All posts filed under: resilience

Poetry Friday

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I asked. When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I should’t feel that way you are trampling on my feelings. When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, then you have failed me, strange as it may seem. Listen! All I asked was that you listen, not talk or do-just hear me. And I can do for myself; i’m not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless. When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness. But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational. then I can stop trying to convince you and get on with the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling. And when that’s clear the answers are …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Why Should We Turn Towards Difficulty?

We all come up against difficulty in our lives. In various forms and guises we’re met with grief, rejection, fear and loneliness, confrontation, difficult friends or work colleagues, decisions and situations that are out of our control (the EU referendum!), the list goes on… Difficulty causes us discomfort, frustration and pain. So our natural response is to turn away from it. We don’t want to feel it, craving something else, something more pleasant. Averting our attention elsewhere and turning away from our problems and difficulties. We don’t want them or to even acknowledge them so we don’t, often fantasising, burying and ignoring them instead. But this aversion starts to inform our lives and dictate our decisions. A person that finds it difficult to be with rejection for example, will do anything to avoid it. Not applying for that dream job, or asking that cute girl at the bus stop out for a coffee. Someone who finds confrontation difficult will allow themselves to be walked all over, never hearing the truth or any constructive criticism. And intimacy? Well that person won’t ever …

5 ways to limit the Stress of always being on call

1 in 4 adults in the UK in any given year will suffer from stress, anxiety, depression or another form of ill mental health (Mental Health Foundation Report 2015), and that’s only including those who are clinically diagnosed. How many others suffer in silence or ignore telltale signs? Could this fast-paced, complex, ever challenging digital world we find ourselves living in be the root cause of our increased stress levels? A world where we’re always on call, permanently plugged in and bombarded with an endless stream of digital stimulus and distractions. Like it or not, we’re all addicted to our digital devices. Relentlessly jumping from emails to whatsapps, google searches to social media, news apps to … you get the picture, because you probably do it too. Some of you up to 150 times a day. Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains comments that constantly flitting from one forum or application to another is associated with “shallower thinking, weakened concentration, reduced creativity, and heightened stress.” His views are supported by other experts who …

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 …

In Celebration of National Poetry Day

  Still I Rise You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts …