All posts filed under: positive psychology

Poetry Friday

Self-Observation Without Judgement  Release the harsh and pointed inner voice. It’s just a throwback to the past, and holds no truth about this moment. Let go of self-judgment, the old, learned ways of beating yourself up for each imagined inadequacy. Allow the dialogue within the mind to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift out of inner criticism and life suddenly looks very different. I can say this is only because I make the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to acknowledge the real me. What’s needed here isn’t more prodding toward perfection, but intimacy – seeing clearly, and embracing what I see. Love, not judgement, sows the seeds of tranquility and change. by Danna Faulds

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  

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 …

The Art of Resilience

We will all experience suffering at some point in our lives. Perhaps through illness, heartbreak or death. Difficult times are inevitable, often hitting us some idle Wednesday afternoon, unexplained and unexpected. No matter how careful we are, how honorable a life we lead or how hard we try to avoid pain, in the words of Buddha, life is suffering so it’s inevitable it will affect us all eventually. For some, suffering will be an old friend, to others a frightening new foe. We cannot change the things that happen to us, we must each accept that. Fortunately, we can change the way we respond to them and this is where building resilience is key. What is Resilience? def. the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. It’s important to point out resilience isn’t overcoming pain nor trying to forget it ever happened, instead it is growth and personal development through suffering and adversity. Author, psychologist and resilience specialist, Chris Johnstone designed the Self Help SSRI Model to help each of us improve our resilience. It’s important to …

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 …

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 …

A to Zen of Life by The Dalai Lama

A to Zen of Life, By The Dalai Lama  A – Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits B – Believe in yourself and succeed C – Consider things from every angle D – Don’t give up and don’t give in E – Enjoy life today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come F – Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches G – Give more than you planned to H – Hang onto your dreams I –  If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door J – Just do it K – Keep trying no matter how hard it seems L – Love yourself M – Make it happen N – Never lie, steal or cheat. Always strike a fair deal O – Open your eyes and see things as they really are P –  Practice makes perfect Q – Quality not quantity in anything you do R-  Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer S – Stop procrastinating T – Take control of your own destiny …

10 Benefits of Meditation

Evidence suggests meditation has been around since 1500 BCE, making it over 3500 years old. Yet the art of meditation only spread to Western society thousands of years later, and has only really gained household popularity in the last decade. What is about this ancient art form that’s survived the test of time and why do so many religions and gurus swear by its healing properties? We’ve chosen our top 10 benefits – It boosts Positive Emotions
 Powerful contemplative meditations like loving-kindness act as triggers for positive emotions. When we recall and allow ourselves to cultivate loving feelings, not only does it boost our mood, but we can more easily access those feelings after the mood has passed. Positive effect on our Physical Health Meditating encourages us to relax and therefore helps to reduce our stress level and boosts our immunity. It has also been proven to boost our immunity. Helps fight Depression Results now show that MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) is just as effective as anti-depressants in fighting mental illness. This is revolutionary for those who are …

How Well Do You Look After Your Mental Health?

Our brains produce up to a staggering 50,000 thoughts per day (National Science Foundation). 95% of those thoughts are habitual and repeated on an almost daily basis. If you’re a naturally skeptical or negative person whose mind is filled with worry and anxiety, it’s inevitable this storm of gloomy, negative thoughts is going to have a frightening impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Especially since our thoughts govern our actions – “All that we are is a result of all that we have thought.” Buddha One very important way to look after our mental health, is to take a regular mental inventory of our thoughts to assess what we’re creating in our lives. How much time is spent worrying or complaining? Criticising ourself and others? How much time appreciating the things we do have instead of noticing everything we don’t? Looking at our lives with wonder and gratitude?  If what we experience now is a result of our past thoughts, then we’re creating our future with every new thought. If our thoughts are positive and encouraging, then we’re more likely to act in an uplifting …

The Mindfulness Revolution

No doubt you’ve heard the word Mindfulness being thrown around a lot recently, it’s the Number One wellbeing buzzword and everyone from Ruby Wax to Goldie Hawn is singing its praises. But what is Mindfulness and why is it so beneficial? In essence, Mindfulness is purposefully paying attention and being aware in the present moment. Intentionally observing (but not clinging onto) your thoughts and feelings without judgement. This can be experienced at any moment, in any situation, but is best practised in a quiet room without distractions. Meditation is a great way to begin learning the Art of Mindfulness, just 10 minutes every day (preferably at the same time each morning) can make a big difference. What does Mindfulness actually do? Mindfulness improves focus and levels of concentration. Two incredibly important skills in this information age when we’re continually bombarded with enormous amounts of information and endless digital distractions. Mindfulness provides clarity of thought. In essence, once you slow down your mind and begin to understand the landscape of your thoughts and feelings in more …