Category Archives: The Workplace

Secret of Success

S – See your goal
U – Understand the obstacles
C – Create a positive mental picture
C – Clear your mind of self-doubt
E – Embrace all challenges
S – Sacrifice free time
S – Show the world you can do it
F – Feed your focus
U – Utilize all opportunities
L – Learn from all failures

Shared from @HealingMB’s Tweet:


21 Ways To Stay Healthy When You Sit At A Desk All Day

Via @mindbodygreen

“For those of us who sit down at a desk most of the day, health and well-being aren’t always easy to work into our lifestyles,” says Rebecca Plantier in her article for Some of us are lucky enough to have health centers at work, but do we have the time to use it? Lunches are often served in office cafeterias, but how healthy are those really?

Being a stay-at-home-mom, freelancing in charity and counselling, I do rush around a lot during the day, but still spend many hours stuck in front of my computer. Ms Plantier’s tips will therefore come in very handy. I’ve highlighted a few of her pointers. Have a quick look below and click here for all 21 tips:

  1. Take hourly breaks, stand up, walk around and S-T-R-E-T-C-H
  2. Avoid elevators, escalators and walkways; take the stairs.
  3. Instead of pushing buttons to reach a colleague, take a walk to his desk.
  4. Use lunchtime to take a walk.
  5. If possible, walk or ride a bicycle to work.
  6. Ditch the cafeine! Drink herbal teas instead.
  7. Say no to those irresistable office snacks – cakes, pastries, etc.
  8. Feeling peckish? Do not raid the tuck shop or vending machine; avoid chocolate bars and crisps, instead keep some nuts and dried fruit in your desk drawer for times you may need a power snack.
  9. Click here to continue reading original article.


21 Ways To Stay Healthy When You Sit At A Desk All Day –


Want to reach career goals? Follow this simple morning routine.

Via @mindbodygreen

Original article by Tyler C Beaty

“For the past 12 years, I’ve worked from home. For 11 of those years, I was working for other people. On my typical day, after hitting the snooze button too many times to count, I’d crawl out of bed…” [1]

Sound familiar? To me it does. I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom for 16 years, but after finding myself in pj’s and still struggling to feed the baby around noon one day, I decided to venture out and DO something with my life.

I studied for a degree in Counseling and decided to further this experience by founding a NPO focusing on the needs of the poor in my community. But still, I got stuck in this rut. Most nights I’d lie awake, waiting for the awful sound of happy little birds twittering hello to the morning (how dare they sound so happy?). I’d worry about the next day and then, when it dawned, it would be business as usual. Kids off to school, husband off to work, household chores done, e-mails, social media….on and on it went….a seemingly useless cycle repeating itself day in and day out. Point is, I was getting nowhere. Worse, I was getting depressed because I felt like I was not doing anything useful.

Reading this article I couldn’t help but smile…..I’m slowly getting into the ”program” suggested by the author and finally I’ve found that I can actually live a useful life. I can actually reach the goals I’ve set for myself. I’m finally taking charge of every day.

Have a read below, I’ve pointed out the different steps suggested by the author, steps you can take to regain control of your days and thus reach your career goals – become what YOU have dreamed of and not what your chaotic life allows you to become. Please DO read the full article here for a more detailed discussion.

  1. Prepare the night before
  2. Meditate
  3. Visualize
  4. Get inspired
  5. Exercise
  6. Keep a journal
  7. Stretch

[Read more details of these 7 points here.]

Ask yourself the question: Do you own your days?


