8 Good Things


Why Taking Time Off Is Good for Your Brain | 08 Nov 19

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Maria,  I just can’t get over how good this is. I am so glad you do this! ~ Mark J.

Love it Maria. Always a GREAT read to jump start the weekend. Have a great one! Matt R.

Once again, thank you so much for the very nice articles. I printed out the one on Senior Health. Also, the story on Doris Day is quite touching. ~ Mark M.

Your newsletter is sooooooo goood. ~ David V.

Always a good read on a Friday. Thx Maria. ~ Matt R.

Thank you so much for your 8 Good Things. I always enjoy reading them. Thank you, especially for your commentary on Agnes Varda. ~ Mark M.

I am loving your newsletter and insightful articles on Self-Care and Self-Awareness. You are doing incredible work. ~ Erahm C.

I enjoy a lot your newsletter. It is one of the few newsletter I normally end up clicking on something. I often show it as well-made newsletter. ~ Jorge P.

Gratitude to Maria Baltazzi for sharing this article [Live Like a Stoic] in her weekly 8 Good Things email. Especially worth signing up for in today's trying times. ~ Morgan R.

I particularly found the content of [21 Weird Ways the World Changes in Autumn] very interesting, practical and useful. 3 [Live Like a Stoic], 4 [Fall Asleep Instantly with This Breathing Technique], and 5 [Try Any of These 33 Habits of Happy and Successful People] were particularly applicable for my worldview and circumstances.
~ Ian R.

Great read. You touched upon some good topics. Thanks. ~ Matt R.

Nice hearing about all your adventures. I love what you are doing.
~ Marci K.

Thanks, Maria! I love Brene Brown. Thanks for the suggesting the meditation app. I loaded it on my phone and will try it this weekend. ~ Amy C.

Hi, Maria. Or should I say hi DOCTOR! Big, big congrats! Always love seeing 8 Good Things and what awesome news along with this latest set. ~ Eric R.

Congratulations on your PhD! You are certainly racking up lifetime achievements. And, thank you for including me on your mailing list. I enjoy your 8 Good Things. ~ John. V

Congratulations, Maria, on your doctorate. Enjoyed your letter and love the 20-secs to courage. ~ Loyelle E.

Great newsletter this week. Fabien’s book looks good. ~ Ethan Z.

Love you. Such great info you share. Xo ~ Brenda L.

My favorite newsletter yet!! Thank you ;-) ~ Allison C.

I enjoy your newsletter. ~ Mary T.

I loved the articles and especially the ones you did for “LightWorkers.” ~ Mark M.

Great article on Thought Trains, Maria! I teach Bible study class to a group of high school kids each Wednesday morning. I’m going to use this! ~ Nathan D.

I always enjoy and learn from your emails, thx. ~ Noelle F.

Maria…I LOVE your newsletter. Your faithful reader. ~ Gary F.

I enjoy your newsletters and end ended up watching both “Before the Flood” and “The Way” as a result of your newsletters. Thanks so much for the recommendations and sharing these meaningful flicks! I look forward to reading more of your musing and inspirations. ~ Diane C.

Thank you, Maria! The sleep info very timely ;-) ~ Sylvia V.

Dear Maria, thank you for all you do, it is wonderful. ~ Dean A.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. ~ Mike P.

Hey Maria! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Friday emails. Lots of great positive energy to the end the week.
~ Randy S.

Hi, Maria. This is just great reading, thank you very much. ~ David M.

Awesome… ~ Matt R.

My husband just forwarded me your email/newsletter. Wow!!! Very impressive. ~ Milica G.

Amazing, amazing. I just love getting these email newsletters.
~ Ursula R.

Good one MB. Love ur work. ~ Kirk W.

Cool! Thx Maria ~ Bob M.

I love these. Thank you for doing them. ~ Carla J.

Really enjoyed this, Maria!! ~ Lynda W.

Maria, such great material in here. It’s awesome. ~ David V.

:)) <3 ~ Steven P.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Maria ~ Jim B.

Thank you Maria. As always, so very good and uplifting. ~ Carla J.

Wonderful!!!!! ~ Steven S.

So glad you send these every week! I always look forward to receiving them. ~ Steve F.

I wish you knew how much I look forward to these Friday emails.  Thank you so much for including me. ~ Maria K.

I LOVE IT!!! ~ Fernando M.

