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No, not again!

It’s quite ironic that I write this today, as I sit here feeling miserable with the beginnings of a yucky cold! But, I couldn’t help to discuss the “aha” moment I had recently after returning from a great trip to Memphis with my girlfriends (see previous blog below).

Prior to leaving to Memphis I was battling with a hard-core sinus infection that I was doing my very best to treat naturally. However, knowing that my trip could be dramatically affected by this infection, I broke down and purchased Extra Strength Sudafed for the trip.

Although I know that mind over matter helped to keep it under control during the trip (and I will give some credit to the Sudafed!), when I returned home I said to myself, “Ge’ez, I’m not sick any more!” I questioned further, “How is it possible that I left to Memphis with a terrible infection, rested little and utilized every bit of my available energy in Memphis, yet I came back healthier?” I didn’t have an answer, but I was happy with the result.

Later I read an article in O magazine which polled women to find out why they sometimes tear one another down. It listed the following (among other things):

Eighty-eight percent of the respondents reported feeling an undercurrent of negativity among females. That’s really sad, since we can be so good for one another. Research has proven that female-female relationships actually boost our immunity.

Aha! That was the answer I was seeking. My Memphis gals are no “Frenemies,” they are my soul sisters and are actually good for me, like a shot of Vitamin D! I love it.

Oddly enough (or not!), as I sit here sniffling I’m watching a segment on the Today Show about 5 Ways to Prevent a Cold.  According to the segment, women have stronger immune systems than men, but still get about three colds per year. Hmm, sounds pretty right on to me, based on my history.

So, what tips did they offer?

1. Take probiotics  daily, either via a supplement or 1 cup of yogurt a day

2. Take Vitamin D daily, especially during flu season; 1000 units per day

3. Drink 1-2 cups of Green Tea per day

4. Ge a Massage! (20 minutes will do the trick) to reduce levels of Cortisol (which break us down!)

5. Socialize with your friends! Women with a wide diverse social network (Health Psychology) have been found to get colds less frequently.

To view the full segment, click here.

Okay, so it’s confirmed folks, maybe the apple a day used to keep the doctor away, but perhaps a more memorable way to stay healthy and happy is to keep your friends close by!

My ladies, can you all move back home, please?! I think I need you around during flu season!

I’m back to bed with my green tea! I’ve checked off my yogurt and Vitamin D for today. I’m hoping the hubby will indulge me with a nice massage to do the trick!

Have a healthy week!

Monique

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Think Big & Make Magic.

February 15, 2010

If this is your first time visiting my blog, you’ll notice that I’m currently blogging about some great books—books that inspire and teach us how to improve our lives in many ways. This month we’re talking about Happiness. Enjoy….

Making time for friends is such a huge part of my life. I realized long ago how connecting with my very close friends (even in small ways, like a weekly email or a Facebook post) and being open to new friendships brings me so much joy. This is why I love Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project goals for June, which include remembering birthdays, being generous, showing up, not gossiping, and making new friends. According to Rubin’s research the most meaningful contributor to happiness is having strong social bonds.

Taking this further, Rubin’s research showed that being generous (or providing support to others) strengthens the bonds of friendship and simply, makes us feel good. However, since she couldn’t (or didn’t want to) add more tasks to her day, whether they were the feel good type or not, she did realize that helping people think big and bringing people together were a few of the ways that she demonstrated generosity. These resonate very strongly with me, and when I explored my own “generous” actions, the same seemed to be true for me. I always seek creative/idea-building environments and thrive in them. And, as a professional development guru, I simply LOVE brainstorming with colleagues,  friends, and clients and watching them follow through on their magnificent, happiness-creating goals. The same goes with introducing one person to another, who together can create magic in some way. In business, we call them “referrals,” although now I’d rather call them “gifts.” When I do these things well, I definitely feel a surge of happy energy.

Here’s Rubin in her own words:

“I’d had a wonderful experience helping people think big myself. After Eliza started kindergarten, her nursery school arranged a reunion for all the children who had ‘graduated.’ While the children played with their former classmates, the nursery school directors, Nancy and Ellen, led a parent discussion about the kindergarten transition. As always, their insights were extremely helpful. When I stood up to leave I thought, ‘These two should write a book.’ I was immediately convinced that this was the greatest idea ever. I suggested it to them on the spot…I put them in touch with my agent…In a flash they had a book contract, and now Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum’s Practical Wisdom for Parents: Demystifying the Preschool Years is on the shelves. Knowing that I played a small role in their achievement made me intensely happy.”

How cool is that? To be able to help them think big and make one of their dreams come true…I’ll take that kind of happiness any day.

How do you help others think big?

What people can you bring together to create make some magic?

So, yes, as Rubin understood about herself during her Happiness Project, there are so many ways we can be generous, but they don’t always have to take up too much time or money or make us go out of our way. We can identify ways of being generous that are genuinely a part of who we are and what we already do.

Here’s a take-away…look for those “generous acts” in your life that are already present that you can turn up a notch to create more happiness in your life.

Let me know what you find.

-Monique


“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,

and the life of the candle will not be shortened.

Happiness never decreases by being shared.” –Buddha

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.