14 Ways to Benefit from ‘Alone Time’

There are so many negative connotations when we hear the word ‘alone’. However, ‘being alone’ or ‘alone time’ can provide great benefits and contributes to our emotional wellbeing. For some time I have been a great advocate of ‘mindful walking‘ as a way to engage in some physical exercise and make space so we can reflect (maybe even allow for some problem-solving), feel the ground beneath our feet, smell the air and listen to the sounds around us – in effect ‘see’ or become aware of what is around us. It’s this awareness that leads us to give attention to ‘the present moment’ and ‘being mindful’. [Read more…]

Tips to Identify Mental Health Issues When Feeling Exhausted

Is exhaustion starting to get the better of you? Our guest, Amanda shares tips to identify some of the underlying reasons why we may be feeling inexplicably exhausted.


Wherever you live, mental health issues are likely prevalent. There are so many who are tormented by symptoms which often seem to appear out of nowhere and even though there is much more awareness, many still feel ‘shame’ which hinders them seeking help to deal with a difficult situation.

If you feel like you, or someone in your family, is possibly going through a mental health issue, here are a few things you need to know when it comes to identifying mental illness in its early stages and seeking the appropriate help sooner rather than later. [Read more…]

10 Natural Remedies for Insomnia

There can be various underlying issues that may affect our sleep; issues such as anxiety, depression and stress being the most common. However, there can also be specific things that can affect our sleep such as worry, grief, trauma, lifestyle, sleep routine, mental health disorders, physical health conditions and even side-effects from taking medication.

If you are having trouble sleeping, why not try out some of these natural remedies?

[Read more…]

7 Ways to Help Alleviate Sadness

Guest author, Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve one’s life.


At some point in our lives, it’s inevitable that we’ll experience sadness and/or low moods. When we feel stuck in a period of melancholy, it can seem like there is nothing we can do to help ourselves. That isn’t necessarily true and there are various things you can do to help alleviate these feelings. [Read more…]

5 Tips to Stop Anxiety When Falling Asleep

Guest author Sarah Cummings, shares her insight on the causes and symptoms as well as her 5 tips on how to fall asleep when anxiety gets in the way.


Are worries and anxiety keeping you up at night? If you are having issues falling asleep, you are not alone. I suffered from insomnia, for months, after giving birth to my son. It’s normal to be anxious at times as we all live in a stressful, fast-paced world and there is no way around it! [Read more…]

Can’t Sleep? Try Using Sound to Your Advantage!

When you find sleep difficult, whether trying to get there – or after waking during the night, it can cause havoc with your next day. I’ve written about this a number of times, here’s one popular example, but for those of you perhaps less inclined with previous posts, this week’s guest author, Sarah, might have just the thing!


When you are tossing and turning, night after night, getting some sleep is all you can think about. Losing sleep can affect your day to day life and your health and a continuous lack of sleep will only make things worse. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, maybe it’s time to try adding a little sound to lull you to sleep. [Read more…]

Reduce Stress: Mindful Podcast for Students

Reduce stress mindful podcast for students

Studying, wherever or whatever the educational environment, is nothing new yet the pressures today have arguably never been so intense. So how CAN WE reduce the associated stress, anxiety, depression and other turbulent symptoms before they become embedded and define our lives?

 

We cannot rely on others for our happiness, we have a choice to own some accountability!

 

Taking Responsibility

Meditation is one important way we can reduce and remove stress, replacing it with a dose of inner peace. However, it can be a challenge to meditate without a guide. Guided meditations literally walk you through and help you find a calm and peaceful state, one step at a time. I’ve created something here for you to complement this post.

Take just 13 minutes to find some peace and become more grounded. This will enable you to get the day off to the best start, to re-set yourself during the day, or of particular benefit, last thing at night to aid with sleep. (Best listened to via earphones, click the player below.)

Top 10 Tips to Reduce Stress

1. Get more Productive & Focused – Studying and trying to focus for longer periods without a break increases the time taken to absorb information. Get away from the study area and practise a few minutes (or more) of being mindful. Use a breathing exercise and some centering thoughts before an examto focus just on one question at a time, not the outcome!

2. Grab Regular Breaks – Taking breaks each hour will increase your performance and allow the brain to absorb and ‘sort’ information already received. Set a timer to nudge you!

3. Get Playful – Manage fatigue by scheduling ‘play-time’ as well as rest or other down-time. Seven hours’ restful sleep is sufficient for many of us, despite the belief we might need Twelve!

4. Stay Hydrated – Avoid de-hydration if you want a clearer mind and to reduce the incidence of headache (dehydration being a common cause of headaches).

5. Alcohol – Another major contributory factor to dehydration is alcohol. Clearly downtime is often going to include alcohol consumption so do make sure you replace the elevated loss of vital fluids and electrolytes after the party! Do expect less optimal performance for that exam the morning after alcohol!

6. Eye strain – Look after your eyes, this is another limiting factor for some of us. I suffer dreadfully if I don’t take breaks to rest my eyes. Do make sure you’re on top of your eye health exams.

7. Exercise – Whether it’s simply 30 minutes per day, exercise such as walking, taking in the environment, swimming, going to the gym or other low / high aerobic impact activity, all will reduce the effects of anxiety and depression and provide a natural, healthy high.

8. Socialise – It can become too easy to become ‘hermit’ like and ‘veg out’ then study and ‘veg out’ again, losing touch with others. Try to stay connected. We unconsciously learn to gain understanding when others are feeling and thinking how we are – facing challenges and doubts.

9. Eat Healthily – Our fast-food friends make it all too easy to grab some junk food – and now and again, why not indulge? But our moods and foods are very much intertwined so, if you want optimal performance, look after your physical house with foods that make you feel good, and think well.

10. Perspectives – Much of our anxiety is around perceptions and cognitions. If we can come to our breath and body by way of a regular daily practise, we can retain a more realistic sense of our reality in this moment. Spending study and down-time ruminating over the potential for success or ‘failure’ (expectations not being met), serves only to distract you from what you are supposed to be doing!


I hope this goes some way to providing a measure of what can be possible while we attempt to reach our goals, and to live more optimally. For more advice via Skype or in-person, do call or write to me.

I’ll be creating more guided meditations in due course. If you enjoyed listening to today’s podcast, why not sign up to receive each one FREE, together with my fortnightly posts?

How to Sleep Well for a Longer Life

Are you getting a regular, good night’s sleep?

Having spent almost two decades working 24/7 shifts, I understand only too well the impact this has on our health, relationships and our productivity in the workplace.  I also, wrote about this subject a few years ago as insufficient sleep is viewed as a common contributory factor for those suffering prolonged periods of depression, anxiety and relationship problems, including parenting. [Read more…]