All posts filed under: wisdom

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 …

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 …

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 …

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.    

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.“

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 …

Alphabet of the Heart

For those meditators amongst you, you’ll be interested to hear about the Alphabet of the Heart – a mnemonic meditation exercise created by Dr James R. Doty, M.D, founder and director of the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University. The exercise was created by Dr. Doty as a reminder of the 10 steps towards the journey of compassion and mindfulness. Attributes that need to be cultivated to live a happy, meaningful and altruistic life. These include Compassion, Dignity, Equanimity, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Humility, Integrity, Justice, Kindness and Love.  The exercise involves running through each letter during our daily meditation practise. With reflect for a time on each attribute, manifest the intention, and as a result, cultivate more of it in our everyday lives. You can hear Dr. Doty explaining the creation of the exercise here and there’s also a full podcast series including personal reflections, research on each attribute and practical tips to cultivate that specific attribute found here.  

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 …

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.          

Poetry Friday

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean— the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down— who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?