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Helping you come out of this stronger The past few months in lockdown have been challenging. Many people have suffered disappointments, losses, worries and stress, both in their personal and working lives. Isolation from our friends and support networks has also intensified everyday social and mental health problems – such as anxiety, fears, and relationship …

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Why you shouldn’t believe everything you think

A client I once worked with said that they believed everything they thought – especially the thoughts about being worthless, fat and ugly… Believing those thoughts destroyed their confidence. That led to thoughts about needing alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate and crisps… Believing those thoughts destroyed their body. So not all thoughts are helpful (or healthy)… And …

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It’s freezing… are you happy yet?

I don’t know about you, but it’s been flipping cold outside the last few days. It’s ok though… because according to research published by Osaka University in 2011, people feel happiest when the temperature is 13.9°C. I kid you not. Closer to home, when the University of Sussex got 22,000 people to log their emotional …

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Keeping children fearless

I love how young children make up words. For example, the other day, I asked my youngest how his day at school went. His answer was: “very well-ly, thank you” When it comes to language, children are fearless. They are so focussed on the ideas that they want to express that the correctness of the …

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10 ways to look after yourself

Today is World Mental Health Day, and this year the theme is psychological first aid. So here are 10 practical ways to look after your mental health from the Mental Health Foundation: 1. Talk about your feelings2. Exercise3. Eat well4. Drink sensibly5. Keep in touch with loved ones6. Ask for help7. Take a break8. Do …

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Wherefore art thou, anxiety?

Hands up if you’ve used one of these words or phrases in the last week: • Bedroom• Gossip• Negotiate• Worthless• Undress• Fashionable• Amazement• Excitement• Method in the madness• One fell swoop• Seen better days• The world’s my oyster• Foregone conclusion• Eaten out of house and home Did you know that they were all invented by Shakespeare? Apparently, there are over 1,700 words and phrases …

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Why people get stuck

You’ve most likely heard of the “Fight or Flight” response. It’s our body’s primary reaction to stress or anxiety, and it gets us ready to fight or run away when we think we are in danger. But fight and flight have a cousin called, “Freeze”. Freeze leaves us “frozen with fear”, unable to move or …

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It’s the environment, stoopid

The last couple of weeks, we’ve been visiting secondary schools with our eldest. Saturday we visited a school and hated it. The open day was packed. The teachers and students seemed disinterested. The school buildings looked tired and depressing. And top it off, it was raining cats and dogs. Compared with some of the other …

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Start Stoptober by binge drinking

It’s Day 4 of Stoptober – the 28-Day National Stop Smoking Challenge‎. Which means that non-smokers everywhere are currently tiptoeing around moody friends and relatives who would rip their heads off for the mere whiff of a cigarette. If you are one of those lucky people, then here’s what you can do to help… Encourage …

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You Wanna Take It Outside?

Stress has a funny way of creeping up on you. Last night, for example, we were at a school open evening with our eldest. It was jam packed. We queued to get into the car park. We queued to get into the school. We queued to get into the hall for the headteacher’s talk. And …

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Money vs Motivation

Recently, someone asked me if I could help their twentysomething son. They were desperate, as his life was being absolutely crippled by low self-esteem and anxiety. But when it came to the crunch, they didn’t go ahead because of cost. Now it’s true that, as a specialist, I’m not cheap. But I’m not that expensive …

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The Two Words That Create Anxiety

Our eldest will be going up to secondary school next year, so the last few evenings have been taken up juggling all the school open days in the diary. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s really stressful. Not the diary juggling part. That’s easy. It’s dealing with responsibility of it all that’s hard. I …

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I’m Fine (and Other Lies)

No time to hang around today, so I’ll jump right into today’s tip. You know how adults will often say they are “fine” when clearly they are not? Well, I’ve noticed that children do a similar thing when they are worried. But instead of saying they are “fine”, they often say they are “bored”. Being …

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White Tiger Anxiety

We watched a TV show last night about magic tricks that went horribly wrong. Some were unlucky accidents, like the gun malfunction that killed American magician, Chung Ling Soo during his bullet catch trick. Some were just plain stooopid, like the guy who failed to escape his handcuffs and was dragged behind a speeding race …

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How To Avoid Screwing Up Your Kids

Our youngest son loves singing along to music, and is amazing at naming the song and artist as soon as a tune comes on the radio. But just like most young children, he’s not so great when it comes to the lyrics. The other day, for example, whilst listening to a Rick Astley classic in …

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Dealing With Life’s Potholes

The council arrived outside our house this morning to start fixing up all the potholes. They have to do it every year, because the water seeps into the joins and ridges between the patches and freezes, cracking the tarmac. So by the time winter ends, the potholes have re-appeared. I sometimes think that if they …

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50 Shades Of Subway

We went for a family dinner at our local “Subway” the other week. A rather unusual choice for dinner, I agree. But we were driving home from a day out and I made the mistake of asking the children what they wanted to snack on… just as we were passing by. So we went along …

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7 Life Lessons From Bad Moms

I went to the cinema the other week with some girlfriends to see “Bad Moms”. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything more than some light hearted entertainment and a few cringing nods of sympathy from all of us mothers in the audience. But, to my surprise, it was not only funnier than I imagined, …

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The Richard Branson secret to moving forward

Committing to change can be a scary thing, even if it’s something you really want. This last weekend, for example, I signed the lease agreement for my shiny new office in Waterman House. It’s a lovely office space. Bright, clean, comfortable, air conditioned, with a manned reception and everything. And after months of being without …

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