All posts filed under: interventions

4 Easy Ways to Feel More Positive

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 …

Ditch Those Toxic Tech Habits and Become a Better Version of You! 

Care to admit it or not, we’ve become a nation of tech addicts who spend more time looking at our screens each day than sleeping (on average 8 hours 41 minutes). When the average adult picks up their phone over 150 times a day, it’s hardly surprising that 69% of children say their parents spend too much time on technology. If we look at the building blocks of happiness found in Positive Psychology Professor Martin Seligman‘s PERMA model, we find five key areas we need to nurture and cultivate in order to live our most happy and flourishing life. These are – POSITIVE EMOTIONS ENGAGEMENT RELATIONSHIPS MEANING  ACCOMPLISHMENT So what’s the impact of our technology addiction on each of these building blocks? And how do our digital devices stop us feeling, thinking and experiencing happiness? Let’s take a closer look at what toxic habits we could give up in order to boost our happiness. 1. POSITIVE EMOTIONS (P) You’ve heard it before and yet you continue to watch one last episode of your favourite TV …

How to Master the Art of Being Alone

Are you scared to be alone? Do you only spend time by yourself when you’re forced to? Why is solitude always met with negative connotations? In this scientific based TED Talk, Thuy-vy Nguyen explores what happens to us when we’re alone and how simply shifting to choosing to be alone, can help us to cultivate positive emotions and feelings of peace and relaxation.    

It’s Time to Talk!

Today is Time to Talk Day. A day to break the silence around mental health and get people talking about their struggles. Starting a small conversation with someone today, even opening up about your own battles with mental health, could help to change a life. The more we share and show our vulnerabilities, the quicker we can erase the stigma and help those in need. In words of Gandhi ‘be the change you wish to see in the world‘.

What Makes you Happy?

Last night my co-leader Andy and I hosted week one of the Action for Happiness course Exploring What Matters.  An eight week course designed to bring communities together to explore the things that really matter for a happy and meaningful life. The course involves  watching videos, carrying out positive psychology interventions (things proven to make us happier!) along with lots of group discussion and sharing. Backed by the Dalai Lama it aims to spread happiness and joy, starting with individuals within our communities, who commit to doing as much as they can to help others and reduce misery. Each session has a theme based on big questions and last night along with our 20 attendees, we explored What really matters in life? Is it money or success? A thriving family home full of love and support? Or simply safety, warmth and food on the table? One of the first surprising facts we learnt is less than 1% of our happiness is affected by our income (our group guessed 10-25%). This is measured by government polls. So even though the US economy has experienced …

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  

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 …

A Letter of Self-Compassion

Are there elements about yourself that you dislike? Things that make you feel frustrated, angry, anxious or embarrassed? We all have aspects of ourselves that we find it difficult to be with, and when our inner critics take over, they can be incredibly harsh and belittling. Leaving us feeling unworthy and ashamed. Compare this to the way we might talk to a friend when they’re feeling low or unhappy with themselves. Why are we so quick to show kindness and compassion to others and yet have zero patience for ourselves? A Letter of Self-Compassion is a positive psychology intervention tool which aids in boosting self-compassion, so whenever you’re giving yourself a particularly hard time, or in need of some self-love, see what positive impact this might have: Take a pen and paper Sit down and think about one of your perceived flaws, or something you’ve been giving yourself a hard time about Write in detail about how this inadequacy makes you feel Now turn the page, and start to write yourself a letter from the point of view of a …

How the Body Scan Gives us the Power of Choice

Technotox was asked to write an article for Everyday Mindfulness about the power of the body scan… I used to suffer from severe pain in my left shoulder. I would walk for 50 minutes into work each morning with a strappy bag casually hooked over my left arm. It was a beautiful vintage mulberry, so what did it matter that it was causing shooting pains deep into my muscle tissue? For weeks and weeks I ignored it, mindlessly going about my business, caught up in the busy cycle of day-to-day life, oblivious to the long term damage this pain might be causing. Three months later, I joined a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course with the aim to make mindfulness a part of my daily routine. I had heard a lot about its benefits and read plenty of books on the subject, but now it was time to put it into action and to be held accountable for my daily practice. During the first week we carried out a 20-minute body scan. Something I had grappled …

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 …