The world’s a nicer place if only we slowed down

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I was out shopping yesterday, I passed two little girls. One aged about 10, and another aged about 6. The little girl was rushing ahead, and the older one was a little bit slower.

Continue reading “The world’s a nicer place if only we slowed down”

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‘It will be sunny one day’- Stephen Fry’s inspirational letter to someone struggling with their mental health

sun shining through clouds
One day it will be sunny

 

*EDIT: Stephen Fry has been in the news in recent days after sharing the sad news that he is fighting Prostate cancer. Fry has been extremely open about his own struggles with Bipolar Disorder and has been a champion in raising much needed awareness on the issue. I wish him a speedy recovery because the world needs legends like him.

Depression is such a lonely illness and it takes a lot of courage for people to reach out to others. But I love hearing of stories when someone does reach out and gets a positive reaction.

Crystal Nunn was going through a deep depression when she found the courage to send Stephen Fry a letter. Fry’s history with manic depression is well documented, but never in a million years did Crystal think that Fry would reply to her letter.

The letter which I’ve transcribed below has a wonderful message and it well worth a read.

Transcript

April 10, 2006

Dear Crystal,

I’m so sorry to hear that life is getting you down at the moment. Goodness knows, it can be so tough when nothing seems to fit and little seems to be fulfilling. I’m not sure there’s any specific advice I can give that will help bring life back its savour. Although they mean well, it’s sometimes quite galling to be reminded how much people love you when you don’t love yourself that much.

I’ve found that it’s of some help to think of one’s moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather:
Continue reading “‘It will be sunny one day’- Stephen Fry’s inspirational letter to someone struggling with their mental health”

Attitude is everything

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “H-M-M, ” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.”? So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “Today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “YEAH!” she exclaimed, “I don’t have to fix my hair today!” Attitude is everything!

Unwind Your Mind’s exam tips

Below are a few exam tips that Unwind Your Mind has put together for those of you who are doing Junior Cert or Leaving Cert.

Good luck!

 

  1. Don’t spend the night before an exam cramming. You won’t perform well if you are sleep deprived. Instead get an early night and a good night’s sleep.
  2. On the morning of the exam, get up early so that you’re not in a rush and make time to have a good substantial breakfast.
  3. Avoid being late by arriving at the exam room ahead of time. This will allow you to calm your nerves before you go in.
  4. Don’t try to study whilst waiting to enter the exam room and stay away from anyone who is panicking about the exams. Panic can be contagious- so stay away from people who make you feel worse.
  5. Once in the exam room take a few deep slow breaths. The calmer and more relaxed you are, the more alert you will be.
  6. If your mind goes blank, close your eyes for a few moments and take a few deep breaths. This will help you regain your composure.
  7. Avoid looking at other people. They will always seem to be writing more and appear more confident than you. It’s your exam so just worry about yourself.
  8. After the exam do not engage in a post-mortem. Don’t focus on questions you were unhappy with, instead, concentrate on what has gone well.
  9. Don’t put on a brave face. If exam stress is getting you down, let someone know how you’re feeling.
  10. Take a break before starting to study for the next exam. You’ve earned it!to study for the next exam. You’ve earned it!

The Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing

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I’ve recently come across an interesting book called Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements (Gallup Press) by Tom Rath and James K. Harter, Ph.D. Interestingly,  in partnership with leading economists, psychologists, and other acclaimed scientists, they have begun to explore the common elements of wellbeing that are common to all countries and cultures.

In their initial research, they asked people what “the best possible future” for them would look like.

As part of this research, they conducted a comprehensive global study of more than 150 countries, giving them a lens into the wellbeing of more than 98% of the world’s population. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, they asked hundreds of questions about health, wealth, relationships, jobs, and communities.

They then compared these results to how people experience their days and evaluate their lives overall.

In the initial research,  people were asked what “the best possible future” for them would look like. They found that when evaluating their lives, people often gave disproportionate weight to income and health: Across the groups  surveyed, “good health” and “wealth” were two of the most common responses.

Perhaps this is because these things are easy to measure and track over time — we can monitor our height, weight, blood pressure, and household income. Yet we do not have a standard way to measure the quality of our careers or the health of our relationships.

So to construct a comprehensive measure of individual wellbeing, Gallup designed an assessment called the Wellbeing Finder, by testing hundreds of questions across countries, languages, and vastly different life situations. Continue reading “The Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing”

If stairs were more fun would you use them? – The Fun Theory in action

If stairs played musical notes when you walked on them, would you be more likely to take them?

Volkswagen has launched a popular new campaign called “The Fun Theory” which is “dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.” It turns out that 66% more commuters opted for stairs over the escalators!

So what do you think, would you take the stairs if they were musical?