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Coloured balls of wool and knitting needles to illustrate the health benefits of knitting

The Health Benefits of Knitting

As a child I hated sewing classes at school. Until I realised that if I said I’d left my sewing at home, the teacher would give me needles and wool and tell me to knit a square. I loved knitting; it relaxed me, gave me a purpose – to knit as fast as I could […]

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Signs submerged by flood water

Can the NHS Cope with the Impact of Flooding on Mental Health?

Resilience is a word we’re hearing more of lately. There are courses to teach employees emotional health and resilience to cope well with stress, organisational change and other economic factors involved in the workplace. An upcoming conference at King’s College School, Wimbledon on 20th March will focus on developing emotional resilience in schools, especially amongst […]

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Notebook on grass to illustrate writing to heal, the healing power of writing

Writing to Heal: The Healing Power of Writing

A few years ago, while very ill with arthritis, I came across a book called Writing to Heal by James W. Pennebaker, PhD. Dr Pennebaker is a research psychologist at the University of Texas who discovered the amazing healing effect that expressive writing can have on people who have experienced trauma. His research proved that […]

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kind strangers helping an old man across the street

The Kindness of Strangers

Driving to North Devon last week our car broke down. Not knowing anything about cars my partner and I felt helpless stranded at the side of the road. There was nothing we could do but call the Automobile Association (AA) and hope for the best. When the AA man finally arrived he was cheerful and […]

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rocket seedlings

Why Growing Your Own Vegetables is Worth It

The squirrels and I are at war and so far the squirrels are winning. I plant the seeds, they dig them up and either eat them or carry them off somewhere else in the garden and bury them. My role is to curse them and to patch up the mess they’ve caused and to wonder […]

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a curious toddler explores a watering can

Is Curiosity the Key to Happiness?

Do you remember being curious as a child? Exploring your world and discovering new things every day? Do you remember the thrill of working out how something worked or finding out everything you could about your latest passion? Perhaps you broke things or hurt yourself along the way, but you were always on the quest […]

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Let's Get Physical poster for Mental Health Awareness Week 2013

Let’s Get Physical: Mental Health Awareness Week

Yesterday was one of those days that left me feeling cranky and frazzled. A computer that was misbehaving (guaranteed to raise my stress levels through the roof), difficulty finding parking, which meant I was late for an appointment, and then a long wait at the hospital for a blood test. By the time I got […]

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antidepressants and creativity, depressed woman

Do Antidepressants Affect Creativity?

There’s a fascinating article on the affect of antidepressants on creativity in the latest issue of Mslexia, a magazine for women who write. In the article ‘Waving or Drowning?’ writer Faridah Newman trawls through what little research there is on the topic and also refers to anecdotal evidence and the results of a Mslexia survey […]

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woman with a stammer with hand on mouth

Lost for Words: Living with a Stammer

There’s a beautifully written article about stammering in The Guardian this week by the writer Maggie O’Farrell. Entitled ‘The monster in my mouth’ she describes how she’s always stammered and has developed coping strategies over the years that she still uses today: …regard the telephone as an instrument of treachery, exhort others to speak for […]

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the antidote by oliver burkeman

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking – Review

Have you ever tried hard to be positive and upbeat and wondered why you still felt depressed? I certainly have and it’s left me feeling defeated by gremlins and doomed to a life of unhappiness. Happiness and Positive Thinking Happiness has become something of a Holy Grail in modern Western society.  Apart from spawning an […]

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