June 23, 2020

I want to start today’s post with a clarification. I’ve often noticed that spirituality is confused with religion, so I want to spend a moment explaining the distinction between the two. Religion leans on group-endorsed organised means and methods and often prescribes specific practices within that particular group. Spirituality, on the other hand does not prescribe any rules, means or methods for achieving meaning or transcendence. As an academic and researcher in the field of positive psychology, I lean towards the science so I will use this definition of psychology and spirituality - “psychology represents the grounding effect in which the mind is used for thinking, rationalising and understanding life, while spirituality transcends rational though and evolves over one’s lifetime” (Prof. Itai Ivtzan- Awareness is Freedom). Whilst religious beliefs are also shown to increase amongst trauma survivors, my post today on spiritual and existential change is based on the scientific and emp...

April 21, 2020

As I write this piece, we are in Week 5 of the lockdown in the U.K. with absolutely no clue as to when things will ease. Will life get back to normal in another 3 weeks or will it be 3 months? And what really is normal anymore? We all have too many questions and no answers to any. One of the things that have kept me grounded during this lockdown is the ability to continue my coaching work. And as I reflected yesterday after a session I was so struck by just how priorities have shifted across all my clients - a complete re-alignment of goals. Just in the past 4 weeks, goals have moved to include health, emotions, relationships and the most important one – managing physical and emotional space.

So, today I want to focus on this common theme that comes up in my sessions – boundaries. If we are to be home almost 24/7 with all members of our family, how can we set up a viable space when there currently is no start/stop between work/home/school? If home was a space to come back to, then what...

April 6, 2020

There’s no doubt that these are unprecedented times and so many of us are feeling incredibly overwhelmed by situations out of our control. I read on CNN the other day that a quarter of the world’s population is in some form of a lockdown and as I write this, there seems to be no end in sight to our collective crisis. We have so many questions and no answers to any. When will the lockdown end? Am I at risk of getting Covid-19? Will my family be safe? Will the economy recover? Will my business shut down? When will schools reopen? Like most of you, I don’t have answers to any of these questions. So how can we find some calm in these chaotic times?

Focus on what you have control over. Although we can’t control a lot of what’s going we still can take charge of a few things. For instance, setting a routine to follow at least on weekdays can be productive. Personally, I’ve found this really useful. For a good 6 hours of my day I work like nothing has changed. My medium has no doubt shifted to...

June 12, 2019

My academic paper submitted as part of Module 1 for my MSc. Programme in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology. (Appendices not published). Copyright: Poornima Nair. Please do not replicate.

Introduction:

My first positive psychology intervention (PPI) was Mindfulness-based meditation, part of an 8-week Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programme (Kabat-Zinn, 2003) with an MBSR trained instructor in 2015. I was introduced to instruction-led mindfulness meditation and gentle movement meditations. After completing the programme, I continued to practice mindfulness meditation five times a week, and I have since found an increased sense of wellbeing (Brown & Ryan, 2003). In the same year, I included the PPI of exercise into my regime, a structured programme that includes a combination of running and strength training five times a week. This has improved my mental and physical fitness, enhanced my psychological and general wellbeing and boosted my body image, self-esteem...

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