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Do you love to sing, or dance, or laugh, or paint? If so, when was the last time you enjoyed your passion? “Fun is good for you” seems like an obvious statement but it’s as well to keep reminding ourselves, as it’s all too easy to get bogged down in dull, everyday routines and forget the joys of frivolity and self-expression. And, in case you need convincing, here’s some scientific explanation of how...
Sometimes, when our fears and problems begin to overwhelm us, we feel the need to talk to someone about them. It may be that we seek practical advice and solutions, or we might just feel the need to “get it off our chest”. Whichever it is, one thing is certain: we need a good listener, not someone who simply hears the ‘headlines’ and jumps to conclusions. We need someone who takes it all in, demonstrates empathy and...
Everyone is familiar with procrastination, and we’ve probably all done it to some extent. Putting off tasks we don’t fancy is a human enough response and, therefore, not necessarily problematic. But for some individuals it can develop into a behaviour that borders on phobic and the perceived reluctance to tackle the in-tray can be interpreted as laziness. A manager, for example, might look at an overdue project and conclude that...
Stress is usually thought of as bad for you, though it is an essential part of being human. Scientists have long known that the condition is caused by the brain releasing certain chemicals – adrenaline, cortisol etc. – for a very good reason: survival. But this is in reference to the “fight or flight” dilemma of primitive humans faced with the dangers of the natural world they shared with all kinds of predators and...
Psychologist Rachel Ward Lilley discusses the importance of routine and how we should embrace rather than reject it. They say that routine can get us down, that the same old thing day after day dulls the senses, stifles creativity and bypasses the joys of spontaneous activity. If we stick too rigidly to procedure, we leave no room for happy serendipity. Yet routines are an essential part of life for most of us. And since there is no...
We have picked out ten books that aim to improve your performance and wellbeing. Whether you want to reduce stress, become more productive or unleash your full potential, we hope these books help you feel more inspired and positive. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith (Michael Joseph | Hardback, audio, ebook | January 2022) Dr Julie Smith draws on her experience as a clinical psychologist and shares all the...
Psychologist Rachel Ward Lilley tells us what she has learned when it comes to New Year's resolutions. So, how did your dry January go? Did you find it hard to refuse a drink when those around you were lapping it up? Did your resolution crumble on that Friday evening, after a tough working week? Or did you sail through your self-imposed challenge without faltering? Now that we are well into February, it could be...
Mette Theilmann shares her tips on how to bring light into your home during the long dark winter months. Yes, it’s that time of the year when we start thinking about bedtime at 4 o’clock because it gets dark so early! But maybe we can embrace and enjoy these ‘cosy’ moments by bringing light into the house when we don’t get enough of it from outside. In Denmark we take the light very seriously - the...
Mette Theilmann from Predictable Parenting shares her tips on how to create a family Christmas that everyone will enjoy. Let me start by saying that as a Dane I LOVE Christmas! Even the dark cold winter evenings can be magical. It’s a time of the year where we can believe in anything; Santa, elves, angels, miracles, wonders and the love of mankind.     A happy family is based on cooperation, connection and...
Georgie Edwards shares her thoughts on how to enjoy Christmas by embracing the present moment. If you're stuck for Christmas present ideas this year, I've got the perfect one for you. The gift of P R E S E N C E. 'Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present'. — Alice Morse Earle. It's the warm-up to Christmas; we've waited all year for the magical month of...
Psychologist Rachel Ward Lilley shares her thoughts on why we should celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way, without feeling restricted by traditions and expectations. Have you ever felt sorry for shopworkers who are obliged to listen to those Christmas soundtracks for a month or more before the big day dawns? I don’t know how they cope. I mean, some of the musical numbers are undoubtedly enjoyable,...
Psychologist Rachel Ward Lilley discusses the importance of practicing self-care and how it benefits not only yourself but others. Some dismiss self-care as self-indulgent mollycoddling, but that is an unbalanced perception of what has proven to be an effective discipline with far-reaching benefits. Within my field of work, self-care is the recognised starting point to effect positive interventions in personal welfare....