3 Ways to Boost Confidence and Happiness by Moving Your Body

3 Ways to Boost Confidence and Happiness by Moving Your Body Nonverbal communication, such as body language, can be a powerful tool to communicate with others, but did you know your body language can change the conversation in your own brain? Your body reacts to your thoughts and emotions in predictable ways, smiling when you feel happy or grimacing when you stub your toe. What we don’t often realize is that the communication from brain to body that creates body language can work the opposite way, too. In other words, you can flex your muscles, change the position of your body, and boost your own mood. Here are 3 ways to increase your happiness with your body language right now. 1. Smile: Your Happiness Superpower When you smile, the tiny muscles in your face do some serious heavy lifting. According to Stanford research scientist Nicholas Coles, smiling actually sends signals to your brain to boost your happiness. It helps you recall positive experiences and feel greater joy when someone shares a funny story, for example. What’s even more interesting is that you can “hack your brain” because this works even when you don’t already feel happy. Try it next time you reach a low-energy moment in your day. Flex those happiness muscles—smile—and note the changes in your mood. Feel better? Smiles are contagious, too. What better way to spread happiness than to share a smile with someone else? 2. Boost Your Confidence with Power Poses Smiling isn’t the only way to signal our brains to boost our mood or change our feelings. Our brains also react to our posture and the position of our bodies. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says poses that open the body, like what’s been termed the “Wonder Woman or Superman Pose”—standing with feet slightly apart and hands on hips—make us feel more powerful. Try standing in a “power pose” for two minutes before a challenging meeting or social situation that would usually make you anxious. Note the difference in how you feel. 3. Become a Mirror to connect with others Building strong relationships is one of the keys to being happy. You can use body language to connect with others. Your body language signals alertness, engagement, and understanding of a conversation. Using eye contact and angling your upper body toward the speaker are good ways to communicate that you’re listening. You can also subtly mirror the speaker’s body language. What’s the energy level of the person speaking to you? Try matching that energy as you listen to them talk. For example, if they have a relaxed posture, relax yours as well. Quick tip: don’t overdo your mirroring, remain yourself to remain authentic. Learn About the Connection Between Happiness and Performance The benefits of boosting your happiness extend over nearly every part of your life. Better happiness can increase the quality of your relationships, health, and work productivity. Learn more about boosting happiness at work in our Happiness and Performance session. We’ll teach you key strategies to [...]

By |2024-02-27T19:31:16-04:00February 27th, 2024|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|0 Comments

3 Ways to Find Your Work-Life Balance This Year

3 Ways to Find Your Work-Life Balance This New Year Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions boil down to establishing a sustainable work-life balance. Whether you’ve set fitness, health, or financial goals, they become much more achievable when your lifestyle balances work and personal time. Work-life balance means something different to everyone. First, define what is important for YOU. Next, whatever resolutions you’ve set, we recommend that you make it a point to prioritize your work-life balance this new year. Here are three ways you can do that. 1. Be Realistic. Setting a goal to achieve a good work-life balance doesn’t mean getting it perfect. In fact, not only is a perfect work-life balance not ongoingly achievable but if you make perfection your criteria for success, the most significant thing you’ll most likely increase is your frustration. Instead, be realistic. How much flexibility do you have in your daily or weekly schedule? Does it make sense to work more hours on specific days so you can prioritize personal activities on different days? Health experts will tell you that having a healthy diet doesn’t mean you eat all the healthy foods daily. Instead, what you consume over a few weeks or a month creates a well-balanced diet. I personally love the 80/20 principle… I eat whole, organic, fresh food 80% of the time and “have fun foods” 20% of the time…The same applies to a work-life balance. Think of your time in terms of a week, two weeks, or a month, and look at where you’re out of balance in that timeframe. 2. Make Time to Unplug. At KCC, we love Anne Lamott’s quote: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Set aside some time each week to put aside your phone and email. A morning, an hour, whatever suits your schedule. Give yourself a break from your screens and engage with your surroundings in other ways. If the weather is good, walk along a pretty street or in a lovely park. Enjoy time with your pet. People-watch at a coffee shop. Give your brain some time to slow down. Don’t be discouraged if this is harder than you expect. It can be disconcerting to discover how often we reach for our devices, even when we don’t need to. Set a timer and stick to your screen-free plans. Teaching your body to take a break will allow you to be more focused and energized when it’s time to work again. 3. Plan a Vacation. In my book 21 Days to Happiness, I mention how spending on experiences is usually more beneficial than spending on “things.” Why? Because there are 3 fun phases: phase 1 – planning; phase 2 – enjoying the experience; and phase 3 – remembering! So, now is the perfect time to start thinking about and planning a trip for later in the year. By doing the research now, you allow time to adjust your budget to have the [...]

