Resources – Programmes of Development
At The Wellbeing Practice, we try to think about ecosystems (caring about something larger than our individual self) and as such are developing a few downloadable guides that in the future will be charged for, the proceeds of which will go to charities.
Below you will also find a range of strategies that will look after your well-being and play to your strengths, with our compliments.
We always value and appreciate any feedback you can give to us so if you use any of the strategies below, please do let us know what difference they made for you by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
CREATING THE BEST POSSIBLE FUTURE
It can be difficult to define what we want from life. However, research suggests that creating optimism about the future can motivate us to work toward that desired future and therefore make it more likely to become a reality.
This exercise asks you to imagine your life going as well as it possibly could, then write about this best possible future. By doing so, research suggests that you’ll not only increase your well-being in the present but also make future well-being more likely.
MINDFULNESS BREATHING AND MEDITATION
In a world that centres around being busy, multi-tasking and high achievement, stress, anger, and anxiety can build up and weaken not only our health and relationships but our judgement and skills of attention. Research into mindfulness suggests that this is a popular and effective method of dealing with difficult feelings. “Mindfulness,” is the ability to pay careful attention to what you’re thinking, feeling, and sensing in the present moment without judging those thoughts and feelings as good or bad. A plethora of studies link mindfulness to better health, lower anxiety, and greater resilience to stress as well as improved concentration skills.
One way of developing the practice of mindfulness is to focus your attention on your own breathing—a practice called, quite simply, “mindful breathing.”
After setting aside time to practise mindful breathing, you should find it easier to focus attention on your breath in your daily life. This is an important skill to help you deal with stress, anxiety, and negative emotions, calm yourself down when your temper flares, and sharpen your skills of focus and ability to sustain concentration.
PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS
Psychology has had a reputation for focussing on people’s problems and weaknesses. At the Wellbeing Practice, we believe that people also have enormous strengths and inner resources that can be tapped into and used far more effectively. Research now suggests that thinking about personal strengths and playing to our strengths can increase our mental tenacity, ability to accomplish our goals, feel a greater sense of satisfaction with life and reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
People often struggle to think of their strengths and so this exercise asks you to identify some key people in your life that know you well enough to recognise your strengths and tell you what they are so that you can become more aware of them and then consider how best to use them. Playing to your strengths also means using them in appropriate situations, at the right time and to the right degree. When people overuse their strengths, it leads to exhaustion and that is not helpful on a long term basis.
The Psychology of Humour – Improving Wellbeing
April Fool’s Day (also known as All Fools Day) is celebrated by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. It’s a day that brings about laughter. All that mirth, teasing, warm feelings, banter and puns comprise a complex social and psychological phenomenon, known as humour. Psychology has been interested in humour for about 100 years now. To find out why educational psychologists think humour is important, carry on reading to find out what the research shows.
As everyday life and some of the hardships involved in it take over, many of us have lost the ability to unselfconsciously roar with laughter like we used to when we were young children. Read this feature to find out some ways to incorporate more laughter and joy in your life so that you can express pure bliss without inhibitions and improve your wellbeing.
Summer holidays – Time to Unwind and De-stress
Summer Breeze… Makes Me Feel Good…
A British survey found that more than one third of parents find that the summer break sometimes leaves them feeling dazed, confused and in need of a holiday themselves! So now that the examination season is over, the pressure is off children and parents, everyone gets to unwind and start relaxing. How can you make sure you are not one of the parents left completely exhausted?
The strategies here may help you.
How Can You Be More Productive at Home or Work or When Studying
Feeling Busy but Unproductive at Work or Home? What Does the Research Tell Us?
Do you ever find that at work and home you can be multi-tasking on a number of jobs and feel that nothing is being accomplished? These days, we end up playing with our children whilst updating our status. Children try to do their homework whilst flitting in and out of social media. So it’s easier than ever to feel busy without actually being productive.
So what does the research tell us and how can we be more productive? The strategies here may be helpful.
Dealing with Transitions 01
This is a time of the year when many transitions are taking place, not least the change in light and how that impacts on how we think and feel. Transitions include change of home, starting a new school, college or university, children that had left home returning and changing jobs. On top of that some situations are imposed on us – finding out that a loved person is ill, not getting the job that was really needed, a sudden layoff from a job, unwanted and uninitiated breakups in relationships and so on.
Dealing with Transitions 02
Transitions are a constant theme in our lives whether this is a change of home, work, career, travel plans, health, friends or personal and professional relationships. November sees a huge transition in nature with the rich autumn colours gently drifting away and the trees are left bare. There is less daylight and more darkness. All these transitions have an impact on our emotions and our coping abilities. Some transitions are full of joy and excitement, whilst others can feel disorientating, disruptive and painful.
Cherish Being Still And Feeling Calm And Content
When the frenzy is over and spring or summer is not quite here, why not follow in the footsteps of nature when the silhouettes of trees stand strong and sturdy, composed with a sense of inner peace, calmness and integrity as they rest and recuperate before the onset of spring. The storms may come and go and the branches may bend backwards but the tree continues to compose itself with inner strength and calmness.
Taking Pride in our Beautiful Clean Spaces
June is a joyful month for lots of local residents as well as tourists. The beaches are often crowded with people enjoying delicious BBQs and picnics and savouring the long awaited heat of the sun. People arrive to the beauty of the sea and a lovely clean beach to sit on. So why is it that once the crowds have left the beach, the clean and tidy beach disappears too as litter is left strewn across miles of pebbles and along the promenade, taking away the joy of June and our pride in our beautiful nature-filled environment.
Latest Research on Teacher Wellbeing – What Can You Do to Help Yourself This Year
A good school is not only built on good grades, but on a foundation of happy, motivated and healthful students and staff. There is a mutual link between the wellbeing of teachers and their pupils, meaning what makes teachers happy is likely to benefit students too, both academically and psychologically. However, there are numerous problems that can wear teachers down, and cause many to leave their profession within just five years’ post-qualification. Recent research underpins the key factors that can have a positive or negative influence on teacher wellbeing, as well as ideas for strengths-based solutions.
Why Do Students Need to Understand their Brains to Help Them Learn?
Continuing with the theme of science and neurobiology in this newsletter, there is further support for the need for students to understand how their brains work in order to help them learn.
People can believe in the myth that our brains are fixed and that we simply don’t have the aptitude for certain topics. This type of belief has shown to be scientifically inaccurate and it negatively impacts not only education, but many other events in our everyday lives. The science of neuroplasticity, how our brains change in response to learning, suggests learning can take place at any age so children and adults can benefit from understanding this important message. The concept of a ‘growth mind set’ (that our minds can continually develop through effort and learning) rather than a fixed mind set (that we are limited to our learning based on our fixed intelligence) is therefore important to foster in children and ourselves as adults.
How Can Children and Adults Manage Anxiety in Order to Sleep Better?
Sleep is where your body finds balance for its many functions, from the emotional to the cognitive, all the way down to the immune system and we need it to function at our best. Anxiety is a common cause of disrupted sleep or insomnia.
What Does Research into Neuroscience and Developing Well-being in Children, Young People and Adults Tell Us?
600 million people worldwide suffer from depression and anxiety. So we have to be able to acknowledge and do something about this.
There is increasing research from the field of neuroscience that provides us with insight into the messages our brain needs to enable us to develop our well-being in the following areas:
- build neuroplasticity and memory
- build well-being and vitality
- manage anxiety, mental health and worry
- build the skills of executive function (planning and executing tasks)
- maximize sleep
- build a study habit and self-control
- build memory and revision ability
- promote personal growth
- Build skills of will-power and self-compassion