DIY Emotional First Aid - EFT - Interviewing Karin Davidson

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Once, on an anxious visit to my shrink, I was trying to explain the source of my distress and was so near breaking down that I began to employ tapping…part of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).  He obviously had not heard of this and looked at me as though I had gone mad and said, “Stop that tapping, it’s annoying, I can’t concentrate!”  EFT is an alternative or complementary technique being used worldwide, but not yet embraced by the medical mainstream, so I was not surprised.

EFT a newer, self-administered “emotional first aid,” employs tapping on acupressure points or meridians on the head, hands and body while one verbally forges new cognitive paths.  

It can potentially help people with issues such as
- Trauma
- Abuse
- Panic attacks
- Anxiety

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World Mental Health Day 2012

Today (10th October) is World Mental Health Day. This year the focus of World Mental Health Day is depression.

Depression is a condition that affects day-to-day life. It is more than feeling a bit low, or reacting to negative circumstances, it is not a weakness, a personality trait, or a choice of any sort, it is an illness.

This little video, released in time for WMHD, by the World Health Organisation and the incredibly talented author Matthew Johnstone, depicts the condition very well. Please do take a look and share:

- Mentalhealthy.co.uk

"Medication can help some, and others might need a different approach altogether…

Keep a mood journal; getting your thoughts on paper can be cathartic and often insightful. Also keep track of the things that you have been grateful for.

The most important thing to remember is that no matter how bad it gets, if you take the right steps, talk to the right people, black dog days can and will pass.” - Matthew Johnstone

If you would like to try keeping a mood journal but don’t know where to start, visit our site MoodPanda.com, which is an online website and iPhone App that lets you do exactly that, with a support community around it to help pick you up when the black dog visits.

Read more about World Mental Health Day 2012 at MentalHealthy

Posted by Jake, Co-Founder of MoodPanda.com

We want to hear from you :-)

Hello to all of you: our community of Moody Pandas

We’ve spoken to each other, supported each other, commented on each others mood posts, shared hundreds of thousands of hugs with each other and MoodPanda has grown into an amazing community to be a part of. And this is thanks to all of you. You are what makes it amazing.

And that is why we want to hear from you.

We want to know how MoodPanda has affected you, if it’s made any difference to your life and if there is anything you have learnt or felt through using it. How and why did you find MoodPanda? Have you felt an improvement? Has it given you some realisations about yourself? Or have you just found it fun?

We want your story :-)

If you would like to share your story, you can email us chiefpanda@moodpanda.com, you can message us here on Tumblr, you can blog about it and tweet us the link, you can contact us via Facebook

Whatever works for you, we would just love to hear about it. It can all be anonymous if you wish

Thank you!

Jake

Posted by Jake, Co-Founder of MoodPanda.com

First thing to say is that I love your app. I showed it to my flatmate and she was moved to tears.

It’s such a great thing you’ve created and I thank you for believing that your idea would be helpful to people and seeing it through.

Well this is lovely to read! Matt T sent us this email, which has made our day :-)

Thanks Matt

Posted by Jake, Co-Founder of MoodPanda.com

MoodPanda: The Antidote to Facebook?

Facebook Makes Us All Sad Because Everyone Is Happy But Us

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This headline was posted recently, at Psychology Today, and it really struck a chord with me.

Elana, from PT posted a fascinating article discussing the above headline, investigating the effect that other people’s Facebook updates and photos  has on our happiness. It appears that the idealised view of our life that we choose to post on Facebook can actually make our friends feel bad about how their life is, in comparison.

I read into it some more, and found some really interesting material about it.
Switched.com describes a study into the Facebook effect:

“The January issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin includes a study by a PhD student at Stanford who investigated a two-fold phenomenon. First of all, we hand-pick our Facebook statuses and pictures to make us into the best versions of ourselves… Second, looking at the similarly idealized spread of our friends’ lives can make us depressed, simply because we tend to think that everyone is more happy than us…”

 Your Facebook profile is your identity online, and it is a selectively edited identity. It’s essentially a showcase of your life, and most people don’t want it blemished with unhappiness. Most people are very reluctant to share their more negative thoughts and feelings on Facebook. It is for this reason that when scrolling through a friend’s Timeline you could be given the false impression that your life is inferior to theirs - they are always happy and having a great time - they never feel bad. Unlike you.


As Elana goes on to describe:

“I’ve noticed that I don’t usually post a status update when I have a bad day or a negative experience, or when I can’t spin my everyday existence into something a bit humorous. I’ve created a narrative that is untrue - so much so that when catching up with an old friend in person and sharing some of the less happy moments, she said, “I had no idea. You life looks so great on Facebook.””

And this is why this whole topic struck a chord with me. When Ross and I built MoodPanda we wanted to create a place for people to rate how their day had been, and how happy they are really feeling. MoodPanda isn’t a CV, or a showpiece to put your life up in lights, it’s more honest than that.

We are actively encouraging people to analyse and criticize their happiness, and be open with how they are truly feeling. On MoodPanda there is no pressure to edit your life. There is no need for you to keep up a pretense of happiness. Obviously some of our users don’t want their friends seeing how they feel, but do want to share how they’re feeling with someone, and that’s where our community fits in perfectly. A lot of our users report actually being happier now they have found MoodPanda for these reasons.

