Month: December 2021

Positive Emodiversity: Embracing the Full-Range of Positive Emotions

emodiversity

Emodiversity describes the variety of emotions we experience on a daily basis. Research shows that emodiversity can often be a better predictor of physical and mental health than the raw calculation of “positive” vs. “negative” emotions.


A big part of emotional intelligence is embracing the full-range of the human experience.

Many times people get stuck within a limited emotional range. We tend to feel the same 3-5 emotions on a daily basis and forget that life has a lot more to offer.

Psychology research is beginning to find that emodiversity – the variety of emotions we experience on a daily basis – can be a powerful predictor of both physical and mental health.

For example, let’s look at two hypothetical people: Joe and Matt. Joe experiences 3 moments of joy and 1 moment of anxiety in a given day, while Matt experiences 2 moments of joy, 1 moment of anxiety, and 1 moment of gratitude.

If happiness could be calculated with basic arithmetic, we would conclude that Joe and Matt are equally happy because they both experience 3 positive emotions (joy, gratitude) for every 1 negative emotion (anxiety).

However, Matt experiences higher “emodiversity” – a greater abundance and variety of emotions throughout the day – which indicates an overall richer life.

Of course this is a simplified example, but it shows that there is more to happiness and well-being than just a raw calculation of emotion.

In one fascinating study (PDF) published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers analyzed 37,000 participants and found that “emodiversity” was an independent predictor of physical and mental health, including decreased depression and fewer doctor visits.

One theory researchers suggest is that emodiversity can build greater mental resilience by not allowing any single emotion to dominate a person’s emotional ecosystem:

    “[Just as] biodiversity increases resilience to negative events because a single predator cannot wipe out an entire ecosystem, emodiversity may prevent specific emotions – in particular detrimental ones such as acute stress, anger or sadness – from dominating the emotional ecosystem. For instance, the experience of prolonged sadness might lead to depression but the joint experience of sadness and anger – although unpleasant – might prevent individuals from completely withdrawing from their environment. The same biodiversity analogy could be applied to positive emotion. Humans are notoriously quick to adapt to repeated exposure to a given positive emotional experience; positive experiences that are diverse may be more resistant to such extinction.”

Emodiversity prevents any single positive or negative emotion from becoming too dominant – which can be a healthy thing since it provides more variety, resilience, and flexibility – leading to a richer and more fulfilling life overall.

If a person only experiences a limited range of positive emotions, those positive experiences can grow stale and lose their appeal. By seeking out entirely new positive experiences and embracing new positive emotions, we reset our hedonic treadmill and keep life interesting and fresh.

“Variety is the spice of life” seems to hold true for our emotions – and we have a lot of positive emotions to choose from on a daily basis.

In another study published in the scientific journal Emotion, researchers measured emodiversity by analyzing diary entries from 175 adults (aged between 40-65) for over 30 days.

The researchers found that emodiversity within positive emotions (but not negative ones) was a significant predictor of better health outcomes, including lower inflammation. This finding held true even after controlling for mean levels of positive and negative emotions, body mass index, anti-inflammatory medications, medical conditions, personality, and demographics.

Positive emodiversity has also been associated with better student engagement and academic achievement, as was found in one study published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology which studied 400 high school students.

While there is still more research to be done on emodiversity, it seems to have a wide-range of benefits on our physical and mental health.

How does one achieve more emodiversity in their daily life? A big part of it is actively seeking new activities, hobbies, and experiences.

According to one study published in The Journals of Gerontology, there was a strong association found between “emodiversity” and “activity diversity” in older adults.

The researchers looked at how long participants spent on 7 different types of activities: paid work, spending time with children, chores, leisure, physical activities, formal volunteering, and helping someone outside of their household (such as a neighbor).

Individuals who reported a more balanced daily routine – based on the seven activities measured in the study – also reported greater emodiversity overall.

Let’s now look at the many different positive emotions that we can learn to embrace more of.


Positive Emodiversity: The Full-Range of Positive Emotions

Here’s a comprehensive list of the many different types of positive emotions we have to choose from. Which ones could you focus on more in your daily life?