It is a breath of fresh air to see someone working consciously to curate and create opportunities to uplift and inspire others, we need more of that in this world. ~ Kathryn D.

Really enjoy these positive Friday posts. Sorely needed these days. ~ Craig S.

Love your work, Maria. ~ Anthony H.

Thoroughly enjoying the new insights that come with each of your Friday emails. ~ Ian R.

Another great read on a Friday, Maria, thank you.
~ David M.

Thanks for this, Maria!  Keep 'em coming!  Just reading about these ideas and journeys makes me less stressed.  So THANK YOU!!  :-) ~ Meredith F.

To keep getting 8 Good Things, please add explorer@sojourn-intl.com to your email contacts.

8 Good Things is a curated newsletter of inspirational, motivational, and informational articles, videos, and quotes sent twice a month by Maria Baltazzi, PhD, MFA.

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1Why Taking Time Off Is Good for Your Brain. You have likely heard the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” meaning that when you work all the time, you become bored, even worse boring. However, there is more going on inside you than being a yawner at a cocktail party. Increasingly, we are seeing studies as well as articles about these studies on the brain benefits one receives from taking vacations, and frequent ones at that! Why? Because your brain needs time to recharge, refuel, so you can be more alert, ergo, better at problem-solving, being more productive, more creative. The by-product will be 1) having a handle on your work-life balance, and 2) being happier with your work efforts. In-between vacations also make a practice of taking one day, or at least one evening, off every week. Take ten to twenty-minute afternoon naps. The takeaway here is that working longer does not equate to better work, quite the opposite. It leads to burn-out and a host of other things emotionally and physically that you do not want. So, as we are coming into the holiday season, the invitation is to really take ‘being on holiday’ to heart. May I make some suggestions of places to visit through Sojourn Explorers?

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2The Art of Stillness. If you genuinely cannot leave on the next jet plane to parts unknown anytime soon, there is another way that you can travel. Though the journey you are embarking on is one of ‘stillness,’ taking time every day, or every few days to be instead of do. One of our most influential travel writers, Pico Iyer, reflects on the beauty and richness of going nowhere. Over three million, one hundred and twenty-five thousand people around the world have watched his TEDSalon Talk since 2014. Its message is still valid today. Sometimes the best place to go is right where you already are—in the quietude of your mind.

323 Awesome Travel Hacks That Add Fun to Your Trip. Several practical travel tips for what to do before, during, and after your adventure away from home. I agree with the advice to 1) sparingly use guidebooks and get off the beaten path instead, 2) making an effort to use the local language, 3) eating locally, and 4) “when in Rome, do as the Romans.”

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4The Science of Happiness Podcast: Feeling Angry? Try This. The “Try this” being meditation. This podcast is an entertaining interview with Dan Harris of ABC News about serious subjects: anxiety, depression, and anger. After having a panic attack on national television, Dan discovered meditation as a way of coping with his long-time struggle with his dark side. Today, he manages to meditate two hours a day. Though given his hectic on-air schedule, how does he do it? In ten-minute sessions here, fifteen-minute sessions there. He meditates in his dressing room, in the car as he is getting driven to the set, before going to sleep, wherever he can find moments of quiet. There is now even a mediation room at ABC News. Dan’s experience and journey with meditation have made him quite an advocate for the practice. He created both an app and wrote a book called 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works—A True Story. The book is a fun and unique way to learn about meditation through the world of a network broadcast journalist.

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5ESPN’s Victoria Arlen Wants You to Take a Step Back and Breathe. ABC News’ Dan Harris is not the only on-air personality who prescribes to the necessity of taking time to recharge. So, does Paralympic gold medalist and sportscaster, Victoria Arlen. Her less stress equation: meditate + gratitude + smelling the roses = better mental health.

6What Happens to Your Body on No Sleep. A surprising article to see in a popular outdoor magazine. It just goes to show how important sleep is, even to those with an adventurous spirit. Sleep is very essential! Imagine if you are hanging on the side of a cliff, and you did not get enough sleep the night before. Whoever said, “Sleep when you are dead” did not rely on their faculties to make decisions nor be spatially aware. Both of which start to fade as you hit your eighteenth hour of being awake. An all-nighter is basically the equivalent of being legally drunk. After twenty-four hours, your brain shifts into panic mode and will force you to sleep ten to twenty-seconds at a time. During that period, you are not processing what is happening around you. So, you let go of your grip on the side of that cliff. That is the effect a lack of sleep can have on your mind. Without having proper rest, your heart, endocrine and immune systems, as well as your performance, all take a hit. I am adamant that I get seven and a half hours of sleep most nights. Though now and again, I think a late-night dancing or doing whatever is fun for you is good for the soul. You run into problems when sleep deprivation is your way of living.

