00:00 You’re listening to the live happier, longer podcast, episode 50
00:15 welcome to the live happier, longer podcast we’re your host Molly Watts and Angela McDade. We are here to help you build the five habits of happier, longer life and to create your habit mindset, starting now.
00:29 Hey Angela. Hey Molly. Welcome to episode 50. Five O. Wow. That is amazing, isn’t it? I mean I think it’s pretty cool. We’re quite impressed with ourselves. Well, I don’t know about that. We’ll just give ourselves a good old, you know, thumbs up. We’re still here. We’re still doing it. Hey. And still have great information, I looked at a podcast statistic a while ago and I think once we made it pass, like we got to episode two, we were like better than like 50% of them got. So I think it was a pretty low bar, but you know, but now we’ve got to be, I think we’re, we’re ranging up there and at least the top 20% of all podcasts. So too shabby. Yeah, I’ll take it. We will take it.
01:13 We today, Angela, we’re finally, we’ve gotten to a daily habit number five. We’ve been going through our five daily habits again and habit number five on five Oh episode. Yeah. Wow. Didn’t, didn’t even plan it, but it’s sort of cool. Yeah. We’ve been diving deep into all of them. And you can go back and listen for daily habits one move to learn, three share, four give in prior weeks here. But today we’re focused on daily habit number five, which is let go. So we’ve always said that daily habit number four give which was last week and five let go, are intertwined or inverse of each other. They go together. Yeah. So, and a couple of weeks ago I actually addressed the subject of stress and anxiety in our newsletter cause I’d been having a kind of a stressful just time in my life. And I want as far as to say that this maybe the most important habit of all, uh, we say daily habit number one move is for a reason.
02:23 And actually that’s a part of a strategy for letting go is exercising. Yeah. But, um, well I think for stress is, it’s one of the most negative, um, invisible factors. Yeah, exactly. That’s why it’s so bad for you. It’s because invisible in the silence. It’s not Tangible. Right. And it’s different for everybody. Not everybody has the same reaction to stress and even physiologically or emotionally. But for people in, in fact there are, there’s science behind that as well. Some people do have a much higher tolerance for stress and some people have a lot lower. If you’re in that lower threshold, you can be doing some really, yeah, it doesn’t take much, you can do a lot of damage. A lot of damage to your physical health. Yeah. So, uh, and, and really on a scientific basis looking at the United States in particular over the last, uh, 50 years, there are biological markers that science scientists have studied that show that stress is having an impact on our overall health.
03:41 Uh, stress related disorders and diseases have been on the rise in the whole population for the, for decades and according to data from the centers for disease control and prevention, including those leading to these depths of despair. But also to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The physiological stress load, a precursor to many diseases has increased in striking fashion since the late 1970s and is getting worse as each new age group enters adulthood. We should see this increase in mortality for what it is, a leading indicator of what could be in store. For many of us that’s pretty strong language and pretty strong. Um, just again, that’s not, you know, that’s statistics. These are what they’re seeing, this is what they’re seeing. And so, uh, they’re all of these things that um, these diseases that, that again usually relate back to the inflammation and that comes from a stress reaction.
04:46 Yeah. And I mean obviously eat, eating and drinking and exercise and all of those play into, but definitely stress is a huge factor. Well, and the thing of it is, is that stress, like a lot of people think that there is a direct correlation between stress and, uh, high blood pressure because we, yeah. You know, because you feel right. You people say, Oh my, you’re, you’re, you’re raising my blood pressure. Right. When they feel stressed. Yeah. That’s because that links to a very acute reaction, that fight or flight reaction, which is basically our, our, you know, evolutionary way of handling. Yeah. Eminent danger. Right? And there’s stress that goes on in the world today and we do have that same fight or flight response. Uh, but it’s not healthy for us. I mean, it’s not necessary. We’re not really trying to evade imminent danger, but we have that same sort of reaction.
05:43 Yeah. And that even, but like I said, even though that’s that acute thing and in, in that acute moment, your blood pressure rises, stress on in general doesn’t elevate high blood pressure in a chronic way. Yeah. It doesn’t, it’s not the cause is of chronic high blood pressure, right. Hypertension is not caused by stress. However, what happens is that people typically when they are stressed, do the negative behaviors that do increase blood pressure. So it’s drinking alcohol more or overeating and being overweight, not exercising. Smoking is one of those things that people do to relieve stress and different addictions, right? All of those things have a negative impact on, uh, blood pressure, which again, high blood pressure is as known as the silent killer. So, um, that’s one of those things that again, it’s not direct causality. You know, stress does not equal high blood pressure, but a lot of the, the, um, activities that we might do is hand in hand, right?
