Happiness

The Psychological Benefits of Running

Unlike other forms of exercise, running is a marginalising activity – the truly passionate are pounding the pavement before sunrise while others avoid it at all costs. Whether you consider it an effective aerobic workout or an exhausting chore, you can’t deny its positive effect on the body and mind.   Some run purely for the physical benefits – it burns calories faster than the same time spent walking or cycling. For some, however, the psychological benefits may outweigh the physical ones.   Though deceptively simple to learn, regular running has a positive impact on the entire body. For instance, incorporating running into your routine will lower your blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries.   The rigorous physical activity also maximises lung capacity. Frequent deep breathing while running forces the lungs to use more tissue, so up to 50% of the otherwise unused lung potential is utilised. Even long-term smokers may increase their lung potential through running.   Running also strengthens the heart, helping to prevent heart attacks. Running is large muscle exercise. This means it keeps the cardiovascular system efficient and strong, while opening the arteries, allowing blood to flow smoothly.   In addition to the physical benefits, running has a positive impact on your emotional and mental health. Running is often suggested by doctors to treat clinical depression and associated psychological disorders. Doctors who treat clinically depressed patients now believe that the physical activity is as effective as psychotherapy. It can decrease tension, depression, fatigue and confusion associated with mental illnesses   The reason behind this is that more endorphins are released into the body and also running can give patients something else to focus their energy on. It provides […]

Health and Diet – Energise your life

Fatigued? Lethargic? With life being so busy, it’s no wonder that we feel tired all the time and think of life as a gruelling struggle. Work, studies, chores and life’s challenges, in general, all these can easily sap the energy and optimism out of a person.   Instead of simply succumbing to the train of thought that such is the standard way of living nowadays and turning yourself into a walking zombie, why not try to incorporate the tips below. They will help reinvigorate yourself and energise your life.   Eat a Healthy Breakfast Studies show that skipping breakfast is never a good way to start your day. By doing so, you are depriving your body of much-needed nutrition after hours of fasting while you sleep, which then leaves you hungry and lacking in energy. In addition, opt for healthier food choices like cereals or oats since their fibre content will leave you feeling full longer and reduce the chances of you binging on sugary and unhealthy snacks later in the day.   Find Time to Exercise A daily exercise regimen can do wonders for the body. Not only will it make your body look a lot leaner and healthier, but it helps promote better blood and oxygen circulation throughout your body and your brain. Exercise makes you stronger, more alert, and more focused. Even short exercises, such as those that you can do at the office like stationary jogging or stretching can help temporarily boost your energy levels whenever you start feeling sluggish while in the middle of doing work.   Indulge in Water Keeping yourself hydrated all day is one sure fire way of upping your energy levels. Remember that your body and […]

By |Thursday, March 5, 2015|General, Happiness| Comments

Recalibrate your life

You know that feeling of wanting to bash your head against the wall at work? It’s a feeling that we all experience from time to time. A problem arises; a solution is argued over and eventually found and then you move on. Only, what if you cannot find a solution? What if you become bogged down in the same arguments going round and round, and you are no further from moving forward.   Outside of work, if an issue were preventing you from living your life then you would consider seeing a counsellor to help you re-evaluate, and gain a new perspective. Inside the world of work, you can do the same thing. You can recalibrate your life.   What is recalibration? Recalibration is the process of getting you to understand that there are many different points of view. If you are stuck in a routine, you only ever see enough to get through the day. Recalibration is about getting you to recognise your limitations and acknowledging that there are different interpretations of the same reality. It is not a simple thing to acquire, and you cannot achieve it instantly, but there are exercises you can do to train your brain.   Firstly, remember the saying ‘Look before you leap’? Take a moment before you react to something. If you are in an argument or discussion then actively wait before you respond. It is not just about stopping you from saying something in the heat of the moment, but waiting for what that person has said to sink in before you react.   Secondly, reassess the way you respond to mundane every-day situations. For example, the next time someone irritates you, think about why they […]

How to Manage Anxiety

Anxiety – that unwelcome intruder which leaves unmerited fear, racing hearts and minds and utter confusion in its wake. Whether we’re nervous about a big presentation or a first date, we all face anxiety from time to time.   Anxiety is an individualised feeling, with no two people experiencing it the same way. However, there are several commonalities that distinguish it from other disorders. Prominent features include ongoing worry, obstructive thoughts, confusion, sweating, nausea and restlessness, among others.   Sometimes it can be a good thing. Anxiety usually forces us to assess a situation and formulate an appropriate response. Problems arise when anxiety becomes a ‘default setting’ which impacts on your everyday life. The techniques below can help you self-manage anxiety, so it does not overtake your life.   IDENTIFY TRIGGER FACTORS The first step to anxiety management is identifying situations that make you anxious. The best way, to do this, is keeping a journal of symptoms and what is happening around you when anxiety occurs. Keeping a record of why and how your anxiety occurs will help you manage this situation better in the future.   PROBLEM SOLVING Once you have identified the specific situation(s) causing your anxiety, structured problem-solving can help resolve anxiety by addressing the underlying problem. Follow these steps to get to the root of the problem:   Identify the problem Formulate as many options as possible to solve it Select your preferred option Develop a plan to test the viability of that option If this option doesn’t solve the problem, try others   RELAXATION TECHNIQUES People in a constant state of anxiety claim they have trouble relaxing. Relaxation promotes a physical and mental feeling of calm. Learning and practising a […]

Listening To Your Gut Instincts

Making a decision, any kind of important decision, can sometimes be a long, difficult process. With this is mind, have you ever stopped and analysed how you arrive at a decision? What was the deciding factor? Did you listen to intellectual reason? Did you decide based on you emotionally thought to be right? Or, did you just have a hunch, an intuition, about what to do? Maybe it was a combination of all three?   Whatever the outcome, these are the three ways (or ‘voices’) in which our consciousness makes decisions;   Head (intellectually) Heart (emotionally) Gut (instinctively)   Obviously, how you react determines the outcome, so how do you know which ‘voice’ to follow? I guess it very much depends on the question.   Head Now there are some decisions which are quite obviously ruled by the head. Example, if you are trying to lose weight and eat healthy, and at lunch you have the decision between a salad and a burger. You may emotionally crave the burger, but you know that you should have the salad. This is based on the fact that a salad is healthier than a burger, but a burger is tastier than a salad. Following your heart instead of your head will lead to a bad decision. Listening to you head, involves rationality, reason and intelligence. People who follow their head, and disregard their heart and gut feelings, are often perceived as cold, calculating or analytical. You might even argue that ‘head’ people can be superficially and not as good at relating emotionally.   Heart You might be one of those people, or at least know someone, who repeatedly goes for the wrong guy/ girl. They know that this […]