  • Joy – Joy is the most commonly recognized positive emotion. It is defined as any feeling of gladness, delight, or pleasure. We can derive joy anytime something good happens to us, whether it’s getting a job promotion, receiving a surprise gift from someone, or eating a delicious slice of cake. Joy is one of the core emotions that we associate with “feeling good” (which is also why it’s the main protagonist in the Pixar movie Inside Out). What brings you joy? How can you savor it and maximize the happiness you get out of those positive experiences?
  • Peace/Calm – Peace is one of the most sought out emotions in our current world of busyness, stress, and overstimulation. What activities put you into a state of ease and relaxation? Exercises such as the 100 breaths meditation and progressive muscle relaxation are two effective tools for teaching your body and mind how to be more relaxed.
  • Gratitude – Taking a step back to find things we are thankful for is one of the easiest ways to shift your mindset. One of my everyday mental habits is to identify at least one thing I am grateful for. It could be something small (like a nice meal) or something big (like my health and family). I also created a “15 Day Gratitude Workbook” awhile back that can be found on our downloads page.
  • Nostalgia – Nostalgia is a powerful feeling that arises when we are reminded of a past experience or memory. Often it can be an under-appreciated positive emotion. You can easily evoke nostalgia by watching movies from your childhood, visiting places you haven’t been to in a long time, or doing activities you used to enjoy as a kid. Recently I was re-watching old Disney movies and was surprised by how strong the feelings of nostalgia kicked in during certain scenes and songs.
  • Awe – Awe is an overwhelming feeling of amazement for something that is grand, unique, or special. It can often be triggered by both natural phenomenon (stars at night, sunsets, bird watching) and man-made phenomenon (a beautiful piece of art or music). Many researchers are studying the psychology of awe and how it can contribute to a more meaningful life.
  • Curiosity/Wonder – Curiosity is a very underrated emotion, because there is so much in the world to be inquisitive and interested in. Curiosity is also a fantastic way to reverse any negative emotion, because even when you feel negative you can always question your feelings and look at them with the same sense of wonder as a scientist or philosopher. This is why I often describe curiosity as a “negativity disinfectant.” No matter how you feel about something, you can always turn an inquisitive eye toward it.
  • Playfulness – Much of life is play. We often forget that as we get older, but being able to see the light side of things, joke around with others, and not taking life too seriously is an important aspect of happiness and mental health. Playfulness often means participating in life without always needing to achieve something, but just enjoying life for the sake of enjoying it. Spend time playing with kids, pets, or just having fun with family or friends. Be willing to be silly and stupid sometimes.
  • Belonging – A sense of belonging is a fundamental need in all human beings. Feeling connected with people and supported by loved ones is important for finding meaning in life. The most introverted person still has a need to be social and connect. Where do you get your sense of belonging? Do you have family and friends that make you feel that you are a part of a larger group?
  • Confidence – Confidence is the feeling of self-assurance in one’s skills and abilities. While people’s confidence levels will vary depending on the situation, it’s healthy for everyone to at least identify one area in their lives that brings confidence and self-esteem. What activities are you good at? What are your natural strengths or super powers? What do people like about you? Recognize the many ways you bring value to this world.
  • Pride – Similar to confidence, it’s important we learn to take pride in our past success and accomplishments. Make sure to give yourself credit when you do something positive, even if it’s just a small act of kindness toward a stranger, or not indulging in a bad habit, or getting through another difficult day. Give yourself a mental pat on the back. We often focus more on our failures than our successes (because we want to learn from them or fix them), which is why it’s that much more important to shift our focus toward the positive when we can. Consider creating a jar of awesome – a collection of your “small wins” – that you can draw from when you need an extra boost in motivation.
  • Optimism – We can’t predict the future, but it’s important that we feel optimistic that things will work out for the best. Optimism can often become a type of self-fulfilling prophecy – when we have faith and hope that things will move in a positive direction, we start acting in ways that make it more likely to become true. How do you feel about the future? Are you leaving the door open for good things to happen?
  • Inspiration – What inspires you in life? What type of role models do you look up to and admire? It’s important we surround ourselves with people, places, and things that provide inspiration and motivation to us. The more that inspires you and uplifts you, the more you have to draw from to fuel your own goals and ambitions in life. Often a lack of zest for life begins from not being around enough things that energize and invigorate you.
  • Anticipation – We all need something to look forward to in life. In fact, a healthy sense of anticipation can energize us and help us get through tough times. For example, it’s easier to get through a bad day at work if you know there is a new episode of your favorite TV show to check out when you get home. Or it’s easier to get through a difficult month at work when you know you have a summer cruise to look forward to. Make plans (big or small) to do fun and exciting things in the future, so you always have something positive in your life that you’re moving toward.
  • Beauty – Learning to enjoy aesthetics and beauty is one easy source of happiness and pleasure. The power of a nice view teaches you to appreciate what is right in front of you, whether it’s a beautiful sunset, or a magnificent work of art, or a well-designed building. In today’s world, we often don’t appreciate beauty as much as we should – instead, we seem to highlight the ugly and wretched – but beauty still exists if you know where to look, and we should celebrate that whenever possible.
  • Excitement – We all have a need for a degree of adventure, novelty, and excitement in our lives. While sometimes these needs can manifest themselves into bad habits (alcohol/drug use, gambling, or promiscuity), there are also plenty of ways we can engage in positive thrill-seeking. Depending on your personality, you can get your “fix” for excitement through action movies, video games, friendly competition, extreme sports, rollercoasters, or adventurous activities like sky-diving and mountain climbing.
  • Empathy – Empathy is technically a neutral emotion because to empathize is just to feel what someone else is feeling (which could be positive or negative). However, cultivating empathy can also open you to feelings of interconnectedness or one-ness, which is one of the most powerful feelings to experience. One fun and interesting way to develop more empathy is to read fiction, which allows you to connect with characters on a deep level by showing you the world from an entirely new perspective.
  • Love – Love is one of the most cherished positive emotions. It’s a deep feeling of enduring affection toward someone, including the desire to see them happy. This includes not only romantic forms of love, but also platonic and universal feelings of love. One of the most powerful exercises you can do is a loving-kindness meditation, which teaches you how to send love and good intentions toward everyone in life, including people you don’t necessarily get along with.

