Celebrating National Nurses Day and the Heart of Wellness Culture

May 6, 2018 by

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Happy National Nurses Day! First I want to personally say thank you to all the nurses out there. I value you as a person and I value your profession.

At World Wise Beauty I spend a lot of time exploring wellness culture and specifically in the area of Lifestyle as Medicine. At WWB, we look at prevention, self-care and how to manifest wellness in all aspects of our lives. Often, we don’t think of Nurses and the people working in the healing professions until we get sick. Nursing is a profession truly undervalued and most certainly taken for granted. They are there when you are giving birth, and they are there when a loved one is sick and dying. They will be there for you when you are dying. They are with you in your most vulnerable of moments, whether you are preparing for a colonoscopy or throwing up all over yourself in the middle of a painful biopsy.

All I could think of when cared for by a nurse is “God it must be so challenging to keep cool, take care of medical details in a crisis moment, and provide me comfort as they are doing it”. Yes, I was thinking of them, right in the middle of my own discomfort. I was grateful for them. They are there by your side, focused on the medical state of your body at any given moment, but also the personal comfort of your body and spirit. And they often take care of your family when they’re visiting. This in itself is a feat! Nurses are there to take care of you, a role with duties only your mother and father might have and this is a mighty important role. Maybe I need to spell it out. The vital need that matters to all of us, when all is said and done, is receiving care with compassion. Ultimately this is LOVE. How do we miss this?

Now I wouldn’t be honest, if I didn’t recognize that some nurses ( like some doctors) don’t have a ‘bedside manner’. I personally have been fortunate to have experienced more angels, than individuals who are not meant for nursing.  I also know many healing professions have been compromised by the current medical system we have had in place the last 40 years.  Enduring long shifts and assigned too many patients can rattle the best nurse. This can go for the teaching profession too by the way. I am speaking of a culture, very specifically a profit driven culture that has permeated our healthcare system for far too long. Culture matters, and our nurses are the closest thing you get to angels, considering the pressure they are under and the culture they work in. This doesn’t have to be, if we change how we look at ‘healthcare and wellness’ and RAISE our expectations. Not by demanding more of nurses, but by demanding more of our institutions, organizations and culture.

We are the culture and what we focus on is what we value. If you stop and think about this, you would not conjure a pretty picture of us as a society right now. What is sad is there is so much wellness wisdom around the world, which we can learn from and apply to our own culture. We can’t do this if our only end goal is to make a profit. This is not what healthcare is, and yet it is a ‘market’ that we follow like any other ‘industry’. Pay attention to this language because we are defining what we call health care.

Wellness has to be an individual commitment, but we cannot have true personal wellness without a healthy culture to work and live in. There are many books out there today written by doctors who are now talking about the futility of working in a culture called ‘healthcare’ that’s truly not dedicated to healing patients. I will be talking with one soon in my WWB Q&A section. It’s a subject we must talk about if we are to strive for wellness culture. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t good medical professionals out there. There are many, but they are working in a system designed first for a ‘ profitable business’ and this compromises healing outcomes. Can we do both? I think we can, but we have to start with the ‘values’ at the heart of the health organization. Most importantly the wellness values at the center of our culture and hearts.

Nurses are on the front lines of heathcare and will be there for you. Let’s make their work culture a healthy place for them to work in, so they can take good care of us. It is all interdependent. They are human beings, who also need to be healthy. I myself would feel better knowing my nurse got a good night’s sleep and had a healthy breakfast to start her day. I would hope she took much needed breaks when working double shifts, and she had time to feed her soul when she clocked out of her work day. She is a human being, a very special human being, who deserves to be well too. The next time you see a nurse, think of her day, and let her know how much you appreciate her dedication and vocation. This grateful ‘mindset’ is one of the important pillars of wellness culture, and your nurse is the heart of wellness culture. Let’s live life well…

P.S I invite you to follow WWB for Q&A’s with experts, authors and visionaries dedicated to true wellness culture, and your individual well-being. New website is coming in June, and you will be able to explore ideals for wellness culture and self-care in a newly updated platform designed to help you cultivate your own healthy lifestyle!

