I am sitting in a circle in a grey, corporate room with 10 housing association employees – administrators, security guards, cleaners – eyes darting about nervously. We are asked to eat a sandwich in silence. To think about every taste and texture, every chewing motion and bite. Far from being relaxed, I feel excruciatingly uncomfortable and begin to wonder if my jaw is malfunctioning. I’m here to write about a new mindfulness initiative, and since I’ve never to my knowledge had any mental health issues and usually thrive under stress, I anticipate a straightforward, if awkward, experience. Then comes the meditation. We’re told to close our eyes and think about our bodies in relation to the chair, the floor, the room: how each limb touches the arms, the back, the legs of the seat, while breathing slowly. But there’s one small catch: I can’t breathe. No matter how fast, slow, deep or shallow my breaths are, it feels as though my lungs are sealed. … [Read more...] about Is mindfulness making us ill?
Money makes people happy
More than half of unemployed young people feel anxious about everyday life situations with many claiming to avoid meeting new people, according to a report on wellbeing among youths. Nearly six out of 10 unemployed young people polled said anxiety had stopped them from sleeping well, over half said feeling anxious stopped them from asking for help while 41% said it stopped them from leaving the house, according to a survey of 2,265 16 to 25-year-olds published in a new report by youth charity the Prince’s Trust. Martina Milburn, the chief executive of the Prince’s Trust, said: “Thousands of young people feel like prisoners in their own homes. “Without the right support, these young people become socially isolated - struggling with day-to-day life and slipping further and further from the jobs market.” While 20% of young people polled agreed to the statement that they were “falling apart” emotionally on a regular basis, the figure increases to … [Read more...] about More than half unemployed young people anxious about life – report
A lot of the discussion about Labour’s promise to provide free fibreoptic broadband for all has revolved around economics, speculative polling and even “communism”. But it has not addressed what life without easy internet access is actually like for people across the country. I’m 26 now, and we didn’t have the internet at home when I was a teenager. Internet access is generally bad in rural communities, but I lived in Belfast: it was just one utility bill too many. In fact, it’s still fairly common for people not to have it because of the cost – according to 2017 figures from Ofcom, only 47% of those on low incomes have broadband internet at home. So when I saw the policy announcement, my first thought was how much easier free internet would have made my school work and university applications. Even 10 years ago, when the internet was less ubiquitous than it is now, the teachers at school assumed that everyone could access it. One of the … [Read more...] about For people on low incomes, free internet access would be life-changing
For the past 40 years, Denmark has regularly topped international happiness surveys, most recently in October 2013's World Happiness Report from the Earth Institute at New York's Columbia University. But these surveys tend to be more about life satisfaction – so-called "eudaimonic" happiness – than the heel-kicking joie de vivre that someone on a weekend break might be looking for. So, how can you access that happiness as a visitor? I decided to find out by asking Copenhageners what it is about their city that makes them happy, along with what might surprise visitors and what the Danes are really like when no one is looking. Christian Puglisi,Head chef and owner, restaurant Relæ Copenhageners are really opening up. Culturally Danes are not as restrained as other Scandinavian countries and you see that in the gastronomy here. I have a great local Thai place, Ranee's, or if I want sushi I'll go to Selfish near where I live, or for drinks, … [Read more...] about Copenhagen: the happy capital
A 3pm inspection on Friday at Cheltenham to determine if Saturday’s action can take place didn’t assist an “absolute latest” 4pm deadline, but thankfully Prestbury Park has received the green light and Siruh Du Luc (5/1) can scoop the feature BetVictor Gold Cup (2.25pm). Now cynical readers might well scoff as the selection is a 5-1 joint favourite, but Paddy Power ambassador Lizzie Kelly’s mount heads the market for a reason and a 5-1 winner will make most people happy. The selection, who some shrewdies have obtained double the current odds about, gained a heroic Festival victory over course and distance in the Brown Advisory Plate in March and has won six of his last seven outings. He’s gone up 9lb in the handicap as a result, but any extra weight is compensated as he seems to adore the track having also won there in January and the bog like ground is not a concern as he seems to love a slog having scored on soft ground on three occasions. … [Read more...] about Cheltenham Saturday horse racing tips: 5/1 favourite among expert’s picks to win you money