These are many of the core positive emotions, but of course there are countless others.

Can you name any positive emotions I missed?

It’s also important to keep in mind that many times we experience multiple emotions at once, so any combination of the positive emotions above can elicit a new type of positive feeling. Learn to accept and embrace emotional complexity to add another layer to emodiversity.

A single positive emotion can also become a trigger for other positive emotions.

According to the broaden and build theory, positive emotions can often open our mind to resources that we otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

In this way, every positive emotion can become a pathway to other positive emotions – all it takes is one positive emotion to start an avalanche of positivity.

What’s one positive emotion you can embrace more of? How can you create more positive emodiversity in your life?


Stay updated on new articles and resources in psychology and self improvement from The Emotion Machine:


The post Positive Emodiversity: Embracing the Full-Range of Positive Emotions appeared first on The Emotion Machine.

Goal-Setting Tips to Create an Extraordinary Life

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How to Disagree Without Fighting

BY SOFO ARCHON

Do you often find yourself fighting with others over something you disagree with?

I used to do that, but over the years I have come upon some realizations that helped me to express my disagreements without engaging in fighting.

In the following video, I’m sharing my most important such realization, in hopes that it will help you as well.

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The 7 Main Benefits of Meditation for Students

Benefits of Meditation for Students

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Do you often find yourself feeling overwhelmed because of school? Well, you must know that many students feel like that every day.

Despite their desire to perform well in their academics, their bodies seem to fail them at some point. They become physically sick, inattentive during class discussions, and anxious about everything.

Of course, you want to give your best for your academics. So, you must take several actions to maintain a healthy physical and mental state. In this way, you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing your body.

One of the ways to do this is through meditation. If you want to know what meditation can do to you as a student, keep reading.

The 7 Main Benefits of Meditation for Students

Better Focus and Concentration

Meditation in itself requires focus because you have to sustain your attention toward your breathing. You are not supposed to wander and think about other things, leading to distraction. But as you regularly practice this, you improve your focus while meditating.

