Articles by Marie-Josée Shaar
Marie-Josee Salvas Shaar founded Smarts and Stamina to help organizations implement healthy living as a business strategy. She combines positive psychology with fitness and nutrition to accelerate personal and professional health and growth.
The arts have inspired us for centuries. Think of the emotion you still feel when you hear the song you associate with your first kiss or remember the play that made you laugh to tears. The arts add much richness to life. Yet, they are practically absent from work places.
Let’s explore what the arts can contribute to our work lives and to good health.
We intuitively know that when we sleep poorly, we are drawn to snacking and overeating. We also know that nothing gets rid of a crappy mood faster than a good sweat and that lower stress levels contribute to a better night’s sleep. So why are so many programs treating sleep, food, mood, and exercise as if they were separate topics?
Victor Strecher summarizes it well. “What’s the point of high energy and living a long time if we think life sucks? When we have purpose, we want to be at our best so we can better serve that purpose. Purpose is akin to the root system of a tree, grounding and feeding the whole organism so it can flourish and thrive, no matter what the exterior conditions are.”
Many sources in the wellness industry erroneously treat the concepts of disease prevention and health promotion as if they were one and the same. That’s a big mistake, and not recognizing the inherent distinction between the two undoubtedly reduces our ability to implement our health intentions. Here’s why, and how to use each.
Over generations of survivors, humans developed thinking shortcuts which are still very pervasive today. Of these common shortcuts, 5 are very costly to our health. While it is unlikely that we’ll ever break free of their influence, increased mindfulness can alleviate their effects on our thought processes, behaviors, and wellness.
The Flourishing Center, in partnership with the New York Open Center, is granting a Certification in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) through a 6-month program that has been approved by the New York Board of Education. The program covers all the topics that make positive psychology so fascinating, including gratitude, resilience, positive emotions, mindset, flow, strengths, and self-regulation. It also covers topics that are becoming mainstream in positive psychology, such as mindfulness, altruism, spirituality, neuroscience, and physical vitality.
The desire to fit in is a powerful shaper of behavior. In some cases, social pressures serve us well. In other cases, social pressures are lagging behind their times. Here’s how to use social pressure to extinguish four unhealthy social norms.
Today I’d like to spend a few minutes looking at the many health benefits of owning a dog.
Like it or not, your boss is either helping or hindering your health big time. Working with a good boss could be even more important than choosing the ideal doctor.
So as far as I’m concerned, sexy is a function of good sleep, food, mood, and exercise. With poor habits in these four categories, we live a second rate version of our lives. But with good habits in all four categories, we can be and offer others the best of who we are.