[1] A Simple Morning Routine That Helped Me Reach My Career Goals & Make More Money –



@womenandhome_sa @KarrenBrady1 @catherineadenle #Confrontation #Success #Relationships #Workplace #Bullying #Society #Emotions #SelfAwareness

Image: 1 Via Catherine’s Career Corner

I’m sure that we’ve all had an encounter with someone insufferable, someone you have to REALLY make an effort to be civil towards. These ”social plonks” (sorry, couldn’t THINK of a better word!) are so full of wretched self-assurance that they think their opinion and silly comments are superior to anything and anyone else. They don’t mind that they embarrass you, hurt your feelings, insult you…no, they are so busy pushing out their cocky little chests that they simply don’t give a flying patootie (there’s yet another little word-treasure for you) about anyone other than themselves. I do think that maintaining this illusion of grandeur must be VERY hard work….and it takes practice to be a total pain in the …well-you-know…the KimKardashians (oh, come on, you KNOW what I mean!). But here’s a nice little bit of advice …don’t tell them off, level them with your calm, collected, thought provoking, right-back-atcha comment and walk pointedly away. Trust me…they’ll be so stunned (their own little ”wa-hoppen”-moment). There is a secret to this. Continue to read what Karren Brady suggests.

My favourite magazine in the whole world is Women and Home. It’s the ONLY mag I ever buy, and I read it to tatters. I love everything about it, but this month there was an article on page 50, written by Karren Brady. She talks about her personal experience as a woman, working in a man’s world and the rap she takes for it and HOW she eventually dealt with it….it makes a very interesting read, you should get the magazine and read it yourself. Karren tackles the issue of confrontation in such a way that one immediately recognizes yourself in that particular situation. According to Karren, it is better to get the confronting bit over and done with there and then…see it as your ”cards on the table moment”….an opportunity to air your grievances in the moment and have your say.

Karren says one should never confuse successful confrontation with ”telling someone off”…one should aim to ”reset behaviour” (Brady, 2014:50), to change their attitude towards you, but also allow them to see that they should consider changing their attitude in future, toward others as well. I suppose for us ”born to suffer” girls and guys, often tread upon, laughed at, teased….and this since forever, it sounds extremely frightening to think of doing just that…talking to the ”tormentors”. The thing is, I personally come from a long line of ”tormented” people…my family rarely stood up for themselves, they preferred ”turning the other cheek” while hunching shoulders into despair and depression. Life has taught me that, if not faced, if not challenged, the tormenting will continue indefinitely, no matter HOW many cheeks you turn, how many pills you swallow and how many tears you cry. One would do well to remember….facing up to somebody, standing up for yourself, may be hard at first, but gets easier with practice and it would not kill you to be the one fighting your own battle, it will EMPOWER you!

Personally I could always fight battles for other people, perhaps because I understood how they felt and I couldn’t stand other kids teasing and bullying friends. As I grew older I realised that, if I can do this for others, perhaps it is high time I start doing it for myself. It was touch and go at first….I made many enemies in my efforts to hone confrontation techniques. Today, I’m proud to say, I am someone, unafraid to speak my mind….oh and people HATE me for this. I simply cannot shut up! I’m never really rude, but my words can burn your ears…believe me!

Karren Brady’s suggestions on successful confrontation makes SO much sense…it is not kind, yet it is not really rude either…it is just plain honesty, forthright and in the moment. That last one made me think of how we usually go about our ordinary, household and family ”disturbances”….we have a grab-by-the-shoulders-and-shake attitude, screaming and spittle flying and think we are good at it. We drag up old hurts and old mistakes and rally it around us like muddy little soldiers…the entire moment is lost and in the end we stand baffled, because we couldn’t remember why we were fighting in the first place! That is a huge mistake…one should NOT hold grudges to begin with, let alone dredge it all up at the first opportunity…let it go and focus on what is happening NOW. If a colleague insults you, talk to him about that now, in this moment, don’t drag up his late report or his old harassment cases…..leave it and tackle this insult in the present moment, don’t let anything distract you from the main purpose…to change the person’s behaviour.

Karren sets it out beautifully and I took the liberty of summing it up a bit.

