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Modern therapies Several popular therapies have evolved to help us overcome negative thinking and learn to deal with stress. One of these is Neuro- Linguistic Programming, which is done with the help of a trained practitioner. NLP is based on the premise that if we change how we think we can simply change what we think. We are all constantly running programmes in our heads – programmes that determine our views, attitudes and behaviour. However, these are not always positive and can be out of date. NLP enables us to re- programme our minds and overcome the thought patterns and behaviour holding us back. It can also help us to understand the behaviour patterns and views of others by standing in their shoes and getting a different perspective. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an increasingly popular form of ' talking therapy', sometimes available through a doctor. It works with negative thoughts to help people overcome depression or anxiety. It can also be helpful for those without a recognised ' condition' – by talking through concerns or anxieties in a supportive, non- judgemental environment, we can learn ways to overcome fears and manage stress. October - December 2008 lime 69 yCourses on yoga and meditation for all levels at this well- known Bahamas centre – see www. sivanandabahamas. org ywww. yoga- abode. com – online magazine with articles on yoga and meditation. y For tips on wellbeing and living with more energy see www. livewithenergy. com a link between emotions, thought and health. She explains: " Our self- esteem is made of our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and our abilities. It's about seeing opportunities instead of problems, good features and positive qualities instead of your not- so- wonderful points. Remember to take account of your successes and achievements and see how far you've come in your life." Positive affirmations can be a powerful reminder of this. It could be as simple as reminding yourself of how your thoughts are influencing your moods, and whether they are helping you to move forward. If they are not, that is a sign that your thinking patterns could be improved. EXERCISE & TIME OUTDOORS As we have evolved as a human race, our time spent outside has diminished. Spending time outside, preferably in an uncrowded place such as a beach ( and we're blessed with an abundance of these here in the Caribbean!), where there's plenty of unspoilt nature, is invaluable to our wellbeing. It helps us regain perspective and boosts our mood. Outside time can be especially beneficial when combined with physical exercise: brisk walking, cycling or swimming are natural mood-boosters, providing distraction and focus. Exercise is a natural mood- booster, and helps us to relax. A study at Concordia University in Montreal found that almost all the participants reported improvement in mood after exercising. Those who felt the worst prior to exercising reported the greatest improvements. Even moderately- paced walking can make a difference when done regularly; it is not necessary to run ten miles, or be very fit. Finding time to spend half an hour outside, paying mindful attention to your surroundings, is a simple, and effective tonic to everyday stress. RESOURCES

TECHNOLOGY 70 lime October - December 2008 hotIN