What comes to mind if you think of the word ‘creativity’?
For me, it used to conjure up images of elaborate works of art. Creativity was something reserved for artists, authors or musicians. I did not believe myself to be a creative person.
When I look back I realise that as a child I was very creative. I could spend hours writing stories, making things and drawing pictures. There was nothing I loved more than to sit with paint, crayons, glue or other art materials and creating something just for the sake of it.
Somewhere along the way my artistic side got rejected, first by others and then by myself. However, over time I have learnt to no longer deny that part of me. I now realise that being creative has nothing to do with skill and talent but about my personal self expression and doing it just for the joy of it.
Do you hold yourself back from engaging in creative tasks? If so, what blocks you from doing this? Read More
I have been reflecting on the modern world and its impact on our sense of community.
Community used to be something that was a natural and intrinsic part of society. During ancient times our instincts drove us to be around others and we formed tribes. Being part of a tribe is what enabled us to survive as a species. We needed one another for protection, to build shelter and to obtain food. Whilst in modern society we do not face the same challenges as the ancient humans did, to not be be part of a community and to feel isolated appears to be a large contributing factor for poor mental health.
Before the industrial revolution people were born, lived and died within their close knit communities. People grew up together and knew each other their whole lives. Religion often played an important role in community too, but from the 16th century science became more prominent and many people started to lose their connection with the spiritual aspects of themselves and the support that organised religion gave them. Transport improved, it was easier to travel and move away from the location in which we were born. Families and friends moved from where they grew up to obtain better jobs. As a society we became more segregated, individualized and more lonely.
I believe that some of the problems faced in the modern world are due to this lack of community. It is a time where jobs are unstable, people are forced to move to keep ahead of the game and may end up many miles away from those they know and love. This lack of community can bring about loneliness, lack of purpose and low self esteem. Loneliness is a serious issue and is often cited as one of the largest cause of premature death. Read More
I am sure that the majority of us find ourselves putting off certain tasks for a various reasons. Just yesterday I found myself watching some TV, surfing the internet and tidying up, when really I needed to sit down and sort out my paperwork. Does any of this sound familiar? Quite often procrastination is a minor problem, but it is thought that up to 20% of people can have real difficulties with it, where procrastination goes on to cause major issues with their education, career and/or personal life.
There are many reasons for people procrastinating and it is can very individual to each person. Some of these reasons are benign, whereas others are much more problematic and deeper rooted. The most common reason given for procrastination is that it is a means of avoiding unpleasant emotions. Certain tasks may cause feelings of boredom, frustration and the fear of failure. Read More
I decided to write this blog as I often hear people say, ‘I have this issue but I don’t need therapy as I have friends and family I can speak to’. Whilst having a good support network is important for our well-being, sometimes we need more specialist assistance to help us through a difficult or challenging problem. It is great if you have someone that you can confide in and who will listen to you without judgement, yet not everyone has this. However, even if you do you could still benefit from therapy. I have listed a number of reasons which I feel that therapy is different from talking to a friend or a family member: Read More
Anger has a bad reputation, yet it is a natural and valid human emotion just as sadness and joy are. Often, as children we are taught that it is wrong to be angry and that if we show our anger we can begin to believe that we are bad for having done so.
I remember as a child, I was given the clear message that anger was not acceptable. This message came from teachers, family and society. My anger was met with punishment or rejection, and as such I learnt to suppress it rather than learn how to use it in a more productive way. This suppressed anger would then either turn into resentment or it would be turned inwards towards myself. What I was not taught as a child, and had to relearn as an adult, is that anger is not bad and that it can be a very useful and helpful emotion. Read More
For a while now I have been wondering as to whether the diagnosis of mental health is helpful. I have mixed feeling around this so I thought I would put some of my thoughts into a blog.
I frequently find that people who have been given such a diagnosis are actually having perfectly natural reactions to events that have occurred at some point in their lives. Diagnosis can open up access to help and services, yet at the same time it can lead to people being over diagnosed, heavily medicated, stigmatised and feeling as if there is something wrong with them. Read More
I have recently been posting on my Facebook page about the positive affects that nature can have on us. I keep discovering more and more research that seems to demonstrate that being outdoors is great for both our physical and psychological health. However, if you are feeling low, depressed or anxious it can be extremely difficult to get the motivation and the energy to regularly get out into nature. If you are wanting to get outdoors more then here are my top five tips:
Start by considering what it is you would like to gain from spending time outside. There are the obvious benefits such as physical and psychological health but there might other factors that could also be motivating for you. May be you would like to learn a new skill, make new friends, become fitter. Read More