  1. Take a moment to gather your thoughts, calm your emotions (and build your courage….remember, confrontation is not easy for all of us, but if you do it properly, with dignity, you will re-assert yourself and your self-confidence will soar.)
  2. Be straightforward about what bothers you; why this person’s actions is unacceptable and lay it out to him/her in clear-cut, uncomplicated terms.
  3. Speak clearly, show this person that you will NOT be misunderstood or distracted; the situation/behaviour is NOT acceptable by either yourself and/or others
  4. Stay calm and collected; without emotion…do not start ranting and raving…keep your voice low, non-threatening, but very firm.
  5. Get the message through

I can hear you sniggering about this….I did. Yes, you may ask what will happen if said idiot has a witty reply up his/her sleeve….trust me, most of these characters come well-armed to the battleground, despite the fact that they rarely clean their weapons…just more of the same-old same-old…sneering remarks, insults galore, etc. Don’t take the bait; reacting to such a comment will only make things worse, but, since you’ve had your say, your views (cards) are on the table. This person now has no excuse anymore; if previously there was any doubt that he/she hurt your feelings, it is now clearly out in the open and the whole world knows how you feel about it PLUS the world can see how this person deals with you. (That is why it is important not to wait for the perfect moment – like when you are alone – tackle the issue WHEN IT HAPPENS!) Don’t be frazzled by what he/she says now, you’ve done your job, without losing control….my advice now is to walk away with your head held high and ignore any further abuse. If the person is half-bright, he/she will realise that going on and on is childish and just goes to show how low his/her own self-esteem is.

Catherine Adenle created a wonderful, practical infographic on the subject of bullying at work. Have a look: (You can also see the slideshow here.)

I’ll quickly tell you something Karren wrote in her article; an example of how she dealt with an abusing co-worker:

She tells how, for many years, she was the only woman in the boardroom. As a result she fell victim to constant ridicule, obsessive bullying and name-calling by her esteemed, male colleagues (reading this I thought that it is so typical of people, when some of us feel threatened, we get mean and the mud-slinging makes us feel better about ourselves…it turned out that these men had reason to be afraid…Karren Brady is a force to be reckoned with!). Back to the story; Karren was invited to take a trip with her male co-workers on the company bus. As she was returning from the bus-WC at one point, she passed one of the men, ”who said: ‘I can see your tits from here.” Karen turned and said: ”Well, when I transfer you, you won’t be able to see them from there.” (Brady, 2014:50) It turned out that she did indeed transfer him three days later….game over.know i

I know that this will not always be easy for us, lesser people….we are not all powerful businesswomen, like Karryn Brady. But I do think she has a point and, as someone whose been in the business for a long time, she obviously knows what she’s talking about. If we do not speak our mind and choose to let it go, we will forever be unhappy, we will forever be frowning our way through life, biting nails and lips, fuming inside. Remember, if you do not stand up for yourself, NO ONE ELSE WILL!! If someone behaves improperly, unacceptably…tell them, get it off your chest and everyone will know exactly where they stand with you.

Come on then….go GET them!!!


ADENLE, CATHERINE. 2014. Infographic: How to Deal With A Bully at Work. [Web:] [Date of access: 16 November 2014]

BRADY, KARREN. 2014. Women and Home Magazine:50, Nov.





How To Find Happiness At Work, Even If You Don’t Like Your Job

Via @MindBodyGreen

By Sharon Salzberg

How To Find Happiness At Work, Even If You Don't Like Your Job

Is it possible  or even wise to try  to be happy at jobs we don’t resoundingly like?

The answer is yes. Within ourselves we have many resources to become more productive and feel happier at work and beyond. Foremost among them ismeditation  a portable practice that commonly relies on the breath. Meditation can open up space in our minds and hearts to help us reframe problems at work as sources of clarity and strength.

Over the course of listening to many people’s stories, I have noticed a few common themes about real unhappiness on the job. I developed what I call the “eight pillars of happiness in the workplace.”

1. Balance opens the door to happiness.

According to neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson, “Emotions…should be thought of in the same way as a motor skill.”

We can literally train ourselves to feel happier. Mindfulness redefines our attention so we can connect more fully to the present moment, and let go of biases, habits, fears and so on. Try this: take a few moments before beginning any assignment to observe the sounds around you. Note your reactions. This is an opportunity to connect to your senses, a part of yourself that is not a part of the role you play at work.