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WWB March Ideal Finds Features Inspiration from the Philadelphia Flower Show & Treats for Bird Chirping Weather

Mar 30, 2018 by

 

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Yes bring on the bird chirping weather! In my area of the country, we have had a very slow start to spring.  With snow still on the ground, it was delightful and uplifting to attend the Philadelphia Flower Show this month for Spring inspiration and color therapy. Having attended many beauty, health, and wellness shows for most of my career, it’s a thrill to add this show to my personal must go list! Presented by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society the beautiful and creative botanical exhibits are the main attraction, but there was also unique exhibitors from the world of beauty, health and wellness I was thrilled to find and discover.

I remember seeing a quote by Christian Dior that said “After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world.” We agree don’t we! There are so many parallels to draw about women and flowers, but the one I like especially, is each flower and woman is uniquely beautiful and comfortable in their own skin. Take a peak at the WWB branding images and you will see how I’ve always made this connection.

Following are a few Ideal Finds I discovered at the Philadelphia Flower show I thought you would appreciate. All of them make great gifts for loved ones and this includes yourself! As always, I have specific criteria for Ideal Finds, so feel free to review the conscious living values I look for when making the month’s Ideal Finds selections for you. Let’s look forward to bird chirping weather and colorful beautiful flowers blooming. Whether it be in your yard, your garden, or a public park or botanical garden, take time to enjoy the magnificent beauty of Spring…

Happy Easter weekend!

 

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WWB ‘FEEL GOOD’ CHECK LIST

  • Cruelty Free: No animal was harmed or tested on
  • Sustainable & Eco-Friendly: green, organic and sustainable
  • Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise: Free of harmful chemicals known to harm you
  • Socially Responsible: Fairtrade and Social Mission Retail
  • Committed to Wellness Culture

 

 WWB  IDEAL CATEGORIES/MARCH

  • Self Care: Personal care products for calm, relaxation and empowerment
  • Conscious Beauty: Meets one or more of the ‘feel good’ criteria
  • Healthy Epicurean: Edible treats and food with healthy and organic ingredients
  • Artisan Hand Made: Beautifully Designed, Creatively Crafted, Useful & Enduring
  • Books & Inspirational Gifts: Celebrating Wellness Wisdom, Lifestyle & Culture

 

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PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW 2018/WWB Photography

 

HEALTHY EPICUREAN & SELF CARE

 

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The Tea Spot

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST:  Sustainable & Eco Friendly, Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise

Morning Mojo: Morning Mojo’s boost will help you take charge of the day. This breakfast blend pairs pu-erh with the ideal black teas to create a perfectly rounded morning cuppa. Pu-erh, known for its effective caffeine punch, has been used traditionally for centuries as a slimming and beauty tea, as well as a hangover cure. With added vanilla to smooth out your morning routine, and citrus peels for a cleansing glow.

WWB Wellness Note: The Morning Mojo caught our eye at the show but do explore their caffeine free herbal blends as well here!

The Tea Spot Ideal Values: The Tea Spot is a leading producer of handcrafted whole leaf teas and the creator of Steepware®—innovative teawares that make healthy tea effortless and accessible. The company was founded in 2004 by Maria Uspenski, a cancer survivor drawn to the health benefits of whole leaf tea during her recovery. Her message is simple and powerful: tea in its freshest form renders premium flavor and unmatched health benefits. With a steadfast mission to foster health and wellness through tea, The Tea Spot donates ten percent of all sales in-kind to cancer and community wellness programs. To date, they have supported over 100 organizations and touched more than 10,000 lives. The Tea Spot is a Colorado-based Certified B Corp, woman-owned and operated philanthropic business.

 

ARTISAN HAND MADE

 

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Jonathan’s Spoons: This piece seems to be sold at specialty stores around the country. You can check out the makers main passion ( spoons) by visiting his website. To purchase the Sunflower tea steeper visit the Maker’s Market website.

