All posts tagged: mindfulness

Poetry Friday

The Guest House This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, Still, treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. Rumi    

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 …

25 ways to Unplug

The weekend provides an ideal opportunity to put our digital devices down and reconnect with this wondrous world around us! Not to mention ourselves and each other. But wonder what on earth you would do without them? If inspiration’s lacking, we’ve come up with 25 ways you can entertain yourself offline: Wrap up warm and go for a fresh Spring walk leaving your phone locked at home Finally pick up the forgotten cookery book found in your Christmas stocking, choose a recipe and whip up a delicious meal Hang out with friends – go for coffee, wander markets, make each other laugh Sit and write postcards, letters and cards for friends, buy stamps and post them – there’s nothing quite like receiving hand written mail! Invite friends over and play a game of cards or a board game round the kitchen table Spend some time with your pet – bath it, play with it, pet it Pick up a diary and write about your experience, including noting 3 positive things about being unplugged Take a hot bath with candles Discover the …

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 …

Reset, Connect and Create for 2016

Introducing Reset, Connect & Create – Technotox’s inaugural urban retreat to nourish the mind, body and soul at the start of 2016. Reset your mind, connect with your body and enrich your soul during this one day urban retreat in the heart of Soho on Saturday 23 January (9.15am – 5.45pm). A day of personal growth, pilates, nutrition tips, mindfulness meditation and creativity, you will be left feeling balanced, nourished and inspired, and ready to make 2016 your best year yet! We’ll kick start the day with a pilates class and energizing smoothie, followed by a session on realistic resolutions from our expert nutritionist and Sport Stylist ambassador, Ruth Tongue. After a short break (with snacks provided by Whole Foods), take part in a values and meaning workshop to help you reassess what fulfillment and happiness really look like for you. After lunch, we’ll start the afternoon with a guided meditation to clear the mind, help reduce stress and promote positive emotions – held by wellness coach and founder of Technotox, Lucy Faulks. Round off the day with a …

It’s So Quiet Here!

Technotox is honoured to have the support of Mind Space and its founder Adam Dacey, who today becomes our first guest writer with an article about cultivating a quiet mind and the art of mindful listening. It’s So Quiet Here! At the live evening classes that I teach it’s common for participants to say at the end of the first class, ‘I had many thoughts and was so distracted when I was trying to Meditate’ The experience of peace, calm and inner quiet does not arise simply because we decide to start Meditating. Sometimes through making too much effort to attempt to quieten the mind, we can push the experience even further away. One teacher I have, spent 12 years in retreat. When he had finished he concluded that the most effective method to quieten the mind, was to sit and observe what is happening, the sounds around us, the thoughts in our mind. Mentally step back and observe. Not to add more, to what is already there. Or to try to control what is happening. The mind …

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 …

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 …