06:55 Yeah. So beyond stress, when we talk about let go, uh, we really mean all of the negative emotions that can build up over time, anger, fear, sadness, regret. Uh, and according to studies, people with severe life regrets had more cold symptoms, had more coughs, sneezing, fever and headaches. And researchers. Researchers also saw an increase in depressive symptoms such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating in those people that had unresolved regret. They talk about neuroticism. I don’t think that’s a very nice word. It’s right. Doesn’t sound great, but basically it’s people that are who that score high on neuroticism are more likely than average to be moody and to experience such feelings as anxiety, worry, fear, anger, frustration and be jealousy, guilt and loneliness. And those people tend to dwell on things and internalize their stress rather than let it go. And this can also translate into an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
08:04 Yeah. So I don’t know, again, it’s not like there’s a straight line that connects everything, you know, to uh, having a negative carrying around negative emotion and straight lines and disease. It’s kinda like a domino effect, right? They just one tips over and then it tips over and tips over. Right. But I think that it’s pretty clear. And again, this goes back to the opposite side, which we’ve talked about in daily action Number four give, there is a lot of science behind the fact that leading an optimistic life, being optimistic. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. It adds life to your, adds longevity adds to your longevity. So if you look at letting go of negative emotion as a way of increasing a positive emotion and being more optimistic than for sure, it’s definitely aligned to having a longer, happier life. So, uh, basically the ability to maintain optimism and process negative emotion in a healthy way is what leads to increased longevity and increasing positive.
09:17 It, it’s and it’s done by avoiding negative behaviors and increasing positive habits like exercise. So one way of letting go that has already got a lot of science behind it actually. And this I think was, was very interesting when we were researching five for life. I didn’t really know this personally, I think, um, is that uh, is meditation. So there is a growing body of research that supports the immediate benefits of meditation such as reduced stress and anxiety levels, lower blood pressure and increased happiness. Studies on mindfulness intervention show these effects are common in this few as eight weeks. While these initial perks may be not a reason enough for us to practice, meditations positive impact appears to be even more far reaching potentially adding years to our lives and improving cognitive function well into old age. What I see that as that that kind of, um, information is this, if you think about, there’s not necessarily a direct correlation between the negative emotions linking to disease, but there’s a positive information showing that letting go of them and meditation actually can be proven to have health benefits.
10:40 So you got to think there’s, there’s the, they’re the same side of the coin, I mean, or different sides of the same coin, right? Yeah. Um, at least that’s what that, you know, that’s the way that I yeah. And, and, but not only that, it’s if you think about, um, yoga for instance, we already know that yoga is, you know, physically very good for you. But doing yoga has a very meditative part to it. And if you go to yoga class, you are more likely to see as many older people doing yoga, right? As you do see younger people doing yoga. So the fact that these, um, older people are one, physically capable of doing it, but they also look amazing. Like their, they are physically their face, they’re fresh and healthy. You can visibly see it, right?
11:49 So science aside, you just have to look and see. It’s obvious right there in front of you. What I mean by the science, and I think this is what you’re, I mean, what we’ve, we’ve read is that meditation seems to affect longevity of the physical body, uh, at the cellular level. Yeah. It basically, and we’re not gonna get into, um, all the, all the science. Angela was like, no, Molly, we’re not gonna talk to them about the, the telomeres yet. You know, there’s, the short version of it, would be better, is that the cells themselves change depending on whether you meditate or not. And that cell change, eh, is directly right linked to your actual, the aging process and how you look. Right. Which would mean the longevity to, yeah. So if you’re slowing down your cellular aging, you’re slowing your, you’re increasing your longevity.
12:49 Yeah. So we won’t talk about the telomeres or, sorry, is that how you say it? Telomere yeah. Alright. Anyway, look it up folks. Telomeres. Um, there’s also some evidence that meditation may also result in changing the brain structure itself. Yeah. And that in terms of increasing actual like gray matter and, or thickening of the cortex. Yeah. And then the, just the slowing the degeneration, which is kind of a what because we naturally degenerate as we age. So meditation has shown, bottom line, it’s shown to slow that degeneration. Right? So all good things, all good things and very sciency. So, um, while there, there are probably many contributing factors, it’s pretty clear that stress, anxiety, anger, regret, they don’t help you live a happier, longer life. No. And we also know that stress to some degree is an inherent part of the world we live in today and we need to take positive action, build a daily habit of letting go to manage our minds and build optimism.
