All posts tagged: mental health

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 …

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.

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.          

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‘.

What Makes you Happy?

Last night my co-leader Andy and I hosted week one of the Action for Happiness course Exploring What Matters.  An eight week course designed to bring communities together to explore the things that really matter for a happy and meaningful life. The course involves  watching videos, carrying out positive psychology interventions (things proven to make us happier!) along with lots of group discussion and sharing. Backed by the Dalai Lama it aims to spread happiness and joy, starting with individuals within our communities, who commit to doing as much as they can to help others and reduce misery. Each session has a theme based on big questions and last night along with our 20 attendees, we explored What really matters in life? Is it money or success? A thriving family home full of love and support? Or simply safety, warmth and food on the table? One of the first surprising facts we learnt is less than 1% of our happiness is affected by our income (our group guessed 10-25%). This is measured by government polls. So even though the US economy has experienced …

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  

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 …

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 are generally better people. Scientist know our genes and upbringing influence around 50% of the variation in our personal levels of happiness.  Our circumstances 10%, e.g our income and external environment. Which leaves as much as 40% accounted for by our daily activities – the relationships we keep, the work we do and the choices we make. Our actions strongly impact our happiness levels, which is great news because it means we have great control over them and can therefore almost instantly, boost our happiness. Respected positive psychologist Professor Martin Seligman developed a well-being theory called the PERMA Model. It combines the five building blocks required for a happy and flourishing life. These five blocks 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 …

Why do Digital Devices Affect our Happiness?

Scientists know 40% of our personal happiness levels are accounted for by our daily activities (50% genes & upbringing, 10% income & environment). So our lifestyle, the relationships we have and the habits we keep, significantly affect our happiness. We live in a hectic digital age where it’s impossible to avoid technology; iPhones, laptops, tablets and digital TV are an all-encompassing part of our daily routines. We’re addicted to notifications, checking our phones at any free moment and at the mercy of emails, checking them last thing at night (from our tranquil beds!) and first thing in the morning straight after we’ve switched off the alarm (our lovers don’t stand a chance!). Pressured to ‘show face’ on social media and regularly finding ourselves watch TV whilst navigating multiple Whatsapps and browsing Facebook on our iPads. Like it or not, we are all utterly addicted to technology, in fact, the average smartphone user now checks their phone a whopping 150 times a day! Unsurprisingly, these addictive digital habits are affecting our mental health and suppressing happiness. Millennials are struggling to sleep and suffering …

The Pros and Cons of Technology

Computers and smartphones have revolutionised the way we live, allowing 24/7 access to emails, social media and a world of endless information. We’re better connected and more efficient than ever before but without realising it, we are also suffering from dependency, social isolation and neglecting our mental health. I started writing Technotox to raise awareness of the control modern technology has on each of our lives. To encourage a more mindful and disciplined approach to our time spent online, and to offer tips for a happier and healthier offline life, with more meaning and fulfilment. The Advantages of Technology Medical advancement and discovery A world of information at our fingertips allows easy learning and knowledge building Improved communication Better connected – allows us to keep in touch with friends and family wherever we are Improved productivity More cost efficient  The Disadvantages of Technology Dependency and addiction. More time online means less time for personal development, exploration and creativity. We are becoming less in tune with our instincts and inner voice Decreased creativity now that everything from calculations to drawings can …