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST: Sustainable & Eco-Friendly

 

 

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Jonathan’s Ideal Values: My spoons have developed over the years. Originally made of uncommon spoon woods such as lilac, plum, and honeysuckle, I have since chosen to make my spoons of cherry wood. This is a hardwood with handsome color and grain, durable, smooth, and strong. My utensils have a unique sense of balance and warmth because they are designed with the hand and purpose in mind. “Spoons” have become spatulas, tongs, spaghetti forks, spreaders, and more. Today I offer a natural cherry finish, a flame-blackened surface with a sanded edge to reveal an accent of warm cherry wood, as well as flame-blackened stripes and spots.

 

SELF CARE

 

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FORMULA 55  ‘Bath Tablets’

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST: Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise

DETAILS: The sparkling bath fizzies are made of ground dead sea salts mixed with our signature fragrance blends. When placed in a full tub of water, the tablet fizzes and distributes the fragrance and skin soothing oils throughout the water. I recommend one tablet per bath, although you can break each one up.

INGREDIENTS: ground dead sea salts, epsom salts, baking soda, non gmo-cornstarch, citric acid, almond oil, essential oils

FORMULARY 55 IDEAL VALUES: “We started as a hand-made company and it’s important to us that we remain a hand-made company even as we grow. We’re just getting started, and yet you can already find Formulary 55 products in 800+ retail stores spanning 17 countries!”

 

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BAMBOO TRADITIONS 

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST:  Sustainable & Eco-Friendly, Committed to Wellness Culture

PILLOW DETAILS: 

The ultimate pillow for your comfort and relaxation. Shredded memory foam on the inside to keep you properly supported and paired with a hypoallergenic bamboo liner to keep you cool as you rest. Your best night’s rest is only a pillow away.

  • Cover is 40% bamboo (viscose rayon), 60% polyester
  • Removable bamboo outer shell
  • Shredded memory foam inside
  • Perfect for any sleeping position
  • Naturally hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal
  • Keeps sleeper cool at night

PURCHASE AT AMAZON HERE

BAMBOO TRADITIONS IDEAL VALUES: “Our products are all designed to improve sleep and, ultimately, improve quality of life. The textiles and materials we use are from some of the most sustainable plant sources available. We believe in our products and our customers satisfaction!”

 

BOOKS & INSPIRATIONAL GIFTS

 

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GROW WHAT YOU LOVE by Emily Murphy /NEW Spring 2018

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST: Committed to Wellness Culture

Grow What You Love, 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life, featuring 12 sets of seasonal ingredients, garden-to-table recipes, and easy to follow methods for growing your garden, no matter the size. The colorful book will begin with an exploration of Emily’s approach to gardening and how it can fit into modern life with little time and effort. She will go on to give advice on how best to choose food plants that readers love, or can discover, and follows with simple methods for garden-to-table growing, including a selection of her favorite seasonal recipes. The result for readers will be a garden-fresh bounty for any time of the year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Emily Murphy is an organic gardener with a BS in Ethnobotanical Resources from Humboldt State University under which she studied botany, environmental science, and ecology as well as religious and cultural studies, and herbal medicine. She later studied pedagogy at Sierra Nevada College and garden design with the California School of Garden Design, and worked as a classroom teacher and school garden educator. She teaches and speaks regularly about gardening and living, and her writing appears in numerous publications such as Better Homes & Gardens. Visit her blog here.

AUTHOR’S IDEAL VALUES: “In gardening, as in life, I say, GROW WHAT YOU LOVE. Find the things that make you happy and grow them. Lots of them!”

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How to Live Life Well in 2018…WWB Features 4 Inspiring Books Filled with Inspiration, Wisdom & Tips

Dec 31, 2017 by

WWBPicks2017

WWB Library of Wellness Culture

 

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It’s New Year’s Eve, and baby it’s cold outside here on the East Coast of the United States! It seems like the perfect day to recommend 4 wise books that will be sure to warm you from the inside out and inspire your New Year. Here are a few points of interest about the books selected for you.

