Keep your Summer Buzz this Winter

09.04.15 Learn Blog SumoSalad

As we move closer towards the winter months, Kerrie Otto de Grancy has provided us with two great tips to make sure you stay positive in winter and keep yourself in the best mood possible!

Kerrie writes…

This winter, it’s important that we check in with how we feel and to make sure we move into the colder months not just with some warm clothes, but also with a warm heart and strength within. It’s easy to get a little glum without the sunshine of summer, so I’ve put together two key tips to help you stand out and shine all the way through until spring!

Acts of kindness and compassion to make you shine inside & out

Generosity is contagious and kindness spreads like wildfire – Dr Dacher Keltner

Did you know that compassion and kindness could lead to the slowing down of our aging process?

As humans we are wired to be compassionate. Our survival depends on our ability to connect and find our support network.

Compassion is also linked to other functions in our body as more recent research is teaching us, including a slower aging process!

Give a stranger a smile and share some happiness!

Give a stranger a smile and share some happiness!

How is it linked?

We have a funky nerve called the vagus nerve that starts at the top of our spinal column and wanders throughout the body making it very influential in our bodies. This nerve has a few key functions including our response to disease and inflammation and our relationship between breath and calming.

Inflammation can be the cause of many illnesses and disease; and contributes to an accelerated unraveling of our telomeres. Telomeres are the little end-caps on DNA that stop it unraveling, a bit like the plastic cap on the end of a shoelace, the quicker our telomeres unravel the quicker we age.

How our telomere shorten over time Source: http://telomererestoration.com/

How our telomere shortens over time  Source: Telomere Restoration

Recent studies support that our emotions have a dramatic effect on the function our vagus nerve and as a result how quickly our telomeres unravel. According to research at Berkley University by Professor of Psychology, Dacher Keltner, the association between the vagus nerve and compassion is strong. The more we feel compassion and kindness the stronger our vagus nerve response, the less inflammation in our system, the healthier our telomeres slowing the aging process.

For more information on the power of compassion check out Dr Dacher Keltners.

Some compassion tips:

  • Engage in active listening, that means actually listening rather than just hearing, smiling and nodding!
  • Show empathy for others and let them know you understand their situation. Sometimes people don’t want help, they just want to know they aren’t alone
  • Volunteer for a local charity or organisation. Doing something selfless helps other people and they will also pay that kindness back to you

Practice Power Posing

Did you know that your muscles are connected to your emotions?

Our muscles are connected to our brain, so why not our emotions? If you are happy you smile; a muscular response. Even if you force yourself to smile you end up feeling happy. Give it a go!

Go on, give us a smile!

Go on, give us a smile!

How do you hold yourself at work, before addressing an audience, confronting your boss, or going for an interview?

Just becoming aware of our posture and how we show ourselves to the world can sometimes be enough to change our body language and shine as we are meant to.

Our brain is always changing, it responds to what we learn, do, experience, think and how you hold and move your body.

As you think; so you are, As you imagine; so you become

Research at Harvard University, led by social scientist Amy Cuddy has found our words and our posture can change our biochemistry.

Strike a pose! Channel your inner superhero for instant good vibes.

Strike a pose! Channel your inner superhero for instant good vibes.

Evidence supports that by simply holding a “power pose” for 2 minutes we can significantly change our mood and increase our confidence. Power posing like Wonder Woman or Superman increases testosterone, the hormone associated with confidence, around 20% and decreases the stress hormone cortisol around 25%.

Our bodies change our minds

…and our minds change our behaviour

…and our behaviour changes our outcomes

– Amy Cuddy Ted Talk

For more in-depth information on the power of our posture I encourage you to take 20 minutes of your time and watch this fantastic TED talk:

My checklist for a happy and healthy winter:

Eat well
Sleep well
Hydrate well
Exercise regularly
Laugh often
Think well
Power pose
Be kind
Be compassionate – show people that you care about them!

And remember to hug trees and do your gratitude!

Want to get in the mood for winter early? Grab our hot Thai Chicken Sumo Bowl. A delicious blend of with brown rice and red & white quinoa with sesame oil dressing. Yum!

POSTED BY: Kerrie Otto de Grancy

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