Music as Medicine can Help you Feel Well

Music as Medicine can Help you Feel Well

Music is magnificent. Music as medicine is free of all unpleasant side-effects! It can sooth, relax, enliven, energise and move us to dance. It evokes memories, provides an atmosphere, enhances a celebration, sends a message and facilitates the expression of our emotions. Music can help us journey to other worlds, create imagery, bring people together, and even shift energy blockages.

Music as medicine
I often take music for granted but it is something I am actually truly grateful for. Playing instruments was a big part of my childhood and teenage years.
I can remember practising for music exams an hour each day and finding it so calming and meditative. That was before I even knew what meditation was! I am sad I haven’t carried that on into adulthood, although there is still time to get back on that horse, even though it doesn’t feel like it!
There was a time in my 20s when I realised that I wasn’t at ease unless there was some background noise, such as the radio or television. I was aware that this was not healthy to be uncomfortable with silence, so I made a conscious effort to switch everything off and I grew to really love silence. In the years that followed, I was training in sound therapy and was very focused on sound but still did not listen to any music at home anymore. It didn’t hold any interest for me anymore strangely and I seemed to be more attuned to pure frequencies, so would enjoy toning, drumming and playing my singing bowls at home but again was mostly in silence.
Then one day we had to pick a few pieces of music to listen to as homework for the course. We had to lie down with closed eyes and really listen to the tracks with every part of our being. It was a very moving experience and I had profound emotions, sensations and memories arising whilst listening. It reminded me of the power that music holds and I have brought it back into my life again at times when it feels right. However, mostly I have to admit I am still quite hooked on the silence when I am at home. Maybe it is a response to a noisy family life!

As a trained sound therapist I have experienced the power of sound to heal first hand and witnessed my clients having breakthroughs physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. In 2013 Lyz Cooper of BAST (British Academy of Sound Therapy) teamed up with Marconi Union to produce a piece of music. The intention was to make the track as relaxing as possible. The scientific research done on the track afterwards showed that it was the most relaxing piece of music they had found. Amazing! The track was embedded with healing frequencies and rhythms that sound therapists use regularly. It was interesting to me that even played through digital music players, the effects of the sacred sound frequencies still had the power to relax the listener very significantly.

 

Here is the full length 31 minute extended version of the track if you would like to kick back and have a listen.

Prepare to be very very relaxed!!

 

 

This year Lyz Cooper produced another track with duo Silence & Air to help people enjoy a restful sleep. I was part of the research study group and I have to say that when I listened to it before bed it definitely helped get to sleep quickly and have a deep restful sleep. The results of the research on this track were also highly significant. You can learn more about the study here and listen to the track for yourself. For more information about ways in which to enjoy restful sleep, have a look at my post on 8 easy ways to get more rest.
Music as mecicine

Examples of music as medicine:

I have a wonderful friend who has sadly experienced ME/CFS and PTSD amongst other physical imbalances of many years. She decided in the last year to take up her practice of piano playing again after having not played for many years. Therapy, acupuncture and hypnotherapy led her to this point of being able to clear the blocks that were stopping her from playing. Her experience has been that the playing of music has incredibly healing for her.
She has shared that it helped her unlock her heart blockages and release fear and trauma. It helped her express her emotions non-verbally and stimulated her creativity when she was improvising. She also finds the regularity and stability of practising pieces and scales very balancing and comforting. I wonder if she has benefited from the right/left brain balancing that is inherent in playing with both hands as she says that she finds it easier to focus and her brain fog has lessened. She has also built up some strength in her hands and wrists which previously caused her a lot of pain. It has brought her a purpose for living again when confined to indoors with ME so much of the time. Of course, the music that arises also brings her joy, as it did me when I heard her playing her beautiful pieces.
“Sound is the force of creation, the true whole. Music then, becomes the voice of the great cosmic oneness and therefore the optimal way to reach this final state of healing.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927)
 
