All posts tagged: selfhelptips

Favourite Five Calming Reads

Books have always been a constant source of comfort and inspiration in my life. I think books are the reason I even found myself becoming a therapist. I’ve always loved narrative, I’ve always valued that glimpse into another person’s world view. Books have often been one of the most helpful companions to me in times of worry or distress. A cup of tea and a few minutes in a book can make a huge difference sometimes. The books I’ve listed below are just that; five of my favourite books to dip into if I’m needing a little grounding or a reminder to slow down. I’ve read A LOT of well being books in the last five years; these titles have stood the test of time and still bring me a lot of comfort and inspiration. ‘The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down’ by Haemin Sunim Haemin is a Zen Buddhist Teacher and Monk from South Korea. I picked this book up from the National Trust on a drizzly walk on holiday as …

Some Thoughts on Setting Boundaries

“The only people who get upset about you setting boundaries are the ones who were benefiting from you having none” On Instagram several times a day! When I think of the word ‘boundary’ I have to say the connotations that come up for me are universally wary and cautious. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about boundaries. For many people setting boundaries can feel deeply uncomfortable. I actually on some level disagree with the quote above. Change is difficult, it’s difficult for us as individuals to gain the self-awareness to change and then to action this outwardly. Often when change does occur it can lead to those closest to us feeling unsure, skeptical or even angry. It’s not a black and white situation of ‘us and them’, it’s nuanced and complex. I think this is why a lot of people avoid setting boundaries in the first place. This is especially true for those of us who are recovering people-pleasers or sensitive souls. It can mean exerting a lot of emotional …

Living in the Here and Now: When did it get so complicated?

Whenever I hear about mindfulness a small part of me draws away feeling slightly cynical, and honestly, a little fatigued with it’s perfect ‘zen’ image. When I think about mindfulness I think of google executives in flip flops, or yoga gurus with flat stomachs and unflappable self-discipline. People who are ‘mindful’ don’t demolish an entire pack of Jaffa Cakes while writing blog posts… Why is that? I’m not sure why or when mindfulness got to be so complicated; so unattainable. Yet, for many of us the idea of creating a mindfulness practice seems a far off, distant state of being. In my work this has been something I’ve really had to grapple with. There is compelling evidence and research about mindfulness and how it can improve our mental and physical health. For example; A 2011 systematic review of more than 20 randomised controlled trials successfully demonstrated improvements in overall mental health, as well as its benefits for reducing risk of relapse from depression. Similarly, substantial evidence within these trails points towards mindfulness as having a …

Same storm, not the same boat…and Wonderland Wisdom

Lately the world feels as if its tipped us all into an alternate reality. I’ve heard a lot of people using the phrase: ‘we are all in the same boat’ and honestly, I couldn’t disagree more emphatically. We are within the same global storm, but we are not in the same boat. Some of our boats are huge battleships that will feel only the rocking of this storm as gentle nudges. Some of us are in a dingy clinging on for dear life having already lost the life jackets long before the waves started building. Wherever you are on this spectrum I hope that a safe harbour will be in your future soon. I hope you can find ways to show yourself love and compassion. It will look different for everyone…because we are not in the same boat. Recently, I’ve not been able to get a quote from Alice in Wonderland out of my head. It keeps popping up in my mind. Alice says: “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a …

Soulful Sentences: Why I keep coming back to the humble journal.

When I was a kid I was very dedicated to my journal. I would religiously write my thoughts, ideas and grievances into its glitter edged pages with my special fluffy pen. I have always been curious about my brain, my mind; what it is that makes me tick. I sometimes find my thoughts to be like unwelcome strangers that need to be put on trial or shown the back door. Sometimes my mind is a very loud place to inhabit and I know I’m not the only one to feel this way. In my early twenties I wrote poetry in my journal. I found something deeply soothing about taking big emotions and condensing them onto a single page within the confines of a structure. These thoughts and feelings no longer felt so intimidating when they sat within their poetic cages sandwiched between sheets of paper. I had control over them, and somehow their power lost some of its grip on me. To me journaling holds a secret nature. My journal has always had a hidden …