Later on, you can benefit from this as you work on your tasks and projects. If you work on this activity every day, you can also have a better and longer concentration span. It will help you listen to your teachers’ discussions more.

The more focused you are in the lecture, the more information you gain. It will also help you study for extended periods, even without the help of external factors or rewards.

Helps With Test Anxiety

Whether submitting a project or taking an exam, you can feel nervous while complying with school requirements. You are not alone. Often, it is challenging to control yourself because you know how crucial your grades are. The idea of failing and its consequences is enough to make you more anxious. This is why you sometimes choose to buy essay samples for sale online to lessen your worries.

While seeking assistance from others will benefit you, it is not the case in taking exams. You can only depend on yourself during this critical time.

If nervousness takes over you, everything you have studied and reviewed will be useless. But you can overcome this through meditation. If you constantly practice this before taking exams, you can experience less test anxiety. It can result in better test scores, leading to higher grades.

Improves Attention

According to recent studies, the average human attention span is now shorter compared to a goldfish. They have a 9-second attention span while humans have fallen into eight from 12.

The invention of the internet and the rise of social media influenced our lifestyle, thus affecting our attention span. But you can try to enhance it through meditation.

One of the meditation benefits for the brain that you must know is the improved attention it brings.

As mentioned above, meditation trains you to focus on your breathing, nothing else. Because of this, you can control your attention better if you meditate more often. This will help you stay attentive for a long time and wander less, resulting in better academic performance.

Reduces Stress

Many people, not just students, suffer from the negative consequences of stress. Some of these include changes in your physical, emotional, and intellectual responses.

Because of stress, your daily activities might be impacted. You can feel physical pain or struggle to concentrate on your task. Sometimes, your mood can also affect your relationships with people around you.

To prevent stress from shattering your life, you can try different self-care activities, especially meditation. Reducing your stress level is one of the essential mental health benefits of meditation.

People usually try meditation to cope up with their stressors. Some research shows that mindfulness meditation helps lessen feelings of stress. So, it would be best to try it and see for yourself.

Meditation

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Promotes Emotional Health

Whether we like it or not, we experience challenges and traumatic events now and then. They are part of our life. But even though we expect them to happen, we cannot escape from their adverse effects. We get hurt physically and mentally, and it becomes challenging to move forward.

However, it would be best to find ways to overcome your struggles to keep going. As mentioned repeatedly, you can do that through meditation.

Promoting emotional health is one notable benefit of meditation for students that you must know. Some of its forms help improve people’s depression and reduce their negative thoughts. Even though it is beneficial, it would still be best to seek professional help if needed.

Improves Self-Esteem

Students like you tend to feel insecure about their skills, affecting their academic performance. You often think that you are not good enough to impress others. Negative thoughts cloud your mind because you lack confidence.

Unfortunately, that may be caused by other people’s harsh comments and society’s high standards.

Whatever reason you have for your low self-esteem, you can use meditation to improve in this area.

Because many school activities are product- or performance-based, you cannot escape performing or presenting in front of others. Instead of always being frightened, you can use meditation to develop a better self-image. It will help you learn how to calm yourself in a stressful situation and proceed to your tasks with confidence.

Can Generate Kindness

Are you wondering how meditation can help in other aspects of your life? It affects not only your intellectual and mental faculties, but also your relationship with others. It has numerous benefits, so many people recommend doing it daily.

Some forms of meditation can help develop more positive feelings, leading to more acts of kindness.

A kind of meditation called metta is a way to develop positive feelings toward self and others. To do this, you must start by thinking of kind thoughts and forming positive feelings toward yourself.

By constantly practicing, you can extend this mindset to other people you interact with, like family, friends, and even enemies.

In conclusion, meditation can benefit you in several ways. Some of them include developing better focus and concentration, improving attention, and reducing stress. It also helps with easing exam nerves and promoting good emotional health.

It would be best to consider meditating daily to enhance your self-esteem and be a kinder person to others. Remember that you can only reap these benefits through your consistency and hard work to do it every day.

About the Author
Cody Rhodes is a learning specialist at EssayZoo, he designs and delivers learning initiatives (both in-class and online) for a global and internal audience. He is responsible for on-going development, delivery, and maintenance of training. He has the ability to manage competing priorities to execute on time-sensitive deliverables within a changing environment. He contributes to continually improving the team’s processes and standards and works as a member of the team to assist with team initiatives.

