How sharing your darkest thoughts can help others

Are there things you really dislike about yourself – things you try hard not to think about if you can avoid them? Me too. Yet, today I had lunch with a friend – a fellow trainer who specialises in Mental Health First Aid courses. She and I talked about work, love, parenting and a whole…

Perseverance: Lessons from the Trauma lake

Although I’ve used trauma in the title, this post is not about trauma or surviving trauma. It’s about the lessons I took from a concept I discovered whilst researching the effects of trauma on children. What I found led me to consider the ways we can shape and shift perspective when we’re making herculean efforts…

How I broke the link between bad days and alcohol

7.26pm. A packed commuter train. I left home almost 14 hours ago. I’m sweating. My trousers have ripped. It’s been a hard day. I’m shattered and I’m going to miss my kids’ bedtimes. This was the scene as I travelled home from work earlier this week. I felt broken. That was until it hit me…

Are we comfortable or are we stuck?

I used to use mottos like this one. After all, what’s the point if you can’t enjoy a glass of wine and a piece of cake, right? The trouble is, for me, those things cost me far more happiness than they ever brought. I wanted to enjoy them but they were a source of anxiety…

Day 76: Socialising is much more difficult

I thought I had nailed the whole alcohol-free, sugar-free thing. Well, maybe not the sugar-free thing. I am not enjoying that at all! Today proved me wrong. The way I feel right now, I’m wondering whether the only thing that’s making this easy is my lack of social life. We had a wonderful afternoon with…

How to think positively when you don’t feel positive (Podcast)

We know there is benefit in positive thinking but what if you’re just not up to it right now? Are you doomed to a life of dissatisfaction and discontent? No. But negative thinking pretty much guarantees it. This post is about shaping your thinking to be ‘productive’, rather than labelling it as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’….

Day 72: The joy of things

Last night, I watched “The Joy of Tidying Up” on Netflix. Oh. My. Goodness. What an inspiration! I couldn’t sleep as the lessons from the show bounced around in my head. It wasn’t until this morning that my understanding of what I had learned fell into place. The show sees Marie Kondo working with a…

Day 70: Honour the Struggle

The US Special Forces say, “Embrace the Suck.” Bredon Burchard calls it honouring the struggle. Either way, the point is simple. You don’t get anywhere good without going through something uncomfortable – or downright awful – first. Of course, there is no comparison between what I am doing and what the US Special Forces go…

Day 66: If it’s true for kids, it’s true for us

On Tuesday, a friend was visiting. During the conversation, she said, “I think what you’ve done is amazing. You’ve taken on children with problems,” People say this kind of thing to me quite a lot. It winds me up but that’s beside the point. Until then, I had forgotten something really important about how this…

The ‘seasons’ of happiness (Podcast)

Summer, autumn, winter, spring. They are finite and marked by predictable changes. One of the things I’ve noticed as I’ve delved deeper into the world of happiness and what creates it is that many people think it’s about a ‘year-round summer’. Thinking this way creates massive pressure to keep the good times – the summers…