All posts filed under: Creativity

4 Easy Ways to Encourage Positive Emotions

Positive emotions such as joy, love, amusement, gratitude and pride are the foundations of a flourishing life. Experiencing positive emotions not only makes us feel good but encourages creativity and social interaction. Positive emotions also broaden our perspective. Think about a time when you last felt inspired – did anything seem possible? Or a time when you felt deep awe – did your personal problems fade away with the realisation of something far greater? How can we cultivate positive emotions and experience more of them? Boosting both our health and happiness. According to Positive Psychologist Dr. Barbara Fredrickson – who has spent over 20 years studying positive emotions, there are four steps to increasing our positivity ratio. To be clear, the idea isn’t to avoid negative emotions – we need those in order to grow and flourish too – but instead, to counteract the negativity by boosting our ratio of positive emotions. The four steps are: Allow yourself to go back and re-experience positive emotions on a regular basis. Remembering what different positive emotions feel like allows us …

Mindfulness and the Entrepreneur

This article was written by Lucy Faulks, the Founder of Technotox and originally featured on MindSpace on 1st June 2017. “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” (Old Zen adage) I always knew I wanted to work for myself. Freedom and flexibility are two of my strongest values and every 9-5 job I ever had stepped all over them so the decision to hand in my notice and become an entrepreneur, was one of the easiest I’ve ever made. Not so easy, however, was navigating the emotional rollercoaster that comes with running a small business. Long, lonely days filled with struggle and anxiety regularly featured in my first few months as a start-up. In fact, they’re still a common occurrence two years down the line! It was only when I reconnected with my regular mindfulness practice, something that had fallen by the wayside along with my commute, that I was able to see through the self-induced storm and stay focused …

Poetry Friday

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean— the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down— who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Want to Feel More Fulfilled? Go Find your Flow!

Time stands still, oblivious to your surroundings, the world is set to pause, fully absorbed on your task at hand, focused and concentrating, time disappears and you become completely lost. Psychologists call these fully absorbent times, ‘flow states’ or a ‘heightened state of consciousness’. Times when our skills and competency are tested and our ability is just about sufficient to meet the challenge. Stretching us to our maximum limits. If the challenge is too easy, we become bored and lose interest. Too hard and we become anxious and want to give up. So flow can only be found under very specific conditions. Perhaps you find yours completing a difficult crossword or playing a musical instrument. You might find it writing up a new project at work or giving a public speech. Learning a new skill like tiling your bathroom! Regularly finding flow is incredibly important to achieving inner happiness because it leaves us feeling worthy, satisfied and pushes our personal growth by testing our limits. We ultimately feel fulfilled and proud of ourselves, which does wonders for our self-esteem. Unfortunately, time spent scrolling social media sites, watching netflix and answering whataapps doesn’t …

10 Ways to Outsmart your Smartphone

Keep your phone on charge away from your bed It’s so tempting to check emails just that one last time before bed, or thumb straight for social media apps as soon as you’ve turned off your alarm. So put a stop to these unhealthy autopilot habits by charging your phone away from your bedside. Buy an alarm clock Yep you heard right, a battery operated alarm clock! Stave off the temptation to check emails first thing in the morning, by keeping them out of reach and don’t rely on them to wake you up! Erase social media apps You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can break the habit of automatically flicking through all your social media apps every time you pick up your phone. Remove multiple email accounts Our bosses might be livid, but surely you aren’t paid enough to be on call 24 hours a day? To be answering emails at 10pm or on the tube into work? Respect your sanity (and savour your free time) by deleting any possible email accounts from your phone now. Go on be ruthless! Check …

Improve your Focus, Reduce Stress and Boost Creativity

Can you find 10 minutes this weekend to begin your meditation journey? Scientists have proved that meditation enhances mental performance by improving focus and concentration. It also boosts our creativity and self-acceptance, encourages empathy and boosts our immunity. Counterbalancing the detrimental effects of stress and anxiety. (For more benefits see here). If you’re keen to kick-start your learning and want to see how meditation could impact your life, we’ve created a 10 minute audio guide to help you navigate one of the trickiest first steps – learning to focus the breath. Those with highly active, inquisitive minds will know just how difficult it can be to silence the endless chatter, but with a little help and a lot of patience, it can be done! And if you feel like you’re ready to try a 5 minute mindfulness meditation, why not give this one a try.  

What’s the Big Fuss about Meditation?

Evidence suggests meditation has been around since 1500 BCE, making it well over 3500 years old. But what is about this ancient art form that’s survived the test of time and what are the current scientific studies telling us about the benefits of meditation? When the first New York marathon was run in 1970 there were only 127 competitors. A time when little was known about the benefits of physical exercise for our health and wellbeing. Nowadays these are widely publicised, and 46 years on there were over 50,000 runners in the 2016 New York marathon. Exercise has become an integral part of our daily lives, and at Technotox, we believe it’s only a matter of time before meditation follows the same route. After all, now the evidence exists, why shouldn’t we spend as much time and money looking after our mental and emotional health as we do our physical health? If you’re still not convinced, or simply need reminding of meditation’s plethora of benefits, we’ve chosen our top ten to share with you – Boosts positive emotions
 Meditating stimulates activity …

Happy International Day of Friendship!

Today is the UN’s International Day of Friendship. It’s annually held on 30 July to celebrate friendships worldwide. To mark the day, the UN encourages governments, organisations, and community groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that promote solidarity, mutual respect and reconciliation. But you too can get involved and spread the message of friendship without any prior planning! Remember friendship enriches our lives by increasing our sense of belonging and purpose, boosts our happiness and self-esteem, and is a proven antidote to depression. What other reason do you need to show your gratitude for friendship today? Here are our top 10 ideas: Write a “just because” card or letter and post it to a friend Plan a future date night Make a friend a playlist of your favourite songs and shared memories, then send them the link Pick up the phone and call an old friend – we all too heavily rely on whatsapp and texts nowadays, but there’s something so much more satisfying (and human) about actually hearing their voice Even better, go knock on their door unannounced and …

12 Ways to Nourish Yourself

A reoccurring theme I hear throughout my coaching sessions, is an ongoing struggle with nourishment and clients who just don’t know how to nourish themselves. Some clients see it as an indulgence, some don’t even know what it means or where to start. More often than not, it’s the first thing to fall by the wayside when we’re busy or feeling stressed out. Instead we opt for the easy, go-to solutions of comfort food, alcohol, switching off for hours in front of the tv, withdrawing from social engagements and the killer, procrastination. So in an effort to help you reduce your stress levels, boost your happiness and improve self-esteem, here are my top 12 ways to nourish yourself. Aim for at least one a day: Switch off all technology (and I mean completely switch it off, don’t just put it on silent!) for an hour Put your comfies on, snuggle up and read a book you love Meditate Do a pilates or yoga class (there are plenty of great ones on YouTube – a very mindful way to use technology btw!) Light some candles, lie down and think about loving …

Poetry Friday

If I Had My Life to Live Over By Nadine Stair – aged 85 If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I am one of those people who has lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have. If I …