All posts tagged: wisdom

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 …

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?

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

How Smooth is your Wheel of Life?

There’s a very useful coaching tool called the Wheel of Life, used to take a snap shot of our lives at any given moment and help us assess the areas that need improvement. Completing the wheel allows time for reflection; for us to pause and take stock of the areas that use up most of our time and energy. These areas include Money, Career, Friends and Family, Significant Other, Fun and Recreation, Health, Physical Environment and Personal Development. To complete the wheel you must give each area a mark out of 10 for how satisfied you are with them currently – the centre represents 0 and the outer perimeter a 10. You then draw a line or curve at that point to create a new outer edge. Looking at your completed wheel, what do you notice? How balanced is the Wheel? How smooth or bumpy is the ride? Which mark would you like to be giving in 6 months time? What are some steps you could take to reach those goals?