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Wellbeing & health seminars

“ My house having burnt down, nothing now impedes my bright vision of the moon. ” - Zen saying

"Wellness in Students" - a talk given at a conference on student health in London in July '07.  Introduces Self-Determin

Self-determination theory

I'm a big fan of Self-Determination Theory (SDT).  SDT is a general theory of motivation and personality that has evolved over the past three decades.  SDT suggests that humans, like plants or other animals, intrinsically 'strive' for need satisfaction & flourishing.  Social context and personal choices can support or thwart this need striving with major effects for health and wellbeing.

Wellbeing, time management, self-control & self-determination

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is knowledge of our ignorance

- Benjamin Franklin

This is a bit of a ragbag section.  It contains a mixture of handouts on wellbeing, time management and related topics.  A lot of my work involves helping people face fear and anxiety.  The "Determination training" and more straightforward monthly "Practice record" are often helpful here.  The "Respected figures exercise" is one of the most frequent forms that I ask people to fill in - it clarifies values and so highlights how one wants to act.  The handout on Kohlberg's work is relevant to values too, especially at times when the focus is on fairness and assertiveness.  I often move from the "Respected figues exercise" to the five "Goals for roles" handouts.  They build from clarifying "Role areas" and using this for the "Funeral speeches" or "80th birthday party exercise&qu

Savouring, mindfulness & flow

In a post on 27 January I wrote about "savouring" - the appreciation of positive experiences. Savouring is, as it's name suggests, a sort of running the positive experience around in one's mouth, really tasting, valuing and enjoying it - a bit like slow, careful appreciation of a good wine. Bryant and Veroff, authors of the key current text on savouring (see below), draw parallels between the importance of being good at coping with negative life experiences and the importance of being good at savouring positive life experiences. Savouring well increases one's happiness, wellbeing and appreciation of being alive. On the fine Authentic Happiness website, Seligman and colleagues discuss three entwining roads to happiness and what they call "the full life". One of these three roads is maximising and appreciating positive emotions - very much the territory of savouring.

Savouring – initial thoughts

Back in my post of January 5, I mentioned that I was looking at Sonja Lyubomirsky's book "The How of Happiness". On pages 73 to 77 of the book she describes a ‘person-fit' exercise to help readers decide which happiness-boosting activities to work with initially. I came up with a whole load that appealed to me, and that mostly I was somewhat familiar with. There are a couple of activities that focus particularly on being present - on ‘flow' and on ‘savouring' (spelt ‘savoring' in this American book).

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