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5 Self-Improvement Tips that Will Change Your Life

Self-Improvement Tips

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Have you been feeling stuck lately? Do you think that you have not been productive? Or do you want to make some changes in your life?

Whatever your answers to these questions are, your feelings are valid. It might be a hard-to-swallow pill, but you must understand that everyone experiences them, too. It is all up to you if you want to make a change or not.

Recognizing your current state, physically and mentally, is the first step to becoming a better version of yourself. Although this goal can be challenging, it is possible by learning, re-learning, and unlearning some habits.

You can achieve the positive change you hope to have through your perseverance and consistency. Below are some helpful self-improvement ideas that you can apply in your life.

Helpful Self-Improvement Ideas

Eat Healthy Food

You are what you eat. It means that whatever food you take becomes reflected in your body.

If you consume sugary, salty, or fatty food most of the time, it will cause adverse effects on your body. These include becoming overweight or obese and having severe illnesses, such as type-2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

You can also experience mental health problems, like eating disorders or depression.

To prevent suffering from these illnesses and problems, you must eat healthy food every day. It may seem like a simple personal improvement you can do immediately, but because of your old habits and other people’s influences it might not be so.

So, it would be best to make little progress first, like eating more green-leafy vegetables or cutting sugar intake.

Once they become part of your routine, you can try more challenging ones, until you completely change your habits. Also, try to have an accountability partner, whether your close friend or roommate, to remind you now and then.

Ask for Help from Others if Needed

Whether you like it or not, you need help once in a while. You might have lived your life independently for a long time. So, you are used to doing every task alone, even if they are new and complex. But you also have limitations as a person, may it be money, skills, time, or energy. While it is admirable to be independent, you must also learn how and when to seek help.

The first step is recognizing that other people’s insights and capabilities can help you.

For example, you have a paper due the following day, but you must go to your part-time job. You can pull an all-nighter to finish your project, but you cannot expect an excellent output. You will also feel sleepy and inattentive for your classes the following day.

In this case, it would be best for you to order cheap essays from custom writing companies. They have professional writers dedicated to crafting high-quality papers for you before the deadline. Because of their skills and experiences, you can entrust your project to them.

Lessen Your Screen Time

Modern technology has undeniably changed our society. Technological advancements have allowed us to complete day-to-day tasks more quickly and effectively. Whether in medicine or education, it contributed multiple benefits we still enjoy today.

The invention of the internet has influenced our lifestyle the most. It may have given us access to numerous resources and materials, but it has drastic effects, too.

Because of the internet, people spend extended periods on various social media platforms.

According to recent statistics, the average daily social media usage is 2 hours and 25 minutes per day. You could have exercised or studied for your exam during that time instead.

So, one of the vital tips on self-development you must apply is to minimize your screen time. It would be best to do something more productive than wasting your time scrolling through pictures or watching meaningless videos.

Learn New Skills

If you want to know how to self-improve, you must first desire to learn. Besides, all of these tips will be pointless if you do not have the motivation to learn in the first place.

Whether you intend to learn a simple or complex skill, the change begins in you. You cannot acquire it without hard work and passion.

It would be best to identify the skills you want to learn or improve before investing in them. You do not want to waste time and money on something you will neglect in the future.

So before starting, you must be 100% sure you want to do it. Afterward, try to look for classes offered online or near you. If you do not have a budget for them, you can watch free introductory and tutorial videos. You can also ask your friends to help you, as long as they are willing.

Set Boundaries

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Set Boundaries

One of the personal growth tips not usually taught in school is setting boundaries. Some people seek others’ approval and always say “yes” to everything, even if it means doing things not assigned to them or going out of their way to please others.

It will help if you remember that saying “no” is also crucial. It does not mean that you are lazy, incompetent, or evil. Sometimes, it means that you value your physical and mental health by avoiding sources of stress.

Besides saying “no,” you can try setting personal boundaries, especially in the workplace. Do not answer e-mails and calls beyond work hours. Some are assertive by honestly telling their likes, dislikes, and concerns. By doing these, you can save yourself from being taken advantage of by others.

