Canada's only happiness researcher Gillian Mandich shares her tips for productivity that can make you happier
TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2018 /CNW/ - Time-crunched and trying to maximize every moment to power through yet another busy day? Getting into a mental and physical "flow state" – the term used by researchers as a state for ultimate human performance – can play a key role. According to researcher Gillian Mandich PhD(c), who focuses on Health Science with a primary research topic on happiness and health, studies suggest that levels of happiness may shift when they spend more time in "flow state" and that people are often most creative, productive and happy. California Almonds has partnered with Mandich to learn her tips for getting into your flow state and increasing your happiness to own your day.
"Achieving happiness requires the same approach as a healthy lifestyle – consistency! The greatest successes result from slow, steady lifestyle changes," says Mandich. "The psychology of behaviour change teaches us that making small changes over time is the most effective way to make long-term, lifestyle changes. Making small, healthy choices each day really does add up and can help you get into a flow state, or in the zone, and increase overall happiness. With the right steps, almost anything can be a flow experience such as commuting, writing, cooking, and even doing the dishes."
Exercise and healthy eating are some of the small steps Mandich says are vital for achieving flow and happiness as they release powerful hormones such as endorphins that make us feel good to own the day. She has found that people's emotional connections tied to consuming certain foods play a part in how the body responds to them on a physiological level to digest them. Her go-to snack is almonds for those in-between moments as they provide sustained energy from a combination of protein, fibre and healthy fats so she can feel good and easily get into the flow.
"The thoughts you have while eating something unhealthy do play a role in how you metabolize that specific food. If you're feeling guilty about eating something, you trigger a stress response that can slow digestion and even increase fat storage," says Mandich. "The same goes if you're having negative thoughts about a healthy meal – 'Ugh, chicken and broccoli …again?' That's why you want to have healthy options that you enjoy, such as almonds. I always have natural and flavoured almonds on hand to satisfy any mood and help me get into the flow and own it."
Aside from being a scientist and researcher, Mandich is a news contributor and featured expert, media personality and certified yoga instructor. She can attest to the importance of achieving an optimal flow state to power through the constant busy days – relying on almonds as her key productivity sidekick. Although science has found that there is no exact formula for achieving flow, Mandich has a few tips that she has found to make it easier to own her everyday:
Implement little rituals: Whether it's morning meditation, an evening workout, or simply taking the time throughout the day to get up and move, carve out regular routines to dedicate some time to yourself. Cut out distractions - try to find a quiet place or wear headphones with your phone out of sight or on airplane mode.
Create a serene space: Organize your surroundings to help declutter not only the physical space around you, but also your mind and spirit. I like to surround myself with little things that bring me joy such as colourful items, background music, essential oils and I make sure I have everything around that I may need including tea to sip on and snacks.
Avoid being hungry: Hunger will kill flow, so it's important to have snacks around that will give you high quality fuel and will release glucose slowly into your bloodstream and provide sustained energy. What you eat depends on your dietary preferences and general tastes but one of my favourite snacks is almonds as they contain the winning trifecta of protein, fibre and healthy fats. I love that they are portable and easy to enjoy anytime and are available in many flavours for a satisfying crunch.
Make sure you are rested: Prioritizing sleep is important because it's not just about getting sufficient quantity of sleep, but also that your sleep is high quality. Being well-rested puts you at your best and allows you to tap into flow. If you are tired your ability to concentrate will decrease, and smaller distractions will more easily pull you away from flow.
For more on tips on how to own your day, visit Almonds.com.
About Gillian Mandich
Mandich is completing her PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science (with a specialization in Health Promotion). Her PhD dissertation investigates happiness and health in partnership with Project Happiness at The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. She has taught Personal Determinants of Health and Social Media in Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University, is a Reviewer and sits on the Advisory Board at Examine.com (an independent organization that investigates the science behind nutrition and supplementation), and Business London Magazine named her one of their Top 20 Under 40. Gillian is also a certified yoga and Yoga Tune Up® teacher; two-time IronGirl; enjoys Olympic lifting, dancing like nobody is watching, and rock climbing. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About California Almonds
Almonds from California are a healthy, natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,800 almond growers and 101 processors in California, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit Almonds.com or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.
SOURCE Almond Board of California
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