  • Three of the books have been selected as World Wise Beauty ‘Book Wise’ Picks in 2017 and you can find links to the Q&A with Authors below.
  • One of the books ‘The Little Book Of ‘Lykke’ was just released this week and the author also wrote the International Best Seller ‘The Little Book of Hygge’. Don’t know these fun Danish terms? Learn more via my book highlights below…
  • All of the books focus on wellness lifestyle and culture and inspire us to cultivate a healthy positive mindset while providing us with real tips on adopting their approach to happiness, personal fulfillment and well-being.
  • One of the books is about a Japanese approach to longevity and happiness. The authors are not natives of Japan but one of them has lived there for over 10 years and has really embraced the ‘Ikigai’ mindset. We can too!

Enjoy the overview below and order these books as soon as you can, so you can relax by the fire, or under a warm throw on a comfy chair, with a good book full of wellness wisdom and inspiration. While each book is short in length, they are filled with meaningful ideas and tips you will want to apply in 2018. Happy New year and may it be full of Ikigai, Lagom, Lykke and Hygge! Live Life Well…

 

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The title of the book Ikigai is a Japanese word whose meaning translates roughly to a reason for being, encompassing joy, a sense of purpose and meaning and a feeling of well-being.  Recently the book was selected as WWB’s Fall Book Wise pick. You can find the Q&A with author of the book here and learn more how he has embraced the ‘Ikigai’ mindset living in Japan.

WWB’s Fav Section: Finding Flow in Everything You Do–How to turn work and free time into spaces for growth. In a world that has us crazy with multi-tasking, we can learn a lot about focus and becoming completely absorbed with one task. Don’t you love that wonderful feeling when you have lost track of time and you are completely committed to where you are and what you are doing. Let’s go with the flow in 2018…

 

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The title of this book Lagom, is a Swedish word meaning “just the right amount”. The Lexin Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right”. Lagom is also widely translated as “in moderation”, “in balance”, “perfect-simple”, and “suitable” (in matter of amounts). I think this mindset maybe the most challenging for Americans as we tend to strive for ‘more’ and this is strongly embedded in our psyche! With the environmental crisis we are facing world wide, hopefully we will embrace a Lagom state of mind sooner than later. What if enough was enough? Good questions to ponder in the New Year. Of note there are several books with LAgom in the title, but this particular book I found to be the most insightful and grounded. The author is not Swedish but she’s a travel writer and photographer, and enjoys exploring various cultures through food, tradition, and lifestyle. Of note, she’s an award-winning writer, speaker, and photographer represented by National Geographic Creative. You can find her award winning photographs throughout the book! My Q&A featuring her book is here to learn more about her worldly perspective and love of Swedish lifestyle.

WWB Fav Section: Nature and Sustainability! We Americans could use MORE of this wisdom! Don’t you think? What I love about the Swedish approach to home and living is the art of bringing nature indoors but also their appreciation for nature all around them. The Swedish interdependent mindset’ is one we can all aspire to.

 

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The title of this book is based on a Danish word ‘Hygge’ meaning a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). I like how the author simply says it’s ‘cocoa by candlelight.’ Love it! Don’t you want more “Hygge’ in your life? That hot cocoa metaphor is easy to conjure and can be experienced in your real life easily. Especially this week in New Jersey! You can find my feature on the book here and also learn more about the author’s research at the Happiness Research Institute.

WWB Fav Section: What’s Love Got to Do With it? Oxytocin! That’s what. Also called the ‘cuddle hormone’  oxytocin is a natural neurohormone produced by our bodies when we experience a feeling of love, warmth and security. It requires a hug, cuddling or just general physical closeness. The amazing thing is you can release Oxytocin just by petting and cuddling with your pet!  However we achieve some cuddling, we all need more of it flowing through our bodies for our health and wellness!

 

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Hot off the press! Last but not least, this book was just released here in the United States this week. Lykke is a Danish word for happiness and what better way to explore the concept of happiness than with the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (the capital of Happiness!) Here’s the thing, the really really good thing, Meik Wiking believes we all have the ability to achieve happiness. His research allows him to talk to people from all over the world and he believes WE HUMANS have a lot in common no matter where we are from. He has found the common denominator of happiness and whether we are in New Jersey, Copenhagen or India, we get happy about very similar things. Reading this book you will arm chair travel with the CEO of Happiness around the world and discover what truly makes us happy!

