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Cornwall

Cultivating Gratitude

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? Many psychologists believe that your answer to this question depends on what you regularly focus on. If you routinely focus on negative things and complain about them then, no surprises here, you will be a grouch. And you will never run out of things to complain about. It is like driving through life and all of your attention is focused on the dead flies and smears on your windscreen. You miss out on the scenery.

Learning to Live with Uncertainty

One thing that is certain in life is that it is very uncertain!

Nobody truly knows for sure what life is going to hold, and it is this concept of life being uncertain that forms the basis of many anxiety problems – especially generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

A great analogy for uncertainty and worry is it’s like having an allergy. Someone with hay fever will have a strong reaction to even the smallest amount of pollen - likewise someone experiencing GAD will have a very strong anxious reaction to even the smallest amount of uncertainty.

The Imposter Experience

At work, do you ever feel that everyone else seems to know exactly what they need to do whilst you are floundering? In the 1970’s psychological research identified a common experience that creates significant anxiety and unease, particularly in the workplace. This experience, often called the Imposter Syndrome, is where people feel that their achievements are a bit of a fluke, and that it is only a matter of time before people find them out. They feel that they are a fraud and not as competent as others around them.

Leaving Work at Work

Recent research suggests that being able to detach from work is associated with higher life satisfaction, lower stress and, surprisingly, better performance when actually working. For example, a study in Germany followed 309 people over a year and found those who could detach from work were significantly less emotionally drained and were overall healthier. Furthermore, it appeared these gains were most significant when people were stressed or felt overloaded with work. It would seem that we probably most need to relax when we feel we have no time to relax!
 

Creating Calm

Modern life can be exhausting. Trying to create greater calm is the antidote. But this antidote doesn’t happen by itself. We have to actively cultivate it.

We are all black-belt experts in busyness. Our minds have never been so busy. We get bombarded with information from our media and our focus is usually on fixed on what’s coming up or what we have to do next. Our mental chatter adds to the load. We worry about all the worst things that can happen in the future. Or we ruminate about things that have happened in the past. No wonder we are all so tired.

Rest Don’t Sleep

A subtle but powerful shift in our mind-set could help us get a better night’s sleep. Research data tells us that about 30% of us get less than six hours sleep every night. This is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

Now many people don’t give themselves enough opportunity to sleep. You can be the best sleeper in the world, but if you have to be up early and don’t get to bed on time, then you won’t get enough sleep. Many people just need to get to bed earlier.

The Power of Yet

The research of the American Professor, Carol Dweck, suggests that there are two fundamental approaches which we can use when we encounter difficult learning or life challenges. One of these approaches will serve you well and carry you to many successes in life. The other will keep you stuck. 

Talking to Yourself - In a Good Way

We all worry if we catch ourselves talking to ourselves. It’s said to be the first step to madness. But, in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, leadership experts Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman propose that, in some contexts, talking aloud to yourself can be really helpful. In fact, they claim that it helped 92% of people they worked with to shed bad habits and become more successful.

Breathing and our Presence of Mind

We tend to underestimate the power of our breath in helping us deal with stressful events. But, used properly, our breathing can transform our experience and help us navigate through some of life’s biggest challenges. We underestimate our breathing because we do it all the time. However, at some level, most of us are aware that taking a few deep breaths when we are afraid or angry can be helpful.
 

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