Posts from the ‘Mind, body and soul’ Category

Thought for the Day

Check out what my 9-year-old gave me as a birthday present. It’s in wood…



10 steps to a happier you – step ten

Step 10: Sleep on it

If you’re feeling moody, depressed and irritable, it could just be down to the fact that you’re not getting enough sleep.

It has a huge impact on our physical health, energy and mood.

After just one night’s lost sleep, our immunity-boosting, disease-fighting cells drop by over a quarter, while the stress-inducing hormone cortisol increases by a half.

Aim to get eight hours sleep every 24 hours.

Try going to bed an hour earlier, or having a catnap when you get home from work.

10 steps to a happier you – step nine

Step 9: Discover your happiness triggers

Are you concentrating on what’s supposed to make you happy, rather than what actually does?

We’re often told by other people, TV or self-help books what will make us happy, but rather than following other people’s advice, you need to find out for yourself.

Try this exercise to discover your happiness triggers:

Remember a time in the past when you were really happy.

It could be short or long – a sunny afternoon reading in the park, a family holiday, or lunch with friends.

Notice the things around you and how good you feel.

Discover what it is about the situation that’s making you happy.

Is it companionship? Peace and quiet? Beautiful countryside? Good food?

Once you’ve established what makes you feel good, you can concentrate on finding it again.

If you’re feeling particularly stressed or unhappy, you can also use this exercise to revisit your happy memory and feel good again.

Source: Prima magazine,

So what are my happiness triggers?

There is one I don’t even have to think about it, it’s something I do every night.

I go into my children’s room and watch them sleeping.

I think there is nothing so beautiful as a child sleeping, they look so angelic even if you know they have been little devils in the daytime.

I find it a very peaceful moment and instantly calming and it always makes me smile.

Lots of memories also of walking up various mountains and the fantastic scenery that brought – though, now I think about it, not necessarily mountains.

I went for an early morning walk a few years ago with my sister and her dogs, in the rolling English countryside near her home. There was a light mist lying over everything and it was very quiet.

So my triggers there were definitely the beautiful countryside – I think nature is always a wonder to behold.

But the company also was important – family, friends.

As I sit here and think, I find other happy memories … but I’ll keep them to myself and let you think of yours.

Feel free to share them with me.

Lest we forget

10 steps to a happier you – step eight

Step 8: Blow your own trumpet

Stop playing down your achievements and start shouting about them.

Acknowledging life’s little accomplishments makes you feel great and builds momentum for even more success.

Be proud of your achievements, big or small.

If you’ve done a cookery course, invite friends round for a meal.

If you’ve lost weight, go shopping with the girls.

If you’ve finished decorating your lounge, have  a party in it.

So what are MY “little accomplishments”?

Well, I’ve knitted a couple of lovely cardis for my 9-year-old girl – and plenty for myself.

I’m sewing a bed cover from some beautiful lace doilies crocheted a long time ago by the grandmother of a friend of mine.

I make my own face and body creams and soaps, and feel proud that they are free from all the chemical products they put in industrial ones.  Some are even made using plants from my garden (see the post on Calendula-infused oil).

So what are your “little accomplishments”?

10 steps to a happier you – step seven

Step 7: Get Physical

Instead of watching Strictly Come Dancing, why not take it up yourself?

Studies have shown that 45 minutes of vigorous exercise, three times a week, is as effective as the leading anti-depressant medication in treating depression.

So skip the gym and put on your dancing shoes instead.

Partner dancing, especially Latin American, is especially good because you’ve also got to focus on your partner and what they’re doing.

It creates intimacy and allows you to experience the sheer joy of holding onto someone else.

And for a quick fix, just boogy round your kitchen to a song you love to set your pulse racing!


10 steps to a happier you – step six

Step 6: Be your own best friend

“You’re fat.”

“You’re always saying stupid things.”

Sound familiar?

If we talked to our friends the way we talked to ourselves, we wouldn’t have any left!

Think about how you talk to your friends – with love, compassion and encouragement – and resolve to talk to yourself in the same way.

It’s a simple change which will make a big difference.

Do it often so it becomes second nature.