One of most intelligent and kindest people I have been lucky to meet in person is Prof Gordon Dutton. He has worked for over 20 years at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow and is also Emeritus Professor of Visual Science at Glasgow Caledonian University. His true passion for the work he does is in one word is mesmerizing. When I asked him what recently improved his wellbeing it become clear how we can all benefit from the wisdom of the young and the purity of the old. This is his answer:
"I met with my 3 month old beautiful grandson this morning. I spoke with him while gradually slowing all elements of my voice. At the sweet spot of the optimum speed, his focussed gaze was enriched by a beaming smile lasting for some time, giving me a deep sense of engagement and love." To find out more in how Gordon sees the world go to his Profile
Every few weeks I am inspired and become more aware of the multiple channels there are to improve our wellbeing. We are all so different which explains why there is no quick fix that suits everyone. Nick Tulloch a previous lawyer and financial advisor is both an advocate and UK lead in helping many people improve their overall wellbeing by becoming less anxious, reducing stress and sleeping better. Something much needed during a pandemic. He does this through the delivery of approved derivates from hemp originally used by ancient Egyptians over 4000 years ago to improve sight via CBD oil through Voyager CBD. When I asked him how he improved his wellbeing since the first lockdown he told me about the multiple benefits of travelling less which enabled him to spend more time with his family, becoming more productive at work, eating better, exercising more and keeping his dog happy with lots more walks. It looks like there is always a way to find many lights at the end of every tunnel.
See Nick's Profile
Danny Boyle was able to keep the ‘queen parachute’s into the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony’ a secret despite hundreds of people being involved in the preparations. In this world of social media and ‘got a story?’ tabloids this was really quite some achievement and, as planned, set a fabulous tone for a wonderful few weeks. He was asked how he managed to do this: by air tight non-disclosure agreements and terrifying lawyers? By locking everyone in a barracks and confiscating their phones? Certainly not by threatening their livelihoods by firing them as most were volunteers. He explained that he simply asked them to keep the secret as nicely as he could.
This week I had an upbeat chat with Dan Willis who was working in his attic in an overheated room in a t-shirt and shorts while I was in the freezing garden shed in a puffer jacket. Dan is recognised in the BIMA 100 as someone shaping the British digital industry. Dan is also an influential mental health campaigner & ambassador for the charity Mind, working to improve wellness provision in the workplace, particularly in the digital industry. Dan leads Well Good’s growth https://www.wellgood.io/.
Find out more how he sees the world with his Eye Search Profile
Over the last few days lots of friends and work colleagues have shared the sacrifices they are making and people they will be missing over the next month. I’m just one of those statistics and have had to cancel a family get together with my kids and parents. My dad’s response to the news was ‘A pleasure deferred is a pleasure enhanced and when we do celebrate it will be bigger and better than ever!’. The way I look at the weeks ahead are that by knowing we are all going through similar experiences it makes things that little bit easier as we all understand what each of us is going through. Being all so unique how we will be affected will differ. Some of us will struggle, some wallow though and some even flourish. But one thing for sure is by sharing some of the thoughts in our heads this really does help… so let’s keep that boat floating and in the words of The Hues Corporation ‘Let’s rock the boat baby!’.
I have watched more movies and read more books since March than I have in the last 6 years. Covid’s ugly face still does have some positives, such as setting times aside for being a lounge lizard. Everything we do as well as see and hear can affect who we are for good and bad. With our team of behavioural phycologists we are selecting things to read and watch that can improve various aspects of our wellbeing . Such as Tribes (David Lammy) which looks at the benign and malign effects of our need to belong, Forest Gump, a man who sees the good in all things and people and Pride, a film that should be subtitled ‘don't be afraid to be yourself, engage with strangers, empathise, flourish…’ Find out how we can make you flourish on that sofa by starting your wellbeing journey with RBME. Start you journey here
Our research confirms what we’ve increasingly come to know as a truth. – that people’s wellbeing comes from a variety of inter-related sources and each person’s wellbeing experience is entirely personal. Some will never use our RBME site because they are busy reading a self-help book, or just an inspirational book – or even a book, a film or a play which isn’t intended to be inspirational but from which they take inspiration! Others are too busy exercising or working on the quality of their sleep and/or breathing. Others vastly improve the quality of their life by improving their diet – cutting down on sugar and/or alcohol perhaps.