2. Concentration is trainable.

When sitting down to work, we often instead find ourselves responding to texts or distracted by social media updates. But distractedness can also manifest itself as plain old absent-mindedness  not being present. To cultivate the art of concentration, deliberately choose to be mindful in a simple context. Pay attention to how your fingers feel as you type or hold a cup of coffee. Really pay attention  but don’t name your sensations. Feel the strength of your attention and realize that it can be transferred to anything, really!

3. Compassion is a force.

Competition is a natural impulse  and often a healthy one  but it doesn’t have to discount compassion. If we learn to focus on we rather than me, to embrace and accept others as well as ourselves, we can feel the strength and power of connection. At the beginning of a meeting or phone call, silently offer wishes of happiness to your colleagues. This gesture can help break open the cycle of stress, resentment and competition that we often feel at work.

4. Resilience is the best answer to stress.

One of the most important things you can do at work is realize that we don’t have as much control over our experiences as we think. As Maya Angelou once said, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

To help yourself dismantle this myth of control, rather than be “reduced” by it, take a few minutes at the beginning of every phone call or meeting to determine how you might like to be perceived. Would you like to come across as gentle, stern, open-minded or fearsome?

How do you feel when you perceive others that way?

5. Connection beats competition.

Mindfulness of the body helps us communicate more skillfully (in fact, one study showed that in face-to-face interactions, 55% of the emotional meaning was expressed through facial, postural and gestural means).

The more attention and care you invest in communication with colleagues at work, the more connected you’ll feel to others and to yourself  your intentions. As an experiment, before sending an email, send it to yourself first. Take in the tone, implications and omissions. Make any changes, and reread once more before hitting send.

6. Happiness can‘t exist without integrity.

From the Latin word for whole or complete, integrity in the context of work refers to preserving a sense of wholeness, honesty and authenticity on the job.

Try getting in the habit of setting a daily intention for each workday, before the day begins. Perhaps say to yourself, “May I treat everyone today with respect, remembering everyone wants to be happy as much as I do.” Keeping these kinds of intentions in mind help us reconcile our deepest values with our daily routines.

7. Meaning is a must.

We all want to feel like our daily routines add up to something  be it a paycheck, social change or connection with colleagues.

Look for ways to acknowledge someone else’s challenges on the job. This is a simple exercise that helps to cultivate perspective outside of ourselves and our immediate desires. No, it will not ameliorate all the difficulties of our own role at work, but it helps to create a sense of meaning outside of ourselves.

8. Awareness opens our hearts and minds.

Life  and work  is how we see it. When we open our awareness at work, we release our attachment to the need for validation, competition, the fear of losing our turf, and so on.

If you find yourself straining to think “outside of the box” at work, consider instead the question of what made up that box to begin with. Understanding the origin of our assumptions can often help us dismantle them, and learn to be more present.

Being more present opens up our hearts to our conditions as they actually are. With an open heart and mind we are open to happiness  at work and beyond.


About the Author

Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She
has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon’s latest book is Real Happiness At Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace, published by Workman Publishing. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including the New York Times Best Seller, Real Happiness: The
Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program (2010), Love Your Enemies (2013), Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002),
and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (1995). For more information about Sharon, please visit her website.

Studies say our strains influence others

@journalsentinel #MarthaRoss #SanJoseMercuryNews #Behavior #Stress #Society

Via Studies say our strains influence others.

By Martha RossSan Jose Mercury News

Studies say our strains influence others

As a tax preparer, Stephen Yu deals with clients who can’t locate records or are panicked because they haven’t filed in years. Unfortunately, Yu picks up on their stress and sometimes takes it home, especially during tax season. He becomes irritable, distracted and can’t sleep.

“My family gets stressed, too, because they’re worried about me,” admitted Yu, of San Jose, Calif.

If we were talking about symptoms of a fast-spreading virus, officials with the Centers for Disease Control might be dispatching scientists in biohazard suits.

Instead, the culprit is stress. It has been identified as one of the major scourges of our modern age. Seventy-eight percent of American adults say their stress levels increased or stayed the same over the past five years, according to a 2013 American Psychological Association report. And more than 30% say stress has had a significant impact on their physical and mental health. Consequences of chronic untreated stress range from decreased immune system function to insomnia to increased risk of heart disease.