It’s clear that sharing your personal feelings can be a massive step in being happier about your life (even anonymously), but we’re also wondering if being able to see how a wider community is really feeling, unedited, could actually have an even more healing effect on our own happiness. Does seeing other people’s honest posts about their own happiness (and unhappiness) give us some perspective and reassurance? Is the grass really as green on the other side as Facebook would have you believe, or are your negative thoughts and crappy days actually entirely normal?

So. Could MoodPanda be the antidote to Facebook? Well obviously the two sites are different in their nature, and some of the attraction of Facebook is the shiny happiness you portray, but I hope that everyone could benefit from being part of a community where not everyone is always a smiling face; where you can say how you are really feeling,  and share your life unedited.

In summary MoodPanda is a place where you can let go of the struggle to appear as happy as everyone else seems to on Facebook. Because life is not always shiny.

Posted by Jake, Co-Founder of MoodPanda.com

 Image courtesy http://www.emzsquare.com/

Guest Blog Post - Chloë B’s First Year on MoodPanda

Earlier this week, one of MoodPanda’s users, Chloë B, completed a full year of mood posts, updating her mood every single day for a year!

As she was the first of our Moody Pandas to achieve this, we thought it would be cool to hear about her experience of MoodPanda for the first year! 

A Year of MoodPanda - By Chloë B

As a self-confessed technophile constantly looking out for cool websites, and as a data-loving science student, I have to admit that I was immediately intrigued when I first stumbled across MoodPanda a year ago.  

The idea of tracking my mood and being able to see how it varied over time was appealing — would the days we all have which are “just one of those days” or where you “get out of bed on the wrong side” show up?  Is it true that I “always seem to be smiling”, as some of my friends like to say?


I signed up straight away, and began rating my happiness level between 0 and 10, sometimes just once in a day and sometimes several times. As the weeks went by and more users joined, new features were introduced, including the ability to comment on other people’s mood ratings they’ve chosen to make public.

Combined with the option to send a ‘hug’ to others on the site, I love the way that this gives a sense of community to MoodPanda — there are some names of MoodPanda regulars like me I’ve come to recognise, and it is always nice to see them feeling happy or to post a quick message if they’re feeling sad. And while it might seem surprising, a ‘panda hug’ from someone you have never met can start to shake off a bad mood, just because you know someone else wants to help make you feel better!


Also fun is looking back at the reasons given for particular mood ratings — some recently reported research suggested that coffee may prevent depression  and given that quite a few of my positive mood scores carry the label ‘coffee!’ it looks as though I might have further evidence for that :-)


The calendar page, showing each day of the year as a different colour based on the moods logged for that day, is a nice record of what was going on in my life to make me feel that way.

I can see the elation of finally passing my driving test in January (a solid 10 on the mood scale), the stress of university exams (two weeks of red in June) and a very happy summer (July and August are an expanse of green).  And yes, the “wrong side of bed” days do indeed stand out as negative islands of low mood in the generally positive sea that my friends mention.

I have found the past year using MoodPanda to be a lot of fun and very interesting, and I look forward to another year of the same!  A big thanks to Jake G and Ross L for all their hard work on the site… it’s definitely made me a very happy panda!

- View Chloë B’s Mood Panda

(Tell me why) We don’t like Wednesdays!

(Tell me why) We don’t like Wednesdays!
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Bob Geldof once sang that he doesn’t like Mondays. Apparently this sentiment is not as common as you’d think.

Research from MoodPanda.com, a Bristol based startup, has shown that Wednesday is the unhappiest day of the week, with Monday rating as fairly average overall. As most people would probably expect, the weekend is when we are at our happiest (Saturday especially), and in general it would seem that females rate their happiness lower than males do.

The reasons for unhappiness on Wednesdays could be varied, but one theory is that it is the mid point of the working and school week, the furthest day from a weekend, and therefore the hardest day to get through. So if you find yourself feeling the mid-week slump, be rest assured that you are not alone! The users of MoodPanda.com are right there with you!

Have you ever considered keeping a record of how you’ve spent your day, and seeing how your happiness has changed over time? It can be fascinating, and is so easy to do online.

MoodPanda.com, a micro-mood-blog website and free iPhone app have been allowing thousands of people to track their happiness for over 18 months. Users of the free service can track their personal happiness, share problems with (and support) others who are feeling sad, and make friends along the way.

By posting micro-mood-blog updates, you can build your personal mood diary, with graphs of your happiness, a mood calendar, and lots of other features, letting you look back on what you’ve been doing, and how you were feeling over time.

Focussing on happiness is one step towards living a happier life, and MoodPanda.com can help you do this.

A recent email received from one of MoodPanda’s users: “Your service is greatly appreciated. Being able to track my mood has given me insights into my own psychology that ultimately have led-to an improvement in my quality of life” - Daniel P

MoodPanda.com has full privacy settings built in, allowing you to keep your mood posts private. But for those of us who love to share how we’re feeling, you can also post your mood updates to Facebook and Twitter! Imagine having a mood calendar of all your Facebook updates!

You can join in right now, at www.moodpanda.com, or download the free iPhone app from iTunes.

Have a happy day!
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