7The Longevity Files: A Strong Grip? Push-ups? What Actually Can Help You Live to a Ripe Old Age. One keyword is exercise; even ten to fifteen minutes a day can measurably increase your longevity. Sleep is another huge component. It is when your brain clears out metabolic waste and does corrective maintenance. Next, eating right. Here the Mediterranean Diet with its focus on fish, veggies, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats, and olive oil scores high. Drink alcohol in moderation. It should be a red wine two-drink maximum, not a minimum. Of course, managing stress. I will give another plug for meditation. (You can find my guided meditations on Insight Timer—I will be posting more in the coming months.) Connect with people. Also, finding purpose in living. Master these, and you should be around for a while.

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8Wildlife Photographer of the Year Winners Showcase Stunning Scenes from Nature. Nineteen fantastic photos! How cute are these guys?

CNN

Thoughtful

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and
Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society
at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

Sojourn Experiences | Inquire About Dates

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For years, I have been producing large and small-scale television shows around the world. Today, I also use my producing skills to curate tailor-made adventures.

The Cradle of Mankind | North Tanzania, Africa
11 Days | From $7,365 per person for 4 guests

Unforgettable Africa | Kenya
In partnership with Nomadic Africa, private luxury safaris

12 Days | From $18,735 per person for 8 guests

Machu Picchu, Peru | Salkantay Horseback Ride
In partnership with Peru EcoCamps, luxury geodesic domes

9 Days | From $5,975 per person for 2 guests

*Pricing varies based on the number of guests and time of year.

Sojourn Programs

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Insight Timer App | Silent Wisdom Meditations
As many of you know, I teach meditation. I have been a long-time fan of the practice. Why? It is scientifically proven to reduce stress, control anxiety, promote emotional health, enhance self-awareness, lengthen attention span, reduce age-related memory loss, generate kindness, help to fight addictions, improve sleep, help control pain, decrease blood pressure; and you can meditate anywhere! Meditation is about as close as one can get to a wellness silver bullet. Recently, I started recording meditations for Insight Timer. I hope you enjoy these free guided sessions. Please follow me on the Insight Timer app.

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Happiness: The Art of Life Balance
As a longtime television producer, stress was my middle name. I have spent more than a decade studying what to do about it. Now, I help professionals, especially those in the media, to get out of the crazy and into the happy (and yes, I still produce television shows). I have put together a program that can fit into anyone’s schedule and can be joined anytime.

Happy Weekend!
Maria and Team Sojourn
Learn More | +800-869-0538

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Maria Baltazzi
PhD, Conscious-Centered Living | MFA, Film


Emmy-winning TV Producer, Certified Happiness Trainer, Transformational Travel Ambassador

About
The Sojourn Experience is a conscious-centered company with a portfolio of three entities. Sojourn Explorers curates transformational experiences to extraordinary places around the globe. Part of the money for each trip goes to nonprofit organizations that we believe in. Through Picture Happiness: Take a Shot, Maria helps professionals uplevel the quality of their thoughts and habits. She designs Happiness programs and workshops as well as leads retreats. Finally, Sojourn looks to create media partnerships with writers, producers, and directors to get their projects sold to production companies and various platforms.

Special thanks to Astrid Martin, article and video content research, and Michael Tobias, editorial review and formatting, for their ongoing contributions to 8 Good Things.

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Sojourn, Inc. 7095 Hollywood Blvd 843 Los Angeles, California 90028-8912 United States +1-800-869-0538

Join for more 8 Good Things
  • Before opting into our newsletter, please take some time to review our Privacy Policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Maria,  I just can’t get over how good this is. I am so glad you do this! ~ Mark J.

Love it Maria. Always a GREAT read to jump start the weekend. Have a great one! Matt R.

Once again, thank you so much for the very nice articles. I printed out the one on Senior Health. Also, the story on Doris Day is quite touching. ~ Mark M.

Your newsletter is sooooooo goood. ~ David V.

Always a good read on a Friday. Thx Maria. ~ Matt R.

