Using basic relaxation strategies (breathing, taking breaks, engaging in meditation or prayer) plus social media savyness have been found to help the participants in our recent study to experience greater wellness at home and at work.
Join co-researcher Kevin Wilby and me as we get to dialogue about what truly helps you to RELAX!
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Okay. This is Sibylle Georgianna. Again, and I'm so excited to talk about an inspiring topic today, as this is your mental wellness podcast for your voice and your sanity. So we've looked at mental wellness in terms of mental fitness, for example, focus and attention. We looked at stress, resilience, finding ways that we can get our reptilian brain. Keeping that we keep that in check, we looked at confidence that we can grow as we practice our voice, and decision making, also known as all sanity. And we looked at physical performance a little bit in terms of food and nutrients, and how we can strengthen our sanity that way. But today, I am so excited to talk about the topic of physical wellness in even how that may apply itself in a positive way to life and work satisfaction. And we all have heard about or maybe we've learned in our schooling, that physical activity has been found so helpful to disk, decrease stress and anxiety, even for reading, which is also contrary to mental wellness. And so today, I get to welcome Kevin will be an organizational psychologist here with me, welcome, either. So good to have you. I was so excited you had time to join. Thank you so much. I've had the privilege of seeing Kevin's many skills grew through our collaboration in the master's program in Organizational Psychology at Vanguard University, where we looked at help students and employees who would use advanced relaxation strategies, if they would benefit more in terms of their work and life satisfaction than those who who just use like a basic protocol of relaxation. And we really wanted them all to boost their physical vitality. So welcome, Kevin.Unknown:
Thank you. Yeah, I'm glad to be here. And it's a very interesting scope of research. And I enjoyed working with you and just going over this project.Sibylle Georgianna:
Oh, yes. And, and if you just bring the listener up to speed as what, what would bring you into? Or what would attract you to this type of study? Yeah, soUnknown:
I'm in so yeah, just a little brief summary is, I received my master's in industrial organizational psychology from Vanguard University. And I got it last year, and I focused my research on how things like personal vitality, workplace vitality, and relaxed relaxation of vitality affects people's general job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and subjective well being. So I looked at a lot of these different things. And I think the reason why I was so interested in pursuing this is just knowing that, you know, that there's multiple different aspects to life that, you know, we have to juggle a lot of different roles and a lot of different things. And it really shows like solid evidence for which areas, we really need to make priorities in our lives. And one of those is definitely our vitality. And that's manifested in several different ways. And the research just shows how beneficial it is to making that a priority. And I think the more research on it, the better to confirm it.Sibylle Georgianna:
That's beautiful. And I am I, again, I was so grateful you wanted to partner on this type of work, because I feel it's so it can take us so far, if we just as an not so little, but you know, as if we can only focus a little bit on that, on the physical side of the well being. And so if there was something you took away from maybe the study or the approach or the questions, how we asked them, what would that be?Unknown:
The main takeaway I got from this specific study I worked on was just how many you know, so are just some background with this study, we had several hypotheses we were testing. And the main takeaway was just how many hypotheses we had related to vitality, that were confirmed. And so these are just three I just want to list real quick. So we found in our study that you know, personal vitality, how one tends to take care of themselves, you know, Take time to, you know, relax in the afternoon, go out for a walk or take naps or have, you know, times of solitude or, you know, just personal reflection, that personal vitality positively correlated with the participants life satisfaction. That's one second personal vitality, it positively correlated with job satisfaction. And three, that personal vitality, it negatively correlated with participants screen time usage.Sibylle Georgianna:
That's right. That was, you know, I think it's one of the things I really loved was that you had so many, so many areas you wanted to look into, when we look at our lives, because it is so complex, right, as you say, we want to look at it really in terms of how can ask, feeling well, using relaxation benefit, how we look at our lives, how we experience our work. And as we are also impacted by technology? What did you What are you what what would you have found about the vitality view? I mean, about the technology use? Do you want to describe that a little bit more? Oh, yeah,Unknown:
