Read our posts about wellbeing

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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Using Mindfulness to Overcome Insomnia Part 5

Using Mindfulness to Overcome Insomnia Part 5

This is the last of our extracts from Dr Guy Meadows' fantastic work The Sleep Book: How to Sleep Well Every Night on using mindfulness to overcome insomnia. The Sleep School also run workshops, find out more. Noticing Your Sensations and Urges Every moment of every day your body sends you millions of messages in the form of emotions, sensations and urges about your state of well-being. Whether it is the beat of your heart, the twitch of your muscles or the sensation of feeling hungry, tired, excited or sad, they are all part of the human experience. They provide you...
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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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Using Mindfulness to Overcome Insomnia Part 4

Using Mindfulness to Overcome Insomnia Part 4

Another helpful extract from Dr Guy Meadows'The Sleep Book: How to Sleep Well Every Night on how to use mindfulness to overcome insomnia. Noticing Your Breath The regularity of our breath makes it an excellent anchor to the present moment, and the fact we can do it at any time and it’s free makes it a great mindfulness tool, and a great tool in using mindfulness to overcome insomnia. It’s also one of the most easily observable bodily sensations, which is why meditators, new and experienced, practise it. Exercise: Noticing Your Breath In this exercise you will...
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9 Tips to Help with Seasonal Affective Disorder

9 Tips to Help with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a cyclical depressive period which usually occurs in autumn and winter. Sufferers are plagued with symptoms such as fatigue, increased appetite, loss of interest in daily activities, loss of libido, inability to focus and feelings of anxiety and irritability. People may automatically turn to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate, which in turn can make symptoms worse. SAD is thought to be caused by the lack of sunlight in the winter months. The lack of sunlight is thought to affect the functioning of your hypothalamus, the part of your...
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Using Mindfulness to Manage Loneliness

Using Mindfulness to Manage Loneliness

Loneliness is something that most of us experience from time to time. Divorce, bereavement, illness, disability, discrimination and unemployment are common causes of loneliness. And although moving to a new area, getting a new job or having a baby can be exciting and positive; people often find that new experiences can leave them feeling lonely. For some people, feelings of loneliness are constant and appear unrelated to external events like divorce, bereavement or becoming a parent. And it might be a cliché, but it can also be true: it is possible to feel...
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Using Mindfulness to Overcome Insomnia Part 3

Using Mindfulness to Overcome Insomnia Part 3

Part Three of how to embrace mindfulness, to help you embrace sleep. Extracts taken from Dr Guy Meadows' The Sleep Book: How to Sleep Well Every Night. Noticing the Judging Mind So we’ve seen how we posess the ability to both notice and think about things as they occur. Now we will look at how this can be both helpful and unhelpful. When you take notice, you are simply describing the raw facts as they exist in reality and therefore you are being objective or non-judgemental. For example, if I had stayed to look at the sunset, I would have noticed the different...
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Show Some Self-Compassion

Show Some Self-Compassion

We all know about compassion – the recent Children in Need and Band Aid campaigns reminds us again how much we can be moved to try and alleviate the suffering of others. Christmas time ignites giving in a lot of us. However, turning this motivation inward, to ourselves, is often very challenging. Research done in this field tells us so, but I also see this every day in my practice. The Dalai Lama talked about it when he first came to the West – he found it remarkable how mean we can be to ourselves. And I'd argue, along with the research again, that...
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Why you Should Join a Running Club

Why you Should Join a Running Club

“You should join a running club”. After the third person made the same suggestion I wondered if they knew something I didn’t. I’ve always run alone, happy at my own pace, competing against myself. Joining a running club had crossed my mind, but the idea of running with lots of people made me nervous – my perception was that I simply wasn’t good enough. A general impression of running clubs is that they are for ‘serious’ runners: gnarly men and whippet-like women who run marathons at weekends and compete in county leagues. Ruth thought the same: “I was always...
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Using Mindfulness to Banish Negative Self-Talk

Using Mindfulness to Banish Negative Self-Talk

How do you feel about 'future you'?  Can you see possibilities and positive things for your future or is your future negative and difficult? When faced with a new challenge, do you find yourself filled with self-doubt? "I'll never be able to do this", or "I'm not good enough", or "I can't". How do you feel about 'past you'? When you judge yourself in a negative way it can lower your self-esteem. For example, when you've made a mistake, do you tend to judge yourself for it? Does your self-talk include comments such as "How could I be so stupid?"...
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