World Mental Health Day 2018

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Without realising who you are, happiness cannot come to you.”  So says my favourite Yogi tea bag label (inspiration certainly comes from unexpected places). I love the sentiment of this quotation, especially today, World Mental Health Day 2018.

One of the most empowering things we can ‘realise’ is that we are mind-and-body beings: we can take a walk to lift stuck thoughts or feelings, we can focus on our breath to find a sense of perspective or peace in all sorts of situations. While I do love yoga, running and mediation, my favourite mind-body activity is aerial circus training, where mental and physical balance come into play in a fun, demanding and liberating way!

World Mental Health day is a wonderful moment in which to recommit to the precious task of taking care of our minds as well as our bodies. I am thankful for the small acts of care that we can give to ourselves and others, come storm or shine, that keep us going on our journey.

Wishing you health and love on WMHD 2018.


Sam Thorogood of TinyPause has written a beautiful article for WMHD 2018 containing a simple list of wellbeing techniques, all based on the results of scientific studies. I am grateful to share his article here with you too. Please pass it on to any who might benefit…

Help For Tough Moments

World Mental Health Day 2018

This simple list of mental wellbeing techniques (all from scientific studies) came about because once I asked someone ‘how are you?‘ and they started crying (they tried to hold it in but you could see the tears). After taking a moment to listen it became clear that this person had been struggling for a while, they had known they could benefit from doing something differently, but there never seemed like there was any time.

This list is designed to make it feel easy to do one thing. Just one thing today. You could do it for yourself or someone else. Each of us deserves one moment today.

“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” – Brene Brown

Simple Mental Wellbeing Techniques

1. For a moment of high quality rest at home you can stream or download a mini mindfulness practice here.

2. To improve sleep turn all screens off 30 mins before bed and do any kind of gentle stretching you know. Releasing physical tension helps release mental tension. (Plus test one day this week where you keep your phone out of your bedroom and use an alarm clock instead – be honest, do you really need your phone in bed? Studies show that just looking at our phone when its off can cause a spike in stress – why wake up to that?).

3. If you have an important piece of work to complete, book a 1 hour block in your calendar, label it as a meeting and go to another room to do it. Protect your time to do your most important work. Most people wont interrupt a meeting but they will interrupt you at your desk.

4. A simple moment (or if possible a walk) outside is the quickest and most accessible way to help you reframe. To release some tension and widen your perspective. The most effective way to reframe is to ask yourself a question. Popular reframing questions with our groups include:

If a friend was feeling the way I do now, what would I recommend to them?

What would my logical brain say about this thought/ situation?

5. Be a caring colleague and do active listening once per shift/day.Remember, you don’t need to give solutions, if you see someone is struggling (even if you don’t know them that well), take a moment to ask how they are and help them feel listened to. They might not tell you how they feel but this tiny action might give them the courage to confide in someone else.

6. Studies show that 80% of our peace of mind comes from internal events and 20% external events. But most of our effort only goes into the 20% (what we buy, where we go, who we see).

Bottom line: it’s really important to build into your day a High Quality Pause; a proper break away from your desk or family, a moment for you. And something that makes you smile. It’s not rocket science but it is highly effective and the benefits – better decisions, enhanced focus, less difficult thoughts – are proven by science.

Thank you for the effort you make. Wishing you a moment for you today. 

– Sam Thorogood, TinyPause

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