Corporate Health: Improving Your Environment to Boost Happiness

A key component of happiness and wellbeing is influencing the environment around you. This can take many forms – decorations, music, scents, even the people you’re surrounded with. When you’re uncomfortable with your surroundings, or you feel like you have no options, it can take a toll on your happiness.

In the workplace, happier people are more productive, so allowing staff to have some influence over their environment is a quick and easy way to boost morale.


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(Action for Happiness)

Action For Happiness is an organisation dedicated to making people happier in everyday life. This collection of resources is full of reasons to create a happier environment at work, ideas about where to start, and tools to help you along the way.


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This article from Inc has a range of simple suggestions for changes you can make to improve mood in your office. The key here is choice though, so why not allow your staff to choose what changes they’d like to make using a survey or suggestion box?


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(Real Happy Space)

One way your staff might like to brighten up their workspace is with a craft project. Real Happy Space have some great projects to start you off, but there are many, many more online. You could even run a team-building day where the whole staff takes part in creating something!\


Nudjed Health Resources are collections of online content and tools that offer simple, low-cost ways to improve specific areas of health. To discover which areas of health are affecting productivity in your organisation, check out Nudjed Insights. 

 

 

Corporate Health: Personal Development

Personal development is something that we often talk about in the workplace, but it’s easy to underestimate just how important it is. During our research, we discovered that personal development is a key factor in happiness – when we feel like we’re improving as a person, we feel happy and fulfilled.

And from an organisational point of view, multiple studies have shown that happy people are around 12% more productive!

In this blog you’ll find some great information on personal development, tips for putting your staff in control of their own development, and some suggestions for changes they might want to make.


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So what’s personal development all about, anyway? This article is a great resource to share with staff (especially newbies!), as it covers everything from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs through to practical steps for personal development.


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This great piece from HR Zone outlines a few simple steps you can take to create an encouraging environment where staff’s personal development is more self-directed. Could this help you to see better results?


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“Make the most of yourself…for that is all there is of you.”
This article contains 15 ways that you and/or your staff can become better people each day. Not all personal development has to be work-related!


Nudjed Health Resources are collections of online content and tools that offer simple, low-cost ways to improve specific areas of health. To discover which areas of health are affecting productivity in your organisation, check out Nudjed Insights. 

 

Corporate Health: Better Relationships

Good interpersonal relationships are one of the most important factors in mental wellbeing, with studies showing that not having close personal relationships is as big a health risk as smoking or obesity.

In this blog, you’ll find articles on why good relationships are so important, and techniques you can use to improve interpersonal relations in your workplace.

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(Action for Happiness)

Action for Happiness is a movement of people dedicated to creating a happier, more caring society.

They recognise that connecting with other people is key to a happy, fulfilling life – here’s their rundown of why it’s so important, with links to suggestions for improving your relationships. They also have a range of posters and resources for creating a more supportive environment in your own workplace, like the one above!


 

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(TED)

Brené Brown is a researcher that studies human connection. In this TED talk she discusses the importance of vulnerability, empathy and honesty for building healthy, fulfilling relationships – why not share the video with your team to start a conversation about communication?


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This great article from Fast Company outlines the 7 key habits that you and your staff should cultivate to start building better relationships. This advice can apply to pretty much any relationship in your life!


Nudjed Health Resources are collections of online content and tools that offer simple, low-cost ways to improve specific areas of health. To discover which areas of health are affecting productivity in your organisation, check out Nudjed Insights. 

Turn Lights On: Positive Mental Attitude

Turn Lights On (or TLO, for short) is a movement, a motivational tool and a way to improve people’s lives by getting them in the moment. It’s a way of maximising your potential, simply by being yourself.

 

TLO founder Georgina Jones is passionate about human connection and helping others to ‘turn their lights on’. As something of a happiness expert, Georgina has agreed to share her wisdom on how to create a genuine, lasting positive mental attitude.


‘Positive Mental Attitude’ is a term that has been bandied around and preached for many years! It’s something that we talk about and we can recognise in others.

Positive mental attitude is a part of something bigger, and everything is connected, so I would like to explore that with you if I may.

I would like to share an extract from my book, Turn Lights On:

“I think the secret to having a great life is positive energy. The phrase ‘positive thinking’ is something we hear a lot, and this feel-good kind of energy is nuclear! It has real power. The more energy you have, the more you can make life happen for you.”