There are so many good tips sprinkled throughout this book, like simply start doing little random acts of kindness. I just did this today. My neighbor is away, and I brushed all the snow off her car and pulled her wipers up! I worried by the the time she got home, with the deep freeze we are facing this week, she might not be able to get into her car. I was doing my car, so why not do hers? Random Acts of Kindness starts right in your own neighborhood! Shhh don’t tell her. It was random!

WWB Fav Section: Decouple Well-Being and Wealth. Need I say more? Okay I will. Money does not buy happiness. Especially in Denmark! What seems to work well in Denmark,  is enjoying a good quality of life does not have to cost a lot of money. In fact the Danes are not alone, there are other cultures he highlights in the book who know how to be happy without being wealthy. Here is another cultural mindset example. In America we are told we will be happier if we make more money and buy more new things.  But what the author’s world wide research finds is happiness is linked with experiences not things. You will find so much wisdom in this ‘Little Book of Lykke’. A very world wise and worthwhile read sure to inspire your resolution to truly be happy in 2018!

 

 

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WWB’s ‘Book Wise’ Fall 2017 Surprise: Two Inspiring Books Explore Cultural Ideals and Values for a Life of Happiness & Wellness. Special Q&A with Two International Bestselling Authors…

Nov 2, 2017 by

WWB BOOK WISE FALL 17 (2)

Book Wise Category: Non-Fiction/Wellness Wisdom & Inspiration

 

 

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Author Profile: LOLA A. Akerstrom, Author of ‘LAGOM’, The Swedish Secret of Living Well

Having lived on three different continents — Africa, North America, and now Europe — for extended periods of time, Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström is drawn to the complexities and nuances of culture and how they manifest themselves within relationships.

She holds a master’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Lola worked as a consultant and programmer for over a decade before following her dreams of becoming a travel writer and photographer, exploring various cultures through food, tradition, and lifestyle.

Today, she’s an award-winning writer, speaker, and photographer represented by National Geographic Creative. She regularly contributes to high profile publications such as AFAR, the BBC, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure and National Geographic Traveller, to name a few –
She has received photography and writing awards, including recognition from the Society of American Travel Writers and North American Travel Journalists Association. In addition, Lola is the editor of Slow Travel Stockholm, an online magazine dedicated to exploring Sweden’s capital city in depth.

Author Insight: “For me travel is about being an open minded sponge.”

 

HGAuthor Profile

Héctor García  author of ‘Ikigai’ the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, is a citizen of Japan, where he has lived for over a decade, and of Spain, where he was born. A former software engineer, he worked at CERN in Switzerland before moving to Japan, where he developed voice recognition software and the technology needed for Silicon Valley startups to enter the Japanese market. He is the creator of the popular blog kirainet.com and also the author of A Geek in Japan, a #1 bestseller in Japan.

Author Insight: “I enjoy more creating things than consuming them, I’m a dreamer.”

 

 

Laura Connolly, Founder of WWB Opening (aka Lauroly)- It is only when we read books like yours, that we realize how important ‘ideals, values and rituals’ are to a happy society, when they are baked into the culture. Culture is a way of life and a collective mindset. What I enjoyed about both your books, is you manage to distill the little rituals and habits that any person in any culture can adopt. We hope so anyway! The challenge for a big melting pot like the United States, is we have so many cultures within one country, and the only common one we all seem to relate to is our love for success and independence. Starting from this premise, how does a country like the USA adopt ‘wellness mindsets’ like yours when our philosophical pillars are so different? ‘Independence’ as a way of life is very different from an ‘interdependent’ socially connected way of life. How will your prescriptions for happiness and wellness translate to a place like the United States?