of course. So yeah, weekly screentime, that was comprised of how the total sum of time that or how many hours a participant is in front of any kind of screen during the week. So that could be a computer, it could be a tablet, it could be a smartphone. And what we found is that, you know, these increases in how much participants use screen time, it negatively correlates with the personal vitality. So a negative correlation means as one increases, one variable increases, the other one decreases. So that implies that if a part is a participant, increases their weekly screentime usage that their attentiveness to their personal vitality would decrease potentially,Sibylle Georgianna:
Mm hmm. Well, I think it's, it's, it's kind of like, you wonder what, when we use our screens is this more, I think we didn't see any difference in terms of people using it more actively or following more passively, although in general, the more passively we engage with media, I do think that there are studies that show that it would have a negative impact on subjective well being in so but at the same time, we take our technology use for so for granted or even we feel maybe obligated to, to use it, or maybe we have a hard time turning off our devices, especially when maybe others around us work later or expected to, you know, still check in on things past six o'clock, or whatever hour or whenever I'm working. And so I do think being aware, in putting deliberate effort in to take deliberate breaks, that can go a long way. Yeah,Unknown:
I agree. And I Seville, I really liked that you mentioned the dynamic of passive versus active social media use. And I want to say that in my research, you know, I, I found that, you know, there is a significant amount of, you know, increased dissatisfaction on those who use social media in a very passive manner, where they're just scrolling through news feeds, and just looking at what everyone else is doing. Whereas someone who might be more active on it, and actually, like, you know, taking photos of themselves doing different things, it could get a little nuanced, but there is a difference.Sibylle Georgianna:
Yes, and I think, in general, I think the the passive following has has wasn't as as conclusive maybe in how it came out in our data, but at the same time, it is in line with, you know, existing studies that say that, if we are not interacting with others, if we are, you know, they can be very many negative side effects, unfortunately, for my more passive use, including self esteem, depression, anxiety, and all those, those difficult feelings there. But on the other hand, what I loved about our participants was that it didn't really you know, they, the it mattered, that they use just, even just the basic level of relaxation. strategies, they didn't have to take big classes or advance or do hour long retreats, it's it's just the basic use of relaxation, or the ones that are more intuitive. That already went a long way in terms of higher life and work satisfaction. And, and maybe there's even an age, influence of age as we see that, especially the older populations, that they, they were able to maybe better wing it or you know, they just kept going with it. But in general, I think the women in the study, although maybe fewer, and far further than between them than the male participants that we had, they overall used more advanced strategies, and they have reported the highest life and work satisfaction. So there is something to keep working at your relaxation protocols, and to remain deliberate. But even if if, you know, we get busy, or we have, you know, bad weather, and we can't go to the gym, or you know, there's other other ways that want to restrict us, even if we stick with the most intuitive way of relaxation, taking breaks, taking naps, you know, just having staying off screen time, at least for a little bit. That can go for long, that can go a long way.Unknown:
Yeah, I agree. And personally, I've struggled with passive social media use. And I've actually taken steps to like, remove apps from my phone. And that way, I only view them when I'm on my desktop. So when I'm at my desktop, I'm not prone to the endless scrolling, where I was in the past with using it on my phone. So it's like, yeah, we have to be intentional and ever just readjust. When life comes. And you know, just flexibility and trying to focus on what works well, for you, I agree is very important.Sibylle Georgianna:
Oh, and I totally agree with this idea of removing access or removing apps. Because it's as if, you know, we have this, this constant burning in the back of our brain to just triple check. And as well the scrolling is just such a such a, in a way, like a trap to the brain that, you know, it's we do it, although we just checked or we do it although, you know, it's really not not as inspiring as other things could be. So yeah, abstaining from usage or removing, removing distractions, I'm all for that. And I need it as much as anybody else. No brain is exempted from, you know, from that zoning out there. So, so now if I would ask you like, Who do you follow? That's kind of like probably a little bit counterintuitive to, you know, to just say, Well, you know, I took some AP So, but are you following maybe other people's research or, you know, something that inspires you or who maybe inspired you to kind of downsize the apps a little bit?Unknown:
