Take a Joy Break

We know all about sparking joy thanks to the Konmari method, a minimalist lifestyle intention of honoring the little things in life in order to create peace and space within your home. Developed by Marie Kondo, her books have sold millions and for the better half of this year, you could not scroll through Netflix without spotting her smiling face on her series 'Tidying Up. Although not everyone is burdened (or blessed?) with a house overflowing with items needing to be organized, perhaps you are currently sharing space with five roommates, living in a van, or maybe you successfully subscribe to the Konmari method already - how else can we consciously create, cultivate and add joy potential to our daily lives?

An on-going 80 year study on aging at Harvard supports the revelation that how happy we are has a big impact on our health, just as much as genes.

The study showed that the role of genetics and long-lived ancestors proved less important to longevity than the level of satisfaction with relationships in midlife, now recognized as a good predictor of healthy aging.

This revelation may bring mixed feelings if you have rested on your laurels of a strong family history of good health and old age, but don't fret. Although there is varied research based on the ability to change your personality and underlying habitual behaviors nearing your mid thirties, there are simple habits that can be added daily that can be used to create space for joy and ultimately, a long healthful life.

According to Mark Holder, Ph.D you will live 7 years longer if you make your well-being a first priority.

TAKE A JOY BREAK

But First, Coffee

"But first, coffee." A statement that has proudly graced the walls in my own office space, coffee breaks provide an opportunity to be present, add joy and create community. No matter how "basic" you may be labeled for indulging an obsession with pumpkin spice latte's, don't stop. The benefits of coffee breaks are not just for the business savvy, these simple habits are cross-generational, without monetary restriction and almost effortless.

Joy Breaks - 15 Minutes or Less

⋅take a walk or climb the stairs. bonus joy points if you include a friend. negative joy points if you post on social media (sorry)

⋅brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea. add your favorite sugar, honey or milk with intention to slow down and enjoy. studies have shown that holding a warm drink can promote warm emotions. your rushed daily drive-thru Starbucks on the way to work does not count

⋅get a piece of paper and a pen and mindlessly doodle. research has shown that doodling not only increases your attention, memory and ability to listen, it also increases rates of enjoyment.

⋅deep breathing. breath in for four, out for four. repeat ten times.
deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve to promote an over all feeling of well-being and relieves stress.

⋅finish your water bottle and stretch. simple stretching promotes endorphin release and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system resulting in relaxation and joy. Studies have shown that an increase in cortisol (stress hormone) can be due to dehydration.

⋅stop and smell the flowers. studies have supported that the presence of fragrant blooming flowers increases patients healing potential after surgery.

What are some ways you add joy? ♥

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