Lola: You can tell a lot by a culture based on how it handles stress. I often say that some cultures prioritize fighting stress first so they can be productive while some other cultures try to be productive while working through stress. Sweden (and many Scandinavian countries) fall in the former category while the US falls in the latter category. And what are the sources of stress in our lives? Getting adequate food, shelter, money, healthcare, education, etc, as well as other physiological needs. What happens is, cultural mindsets that prioritize fighting stress first will put structures in place to create as much harmony, order, fair access and organization as possible first, while cultures that fight through stress can create more ingenuity and competitiveness to deal with stress. Both mindsets have their pros and cons. However, Sweden (and other Scandinavian countries) have been consistently ranking in the Top 10 for high quality of life, overall happiness, work-life balance, and other social indices for decades. So there is something we can clearly learn and adopt on some level from their cultural mindsets. This is why it was important for me to tackle the “why” of the lagom mindset on a deeper level in my book, not just “what” a lagom mindset superficially does (i.e., fika recipes, eat cinnamon buns, declutter, etc). A lagom mindset is all about balance and anything that tips that scale heavily to one side or the other (not too much, not too little) can be considered a form of stress so the mindset continually re-calibrates itself (just right) by trimming excess and unnecessary things – be they physical, relationships, or tasks.

Hector: I like to thing in terms of individualism(independence) vs collectivistic mindset. As you say U.S culture is very individualistic and that leads everyone to be always in a mindset of continuous competitiveness. Japan is a very collectivist society, there is competition but at group levels. If you try to be individualistic here and stand upon the group you will most probably fail here. You have to be much more careful and mindful about others by default just by being here embedded in the culture. So, how do you implement a wellness mindset in a place like the United States? I believe it all starts with having an awareness of things. It seems easy but is not. One way to gain awareness is by asking ourselves WHY are we doing certain things. Many times we will realize that we are just doing things to show off or to gain the approval of others (for example checking smartphone first time in the morning is a reaction of wanting to know if we have the approval of others on Facebook, Instagram etc.). Once we have the awareness that we are being driven by a very “independent” mindset the next step is to start finding what we really want to do in life, our IKIGAI. This is also not easy, but one of the first steps is to start by eliminating bad habits from your life. A simple one is to not check your smartphone during the first 2 hours of the day. When you start eliminating bad habits, you will naturally tend to start doing more of the things that you really like and love. Your life will start shifting naturally to your IKIGAI--your reason for living.

Lauroly Q- One of the things I found when reading your books, is both cultures value ‘simplicity’ and ‘nature’. It seems in your cultures, you do not separate the home from nature. In other words, your ‘interdependent’ mentality extends to nature as well. Share with us, how this leads to happiness in the home and the community in your culture…

Lola: Indeed. The Swedish love for nature is rather intrinsic and has been cultivated since youth (as early as kindergarten). Kids are bundled up under layers of clothes and left to play for hours outside regardless of weather (barring full blizzards). Many schools follow an active outdoor program. Babies sleep in strollers outdoors. There are several government policies in place (including Allemansrätten – every man’s right) that allows you to fully enjoy nature, camp. pick berries/mushrooms and use any public land as freely as possible. So Swedes see nature as their home and are proactive in terms of cleaning and taking care of it, just like our physical homes.

Hector: Simplicity is key in Japan. When I arrived here with my European mindset I found Japanese shinto shrines so simple that I was not impressed at all (I was used to European cathedrals and churches). But with time I came to appreciate more and more the beauty of Japanese shinto shrines precisely because of how simple they are. I learned that simple does not mean easy. We humans tend to get attached to all kinds of objects or possessions. Training our minds and souls to be happy with as less as possible is not easy, but once done we will feel freedom in our souls. I will use the same analogy with nature. Japanese shinto shrines are almost always surrounded by nature, even when found in cities, the shrines are filled with trees that cover them in green. Japanese know that nature is not part of life, they understand that nature is life.

Lauroly Q- Daily rituals are a big part of both cultures. Which rituals do you think are driven by the cultural values of your country? Can you connect the value with the ritual? Which ones do you think can translate and work in any culture?

