Do you agree with this statement about happiness?

A happy life isn’t a problem free or perfect life. It might not even be a particularly good life by western standards. A happy life is simply one where all parts of it are accepted and no pretence has to be made in order for the person to experience mental tranquility. This sentence is in…

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…

Can a heavy drinker become a moderate drinker?

After completing 107 days alcohol free, I was feeling pretty confident. Then the Easter weekend happened. Friday involved a barbecue where I had 3 small glasses of Prosecco – but I was on alert the entire time about how much I was drinking and how much others were drinking. The following night, I had two friends…

Should I quit drinking permanently?

Yesterday I drank alcohol for the first time since completing 100 days without it. On day 100, I was torn between remaining alcohol-free and seeking to drink in moderation. By day 103, I had decided I’d go for moderation and set these rules for myself (admittedly, unwritten rules until right now): No drinking alone No…