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What is friendship and why is it so important to us all? Of course, we all could relate instinctively to the answers, if we were pressed to do so, but many of us have never had to think about it too much: perhaps we didn’t stray far from where we were born, and still have the friends we made in our early schooldays. In that case, friendship is a natural result of shared experiences and upbringing, so it just happens. But what about...
Is there anything controversial about wanting people to be happy? My guess is you would struggle to find anyone objecting to it. Yet we, as a society, appear to be shy of promoting it. Where does it feature in the manifesto of any political party? And why is it that, although everybody knows happiness is one of those things money can’t buy, the main measure we use to gauge how well society is doing is firmly based on the health of its...
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” Ram Dass. The industrial age brought many unintended consequences for us to deal with and one of those was an assault on silence. So, how are we coping with that? Although it’s been around for a long time, ‘noise pollution’ is a relatively recent concept and is welcome because it implies general acceptance that an excess of superfluous noise is harmful to us. It...
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...