Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Happiness Experiment No 32: Just breathe

Happiness Experiment No 32 is a great reminder on how to cope when your emotions overwhelm you.  If you are feeling angry or anxious remember to just breathe.  This lovely film featuring young children explains beautifully what happens when things feel out of control. Simply breathing slowly can transform the way you feel and experience strong emotions in your body and mind.  The next time you feel yourself getting wound up by something remember to just breathe.

“Just Breathe” by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman (Wavecrest Films)


Posted by Shona Lockhart on 9th March 2015

Happiness Experiment No 28: Try a little bit of mindfulness

There is a lot of research in the literature on positive psychology about the benefits of mindfulness for well-being and stress reduction.  All the evidence-based benefits in the world will make no difference to you at all unless you give it a try.  According to Andy Puddicombe from Headspace just 10 mindful minutes can make a huge difference.  Watch his TED talk and try a little bit of mindfulness for yourself.  You can sign up to a free trial 10 day mindful programme on the Headspace website here.

Andy Puddicombe TED talk: All i takes is 10 mindful minutes

Posted by Shona Lockhart on 16th February 2015

Shiny, happy people in Amsterdam


A shiny, happy person in an Amsterdam flea market.

Last week I had the good fortune to attend the 7th European Conference on Positive Psychology (ECPP) in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.  Apart from a great opportunity to get together with some of my fellow MAPP students from London, the conference was also an opportunity to meet other MAPP students from around the world and to hear some of the best known researchers in the field talk about their work.  The conference was held at Beurs van Berlage, a stunning venue in central Amsterdam, which was to be our refuge for the duration of the week until we emptied out in to the bustling streets of Amsterdam each evening to digest the contents of the day’s lectures and workshops.

So what do 900 plus positive psychologist do for a week when they are couped up in a beautiful building apart from repeatedly sing Pharrell William’s Happy song? A lot of serious scientific stuff actually (although … Read the rest...

Willpower 101 – Part 2 Three willpower wonder drugs

In part 1 of this series on willpower we looked how children who were able to exercise self-control (or self-regulation to use the scientific term) when they took the marshmallow test were much more likely to be successful in later life.  The marshmallow test gave children the choice of having one marshmallow immediately or waiting for a period of time and getting two marshmallows.  We also looked at the importance of getting very clear about your values and of setting specific goals which are aligned with these values. So now that you have your shiny new goals at the ready what is the best way to ensure that you are successful at your will power challenges?  Here are three top willpower wonder drugs from the latest research in Kelly McGonical’s book Maximum Willpower to get you set on the track to success:

1. Get some exercise

How much is “some” you may ask? Kelly McGonical’s answer is how much are you willing to do? … Read the rest...

My top 20 inspirational videos in 2013

This is a collection of some of the talks and videos which inspired me in 2013. There are many more which I could add to this list. Did you attend any talks or watch any You Tube videos which inspired you last year?


1. Tim’s Place Albuquerque: Service With A Smile

Tim is the embodiment of happiness at work and serves every customer with a smile and a free hug.  He has a lot to teach us.

2. Want to know the secret of happiness?

A newspaper seller in Central Station, New York makes himself happy by making others happy.

3. 105 Year Old Lady Shares The Secret To Happiness

Peace is happiness according to this 105 year old. Don’t hold a grudge against anyone.

4. Dr. Brené Brown on Faking It, Perfectionism and Living Wholeheartedly – Super Soul Sunday – OWN

Brené Brown’s TEDx talk went viral and was watched by millions.  In this short video she talks about the importance of living authentically.

5. Dove Real Beauty SketchesRead the rest...

Less is more: a week of living below the poverty line

This week in support of my husband, and possibly against my better judgement, I decided to spend  5 days living below the poverty line spending just £1 per day on all food and drink.  This challenge to Live below the line has been set up to to support many UK and international charities who focus on helping to make a real change in the lives of the 1.4 billion people, both here and around the world, who are currently living in extreme poverty. I became aware of and hugely inspired by the blog: A Girl Called Jack and decided to take up the challenge for just 5 days.Take a look at Hugh Jackman’s invitation to take up the challenge:

I chose to spend the week living below the line in order to support the work of Progressio, an international development charity which my husband is proud to work for.  There was a part of me which felt that this was a bit of an exercise in “playing at being poor” à la Marie-Antoinette who famously said about… Read the rest...

Happiness Experiment no 12: live in the moment

Last night I went to see The Chekhov play Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville Theatre in London with the leading roles being played by Ken Stott, Anna Friel, Samuel West and Laura Carmichael.  Vanya (Ken Stott), Yelena (Anna Friel), Astrov (Samuel West) and Sonya (Laura Carmichael) are all in love, with the past, with ideals and with each other. As their world changes around them they struggle to come to terms with their emotions and with the trials and tribulations of the human condition.  I expected to enjoy the play given the calibre of the actors who played this subtle comedy to perfection, but I didn’t expect the play to remind me of an important positive psychology lesson and the next happiness experiment for you to try out.

As I was searching for reviews before I decided to book the play, I came across an article about Ken Stott’s insistence on living in the moment. Apparently a few year’s ago when Ken Stott had been acting in Arthur… Read the rest...