So what I’m saying is thinking positively is simply not enough.

Let’s unpack this…

Your thoughts create your reality. The way you see the world starts with how you think about it – it’s an inside job! You create your own reality with your thoughts, and you can create the situations that you enjoy by having the right kind of thoughts.

This is happening all the time. It’s not something you can turn on and off – we are creating everyday. The more aware you are of this, and the more practice you put in, the easier it gets to think positively. You will be in positive situations, surrounded with positive people, and will feel positive!

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Does this sound too good to be true? Give it a go and put me to the test, I’d love that.

So how is positive energy created? It is created not just by thinking positive thoughts, but by making an effort to do positive things and be a positive person. You can’t just think it – you have to be it and do it!


 

Some pointers to start with:

Be Present

Live in the moment. In the moment we have complete power, as we are not stressing about the past or worrying about the future. We only have the now, so trust it, and make the most of it.

Write Stuff Down

When your thoughts are all over the place and you’re struggling to stay positive, write them down. Have a laugh at them, or at least try to see the bright side, and get some perspective.

Manage Your Fear

We all have fear. Recognise that, work out why it’s there and ask, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ It only has as much power over you as you give it.

Don’t Believe Your Thoughts

They are just thoughts, not facts.  Some are based on assumptions, and we all know how dangerous assumptions are. When you have a negative thought, you can choose to let it go!

Quiet Your Mind

If you are not controlling your mind, who is? A quiet mind is a powerful mind. Sit for a few minutes a day and have a thought dump. This can be in the bath, in the garden or even in the lift at work.

Laugh

Lighten up! Laughing is so good for you, and it can lighten up the heaviest of situations. Get into the habit of laughing instead of stressing – even when you’re faced with bad situations or self-doubt.

Be Flexible

Stubborn behaviour is a dangerous as it takes a lot of energy to maintain. Spend your energy wisely, and recognise that sometimes the best thing to do is go with the flow!

Be Self Aware

Be aware, be awake; listen, look and be mindful of what is happening around you. By being more mindful, we can be open to more opportunities and genuinely supportive relationships with other people.

Give

There are buckets of studies on the power of giving. Making people happy makes us happy! Look for opportunities to give your time or energy to others. You get when you give.

Do Positive Things For Yourself

Be kind to yourself by looking after your diet, your sleep, and your relationship with yourself. It’s the most important one!

Exercise

Get out of your head and into your body. This can make such a difference to the way that you feel. We were born to move!

Relaxation

Take a moment to relax and enjoy rejuvenating. Find your thing and switch off. You know that thing that you love, and you say you never have the time to do… make time to do it!

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Make positive thinking easier for yourself. Create a life that is conducive to a positive mindset, and PMA will be a way of being. Thinking positive things leads to doing positive things, and that will lead to being positive!


For more from Georgina and TLO, visit tloishappening.com or follow them on Twitter.

To learn more about cultivating a positive mental attitude, check out our corporate health resource.

 

 

 

 

Corporate Health: Encourage Positive Mental Attitudes at Work

Research has shown that people who are in a good mood are more focused and productive, and interact better with those around them. In a workplace setting, happy staff are simply good for business. Below are a range of resources that you can use to encourage your staff to cultivate positive mental attitudes.


 

Turn Lights On is an organisation that encourages people to become more positive and happy through social connection and mindfulness. Since they’re so great at spreading happiness, we asked them to write this guest blog full of advice for promoting a positive mental attitude!


 

A great way to become more positive is to focus your attention on things that make you happy. The 100 Happy Days project encourages people to share one thing that makes them happy every day for – you guessed it – 100 days. Why not give it a go in your workplace?


 

This article from Tiny Buddha has loads of practical advice for creating a positive mental attitude. It’s not something that can happen overnight – it takes dedication and practice! Why not share this with your staff so that they can start practicing?


Nudjed Health Resources are collections of online content and tools that offer simple, low-cost ways to improve specific areas of health. To discover which areas of health are affecting productivity in your organisation, check out Nudjed Insights. 

A Beginners Guide to Going Vegetarian

Thinking of going vegetarian? Struggling with how to get started? Fear not! The Nudjed nutrition team has put together this short guide to help you make the swap. Avoiding the pitfalls that many people fear.


