How to understand and overcome depression

Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness – maybe you have been depressed or know someone who has – and can be mild, moderate or severe. It is associated with various symptoms, such as negative thoughts, emptiness, irritability, and suicidal thoughts and actions in extreme cases. While there are different types of depression, the most common form is ‘reactive depression’, where someone experiences depression due to adverse and challenging life events such as divorce or redundancy. In this blog, I offer six different perspectives on reactive depression so you can better understand and overcome it.

Negative thinking and how to overcome it

Negative thinking refers to patterns of thinking negatively about who we are, what we do and the life we lead. Some negative thinking is normal and, as we shall see, helpful, but when it dominates, when the thoughts come thick and fast, it can often indicate an underlying mental health condition. This blog will offer you some ideas, perspectives and approaches to thinking about and overcoming ‘negative thinking’.

Self-care: 7 ways to practise it positively

As the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing becomes recognised more widely, so are the ways we can achieve it. One way is through self-care, a concept that has become both popular and significant. Self-care is an individual, conscious commitment to think, behave, feel and relate in ways that support our mental health and wellbeing. It is both intrapersonal, i.e. mental activity and interpersonal, i.e. relating to and involving other people. Self-care is more than just a spa day but a lifelong commitment, and in this post, I share seven ways you can practise it.

4 steps to a healthier lifestyle

Research statistics continue to show that many people in the UK have unhealthy lifestyles despite the government and other organisations spending vast sums on health promotion. What does this tell us? It tells us what we already know: that human beings are very susceptible to unhealthy lifestyles for many well-known reasons:

– A lack of awareness
– A lack of motivation
– A lack knowledge
– Stressful lives
And yet, many people ARE successfully achieving a healthier lifestyle. How they achieve this is the subject of this post.

Understanding emotions: solving the mystery

Often what motivates clients to contact a coach or therapist is that they cannot understand – make sense of – why things are as they are. They might know they are stuck or in difficulty, but the ‘why’ is shrouded in mystery. Before seeking professional support, clients will often spend a lot of time trying to work things out by themselves or with their existing support network. This often results in a wild goose chase of looking in all the wrong places. Exhausted and demoralised, they pick up the phone to a coach or therapist.

What if there was an easier way to make sense of why things are as they are? Well, there is an easier way: understanding emotions, which is the subject of this post and extract from my upcoming book How To Transform Your Life With IMPACT: Unlock The Best Of You.

Personal boundaries – are yours in place?

A personal boundary can be considered anything that we ask others to respect. They exist as the individual rules, guidelines, moral and ethical principles, which determine how we act in the relationships we form. We create them in the mental and physical space we share with people, from fleeting moments of interaction to lifelong commitments.

Examples of boundaries include:

– Physical: our body, personal space and possessions
– Emotional: what we feel strongly about, what upsets us and excites us
– Sexual/intimate: sexual preferences, consent to touch
– Intellectual: our opinions, beliefs and values
– Financial: money and other forms of wealth and value
– Professional: work/life balance

Trauma – an understanding

According to the mental health charity MIND, trauma is when ‘we experience stressful, frightening or distressing events.’ As has become evident during the covid crisis, trauma has become a contemporary issue. From the direct impact of covid itself to its indirect effects such as redundancy, homelessness, and domestic violence, there is a pressing need for individuals, families, employees, and employers to be aware of trauma, its effects, and how to respond to it.

How to make a successful life transition

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

A transition is a period or process of change from one state, situation, or context to another. Some occur as we go through life, while others, such as those we seek or have imposed, are less predictable. How we view and cope with periods of transition is understandably essential, and we are prepared from a young age to view and manage with them as positively as possible. There are few more critical times in life than transitions, and in this post, we ask how to go through them successfully.

Self-talk: make sure you are tuning in

Self-talk is the words, language and conversations we use and have with ourselves. It is how we represent ourselves to ourselves. From the positive to the not-so-positive, our self-talk is often the most honest, truthful and sometimes unsparing commentary on who we are, what we do and the life we lead.

Self-talk is also how we create and recreate our past, present and future realities. Like a painter adding paint to a canvas, it helps us to:

– Picture our present
– Reflect on and learn from our past
– Articulate a vision for our future

Mental health – a conversation

Human beings are a social species, which means that good or poor mental health can be understood in terms of what happens between ourselves and other people – or more accurately what goes right or wrong between ourselves and other people. Unhappy relationships tend to undermine our mental health, happy relationships tend to bolster it. What connects us is our conversations, so it follows that for our mental health, we need to maintain, improve or change our conversations. This is the subject of this post.