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?
We all know that exercise is beneficial but unfortunately most of us don’t do it. Which is a problem because if we don’t put some effort into making a life we want we will possibly end up with having a life we definitely do not want. We all have lots of creative reasons for not doing exercise, although in reality only one thing holds us back. We don’t exercise because it is uncomfortable.
Did you know that we have two completely different ways of thinking? One is automatic, fast and unconscious; the other is the complete opposite.
To understand this, answer the following questions. 1. Mary had a little ……..? 2. Roses are red and violets are ………..? 3. Blondes have more …………? 4. What is 54 times 37?
Imagine a medical epidemic, like mumps or flu, which affected one in four people and left the sufferers in distress, discomfort and affected their ability to get on with their day. And now, in this imaginary situation, consider that half of the people affected were reluctant to seek help for their suffering.
Most of us rarely get through a week without feeling angry. It’s part of being human. We can get wound up by the antics of others, by the things that get in our way, by the fact that life isn’t fair, or by people being disrespectful. The feeling of anger isn’t really a problem. It’s what we do with it that sometimes gets us into trouble.
Guest Author - Sarah Counter, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist with Outlook South West
Have you wondered why cows have 4 stomachs? They belong to a group of animals called ‘ruminants’. They ‘chew the cud’ and go through several processes to repeatedly break down their complex food sources. They are what is known as ‘ruminates’.
Do you have expectations that are unrealistic? The late psychologist, Albert Ellis, said, “there are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy." These expectations may look reasonable enough. However, if you hold them too tightly they really can hold you back.
Change is inevitable. It can also be unsettling. It is also part of life. Why do so many of us do get angry when things change? Firstly, change often take us by surprise. We aren’t ready for it. In the words of Baz Luhrmann, “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday”.
Some people are really down on themselves. They seem to have a constant nagging voice that is always being self-critical or planting a seed of doubt in whatever they do. This constant doubting and self-denigration makes a person anxious and miserable.