Thank you so much for your 8 Good Things. I always enjoy reading them. Thank you, especially for your commentary on Agnes Varda. ~ Mark M.

I am loving your newsletter and insightful articles on Self-Care and Self-Awareness. You are doing incredible work. ~ Erahm C.

I enjoy a lot your newsletter. It is one of the few newsletter I normally end up clicking on something. I often show it as well-made newsletter. ~ Jorge P.

Gratitude to Maria Baltazzi for sharing this article [Live Like a Stoic] in her weekly 8 Good Things email. Especially worth signing up for in today's trying times. ~ Morgan R.

I particularly found the content of [21 Weird Ways the World Changes in Autumn] very interesting, practical and useful. 3 [Live Like a Stoic], 4 [Fall Asleep Instantly with This Breathing Technique], and 5 [Try Any of These 33 Habits of Happy and Successful People] were particularly applicable for my worldview and circumstances.
~ Ian R.

Great read. You touched upon some good topics. Thanks. ~ Matt R.

Nice hearing about all your adventures. I love what you are doing.
~ Marci K.

Thanks, Maria! I love Brene Brown. Thanks for the suggesting the meditation app. I loaded it on my phone and will try it this weekend. ~ Amy C.

Hi, Maria. Or should I say hi DOCTOR! Big, big congrats! Always love seeing 8 Good Things and what awesome news along with this latest set. ~ Eric R.

Congratulations on your PhD! You are certainly racking up lifetime achievements. And, thank you for including me on your mailing list. I enjoy your 8 Good Things. ~ John. V

Congratulations, Maria, on your doctorate. Enjoyed your letter and love the 20-secs to courage. ~ Loyelle E.

Great newsletter this week. Fabien’s book looks good. ~ Ethan Z.

Love you. Such great info you share. Xo ~ Brenda L.

My favorite newsletter yet!! Thank you ;-) ~ Allison C.

I enjoy your newsletter. ~ Mary T.

I loved the articles and especially the ones you did for “LightWorkers.” ~ Mark M.

Great article on Thought Trains, Maria! I teach Bible study class to a group of high school kids each Wednesday morning. I’m going to use this! ~ Nathan D.

I always enjoy and learn from your emails, thx. ~ Noelle F.

Maria…I LOVE your newsletter. Your faithful reader. ~ Gary F.

I enjoy your newsletters and end ended up watching both “Before the Flood” and “The Way” as a result of your newsletters. Thanks so much for the recommendations and sharing these meaningful flicks! I look forward to reading more of your musing and inspirations. ~ Diane C.

Thank you, Maria! The sleep info very timely ;-) ~ Sylvia V.

Dear Maria, thank you for all you do, it is wonderful. ~ Dean A.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. ~ Mike P.

Hey Maria! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Friday emails. Lots of great positive energy to the end the week.
~ Randy S.

Hi, Maria. This is just great reading, thank you very much. ~ David M.

Awesome… ~ Matt R.

My husband just forwarded me your email/newsletter. Wow!!! Very impressive. ~ Milica G.

Amazing, amazing. I just love getting these email newsletters.
~ Ursula R.

Good one MB. Love ur work. ~ Kirk W.

Cool! Thx Maria ~ Bob M.

I love these. Thank you for doing them. ~ Carla J.

Really enjoyed this, Maria!! ~ Lynda W.

Maria, such great material in here. It’s awesome. ~ David V.

:)) <3 ~ Steven P.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Maria ~ Jim B.

Thank you Maria. As always, so very good and uplifting. ~ Carla J.

Wonderful!!!!! ~ Steven S.

So glad you send these every week! I always look forward to receiving them. ~ Steve F.

I wish you knew how much I look forward to these Friday emails.  Thank you so much for including me. ~ Maria K.

I LOVE IT!!! ~ Fernando M.

It is a breath of fresh air to see someone working consciously to curate and create opportunities to uplift and inspire others, we need more of that in this world. ~ Kathryn D.

Really enjoy these positive Friday posts. Sorely needed these days. ~ Craig S.

Love your work, Maria. ~ Anthony H.

Thoroughly enjoying the new insights that come with each of your Friday emails. ~ Ian R.

Another great read on a Friday, Maria, thank you.
~ David M.

Thanks for this, Maria!  Keep 'em coming!  Just reading about these ideas and journeys makes me less stressed.  So THANK YOU!!  :-) ~ Meredith F.