Monday June 17, 2013
My younger sister and I are both trying to lose ten pounds and, unfortunately, we are both struggling. The formula for weight loss seems so simple (take in fewer calories than you burn), so then why do so many of us spend years battling the scales. My sister likes to call it the "I feel fat, so I'll comfort myself by having a cookie!" syndrome, or what is more commonly known as emotional eating. Eating when we are sad, bored, upset, or angry is all too common, but why do so many of turn to food in response to emotional upheaval?
According to Mary E. Pritchard, professor of psychology at Boise State University, we do so because eating has become our primary coping strategy. Not only do people often eat when they are trying to avoid dealing with stress, they also eat simply to make themselves feel better.
So what can we do to break this vicious cycle?
Pritchard suggests a number of things that you can do to put an end to emotional eating, including changing your ideas about food, putting an end to obsessing about food and weight, and finding new outlets to turn to when dealing with stress.
Do you struggle with emotional eating? Be sure to check out the following information, resources, and advice that might help:
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Friday June 14, 2013
Definition: Drive-reduction theory is an explanation for motivation that focuses on maintaining homeostasis, or a sense of equilibrium. This theory was developed by psychologist Clark Hull and suggests that imbalances, such as being over- or under-aroused, create needs. As a result, we experience drives to fulfill these needs in order to return to a state of balance. Examples include thirst and hunger. Since these states are unpleasant, we seek to satisfy the drive by fulfilling the need. In other words, when we are thirsty, we drink; when we are hungry, we eat.
Hull also believed that reducing these drives serves to reinforce the behavior. As a result, we are more likely to engage in the behavior again in the future.
Learn more about drive-reduction theory.
Image courtesy Piotr Bizior
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Interested in job advancement? A new study by researchers from Brigham Young University suggests that passion is the key. The study, appearing in the journal Organizational Science, found that employees who were "true believers" in their company's mission, product, or service were more likely to advance in the workplace than were those who lacked this passionate belief.
The study involved surveying a number of employees who worked at companies that have what are known as 'mission-based cultures.' "Many organizations today have a well-defined mission with enduring principles that matter, not only to employees, but to other stakeholders," explains John Bingham, Ph.D., BYU professor of organizational leadership and strategy.
Why is true-belief linked to career advancement? The researchers suggest that those who are seen as strong believers in the company's cause tend to be viewed by others as leaders and become more influential within the organization. The study's authors note that while having a mission-based business is a great way to recruit and retain top employees, managers need to be genuinely dedicated to the cause. "If top management doesn't believe it or is simply using it as a ploy, it doesn't work," Bingham suggests.
Learn more: "Want to move up at work? Be a true believer" - BYU News
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Monday June 10, 2013
Summertime might seem like a time to kick back, relax, and let go of all the cares and worries that plagued you all last semester. While you might not have classes over the next couple of months, that doesn't mean that summer is stress-free. In fact, for a lot of students summer can be especially stressful as students struggle to plan for the next school year and work to save money to pay for college.
In addition to student-specific concerns, Elizabeth Scott from About.com's own Stress Management website suggests that there are a number of sneaky sources of summer stress. For parents, having your kids home all summer long can present a real challenge. For many, keeping kids entertained, finding childcare, and figuring out how to pay for summer childcare can be seriously stress-inducing.
Other potential sources of stress including taking on extra work to cover for vacationing co-workers, planning your own summer vacation, anxiety from an overbooked schedule, and miscellaneous smaller hassles such as coping with the heat or shopping for flattering warm-weather clothes.
Fortunately, there are plenty of different things you can do to tackle your summer stress. Be sure to check out this article on how to minimize summer stress with tips on how to cope and keep your cool all summer long.
Image by Steve & Jem Copley