Music as mecicine
I know of another young man who used his music to survive his schizophrenia. It helped him push the voices away and soothed his troubled mind at a time when his medication was not working well. For him, music was essential to help him navigate his illness.
My husband Anthony has always played the guitar and spent many happy years busking on his travels. Since we have been together I have always noticed that when he is feeling down, he will pick up his guitar and play and sing and it soothes and uplifts him. I think that the guitar is especially healing in this way as the vibrations emanate directly from the body of the guitar which is resting on the player’s abdomen.
Music as mecicine

My vision of music as medicine in the future:

The future of medicine could be the application of sound frequencies to clear blockages and restore healthy energy. Imagine a device installed in your home that would scan your bodies energy and then emit the frequencies you needed to rebalance yourself embedded in a piece of relaxing music that would be played throughout your home. How cool would that be?!
“Eventually, musical therapists will compose prescriptions after the manner of a pharmacist…”
Dr. Ira Altschuler (of the Eloise State Hospital) (1942)

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How to keep that holiday feeling!

How to keep that holiday feeling!

I just had the pleasure of a holiday in Gran Canaria with my family. We were given the opportunity to stay in a five-star hotel by an incredibly generous friend and it was wonderful. (Thank you, dear friend).  Of course, there were the usual family holiday calamities, one son with a 24hr fever and sickness, another son with a sprained ankle and my husband giving himself a whiplash injury and misaligned vertebrae after being dared to ride the “Take-off” waterslide at the waterpark on our last day. Needless to say, he took off. Then he landed. He was in a lot of pain for over a week, bless him. Amazingly, for once, I was the one that stayed well and injury-free. It might have something to do with the fact that I barely left my sun lounger but hey, I was practising relaxing! Now that I am back home, I am practising hanging on to that lovely holiday feeling and it is challenging!
holiday feeling
So we had a lovely time (mostly) and had begun to sink into a more relaxed way of being after 10 days. It can take a while to slow down from the crazy pace of modern life but we were enjoying that process. Lots of sunbathing, swimming and a few glasses of Rosé definitely helped! Also, the little health setbacks meant that we couldn’t do many day trips and so were forced to just spend more time around the pool, and reading on the balcony which was no hardship!
 “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”           John Lubboc 
holiday feeling

Time to go home!

Here is how to know your holiday is over!

1) Mess up by only downloading 1 boarding card onto your phone the night before leaving.
2) Have the lady at the check-in desk (of a well-known budget Irish airline) insist on you removing 3 kg from your case despite the flight being less than half full. (How I love to open my case full of laundry and medicines for all the queue to see at 5.30am.)
3) Have the lady at the check-in desk put one case through but not the other as only one boarding pass on your phone.
4) Make sure your phone starts to get buggy and malfunction, and the airport wifi is chronically intermittent.
6) Start to panic as time is marching on.
7) Watch helplessly as three guys with surfboards to check-in are next in line.
8) Watch more time tick past as you frustratingly try to download the airline app the lady is insisting on you having.
9) Start feeling like crying as your children watch you getting more stressed and panicky.
10) Finally get to the front of the queue again to be told the gate is closing despite the fact you have been stood there for an hour trying to sort it out.
11) Scoot over to the main desk with teary wide-eyed children to plead with the irritated flight manager. Cue angry phone conversation in Spanish.
12) Run back to the check-in desk to finally receive boarding cards and sprint to the gate, as best you can with injured family members and stiff joints.
13) Breathlessly explain to the non-plussed, chilled and smiley gate attendant your 60-second version of events, to be told that the gate is still open and not to worry!! Grr!
14) Spend the first 60 mins of your flight deep breathing to normalise your adrenaline levels and calm the hell down.
15) Land back home with the sketchiest bumpiest touchdown ever!
16) Travel on 4 separate trains to get back home with kids, footballs and multiple bags in tow.
17) Send your husband off to the chiropractor and sit down with a cup of tea to open your mail.
18) Open the first letter to find out that you have been given 2 months notice to move out of your house …

Welcome Home!