By |2024-01-10T18:28:29-04:00January 10th, 2024|Happiness Tips|Comments Off on 3 Ways to Find Your Work-Life Balance This Year

How Gratitude in Relationships Boosts Joy

How Gratitude in Relationships Boosts Joy “Practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives.” – Dr. Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW The relationship between joy and gratitude is a powerful one. We’ve talked before about the incredibly positive impact a gratitude practice can have on our personal happiness. This year, as we head into the holiday season, let’s talk about the effect of gratitude on our relationship happiness. 1. Reminds Us of the Value of Our Relationships It may be an old habit to say thank you to your partner, friends, or family members when they do something for you but taking a moment to think about how their actions affect you and what it says about who they are will help you mine more joy. When someone notices you struggling to carry bags of groceries and steps in to hold a door or help carry the bags, it means they are paying attention to our needs. What a blessing it is to have someone who notices our needs and takes action to meet them, even in small ways. 2. Helps Us Turn Our Gratitude into Action When we take note of our feelings of gratitude for the people in our lives, we start to become more aware of their needs. We start to notice the ways we can show our appreciation to them. This doesn’t mean having to create a grand gesture. Kind words and small favors are powerful ways to show our gratitude to others. And they matter. And what happens when we do something that generates gratitude in someone else? Joy blooms for us, too. 3. Allows Us to Believe the Best It’s much easier to overlook small inconveniences or challenging exchanges when we have a full reserve of gratitude in ourselves. Those moments that generated gratitude—the kitchen your family helped clean up or the favorite coffee someone grabbed for you the morning after a long night—make it easier to overlook the next time someone forgets to meet a responsibility or has a grouchy morning. The gratitude memories make it easier to remember that our friend or family member is more than this momentary, disappointing situation. Their character is more easily defined by the positive ways they connect with us in our lives, which is another way gratitude in relationships boosts joy. 4. Motivates Us to Keep Our Relationships One of the amazing things we learn from research about gratitude in relationships is that gratitude is a powerful predictor of whether the relationship will last. Romantic relationships in which people feel little gratitude toward one another are less likely to last long-term. Relationships with the highest levels of gratitude between people are much more likely to last. That alone is a powerful statement, and it makes a lot of sense. When we’re in relationships in which people feel gratitude for us, we feel valued and great about ourselves. When we’re in relationships in which we express gratitude, we experience more happiness. Looking at it that way, it’s easy to [...]

By |2023-11-15T19:31:48-04:00November 15th, 2023|Happiness Tips|Comments Off on How Gratitude in Relationships Boosts Joy

