ

For a lot of us, the holidays are a time for happiness, love and celebration, but for others, this time of year can be difficult, whether it be due to the loss of loved ones, a recent break up or just general stress. December is often known as one of the toughest months of the year and staying positive throughout this time can be hard, but no matter how difficult things are, there is always a way to make the most of the good moments you have. By staying focused on the good in your life, it will make it a lot easier to get through the holiday season when you are feeling not so festive.

Here are a few ways you can stay positive when the holidays get hard.

THINK OF WHAT YOU HAVE, INSTEAD OF WHAT YOU DO NOT

Being grateful for the things that you have in your life, whether it be a house to live in, a good friend or a steady job…these are all good things in your life, and should not be forgotten about.

 

If you are finding it hard to think about things you are grateful for, try creating a gratitude list. Over the festive period, write down 3 things you are grateful for every day. By the end of the month you will be surprised at how many amazing things there are in your life that you may have taken for granted.

 

Not matter how difficult things are, there is at least one thing that is going right in your life. It might be miniscule in the scheme of things, but it is something positive to focus on, rather than only thinking of the bad in your life. There are great things that are happening all around you and it is up to you to open your eyes and look out for them.

 

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”- Oprah Winfrey

 

REALIZE THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE

It is easy to feel as though you are the only one going through a tough time over the holidays, but the reality is that there are many others out there that are struggling just as you are.  Remembering that you are not alone in your struggle and that there are people doing it tougher than you are can make you feel grateful and really help to put things in perspective.

 

SPEND TIME WITH THE LESS FORTUNATE

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health in the US have found that giving activates the brain’s mesolimbic system.  Giving can trigger the release of the neurotransmitters that generate an overall sense of well-being. Whether it be giving your time, money or donations, giving to another who is less fortunate than you are is one of the quickest ways to put your life in perspective. There are some great volunteer opportunities around the holiday season, so find one that resonates with you and contact them. It will make you feel so much more positive, knowing that you are helping someone else.

 

 

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE

When you are feeling down, it can be so easy to stay inside, away from the surroundings of other people, but this is probably one of the worse things you can do.  Interacting with others might be the last thing on your mind this festive season, but force yourself to get out and socialize and you will not regret it. Being surrounded by positive people will definitely improve your mood and it will feel a lot better than being alone.

 

You might not be in the holiday mindset this year, and everyone else’s cheerful moods may be driving you crazy, but if you focus your attention on staying positive and thinking of the bigger picture then there is a good chance that you will feel some kind of joy or happiness over the next few months. Just remember, this time in your life might be tough, but there will be a holiday season when you will be one of those cheerful, happy people spreading holiday cheer.

Sign up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards:

iOS | Android

 

Why Pet Owners Are Healthier Than You

Posted By Abena Osei-Kwabena


TIME STAMP: 3 MINUTE READ

We’ve always known that a dog is man’s best friend. But what if our pets are actually making us physically and mentally healthier? When it comes to pet ownership, there are numerous proven health benefits—including physical, mental and emotional improvements—from enhancing social skills to decreasing an individual’s risk of a heart attack. The mere presence of our beloved pets can lift our spirits.  Here are just a few ways your family pet can increase your wellness:

Increased Strength
A couple studies have found that cuddling a pet discharges the neuropeptide oxytocin, also alluded to as the “cuddle hormone”. The release of this chemical improves your sensory system’s parasympathetic reaction, which in turn boosts your gland and intestinal functions and moderates your heart rate.

Stress-Buster
Having pets around is an excellent reducer of stress, increasing feelings of satisfaction and leisure. Pets are the best therapy for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and studies have shown that pet-owners perform better in the workplace compared to those who don’t have a pet.

Reduced Risk of Eczema
The notion that keeps hovering in the minds of parents is that pets pose a threat of spreading diseases in addition to allergies and eczema, but pets can actually function as a barrier against allergens. Research has proven that infants who are surrounded by pets are less likely to be exposed to any allergies or eczema.

Disease Senses
You may be surprised to hear that your family pet can actually detect that a family member has cancer, but several pieces of evidence have backed the fact that dogs can sniff out cancer areas and help women overcome breast cancer. Not only can they detect cancer, but they can also help overcome lung, bladder, ovary, and colon cancer. Your dog can serve as a social support system which can help an individual with cancer have a more successful and quicker recovery.