Was it worth it?
Of course!
(After all, it wasn’t quite as stressful as the time we went to Portugal and our eldest son developed concussion two hours before we were due to leave for our return flight. Cue an ambulance ride, lots of explanations in bad Spanish from us, a crazy rushed drive to the airport, followed by us hurriedly cleaning vomit from the hire car at the last minute! But hey that’s a whole other story!)
holiday feeling

How to keep that holiday feeling!

So, I have decided to do the following to keep my holiday feeling going (despite everything!):

  • Get outside in the sun as often as possible, but also whatever the weather.
  • Be in nature, forests and by the sea often.
  • Eat outside when possible and make new exotic recipes.
  • Go swimming as often as possible. (We have a new Lido that has opened up near us that we can go and check out.)
  • Make Mocktails so that you are having fun drinks, but without the excess alcohol.
  • Stay away from too much telly and devices.
  • Keep reading more as it is very relaxing, enjoyable and creatively stimulating.
  • Go on some day trips to new places.
  • Get some of your best holiday photos printed and in frames so that you can enjoy the memories.
  • Do things each day that make you happy!

 

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How to Eat Out Stress-Free with a Special Diet

How to Eat Out Stress-Free with a Special Diet

I have been on my very restrictive Autoimmune Protocol Diet for over two years now and it has been transformational in reducing inflammation in my body. I am used to it now and am slowly re-introducing foods, and even though it can be boring if I don’t make the effort to make new recipes, I am quite happy with it.
Eating out at restaurants and other people’s houses, however, can be a real challenge. If you, like me, are restricted in this way you will know what it is like. You just want to be able to eat out stress-free when you have a special diet, and not end up feeling like a troublemaker or ending up getting ill due to ingesting some food that is detrimental to you.
I have developed different ways of dealing with these hurdles that can make the whole process easier for you and your friends and family…and the waiter/waitress for that matter! After all, eating out should be a relaxing enjoyable experience for everyone.

Social difficulties of special dietary requirements:

  • Embarrassment and stress due to feeling like you are being difficult.
  • Feeling like you are being an unreasonable or ungrateful dinner guest.
  • Not wanting to put more work onto others.
  • Awkwardness in restaurants.
  • Pressure from family to just be “normal”.
  • Friends and family having difficulty understanding the reasons for your diet.
  • Potluck events can be tricky as there is little or nothing you can eat except your own offering.
  • The temptation to eat something you shouldn’t just to make it easier for others.
eat out stress-free with a special diet

Tools and tricks:

Communicating your needs:

  • Spend some time planning how to explain the reasons for your diet and how it benefits your health. I sometimes like to say that I am on a prescribed diet plan recommended by my nutritionist (which is true!).
  • Practice a short clear explanation of what happens to you in the following days if you break your own diet rules.
  • Ask for exactly what you want in restaurants. eg ask if it is possible to just have fish/meat fried plain in olive oil with some steamed vegetables.  I like to imagine I am a famous actress or pop star and say what they would say..smile often and ask politely of course!

Planning:

  • Advance planning is crucial. Get ahead by checking restaurants online menus, then email them to explain your requirements in advance. This saves a lot of the hassle and the chef will hopefully have a written record of what your requirements are on the day.
  • Aim for restaurants that make lots of fresh salads and simple grilled meats and fish. Identify sides of greens or salad that you can have in advance and swap them in for other disallowed foods.
  • Look on Paleo and Coeliac websites in advance for ideas of 100% gluten-free restaurants.
  • Take your own food contribution to dinner parties if that is helpful. Make it yummy so others will want to share too to make you feel less excluded.
  • Take your own seasonings to restaurants and dinner invitations.
  • Email friends/family some recipes that you can eat if that seems appropriate.
  • Print out allowed/forbidden foods for the family.
  • If it is a work lunch, it may be easier to just take your own food as you may be time-limited.
eat out stress-free with a special diet

Staying on track with special diet:

  • Think about ways of saying ” no thanks” to offers of food that don’t offend the person offering and allow them to eat it happily in front of you. eg. That looks delicious, and I would love to eat it, but my diet doesn’t allow it. You go ahead, I am going to have a herbal tea, fruit salad, or whatever..”
  • Sometimes eating in advance of the event is helpful, nothing worse than going hungry!
  • Be appreciative of any extra effort made by others to accommodate your requests rather than apologising guiltily. There is nothing to be guilty about, you have a medical condition, take care of yourself.
  • Tip well in restaurants for the extra effort made.
  • Stay strong in your convictions and don’t be swayed by others saying ” Just a little won’t harm you!” You know it will!