Others will have improved their lives by taking up something constructive and meaningful such as voluntary work or just a job they actually enjoy. Others find that what’s key for them is connecting with friends or family – or perhaps they prefer to talk to a stranger volunteering on a phone line. And others will find the material on, and feedback from, RBME really useful! Our promise is that we’ll never forget that RBME isn’t a magic bullet and that there simply are no magic bullets! So, as well as being as useful as we can, we’ll always strive to point users at the wide variety of other resources that might be of help.
In short we’ll always take your well-being personally.
We are all of us on a wellbeing journey whether we want to be or not. What’s most key is the direction of travel in all of the overlapping and interlinked elements that allow us to thrive as best we can… The most obvious is physical health of course. Some people are born with great genes but the vast majority of healthy looking older people are reaping the benefits of years of hard graft and self-maintenance around refuelling, exercise, sleep and general lifestyle. As the super model Heidi Klum quipped on looking fabulous at 50 “I don’t have a diet secret I’ve just never eaten as much as I wanted to”.
It’s the same with the other elements of wellbeing: relationships and mind-set. Again the Dali Lama, quipping when asked why he looked so happy all the time: “well, I’ve been practising being happy every day for 60 years now” or as Gary Player put it. ‘The harder I practise the luckier I seem to get”. It’s all about ingraining good habits in every element of WB. Not just alternating chocolate with fruit or maybe nights in the pub with nights in the gym but habits that build relationships and set off virtuous rather than vicious circles. A simple example: we know that “you’re really nice and I’ve enjoyed dating you these last months but…” means your binned! We know the meat follows the “but”. So in the same way “They’re normally OK but today they’re driving me mad” will point you at irritation and conflict. Training yourself to say inwardly (by habit) “They’re driving me mad today but normally they’re OK” will point you at empathy and a helpful conversation.
They say that every journey starts with a single step. We just need to be mindful which direction that’s in...
As the saying goes 'If you cry you cry alone. If you smile the whole world smiles with you.' True in part but shedding a tear is a good thing. In general women cry more than men. But I've also seen some pretty hard men cry. We are still a little stuck in some draconian era where real men are not expected to eat quiche or cry. Last time I cried was when my daughter lost her sight and ability to move overnight. Admittedly it was behind closed doors but at least it’s a start.
Below are some good reasons to shed a few more tears.
Overexposure to manganese can cause bad stuff including anxiety, nervousness, irritability, fatigue, aggression and emotional disturbance. The act of crying can lower a person’s manganese level. Emotional tears contain 24 percent higher albumin protein concentration which has the benefit of transporting many small molecules than irritation tears.
Tears remove some of the chemicals built up in the body from stress, like the endorphin leucine-enkaphalin and prolactin. The opposite is true too as supressing tears increases stress levels, and contributes to diseases aggravated by stress, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and peptic ulcers.
Crying not only contributes to good health but it also builds community. When someone cries they will receive support of people they know well and also strangers developing a level of intimacy really seen in everyday life. Tears help communication and foster community.
Most people go through a day accumulating conflicts and resentments which sometimes gather in the limbic system of the brain and corners of the heart. Crying is cathartic and prevents damage to the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
When you’re in a traffic jam or on a busy road and a white van cuts you up are you more likely to:
A "White van man" is a stereotype used for a smaller-sized commercial van driver. Typically perceived as a selfish, inconsiderate driver who is mostly petit Bourgeois and often aggressive. Most people would tick box a, b or c. Now lets ask you the same question again if you knew the drivers partner was in the vehicle and about to give birth as he was heading off to the hospital. I think perhaps your perception of him and answer would change. I sometimes make the error of seeing strangers and even friends in the wrong way. They may have just woken up on the wrong side of bed, got a hangover or been dumped by their partner. This doesn’t make them bad. Next time you judge someone by how they look or behave take a deep breath and have a second look. You may find something surprising.
Rod Baber Founder