All posts filed under: gratitude

10 Keys to Happier Living

To celebrate World Mental Health Day earlier this month, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) collaborated with Action for Happiness to produce a “10 Keys to Happier Living” poster. Listing everyday actions to boost wellbeing and improve your mental health. It’s a wonderful tool to print out and refer to when you’re feeling a bit low or out of kilter. You could even check it every day and take positive action to protect your mental health. Download a printable pdf here –  10-keys-to-happier-living  

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 …

How the Danish ‘Hygge’ can help us through a Stormy Summer

In the United Nation’s World Happiness Report for 2013, 2014 and 2016, Denmark took the hot spot (and came third in the 2015 report). Despite cold weather, almost non-existent summers and depressingly short and dark winter days, what is it about Danish people that make them amongst the happiest in the world? Could the Danish word ‘Hygge’ (pronounced “HUE-gah”) be the key to their success? In its simplest form, Hygge means appreciating the little things in life – like tea, friends and family. It means creating a nice, cosy atmosphere and taking the time to appreciate the simple things in life with the people you love around you. It’s connection and intimacy, with a whole heap of gratitude. Hygge is something Danes crave and they make sure they get it at all costs. It’s integral to their wellbeing and provides food for their souls. And the proof’s in the pudding! How can you create your own Hygge this weekend? It might be rainy outside, but light a fire, invite some mates over and take the time to enjoy the simple …

Be happy. Be productive. Build PERMA.

We all want to be happy. When we’re happy we look on the bright side of life, take ourselves less seriously, become more motivated, loving and generally better people. Scientist know our genes and upbringing influence around 50% of the variation in our personal levels of happiness and our circumstances, (like income and external environment) about 10%. Which leaves as much as 40% accounted for by our daily activities – the relationships we keep, the things we do and the choices we make. So our actions strongly impact our happiness levels, which is great news because it means we can easily improve them! Respected positive psychologist Professor Martin Seligman developed a well-being theory called the PERMA Model. It combines five building blocks, which need to be in place for a happy and flourishing life. The five elements are – POSITIVE EMOTION (P) Experiencing feelings of joy, hope, love, inspiration, satisfaction, gratitude or any positive emotion allows us to experience wellbeing. ENGAGEMENT (E) When we’re fully engaged in a challenging task and time seems to stand still, we experience a state of flow (see blog post ‘How do you find your flow?’). We lose our …

Who’s been to the School of Love?

From a young age we’re inundated with ideas about love. From the perfection of Hollywood movies to the romance of classic novels, like sponges we absorb ideals of what the perfect relationship should look like. It is rich with red-hot desire and passion, holds the patience of a saint and the utmost respect. But best of all no matter who or what we are, we all deserve it. In fact, isn’t it our basic human right to experience the ultimate romantic love? True love doesn’t require effort or patience, or a compromise of ourselves. True love just happens, regardless of our own imperfections and selfishness. If it takes work, surely it’s not real? Then at some point along the path to adulthood, a sharp prick bursts our bubble and reality is revealed. Love isn’t easy. It does require effort. A great deal of effort at times. In fact it’s an ongoing balancing act that requires active participation and very clear and concise levels of communication. Like a garden requires nurturing, a loving relationship needs feeding, pruning and …

Stop OD’ing on Social Media and Boost your Self-Esteem!

We’re all guilty of browsing social networking sites, nosing into other people’s lives from the comfort of our sofas. We see friends quaffing champagne on desert islands, Cara Delevingne backstage at the latest Burberry shoot, exotic weddings in Florence, crazy festival antics at Glastonbury or one of the endless health and fitness bloggers who’s only practised yoga, walked their dog, made a paleo breakfast and applied magazine-perfect make up in time for a selfie, before 6am! But have you ever wondered what these images do our subconscious? What effect constantly comparing ourselves with the lives of our piers – who appear to be having THE best fun, with THE best people, in THE best places – has on our mental health? It knocks our self-esteem that’s what! Because we can’t keep up– we end up feeling boring, unattractive, uninventive and certainly unworthy. Yet like an addictive drug, we’re not prepared to give up this toxic habit. So as an alternative to quitting those voyeuristic tendencies, Technotox has come up with 10 tips to counterbalance any negativity and Boost your Self-Esteem! DON’T EXAGGERATE …

An Inspiring Expression of Man’s Heart and Mind

I often share the words of Kahlil Gibran in my Poetry Friday posts, so today is dedicated to the source of that poetry – his best selling book The Prophet. The Prophet is a collection of 26 essays written in English by the Lebanese artist. A masterpiece, it has been translated into more than 20 languages and is considered one of the most loved classics of our time. Gibran was also a philosopher and each chapter provides us with wise insight on how to approach different aspects of our life. These topics include love, children, giving, work, joy and sorrow, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, pleasure, beauty and death. It is a profound and spiritual read containing many a simple truth, expressed with poetic fluidity. It is a book that can be read over and over again, or dipped in and out of when inspiration is needed. I would highly recommend you invest in a copy – and another for a friend, because it makes a great present and is certainly a book that needs to be …

The Power of Vulnerability

Vulnerability is a big and powerful topic, yet Brené Brown handles it with simplicity and humour in this poignant TED Talk. A researcher in human connection, Brené talks about shame and fear and their power to stop us from connecting with others. She shares a deep insight from her research – a revelation that resulted in her seeing a therapist for twelve months – and the factors that need to be present for a strong sense of love and belonging to be present in all our lives. It is a wonderful 20 minute talk and if you enjoy it, please share its message with others.

Poetry Friday

Then a Woman said, speak to us of Joy and Sorrow. And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits, …

Rediscover the Power of Mother Nature

This weekend for two days only, the London Parks & Gardens Trust (in association with the National Trust) are offering a fabulous incentive to promote London’s green spaces – the Open Garden Square’s Weekend. In honour of this Historical event, run solely by volunteers, today’s post is about reconnecting with Mother Nature. When we were young, most of us couldn’t get enough of the Great outdoors. Charging outside at any given moment to make perfume from flower concoctions, jump in muddy puddles or follow adventure trails through the woods. But why do we so quickly lose that desire as we grow older? Our lives become so busy, it’s easy to forget how magical and nurturing nature can be. Living in London we become blinded by the miles of concrete and rows of skyscrapers that dominate our physical environment. Yet underneath it all lies a peaceful, natural landscape. The foundation of our planet and all that lives and thrives on it. Our core. The provider. Mother Nature is a beautiful, life-giving power that we must endeavour to keep in touch …