Recent events have created a slower world for many of us. For a while we couldn’t make plans, couldn’t say yes to every invitation – we had to learn to ‘be’.
If part of you has enjoyed not having an endlessly full diary, and a to-do list that never gets smaller. Then you might enjoy these practises as a way of being more mindful on a day-to-day basis.
Remember the small pleasures in life
Take a moment to make a list of 10-20 little things that bring you joy.
It could be putting some bird food in the garden for little friends that visit and sing.
Taking a bubble bath.
A hot drink and a biscuit.
Baking a treat.
A cheeky glass of wine a little earlier than normal.
You’ll know what makes you happy… Then when you are having a bit of a day, and need a welcome lift. Pull out your list and do one of the things – it’s as simple as that! (more…)
In recent weeks and months, there have been heart-breaking scenes across the world, of different origins. Most of us will have experienced a whole cacophony of emotions, as we have navigated these difficult waters.
Throughout this time, I have returned again and again to some simple things. One is a saying: ‘this too shall pass’, and the other is simply to have ‘hope’.
In a sea of uncertainty, it can be helpful to be reminded by the constancy’s in all of our lives. The sun will rise and fall each day, the seasons will turn before our eyes, the tides will ebb in and out… (more…)
Do you consider yourself a good decision maker? Or are you known as a procrastinator? Do you make a pro/con list? Or, do you decide based on gut instincts?
Many of us find making decisions an impossible task. Maybe we get bogged down in the complexity of a situation, or the emotions attached to the outcome. Either way, it can become a paralysing situation.
So, how can you learn to make decisions more easily?
- It is good to accept that some decisions are big and potentially life changing, and so they need careful thought and consideration.
- We need to learn when to trust our intuition, and when to realise that our first gut reaction may not be our best choice.
- Understanding that our choices can be mixed with emotions of how others are viewing us, leading us to a decision that is not necessarily right.
Is there someone that you have met in your lifetime that you admire for their resilience? Their ability to remain calm, when everyone around them is flapping. Who chooses to see the bright side of life even when faced with adversity?
The sort of person I am describing above is one that shows resilience, and it is a great life skill and ability to possess. Even if it is not your go-to position, it is possible to train yourselves to be more of a problem solver.
Generally speaking, people who are resilient demonstrate certain characteristics. The first is that they keep their emotions under control. This is partly why they are able to deal with things in an emergency or crisis situation. The second is they are good communicators, they are able to articulate what they are feeling, without having to act out their emotions. Thirdly, they are very open to new experiences, whether it is meeting new people, travelling to new destinations, taking on different work tasks etc. Put another way, they are prepared to be out of their comfort zone. (more…)
The other day an advert popped up on TV, there is a lake scene, and a circular countdown timer and the advert encourages you to just be calm for 30 seconds. The advert is actually promoting an app called ‘Calm’, the purpose of the app is to aid meditation and sleep. The advert is so successful, as in today’s busy modern world, we find it difficult and a bit uncomfortable to just sit still and quiet for 30 seconds. Hence the need for the app in the first place.
But it is a reminder that we have forgotten how to be still and quiet, and that carving out periods of solitude are seen as selfish and indulgent. But in fact, it is essential for our wellbeing, and highly needed when it comes to our spiritual development and enlightenment.
Pablo Picasso said “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” (more…)
I know what you are thinking, why do I need to read an article on breathing, I know perfectly well how to breathe. I just breathe in and breathe out – all done!
But and this is a big but – we are all breathing, but many of us are not breathing as well as we could, and in many cases modern day living is hampering how we breathe.
Statistics show that as many as 9 out of 10 of us are breathing in a way that works against our anatomy. We need to get back to breathing as we did when we were children!
Did you know that sitting at desks, our posture, feeling stressed and even how we dress can all impact how we breathe? In fact, activities like using social media, texting/emailing can cause us to actually hold our breath! (more…)
What happens when a person decides to let their life decisions be guided by a self-help book, and not just one book, but the principles of one self help book per month for a year? Well, that’s exactly what Marianne Power did, and she documents the moving, and oftentimes funny journey of self-discovery in her book, called Help Me!
So, what got Marianne started on this quest in the first place?
Well, she was feeling ‘stuck in a rut’; she was single, home was a rented room in London, and she was constantly broke! Then several years ago, whilst nursing quite the hangover, she had the idea to explore self-help books and then write up her experience via a blog. This was not a big leap for her as she was already a freelance journalist. The blog got under way in 2014, and it wasn’t long before its garnered interest from book publishers, but Marianne didn’t say yes at first, trusting her gut instinct that the timing was too soon – maybe the self-help was paying off! But eventually she did strike a deal, with the publishing house Picador, and it is probably no surprise that she felt so comfortable with them, as they also were responsible for turning Helen Fielding’s column for the Independent into Bridget Jones Diary. There have of course been plenty of comparisons and parallels drawn between Marianne as being the modern-day version of a Bridget Jones character. (more…)
When you were growing up were you told ‘silence is golden’, I didn’t really appreciate the sentiment as a youngster, thinking it was over-rated, along with ‘children should be seen and not heard’… But as it turns out, our very modern busy lives are filled with distraction and noise, and actually finding periods of peace and quiet can be our salvation!
Noise pollution is actually quite a threat to health, and it’s a difficult one to manage – you don’t physically see that noise is having an impact on the quality of your life, but in fact constantly living with noise can increase your blood pressure, reduce your concentration levels and productivity and disturb sleep to name a few.
Some noise comes externally, like building works, aeroplanes, traffic and so on, but other noise can be brought on by ourselves, by not switching off from modern technology. (more…)
As I write this article England is in the throes of what can only be described as a heat-wave. It’s the glorious weather we can only dream about, and plenty of us pay good money each year to ensure we get some by holidaying abroad. But somehow when you are working, and trying to sleep at night, it’s all not so funny. So how can you thrive during summer rather than just survive?
Heat exhaustion is not just a possibility in foreign climes, it can happen just as easily at home… Typical symptoms are nausea, dizziness, cramps, thirst, tiredness, headache and even a fast pulse. It is caused by the body losing too much water and salt, through sweating, either due to extreme heat or maybe from playing sport in very hot weather. To guard against it happening, ensure that you stay well hydrated, try to eat more water rich foods in your diet (think cucumber and watermelon), and stay out of the sun during the height of the day between 11am-3pm, and seek shade where possible. If you do get caught out, then remove unnecessary clothes, lie down, get into as cool a place as possible, drink water, and try and cool the skin. (more…)
The nature of modern technology means that we are now documenting our lives in different ways, for many of us when we were young, events may have been recorded in a diary, or we may have had some sort of scrap booking or journal system for recording important events, as well as our thoughts and feelings. But now it is quite likely that these methods are deemed outdated and we are recording our lives in a digital manner, and perhaps memorialising them via social media platforms.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with embracing everything that modern living has to offer, there are some art forms that are being forsaken along the way, take writing for example. Very often we use words now as little as possible, with communications limited to an amount of characters or words.
One of the reasons this is quite sad, is that that the benefits of writing expressively has many therapeutic health advantages. (more…)