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Practicing Gratitude

World Gratitude Day was celebrated on 21 September and no matter what’s going on in our lives, or how difficult things seem, there’s always, always, something to be grateful for. Developing an attitude of gratitude means being able to find the good in each day and looking back saying, “you know, today wasn’t that bad!”

Studies on gratitude show that developing an attitude of gratitude helps people to sleep better, feel and think positively and helps them feel more energetic and they feel genuinely thankful.

Go over to a light switch. Turn it off and on and off and on. Watch the light coming through. Having electricity to turn on the light means you could pay you electricity bill, have shelter, a home where there’s electricity, and more! Or turn on the tap and feel gratitude for a water supply. What about your community and the shops and people who are around you? Think how they add to your life, whether you know them or not. Think of all the friendships and fun you may have. There is so much to be grateful for.

Studies show that people who take a few minutes before bed to find things to be grateful for over time begin to sleep better. Take time daily to make a gratitude list and see how it helps you.

For stress management and mental health contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 26 September 2017

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A Walk In Nature

As I write this week’s column, I’m just back from a walk at Moore Hall. It’s a while since I’ve been on a nature walk and it was long overdue! I know it’s good for me, I know that I have a clearer body and mind after it. I simply allowed life to get in the way! Walking in nature is a fantastic way to mind your mind.

Walking in nature helps improve short-term memory. A research study gave participants a memory test before and after a walk. They found that participants who had walked among trees did almost 20% percent better than the first time.

Other studies have shown that walks in nature help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a natural process the body uses to respond to threats like damage (e.g., a stubbed toe) and pathogens (e.g., exposure to the flu). In one study, elderly patients who had been sent on a weeklong trip into the forest showed reduced signs of inflammation as well as some indications that the woodsy jaunt had a positive effect on their hypertension.

Walking in nature can help improve concentration. In one study, researchers worked to deplete participants’ ability to focus. Then some took a walk in nature, some took a walk through the city, and the rest just relaxed. When they returned, the nature group scored the best on a proofreading task.

For stress management and mental health contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph on 19 September 2017.

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Free-Flow Writing: A Journaling Technique

Journaling is a fantastic way to declutter your mind. All you need is a pen and paper. When we write on out our thoughts and feelings on paper, we begin to find clarity, peace and even solutions. Free-flow writing is dumping all your thoughts and feelings onto a page. It’s writing out your train of thought and how you’re feeling to find a solution. It’s getting what’s in your head on to paper and seeing where it takes you.

Free flow writing helps break down subconscious barriers that are stopping you from understanding a problem. It helps you clear out your head, come to surprising understandings of yourself and gives you ideas for solutions to problems

When you sit down to do some free-flow writing, find a place for 15 or 30 minutes where you won’t be uninterrupted. Write without breaks for a set period of time. Or write without breaks until you have run out of something to write. Do not slow down your writing. Do not edit or correct spelling or grammar while writing. Do not judge what you are writing. Just write down your train of thought and see where it takes you. There is no need for anyone except you to see what you’ve written. You may like to burn it or throw it in the bin for privacy.

For stress management and mental health contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph Newspaper on 5 September 2017.

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