So with great planning ahead, clear compassionate communication and an attitude of gratitude, eating out will be something you can enjoy thoroughly. We certainly deserve a break from the kitchen and missing out socially is not beneficial to our mental health. So I encourage you to do your research but to also to keep a sense of humour as the best-laid plans..and all that…

 

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf Click To Tweet

 

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Why is Asking for Help so Difficult?

Why is Asking for Help so Difficult?

Asking for help is something that can be surprisingly difficult. Sometimes people don’t have clear boundaries and find it hard to say no to requests when they want to or need to. If you are someone with poor boundaries, and limits, you may feel that others do too. You may presume that they will feel pressured to say yes to a request when in fact they may be fine with that. This can lead to an unwillingness to ask others.
Trusting that the other person has their boundaries in place makes it easier to ask. In this high-speed environment that we all reside in now it is common to be stressed and under pressure, and so it is unsurprising that we may not want to ask a favour from another person.
asking for help

What if we all asked for help when we needed it?

I find it hard to even imagine, but my vision is of a world where we would be a lot less overwhelmed as we are sharing our skills and energy, and playing to our strengths.
These days not many people in the UK have a network of a community to rely on. There are online groups and support networks, and those can be very helpful but they don’t help you pick up the kids when you are ill, or help you move a fridge freezer. We need supportive friends and community networks to help alleviate pressure and loneliness.
Over the years there have been hundreds of times when I could have done with some help. I have not found it easy to ask at all. My previous friendship group has fractured somewhat as people changed, moved away and had families. I don’t have regular contact with most of them and although I have been happy to make a few new good friends, some of them have chronic illnesses and others live further away. I feel like I am in a transition time of finding my new tribe and it is taking some time. I yearn for community and social contact but as many stay-at-home mothers are now finding, I can go for days on end without any other adult contact. It seems the advent of technology has isolated us more than ever.
People have unique personalities and quirks, and some people love doing what I hate to do, and vice versa. For example, someone who loves animals may be more than happy to pet sit for a week, someone who needs a change of scene or a retreat may jump at the chance of a housesit. Some people even love to clean and declutter or do accounts!! So I think if we could all get better at asking for help and use our online social networks to communicate with each other, then we could build more community support and enjoy reciprocal arrangements.
It is not always necessary to repay or swap either. If you think of times when you have helped someone (willingly) it feels good! Helping others brings feelings of generosity and kindness and that is an uplifting sensation.

So why can we find it so hard to ask for help?

I think that we are trained socially to believe that only children need help and once we are an adult, we are supposed to know what we are doing and be capable of it all. With the rise of mental health issues in younger age groups this needs to change. The stigma around seeking help when you have a mental health condition is still huge and the levels of suicide in young men particularly are shocking.

“Being first to ask for help in a friendship takes courage and humility.” Afton Rorvik Click To Tweet

The barriers to asking for help:

  • Pride
  • Not wanting to burden someone else
  • Fear of rejection or being ignored
  • Embarrassment
  • Fear of seeming incompetent or weak
  • Shyness
  • Fear of being judged or even labelled
  • Not wanting to feel indebted
  • Feeling vulnerable
  • Not knowing who to ask or where to go for support
  • Hoping the problem will go away by itself
Pride can be a big one for men in this culture, perhaps as men have been landed with this model of being a strong, tough bread-winner. Essentially though this is just a distortion of the ego energy that may well have been passed down through generations. This variety of pride is unhelpful and best dropped as it prevents authenticity and any movement towards gaining support.