Personality Development
Pets play an important role in the personal development of children. Children that are raised with pets are more likely to become fostering and compassionate adults, and also develop a greater capacity to share, be thoughtful, develop self-confidence and develop a higher level of cognitive growth.

Social Catalysts
Pets serve as a great catalyst to boost mobility, interpersonal contact and social rapport. Therapy dogs can help you recover from a deadly illness and support your physical well-being, and pet owners are known to experience less anxiety and feelings of loneliness. Dog owners have also shown to have increased social interaction when they take out their dogs for a walk.

Source of Security
Pets function as a great source of security for both adults and children experiencing depression, anxiety or other forms of emotional trauma. Pets can help individuals to curb anxiety and depression by providing companionship and inciting feelings of laughter and joy.

In conclusion, if you have a pet, make use of the support and positive impact they can offer you! And if you don’t own a pet, you might consider playing with a friend’s or getting one of your own! While the benefits of having an animal companion are still being explored, animals have already been integrated into different therapies and have proven positive results for your wellbeing.


Follow us on Twitter to stay current on the top cost-containment wellness strategies. To learn more about  ergonomics and posture, check out this link: Long-Term Impacts of Ergonomics on the Body

Abena is a Client Services Associate at Optimity. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc in Global Health. She is passionate about human rights and health education, and hopes to develop tailored interventions to combat health inequities around the globe. Her interests include story writing, camping and exploring different cultures on her travels.

Sign up for Optimity to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards!

iOS | Android

How to Nurture Your Sleeping Habits to Rejuvenate Yourself

We all agree that a nutritious diet and regular physical activity is the key to a healthy body, but there’s more to it that our bodies crave.  Adequate sleep is just as important but is frequently ignored.   Think about how irritable you feel when you starve your body from sleep due to a late-night shift, from socializing, jetlag or even stress.

Lack of sleep not only leaves us groggy and out-of-sorts the next day but prolonged sleep-deprivation can also have a profound effect on our memory and cognitive skills. Our body requires adequate rest and sleep to function properly every day.

 

sleep.jpg

 

Consider the following tips to nurture your sleeping habits:

1. Have a sleep schedule and stick to it

Fix your bedtime so that you go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Follow the schedule even on weekends and holidays. Having a consistent sleep-wake cycle helps to promote better sleep at night.

 

2) Have a bedtime ritual

Prep your body for sleep by creating a sleep-inducing environment, listening to calm music or taking a warm bath. Do the same things every night before going to bed, this signals our body that it is time to doze off.

 

3) Avoid eating or drinking anything that interferes with sleep

Going to bed hungry or over-eating can lead to discomfort and ultimately disrupts our sleep. Make sure you pay attention to what you eat and drink before bedtime. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, chocolate or pop drinks at night as the caffeine found in these can keep you up all night. Similarly, smoking and drinking alcohol should also be limited as it depreciates your sleep quality.

 

4) Make your bedroom a sleeping haven

Your bedroom environment heavily contributes to the quality of your sleep. Make your bedroom ideal for sleeping by investing in a comfy mattress and pillows. If  your room is too light, try room-darkening shades, as a  quiet, dark and comfy room promotes sound slumber.

 

5) Don’t stress over falling asleep

Pushing yourself to fall asleep when your body isn’t ready only leads to frustration and makes it all the more difficult to get a sound sleep. If you can’t fall asleep at your fixed time, get up and do something relaxing and go to bed when you are truly tired. You could also try meditation to relax your body before you try to fall asleep again.

 

The quality of our sleep impacts both our health and lifestyle. In order to live a healthy, energetic lifestyle, it is important to concentrate on making our sleep patterns a priority.

 

Optimity_-_Trista.jpg
Trista Chan is a Wellness Strategy Advisor at Optimity.  She leverages her education in nutrition and experience in corporate health to guide organizations in building healthy, engaged employees.  Her “me-time” activities include yoga, reading health blogs, cooking….did she mention she likes wellness?  Her passion for all things health-related shines through in both her work and personal life. 