5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees

5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees Happiness at work is essential to today’s workforce. What’s especially great is the fact that happiness in your employees creates benefits for the company they work for, too. Happier employees complete their work faster and are more creative. They’re also less likely to quit their jobs, even if they’re offered more money somewhere else, according to this analysis from Gallup. Having happy employees doesn’t happen by accident; it doesn’t simply mean hiring people with a positive attitude. Fostering and maintaining happiness in your employees is a deliberate effort. Here are 5 ways you can create a work environment that increases employee happiness and delivers the benefits of a happy crew to you. 1. Set the Example of Happiness Start your day on a positive note. Think about something you’re looking forward to doing or experiencing at work today. Smile and greet your team members, and be as genuine as possible. Smiles, like happiness, are contagious, foster open communication, and help to lift the mood of the people you encounter. 2. Show Appreciation Make a point to recognize a job well done on a regular basis. The simple act of saying thank you and taking note of a team member doing well not only boosts their confidence and self-esteem but also sends a message to the other team members that you’re engaged and you notice their work. 3. Be Flexible Whenever Possible Offering employees choices about where and how they accomplish their work gives them a sense of control. Allowing them to choose their hours and break times also promotes a sustainable work-life balance and means they will be more focused and productive during the time they’ve set aside to work. 4. Create Comfortable Collaboration Spaces Having a comfortable in-person or virtual break room is a significant benefit for your team. It creates a space where employees can disconnect from work for a few moments and mentally reset, and it provides a space where team members can collaborate, solve problems, and build relationships—all activities that benefit the health and happiness of the whole team. 5. Communicate with Transparency What’s your vision for your team? How do your team members contribute to that vision? What are they doing that’s making a difference in the world? Talk to your employees about your organization’s bigger picture and how their work contributes to the overall goals. Giving them this insight helps them feel significant and invested in the outcome of their work. Expert Training on Happiness at Work It is not difficult to be happy at work and foster happiness in your employees. You simply need to know the guiding principles. Our Happiness and Performance workshop teaches the variables most often correlated with happiness, including the role of work itself. Deepen your understanding of what promotes job satisfaction and dissatisfaction and what to do for team members who want to be happy or happier. Contact us today to set up a training session on Happiness and Performance [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:17:28-04:00June 30th, 2023|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees

Emotional Intelligence: 4 Ways to Build Your Self-Awareness Skills

Emotional Intelligence: 4 Ways to Build Your Self-Awareness Skills The core of great leadership is understanding people. It’s understanding how to motivate them, how to find their strengths and harness them for your team. One powerful tool leaders use in effectively motivating and communicating with their teams is emotional intelligence. This is the skillset that helps leaders read the room and change their approach based on the kind of feedback or direction their team members need in the moment. One of the key pillars of emotional intelligence is self-reflection and self-awareness. Counter to what you may be thinking, the way to get better at self-reflection isn’t through introspection. When we rely only on our perceptions of ourselves, we often get it wrong. Why? We have a tendency to be our own blind spots. We already know and understand our own perspective, but what’s missing, without the input from others, is how what we say and the way we say it makes them feel. Though we may have meant something as a straightforward statement of fact, it may have come across like a cutting insult depending on our timing and facial expression as we delivered this information. When we ask for feedback from others, it helps us to fill in those blind spots. It gives us new information to consider, and it helps us understand the gap between what we tried to express and the message others received. Here are 4 ways to build better self-awareness and boost your emotional intelligence. 1. Choose Feedback Givers Who Can Afford to Be Honest Flattery isn’t honest feedback, and it certainly won’t be helpful in allowing you to build accurate perceptions of yourself. So, who do you ask for feedback? Ideally, you ask people who can afford to be honest. Choose people who don’t need something from you rather than people who are depending on your feedback on an employee review or a critical piece of a collaborative project. If you’re asking people to evaluate a specific situation, it’s best to ask someone who was actually in the room when it happened. That way their reaction isn’t impacted by your version of events, which will always be limited to your perspective. Ask multiple people. Your team members and the other people around you are not a monolith. One person might find a comment you made to be deeply offensive while someone else maybe didn’t even catch that you said it. Asking multiple people gives you the opportunity to spot a trend. If multiple people were uncomfortable with something you said or did, it’s likely a situation you need to take a look at again so you can accept responsibility for anything that was out of line. 2. Ask Open-ended Questions We’ve all had those conversations where someone asked a question in such a way that made it clear there was only one right answer. If you ask leading questions, you’re more likely to get biased answers. (You don’t think I was being too harsh [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:18:45-04:00May 15th, 2023|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|Comments Off on Emotional Intelligence: 4 Ways to Build Your Self-Awareness Skills