You also become kinder to yourself, thus changing your perspectives, relationships, and decisions.

In conclusion, numerous self-improvement tips can benefit you. These include eating healthy food, learning new skills, and asking for help. It is also best to lessen your screen time and set boundaries with others.

While they seem simple at first, they can be challenging as you go along. You may become inconsistent or unmotivated to keep going. But always remember to be kind to yourself in the process. You cannot change overnight, so try not to beat yourself up. Do things at your own pace to see better results.

About the Author
Milton Devonport is a content creator in the company CustomEssayOrder. Milton can contribute blog posts to help bloggers and business owners grow their online presence through content marketing, email newsletters, marketing/editing, eBooks, Graphic design. He is responsible for the contribution of information to media and digital media. He usually targets a specific end-user/audience in specific contexts.

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Just CTFO This Holiday Season!


These days anything that is anything has an acronym. IMO, SMH, TTYL, WFH, IDK, YOLO, and the list goes on. So, I created my own. It’s CTFO. That’s right.  CHILL THE *F* OUT.

A constant reminder to myself to CTFO.

Many of us go through life so tightly wound. We are pulled in so many directions. Our home life doesn’t look like we imagined it would. The kitchen is messy, the laundry is still in the basket waiting to be folded, unopened mail has sat for weeks, we are angry with our partner. Work never seems to ease up. Just when you clear one hoop, there’s another fire to put out and a new project that you are already behind on. There just isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done. You want so badly for everything to be in order and to be able to let loose a bit on the grind.

That everyday chaos we all feel is then compounded by the approaching holidays. Traveling, cooking, wrapping gifts, parties to attend and host, school events, work events, projects to finish up…it becomes overwhelming quickly! The anxiety and stress of it all gets projected onto our kids or other loved ones. It’s not the right place for it and we know that, but that stress must come out somewhere. That’s where CTFO comes in. Sometimes you must tell yourself to just CTFO.

Unless it’s life or death, and 99.9% of the time it is not, then CTFO.

Running late in the morning? Yelling to hurry up. Screaming to get shoes on. Chasing the kids so they don’t forget their water bottle or backpack….simply does not do anyone any good. All that does is increase the anxiety and set everyone up for a day aiming in the wrong direction.

Quietly think to yourself CTFO.

How does that look? Just be quiet. Opposite action. Pause and allow yourself to CTFO. Turn down the energy in the room. You might be five minutes late, but truly what is the big deal in that? Is it life or death? No. Chilling the *F* out will only improve your inner peace and set you and your family up for a better day and a better holiday season.

There will always be stress in our lives, especially around the holidays, but does our mindset make it better or worse? Are you adding to that stress or are you actively dissipating it by CTFO? Look inward. You may realize you simply need to CTFO. We are all human, but I’m guessing if I need to CTFO, some of you do too! Cheers to a “chill” and joyous holiday season!

*Originally published on LifeChangers.info.


Joanna Hakimi is a proud entrepreneur and can often be found singing in the car with her two kids. Starting her first successful business when she was 17 and being president of the Young Entrepreneur’s Society at the University of Georgia, she never closed the door on opportunity. She then went on to Northwestern University and attained her Masters in Science, becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. After being a successful LMFT in the northern suburbs of Chicago for more than 15 years while simultaneously running a mindful goods boutique for 5 years and accomplishing a 200 hour yoga teaching certification, Joanna was itching for a new adventure. After a phone conversation with a friend in California discussing ways to grow her Life Coaching business, the idea came about that independent professionals, such as Life Coaches, Health and Wellness Coaches and other similar people in the life changing business, needed a resource to connect potential clients with the LifeChanger they were seeking. That’s how her newest venture, LifeChangers.Info was born. LifeChangers has a mission to connect professionals with a new client base using a simple and inclusive site. When she’s not seeing clients or working to grow LifeChangers.Info, you can find Joanna hiking, making terrariums or, well, singing in the car with her kids…likely to Billy Joel or Indigo Girls. You can follow Joanna on Instagram.

Image courtesy of Elina Fairytale.