Mental Health Stigmas in the Workplace

We welcome Beth from BooksNest sharing her personal experience of having obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the stigma surrounding mental health issues within the workplace.


In 2019, we hope that we can be more open and honest about our mental health. We hope that terms like depression, anxiety and OCD hold less of a stigma around them. But is this really how mental health is being perceived or are we still experiencing prejudicial thoughts in the workplace? [Read more…]

Creating the Biology of Courage

The second part from her series introducing us to maternal mental health, we welcome back Anne Marie McKinley who is a Midwife and Birth Trauma Specialist at Afterthoughts NI. Here, Anne Marie explains how pregnancy is an opportunity to influence the future mental health and wellbeing of baby before birth and shares simple strategies to build resilience and interestingly, how imagination and visualisation can be of benefit.


The influences of external and internal factors on the health of the developing fetus and a growing baby have been widely researched. The belief that investing in psychological support for women who have mental health diagnoses and who report symptoms of depression or anxiety in pregnancy has evolved. Midwives, on booking, are encouraging women to appropriate pathways when symptoms are revealed. The importance of self-regulation, supportive environments, GP input, and psychological care are more prominent now than at any other time in the history of maternity care. [Read more…]

Music Therapy: What is it and how can it help?

Music is a universal language and medium that is evocative, expressive, creative and therapeutic. Who couldn’t use a little music? We welcome back Will, who shares a brief overview about music therapy which is based upon his excellent 7-parter written for My Audio Sound.


Music is a universal language which means we can communicate using it regardless of the country we come from or our native tongue. Music uses emotion to connect with us, and that is why so many people have such a deep connection with it. This is one reason why music therapy is such an interesting and successful form of counselling. But, what exactly is it and how is it able to help us?

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There is NO shame! #JustTalk

It just so happens, this joint campaign coincides with various other events worldwide as many organisations are raising awareness about suicide prevention. My aim here, is to reach out to individuals to stop and think before deciding upon any action. As you will see, or already know, this is an area close to my heart – it affects us all – myself, my peers, colleagues and friends – and yours.

 

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About those sticks and stones…

Another wonderful piece from our resident guest writer, Tim, sharing some family history and touching on how being mindful has played a part when encountering and revisiting events. Sit back, read and enjoy.


The names, you know, they can hurt me, hurt you. And that hurt is harder to heal than a broken bone.

At work yesterday I had to listen to a man who declared himself to be 70 years old. He was opining that the UK needed to leave the EU because, in his words, “It is full of East Germans and Jews!”. Because my work is 100% customer service, I chose to listen to his bigotry rather than challenge him on it. In my own time I can challenge folk, but in the firm’s time I work to uphold their interests. [Read more…]

The Fight or Flight Response

Anxiety and fear are probably the most mentioned in my client room and I have written about some of the aspects of our lives it can affect and the cost to our health.

 

Anxiety feels like fear but, unlike fear, is the result of future-based thinking. Fear is more concerned with present moment, perceptions and obvious threat. Fear, therefore is usually relevant! – Ten Steps to Conquering Your Anxiety

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Is social media truly bad for your health?

For many years I have been a great advocate for social media, technology and innovation I have encouraged embracing the advances available to us. However, I have also personally experienced the pressures that can come with it and highlighted the need for taking a break from technology – trying to maintain balance which seems, at times, almost unachievable.

This wonderful piece by John Stuart, on behalf of the The Worsley Centre, who offer counselling and psychotherapy sessions for couples, individuals and groups in the Greater Manchester area, discusses the pros and cons in a most enlightening way.

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Ways to Improve Non-Verbal Communication

As you know by now, body language and communication is a topic that I find intriguing. It’s an area that I am much aware of especially when working with my clients. So, this infographic illustrating non-verbal communication and how we can improve it, is of great interest to me.

One of the last ones on the list, Be Mindful of Your Face, is of particular interest as it says a 2012 study found that one of the first things that people notice are facial expressions. This is also an area that can affect our tendency to automatically judge one another. However… [Read more…]

Body Language: From Common Signs to Spotting Lies

I find body language fascinating! We can glean so much useful information about a person when we meet with them in person. As a counsellor, I am very much aware of the fact that we can pick up on micro-expressions of the face and learn a lot when attempting to make eye contact. However, as mentioned previously in Business Etiquette and Body Language Blunders, we do need to be aware of how we automatically judge others and situations.

When Custom Writing shared the following infographic with me about body language, I thought it was excellent as it takes this topic much further with 30 signs to watch out for and includes interesting stats and facts.

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Business Etiquette and Body Language Blunders

When we meet with someone in person, most of our senses are involved and when we are aware of another’s body language we can pick up on micro-expressions of the face and make eye contact which can provide us with a huge amount of useful information. However, the downside of of meeting anyone for the the first time especially, is that we automatically make judgements.

 

We all automatically judge and it’s one of the automatisms we contend with daily; we judge others, situations/events and ourselves. By judging we often create an immediate conflict or struggle. – Judgement from ‘Your Mindful Journey’

 

Even though it can aid our own emotional stability when we are mindful of our automatic response to judge others, by being aware of using our body language skills to help us with business etiquette can provide us with great insight. On the other hand when conducting business with others, like when attending for interview or in a business meeting, are we consciously aware of our own body language blunders? [Read more…]