Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Make the Most of Your Commute

Saturday, September 6th, 2008
This is #6 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Make the Most of Your Commute. How do you spend your commute? Make it positive time. Use it for reading, writing, creative thinking, creative projects, listen to audio books, or, heck, write your own book! If you enjoy your commute, that happiness will spill over into how you feel at work.

This is an idea that I can get REALLY excited about!  Because you know what I love doing during my commute?  Listening to podcasts!  There are podcasts for every subject and genre in which you could possibly be interested.  Audio books are pretty awesome, too.  They’re especially nice for longer commutes.

If you have never tried these two forms of media, you really, really should consider doing so.  You can listen to podcasts and audio books around the house, too, while you complete menial chores, and maybe you could even listen to them at work.

You’ll learn a lot and be entertained. : )

-MJ

PS – My favorite source of audiobooks is Audible.com.  And no, they’re not paying me to say this – I genuinely use and enjoy their books and service.  I wish they would pay me, though. That would be nice. ;)

Does “counting your blessings” really help?

Monday, April 14th, 2008

While many would agree that “counting your blessings” is a worthwhile practice, there hasn’t been much experimental research on whether gratitude really has a positive impact on our lives. Several studies have found that gratitude correlates with positive emotions such as happiness, pride, and hope, but experimental work — showing that gratitude causes these things — is scarcer.

Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough figured it would be worthwhile to explore this notion. Their method of study was both ingenious and simple: they would ask 201 students in a health psychology class to respond to a weekly questionnaire. Everyone rated their well-being, was tested on a measure of gratefulness, and reported on their physical health and level of exercise. The key to the study was a division into three groups. The first group listed five things they were grateful for each week. The second group listed five hassles or irritants from the past week. The final group simply wrote down five “events or circumstances” from the past week. This continued for ten weeks.

What sort of things did they write?

Some students said they were grateful for “waking up this morning,” or “for wonderful parents,” or “the Lord for just another day.” Hassles were things like “hard to find parking,” “messy kitchen,” or “having a horrible test in health psychology.”

As you might expect, the students in the gratefulness group scored significantly higher than the hassles group on the gratefulness measure. But they also were more positive about the upcoming week and their life as a whole. They were even healthier than both the hassles and events groups, and they reported significantly more hours of exercise (4.35) than the hassles group (3.01). On the more rigorous measure of positive affect, which assesses many different dimensions of positive emotion, there was, however, no significant difference between the groups.

Click here for the full article.