wellbeing podcasts to inspire you
For anyone who is time poor, podcasts are a great and passive way of picking up new information. Here are five of my favourite wellbeing podcasts which inspire and lift me up with each episode.
Super Soul Conversations
Oprah interviews leading speakers on all things wellbeing in her Super Soul Conversations. I always pick up at least one great piece of advice, which I know I’ll use in daily life.
I stumbled across Ctrl Alt Delete and loved it so much, I’m now ploughing through the archives. Emma talks to people on a range of subjects from careers, self-development to feelings around social media and I find I learn something new every time.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
I learnt about Gretchen Rubin through the two podcasts above and love the way she talks about happiness in a scientific yet accessible way. Her sister co-hosts the podcast and I really enjoy the relationship they have with each other.
Hashtag Authentic is a podcast for online creatives and covers a wealth of topics from self-doubt to the legalities of sponsorship. It’s not a wellbeing podcast but it often leaves me feeling inspired and wanting more.
The High Low
The High Low is a weekly discussion show covering everything from the trivial to the political. This isn’t a wellbeing podcast, however, it’s directly targeted at women. Some of the issues covered such as the myth of the pregnancy glow really resonated with me.
Why I’m keeping a gratitude diary
A few years ago, I was the queen of gratitude practice. I kept a daily gratitude diary and started every day writing the top ten things I felt grateful for that morning and the reasons why. It changed my thinking completely: I stopped caring about the small things and focused on all the great things around me. I felt happier, my relationships were better and I was more energised. Life started to feel easier and I noticed how many more good things came my way.
However, life got busy, I started to lose momentum and my practice slipped. For a long time, I’ve been trying to get back into it and finding it challenging. I always found a hundred excuses to not keep it going: I didn’t have enough time, I was tired, I didn’t have a pen…
In short, I started to feel ungrateful about showing gratitude.
Oprah’s super soul gratitude practice tip
I still feel starting the day writing my gratitude diary works well for me because it sets my mood for the day. However, I feel I need to take it one step further. I picked up a great tip from Oprah’s Super Soul podcast which is to make sure you pause and show gratitude at least a few times throughout the day. It doesn’t matter where you are – just take a moment to reflect.
This makes complete sense to me. My gratitude practice needs to develop from a list written hurriedly on a commuter train to being part of who I am. At least three times a day, I’m going to stop what I’m doing, be in the moment and reflect on all I have to feel grateful for.
For years I made resolutions based on becoming the type of person I thought would make me happy: lose weight, save money, drink less etc.
They never worked, mainly because they were centred around giving something up. It just became another way to make me feel like I was failing as a person.
I’m pretty sure most people hate resolutions for same reasons as I do. Although for me, there is some benefit in using the turn of the new year to think about what I want to achieve in the forthcoming year and how best to make it happen. So for the last few years, I’ve been setting intentions. They are essentially a much kinder way of setting out what you aspire to achieve. Intentions might include travelling to a new country, learning a new skill and/or defining career goals.
My intentions include spending time fully engaged with my son (instead of taking a sneaky look at social media); living in a more sustainable way; and getting back into my yoga practice amongst others.
I’m looking forward to 2018.
The life-changing effects of journaling
Journaling has been described as a life-changing activity helping to:
- understand and release emotions
- enable decision making and focus
- allow our subconscious mind to provide clarity and work out problems
Friends who I know that journal have told me it has helped them through some really difficult moments in life.
I have a tendency to overthink and allow fear to stall my decision making. I hope that journaling will help me rationalise my feelings, stop my patterns of right/wrong thinking and help me be braver.
Ways to journal
There seem to be a number of ways to journal and techniques to achieve different aims.
Expressive writing involves dedicating 15-30 minutes to writing down feelings rather than events (as in a more traditional diary). It doesn’t require you to stick to a narrative, grammar or spelling to allow your subconscious mind run free.
Bullet journals combine several elements including planning, tracking and journaling arranged in an artful way. It tends to be top line thoughts and I can see how they help track goals and intentions. They appeal to the organiser in me, however, I feel I need more self-reflection.
I tried expressive writing to document my feelings six months after my Dad died. I wanted to understand my grief and try to make sense of it all. The reality was that I found it too hard to emotionally connect with the words and like I was writing a story about my life rather than recording my emotions. It was possibly too soon, too painful and I wasn’t quite ready to open myself up completely.
I’ve decided I’m going to ask myself a question each time I journal. This might be as simple as checking in to see how I feel that day to asking myself what I’m scared of.
I will report back.