How to take a replenishing vacation (or staycation)

A growing body of research shows that taking a vacation is good for your mental health. In a study conducted in the U.S., participants who took vacations twice or more per year were less likely to suffer from tension and depression. Even expecting a holiday break has a positive impact on your general sense of …

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The rational benefits of emotions

Rationality and emotion may seem antithetic. One is objective, the other subjective. One relies on mental models, the other on gut feelings. When it comes to making decisions, we tend to favour the reassuring formal process of rationality over the impulse of our emotions. In school, we are taught how to think better, but rarely …

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Creating calm: how to manage stress

Ambition makes some levels of stress inevitable. However, while stress is a basic survival response, it can often be triggered in situations that are far from being life threateningโ€”such as too much work, public speaking, or conflict. In addition, long-term stress is detrimental both for your mental and your physical health. The good news is: …

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How to build a support group

Support groups are a great way for people with common goals and experiences to provide each other with encouragement and advice. Usually limited in size to keep them intimate, they offer a safe space for like-minded people to connect, learn from each other, and grow together. While formal support groups may appear to be a …

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Worrying well: how to bring wisdom to your worries

Worry is traditionally seen as a negative emotion. But is it possible worry has a positive function, and that we just donโ€™t tend to use it well? Physician and researcher Martin L. Rossman argues that worry is actually an adaptive function to better solve problems and imagine creative solutions. And worrying well is a skill …

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How to bridge the intention-behaviour gap

These are raw notes from the Maintaining health and wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic Kingโ€™s College conference on April 2, 2020. This lecture by Dr Joseph Chilcot was titled Health behaviour for COVID-19: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Don’t expect any commentary or additional research. You know sugar is bad for your health. …

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Emotional agility: how to build resilience in times of crisis

โ€œLife’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.โ€ This quote by Dr Susan David perfectly encapsulates the importance of emotional agility. We love and we lose, we are healthy and ill, we complain about someone, then we miss them when theyโ€™re gone. The complex interplay between beauty and fragility is at the core of life. Dr …

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How to go on an information diet

While itโ€™s important to stay informed, too much information can become confusing, anxiety-inducing, and plain counter-productive. The same way you try to eat healthy to improve your physical health, going on an information diet is a way to control what you consume to take care of your mental health. Itโ€™s not the same as a …

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30 things to do when stuck at home

There may be many reasons why you may be stuck at home. Bad weather, a sick kid, no transportation, temporarily unemployed, orโ€ฆ a global pandemic. Staying at home for an extended period of time can get anxiety-inducing and we soon start running out of ideas to keep ourselves busy and sane. I asked readers how …

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Dear Diary: the science-based benefits of journaling

We spend a lot of our time writing. Answering emails, filling forms, messaging with friends. Despite the advent of video and audio forms of content, writing is still a staple of communication on the Internet, with many magazines, blogs, and newsletters attracting millions of readers. But comparatively few of us write for personal purposes such …

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