All posts filed under: positive psychology

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 …

4 ways to conquer negative thought

We all experience negative thoughts – be they fleeting or circling patterns of misery, they are almost always uninvited and can affect everything from our close relationships to work life, depleting energy stores and exhausting our productivity. The same destructive neural pathways are visited, patterns emerge and habits are formed. Often there appears to be no escape. We will accept the wave of negativity and some even learn to relish in it, feeling increasingly sorry for themselves and becoming more and more isolated from reality. The good news is, with a little effort and discipline we can learn to break these patterns. Thoughts are just thoughts, they are not fact or reality. We have thousands upon thousands of them every day – random, creative, bizarre thoughts and just because we have them, doesn’t make them an accurate reflection of the way things are.   Choose Sunny Whatever the weather forecast for your inner world, unlike the outer world, we do have control over our minds. Our thoughts and moods can be influenced and we can …

Respond don’t React

Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day and the 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz liberation, so it seems apt that today’s post is about Viktor Frankl’s best-selling classic Man’s Search for Meaning. The extraordinary memoir of a psychotherapist who survived life in a Nazi concentration camp. The story is based on his experiences in camp where he laboured, starved and was subjected to horrific abuse, whilst his pregnant wife, brother and parents all perished. It is a profound book on the strength of the human spirit in the face of despair. There are two areas that really stand out for me in this book. The first is Frankl’s argument that we cannot avoid suffering, that life is suffering, but what is important is our perception of it and how we choose to react to it. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Frankl  How we perceive something gives it its meaning and whilst we …

new year. new book. new perspective.

The Road Less Travelled is a ‘classic work on relationships, spiritual growth and life’s meaning’. Written by best-selling author M. Scott Peck, it draws heavily on his experience as a psychiatrist and is a compelling book full of wisdom and tips to a happier, healthier and more meaningful life. It’s one of the few books I’ve carried around that gained a great deal of attention. Sat in coffee shops, on the bus, waiting for a friend in a restaurant, endless people noticed I was reading it and felt compelled to comment; “Great book”, “That’ll stay with you forever”, “Wonderful read” and I completely understand why. It is a life-changing book and one I will no doubt revisit again and again. Topics covered include – Discipline and the art of delaying gratification, giving up comforts in the present for future gain. Love as a choice not a feeling, extending one’s self for the purpose of nurturing another’s spiritual growth. Finding Grace within ourselves, evolving our conscious minds and making the unconscious, conscious. It’s a thought-provoking journey that took me …

How do you find your flow?

A moment in your life when time stands still, oblivious to the world around you, so fully focused on what you’re doing, concentrating so hard, time disappears completely. Psychologists call these fully absorbent times, flow states or a ‘heightened state of consciousness’. Perhaps you find flow doing a crossword, playing a competitive sport or writing and giving a powerful speech (like the legendary Martin Luther King, Jr – featured above). There are many activities in which flow can be found, but it can only happen under very strict conditions – at times when our skills are tested, but our ability is just about sufficient to meet the challenge. Stretching us to our maximum limit. 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 cannot be achieved. Achieving flow is incredibly important to achieving inner happiness, it leaves us feeling worthy, satisfied and encourages personal growth. Testing our limits and fulfilling our  potential. Unfortunately, the amount of time we spend surfing the internet, checking social media sites and watching catch-up TV …

25 reasons it’s better to give than receive

During this over-indulgent, opulent time of year it’s important we take stock and remind ourselves that Christmas isn’t all about the parties and presents, but the season of good will and peace to all men! So if you were ever in doubt, the Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar is here to prove that giving is far more satisfying than receiving. Subscribe to their mailing list and receive 25 daily acts of kindness sent straight to your inbox. A different challenge is set each day – phone an old friend, leave a kind note, give to the needy – in the hope that we can re-educate ourselves and really feel the positive difference going out of our way to be more giving can make. Sign up now and see how many random acts of kindness you can carry out this Christmas. Sign up here.