We are significantly affected by the emotions around us. If you’re surrounded by negativity, you’ll start to feel disenchanted. Join guest author Elisabeth Daniels as she shares “Get That Jazz Back Into Your Business Blues.”
Written by Guest Author Elisabeth Daniels
You reveled in the sun soaked reggae rhythms of summer, enjoying tropical treats and mega doses of Vitamin D as you frolicked outside. Now, those months of merriment are just a distant, teasing memory, and it’s back to the dismal daily grind. It’s all work and no play, and you’re bogged down by the business blues.
Take heart. Jazzing up the work day is as simple as the three chords that make up nearly every rock ballad.
Say no to sad songs
We are significantly affected by the emotions around us. Hang out with a coworker who’s always moaning and groaning, and you’ll start to feel disenchanted. Or, when a sad song comes over the radio, you’ll have a sudden and irrepressible urge to cry and wring your hands. Thankfully, those negative vibes don’t have to turn the 9-to-5 into a gloomy grind. The next time the corporate grumpies start messing with your head, crank up the volume of your favorite upbeat tunes. A 2010 study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto illustrated music’s emotional impact on those who hear it. The study found that songs jam-packed with happy cues — a fast tempo, a major key — generated a happy perception and feelings of contentment. On the other hand, songs burdened with sad cues — a slow tempo, a minor key — produced a sad perception and a melancholy state of mind among participants. Bottomline: happy music triggers an outpouring of dopamine from the pleasure center of your brain, which means you’re more cheerful.
Get up and dance
Okay, maybe not literally, especially if you’re in a den of cubicles or staffing the front desk. But heaving your gluteus maximus out of that chair and working those stems is critical to boosting your physical and mental wellbeing at the office. “Sitting Disease” may sound like a made-up ailment, but it’s all too real. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicate that 50 to 70 percent of us sit more than seven hours a day, and it’s wreaking body-busting havoc with our health. Turns out, a sedentary lifestyle goes hand-in-hand with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Your mind needs movement, too. Even simple slumping over a keyboard, with shoulders hunched and neck tight, is detrimental to our mood. Bad posture sends sulky signals to our brain, bumming us out. The solution is exercise, and it doesn’t really matter what kind. Moving in some way releases endorphins and elevates your frame of mind. Shake your groove thing to the latest hits, do a couple of downward dogs by your desk, or take a brisk walk around the building. You’ll feel better in minutes.
Rewrite your life’s lyrics
Are you a glass-half-empty, pessimistic person or a glass-half-full, optimistic person? Your attitude is the key to how you feel about life, both at work and at home. If you’re inclined to focus on what went wrong, it’s okay. You’re not doomed to the doldrums for the rest of your days. You can rewrite your story in a more positive way. First, line out all the bad stuff that’s happened to you lately, every disturbing, disappointing thing. Get it down on paper and then tear that sheet up. Next, spend some serious time thinking about what’s been going right. Write down your accomplishments in detail, and remember how each achievement felt. There’s probably a lot more than you realize. Have you gotten a promotion at work? Are you now an entrepreneur? Did you ace a class or improve your skills at beloved hobby? Acknowledging and celebrating your growth will reframe your perspective. Update the list regularly, and you’ll be feeling more joyful in no time.
The next time your livelihood is sucking the life out of you, this trio of tips will get your boogie-woogie back before you know it.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women and helping them get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and of course you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
Losing 100 pounds and keeping it off for over a decade wasn’t an instantaneous thing. It took time and patience, both physically and mentally. Keeping it off and keeping myself active is something I work at, bit by bit, every day. I do it by focusing on the wonderful things I can experience now that I’m healthy.
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
Because I have such a strong emotional foundation, as a result of how I was raised, my amazing friends, and the support of my husband, I see life as a series of amazing opportunities. That perspective makes it easier to deal with the hard times when they come.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
One of the most rewarding achievements in my life is being a triathlete. I still have a ton of items on my bucket list like ice climbing, attending a writing conference in Mexico, and teaching a painting class in Paris.
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
I’m impatient and sometimes impulsive, but being that way helps me experience life more fully because I’m a doer who’s not usually held back by inhibitions.
How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my adventurous spirit!
After nearly six years in state government service, first as a public information officer and then as a deputy administrator, I am a freelance creative, traveling with my husband by RV, pursuing my passion for writing, adventuring, crafting, doing voice-over, and blogging.
I’m an award-winning fiction writer, taking 3rd place at the 2011 Flash! The Short, Short Fiction Contest for my story “The Boots”. I’m also a freelance writer for Desert Companion magazine. My first book, “The 5-Minute Guide to Diplomacy”, is available from Amazon.com.
In 2002, I began a lifestyle change, losing over 100 pounds and keeping it off. My transformation isn’t just about dropping pounds; it’s about picking up new experiences everywhere I go — from kooky culinary quests to funky physical feats. I am embracing adventures of all kinds and sharing the stories with you! I did my first triathlon and a Tough Mudder in 2011. In 2012, I completed 21 running and obstacle races. In 2013, I am doing races all over the country and chronicling our motorhoming escapades on my Adventures in Hallway blog.