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The 5 minute 'Health' read - Background

I read a fair amount of research and thought some people might be interested in recent studies that I've found helpful.  I plan to write a brief approximately 1,200 word (5 minute read) newsletter/blog post pretty much every week, highlighting helpful material that has emerged in the previous couple of months.  I'll rotate through six topic areas ... Lifestyle, Positive Psychology, Relationships, Ageing, Psychedelics, and Meditation.  I also plan to write occasional posts where I go into more detail about particular related subject areas. 

The 5 minute 'Health' read - Relationships: recent research (December)

I read a fair amount of research and thought some people might be interested in recent studies that I've found helpful.  I plan to write an approximately 1,200 word (5 minutes to read) blog post pretty much every week, highlighting helpful material that has emerged in the previous couple of months.  I'll rotate through six topic areas ... Lifestyle, Positive Psychology, Relationships, Ageing, Psychedelics, and Meditation.  I also plan to write occasional posts where I go into more detail about particular related subject areas. 

How to live well - a shared exploration

“ The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes. ” - Marcel Proust

                                   how to live well – a shared exploration 

what is it? This course is ambitious. It aims to help us live longer, healthier lives that are more energised, happy and fulfilled. We will work to improve our knowledge and activities in three interconnected areas – optimising wellbeing, nourishing relationships, and living with health, energy & resilience. The course is constructed partly on the recent state-of-the-art, evidence-based ENHANCE intervention for building wellbeing, with ingredients that focus on our values, self-determination theory’s needs/goals/motivations, mindfulness & compassion, positive emotions & savouring, and the central importance of relationships. 

Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships

Over the next two days I'm due to run a two day training workshop in Glasgow on "Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships".  Here are the downloadable slides for the first day on "Working with couples(sadly with the cartoons removed for copyright reasons) and here the slides for the second day on "Close relationships".  There are lots of relevant handouts - here are the details.

How to live well: 9th meeting - social identity theory, strength of weak ties & Fredrickson's emotional resonance

 

                 "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."                                                                                                                            John Donne

How to live well: 7th meeting - relationships, roles, Dunbar, needs & dyads

 

           "Of all the means which wisdom acquires to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life,                                                                    by far the most important is friendship."           Epicurus

        "Friendship is the single most important factor influencing our health, well-being, and happiness."                                                            Robin Dunbar, Oxford emeritus professor of evolutionary psychology 

Erectile dysfunction (and other sexual difficulties) are common, distressing and treatable

A couple of recent research papers caught my attention - Kashdan & colleagues' "Sexuality leads to boosts in mood and meaning in life with no evidence for the reverse direction: A daily diary investigation" and Gerbild et al's "Physical activity to Improve erectile function: A systematic review of intervention studies".  The two papers are a good reminder of how sex can often be an important contributor to wellbeing, that sexual difficulties are common, and that much can be done to help this kind of problem. 

The surprising power of weak 'social ties'

I’ve just been to the Farmer’s Market here in Edinburgh and I set myself the challenge of being more chatty than usual to the stallholders I was buying food from.  I ‘pushed’ myself to be friendly & talk more than I’ve ever done before (and I’ve been going to the market intermittently for years) … and it was such fun.  Tender, bubbly, jokey, light.  And I had more of a spring in my step for hours afterwards.  And it didn’t mean that I took much longer doing the shopping than I usually do either.  And as one might have predicted, this ‘good mood’ and happy positivity then splashed over into my actions subsequently (see Barbara Fredrickson's 'Broaden-and-build theory' of the function of positive emotions and her comments about

Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing training: 8th session, taking the learning on into our lives

At our eighth & last session of the Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing trainingwe reviewed the journey we've been on together over the last couple of months.  We looked at what each of us personally had found most interesting & valuable.  The weekly reflection sheets that we'd filled in could make it easier to remember the variety of areas we've explored.

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