To get to the bottom of why we’re all so stressed out, some researchers have focused on how anxiety can be as contagious as any airborne pathogen. Researchers also liken it to secondhand smoke as they consider how regular exposure to challenging people hurts us physically and emotionally.

Consider how someone else’s negativity can put you on edge. There’s the co-worker who constantly complains. The friend who calls to vent about her marriage. The sighing, toe-tapping, visibly impatient customer in line with you at the grocery store.

Philosophers and psychologists have long pondered the ways people wittingly or not influence other’s emotions. Their curiosity makes sense, considering that humans are “fundamentally social creatures,” said physician David Spiegel. He is the director of the Center on Stress and Health at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, which studies the effects of stress on mental and physical health.

In trying to document the extent to which we are susceptible to “emotional contagion,” researchers are using sophisticated methods to locate exactly where stress develops in people’s bodies. While we may think of stress as purely emotional, doctors know it churns up complex physiological reactions that involve the nervous, endocrine and immune systems.

In a St. Louis University experiment, 20 students watched others struggle to present speeches or perform arithmetic problems. The researchers then measured the levels of cortisol and a stress-related salivary enzyme in both the speakers and the student observers. The team found that the observers’ stress responses were “proportional” to the speakers’ responses.

Tony Buchanan, associate professor of St. Louis University’s Department of Psychology, was surprised at how much witnesses were unsettled by the speakers’ discomfort. “It was also surprising how easily the stress was transmitted,” he said.

Another 2014 study by researchers at UC San Francisco and New York University found that babies immediately reacted to the stress of mothers who had just participated in an exercise designed to make them anxious.

While babies played with caregivers in one room, the mothers gave an impromptu speech to a panel of people. A third of the 69 mothers in the study faced panelists who responded with scowls. After the mothers returned to their babies, the heart rates of mothers and babies were measured. The increased heart rates of the agitated moms were mirrored in their babies, even if the moms tried to mask their distress with smiles and soothing voices, said Sara Waters, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF focusing on development psychology. But it doesn’t take being in the same room with someone you know to be brought down by someone else’s negativity, as Facebook found with its controversial experiment on how “emotional contagion” spreads via social networks.

For one week, the site’s data scientists programmed an algorithm to automatically omit content that contained words associated with either positive or negative emotions from the central news feeds of nearly 700,000 users. The study showed that reducing positive content in users’ news feeds reduced the positive content users in turn posted in their status updates.

As alarming as it can be to learn that we’re so easily ruffled by others, secondhand stress is not always a bad thing. In fact, it often confers benefits to individuals and societies, experts say. One point of the St. Louis study was to demonstrate people’s capacity for empathy. The observers may have felt discomfort, but that emotional state can inspire altruism. “In natural disasters and terrorist events, a lot of people will be running toward the victims to help them,” Buchanan said. “That’s a situation where everyone is under stress, but a significant group of people are drawn to help others.”

Because we’re wired to be sensitive to other people, secondhand stress “allows us to be connected to other people, for good and for bad,” said Spiegel. Much of his research at Stanford has focused on whether support groups improve the quality of life of breast cancer patients.

Certainly, women in those groups are exposed to heartbreaking stories about members in pain, lacking family support or learning their prognosis isn’t good. But those women can also benefit from comforting those in need and even learning that their situation isn’t so dire. “It can be hurtful to lose someone in the group, but at the same time, they can feel good about offering help and feel lucky to still be alive,” Spiegel said.

For the babies in Waters’ experiment, their acute sensitivity to their mothers’ distress probably signals a healthy evolutionary adaptation-relying on their mothers’ emotional cues to know if an environment is safe.

Yet Waters acknowledges the growing body of research suggesting that chronically stressed-out parents could hurt their children’s development, especially of young children or babies in utero.

She hopes that work like hers provides child-care experts with data they can use to develop coping strategies for parents and their kids. “I think that’s one of the things we’re starting to explore is the extent to which parents can start to pay attention to stress inside the body and help themselves and their children to bring those stress levels down, by doing deep breathing or other calming exercises.”