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The Pro’s and Cons of a vegetarian diet

Being a vegetarian can be a really easy way to boost your health and cut your carbon footprint (yes, meat generally creates more pollution!). But swapping out the foods you’re used to, can be tough to start with and you may be nervous about missing out on the vitamins you need to stay in top condition.

The reasons to go Veggie

The normal fears people have

  • Replacing the protein you get from meat
  • Making sure you’re not missing any nutrients
  • Managing your energy levels (avoiding ‘Carb loading’)
  • The reduced choice worry

So let’s help you avoid them…


Replacing the protein you get from meat

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If you’re a meat eater, it’s a good bet that meat or fish is the main source of protein in your diet. Here are ways to replace that:

Choose low-fat Dairy & Eggs –

Milk, eggs and cheese are all sources of good quality protein. Try cottage cheese, mozzarella and ricotta, instead of cheddar and cream cheese in your sandwiches and salads.

Throw on some nuts and seeds –

Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of quality protein. Try sprinkling them on salads and stir-fries, adding them to curries or throwing them into pots for snacks at work.

Love Beans –

Lentils, beans and chickpeas are all excellent sources of protein. They work surprisingly well in place of meat, especially in Indian or Mexican dishes.


Managing your energy levels (avoiding ‘Carb loading’)

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Anytime you change your diet, there will be learning curve as your body adapts. Managing your energy levels is a crucial part of any diet, here’s the things to look out for in a vegetarian version.

Swap white for wholegrain –

Go for wholemeal everything, besides a boost in fibre you will also consume more protein. Replacing rice with other grains like quinoa, pearl barley and bulgur wheat is a great way to do this.

Don’t become a sugar-holic –

Going veggie can be a chance to excuse your over-consumption of simple sugars and processed white carbs. Try keeping a small pack of nuts, seeds or fruit next to your desk in work.


Making sure you’re not missing any nutrients

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If you want to lose weight then cutting out animal fats is probably a good thing, but if not (and you’re light already) then you need to replace those fats to make sure you absorb enough vitamins and get enough energy.

Use a quality oil and dress your salads –

Cold pressed oils retain the most nutrients. Go for olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or seed oils for a boost of (good) unsaturated fats.

Make friends with fatty plants –

Containing wonderful essential fats, try including more avocado, kidney/black beans, flaxseed, edamame (soya) beans, and wild rice.

Look out for enriched products –

spreads, eggs, cheese and milks all come with added omega 3 (essential fatty acid) these days

Green and leafy = extra vitamins and minerals –

meat and fish do contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals, but there are none that you can’t get from maintaining (or slightly increasing) your intake of dairy products and munching down more broccoli, kale, brussels, spinach, chard (or anything else green and leafy).

Mix it up –

Eat your meals in combination (more than one thing on the plate). For example, combining vegetables with fats often increases the absorption of vitamins and minerals and slows down the rise in blood sugar.


The reduced choice worry

Removing meat from your diet may seem like it limits your choice. But according to research carried out by Merchant Gourmet, most families rely on just 9 recipes to feed themselves. To improve your choice, here’s our top 9 meals (+ some lunch ideas) to swap for them:

Bonus Vegetarian Lunches

How to avoid getting Hangry (Angry ‘cos you’re hungry)

The human body has two main energy sources: Fat and carbohydrate. Fat is by far the most efficient energy source, but it cannot cross the barrier between the blood and the brain cells. But carbs can…


The ‘Brain Blood Barrier’

It may sound a little gross, but it’s actually pretty simple science:

  • Your body’s (and brain’s) cells need energy to function
  • Blood carries this energy to them via the circulatory system (arteries)
  • Unfortunately there’s a barrier around your brain that fat cells don’t fit through
  • This means that only carbohydrates can give your brain energy

Avoid getting Hangry

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Hangry – the anger associated with feeling hungry, is your brain crying out for energy, not your body.

When you are eating carbs, think of it as feeding your brain before you think of it as feeding your body

The brain uses only carbohydrate (sugar) as its energy supply, that is the only reason why carbohydrate is essential to the diet.