4 Smart Ways to Get a Fresh Start

4 Smart Ways to Get a Fresh Start January is a perfect time to get a fresh start. You don’t have to set resolutions in order to give yourself a fresh start. All you need is a few minutes for a brief self-assessment and an open, curious mind. 1. Find Your Why Before setting any goals for this year, consider the reasons behind them. Your why may have to do with your professional life, or it may be more personal. You may enjoy the people you’re working with and find it rewarding to create an environment where you succeed together or you may just want to focus on you and improving your quality of life. Understanding why a goal matters to you personally helps keep you focused. It helps you keep what’s truly important to you front and center. Have you read “Find Your Why” by Simon Sinek? Having trouble putting your why into words? Consider journaling or talking with a friend, coach or mentor to get better clarity. 2. Set Clear Goals Once you understand your why, you can narrow in on what specific goals best support it. What small changes would mean the most in your life in the context of your why? Remember, concrete, specific goals are easier to complete because we can break them down into bite-sized, achievable steps. Having trouble breaking down your goal into intermediary steps? Not sure how to achieve it? We can help! Our coaching solutions offer you the mentorship you need, targeted specifically to your goals. 3. Share Your Goals When you announce and share your intentions you commit more…Talk to your boss or a team member about your goals for the year. You may want to set specific times to get together and discuss your progress. Perhaps this person can be another set of eyes and ears looking out for opportunities in the direction of your goal. Try to avoid creating a one-sided relationship that’s focused only on your needs and success. Instead, look for a symbiotic relationship, where you each have something to offer one another in terms of support and experience. 4. Invest in Yourself Make developing yourself a part of your goal. This might mean earning a new certification or degree, but it doesn’t have to. One of the easiest and most impactful ways to expand your knowledge is through reading. I just downloaded a new APP called Headway that gives me the opportunity to listen to an audiobook summary a day while talking my walk. Identify key areas you’d like to improve in your work processes and relationships. Find a book, workshop or conference that will give you the opportunity to acquire those skills. Another great development action-item can include attending workshops and seminars. For example, if you struggle with being more assertive, our workshop on The Secrets of Conflict Management will help you build that skill. Get a Fresh Start with These 24 Workshops KCC offers 24 different workshops and conferences to expand your expertise [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:01:53-04:00January 19th, 2023|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Smart Ways to Get a Fresh Start

5 Simple Tips for a Joyful Holiday Season

5 Simple Tips for a Joyful Holiday Season It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And sometimes the busiest time of the year, too. With all the extra celebrations, added errands, and weather changes, the holidays can lead to extra stress, but they don’t have to. Here are 5 simple tips for a joyful holiday season. 1. Limit Your To Do List No one can do it all, and trying to is a recipe for stress and conflict in your life. As you sit down to make your to do list limit the number of items you can add. The holidays bring extra celebrations and events, extra shopping and cooking, and all those tasks take time above and beyond our normal daily commitments. Each morning, think about what your top priorities are for the day and allow yourself to add only one or two things to your Holiday To Do list each day. A new idea is to add to your “TO BE” list, instead of your “TO DO” list: be grateful, be relaxed, be joyful, be yourself, etc. 2. Put Joy on the Calendar What are the things you most look forward to during a holiday season? Is it a certain visit with an friend? A gift exchange over brunch? Watching festive movies and drinking hot cocoa with the ones you love? Whatever your traditions, be sure to put the moments you love on your calendar before it fills with other holiday hustle and bustle. This gives you something to look forward to, too. On the flip side, try to politely decline certain events or activities if it doesn’t feel right…less can be more! 3. Check in with Your Body Make a point throughout the holidays to check in with your body. Are you thirsty? In need of a healthy snack or meal to recharge your energy? Are you in need of rest? Take the time to meet your body’s needs as soon as you possibly can. When we don’t meet our body’s needs, it often finds a louder way to make those needs known. Missing a meal can make us snappy or leave us with a headache. The longer we ignore our needs, the longer it can take to recover. Make a point to check in with your body regularly so you stay feeling great. 4. Give There is no shortage of charitable opportunities at this time of year, and there’s nothing like the joy that giving to others brings to our lives. This holiday season, start a tradition of giving with your family, friends, or coworkers. You can let each person choose a charity that’s meaningful to them and take up a group collection. Or you might decide to commit to a service project, such as volunteering. Sometimes, it just can being nice on purpose….hold the door, buy someone a coffee, smile… 5. Celebrate the Relationships that Matter In our last post, 5 Gratitude Practices, one practice we mentioned is to write a note to someone [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:02:16-04:00December 12th, 2022|Happiness Tips|Comments Off on 5 Simple Tips for a Joyful Holiday Season

