“A good memory is one that can remember the
Yesterday I was asked into the studio of BBC Radio Lincolnshire, to comment on the UK's 2011 census, in which one question asked was ‘How is your health in general?’ In the East Midlands the results were as follows:
"General Health in England and Wales, 2011 and Comparison with 2001" compares 326 local authority areas. The worst ten include:
· East Lindsey (worst in the country with 73.5% reporting good health)
· Bolsover (4th worst with 74.3% reporting "good health")
· Mansfield (9th worst with 75.8% reporting good health).
This compares with 88.1% in good health in the "best" local authority area, Hart.
Now of course demographics play a part, with a higher number of older people living in East Lindsey than there are in Hart. But is there something more at play I wondered?
How much do your thoughts affect your health?
In Dr David Hamilton's blog 5 Ways that Positivity and Happiness can Protect you from Illness and even help you Live Longer we can see without any doubt that positive thinking has a direct impact on our health and well-being. This I can also corroborate, from not only my own personal experience, but also from my as a therapist who has for many years specialised in the areas of stress, anxiety and depression. When clients shift their thoughts even a small amount towards a more postive viewpoint their health also improves.
Dr Hamilton make's the following point:
3) Counting blessings improves happiness
This is backed up by a comprehensive study.
So I urge you ( along with those living in the low scoring districts of the East Midlands) to take a moment each day to count your blessings and not your worries.
It's all too easy at the end of the day to lay in bed at night, just before drifting into what you hope to be a peaceful slumber, with your thoughts running over and over your worries.
In this extract from WebMD we can see that worrying, has no positive effect on solving issues, but does have a detrimental effect on our daily lives:
"Worrying is feeling uneasy or being overly concerned about a situation or problem. With excessive worrying, your mind and body go into overdrive as you constantly focus on "what might happen."
Not only this, our subconscious mind cannot distiguish between fact or fiction, so when we run through our script of all the things that can go wrong, it stores this information as real.... and then you wonder why you wake in the night, in a cold sweat from a nightmare?
How about thinking about just how great things are and will be?
How about as you lay in bed tonight, just before drifting into that peaceful slumber, your recall all of the blessings from the day?
Tonight I urge you to count your blessings, name them one by one and say thank you!
When we show gratitude for the blessings in our life do you know what happens?
We notice more and more blessings to be grateful for.
Imagine what that will do for your health and wellbeing?
Here's another to tip. For anyone who's been to one of my talks recently, you may have heard me say "A hug a day , keeps the doctor away!"
Lots of us take our mental and physical health seriously and we try to improve our daily lives with exercise, a good diet, even supplements. But theres one simple treatment that is often over-looked and its been shown through scientific studies to be an effective way to keep our heart and mental health on target.
The power of the simple hug.
In fact, studies show that folks who are regularly hugged by their close friends and family have reduced heart rates, lower blood pressure, increased nerve activity and more upbeat moods. A survey of successful marriages even showed that hugging and touching (not sexual intercourse), were the key factors in keeping the relationship long-lasting.
Plus, a loving hug in the morning, researchers say, can keep you buoyant throughout the day. Just a brief hug or 10 minutes of handholding with a romantic partner greatly reduces the harmful physical effects of stress. Loving contact before a tough day at work "could carry over and protect you throughout the day," says psychologist Karen Grewen with the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill who conducted the study.
So what are you waiting for?
Get hugging! ( an oldie but goodie- Free hugs campaign)
Until next time,
Make every moment count!
Well what a week it was last week, talk about contrasting emotions. As any other person, I experience the full range of emotions in my life, but rarely can I claim to have felt them all in the same week!
For followers of my blogs and posts, I think it would be fair to say that I always look at life with a half full, rather than half empty view point. And this week would be no exception. There were moments in the past week though, as any other spiritual being having a human experince, where even I had some ups and downs on the roller coaster of life.
Sometimes it does all come at us at once and at speed, sometimes we are on that roller coaster with no choice but hang on and go along for the ride. Now we can do so with fear and trepidation, with screams and tears, or we can just take a deep breath and accept what comes to us along the ride and do the best we can at any given moment.
