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Doodling and Writing to Help Manage PTSD and Depression

I chatted to two young women who use writing and doodling in ways you might not expect. Doodling and Drawing Helps Emma Manage Her Mood ‘…the distraction had helped her feel much calmer’ Emma discovered the power of doodling accidentally, when she was avoiding coursework. Feeling stressed and anxious she decided to draw patterns instead. As the repetitive shapes spread … Continue reading

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Doodle drawings

What’s in a letter? Part 2: Getting started with letter writing to manage mental health and wellbeing

In part 1 I explored how letters can help people manage their mental health. Letters are a wonderful way of getting started with the, often alien, but ultimately fantastic process of journaling – playing with words and putting them down on paper in a way that may well be for your eyes only. In this post, I’ll be looking at … Continue reading

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Woman writing a letter

What’s in a Letter? Part 1: How Can Creative Letter Writing Help You Manage Your Mental Health and Wellbeing?

I recently got back in touch with a childhood penpal. She still had my letters. They took me back to the time when I was writing them, drawing in the margins, adding the address and putting them in the post box across the road from the bus stop. Not just the details of life aged twelve but back into a … Continue reading

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Woman writing a letter

Writing for Wellbeing – Journaling, Free Writing, Blogging and Sharing Stories

I look back at my teenage diaries and cringe. I didn’t recognise that hormones or chemicals were often at the root of difficult feelings. I would write long lists in different coloured pens of ‘reasons not to be sad’ – and feel like a failure when I was sad anyway. I wasn’t using writing to help me. I didn’t realise … Continue reading

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Woman writing in journal

Dogs and Bell Jars – Metaphor and Mental Health

We see metaphor everywhere in mental health. Sylvia Plath described her depression as a bell jar: "Because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air." — Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar Winston Churchill spoke of his … Continue reading

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Man stuck in fog of depression

Using Tech to Help You Maintain the Mindful Habit

Technology and mindfulness don’t sound like the most likely companions. You may feel as though staring at your phone actually prevents you from being mindful of the world around you. But there are some ways that technology may be able to help us maintain the mindful habit. Many of us will have completed a Mindfulness or MBCT course, but to … Continue reading

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Woman Using Mobile Phone App to Meditate

Dogs & Mindfulness – 4 Ways Dogs Can Help Remind Us to Be Mindful

Many of us would agree that dogs are fantastic companions. I’ve been thinking recently about how they can also help remind us of some of the core teachings of mindfulness – acceptance, curiosity, living in the moment, and the pure joy of pointlessness. 1. Acceptance ‘…[dogs] don’t make judgments about what’s going on in their head’ Dogs take experiences as … Continue reading

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Happy Dog Playing with Toy

Social Media and the ‘Discrepancy Monitor’ – Stop Making Comparisons and Use Social Media More Mindfully

How Should Your Life Be? Do you have an internal picture of how your life ‘should’ be? Do you ever find yourself judging your experience as ‘not right’ and comparing it to how you feel you ‘should’ be feeling or what ‘should’ be happening? Thoughts like: “I shouldn’t be feeling this way” “I’m on holiday, I should be happy” “Everyone … Continue reading

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False Social Media Perceptions

What is the difference between Mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy?

Mindfulness has become something of a buzzword. You might have heard of Mindfulness, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). But how do they help and what’s the difference between them? Mindfulness …taking a step back and being aware of however you’re feeling’ Mindfulness is a method of paying close attention to your thoughts, moods, sensations and … Continue reading

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Silhouette of a Mindful Figure

Remember These Home Fitness Classics?

There have been some funny fitness fads over the years. Who thinks these should make a comeback? Our readers come from all walks of fitness life. Some of you might have been training for decades. Chances are, you’ve tried out some home fitness fads in your time. We look back at some of the most popular, some of the strangest, … Continue reading

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Man at Home Exercising to Fitness Video