14:00 We had some earlier episodes on stress and I think it’s important to, uh, mention those again because there’s some really great resources. One of our very favorites was our second podcast. Yeah. So our first podcast was just us chatting. So it was really like our first, um, podcast with Dr Janet Birkey who, Oh my goodness. That was just a little piece of gold. Yeah. She was so great. She had so much great information and we’ll link to that to our show notes again because really she had some great resources for everyone and her program is called better than counting to 10. And it was all about reducing stress. And she also spoke about good stress and bad stress and which, which is also very important because you have to get through your day and you deal with each different stress in a different way. And she had very specific ways of doing it and it was just really great. Yeah, she was great. She’s super fun to talk to, super fun to listen to. So episode number two, we will link that in the show notes.
15:10 Episode number 33, we spoke with Dr Catherine Sanderson on the science of happiness and mastering your mindset. And she’s great. She has the books and just very well educated and yeah, really talked about how, uh, some people come into the world with a higher level of optimism. They’re genetically wired. It just is right. Um, but that you can offset that by your behavior and your choices and your mindset. So yeah, and one of her, I loved her little piece, a nugget, um, was to smile. And smiling, the simple act of smiling has so many good benefits. Uh, but again, you can listen to episode number 33 and we will link that in the show notes as well.
16:00 Uh, so here are some tips that can help you build the habit of letting go and with everything. And this is going to sound a lot like I think the episode number four again, our last episode 49 give because quite honestly, this again is something that’s very proven for especially, uh, for letting things go. And that’s, and that’s going to be journaling. So studies have shown that one of the most powerful ways of letting go is to write things down in a journal. And so we, in our five for life planner, we have, there’s again, space morning in the evening for either gratitude or letting go, but there’s a spot for it. And this is again, the way that you get consistent in the way that you really focus on letting go of the things is by doing it every day, and writing something every day. And I think it’s important to note that for a lot of people, the stress and the what’s going on, the circumstances in their lives, we talked about this last week in terms of reframing things.
17:11 Oftentimes people are not really even, they want to blame everything on the circumstance and not understand that it’s the thought that they’re having. Yeah. And that they can and but what they thought they’re having right at that moment, that that whatever is going on is going on. And then when you write it down later, you look at it and go, that’s, that is a little ridiculous on my part. You know, so you can kind of look at it with a different set of eyes because you’re, you’re reading it back. Sure. So that is a very good exercise. And it does. Because the thing is, is that, that’s one of the reasons that writing down is so strong, especially for letting things go, is because it helps you clarify in your own mind, right? Because you may not even be aware that you’re having the thoughts that you’re having about a certain situation and you need to let those come out and put the sentences down so that you can really see.
18:13 And just like you said, you might look and go, Oh, well that’s not really that. Yeah, maybe I overreacted there. Maybe they were doing it with a different meaning. It just, it, it lets you look at it a little differently. Right. And you know, again, keep it easy. Don’t, uh, you know, if you, we are our planners small, you can carry it with you wherever you go if you really want to. And it’s, it’s that easy to write your thoughts down when you want to, if you don’t want to set aside a specific time during the day, uh, however it feels right. Don’t worry about, uh, spelling mistakes. What other people might think. Remember this is really a space for you to just use. Yeah. And it will, you don’t really want to, you don’t really want to share it necessarily with Janey in the office that she really bugged you this morning. That would probably be less than that. That might not help. So it’s a good spot to do it in your journal and not necessarily, um, complained about it at the office.
19:14 Yeah. Keeping journal helps you create order when your world feels like chaos. And it lets you get to know yourself by revealing your most private fears, thoughts, and feelings. Look at your writing time as personal relaxation time. It’s a time when you can distress and wind down. So again, this is kind of like we talked about last week, making the habit obvious, making it easy, making it attractive, and making it satisfying. So again, if you’re trying to build the habit of letting go, you want to, yeah. And do it yourself in a comfortable position and situation. Right. And if it’s not a journal, that’s totally fine too. There are other things that you can do to let go.