5 Easy Ways to Start a Daily Gratitude Practice 

5 Easy Ways to Start a Daily Gratitude Practice In the push from Halloween to Christmas, sometimes we lose sight of one of the most important traditions in holiday celebration: pausing to be thankful. In her research on joy, Daring Greatly author Brené Brown noticed a connection she didn’t expect. People who were living joyful lives also followed a daily gratitude practice. What does that mean? Practicing gratitude goes further than having an “attitude of gratitude”, though that’s a great place to begin. A gratitude practice means taking action or spending time purposefully reflecting on experiences, relationships, and things we are grateful for. This year, as the holidays approach, make a point to pause and reflect on the moments you’re grateful for. Maybe for you, it’s that coffee date with a friend, or watching your favorite holiday movie. How can you reduce stress and celebrate gratitude along with your holiday traditions this year? Here are 5 easy ways to add a gratitude practice to your life. 1. Keep a Gratitude Journal Start a journal and commit to writing in it every day. Set a time to do this, perhaps just before bed or in the morning when you first wake up. List three things you’re thankful for. If you prefer the tech approach, there are many apps like 3 Good Things or 5 Minute Journal to log in the things that you feel thankful for. Once you get into the habit, you may find days where it’s hard to limit yourself to just three! 2. Create a Gratitude Jar Place a large vase or jar in a central area in your home alongside scraps of paper and a pen. Write down something you’re grateful for every day on a slip of paper and place it in the jar. Consider setting a time of day when you add something to the jar. Also set a time of the month or season when you sit down and read the notes in the jar. Perhaps every Sunday evening, so that you go into a new workweek with a boost of gratitude. You can do this alone or with your family and perhaps read your “best moments” together during the year end holidays! 3. Take a Savoring Walk Each day, take a “savoring walk”. Spend about twenty minutes walking outside. Let your mind slow down and notice the shapes of the trees, the sound of the wind, and the feel of the sun on your face. Pause to appreciate these things and acknowledge your gratitude for them. 4. Appreciate by Abstaining There are many ways in which we live comfortable lives. We have food to eat, electricity, and internet access. We have access to books and media through stores and libraries. One way to practice gratitude is to choose to abstain from a pleasurable experience for a period of time. You may try giving up sweets, your favorite store-bought latte, or try a social media detox for a period of time, such as a [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:02:26-04:00November 22nd, 2022|Happiness Tips|Comments Off on 5 Easy Ways to Start a Daily Gratitude Practice 

3 Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress so You Can Celebrate What Matters

