My latest series on mental health and happiness.
Mental health is a real thing. It’s not something lazy people have made up so they don’t have to go to work or get out of bed. Neither is it something that “crazy” people have, that “normal” people don’t. If you have a brain, then mental health affects you. Read more >
Feelings are our window to the world. They colour our experiences and shape our lives and our relationships. When I hear the word “happiness”, I don’t picture a constant state of uninterrupted bliss. I think of a healthy mental state in which I am able to be fully present in the moment, to feel the ups and downs of life. A state of inner peace and wellbeing in which I feel secure, grounded, centered. In this state I respond emotionally to things as they happen – I laugh, sing, shout, sigh, weep… I can fully engage with the people around me… I don’t always feel happy and joyful but I do feel alive. Read more >
This seems like an odd thing to want to shout from the rooftops about. Part of me thinks it is incredibly self-indulgent and no-one will really be interested. Another part (the English part I think) wants to stop all this fluffy, melodramatic nonsense about feelings, swallow it all back down and get on with pretending to be normal. But another part, the part that is shouting loudest, thinks that this sort of stuff isn’t talked about enough, and that a few years ago I would have found it really, really helpful to read something like this. Read more >
There is this idea ingrained deep in the British psyche that feelings and emotions aren’t important. Stiff upper lip, hold it all in, keep calm and carry on. We just don’t have time for all that foolish emotional nonsense. Well whoever came up with that was an idiot. Our emotions are how we experience the world – if we become emotionally detached and unable to feel the right things at the right times (which is what mental illness does) then we are not really living our lives. Read more >
There is something about human nature that makes us virtually incapable of appreciating what we have. We in 21st Century Britain have better living standards than the vast majority of people on Earth and throughout history. We have more food than we could ever need. We are free to do what we like, go where we like, say what we like. There is no real threat to our lives from war, corruption, famine or natural disasters. Read more >
I am a born worrier. It’s in my nature, it’s how I am programmed. If worrying was a competitive sport I would be a regional champion. Think of any possible misfortune and the chances are I have worried about it at some point. Read more >
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