How to Control Your Emotions With Your Breath

Emotions and breath are a part of what makes us human, and we can control both.

Some emotions are awesome. Joy, love, and contentment are a part of what makes life worth living.

Others aren’t so awesome. Guilt, anger, frustration, and fear aren’t things we want to experience every day.

We’re not here to learn how to suppress negative emotions. Many of them are important, they warn us about danger or guide us towards our morals and values.

But sometimes our emotions can get a little out of hand, guiding our behavior in ways that we know don’t serve us…

Savoring Happiness: How to Prolong Positive Experiences

Savoring happiness and prolonging positive experiences is key to enjoying life.

Over the years, we humans have developed a unique skill; unique and, quite frankly, a little annoying.

It’s called hedonic adaptation or the “hedonic treadmill.”

Basically, it’s our ability to get over things quickly. You get a promotion, celebrate, then return to baseline happiness. You have the best night of your life on a Friday night and by Monday it’s a distant memory.

Even people who win the lottery quickly return to their original levels of happiness shortly after the novelty of winning has worn off.

Admittedly, this adaptation…

Gratitude: The Most Powerful Practice

We talk about gratitude a lot at Blue Door. It’s even plastered in extra large font on the top of our homepage. There’s a reason for that. We firmly believe it’s one of the most powerful exercises you can do for your mental fitness and overall wellbeing.

Yet it’s something most of us aren’t doing…or at least aren’t doing enough.

We totally get it. We experience what we like to call gratitude fatigue from time to time.

Even though we know how profound the benefits are, it can feel like a real chore to actively cultivate feelings of gratitude.


The  Surprising Effects of Music on the Brain

There’s something special about hearing your favorite jam pumping out of some quality speakers, but what effects does music have on the brain?

Whether it’s an orchestral masterpiece composed a hundred years ago, or a rock-n-roll classic by Queen, we know that music makes us feel something.

That something is the product of a combination of neurological processes that all take place in the brain.

As humans, we’ve been making music for thousands of years; and we’re just beginning to understand what it’s capable of. It may even be time to consider adding music to your mental fitness routine.


Three Reasons to Take a Break From Screens

The science is clear; we all need to take a break from the screens.

Screens have become a universal part of our daily lives.

We use them for work, entertainment, social interaction, learning, and more. I wrote this on a screen and you are reading it on a screen.

Today’s technology is phenomenal and the ability for us to access such a vast wealth of information is changing society at an impressive rate.

But, it’s coming with a price; a price we are just beginning to fully understand.

Too Much of a Good Thing

If you look up how much…

How to Calm Your Mind When You Feel Distressed

Mastering techniques to calm your mind when you feel distressed will make a massive impact on your life, and it all starts within.

We all have an inner voice. That voice constantly analyzes the situations we’re in, reflects on the past, and makes predictions about the future.

Sometimes, that voice is positive and uplifting. Other times, it can be downright mean.

When that inner voice turns negative, it can be quite difficult to flip the switch; but it is possible.

Psychologist Ethan Kross highlights techniques for overcoming mental angst in his book Chatter.

Here are some actionable suggestions from his…

The Habits of America’s Happiest People

In 2019, documentary filmmaker Michelle Wax traveled to all 50 states to find out how Americans achieve happiness.

Michelle focused on what she calls “internal happiness,” a mindset that exists regardless of external circumstances.

She interviewed more than 500 self-described happy people to learn exactly how they had found the elusive concept of true happiness.

“It was pretty wild because there were people saying the exact same phrases and they were living on opposite sides of the country, with completely different backgrounds, completely different circumstances,” says Wax. “They were saying the same types of phrases and, really, ways of creating…

The Benefits of Controlled Breathing

In this article, we discuss the concept of controlled breathing exercises, the benefits, and how you can get started today.

First, let’s start with a little exercise:

Slowly inhale air through your nose and into your belly to the count of five. Now, without pausing, slowly exhale through the nose to the count of five. Repeat three more times.

Congratulations, you just completed a controlled breathing exercise.

You’re probably thinking “What’s the big deal? I breathe like 20,000 times a day.”

The difference is that those 20,000+ breaths we take every day are unconscious, or uncontrolled, meaning we don’t really…

How to Make Mindfulness Your Default Mindset

How can we make mindfulness our default mindset? Is it not already? Think about this:

Every second of every day we are bombarded by thoughts, feelings, emotions, worries, fears, ideas, daydreams, and more.

We can think of the mind like a bus station. Except this station is in a city with a population of 1 trillion, no one has a car, and the architect who designed the station was blind.

Sounds pretty chaotic, right? Welcome to the human mind.

Now, this bus station has busses arriving and leaving every single second of every day. …

How to be an Emotionally Supportive Friend

Everyone needs support; let’s discuss some of the best ways to be an emotionally supportive friend, coworker, and family member.

We talk a lot about self-help and self-care when it comes to mental health. Building up skills like self-awareness, emotional regulation, resiliency, and mindfulness have a massive positive impact on your wellbeing.

But when it comes to supporting the mental health of our friends, coworkers, and loved ones, we need to tap into a different set of skills.

Bringing understanding, kindness, and compassion to your daily interactions is the best way to emotionally support those around you.

Even though the…

Danny Trifone

Director of Content at Blue Door Media. We email a newsletter twice a week focused on mental fitness. Join us, the Door is Open:

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