Unwell self

“Unfucking” whilst the kettle boils

When I’m depressed, I can’t think. I stand in the middle of my kitchen in despair, looking at all the mess around me, utterly overwhelmed, having no idea where to start. Of course, that also starts the story in my head of how crap I am, I can’t even tidy a kitchen, blah blah blah. …

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Having a painful thought?

Question it – is it true? Can you absolutely know it’s true? etc (Byron Katie – The Work) Question it – what cognitive distortion is at play here? Bookmark0


there is only one of you in all of time

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will …

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Pema Chodron

What happens when you begin to feel uneasy, unsettled, queasy? Notice the panic where you instantly grab for something. That grabbing is based on hope. Not grabbing is called hopelessness. So what does it mean to admit that we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about it? That’s the compassionate thing …

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Out of my mind

Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves. – Pema Chödrön I understand this now. It’s about staying out of our heads, and in …

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Not personal

You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing – Alan Wilson Watts so stop taking it all so personally!! 🙂 or expecting to understand each movement!! Bookmark0



“There is vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.  The world will not have …

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You don’t have to be good at stuff. Be interesting instead.

“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to know you” questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no …

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Just notice

When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside of you as fate. – Carl Jung ALSO seen as C.G. Jung — ‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’ So, your ONLY job right now is to NOTICE – not fix or change, that will stop you …

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Emotional Processing

Use NVC Find Peace (my free online tool for getting to clarity and peace) Questions If this was the first time this had ever happened, would you be reacting this way? What would i have to do to make things worse? (Or, To feel worse?) What if the opposite was true? What if I focused …

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Belief Changing Exercise, by Bob Mandel

Here’s a simple yet effective exercise for challenging or changing negative beliefs. In my experience, affirmations by themselves don’t work – my brain just goes “nup. nup. nup.” This is a different approach, where you kinda “weed out” the bits that are going “nup”. Give it a go. I find it extremely powerful! Find a …

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giving up the concept that I know what’s going on

Having yet again had it pointed out to me (thanks, Life!) just how completely wrong I’ve been (Jonathan, Sharon Key, blah blah blah), and realising just how much I made my life miserable, I’m now so excited by the possiblity of giving up the concept that I know what’s going on. Imagine: I feel like crap, …

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Stop trying to change it

Stop trying so hard!! Just NOTICE what’s happening!!! Before enlightenment, I used to be depressed; after enlightenment, I continue to be depressed. You don’t make a goal out of relaxation and sensitivity. Have you ever heard of people who get tense trying to relax? If one is tense, one simply observes one’s tension. You will …

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Reduce world suck

Many years ago, as a teenager, I despaired of ever finding a way out of the pain I was in. I eventually decided that, if I couldn’t reduce my own pain, then perhaps the next best thing was to reduce the overall amount of pain in the world. Are you lonely? Find someone more lonely, …

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Give what you want to receive

Think the world isn’t kind enough? Be kind. Think people aren’t honest enough? Be honest. Want more connection with people? Find someone lonely and connect with them. It’s so easy to add to the world … it only seems hard when we’re waiting to receive.Bookmark0


Guerilla Art

Can’t cheer yourself up? Maybe cheer up someone else. Here’s some ideas: Find some awesome quotes and use paper-clips or bull-dog clips to attach them to branches of trees along sidewalks. Clutter clear your kids’ old toys, and pop them into branches of trees in a park. Buy googly eyes, and stick them on random …

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There are always a million things I could be grateful for. My happiness depends on me noticing them.Bookmark0


Grounding in nature

“When we are overwhelmed and can’t hold presence for ourselves, nature offers itself as a grounding force. The deep silence and beauty found in the awe of nature becomes a capacious container awaiting the emergence of the long-forgotten inner young ones that carry more than they can bear.” – Annie Fisher Bookmark0


Deep inner listening

“The order of change – We may begin deep listening with the hope that something inside that is angry, scared or hurting will change. But it is not the angry, scared or hurt place that changes first. We change first, by learning to relax in the way we hold our anger, fear or hurt places. …

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Not alone

As I come out of this latest depression, I notice all those others I’m seeing on facebook who’ve been struggling, and I realise I haven’t been alone all this time. We’re all struggling together. Together, we’ve got this.Bookmark0





Don’t believe anything you think



Choose your support wisely

To find the courage to reach out for help, and then NOT get it, is agonizing. Most people don’t know how to help – and often don’t even understand that you’re wanting help! You need to consider ahead of time who can support you in the ways you need, and write their names down! You …

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one step from oblivion

You live one step from oblivion. … Your only security is to embrace insecurity. – Andrew Boyd, Daily Afflictions I find this somehow comforting. All the crazy things I worry about and try to control – whether people are kind, the dog hair on the carpet, the books I haven’t read and should – are …

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Stop Caring

Be honest. When an unexpected situation arises, you stress about whether to help out or not. Maybe it involves a family member you never really got on with or strangers who are obviously, well, strangers. I used to be the same until I worked for an international aid charity and I learned an important truth… …

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Susan Boyle

Seriously, I can’t watch this without grinning and crying.  Bookmark0


Play with focus

Try this exercise: focus on something really close; then focus on something far away. Focus on the whole room, and then just the tiniest detail, and back to the whole room. Think about your experience in this very moment … then what it could look like in 5 years … and how it was 5 …

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Focus wheel

An online interactive thing for moving to better thoughts (“vibrations”). Focus wheel process by Abraham-Hicks … website by Jeff Tretsven Video about it here.Bookmark0


Rewrite your story

I can tell you my life story and make it sound like I’ve had the most amazing and wonderful life ever, or I can tell it so you’d feel terribly sorry for me and all my woes. Same life. Different story. And when i tell myself my life story, I have the same choice. I …

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Catch a thought

It’s hard for me to catch a thought when I’m depressed. I’m so identified with them that they don’t even seem like thoughts, more like “lived realities”. But if I can notice a thought I’m having (like “it’s too hard”, or “no-one cares anyway”) then I can do something with it, like processing it with …

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How to change negative beliefs

OK, so you’ve worked out what your faulty thinking is … but no matter what you do, it still keeps showing up, and affecting your life in negative ways? Yeah, me too, for many years. Just knowing about it isn’t always enough. So along the way I’ve tested a zillion tools to change beliefs, most …

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Work out what’s wrong

Sometimes, depression is just depression. Other times, there’s something going on. I usually have no idea which is which, and when it IS something actually going on, I have no idea what that is. I seem to be very good at hiding that from myself. So here’s a method I’ve come up with for helping …

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Reach out

Talk with someone before it gets so bad that I can’t talk to someone! Well self: make a list of people you can turn to when you’re at your worst. Write them a letter (now) to let them know how best to help you when you’re like this. Here’s a sample: Dear [awesome person], Can …

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Be with it

Focusing {link} “I’m sensing something in me that feels depressed … and I’m saying hello to it … “ “I’m sensing something in me that doesn’t want to feel depressed, and I’m saying hello to that too … “Bookmark0


Find it in your body

Whatever you’re feeling, your brain only knows you’re feeling it because your body is reflecting it – it’s not actually in your head. So, find it … how does my head know I’m feeling this? Where is it? Pause (Stop. Notice) Allow (create inner spaciousness) Sense into the feeling IN THE BODY – dropping the …

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Don’t be fooled

Those who love you are not fooled by the mistakes you have made or the dark images that you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; or your purpose when you are confused. ~ Alan CohenBookmark0


Love Your Sadness

Sadness brings you eye to eye with your desires. Appreciation is fuel for change. Love gives your sadness the energy it needs to move through you so it can move on. By loving your sadness, you’re respecting your truth And freedom always follows truth. ~ Danielle LaPorteBookmark0


Eat good food

Having breakfast, with complex carbs and protein, within an hour of waking up, can make all the difference to my day. I discovered that by following the diet in a book called “Potatoes Not Prozac”, which stabilized my moods amazingly (when no other food-based approach had ever helped). I massively recommend it. Your well-self can …

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Can’t. Even. (the basics)

There’s lots of basic things that can make a difference when I’m feeling awful, that simply don’t occur to me at the time, or just seem too hard to do. The following list can help. I’ve found it really hard work to do the things on the list, and when I’ve been able to, they …

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Notice the positive

There’s plenty of evidence to show how gratitude makes us SO much happier … but when we’re depressed, it’s hard to go there!! Instead, try to think of some things that give you just a tiny smile … a particular colour, a certain type of art, a particular piece of comedy, a song? It’s been …

