Lockdown Cabin Fever – Life in a Pandemic

At the time of writing, much of the planet is facing a ‘second-wave’ of COVID-19. The global economy is being challenged, the poor are getting poorer, the sick, sicker, and all our perceptions of thinking we have any level of ‘control’ are being fractured. But, is the outlook really all doom and gloom?

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To Everything (Turn! Turn! Turn!)

A heartfelt piece from one of our in-house counsellors here at Anglia Counselling, Penni Osborn, as she approaches the next decade of her life!


Oh no, the ‘big five-oh’! As my fiftieth birthday looms, I’ve found renewed wonder in the beauty of the Suffolk countryside as it makes its annual transition from summer into autumn. With views of freshly ploughed earth against a background of brooding skies and the rich crimsons, coppers and golds of the trees, autumn brings with it the opportunity to consider the changing seasons and, for me, the changes I have seen in this world, those I’ve witnessed in the lives of others, and those that I’ve personally experienced over the last five decades.

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Happiness

In part three from her series introducing us to maternal mental health, Anne Marie McKinley (who is a Midwife and Birth Trauma Specialist at Afterthoughts NI) guides us through ‘happiness’ – some of the research done, how it affects our lives and how it can shape our future generations.


Happiness has been studied in many ways. One study which looked at the biological factors that influence happiness and health and concluded that both biological and health factors underlie happiness. Genetics play a role too, and have a clear and significant effect on happiness (Dfarhud et al., 2014). 1 Another study demonstrates that about 33% of the variation in human life satisfaction is explained by genetics (De Neve etal., 2012/2013). 2 [Read more…]

Make 2019 the year you stop waiting for it to be okay!

As another year ends, we can be grateful.

Some, however, will not be feeling a desire to express gratitude as 2018 was yet another year of psychological pain and turbulence. They wonder if these symptoms will ever leave – and peace and non-suffering will ever come to them.

We know there will always be suffering but to what extent, is in our own hands. The world may often be chaotic, but we can remain separate from that chaos if we elect to skilfully and mindfully observe more, and judge less.

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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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How Dogs Can Help Improve Our Mental Health

From the time spent with Arthur, our rescue Lurcher, I know only too well the joy and benefits that owning a dog can have. Our guest, Will, here shares some of the benefits having a four-legged friend can have with regard to our mental health which is based upon his excellent 12-part article written for Dog Owner.


Mental health issues can affect anyone – it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do for a living. It can be hard to talk about our mental health with those closest to us, and the fear of being judged or labelled as something we are not (lazy, entitled, high strung) is often enough to deter us from fully sharing the way we feel. However, many of us have our dogs, or the option to visit one.

[bctt tweet=”They offer the love, a listening ear when we need it and can benefit a myriad of mental health issues. #dogs #mhuk” username=”BobBrotchie”] [Read more…]

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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Suicide: A Permanent Fix to a Temporary Problem #JustTalk

I find myself yet again sadly reminded of the pain associated with learning of an individual’s death via suicide – and the effects it has on friends, colleagues, and loved ones. I don’t know why exactly, but this time the news has triggered me to consider pushing the issue even further into the public eye with #JustTalk.

Because we all still need to make further attempts to end the stigma, I’m going to demonstrate that it is safe to share, to talk, and there is no shame necessary. * May contain triggering subject matter. [Read more…]

Are you beset by anniversaries?

Another brilliant read by Tim about anniversaries and the effect they can have upon our thoughts and emotions.


I sometimes wonder why we have anniversaries. A friend of mine always goes away at Christmas because her mother died on Christmas Day and she and her family do not want to celebrate in case it reminds them of her death.

 

I have a surprise for her. She remembers it anyway on that day and every so often when she mentions it to other people.

 

My father died on the 6th of August, in 1982. I was on a business trip to the USA and was flying home on that day. My mother was glad he had waited until the 6th because the 5th is my birthday. I was wholly ambivalent. ‘When you dead, you dead” is a thought that came to me through reading one of Guy Martin’s autobiographies. It was what I was thinking then and his Grandpa Kidals encapsulated it perfectly. [Read more…]