20:01 And we’re gonna talk about those as well, but whatever it is, you want to make it so that you are achieving that feeling of relaxation. And I know we’ve mentioned this a couple of times are our friend Deb Gutierrez from abundant health. She, she talked about, you know, replacing the habits, the negative habits, right? With a different positive, relaxing habit that gives you that satisfaction of relaxation. And that’s how you, you know, can relate those two. You don’t, you can start changing your triggers from being automatically to saying I’m stressed. Therefore my, that’s my trigger for cheese and wine, right? I can change my stress trigger too. I’m going to take a bath and I still get to be that feeling of relaxed and um, it replaces that negative habit with a good one. Just to say again about the practice of doing a gratitude journal or, or letting it go part of your journal.
21:00 If you, you do that at bed time. If you do decide to incorporate that at nighttime, it’s very possible that it’s going to help you get a better night’s sleep. Yeah. Cause you have that feeling. It’s a bit like the old saying, a problem shared is a problem halved. Yeah. And physically putting it out there whether that it’s to somebody or putting it on the page. It’s, you’re getting out, you know, you’re not holding on to it and swirling it around and in your head yet. And so you just getting it out, it just takes it just lifts the burden slightly. And I think that uh, you know, that’s, you bring up a good point and that’s the, in the whole area of mind management, uh, we call those, the thought loops that where you cannot get yourself out of a, a negative thought loop and you’re overwhelmed.
22:03 And we actually have a blog post on the website about that when you’re in a feeling of overwhelm and how to get out of that and how to let that go. And we’ll link that in the show notes as well. We have a full, in fact, a full resource pack on a stress reduction or how to let go because it is such a big issue. It’s a big issue for a lot of people it is. And a lot of people are walking around not really practicing, letting go. Like again, I think it’s kind of like gratitude. Like it’s there in the back of your head. You’re like, yeah, okay. Right. I should really, I should really let that go. Yeah, I’m really mad. Or, or even the stress, like I should really unwind. I should really relax but I can’t just yet cause I’m busy cause I’ve got, you know, and we live in this state of eternal, constant go, right?
22:58 Constant busyness where it’s again, a badge of honor where not getting any sleep, working 60, 70 hours a week. This is all uh, rewarded, right by society in some ways. And so the idea that we need to actually step back, unwind, and that goes back to blue zones, right? Absolutely. Literally the, it’s wine at five or what’s the, it’s yeah, but basically it’s like happy hour. Like yeah, that’s a part of the nine pillars or that I’m foundations and it is literally like basically happy hour, take a pause. And that’s a part of the people that the Blue Zones. But it’s scheduled. Yeah. It’s on your calendar. This is what I’m doing. This is my time out from, from everything that’s going on. Relax and unwind. Yeah. Uh, so anyway, we will put, uh, our link to that resource back to the stress resource pack, uh, in the show notes as well.
24:07 You can find it on our website too, the download, uh, because it’s just got a lot of great worksheets, ideas and really good resources. One of them, and I’m gonna just take this off of that worksheet, but you can grab it anyway or some has some ideas for reducing your stress or letting go. They are, uh, take a nap in the afternoon, which sounds like a good idea. I don’t know that my boss would really enjoy that at my desk. But you know, on a weekend. Yeah, having a nap in the afternoon is underrated. So nice. And it doesn’t have to be like a two hour siesta. Right. Just a 20 minute little snooze, you know. In Scotland we call it 40 winks. Oh, don’t ask me why it’s called that. I want to go 40 winks, that’s nice. Have 40 winks.
24:58 Go for a walk. I mean that’s probably one of the best ways of reducing stress overall is exercise. People talk about that. I know most of us, I think that’s pretty well understood that if you are feeling a lot of stress, exercise will really help you out. Going for a walk is a great way to do that. Read dance, hold a baby. Oh yeah, yeah. We probably not the best. You might not be the best people to ask that. Yeah, there is may be slightly biased. There is a baby at work right now. He’s like four months old. Like she’s getting to bring him in and you know she’s got her, she’s got her play pen right in their office when she carries him around. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Anyways, that’s definitely a way of reducing stress for me. Um, volunteer, play solitaire. Visit a farmer’s market, take a bath.
