Two River Times - Health & Wellness Column Jan 2014

Here are some timely tips to keep you powered up for purposeful action in the new year. Researchers at the Loma Linda University in California recently noted that looking forward to an event boosts immunity. Maxed out on obligatory holiday happenings? Well, now its your time in 2014 to reframe your focus on enlarging events. So what's your creative calendar look like this year? Looking to learn something new, experience something different or try a different travel theme? Studies reveal that biological changes like lowering levels of of stress hormones cortisol & epinephrine(adrenaline) accompany the joy of event anticipation. So if you're susceptible to sad affective disorder or the "winter blues" like I am, consider making an active effort to plan something purposeful to keep you focused on fun. We recently attended a international premier medical/research conference to advocate for and educate others but that didn't stop us from planning fun with our friends while visiting New Orleans. By day we dished academic and by night we embraced Bourbon Street after power yoga at Reyn Studios to embrace the notion of integrated wellness. Bottomline, we make it our mission to plan for fun amidst hard work to keep our immunity humming and our memories coming in full color. But please note, you don't have to leave fabulous Red Bank to craft great events ! Simply boost your mood by looking forward to plans with friends in this cool little town or find interesting ways to make new friends in a new forum. Your detrimental stress hormones will decrease as you dial up delightful plans wherever you land. Consider joining us in Red Bank Feb 8 at the Red Bank Women's Club for the beginning of our next Power Panelist event series. Learn what's possible in business and life from our diverse group of lifeleaders that rarely take no for an answer in the arena of enlarging experiences. Not coincidentally, our first 2014 themed event is entitled "New Year, New You." One of our fabulous panelist presenters went back to law school at fifty to exceed the expectations of her clients and family. So, what are you leaning toward learning new this year?

Hammock overlooking Bay

Here are some stretch assignment possibilities to consider. The world of technology has gifted us with a plethora of learning options. Check out website Duolingo to learn a second language, get your healthy on at Nerd Fitness or grab some video learning at Information is Beautiful. If you prefer in person learning to virtual worlds, feel free to join us for our yoga class at The Atlantic Club on Saturday mornings or come join our macro economic instruction at Brookdale to keep your worldview expanding in the land of commerce and connection. Think you're too old or not quite bold enough to learn something new or daring? I challenge you to recall the teachings of psychology pro, Al Bandura that taught us the importance of small, consecutive stages of progress as the keystone to success. So if you want to "touch the snake" to dispel your fear of learning something new or intimidating this year, remember Bandura's cues to create successive building blocks to break through to new levels of achievement in 2014. You'll be going BIG in no time.

As we craft our new year, new you goals in the spirit of adventure and lifelong curiosity, lets not forget the paramount importance of effective stress management. One of the greatest tools that has enlarged the lives of wellness seekers has been the simple gift of stillness. So if you've ever spent time in the professional or personal wilderness trying to figure out how to restore and endure, give silence a whirl. Some find this exercise through meditation, prayer, gardening, dog walking or simply being truly present in their daily lives with others. When work or life gets too frenetic, try what Rick Hanson suggests in his popular book Buddha's Brain. To paraphrase one of his important messages he suggests that when we know stillness and get comfortable with silence, critical insights come forth. When the insights appear, then and only then can we become more clear around what it is that will enrich or improve our lives. Give the gift of goodbye to the energy vampires and start ushering in new insights and a more rewarding life. The end game in clarity is that we are finally able to work, communicate and share our giftedness in the world in the spirit of greater awareness which is what our wellness community knows as yoga in action. So if you're dealing with long lasting life shifting stressors in the new year or need a refresher on how to deal with the invariable insanity of life sometimes, think about bolstering your immune system with a ten minute mindful meditation to refocus your day, week, month or new year. It will yield mind, body, spirit and relationship dividends like no other, no charge. And if you'd like more integrated leadership learning on point, pick up a copy of book, Yoga as Medicine by Dr Tim McCall or join us for Yoga On the Lake this spring. It will give you something to look forward to!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated national business/wellness speaker, business consultant and resilience coach that empower leaders, corporate teams and conference attendees with the intersection of her business, wellness and life experience expertise. Ongoing global advocacy and upcoming events, workshops and speaking engagements are viewable at www.donnalyn.org . She is the President of DLG Consulting, co-owner of Heritage Benefits Grp & producer partner at Couch Braunsdorf Insurance all in Red Bank. She is on staff at Brookdale as an economics professor and business consultant for the Small Business Development Center for entrepreneurs. She teaches yoga here and travels widely sharing yoga in her spare time.