I’m a big fan of creativity, and I am often sad when I hear people say “I’m just not creative.” Anyone can be creative and it has huge health benefits, increasing resilience and reducing stress for example. We don’t need to be the next Picasso or have the genius of Mozart to be creative. Small actions every day count. This short video from Happier.com explains how and why you should get creative:
The website Happify have created a great Infographic on the science of creativity which you can find here. It will give you further inspiration on how to get your creative mojo working. One of my favourite books on creativity is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – it’s a 12 step recovery programme for people who have lost their creativity. I learn something new every time I read it and I would recommend working with Julia in person if you get the opportunity. Julia is coming to London later… Read the rest...
Last weekend I was participating in a CTI training course in London as part of my training to become a coach. We were asked to look at an “issue” in our life which we could be coached on and I decided to look at procrastination as my issue as I have long held the belief that if only I could overcome my tendency to procrastinate on small administrative tasks, which somehow remain unfinished for months on end, I would somehow be happier. I struggled all weekend with finding any solution that resonated with me and although I completed the training having made the commitment to tackle my ever increasing pile of petty cash receipts which needed sorting, I was left with the overriding feeling that no matter which perspective I took I was never going to fall in love with doing petty chores. I decided to designate one day a month as a Get It Done Day (in which I tackle all unfinished tasks head on for a limited period of time to get the pain over with) and… Read the rest...
This article by Stuart Jeffries was published this week in The Guardian. I wanted to share the article a) because it is extremely well written, b) because the British are so obsessed with the weather and c) because apparently some of us may be about to get a lot happier this weekend and need to prepareourselves for this eventuality. Enjoy the article and enjoy your weekend.
Summer is finally coming – forecasters are predicting a fine July. But what is the link between weather and wellbeing?
Crowds sunbathing and relaxing in St James Park, London. Photograph: Mundus Images/Alamy
Stow those cagoules! Pretend you like prosecco rosé! Prepare yourself for articles why-oh-whying about men with the least attractive chests walking around with their tops off when everybody else rather wishes they wouldn’t!
Seth Godin is famous marketing guru and author of numerous successful books (which I can highly recommend) who writes one of the most followed blogs on the web. Seth is probably one of the few bloggers who I have followed assidiously for a number of years. I particularly like Seth Godin not just for his intelligent, common sense approach to marketing but also for his intelligent, common sense approach to life in general. Many of Seth’s blog posts are not just about marketing but are nevertheless worth reading in their own right. The blog post below (published on Seth Godin’s blog on 30th June) about our often conflicted attitudes to money is a case in point and definitely worth a read:
Thinking about money
Many marketers work overtime to confuse us about money. They take advantage of our misunderstanding of the time value of money, of our aversion to reading the fine print, of our childish need for instant gratification and most
Happiness Experiment no 17 is: Act As If you are happy. It sound like a very simple idea but it is surprisingly effective. Professor Richard Wiseman explains the As if Principle in more detail in his latest book Rip It Up. You can get a quick demonstration of how tiny changes in behaviour can make a huge difference to your happiness by watching this short Cognitive Media video:
Why not experiment with the As If principle and let me know how you get on?
If we can be happy at any age is it worthwhile trying to avoid ageing? Is ageing something we can simply fix? Aubrey de Grey makes an impassioned plea for ending the ageing process. Watch his TED talk and decide if you agree with his provocative stance on ageing.
Want to live to a ripe old age? Having a positive outlook on life maybe the key to doing just that. The article below from CBS News looks at how optimism can lead to longevity. The TEDxWomen talk below by psychologist Laura Carstensen shows that not only does being optimistic make you live longer, but research shows that you also become happier and more content as you get older and are likely to have a more positive outlook on the world. Living to an old age does not mean that your quality of life has to diminish, on the contrary it is likely to increase. Enjoy the article and the video and let me know what you think.
Researchers discover optimism may lead to longevity
The secret to a long life may be something as simple as a sunny disposition.
In a study published in the journal Ageing on May 21, researchers surveyed people who were over the age of 95 and found that most of them had positive personality traits, making them upbeat and relaxed
“Even if there is nothing to laugh about, laugh on credit.” Anon
There are so many benefits to laughing – it really is worthwhile experimenting with new ways to have a laugh. This is a topic we will return to in the future but in the meantime here is a great article for you to read by Pallab Ghosh, the BBC’s science correspondent, about the medical benefits of laughter.
There is also a link to a brilliant Channel 4 documentary by filmmaker Mira Nair – a great introduction to a group of people in India who take the business of laughing very seriously. If you have any suggestions or stories about bringing more laughter to your life please share them. Go on have a laugh…..
Study reveals laughter really is the best medicine
By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News
Could laughter be the glue that welds human societies together?
People feel less pain after a good laugh, because it may cause the body to release chemicals… Read the rest...
“Psychology without philosophy is blind, Philosophy without psychology is empty”(James Hume)
There’s a possibility that the 21st century could be the century when we finally get to understand more about how to lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Compared to our ancestors of just a century ago we enjoy better health, greater material riches and have a richer understanding of psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. But are we happier or more fulfilled? Perhaps not. As the French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said “Everything has been figured out except how to live.”
There’s at least one reason for thinking that things might change for the better. Since 1998 American psychologist Martin Seligman has led the “Positive Psychology” movement which aims to put human well-being on a scientific footing.… Read the rest...