All posts tagged: wellbeing

How Well Do You Look After Your Mental Health?

Our brains produce up to a staggering 50,000 thoughts per day (National Science Foundation). 95% of those thoughts are habitual and repeated on an almost daily basis. If you’re a naturally skeptical or negative person whose mind is filled with worry and anxiety, it’s inevitable this storm of gloomy, negative thoughts is going to have a frightening impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Especially since our thoughts govern our actions – “All that we are is a result of all that we have thought.” Buddha One very important way to look after our mental health, is to take a regular mental inventory of our thoughts to assess what we’re creating in our lives. How much time is spent worrying or complaining? Criticising ourself and others? How much time appreciating the things we do have instead of noticing everything we don’t? Looking at our lives with wonder and gratitude?  If what we experience now is a result of our past thoughts, then we’re creating our future with every new thought. If our thoughts are positive and encouraging, then we’re more likely to act in an uplifting …

6 Steps to Reconnect

Connection with other people is fundamental to our happiness and wellbeing. Yet with the rise of digital technology and online social networking sites, you would think the opposite was true. The lack of face-to-face connection is having devastating effects on society, with social isolation and the loneliness epidemic reaching all time highs. On par with early death through cause of smoking and obesity. We can certainly reverse this negative impact and through very simple means increase our connectivity levels. Here are a few simple steps to get you started – CALL AN OLD FRIEND It’s automatic to text a friend or write a quick email between meetings at work, but there’s nothing quite like hearing someones voice when you actually take the time to pick up the phone and call them PAY SOMEONE A COMPLIMENT A stranger on the street, your boss or the local chemist. Whoever your path might cross with, make a point to give at least one compliment each and every day. You’ll be amazed at the positive impact a little kindness and small  connection (even with a complete …

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 …

9 tips to help manage your time online

Generation Y (also known as the millennials) are estimated to pick up their phones 150 times a day, checking emails, whatsapp, social media and logging into a million and one different user apps from Tinder, to Clue, Wunderlist to Framatic. No wonder this highly distracting online world can leave us feeling lost and overwhelmed, inadequate and insecure. For these very reasons, it’s more important than ever before to take control of our digital dependency and be more selective with the time we spend online. Streamline the beneficial stuff and start to quit the useless distractions. Here are nine easy tips to help you become more mindful and take a healthier approach to your online habits – Use a blocking tool such as Anti-Social or StayFocusd to improve your productivity by locking your computer away from social media sites for a certain amount of time, time of day or day of the week. You’ll be amazed at how much more you get done when you can focus without distraction. Get into the habit of putting your phone down at 9pm and not checking it again until …

How do you find your flow?

A moment in your life when time stands still, oblivious to the world around you, so fully focused on what you’re doing, concentrating so hard, time disappears completely. Psychologists call these fully absorbent times, flow states or a ‘heightened state of consciousness’. Perhaps you find flow doing a crossword, playing a competitive sport or writing and giving a powerful speech (like the legendary Martin Luther King, Jr – featured above). There are many activities in which flow can be found, but it can only happen under very strict conditions – at times when our skills are tested, but our ability is just about sufficient to meet the challenge. Stretching us to our maximum limit. 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 cannot be achieved. Achieving flow is incredibly important to achieving inner happiness, it leaves us feeling worthy, satisfied and encourages personal growth. Testing our limits and fulfilling our  potential. Unfortunately, the amount of time we spend surfing the internet, checking social media sites and watching catch-up TV …

10 ways to look after your mental health

The Mental Health Foundation published a list of 10 ways to look after your mental health. Can you think of any others? Talk about your feelings Keep active Eat well Drink sensibly Keep in touch with loved ones Ask for help Take a break Do something you’re good at Accept who you are Care for others Find out more at http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk.

How Grateful are you?

Can you be consciously grateful for 100 days in a row? Apparently 71% of all participants in the 100happydays challenge have so far failed – stating ‘lack of time’ as their main obstacle. But how many of them managed to visit facebook that day, or scroll through twitter aimlessly? Switch on the TV after work and watch their latest download in bed with their iPad? The challenge is to find one thing every day (for 100 days) that makes you happy. It might be the smell of fresh coffee on a sleepy morning or the affections of a pet, perhaps finding a bargain in the latest sale or a smile from a stranger in the street. You simply acknowledge what it is and make a note of it. You can use a regular notepad, take pictures with a camera or most popularly, record it via social media. The exercise isn’t to show off and try to make others jealous, but to encourage us to be aware of the simple things in life that bring happiness and joy every day – if acknowledged. It is reassessing our …

Ruby Wax: Sane New World

I recently discovered a fantastic Ted Talk on Mental illness by comedy legend Ruby Wax. Notorious for her writing and comedy sketches, she recently gained a Masters from Oxford University in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and has become an avid mental health campaigner. This 8 minute talk covers Ruby’s own experiences of mental health, being institutionalised, finding her tribe and discussing how ill equipped we are for life in the 21st Century. WATCH HER TED TALK HERE.  Ruby is currently on a UK tour with her new show Ruby Wax: Sane New World – an extension of this TED talk. You can also catch her at the St. James Theatre in Victoria next March.    

The Great Outdoors

There’s nothing like running through a park on a crisp and sunny autumnal day. Pacing over crunchy fallen leaves, in every shade of orange imaginable. A time to reconnect with mother earth, away from the drain and noise of our digital age. I urge everyone of you to take the time this month to run in your local park one morning. Leave your iPods and iPhones behind and just carry your own thoughts from tree to tree. Notice the difference in the air and the clarity in your attentions.