Posts tagged: Best Self

5 steps to bounce back from a bad day


Image by Unstuck artist-in-residence Bridgette Zou                       (This Feels Nice Series, 2017, © Bridgette Zou)

 

A bad day starts when you spill coffee everywhere on your way to work.

Then you space out about the important tasks you had to get done.

The icing on the cake? Your boss cancels a presentation you spent all yesterday preparing for.

Bottom line: Today sucked.

Even if you love your job, an occasional bad day is par for the course. It can be hard to shake grouchiness when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, are annoyed by at work, or distracted by world events or relationship drama.

The secret to recovering from a bad day is learning how to move forward despite it. How you respond can mean the difference between a quick recovery and a full-blown funk.

Here are 5 steps
read more

Instant Insight: Help out whenever you can


We tend to think of good deeds in important, but grandiose contexts — volunteering in soup kitchens, donating to charity, giving out kidneys. But to help out also can and should also mean performing small acts of kindness in ordinary and everyday moments.

Everyone from our co-workers and neighbors to strangers and fellow commuters can use help, even if it’s just the smallest gesture or show of support. All the little things add up to something bigger than
read more

How to fight the loneliness epidemic


Image by Unstuck artist-in-residence Bridgette Zou            (This Feels Nice Series, 2017, © Bridgette Zou)

As counterintuitive as it might sound in a world that’s constantly connected, loneliness is on the rise.

According to The Wall Street Journal, loneliness has actually doubled in America over the past thirty years, rising from around 20 percent in the 1980s to nearly 40 percent today.

And as terrible as loneliness may be as a feeling, it also has profound physiological effects, with studies linking it to health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

So whether we’re talking about your mental health or your body, loneliness is never a good thing. That much is easy to understand. The difficult question is: How do we fight loneliness?

1. Acknowledge loneliness

To stave off loneliness, it’s important to realize that
read more

Video: Why talking to strangers is easier than you think


It doesn’t seem like a stretch to say that talking to strangers has become more difficult. With a million devices in hand and a million distractions to boot, the art of small talk feels increasingly lost to our digital networks.

And this is bad! According to recent studies, not only are artificial encounters like social media detrimental to our overall happiness, but they often come at the expense of activities like engaging with strangers and meeting new people in real life. And, as more studies have shown, these activities are attributed to overall higher feelings of personal satisfaction.

The case for talking to strangers

The truth is that we are social creatures, who crave connections to other people. Even fleeting ones with strangers. To prove this point, Nicholas Epley, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, and a student conducted a study where public-transit riders were asked to engage with other
read more

How to cultivate the habits that matter to you


A few years ago I made a dramatic move from Brooklyn to Maine. I didn’t pack my bags and leave because living in the city was a burden or too rough; quite the opposite, actually. Living in the city was fun. (A lot of fun!) 

But the day-to-day events of my life eventually overtook over my ambitions. Life was great, but it wasn’t exactly conducive to cultivating the kind of habits I needed to achieve my long-term goals. And make no mistake: To achieve your goals you have to cultivate the right habits. It isn’t easy, but it is essential. 

First envision what you really want

Picking the habits that work for you entails imagining the kind of life you want to live. It’s just impossible to transform habits into accomplished goals if you don’t even know what you want in the first place. Something that Barbara Sher suggests in her book Wishcraft is
read more

What’s with all the pettiness?


Pettiness, by definition, focuses on the insignificant. So why spend time thinking about it? Because, for all its smallness, pettiness is a signal of something bigger that can stand in the way of relationships and success.

Now that worries us — more so because pettiness is on the upswing. To help us understand what it means and what to do, we spoke with Dr. Emily Stein, a psychologist in private practice in New York City, affiliated with Mount Sinai
read more

3 easy ways to stay optimistic


Stop me if you’ve heard this one: You finally manage to schedule dinner with a group of friends that you never get to see. The food is delicious and the service great — even during an awkward moment when you order your meal and loudly mispronounce the dish. (Coq au vin is a cruel mistress.) The embarrassing exchange happens in less than 15 seconds, but when you think back on it a few days later, you still cringe.

What gives? Overall, the dinner was fantastic and your faux pas was a momentary blip. Why does the one small part of a highly enjoyable, two-hour event get prime billing in your memory reel?

The spell of negative thinking

This all-too-familiar phenomenon is called the “negativity bias” and it’s pretty much universal. Our brains are hardwired to prioritize bad, difficult, or painful thoughts over positive ones.

Making matters worse, negative events quickly lodge themselves in our
read more

Why are mental health days such a big deal?


It all started with an email from Madalyn Parker, a web developer in Michigan. “I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health,” Parker recently wrote to a few members of her office. “Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.”

Here’s how Ben Congleton, her boss and the company’s CEO, replied:

 

Hey Madalyn, I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health – I can’t believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.

Depending on where you live or what you do, this correspondence might not seem like anything remarkable. However, after Parker tweeted
read more

8 great quotes for Nelson Mandela Day


Nelson Mandela Day, July 18, was designated by the UN General Assembly in 2008 as a call to action to make the world a better place. An unarguably worthy pursuit.

At Unstuck, we believe that pursuit starts with ourselves. As we each strive, individually, to be more patient, understanding, and open, as well as less critical, prideful, and resistant, we can’t help but contribute to a better world.  

In celebration of Mr. Mandela, and all of us who seek to be our best selves, we offer eight inspiring Mandela quotes, paired with some actionable Unstuck advice.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Read this: How to boost your stick-to-it-tiveness

 

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Read this: Are
read more

It’s high time to make a mid-year resolution


No matter how hard we try to make an effective resolution each new year, an estimated 80 percent(!) of them fail by the second week of February. There are plenty of reasons for this: Cold weather for some, the post-holiday blues for others. Some researchers believe that the most depressing day of the year is in late January, which hardly seems like the time to add the pressure of your loftiest ambitions to the equation.

But who says that a resolution has to be set in January? And who says that you can’t rededicate yourself again in the summer? Regardless of whether your old goals still loom or if they’ve been replaced by more pressing ones, we’ve made this handy printable guide with 10 tips to recharge your resolutions.

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE: Stalled on your goal? 10 tips to get going again 

 

 

 

read more