Yeah, so I would definitely say, Cal Newport is someone I've been following for several years, and Cal Newport. So he's currently a, He's an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University. And during his time of going to Dartmouth College for undergrad and he got his PhD in computer science at MIT. He's been writing a lot of nonfiction about how people perform well. And I'll say the last two books he's written. So the latest one is called a world without email, reimagining work in an age of, of communication overload. And he kind of talks about how we need to have clear processes in place and that the email overload isn't helpful. And his previous one was digital minimalism. Oh, yeah. HeSibylle Georgianna:
mentioned that to me. I think I did. Yes. So sounds fantastic.Unknown:
Yeah, I would highly recommend anyone interested in being, you know, set free from the pull of these, you know, devices and apps, and just want to have a better ability to focus he he's his writing is very eloquent, very succinct, and he has multiple books he's written, and the thing I liked most about Carl is that he has, how do you say it? He exemplifies this in his life in the sense that he doesn't post anything on social media. He uses email newsletters and you know, just podcasts to reach people. His podcast is called deep questions. And so yeah, I would highly recommend his work.Sibylle Georgianna:
Yeah, that's wonderful, we can put that in the show notes. That's wonderful. Yeah. And he probably has some good basis also for what he claims or what he, what he inspires us to do. So if if there was a way to do maybe a redo to a time or you know, some something in your life, which you want to do, or we do to, to something, or do you feel right now, that there is nothing that would fall into that type of category?Unknown:
Hmm, I think one thing that did come to mind was, regarding my master's program, I kind of felt like, it would have been more ideal if I went into the program, having had a few years of more administrative, you know, job, job holdings before coming in, so that I would kind of have a better understanding of the work world. But regardless, I'm still grateful that I attended the master's program, when I did, I learned so much from you, and from the other professors that were there at that time. And, you know, just collaborating and doing research, it was such an awesome opportunity, and I'm so thankful and blessed that I was able to do it. SoSibylle Georgianna:
that's very deep. And I'm so honored, again, that you even partnered in this endeavor. I know, it was, it was a lot of labor. And I do think that timing wise, you know, it's so hard to kind of know, what what, what is the best timing as kind of life progresses in the way it does. Maybe like your insights can inspire others, because it is even sometimes such a decision whether you know, to make it into your grad school program, or to delay it a little bit more, and perhaps, to go with what the flow but even if there is time, you know, spent differently than school than it would be also, you know, we can we can make every situation benefit. But, but as we're in it, it's it's complex.Unknown:
Definitely, in the midst of the times, yeah, it could be complex, but afterwards, we get more clarity on the situation.Sibylle Georgianna:
Yes, and I think even when, when we think about decision making or sanity, it's really the practice of decision making, it's not making the right decisions. It's like, well, this is what I have at this time. And this is what we can come up with. And this is what what life provides or offers or you know, seems to be holding back. So, but at the same time, practicing the decisions in whatever way they come about is, is, is giving the skills for the soundness of mind. And for the sanity, overarching Lee, at least, that I wanted really not just information out there on mental wellness, I wanted to be fostering the using of our voice and capacity, you know, that's really what we call those outcome variables, right, we really I really am driving for, for us to be at our best and to just contribute with what we have. And I'm, you know, to make this this world, the best place we can. So if someone in the audience wants to reach you, how can they do that?Unknown:
Oh, yeah, um, so you can find me on LinkedIn. And just like Kevin will be my last name is spelled w i l. B as in boy wire. Or if you want to add my email, Sybil, I could be k will email@example.com.Sibylle Georgianna:
Perfect. I will put that out there as well. And I can't thank you enough for making yourself available. As I couldn't thank you enough for making all that hard work possible. And you collected data and I was like, oh my goodness, that was like, so, so meaningful. So thank you again, for all that you you've had contributed. I do believe there's much more coming for you. And I can't wait to see that unfold. So based on that soon again, and talk to you very very soon. Okay.Unknown:
Okay, thank you so much Sybil. It was nice being on. Thank you so much for having me.Sibylle Georgianna:
Absolutely. Thank you toxin.