Toxic Versus Healthy Emotions
The below infographic displays information about your emotional wellness including a list of toxic self-defeating emotions and another showing healthy empowering emotions.
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Taking Breaks Can Help You Achieve Emotional Wellness
According to psychologist K. Anders Ericsson of The Florida State University:
• Starting work early in the morning maximizes the brain’s energy and acuity
• Most people can only push themselves beyond their limits for about an hour before needing a rest
• Very talented people, including those in sports, writing and music rarely practice their craft more than four hours per day, or else they risk burnout.
A wonderful example of this is exemplified in the Finnish school system. There, children do not start school until age seven; they get no homework and a lot of their learning is based around play and being outdoors.
They have shorter school days than North Americans do, and yet their kids are achieving some of the highest test scores in the world!
An Anatomy Of The Perfect Break
How Often Should You Take A Break?
The jury is still out on this one but there are various ideas, backed of course by various studies: You could take a break every 52 minutes, resuming work-based activity after 17 minutes of downtime. This is according to studies referred to in an article in The Atlantic.
The United States Army Research Institute found that ultradian rhythms have 90-minute cycles. Therefore, you could equally take a break every 90 minutes.
How Long Should You Break For?
The “Pomodoro” technique says take a five-minute break every 25 minutes for four cycles. Then take a 15-minute break. Peretz Lavie who studied ultradian rhythms discovered a 20 minute trough in the ultradian waveform; therefore is seems only logical to take a break for 20 minutes.
Figure out what works best for you, and then apply it!
Move Around During Your Breaks
Our bodies are not designed to sit still for eight hours a day. When you take your breaks, move around a bit, stretch, swing your arms, and breathe. This helps prevent the mind from becoming mentally stagnant. It increases the blood flow overall and allows more oxygen to be carried to the brain, which in turn helps us to feel more alert and ready for more work.
Breathe During Your Breaks
A great way to replenish and restore the nervous system, and enhance mental sharpness and focus is to do a yogic breathing exercise. It can be done in a few minutes and has been shown to increase sleep quality, mental clarity, and concentration. It boosts your energy levels, revitalizes your mind and benefits your emotional wellness.
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