Resolutions for your Mind


Mental Health charity, MIND, warned yesterday that New Year’s resolutions could be bad for your health – particularly when we are armed with self-improvement resolutions. Mind chief executive Paul Farmer said focussing on problems or insecurities can lead to feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem and even mild depression. “We chastise ourselves for our perceived shortcomings…
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Alastair Campbell’s five-a-day

Alastair Campbell's five-a-day for mental health

Yesterday, Jo and I went to Stand to Reason’s ‘Celebrating Recovery’ conference at City Hall to pester politicians about Mindapples. And within five minutes of arriving, we’d already got Alastair Campbell’s five-a-day! In case you can’t read that, it says: Sleep Family / home Exercise (including playing football) Bigger cause (including Burnley FC) Laughter (see…
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Tal Ben Shahar

Tal Ben Shahar

Tal Ben Shahar, Harvard positive psychology lecturer and author, has been kind enough to send through his five-a-day: Time with people I love – usually with family members. Doing something that is meaningful and pleasurable to me professionally (usually writing). Quiet listening to favorite music. Physical exercise for 30-60 minutes (running/yoga/etc). Gratitudes before going to…
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Calling all bloggers

Dear blogosphere,

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to join the Mindapples project and tell the world, what’s your five a day?

Here’s how it works:

  • Write a post telling your readers five things you do that help keep you mentally well (and answer any of the other survey questions too if you like)
  • Link to the Mindapples site www.mindapples.org
  • Invite five blog-friends to do the same (if you want to)

And that’s it.

Here are my five (at the moment):

  1. Playing the piano
  2. Talking with my best friends
  3. Emptying my inbox (yeah, right)
  4. Listening to podcasts in bed
  5. Walking in the park

And I’d like to invite Euan Semple, Stowe Boyd, JP Rangaswami, Ewan Macintosh and David Jennings to do the same.

And while we’re at it, Stephen Fry and, ooh, Richard Branson too. (Well it can’t hurt to try.)

In fact, I’ll just ask everyone I know.

Five things happy people do


And here’s another expert list of “things we should do to be happy”, this time from neuroscientist Gabrielle LeBlanc who has “canvassed the leading experts on what happy people have in common”. Well okay, actually it’s from Oprah.com. 🙂 Here’s a quick summary… Find your own golden self Eudaimonia means striving toward excellence based on…
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12 steps to happiness

Here’s another take on the “things you should do to be happy” riff, this time from the Care Services Improvement Partnership. Interestingly they reference the economic crisis – which is funny because the economic crisis is also referencing us.

Here’s a summary of their, erm… twelve:

In situations of sustained social, economic and psychological stress, most people experience symptoms of mental illness. What might be called the ‘five fruit and vegetables’ of mental health help to protect mental wellbeing for everyone, whether or not they have symptoms. They include:

  1. keeping physically active
  2. eating well
  3. drinking in moderation
  4. valuing yourself and others
  5. talking about your feelings
  6. keeping in touch with friends and loved ones
  7. caring for others
  8. getting involved and making a contribution
  9. learning new skills
  10. doing something creative
  11. taking a break
  12. asking for help

These ‘positive steps’ for mental health are familiar themes in a wide range of research on what people who experience mental health problems find helpful. They provide a foundation for everyone’s mental health and now need to be much more widely disseminated to the general public.

My goodness there are a lot of these lists out there. I could really stress myself out worrying about all the things I’m not doing. 😉

Anyway, it’s good stuff really so do read more in the full (pdf) document, Making it Possible: Improving Mental Health and Well-being in England.