Linda Gorchels blogs


More Ways to Damage Well-Being

Last month I discussed 10 Bad Habits that Harm Well-Being. Here is another batch of bad habits.

I’m going to start with a memory I have from my mom’s house. She had a plaque in her bedroom which read:

Worry, regret, self-pity

These are the agents of death.

These three agents of death are unlikely to kill well-being immediately. But over time they can weaken and damage it if they become habitual. They’re worth thinking about.

Excessive Worry

We all worry. Is that mole changing? Will the check arrive soon enough to pay the bills? Are my children progressing normally?

Some worry can actually be a good thing. It’s an evolutionary byproduct of maintaining awareness of potentially dangerous situations.… Read the rest

10 Bad Habits That Harm Well-Being

Earlier this year I had posted my personal recipe for well-being. Now I’d like to look at a few common routines that cripple well-being.

1. Relying on vitamins for nutrition

Many people have told me they don’t worry about eating a balanced diet because they take vitamins. Yes, if you have a deficiency, vitamins may be necessary. But it shouldn’t be an excuse for constantly consuming empty calories.  According to Johns Hopkins researchers, “multivitamins don’t reduce the risk for heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline (such as memory loss and slowed-down thinking) or an early death.” And as Harvard Medical School pointed out, dietary supplements (unlike prescription medications) are not regulated. As a result, “manufacturers can sell these products without submitting evidence of their purity, potency, safety, or efficacy.”


Read the rest

Be Happy

I used to think happiness was genetic, that happy people were born that way. That’s only half-true; some research suggests that 50% is determined by heredity. What about the other half? About 10% comes from living conditions. The remaining 40% depends on YOU.

Happiness Defined

Happiness is not just the absence of sadness. It’s related to optimism, hope, pleasure, and joy, but it’s not interchangeable with any of them. It’s difficult to quantify, to measure, and to track. And it’s something that most people say they want. Even the U.S.  Declaration of Independence included the pursuit of happiness as an inalienable right.

The World Happiness Report, which ranks countries by how happy its citizens perceive themselves to be, provides a series of social snapshots over time.… Read the rest

Life is a Pain in the Gluteus Maximus

Or a pain in the back, or the shoulder, or the head….

Let’s face it. Pain happens. We all experience it, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. Every day.

The question is, how do you deal with it?

Well-being isn’t the absence of aches and pains. Rather it’s an effort to effectively cope. And to acknowledge that there are options beyond reaching for the nearest painkiller or drug. Here are some alternatives.

Get moving, but do it with care

As you get into your thirties, forties and beyond, physical flexibility changes. Muscles and ligaments are tighter, joints are stiffer. That’s why it’s even more important to keep blood circulating. Staying active is key. Strengthening and loosening joint muscles takes the pressure off the bones and joints, lessening pain.… Read the rest

Are You on the Road to Burnout?

Credit: Pixabay

Are you snippy and irritable? Do you procrastinate on things that are important? Has complete exhaustion and disillusionment overtaken your life? Is every day a bad day, with seemingly insurmountable problems?

Then you may be on the road to burnout, a serious obstacle to well-being. Burnout is caused by excessive and prolonged stress—it’s stress multiplied. As the following table shows, stress produces a sense of overload, whereas burnout produces a sense of emptiness.

Stress vs. Burnout
Stress Burnout
Characterized by over-engagement Characterized by disengagement
Emotions are over-reactive Emotions are blunted
Produces urgency and hyperactivity Produces helplessness and hopelessness
Loss of energy Loss of motivation, ideals, and hope
Leads to anxiety disorders Leads to detachment and depression
Primary damage is physical Primary damage is emotional
May kill you prematurely May make life seem not worth living
Source: Stress and Burnout in Ministry

Burnout can emerge gradually from insufficient sleep and relaxation, or from drowning in stress.… Read the rest

How Drinking Warm Water Contributes to Wellness

For as long as I remember, my mom began each day drinking a cup of warm water. I thought it was, well, weird. But as an adult, I joined her in this ritual. She lived to 102 and needed no prescription medications.

Recently my brother told me he had started drinking warm water (with apple cider vinegar and honey) after developing some health problems. He believed it has helped him.

I decided to explore the topic a bit more.

According to ancient Chinese medicine, hot water is a yin beverage, trusted to restore balance in a person’s health. The belief has existed for centuries, aided by periods during which the government advocated consuming boiled water. (The boiling may have been to kill bacteria, but the practice continued as a part of Chinese culture.… Read the rest

Join the JOMO Movement – the Joy of Missing Out

Last week I learned a new word, compliments of’s Word of the Day: JOMO, the Joy of Missing Out.

What is JOMO?

The definition is “a feeling of contentment with one’s own pursuits and activities, without worrying over the possibility of missing out on what others may be doing.” It’s the opposite of FOMO, Fear of Missing Out, often linked to negative emotions. Research conducted by the University of Copenhagen discovered that heavy Facebook users increased well-being by reducing the time spent on the site. Other studies have shown that Facebook can intensify depression among millennials.

Like most people, I spend a lot of time connected to digital devices. And I’m finding that the time spent is less fulfilling.

Now I’m not saying I’m ready to throw out my smartphone or disconnect from the Internet.… Read the rest

Running on Empty? Refuel Your Well-Being

How are you feeling? Tired? Rushed? Anxious? Stressed?

That seems to be a fact of life in today’s society. We keep trying to do more in less time. And as the saying goes, we’re often running on fumes.

Stop it.

Right. Easier said than done. I get that. But yet refueling your well-being is so very, very important.

Empty fuel gauge

Check Your Fuel Gauge

Go back to my initial question. How are you feeling? Do a thorough scan of your mind, body, and spirit.  Where do you most need to refuel? Maybe you could just “top off” your well-being in some areas and recharge in others.

What you need right now may differ from what you needed yesterday. Or what you’ll need tomorrow.… Read the rest

Well-being is a Way of Life

According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans are among the most stressed people in the world. That’s why we need to turn well-being into a way of life. It’s a puzzle with physical, mental, and emotional-spiritual components.

Everyone has a different well-being puzzle. And it may need to change over time. What works when you are twenty-something may be different from when you are eighty-something.

I am a “plenty-something” woman—old enough to know I’m not as smart as I used to think I was, but young enough to do something about it. I was late figuring this out. But now I am infusing well-being into the core of my life. Here’s how.

Integrated exercise framework

My exercise framework is a mix of cardio, strength, and flexibility each week.… Read the rest

Everyday Mindfulness

I felt eyes boring into my back as I walked along the wooded bike trail near my home.

bike trail bridge

It was early morning, the air crisp and clean. There was no noise other than the sound of my steps and the gurgle of a creek. I was alone, but yet I wasn’t. Stopping, I did a 360° turn, scanning all directions.

Who—or what—was watching me?

The crack of a twig drew my eyes upward and I saw a large white owl. Its head swiveled slowly as I walked. I had found my watcher.

Eerie though it might have been, it was also an epiphany of sorts. I had been paying attention to the present moment.

I had been mindful.

But that wasn’t always the case.… Read the rest