25:55 Definitely high on the list for me. Relax in a chair. Listen to favorite music, color in a coloring book. Yeah, adult coloring books were all the rage there the last couple of years. Yeah. Then that’s good. Uh, aroma therapy. I have a memo for everyone. It’s October. If you haven’t lit your pumpkin spice candles, I would highly recommend definitely aroma therapy at the Watts’ household. Uh, listen to an audio book. That’s one that I use all the time. Call an old friend, watch the sunset, sing along with the radio. I do that all the time. I’m not sure it’s supposed to be a stress reliever. I just do it anyway. Yeah. But I like it. Deep breathing and look at old photos. Those are just some of those that again, those are on that uh, sheet that’s in that resource pack. But there are some good ideas.
26:46 One of the things I wanted to mention about meditation, because I think that meditation for a lot of us is a little bit scary. At least it is for me. Is it scary for you? Not so much. No. I wouldn’t say scary. I would see it seems difficult. Yeah. Right. So it seems hard. Seems challenging. Challenging is probably, yeah. I guess scary is the wrong word, but challenging. Like it just seems hard to me. Um, we talked to, uh, it’s like, you’re sitting going, am I doing it? Right. Is, is this what I’m supposed to be doing? Am I doing it. No, if you’re asking, you’re not doing it right. Right. Oh my gosh. I actually listened to, this is the reason that I’m even bringing this up is because I listened to a podcast, uh, to how I built this. Everyone knows that it’s heard from me that I love how I built this and it was the guys that founded Headspace.
27:44 So if you’re not familiar with meditation app, listen to that one yet. Okay. Well, Headspace is like the mother of all meditation, but the guy that founded Headspace, uh, his, the one that one of the cofounders is Andy somebody. So Andy decided in his early twenties to be a Buddhist monk. Oh yes. And when studied with the Buddhist monks for years. Oh wow. And now he’s the cofounder of Headspace. Like multimillionaire, quite a life journey, let’s just say that. But the whole process of meditation and what he went through like, like he went to like wherever he went to Thailand or Tibet, wherever you went, the guy, none of them spoke English. So he never spoke like they like he like his mentor. Like they would just speak to him and he had no idea what they were saying and he just sit there all day long. Whoa, that is a way to learn meditation. Yeah, exactly. Not recommending that. But you, if you listened to, if you uh, want to learn how to meditate, Headspace is by and large the, the, it’s like a step by step gate and Andy’s voice is the one you’ll hear.
28:54 So it’s very. So that’s one app. Another app is called calm or calm with a silent L. It’s calm, don’t get, don’t be distracted by the Scottish women folks anyway. Um, and calm is another really nice app for not only meditation but helping you get to sleep as well. So again, those are two different resources and I will link those in the show notes as well. There’s going to be more, more stuff down in the show notes this week than any other week. Yeah. And I forgot all about this one, but we had that episode with Paulette Reese Dennis, where she talked about walking meditation, which I thought was really interesting. That was, yeah, so there’s, there’s that way to meditate as well. Anyhow, just some different ideas on how you can practice letting go.
29:49 Yeah. Oh, and also this week I listened to another podcast and he was speaking about the importance of letting goal, but Ella tool tip. So if there’s somebody, if Janey in the office is really getting on your nerves and you just, every time you see it are here and just like, it just causes tension. The best we to try and get over that is to, back to the whole hand in hand with gratitude, is you find something about that particular patient that you are grateful for. And if you can find the thing that you’re grateful for, it takes the emphasis off the negative stuff. Negative stuff. Yeah. So if you can find that little nugget of gratitude that is a way of helping you let go. Oh, I like that. So yeah, that was right again. And can we just say, I just want to make sure just in case. So my boss’s name is Jennifer, this is in no way. We’ll see. I said, Janey know, not Jenny, again, the subtleties. She doesn’t go by Jenny anyways. Oh golly. Anyhow, but I like that.
31:08 That is what we have to say today, folks on letting go and building up those habits of both give gratitude and let go. Take the action daily. It requires a consistent action over time to actually get those benefits. Meditation, very much proven that the more you meditate, the better it is for you. Yeah, absolutely. Increasing here in long term their longevity. So their science right there. We will be back next week. And as always, we appreciate you listening. Look for all the links in the show notes and we’ll see you next week. We’ll see you there.
31:51 Thanks for listening to the live happier, longer podcast. Now it’s time to move, learn, share, give and let go. Five daily habits to make the rest of your life the best of your life. See you next week.
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Episode #8 Movement, Momentum and Magic