The benefits of asking for help:

  • Less stress
  • Getting things done that wouldn’t be possible otherwise
  • New outlooks, possibilities and ideas.
  • Learning new techniques and tools
  • Lessening of overwhelm
  • Sharing problems
  • May lead to a helpful diagnosis
  • It allows the other person the gift of giving
  • Takes pressure off the family unit
  • Reducing loneliness
  • Making deeper friendships

Here’s how to do it!

 

  • Ask the other person at a time when they have space and time to listen
  • Ask someone who is likely to be willing to give freely, not someone with a history of manipulation or deal making.
  • Ask from a place of truth and integrity
  • Be clear and direct
  • Explain specifically what it is you need support with, it could be something as simple as having someone to listen to you.
  • Trust that the other person will say no if they choose to.
  • Remember if the other person says no, they are saying no to the task, not to you personally.
  • If they say yes, express gratitude!
You can access help from your GP, counsellors, or organisations and charities. In general, these can all be found easily online but the GP is the first option if you are unable to find this information.
If children don’t see parents asking for help then they don’t witness the modelling of that behaviour and they will be less likely to ask for help themselves when they move into young adulthood. Surely that is a time when they might need help, guidance and support the most.
I am going to try to put this advice I have come up with into practice this week. I am thinking that practice makes it easier.
Why don’t you give someone the gift of being able to help others this week, by asking clearly for some support? Go on, I dare you! What’s the worst that could happen?

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Food as a Mood Booster

Food as a Mood Booster

I think of local vegetables and fruit as being gifts from nature with the perfect constituents to keep us healthy. In my mind, the way we assimilate these beneficial substances from food is superior to taking a supplement and certainly a conventional medicine. With some careful planning and thought, we can introduce specific food as a mood booster into our diet to ensure that our minds and bodies are working in harmony and health.
Have you ever noticed that when you eat a lot of white bread or greasy chips, for example, you can end up feeling sluggish, bloated and grumpy?
Are you having severe mood swings due to the effects of caffeine and sugar?
 
Could you be deficient in essential minerals and vitamins due to eating a standard western diet that is not optimised for your well-being?
It is becoming more and more apparent that a diet rich in plant-based food is the most healthy for humans at this time. Avoiding processed food and as much sugar as possible is essential to promote health. We were just never meant to eat all those weird unpronounceable substances on the back of the majority of packaged food. Whether you then add in grass-fed meat and safe fish with your vegetables is your choice. However, if you are avoiding grains and pulses to reduce inflammation, then it will most likely be essential to add that protein back in.
I have been following the Autoimmune protocol diet for a couple of years and have enjoyed huge improvements in my health because of that. It is very restrictive and can be difficult in social situations but it is worth it to experience a transformation in your well-being.
Thankfully now there are huge online resources of information and recipes to make it easier. There are even Facebook groups and books written to guide you through the transition to the AIP diet. Essentially the Autoimmune Protocol Diet is the paleo diet with the removal of additional foods, such as nightshades, which are considered to be inflammatory. The aim is to heal a leaky gut membrane and then once that is improved, additional foods can be re-introduced in a careful manner. For more information on the AIP diet see my links page.
All the suggestions below, therefore, are in keeping with the AIP diet (with the exception of the nuts and seeds which could be an early reintroduction).

How can we use food as a mood booster?

One way is to add more protein, good fats, and complex carbohydrates into your diet to help to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
When your blood sugar levels drop, you can start to feel stressed and down. The beneficial fats and complex carbohydrates help to make hormones and neurotransmitters in the body that help make you feel better. Also, many people are deficient in essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium due to our depleted soils, so adding these in is also an instant mood booster.

1) Coconut oil

Coconut oil consists of medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fat which is turned into energy quickly and efficiently. This type of fat is easily used by the body so it doesn’t tend to be stored as fat deposits. It provides lasting energy and has a whole host of other benefits, such as being antibacterial, antifungal, boosting brain function and reducing cholesterol. Make sure you are buying a good quality organic extra-virgin coconut oil.

