A growing number of us are starting to carry around a gadget that may be causing subtle health problems. Yes, you have guessed it – it’s the smartphone.
Do you have any area of your life, which if you could address or overcome it, would make your life better or easier? Actually, most people can identify some area of their life that feels a bit ‘stuck’ – and although each type of ‘stuckness’ will be different, there will be one common ingredient. This common ingredient is our tendency to avoid emotional discomfort.
With today’s hectic pace of life there appears to be a greater need to take breaks or holidays. In fact, a lot of research now highlights the health benefits of taking vacations. For example, the famous Framlington Heart Study in America, followed 12,000 men over a nine year period and found a clear link between the holidays and physical wellbeing. As one researcher put it, "The more frequent the vacations, the longer the men lived”.
Have you ever considered therapy whilst sitting in the comfort of your own home? As the internet becomes more established in many people’s lives, it is not surprising that more and more services are being delivered online.
Outlook South West now provides live therapy online as part of its NHS commissioned service in Cornwall. With a basic requirement of a broadband connection and a web-cam camera, (which can be bought for a few quid), the opportunity to get some online help for stress, depression or anxiety is within reach of anyone in the county over sixteen years old.
When was the last time you experienced a sense of awe? It isn’t a feeling that we encounter very often and it is quite hard to put into words. Interestingly, psychologists are starting to study the impact of awe on people and the results are starting to look interesting.
As Thomas Edison once said, “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves”. But unfortunately people don’t tend to do everything they are capable of. They tend to get stuck into a rut, neglect their health and find themselves on an accelerating hamster wheel.
Good self-help books have two important qualities. Firstly, they should explain things in a simple, clear and engaging way. They should help us to understand ourselves in a whole new light. This can be a very reassuring experience. Hopefully we will find out that we are not ‘crazy’ and that that other ‘normal’ people also experience these problems and also that they can get better. Secondly, the best self-help books provide a down-to-earth and practical plan of action; a route-map to pick our way out of the particular life difficulties we are facing.
Have you ever wondered what is behind the saying, “Spend your money on experiences, not things?” It’s an interesting idea that runs counter to common sense because, as we know, things last longer than experiences. For example, whilst your holiday can be over and done with in a fortnight, a new settee or pair of shoes will last for ages! However, it doesn’t work like that in practice. This is because human beings quickly adapt to the new possessions.
We all know that stress can be bad for our health. Not a day goes by without another news story telling us that it can cause a host of ailments such as, auto-immune problems, cardiovascular disease and premature ageing. But, whilst this may be true, exciting new research suggests that stress is more complex than we thought and has highlighted three areas where people can thrive well in the midst of stress.