The Russian playwright Anton Chekhov is alleged to have said, “Any idiot can face a crisis — it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out”. We can all recognise this. You see mostly people can endure major traumas and heartaches with great resilience. They may have a rough time in the process, but invariably they end up in a stronger position.
What do you value in your life? You won’t need reminding that you only have one shot at it. Miss it and it’s gone for good. In 2012, an Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, working in palliative care, wrote a moving book called “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying”. She found five repeating themes when people near the end of life talked about their life regrets.
When did you last discuss something with someone and came to the conclusion that they were right and that you were wrong? For many of us the answer to this question will be, “Not for a while”. We all want to be seen as open-minded, but in reality, humans struggle to change an opinion once they have mentally signed up for it.
Are you procrastinating your life away? Are you forever putting things off until tomorrow? If you are, then you won’t be surprised to hear that you are probably underachieving in your life. However, the research also tells us that if you chronically procrastinate you are more likely to experience stress and other health problems. How does that work?
[Guest author - Sarah Counter, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist with Outlook South West]
I was ten minutes late for a dental appointment last week. It had been a fraught journey. I explained to the dentist that I had been stuck at a level crossing, held up behind a learner driver and then couldn’t find a parking space. This was all actually true, although, if I’m honest, I was also slightly over-egging it. To give reasons for our actions is very normal.
Our thoughts are not to be trusted. This may sound a little extreme, but learning this fact can be tremendously helpful. The normal human brain provides a relentless ongoing commentary about the world and what we are doing. Sometimes the stories in this commentary are factual. But more often than not, they consist of judgements, evaluations, predictions and protests.
Guest Written by...
Catherine Collin, Clinical Psychologist & Director
Guest written by ...
Gemma Johns, Assistant Psychologist & PWP
The ability to focus our mind is something we take for granted. But one of the many challenges of living in the twenty first century is being able to keep our focus in the midst of a relentless flow of information and distractions. These constant interruptions and lack of focus can make us feel edgy, restless and increases our stress levels.
An intriguing study from Yale, published this month in the journal ‘Social Science and Medicine’, suggests that reading books will improve our health and help us to live longer.
Throughout history people have been writing diaries. There’s nothing new about it. But what is new is that psychological research has highlighted that diary writing for just five or ten minutes a day can have a really powerful impact on our physical and psychological well-being.
We all know that taking a walk in nature is good for us. We move our body and our mind slows down. We feel refreshed. As if this wasn’t enough, recent scientific research has shed light on some of the less obvious benefits.
What do we look for when we meet someone for the first time? Apparently, research tells us that we make fairly instant judgements about new people. For example, research around job interviews suggests that decisions are often formed in the first few minutes, sometimes even before we have had the chance to sit down.
Towards the end of July I plan to do a gruelling forty mile trek across the Pyrenees. I decided, in part, to do this walk as a challenge to raise money for the Cornwall Air Ambulance. This has brought some interesting responses. For example, my son agreed to sponsor me, but suggested that next year I could sponsor him to lie on a beach towel for two weeks off the Amalfi Coast.