My week began with the first sight of the cover of "Get a LIfe!-the guide book" and a publishing date of the 30th November this year. Wow I cant begin to express the excitement and the sense of achievement to know that this piece of work , this out pouring of my heart and soul would very soon be a tangible object, that can be held in your hands and read by many. It's certainly a tick marked against my bucket list,it holds a real sense of meaning and purpose for me. A feeling of total elation is how I would describe it! So musch like the excitement of the roller coaster you could say.
So what else happened in my roller coaster week you might ask?
Well you know sometimes you decide to do something on the spur of the moment? Well I did just that! Don't get me wrong I love spontaneity, but in this case I probably made a bit more work for myself than I truly had the capacity to deliver ( note to self, learn just what you can fit in, in one week!) I decided along with my gorgeous man Jon to decorate the sun room/ utility room, which sounds simple and straight forward right? Well it pretty much was, except that was in addition to fitting a new carpet, building new seating in the pergola in the garden, organising a 50th Birthday party for Jon, shopping for said party, carrying out our normal working week... oh and did I mention the trip to Glenfiled hospital for my beautiful daughter Sarah to have heart surgery??? So much like realising you're on the roller coaster, the attendant has secured you into your seat.... and there's absolutley no chance at this point you can get off!
Yes, you did read that correctly, my daughter Sarah had heart surgery on Friday, (It was at this the point of the roller coaster ride I truly did want to scream and cry and very much wish I could get of, I felt completely in the hands and control of the driver or in this case surgeons, but all I could do was take that very big breath and wait the three hour long surgery to see her come back to me)..... and yes,thankfully she did and is making a good recovery. I then had a house full of guests on Saturday for a birthday BBQ which fast became rendition of "You will always find me in the kitchen at party's" for all of our guests due to the unseasonal drenching of the new said garden seating arrangements in the garden pergola!
Now I know we are all super heros in disguise, but maybe sometimes, just sometimes we have to recognise that we're not superhuman.
This I now recognise... thanks universe for that little lesson.
Sarah's surgery was a huge success I might add,and the bonus of her being alowed home the very next day, despite her wobbling around still no doubt under the influence of heavy anesthetic she's making an amazing recovery.Epic bruising aside its absolutely amazing!And for that I'm truly grateful.
The party went wonderfully well, and Jon celebrated his half century surrounded by family friends and a mighty fine cake ( thanks to his dad) All in the kitchen ,but still it was a very lovely view of the new garden seating area!
I even, in between all this managed to fit in cutting the grass ( which is no mean feat on sodden grass ) around Holly House, and fit in all the normal house hold chores, oh and try to keep up with the emails and messages!
Don't get me wrong I'm not moaning or complaining, just recognising that sometimes life is full, fit to bursting, it can be challenging to fit it all in, to find the balance..... oh yes nearly forgot, did I mention I also fitted in writing and delivering a talk/ speaking engagement to a group of wonderful business women from WiRE on "Finding your balance" aptly enough..... I'm just recognising that sometimes we have to know when to stop, when to be still and when to say no. A bit like realising that maybe the roller coaster was just a bit beyond what you had planned for.
Just like anyone, I sometimes miss that point, I go hurtling past it and then ( As i did this morning, weary and tired, emotional and everso slightly overwhelmed) I realised, I just needed to stop, apply my own oxygen mask and ask for help. To stop and to get back to my own point of balance. In order that I could replenish my own petrol tank of energy, to be able to support others.
So why do I share my roller coaster week with you?
Well, to say just this..... It's perefctly ok to stop, its ok to be still, its ok to give yourself permission to give yourself time to find own balance. And it's perfectly ok to recognise you're a human being and experiencing the full gammut of emotion is part of that life experience, even if it does come at you all in the same week!
So remember to fill up your own tank, to apply your own oxygen mask, before you can helpothers.Give yourself some TLC, because you're worth it!
Until next time,
Make every moment count,
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“Only as high as I reach can I grow
Only as far as I seek can I go
Only as deep as I look can I see
Only as much as I dream can I be”
― Karen Ravn