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How to Uncover Happiness When You're a Leader

Being a leader can be and often is a high stress job. The demands on your time, the tough calls, the conflict resolution – it can all add up. If you’re not paying attention, it can leave you feeling stressed out, burned out and even depressed.

In this episode of The Next Level Podcast, I’m sharing a conversation with an expert who can help teach you how to avoid that. Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., is a psychologist, a well-known and respected teacher of mindfulness and the author of several books including The Now Effect and his latest, Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion.

In this brief conversation, Elisha shares several of his strategies for putting the brakes on the overwhelm and stress which can leave leaders feeling depressed. He explains our brains are not wired to absorb the huge amount of data input that the modern workplace throws at us and shares antidotes that can improve not just your productivity but your overall well-being.

You can listen in here for the wisdom and practical tips that Elisha shares from his new book Uncovering Happiness.

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(Image via Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock.com)

Why You Should Take Time to Not Think

Ah, the third week of the new year. The holiday break is an increasingly distant speck in the rearview mirror and we’re all back up to our eyeballs in work. And, of course, our brains are working overtime trying to churn through and process everything we have to do. Gotta’ stay focused, right? There’s too much to do to just let your mind wander.

That’s the wrong call. Let your mind wander. Not all of the time, but at least a few times a day. If you can’t imagine doing that a few times a day, at least take a few breaks during the week to give your mind time to not actively think about a problem you’re trying to solve or a project you’re trying to finish.

Here’s why.

Your brain needs time for unconscious thought. As I cite in my latest book, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative, research by Kellogg School of Management professor Loran Nordgren and his Dutch colleague Ap Dijksterhuis shows that the best decision-making and problem-solving comes from a mix of conscious and unconscious thought.

I was reminded of this over the past week as my own ...

Consider How You Want Them to Feel

If you work in an organization with other people, this is the time of year that you’re likely having conversations about goals and expectations for the year. You may be the boss having those talks with your team members. You may be the team member talking with your boss. You may be both.

It’s natural to approach the conversation with a focus on what you want out of it. You have hopes and expectations for the new year. Maybe you want to push the reset button and put things on a new path. No problems with that. It’s all good.

Here’s a tip for a successful conversation. Don’t make it all about you. Focus on the other person in the conversation. Ask about what they want. Ask how you can help. Maybe most importantly, before you start the conversation, ask yourself how you want them to feel after the conversation.

How the other person feels at the end will be a big factor in what happens after the meeting. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about thinking about what you want them to do. I’m talking about how you want them ...

How Baby Steps Can Keep You on Track This Year

Have you found yourself already Googling the topic, "Why do New Year’s resolutions fail?” On what is, for many of us, the first full workday of 2015, I’m reminded that this is where the rubber meets the road in terms of all the intentions and resolutions that were made over the holidays.

There’s a lot of research and opinions out there about why resolutions fail. In this post, I want to focus on one big idea about how to make them successful. It’s baby steps. Take them. Love them. Celebrate them. Revel in them.

Baby steps, when focused on a goal and consistently taken, lead to big results. They enable you to make progress by solving for 2 percent or 5 percent instead of 100 percent. Here are a few stories -- one about the Beatles, one about yoga and one about business -- that illustrate what I mean by that. The stories are followed by five principles for applying baby steps that have worked for me and my clients. Please read on and share your thoughts and questions in the comments.

One of my own intentions this year is to take advantage of technology to learn new ...

15 Ways to Get Ready for the New Year

As the year winds down and the holiday season is upon us, it’s a great time to reflect on 2014 and plan for 2015. (I wrote a post last week on the reflecting part. Tune in next Monday for the planning part.) When I look back on 2014, one of the biggest things I see in the rearview mirror is the release a couple of months ago of my newest book, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve read plenty about the book this year. What you may have missed, though, is a lot of the original articles I wrote and interviews I did on the book for other websites, publications and radio shows. Thinking that you may have a little more free time than usual over the next couple of weeks, here’s a recap of 15 articles that just might help you get ready for the new year.

First up, I wrote two articles this year for MindBodyGreen.comThe latest is 20 Mindful Habits to Practice for a Happier Holiday. The first was 24 Ways to Be Mindful All Day, Every Day.

Canada’s newspaper of ...