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The happiness web: how to get in it.

19/10/2012

As many of you know, I have an interest in the area of positive psychology which focuses on promoting everyday happiness and resilience to survive and grow from the challenging times that life may throw at us.   That is, how you or I manage our journey through this life for the better – changing attitudes, beliefs and values to maximise on our strengths and treasures (whether they be material, mental and spiritual).

Acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition and exercise all play a role in enhancing the enjoyment of life. They can be the kick-start when you feel as though life is tough and can’t muster the strength to turn the ship around yourself.  Check out these excellent natural tips from my wonderful naturopath colleague, Kathleen Murphy.

I have used these therapies to excellent effect in many patients (improving sleep and getting moderate exercise also forms part of treatment).  But this is not the whole answer (and that also goes for medications or forms of self-treatment including drugs, alcohol, food and sex too).  A shift in the way you see, feel and think about your everyday life is essential for a significant shift in your emotional health.  Counseling and psychotherapy are most useful for a one on one mental/emotional health analysis and to develop a program to make necessary change.

There are also many excellent online resources (not to replace counseling when needed, but rather to enhance it) to which I often refer my patients for inspiration and motivation in conjunction with their acupuncture, herbs and lifestyle modifications.  Here are my happiness web picks:

  • This is a War: This site has a collection of inspirational resources for people of all ages and spiritual beliefs for mental and emotional self-help.  In particular, this site focuses on lighting the way in tough times including grief, suicide and depression, however, there is something for everyone here (including some Monty Python scenes for a good laugh).
  • The Happiness Institute: I was lucky enough to see Dr Timothy Sharp (aka Dr Happy), who specialises in positive psychology, speak at the Woodford Folk Festival one new year’s eve.  He outlines simple, easy to follow strategies to make changes to the way we perceive events and situations in our lives.  He has an excellent free resource page on his website and a free newsletter which is emailed out on (manic) Mondays.
  • The Chopra Center: Deepak Chopra has an excellent meditation resource component to The Chopra Center website.  Here you will find information about meditation, books, cds and they run a free 21-day meditation challenge several times per year.  You can subscribe to their free newsletter.
  • Ordinary Courage: Brene Brown is a social work researcher.  She specialises in exploring and teaching shame resilience strategies, a key component to improving self esteem.  Her blog has a steady stream of inspirational and positive ideas to use in daily life.  You may have seen her TED video – ‘you are enough’ (but if you haven’t – click here.

If you are not coping and need mental health support immediately please contact Lifeline.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health at her Broadbeach clinic and is the Chinese Medicine Senior Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Gold Coast campus.

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