 

Sign up for Optimity to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards!

iOS | Android

Employee Programs Best Practices: Setting the right kind of goals

Posted by Nicholas Raditsis

Setting goals effectively is critical to employee success! Whether they be long or short term goals, the process of goal setting should be a combined effort between an employee and their manager.

Goal setting also helps to focus on employee’s problem areas. The goal is to develop skills, increase knowledge and to raise confidence by having some quick wins.

Employees also need to experience quick wins to boost their confidence within the workplace. A quick win is an improvement that is visible and has immediate benefits. The quick win does not need to have a long term impact on the business, but needs to be seen as having a positive impact on the business.  Quick wins that have the most impact on a business are easy to implement and inexpensive.

2_New_HR_Tech_webinar_promo.jpg

Watch the recorded webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kZlCJIhjkU

The most popular framework for goal setting is S-M-A-R-T.

Specific: Knowing exactly what the goal is, what the expectations are and be easily measurable.
Measurable: Can be measured in milestones to track progress.
Attainable: The goal needs to be attainable and cannot set the bar too high or too low.
Relevant: The goal should focus on an important aspect of your project or the company.
Time-bound: Establish enough time to achieve the goal.

Here are 4 key factors to employee development and focusing on problem areas.

Coaching
Regular meetings between a manager and employee can identify problems within the workplace and help to improve performance. Discussions can be had on the problem areas that the employee needs to improve on, developing a plan to increase employee skills and meeting regularly to discuss the employee progress.

 

Counselling
Discussion between employees and managers can assist in sorting out any personal or emotional barriers that may be preventing the employee from performing at an optimum level.

 

Mentoring
Managers who mentor their employees motivate them to reach their potential in the work place and can assist with developing a career plan for the employee’s future within the business.

 

Training
Training employees is an essential part of employee development. Managers should encourage employees to take classes and attend seminars to further their knowledge.
Here are a few tips to identify a quick win.

  • Requires minimal or no capital expenditure
  • Low risk
  • High confidence of a positive impact
  • Improvements may be implemented within 60 – 90 days

Quick wins provide confidence to the employee and business and also reduce stress. Here are just a few ways you can achieve a quick win:

  • Change an inefficient procedure
  • Improve communication between two departments
  • Obtain a price reduction from an existing supplier
  • Train other team members on best practise
  • Proof read existing processes for errors

As always, we are here to support you and your employees in daily success. Let us know your feedback and reach out to me if you need any help!

Or join the community by signing up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming FREE rewards!

iOS | Android

Nicholas Raditsis

VP of Client Success

Nraditsis@myoptimity.com

5 Activities for Workplace Zen

Our team at Optimity often laugh about the buzzing, dizzying professional world we inhabit as a wellness company. Indeed, it has been a hectic season again. Our organization runs lean and everyone wears a lot of hats. The demand on time and energy is high every day. So under this relentless drum for productivity and progress, we are determined to stay sunny and upbeat.

Here are 5 little exercises that has made our work-lives more enjoyably zen.

  1. Shrink the list – Prioritize the day using the ABC system (A for Urgent and important, B for Important but can wait, C for Nice-to-haves). Then proceed to only do the As. By making peace with the fact that we often cannot do it all, we enable ourselves to focus on what is the best use of our time to get to our desired outcomes.
  2. Start with deep breathes – We can get energized throughout the day if we condition ourselves to take a couple of deep breathes every time we start a new task. We often get tired because we are not getting enough oxygen consistently into our brains. So avoid those headaches, and get into the habit of using more of our lung capacity throughout the day.
  3. Queue it up – Another item for the to-do? Don’t jump into right away. Instead, put it directly into your to-do list and continue on finishing your current task with focus and swiftness. This actually saves us time in the long run and prevents errors that occur when we switch contexts too often.
  4. Noise control – Be aware of your work environment and the noise level, and find your optimum ambient sound environment. Tuning your work settings will help you stay focused, calm and head-ache free all day.
  5. Easy path to victory – Do the most difficult task first, and the day is just strolling through a progressively easier path to getting things done. Remember to smile and enjoy every little victory.

Sign up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming FREE rewards!

iOS | Android