Here is an interesting TED talk about the importance of sleep.
“Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep -- and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don't, for both your brain and body.”
Note - you can’t ‘catch up’ on sleep, there is no sleep debt.
Tips for better sleep at about 14:30
restrict caffeine use
keep a routine (as I mention elsewhere, the most important part is to wake up at the same time every day, including weekends)
if you’re in bed for a while and can’t get to sleep, get up and go somewhere else and do something relaxing, then return to bed
keep it cool - around 18 degrees celsius
Dan Harris has a book out called 10% Happier and meditation app that are worth checking out. He had a panic attack while presenting the news and tells the story of his meditation journey in the video below. No airy fairy language, straight to the point, and a nice introduction to key meditation concepts.
It's all very well using certain techniques to improve well-being - mindfulness is a good example. Sure it can feel good to practice mindfulness. What's the purpose of doing so? The linked article reminds us that doing things just to feel good isn't necessarily worth pursuing. Doing certain things just to feel good can cause more problems than we had to begin with. Anything can be done under the banner of 'so I can feel good' or 'so I feel better' or 'so I can be happy'. All sorts of personally destructive actions can be justified under these banners.
One question is, how well do these actions work in the long term? Do they really get you to where you want to be in life, doing the things you want to do?
With techniques like mindfulness, they become useful and 'work' when we use them for a particular purpose and when we stay responsive to the current environment. Mindfulness helps us get present so we can clarify what is important in that moment, in that situation, and then do something thats actually worthwhile and helps us in the long run. It's all to easy to become embroiled in thinking that leads us to become stuck - we think hard about something that happened or will happen without following through on useful actions.
Focussing on actions that work for you, in the long run, in response to your current environment/circumstances might just be the most useful thing you can do. Sure, there are 'techniques' that can help you along the way - it depends how you use them and when you put them into practice.
This is a really interesting and useful video about one thing you can do to improve your health and well-being. At the start of the video, the narrator runs through what this 'thing' can help with, and I knew the answer quite quickly without knowing anything about the content. Thats not because I'm super smart - it's because I researched this topic and did a small study for my Masters degree many years ago. It's something I often talk about in my work, and something I do myself. This 'thing' is something that pretty much anyone has access to depending on your situation and the benefits are widespread.
Learn what this 'thing' is here: the single best thing you can do for your health
Russ Harris (author of the Happiness Trap and many other books) is a great presenter and top bloke to boot. He's running an educational workshop for the public in August this year. Find the details at: http://www.thehappinesstrap.com/happiness_trap_workshops
Nice short film on empathy based on Dr Brene Brown's TED talk:
Sage advice in this video....
6 Ways To Make Sure You Don't Hate Your Life And Actually Enjoy It And Stuff
Check out this video from Soulpancake on Youtube on a gratitude experiment.
Interesting article from the Harvard Business Review on procrastination:
LInk to a blog post by Adam Grant: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/give-and-take/201305/does-trying-be-happy-make-us-unhappy
Here is an interesting blog post on worrying.
Just note that there is no true anti-anxiety medication - they are just muscle relaxants and too easily to become reliant on as well. Many people seek treatment to come off that medication after getting 'hooked' on it. Thats how the Betty Ford clinic started.