3 Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress so You Can Celebrate What Matters Sometimes the excitement of having time off, being with friends and family, sharing our favorite foods and drinks and creating special memories can get lost to the holiday stress of preparing for each event. What can we do to minimize stress and maximize happiness this holiday season? Here are 3 tips to boost your joy and be more “zen” this holiday. 1. Give Yourself Permission to Update Your Plans. If you find yourself dreading a particular event or aspect of the holidays, take the time to pause and examine why. Are you dreading a particular event because it’s located in a difficult place to get to? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of things crowding your calendar and really wishing you could take a break from the hustle and bustle? Give yourself a moment to understand what’s causing the holiday stress. Once you understand what it is, ask yourself some questions: What happens if you skip this event? Is it essential for you to attend? Could you make an appearance for an hour and then excuse yourself gracefully? If it’s a small event that you’ve organized, is it something you can reschedule to after the holiday rush is over, when you can enjoy it more? 2. Put Your Favorite Holiday Traditions on Your Calendar. Take a few minutes to think about your favorite holiday moments. Is there a specific activity that’s your favorite? Do you love putting on Christmas music and decorating a tree? Is there a holiday treat or meal that’s your favorite? A holiday movie or show you’ve been looking forward to? List your top two or three favorite holiday traditions and put them on your calendar now. You might consider timing them so that you have something special to look forward to the day after something you’re not as excited about doing, or as a space-holder in the middle of a week that’s sure to be super busy. Putting the things that are special to you on the calendar makes sure you don’t reach the end of the holiday season feeling like you’ve missed out on the things that matter to you. 3. Find Simple Ways to Give. Giving at the holidays helps us capture joy by spreading it. It also helps us feel grateful for the things we have. Sometimes that joy and gratitude are exactly what we needed to bring us out of our holiday stress and pull us back into a place where we can enjoy and celebrate this special time of the year. The holidays are saturated with opportunities to give, from donation buckets outside department stores to toy drives to opportunities to provide a holiday meal for a family in need. You might find out that someone in your community or family needs help with a something specific. Maybe you simply buy coffee for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop. Happy Holidays from KCC! Give [...]

By |2021-12-06T13:15:17-04:00December 6th, 2021|Happiness Tips|Comments Off on 3 Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress so You Can Celebrate What Matters

4 Amazing Benefits of Play

4 Amazing Benefits of Play Summertime is here! Are you ready for a break? The wonderful truth is that taking a break and making time for play and fun actually creates lots of benefits in other areas of your life. Now that the weather is lovely and warm again, it’s the perfect time of year to get outside and get our bodies busy making vitamin D, reconnecting with friends and family, and even getting some much-needed activity. We all recognize the importance of play in the growth and development and happiness of children, but what we may not realize is the critical role that it plays in our adult lives. Spending time at play offers lots of benefits. Here are the top 4 amazing benefits of play that will help to increase your happiness. 1. Boosts Creativity and Problem-solving Skills Sometimes all our brains need is an opportunity to think outside the box to get our creative juices flowing. Playing a game with friends or taking a pottery class can be just the thing to jumpstart the brain into thinking more creatively in other areas of our lives. It also boosts problem-solving skills. For example, playing a game where you have to make strategic decisions is like a workout for that part of your brain. Some games depend on your ability to recognize patterns or predict likely outcomes. These skills can be extremely helpful in other areas of your life, and they can be strengthened by actually sitting down and having fun! 2. Improves Communication Skills Another amazing benefit of play is that playing with others also improves communication skills. It gives unique opportunities to solve problems together or work cooperatively to reach goals. Enhancing your ability to communicate can be helpful in every relationship in your life. Playing games together doesn’t have to be a competitive venture, either. There are lots of cooperative or team-based games that focus on a several players working together to defeat another team of players or to defeat the game. You might play a game in which you’re on a deserted island and have to decide which objects will help you survive or simply choose a “get to know you better” activity like the KCC team organized last week. There are lots of options. 3. Reduces Stress Spending time at play can allow other parts of our brains to rest while we’re engrossed in a specific fun activity. Activities like fishing, surfing, cooking, planning a trip or just reading a good book might keep you focused on the activity itself for hours at a time. It gives our minds a break from worries or obsessive thoughts. Often it gives us an opportunity to find sometime we’re successful at and spend time doing it. Play activities also give us new, positive experiences to talk about with others, too. 4. Increases Energy Level Obviously physical activities like playing sports can increase our physical endurance and boost energy in that way. One of the most amazing benefits [...]

By |2021-07-20T12:03:51-04:00July 20th, 2021|Happiness Tips|Comments Off on 4 Amazing Benefits of Play

Title

Go to Top