All posts filed under: wellbeing

Ecophilia – a Sprinkle of Wellbeing Magic

Ecophilia is the suggestion that humans possess an innate tendency, in fact an innate desire to connect with nature. Perhaps the result of millions of years of evolution in a natural environment, long before the industrial revolution and urbanisation took hold. Apparently spending time in nature, surrounding ourselves with all things green and mother earth (think hugging trees and running barefoot in fields of Barley) makes us feel complete, happy and satisfied. In fact, just ten minutes in nature can reduce stress, boost our mental health and improve our overall sense of wellbeing. And occasionally make us snotty and irritable during hayfever season! So if you’re feeling inspired and want to take full advantage of this glorious weather, grab those antihistamines and read our top 10 ways to spend more time outdoors and boost your mental health and wellbeing; Visit your local city farm  Buy a new plant and keep a photo diary each week as you care for it and watch it grow  Grow plants on your windowsill – a pleasure for you and …

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 …

Mindfulness and the Entrepreneur

This article was written by Lucy Faulks, the Founder of Technotox and originally featured on MindSpace on 1st June 2017. “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” (Old Zen adage) I always knew I wanted to work for myself. Freedom and flexibility are two of my strongest values and every 9-5 job I ever had stepped all over them so the decision to hand in my notice and become an entrepreneur, was one of the easiest I’ve ever made. Not so easy, however, was navigating the emotional rollercoaster that comes with running a small business. Long, lonely days filled with struggle and anxiety regularly featured in my first few months as a start-up. In fact, they’re still a common occurrence two years down the line! It was only when I reconnected with my regular mindfulness practice, something that had fallen by the wayside along with my commute, that I was able to see through the self-induced storm and stay focused …

A Wise Cherokee Tale

The Tale of Two Wolves An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life… 

”A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. 
”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.” “One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

” “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

” “This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win Grandfather?”

 The old chief simply replied, 
”The one you feed.“

9 Signs you Might be Depressed

Do you know the main signs of depression? Could you spot them in others? Feelings of inescapable sadness, emptiness or hopelessness Loss of interest in life and the simple things Unexplained weight loss or gain Difficulty sleeping and staying asleep Restless and irritable Feelings of guilt or worthlessness and low self-esteem Fatigue and low energy levels Problems concentrating, remembering and making decisions Thoughts of suicide and thoughts of death If you’ve had five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you might be depressed. Make an appointment with your local GP or talk to someone you can trust. You could also call one of the organisations listed here who offer help and support directly.

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 …

Want to Feel More Fulfilled? Go Find your Flow!

Time stands still, oblivious to your surroundings, the world is set to pause, fully absorbed on your task at hand, focused and concentrating, time disappears and you become completely lost. Psychologists call these fully absorbent times, ‘flow states’ or a ‘heightened state of consciousness’. Times when our skills and competency are tested and our ability is just about sufficient to meet the challenge. Stretching us to our maximum limits. 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 can only be found under very specific conditions. Perhaps you find yours completing a difficult crossword or playing a musical instrument. You might find it writing up a new project at work or giving a public speech. Learning a new skill like tiling your bathroom! Regularly finding flow is incredibly important to achieving inner happiness because it leaves us feeling worthy, satisfied and pushes our personal growth by testing our limits. We ultimately feel fulfilled and proud of ourselves, which does wonders for our self-esteem. Unfortunately, time spent scrolling social media sites, watching netflix and answering whataapps doesn’t …

Are you Surviving or Thriving?

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is Surviving or Thriving?  A surprising 1 in 6 people interviewed in the 2016 Mental Health Foundation report, showed symptoms associated with ill mental health – sleep troubles, worry, irritability and fatigue – yet they didn’t believe they had a mental health problem. So this year, instead of looking at why 1 in 4 adults in the UK now suffers from ill mental health, the focus is on why so few people with seemingly good mental health are merely surviving  not thriving. Perhaps the spectrum of good and bad mental health is much narrower than we initially thought. If so, where do you sit on the scale? Find out more about the state of the UK’s mental health here and get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week here.          

How Green are your Fingers? Our Top 5 Gardening Health Benefits

Not only has the weather been glorious of late, but it’s officially National Gardening Week so what better excuse to don your wellies and head outside to get those fingers green?! Gardening has endless benefits for your health and wellbeing. For instance, a recent study published in the Journal of Public Health found that just 30 minutes of allotment gardening each week significantly reduces stress and fatigue and boosts self-esteem. And another study conducted by Bakker Scalding found that 88% of people find that mental wellbeing is a key benefit for spending time in the garden. So it’s not just good for your body, but your mind and soul too. Here are our top 5 gardening health benefits – Gardening burns fat and tones you up Digging, squatting, trimming and mowing are all great forms of exercise that will help to get the heart rate going and tone up those muscles. So you can get fit and lean without being cooped up in a soulless gym! Spend half an hour doing any of the following activities and you can expect to …

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‘.