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Can Mindfulness Change the Face of Britain?

Can Mindfulness Change the Face of Britain?

No-one is in any doubt that we are facing a crisis with the increasing levels of mental illness in this country; one in four of us experiences a mental health problem every year. But what if there was something small – taking as little as ten or 15 minutes –that could help millions of us living with stress, depression and anxiety? And, as if that wasn’t enough, it could also help people focus, reduce anger, and aid in preventing any number of physical ailments. We’re talking mindfulness, of course. And that’s what led me to a meeting room in the House of...
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The Basics of Mindfulness Practice

The Basics of Mindfulness Practice

Wherever you happen to be sitting right now, take about a minute or two to notice the physical sensations of your body pressing against the seat/cushion/floor underneath you. If you’re standing, try to notice the physical sensations of your feet pressing against the floor. While you’re at it, see if you can identify the contours of your body touching the seat or floor by feeling the sensations that are present there – rather than by simply thinking about them. This exercise of attention is referred to as mindfulness and has become tremendously popular in recent...
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Green Gyms: Wellbeing through Outdoor Conservation

Green Gyms: Wellbeing through Outdoor Conservation

Green Gyms transform people’s health and wellbeing through participation in outdoor conservation activity. They are group-based, physically challenging and result in green spaces for the wider public benefit. Regular attendees increase their activity over time and so get fitter. They also develop a social, or ‘peer-support’ network, and have higher levels of contact with nature. This powerful combination helps them to develop resilience against mental and physical health problems and - through learning how to manage green space - new skills, knowledge and...
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Why Dog Walking is Good for You

Why Dog Walking is Good for You

‘Alpha got lost for five hours,’ says one of the regular dog people as Albie, her working cocker spaniel, races around the park. ‘He followed a bitch on heat for miles, all the way to the main road. Now his mum’s had him snipped and she’s bought a tracking device’. We gasp in horror at the trauma. Alpha is a husky. I know him well, as does my dog Milo, a miniature schnauzer, who adores being pinned down by him and gently bitten on the neck. I don’t know his owner’s name (yes, I’m aware that the term ‘owner’ is seen in some rarified circles as non-pc, too clinical,...
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Can Making the Bed Change Your Life?

Can Making the Bed Change Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what an unmade bed says about you? could the way you leave your bed each morning reflect your state of mind?   In the sixties my family lived in one room on the top floor of a terraced house in South London. The bed took centre stage and if left unmade would throw the whole room into disarray. With the bed made, the room would take on a certain glow and everything else that needed to be tidied would fall into place. There are psychological as well as environmental benefits of a well-made bed. In a recent article, Make Your Bed For Peace...
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