Hope never stops at all
The days are noticably getting longer again and the odd sunny day can remind us of the coming of spring, even if it is still quite cold. Snowdrops blossoming now are therefore often linked to hope.
American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) wrote this poem about hope:
Hope is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul, – And sings the tune without the words, – And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard; – And sore must be the storm – That could abash the little bird – That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the...
Stress and trauma can allow us to find our better selves
People who have experienced difficulties in life, often have something special about them.
Many are familiar with post-traumatic stress, however 70% of people going through hard times experience post-traumatic growth, with positive psychological transformation such as creativity, empathy, gratitude and altruism, due to a profound challenge of previous life beliefs.
I attended a scientific symposium in Bristol on PTSD at the end of last year, during which researchers shared the latest understanding of how stress and trauma affects humans emotionally and physically. While searching for...
Is your work making you sick?
It is interesting that sickness absenteeism is not even mentioned in this article about a ‘dream boss’, who wants people to have a good life. In fact, the issues his company is aware of, are ones only good employers would recognise in the first place as problems. However, staff retention is not one of them, which makes me think that the emotional and physical health of their employees is good.
Great bosses know that we have needs that go beyond keeping our bodies alive and functioning: we want to enjoy life, explore, experience, grow, create, socialise, as well as being of service and...
Do nothing and heal!
Isn’t it interesting, how the simple and easy things in life can bring about so much healing?
How could it be any easier? Just finding some peace and quiet is good for you and your brain. This article explains how it can make you feel less stressed, more focused and more creative.
So stop doing and start being. Enjoy!
With my best wishes,
Can heartbreak be measured?
Fitbit records heartbreak
A man’s tweet about the heart rate changes his Fitbit recorded, when his relationship suddenly and unexpectedly ended, has created much interest. A screenshot of the Fitbit’s reading shows a sudden increase in heartrate, exactly at the time when he experienced the heartbreak of a relationship breakdown. However, should we be surprised?
I am sure most people have experienced severe emotional pain at some point in their lives. We are so used to thinking of emotions and the physical body as separate, that it may be unexpected, to see them having a real measurable...
Childhood PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder)
Childhood stress causes PTSD brain changes
Adverse childhood events lead to brain changes in children, which are similar to those of soldiers with PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), as Prof Eamon McRory from University College London explains in this BBC news clip from February 2016. It is easy to understand that soldiers get traumatised, but how come children who have not been to war zones show the same brain changes?
Trauma occurs when we experience an unexpected, dramatic event, which makes us feel isolated and for which we have no strategy for coping. This does not just include...
Who is responsible for your (un)happiness?
I found myself noticing recently that I was allowing my entire life to become overshadowed by some normal frustrations/delays, which I was experiencing in one small area. While reflecting on this during a walk this morning I came across this scene and had to laugh! This is not what I would expect ‘Happy Lane’ to look like!
So often we give away the responsibility for our own well-being by making it dependent on outside circumstances, which we may perceive as having little control over. I am not talking here about our natural grieving response to real human tragedies unfolding, but rather...
Stress stops your body from healing!
Stress-relief improves recovery from injury
Have you ever had a minor injury, which took much longer to heal than you thought it would? You were doing everything your doctor and your physiotherapist advised: resting, icing, compression, elevating, but months later you were still unable to return to your previous activity levels. X-Ray and MRI scans found no cause and you were just getting more and more frustrated… Chances are, that this was due to stress and worry reducing your body’s ability to heal.
During stress the body switches into fight and flight mode and reduces all activities...
Self-care instead of health-care
How real self-care can make you healthier
The term ‘self-care’ is sometimes misunderstood as a requirement to be independent, and to not be a burden to other people. In this spirit, and probably also because few people enjoy seeing a doctor, many nowadays turn to the internet to try and get clarity about their symptoms. Unfortunately, this can result in the opposite of the intended effect, with symptoms worsening due to increased worry. This ‘cyberchondria‘ is a perfect example of how the mind can affect the body, with negative thinking making physical symptoms worse.
Most people have an...