Lola: One of the most notable rituals is the daily act of observing fika – which is breaking several times a day (3-4 times even) to enjoy coffee and a sweet treat with colleagues, friends, or family. While on the surface it may seem like just a sweet tradition, it is a form of re-centering to keep that internal lagom scale balanced. Working too much is an antithesis of lagom. Work-life balance is collectively pushed within the Swedish psyche through lagom. Partaking in fika is an act of re-calibration, so you can carry on processing the day from a point of balance and harmony. The tradition of fika is firmly rooted in lagom.

Hector: One big daily ritual in Japan is to bath in hot water. It is done most of the times before going to bed. It has been shown lately that both hot water baths and saunas 3-4 times per week have many benefits to our health. This is just one of the most common rituals, but Japan in general is a ritualistic culture, in which “micro-rituals” embed the life of everyone. For example, before starting any business meeting there is always the same business card interchange ritual with very precise manners that sets the mood of the meeting. It is not about specific rituals that will change your life, it is more about using rituals or micro-rituals to do things daily without having to be stressed to make decisions or be stressed about doing something. Rituals automate many things in our lives and help us to focus on what is important.

Lauroly Closing- I am so honored to share both your books as ‘Book Wise’ picks at World Wise Beauty. Both books are inspiring and together create a healthy cultural cocktail we can all enjoy and digest. I would suggest including each of them in a loved ones stocking for Christmas. Or each can be given on days of Hanukkah!  Here is to a lovely holiday season full of wellness ideals like slowing down and spending time with family and friends. we have to find a way to make this more of a daily experience in our lives.

Lola Closing: Thanks so much Laura. The beauty of observing how other cultures work and what they do exceptionally well is that we can pick and choose which elements of their mindset we can adopt to make our own lives richer in many ways. Lagom doesn’t hold all the answers in life but what it does hold is the mental key to free us from overt and needless consumerism by paring down what we truly need to be focusing on, buying, or maintaining in our lives.

Hector Closing: Totally agree Laura. We have to slowly shift our awareness from always trying to stand out, be successful and compare ourselves to others to being more present to our friends and family. The more we listen to the people we love, the more they will start also listening back and forgetting a little bit about getting more likes on their social networks. We humans, we are social beings, let’s be together in our lives and not alone and “individualistic”. In a way it can also be something to make us better, since the more love we give the more supported we will feel by the people around us, and the more love we feel, the healthier we will be and the longer we will live. This is what we discovered when visiting Ogimi, the village of the longest living in the world to write our book about IKIGAI. They live in very close communities in which they all support each other. Thank you for featuring us!

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WWB Wise Guru Series: Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Research on Circadian Rhythms. WWB Joins the Sleep Doctor, Dr. Michael Breus, for a Q&A to Discuss Why it Matters to Us…

Oct 11, 2017 by

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Laura Opening- Welcome back Dr. Breus. For all those who haven’t read your book ‘The Power of When’, here is a chance for them to learn more about your important work and pick up your book. Before we get to your ground breaking research, we first have to acknowledge the Nobel Peace Prize award in Physiology or Medicine that went to three doctors who have discovered molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. Now when we just say this, many will wonder, well why would that matter to me?

At World Wise Beauty I try to present important research, medical science and wellness wisdom in real context. The first question I always ask is, ‘Why does it matter?’ But before we get to this, let’s start first with a simple question. What did this Nobel Prize winning research specifically unveil for us from a scientific perspective that is so ‘eye opening’? No pun intended!

ThePowerofWhen

Dr. Breus: The basics behind the research showed that in fruit flies (who actually have very similar circadian rhythms as humans) the researchers were able to isolate the gene that controls our daily biological clock. This gene encodes a protein that accumulates in a cell during the evening and degrades during the daytime. This clock regulates behavior, weight loss, hormones levels, sleep and body temperature. Understanding this mechanism helps us all understand why we experience jet lag, how our internal biological clocks affect disease, our hormones, and literally everything we do. As you may remember in my new book, ‘ The Power of When’ this is EXACTLY what I have been writing about.

Laura Q- Yes you did, and hopefully more people will discover your work with this post! Now that we understand how our genes control our daily biological clock, what does that really mean if we are all different bio-individuals?

Dr. Breus: Actually we are more similar than you might think. The genetic studies that are going on in Sleep Research are on “common species” areas.