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5 Scientific Tips to help you lose weight sustainably…

Diet trends come and go in fads. We believe good health should be based on Science, not marketing. Here are our top 5 tips to help you shed fat sustainably.


Know your BMR
Know your BMR. Use our calculator, sign up for Nudjed (which calculates it for you), use someone else’s calculator, do the math yourself. We don’t care how, just go do it.


Make a food diary
Control your calorific intake. Try keeping a food (and drink) diary for a few days, it will help you understand where you’re getting your energy from.


Cut down on Sugar
Get your calories from healthier foods. This means less processed and more fresh. Sugar will hamper you when you’re trying to reduce energy intake.


Boost your Heart-rate
Do regular exercise. A long walk, a slow jog, a nice swim. Anything that raises your heart-rate, will increase your energy consumption.


Don't crash diet

Think long term. If you get tired, you may not be eating enough, or at the right times. If you start to drastically lose weight, ease off, don’t starve yourself.


3 Reasons to stand up and do 5 mins of Yoga

There are plenty of reasons why people practise yoga. Here’s the brilliant bit, this blog will explore these reasons with the actual science behind them. That way you can find out which of our yoga challenges are right for you and your health goals.

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(Source:www.quotesnsmiles.com)

So what are the main reasons people practise yoga?

“I do yoga because I want to feel more toned and flexible.”
“I do yoga because I want to feel great and get more focused.”
“I do yoga to unwind and de-stress.”

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(Source:www.homemadeyogini.co.uk)

“I do yoga because I get more focus”

Reason: Yoga helps you to focus on your thoughts, body and behaviour, these get moved across into other aspects of your daily routine. Research has shown that people start eating better, quitting alcohol or caffeine and swapping habits that are bad for something better.

Your body can adapt and can change depending on your environment, your behaviour and your experiences. Yoga can help speed this process along by helping you to challenge and change your outlook, mentally and physically.

As you undertake our challenges and read our blogs about yoga, you will notice how you can get better, stronger and healthier. You have your brain to thank for that; it helps to facilitate these learning experiences whether they be good or bad. The nerve cells within your brain called neurones can make new connections, reorganise neurone pathways and even create new neurones. By changing the behavior and processes of these cells, you are also physically and emotionally changing your behavior and processes. You are learning continuously through your thoughts and movements in whatever environment you happen to find yourself in.

“I do yoga because I want to unwind and destress”

Reason: Yoga can equip you with the coping skills necessary to deal with everyday stress. Overall, those who practise yoga feel naturally calmer and more at peace. You have your nervous system to thank for that.

Your central nervous system (CNS) is sensory system that sends and receives information about your organs from the the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS consists of nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. PNS helps you to recover from stress, helping you to reduce any stress or anxiety hormones present in your body.
Your PNS counteracts the effects made by it’s co-partner the ANS. This is an involuntary system that controls organs that need to be running in your body constantly. The ANS can cause symptoms of stress including raised heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing and blood sugar levels. If you regularly practise yoga, ANS will be less activated than PNS as a response to a stressful situation.

Stress as we all know can have negative effect on our health and daily life. So any reduction can be a life saver in preventing long and short term illness.

“I do yoga to get more toned and flexible”

Reason: Yoga stretches your body’s capabilities in new ways. As you move through the poses, you will put be shifting your weight across all areas of the body, areas that might never have been worked on before. It is these new movements and motions that can offer you the best benefits.

You are holding poses which works on joints, ligaments and tendons not used or exercised before, getting additional strength and flexibility in a variety of organs that do not usually get stimulated externally.

Muscles that are left unused and untested remain quite stiff, tight and short. When you workout your muscles through a series of stretches, they become much more relaxed and tension free.

Combining yoga with other cardiovascular exercises can help use up those calories from food consumed. Balancing your calorie input with physical output is an important step to toning up. Find out more by checking out our toning up blogs.

Endorphins – The Science

Working out, if you let it, can make you feel happier. When your brain releases endorphins during exercise, it is your body’s way of paying you back for going that extra mile. As what doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you.

Endorphine is the feel-good chemical that combats stress, giving you the “high” you need to push yourself that little bit harder. Many will experience a buzz during exercise, a state of wellbeing that can only be described as euphoria.

So, if you’re feeling sluggish, try some of our cardiovascular challenges to reap your body’s natural rewards.