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  • How to Recognise The Toxic People in Your Life

    How to Recognise The Toxic People in Your Life

    You probably know as well as I do that the quality of our relationships directly affects the quality of our lives. Healthy relationships are good for us. They have a positive effect on our mental and physical health, enhance our lives, help us grow into better versions of ourselves, and even cause us to live longer. Unhealthy relationships are not good for us. They have an adverse effect on our mental and physical health; they diminish the quality of our lives, cause us pain and hurt, and degrade us. People who value their inner peace and happiness always keep their relationships under regular review …

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  • How to Not Take Things so Personally

    How to Not Take Things so Personally

    You may recall that last month I began a series of newsletters focusing on the personal habits of happy people. Happy people tend to think and behave in ways that allow them to feel peaceful and content, no matter what’s going on around them. With a little effort, we can all learn to do this. The first of these habits, which I wrote about last time, was letting go of grudges. This month I’m going to focus on happiness habit two: how to not take things too personally. I think you’ll agree that many people struggle with this one. Someone says or does something, and before you know it your mood has plummeted and you’re upset or angry….

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  • How to Let Go of a Grudge

    How to Let Go of a Grudge

    Do you know that you can learn to be happy? And that ultimately happiness is a choice that you make? Sure, there are circumstances in life that can strip you of your contentment, joy and wellbeing, but most of the time the only person stopping you being happy right now is you. It’s amazing how many people spend a large proportion, if not all, of their lives waiting to be happy, as if it’s some elusive thing far off in the distant future that’s dependent on health, wealth, status and perfect relationships. But happiness doesn’t come from these things. It comes from within…

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  • How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

    How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

    Do you constantly compare yourself to other people? Do you often find yourself thinking that other people have more than you or are better than you? The comparison game is as old as humanity itself. I guess we all want to know how we measure up to other people. This drive is a part of our innate desire to understand ourselves, and our place in society. In recent times, however, social comparison has risen to a whole new level thanks to social media. It’s almost become an epidemic. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And he was right…

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  • How to Ditch the Drama

    How to Ditch the Drama

    Is there someone in your life who’s always creating drama? You know, the person who constantly overreacts to everyday events and behaves in a melodramatic, attention-seeking way. They always have a crisis going on: always someone to be angry with, something to complain about, something to cry about. Peace and balance are not qualities that you can readily associate with this person. In fact, conflict with others seems to be their natural default position. If you’ve ever associated with someone who loves drama…

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  • How to Handle Overwhelm

    How to Handle Overwhelm

    Overwhelm. I bet you’ve been there; the times when you’ve almost been immobilised by having too much to do and too little time to do it in. I know I have. Very many times in fact, especially when I was younger. Life is a constant juggling act, and every now and again we are all faced with the fear that we have more on our plates than we can handle. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that there’s nothing worse than that sickening feeling that arises when you think the intensity of your thoughts and emotions is about to get the better of you…

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  • How to Handle Difficult People

    How to Handle Difficult People

    Christmas is meant to be a time of joy, peace and merriment. I think there’s a part of all of us that buys into that fairytale image of an open log fire, a beautifully decked out tree, piles of presents, cards, food, drink and a smiling, loving family. Yes, that’s right … I said ‘family’. For some people that word is enough to pop the fantasy bubble right away! Most of us get to spend time with family at Christmas. But, for some, that reality is about as far away from joy, peace and merriment as you can get. In fact, it’s often the cause of great anxiety and dread. A couple of people have articulated this sentiment in my …

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  • How to Cultivate Greater Self-Worth

    How to Cultivate Greater Self-Worth

    Humour me for a moment and imagine that you have the power to clone yourself so that there are now two identical versions of you out there in the world. Now, let me ask you a question. If you were to meet this other ‘you’ would you be good friends? Would you like ‘you’? I often ask my clients this question and their response gives me an insight into how they see themselves. Their answer tells me a lot about their sense of self-worth and their self-esteem in that moment. Self-worth is defined as “the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person”. Self-esteem is defined as …

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  • Dealing with Shame: How to Weaken its Destructive Hold over You

    Dealing with Shame: How to Weaken its Destructive Hold over You

    Have you ever felt shame? I’m sure you have at some point in your life. All of us have. Shame is that awful feeling of being worthless, rejected or cast out. Deeply painful, it brings humiliation and distress in its wake. Its close cousin is guilt. Guilt shows up when you believe you have done something bad; shame shows up when you believe you are bad, so much so, that you are totally unlovable. Shame’s toxicity does not end there though. It also carries with it a sense of helplessness, that there is nothing you can do to purge yourself of its burdensome and soul-crushing presence…

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  • How to Tame Your Inner Critic

    How to Tame Your Inner Critic

    Would it surprise you to learn that your worst enemy is probably living inside your own head? I’m sure you’ve heard of the term ‘inner critic’. In therapy this concept refers to a subpersonality that judges and demeans a person. We all have an internal voice that talks to us about ourselves. For many people, this internal voice is quite negative. If left untamed, it can turn into a constant negative internal commentary on who they are and how they behave - one that can drag them down mentally and emotionally. Perhaps you can relate to some of these common inner critic statements…

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