2) Bananas

There is hardly a day that goes by in the last few years that I don’t eat a banana. Bananas supply your body with lasting energy. They are rich in potassium and vitamins A, C and B6. The carbohydrates provide your body with a sustained release of energy and maintain blood sugar levels. The fibre helps fill you up and slow down digestion. The potassium assists with fluid movement in the body and consequently helps your muscles work efficiently. Also bananas help with the absorption of Tryptophan and the vitamin B6 is important in the conversion of the Tryptophan to Serotonin.  Serotonin decreases appetite and improves mood and heart health.

3) Raw nuts

Nuts are a fantastic source of long-lasting energy and protein. Almonds, cashews and hazelnuts are all high in magnesium and help convert sugar into energy. Brazil nuts have high levels of selenium which can improve mood and reduce anxiety. Avoid processed, smoked, highly sweetened or salted nuts. Go for the raw plain organic ones. You can always find a healthy recipe for a way to season them. Of course, some people can be highly allergic or intolerant to nuts, so if you are reintroducing them, do it with care and attention.

 

Food as a mood booster

 

4) Asparagus

Asparagus is a fantastic plant source of Tryptophan, one of the building blocks of Serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter in the brain. Asparagus is also high in folates which have been shown to be important in reducing depression.*

Food a sa mood booster

5) Avocados

Avocados are an incredibly versatile food that many just swear by for boosting health. I also eat these most days, whether in a smoothie, a delicious salad or a yummy cacao desert!!  Avocados are natural hormone balancers, and that is what you want to keep your brain happy and functioning well.

 6) Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds make a wonderful seasoning and contain tyrosine. Tyrosine is an amino acid which boosts the brain’s dopamine levels. Dopamine is the chemical that allows us to have feelings of bliss and pleasure. When it is deficient, the brain cannot send messages easily. This affects behaviour, mood and cognition adversely. I like Tahini as an alternative to hummus which is not allowed on the AIP diet. Recently I had black roasted sesame seeds for the first time on a delicious meal and I adored the smoky flavour. Black sesame seeds are also an excellent source of magnesium, calcium and vitamin B1, and so are beneficial in a multitude of ways.
 

 7) Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is a revitalising leafy vegetable that is packed with magnesium which is needed for over 300 different chemical processes in the body. To find out more about why Magnesium is beneficial for mood, read this great article in Psychology Today. It is delicious in vegetable broth or stir-fried with garlic and lemon juice. If you aren’t a leaf loving person, you can always stick it in a green smoothie.
Food as a mood booster

8) Foods rich in probiotics

Include water kefir/ kombucha/ raw sauerkraut in your diet for the beneficial effects on your gut microbiome. The number of probiotic cultures in these foods exceeds natural yoghurt by far.  A healthy microbiome can also help a person to stay calm and relaxed.
Food as a mood booster

What we eat and how we feel is obviously intimately interlinked. Also, food intolerance reactions can affect you days after ingestion. If you suspect that you have some food intolerances, I strongly suggest seeing a qualified nutritionist to get some help with your diet.

Food as a mood booster is an easy and wholesome way to increase vitality, positive outlook and energy.

Why not have a look at your diet and see if you can incorporate some of these mood-boosting foods daily.

J Affect Disord. 2000 Nov;60(2):121-30. Enhancement of the antidepressant action of fluoxetine by folic acid: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Coppen A1, Bailey J.

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What I Learnt this Week about my Personality Type

What I Learnt this Week about my Personality Type

So what kind of personality do you have?

 

In my last post (How well do you know your own personality?), I wrote about how I had fun with the online 16personalities test last year. Not only was it entertaining but it also helped me feel validated and encouraged as it was so accurate in its’ assessment. Today I want to elaborate on why it was really helpful and interesting to me when I retook the test this week (6 months after the first one).