Lauroly Q– Why do circadian rhythms matter and why does understanding our unique biological clocks matter to our health?
Dr. Breus: So here is where it gets so fascinating, when I was in school, we learned that basically there was one central biological clock for time passage ( aging) and there were a few others that controlled hormone regulation, etc. Now we have found over 100 different control centers in the body. They each send information to each other. I think of it like grand central station in New York City. There are trains coming from all over the place to one central location. If one train is late, it could mess up all of the other trains going in or out. So the timing of these clocks actually controls our health, completely. These systems have a regularity to them or a rhythm. They become predictable, and more efficient. This is how the immune system, metabolic system, sleep system, all systems function.

Lauroly Q-  There is our answer. Sleep is a real regulator to everything in our ‘ biological system’. Should we all be in sync with sunrise and sunset for optimal health?

Dr. Breus: Yes, but it is really unrealistic to think that we can do it correctly. Remember that we have at least 4 different chronotypes, so there are some of us, who are more prone to late evenings and others who are morning people. As a side note, there was a great study on insomnia, where they took insomniacs out into the woods camping for 2 weeks. By the end of the study, everyone’s sleep had significantly improved. It was likely due to the sun exposure, and a reduction of EMF exposure talk about in sync with he sun!
Lauroly Q- In your book you identify many different types in the context of sleep needs.  Does the circadian ‘sync’ vary from person to person?
Dr. Breus: It does vary based on Chronotype. Lions (early risers), Bears (in-betweeners), Wolves (late nighters) and Dolphins (poor sleepers). If you want to know your type go to www.thepowerofwhenquiz.com and get it for free.
Lauroly Q–  So does this mean that some people are just genetically wired to be night owls?
Dr. Breus: Absolutely. I am. Interestingly enough you can even get this tested at 23 and Me, due to the genetic nature of chronotypes. It is based on the PER3 or Period 3 gene and its length. It effects sleep drive and timing.

Lauroly Q- While we are different genetically, is there still some unifying wellness wisdom when it comes to sleep that all human beings need to listen to?

Dr. Breus: Yes, consistency is the key. Most specifically in your wake up time, keep the same for weekdays and weekends, everything gets better, assuming you are sleeping by your chronotype.
Lauroly Q- The first thing I think of when it comes to circadian rhythms, is cultures living in the Northern Lights part of the world. How does the abundance of light exposure and then the significant decrease of light effect their circadian rhythms?
Dr. Breus: There are a lot of issues with sleep in these areas of the world. Sunlight appears to play a significant role in the human biology, from Vitamin D production to being the re-start button for the brain each morning.
Lauroly Q-Have their genes adapted over time living in these areas?
Dr. Breus: To a certain degree, yes. But I doubt that anyone is completely unaffected.
Lauroly Q- We know there is more depression associated with the decrease of light. I suppose even if you don’t live in these areas, but are vulnerable to depression, getting sunshine would be important. This correlates with the Vitamin D hormone that activates when we are exposed to the sun and then chemically regulates our serotonin synthesis. As we know, serotonin is one of the happy chemicals in our system. Take it from here Dr. Breus, I’m just trying to connect all the dots!

Dr. Breus: Light therapy is used in both depressive diagnoses and some sleep disorders. In depression the light helps re-set the persons circadian rhythms, which sends all of the other systems back in sync. This appears to play a role in the recovery from depression. While it is not the whole reason, it does seem to have a significant effect.

Laura Closing- Thank you for sharing your expertise with us Dr. Breus. Now that we are learning more about our biological clocks and our connection to nature, we can begin to see how everything is interdependent in wellness. As Plato so wisely said “The Part can Never be Well, unless the Whole is Well.” I encourage everyone to read ‘The Power of When’ and learn more about your own body’s internal clock. Sleeping will become a healthy habit, just like a good diet and exercise is.

Dr. Breus Closing: Thank you so much for having me, and if people want to learn more they can check out my website www.thesleepdoctor.com or learn your chronotype at www.thepowerofwhenquiz.com

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