Health and Well-being

Finding your best self

Finding your best self

Some time ago I did an online course titled "The Science of Happiness" (I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in what actually causes us to feel happy and have long term joy. For more information click here).  During this course we completed an exercise that was designed initially by the wonderful doctor of happiness herself - Sonja Lyubomirsky with another researcher Kennon Sheldon. They conducted a small study comparing this exercise to a 'Gratitude Exercise' - another popular mood enhancing technique. It was found that:

People who completed the .... exercise daily for two weeks showed increases in positive emotions right after the two-week study ended. Those who kept up with the exercise even after the study was over continued to show increases in positive mood one month later

Remember to Breathe

Remember to Breathe

We've all experienced those moments. The ground moves beneath us, what we though was stable is not. As a friend hashtagged the other day #whathappenedtothecertaintiesoflife ! And it is a bit like that. We feel groundless.

Pema Chodron, Buddisht nun, teacher (and in my eyes a goddess) tells us to make friends with the groundlessness to sink into it. To breathe it all in.

If you've ever been in such a position - it is easier said than done. Some  events literally take our breathe away, as if we have been punched in the solar plexus. Our initial urge is to stop breathing, to tense, to get ready for the fight or the fligh

What to eat for health and well-being

What to eat for health and well-being

The more I read about diets, the more confused I used to become. So here is my simple uptake on everything I have read, heard and studied about dietary advice - along with the most recent world wide agreed dietary advice from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAD). Following some simple idea's make shopping and deciding what to eat a lot less stressful.

The Many Paths to Happiness

The Many Paths to Happiness

So for the last few weeks, I've been doing a few courses (all in the name of research of course). Two are on Happiness - (A Life of Happiness and Fulfilment and The Science of Happiness), and the other is on Resilience. (Through Coursera and Edx). All are excellent courses and highly recommended.

In all the courses they talk about how humans are naturally wired to seek the 'bad' or negative in circumstances - it's a life saving strategy (noise in the bush - better think it's a lion rather than a bird, rather being the other way around). However, clearly it doesn't always serve us well in the modern world

Anxiety and how to beat it

Anxiety and how to beat it

Have you ever suffered from butterflies in your stomach? A feeling of dread? Sweaty palms? Feeling that you are struggling to get a breath? Feeling nauseous? Or a general feeling of being on edge, startling easily?

Most of us have experienced this feeling at some point in our life. Usually brought about by being asked to speak publically, awaiting a job interview or waiting for life changing good or bad news. It's normal, it serves a function and we wouldn't be human without it.

But what do we do when it's seems to stay? When the feeling appears to come on for no reason and then doesn't leave us?

The Gift of Giving

The Gift of Giving

Want to be a little happier? Start Giving.

I've taken a couple of courses recently - one of them was on the concept of happiness. The course looked at extensive research about what helps us to become happier people. Among other behaviours (which I look forward to writing about in other blogs!) giving has shown through various studies to be an action that promotes happiness and well-being - and it is the giving which makes the individual happy - rather than the other way around. We as humans appear to be hardwired to loving and giving - it is seen to be a natural trait we have. And while we all know that giving actually feels good - i.e. makes us feel happy - did you know it leads to other positive consequences as well? 

Everything comes down to....

Everything comes down to....

The surge in research about our gut bacteria has hit the roof to speak, recently. There is more and  more evidence arising about how our gut bacteria not only is hugely influenced by what we eat, but more importantly - that our gut bacteria may be having huge influences on how we feel. Yes, that's right, whether we are happy, sad, anxious, depressed or otherwise 'not quite right'.

When Not to Meditate

When Not to Meditate

Meditation is often promoted to be a cure all treatment for all sorts of issues; anxiety, depression, sleep problems, chronic pain etc etc. But there is a 'deeper' aspect to meditating which is often glossed over by the modern attitude for a quick fix. Sometimes meditating doesn't change a lot, but instead brings us deeper in touch with ourselves