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Your brain is lying to you

Look around the room. Notice 5 things. Do it before reading on. What did you notice? The un-vacuumed carpet? The mess on the table? The dog you haven’t taken for a walk today? I don’t know about you, but that’s what I notice, and then I conclude that my life sux right now. And you …

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Make friends with your body

The best advice I got was from Dain Heer, who said to keep a gratitude journal for my body. At first I couldn’t think of a single thing to put in it, and then I realised I liked that my hands could DO things, so I put “my hands”. And that my legs could walk …

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Fuck unconditional love

Fuck unconditional love. You can’t do it. It’s an impossible goal that makes you violent inside. But you can embrace your imperfect attempts to love, your conditional search for love, your failure to reach the ideal, your sorrow, your fear, your exquisite shame, your ecstasy and your agony, your inherited ideas of love, your messy, …

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Maybe this is ok

Having negative events happen to you, the study found, decreases your happiness but increases the amount of meaning you have in life. Another study from 2011 confirmed this, finding that people who have meaning in their lives, in the form of a clearly defined purpose, rate their satisfaction with life higher even when they were …

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Make a depression kit

Idea for my sometimes-depressed friends (including myself): We need to make a kit for those times we go down that slippery slope, containing: a) photos of ourselves in outfits we look good in, so we can choose what to wear (cos I can’t for the life of me work out what looks OK when I’m …

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Set your priorities

1. Brain dump – just get it all out on paper, all the shit you’re trying to get done 2. Group them – who am I doing this for? Or, what needs am I trying to meet? 3. Work out which ones matter (and stop doing the ones that don’t) 4. Do them. Quotes from …

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Feeling stuck

Focusing – Something in me wants to do X, and something in me doesn’t … Bookmark0


Good and bad don’t cancel each other out

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant” – The Doctor (from the Vincent van Gogh episode, where even after they’ve helped …

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You can’t get rid of your fears … but you can learn to live with them



Make an emergency tidying plan

have an emergency tidying plan, for when it’s overwhelming you. For me, that might be sweeping everything off my desk into a big box and putting it under the desk. I know I’d have to pre-plan where I’d find a box too!! And note that even this may not be doable, it depends how far …

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Ask questions

If I’m not finding the answer to a question, like “How can I feel better?”, try the opposite question eg “What would I have to do to feel worse?”, or even “What do I need to do to stay right where I am?”, or “What would I need to have done to get where I …

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Get 5% happier

Taken from Good Life Zen website, by Mary Jaksch The psychologist  Nathaniel Branden, who is considered to be the father of the self-esteem movement, came up with a simple way to boost happiness: the process of question-completion. Here is how it works: You use an incomplete sentence, and then quickly jot down six ways to complete it. …

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Change your point of view

What does this look like close up? From far away? In 10 years from now? What does this look like from your perspective? From the perspective of someone who loves you? From the perspective of a poor person in a slum in India?  Bookmark0



My daughter was so excited when she found out Simple Plan was playing up the road, then devastated when it turned out tickets had sold out. I expected she’d be miserable for days (but we ended up sorting it out). But it got me thinking … she’d have been happy if there hadn’t been the …

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Don’t seek. Be.

Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. ECKHART TOLLE, A New EarthBookmark0


Don’t Abandon Yourself

When you tell yourself that what you feel isn’t valid, that it doesn’t matter, you’re abandoning yourself. Don’t do it. You might like to read this post by LaShelle Lowe-Chardé. And whilst you’re there, read the rest of what she writes … she’s pretty awesome 🙂Bookmark0


Happiness Homework – gratitude

You can increase positive feelings by incorporating a few proven practices into your routine. Lyubomirsky suggests you express your gratitude toward someone in a letter or in a weekly journal, visualize the best possible future for yourself once a week, and perform acts of kindness for others on a regular basis to lift your mood in the …

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Where did I fold?

Exercise from the book Prescriptions without Pills If you were angry with someone or something other than yourself, who or what might it be? Who appears bigger, you or them/it? If them … Pump yourself up (like a balloon, or anything that works) until you’re the size you’d like to be, in comparison to them From …

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Change your words

Instead of “I’m feeling … “, try “Something in me is feeling … ” (thank you, Anne Weiser Cornell!) And for problem thoughts, “I’m having the thought that … ” (thank you, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy!)Bookmark0


Life Mission

Our trauma is there to give us our life mission, it’s there to show us how people are suffering throughout the world, it’s to show us how to connect with people and how to work with them – Reggie Ray Bookmark0