What I learnt last year about my personality type:

 As a Mediator:
  • We seek harmony
  • We are flexible, open-minded and passionate.
  • Mediators are dedicated and hard-working.
  • Mediators are hopelessly romantic, poetic and kind-hearted.
  • Beware of withdrawing into hermit mode. (I definitely have a tendency to do that and stop contacting friends.)
  • Gift for languages. (Maybe I need to take up a language again, I certainly loved languages at school.)
  • Difficult to get to know. (It takes me ages to bond with people on the whole, apart from a special few who must be soul mates because as soon as I met them I felt like I had known them forever.)
personality type

Under the career section for my personality type it said this:

“It is perhaps more challenging for INFPs to find a satisfying career than any other type. Though intelligent, the regimented learning style of most schools makes long years earning an advanced degree a formidable undertaking for people with the INFP personality type – at the same time, that’s often what’s needed to advance in a field that rings true for them. INFPs often wish that they could just be, doing what they love without the stress and rigour of professional life.”
This rings so true for me, as I found professional life very stressful and overwhelming. It goes on to say that writing, if not a novel, then blogging is perfect for my personality type as well as service careers such as working as a holistic therapist.

Yay, I seem to be heading in the right direction..at last!

 

 

Personality Type

Here is the interesting bit:

Comparing results

When I took this test 6 months ago I wrote down the results and then pretty much forgot about it. When I came across the results again whilst looking through my old Bullet journal I thought I would write this post but also take the test again to see if the results were repeatable.
I like to be critical of data and stay grounded in science despite my more mystical side, and so I was curious about whether the results would be the same. I am aware that we change energetically from moment to moment and also that our moods might affect how we answer the questions.
In fact, I got very similar results to last time but came out as more introverted (74% – this feels more accurate). The other results were very much similar to before but one variable had changed by 3%. This meant that I now was 55% Judging ( I had been 49% before) and interestingly this made me now a INFJ-T.

That small change had made me a different personality type!

I am now an Advocate!

Now, I hear you cry, that it is all a load of rubbish as I got a different result the second time. The way I see it is that the change from INFP-T to a INFJ-T is a subtle one. Only one variable has changed and only by a few percent, but that has been enough to put me in a different category.
Advocates only make up 1% of the population. It is interesting as the personality type is very similar to the mediator but is more decisive and organised. Over the last 6 months, I have been focused very much on getting more organised and planning with my bullet journal system both for my blog and my personal life. So it is fascinating to me that this effort on my part has produced a shift in my results. 

 personality type

Neuroplasticity

Scientists tell us about plasticity in the brain. Neuroplasticity is where experiences, behaviour and neural changes can reorganise new circuits in the brain. I find this an exciting prospect. This means we have some control over who we are and how we function and cope with life.
Barbara Arrowsmith is an amazing example of what brain training can achieve. Since her childhood, she suffered from several severe mental disabilities. She did not allow that to stop her. She had an inspiring inventor father who told her that if there was no solution yet for a problem, then you had to find it yourself. She invented her own method to rewire her brain and make the healthy parts of her brain perform the functionality that the damaged ones could not do. Her inspiring TED talk is here if you would like to hear more about her journey and neuroplasticity.

 

All in all, I don’t mind whether I am categorised as a Mediator or and Advocate as they both ring true for me. However, as I have essentially ended up being an Advocate for people with Rheumatoid Disease, then that is perhaps what I have become! Also, advocates are apparently suited to writing and also art and music.

So I am still on the right lines ..yay again!   

 

Personality type

 

So, in the context of mental health, I am thinking that this 16personalities test could be very helpful for people with mild mental health issues. (Of course, if you have a more serious mental health condition this is probably not going to be right for you, and it is advisable to see a professional for help.)

For example, if you are experiencing slight anxiety or depression, then perhaps by knowing your personality type you may be able to make adjustments to your lifestyle, work or social life that could be more beneficial to you.

Also, an understanding of your personality weak and strong points may help by giving an insight into how you deal with life and provide you with some tools and pointers to help along the way. Encouraging your nearest and dearest to also take the test could help you to relate and understand one another better.

Sometimes other people’s behaviour can be baffling and seem insensitive, but if we can see that they are actually running on a different operating system, (their personality type), then perhaps we can be more accepting of their behaviour and differences.

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Why not take the test?

Comment below on whether you found the test helpful and accurate.

www.16personalities.com

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