Are you procrastinating your life away? Are you forever putting things off until tomorrow? If you are, then you won’t be surprised to hear that you are probably underachieving in your life. However, the research also tells us that if you chronically procrastinate you are more likely to experience stress and other health problems. How does that work?
[Guest author - Sarah Counter, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist with Outlook South West]
I was ten minutes late for a dental appointment last week. It had been a fraught journey. I explained to the dentist that I had been stuck at a level crossing, held up behind a learner driver and then couldn’t find a parking space. This was all actually true, although, if I’m honest, I was also slightly over-egging it. To give reasons for our actions is very normal.
Our thoughts are not to be trusted. This may sound a little extreme, but learning this fact can be tremendously helpful. The normal human brain provides a relentless ongoing commentary about the world and what we are doing. Sometimes the stories in this commentary are factual. But more often than not, they consist of judgements, evaluations, predictions and protests.
Guest Written by...
Catherine Collin, Clinical Psychologist & Director
Guest written by ...
Gemma Johns, Assistant Psychologist & PWP
The ability to focus our mind is something we take for granted. But one of the many challenges of living in the twenty first century is being able to keep our focus in the midst of a relentless flow of information and distractions. These constant interruptions and lack of focus can make us feel edgy, restless and increases our stress levels.
An intriguing study from Yale, published this month in the journal ‘Social Science and Medicine’, suggests that reading books will improve our health and help us to live longer.
Throughout history people have been writing diaries. There’s nothing new about it. But what is new is that psychological research has highlighted that diary writing for just five or ten minutes a day can have a really powerful impact on our physical and psychological well-being.
We all know that taking a walk in nature is good for us. We move our body and our mind slows down. We feel refreshed. As if this wasn’t enough, recent scientific research has shed light on some of the less obvious benefits.
What do we look for when we meet someone for the first time? Apparently, research tells us that we make fairly instant judgements about new people. For example, research around job interviews suggests that decisions are often formed in the first few minutes, sometimes even before we have had the chance to sit down.
Towards the end of July I plan to do a gruelling forty mile trek across the Pyrenees. I decided, in part, to do this walk as a challenge to raise money for the Cornwall Air Ambulance. This has brought some interesting responses. For example, my son agreed to sponsor me, but suggested that next year I could sponsor him to lie on a beach towel for two weeks off the Amalfi Coast.
How well do you connect with your nearest and dearest? A lot of psychological research has explored this subject, but it’s not rocket science. Perhaps the most critical ingredient is about how well you show interest and curiosity in your partner. Showing interest makes people feel heard and valued, and they like you more for it.
Many modern therapies now focus on helping people do things differently in their lives, rather than just talking things over. Talking can make you feel better, but it is action that leads to change. In fact, we all know this, but we struggle to put it into practice. There is a gap between what we know and what we do.
Many of us can become pretty spooked out by not knowing what is around the corner. Life is full of unknowns, such as facing job threats, health scares, financial worries or political decisions. We fear having to leave our comfort bubble and our mind goes into overdrive with negative predictions. What can we do?