Some things in this post may be triggering. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts please reach out to someone. If you don't know where to turn the Samaritans are a great place to start. This linkwill take you to a page where you will find various ways you can get in touch with them.Tuesday was World Suicide Prevention Day. All over social media and on the television and radio people were sharing stories, encouraging people to ask for help, and attempting to remove the stigma from losing a loved one to suicide, or being someone who deals with suicidal thoughts.I...

A few weeks ago at one of my 'Talking About Anxiety' events, a woman asked a question. This question gets asked in one form or another at every event I run.We were talking about negative mindsets and how they affect our mental health. About how we need to learn to accept the truth that we are enough despite our (lack of) achievements or our (low) popularity or our (too large) dress size, despite our (lack of) wealth or our (poor) health or the (bad) behaviour of our children.Mostly (although not always) these days I manage to speak to my inner...

Travelling can make me anxious.New places, new food, new routines can all trip me into an anxious state, increasing my heart rate and temperature, distracting me and leaving me unable to relax. I have found this very frustrating. The time of the year when I am most looking to unwinding, often ends up being the very time I battle to retain my peace.But this year we went to Portugal for 12 days. And I was not anxious.I was a bit nervous about going: the flight, the drive to the hotel, what the accommodation would be like. But none of these...

I had grand plans for how the video for this guided meditation would come together, but in the end it seemed appropriate to film it in my back garden on Tuesday after the school run.I didn't change my clothes or put on any more make-up. I simply filmed it with my phone and a little help from my 14 year old.It is about accepting my here-and-now body. Not waiting until I have lost weight or am wearing my best, most flattering clothes.Making and editing this video has been therapeutic. Aren't our bodies incredible?Hope you enjoy this video.https://vimeo.com/336531337...

May is mental health awareness month. A time to share experiences and challenge stigma.And one thing you are sure to hear is someone to say: it is time to talk.Being vulnerable about your mental health can be beneficial and aid recovery, but to be brave and start a conversation often feels impossible.It did for me.My diagnosis with post-natal depression and anxiety took me by surprise. I didn't know what it meant. I felt ashamed and afraid of how others would react.Better to deal with this in private and keep my friends, than be honest and risk losing them, I thought.But...

An unexpected diagnosis. During my third session with my therapist she told me she thought I was suffering with Post-Natal Depression. Aside from the shock, the shame and the fear of what this might mean, I was also confused. I thought women with post-natal depression struggled to bond with or feel love for their baby. This was not the case for me.Also this was my third child, I loved him as I loved my daughters - unequivocally and from the get-go - if I was depressed now, was I depressed then?(me and my gorgeous boy. 2010)The answer to this un-asked question...

Today I am delighted to introduce to you my friend Phil. Phil has agreed to share his experiences of dealing with anxiety as a middle-aged (his words!) man; how it was for him and what he did about it. Phil is fantastic, I know you'll enjoy what he has to say. I am very grateful to be able to share his perspective here:I’ve never been too concerned about my physical health.I cycle to work, clocking up about 40 miles per week, and apart from my vasectomy have never had more than a day off in 25 years of gainful employment. I’m...

Two weeks ago I sprained my ankle. I was exercising at home and for no obvious reason, maybe I wasn't fully paying attention, maybe I was being a little gung-ho, I went over on my ankle and fell to the ground. As I fell I heard a loud snapping sound, turning my stomach and convincing me it was broken. I shouted, a lot and loudly. Then I tentatively undid my trainer, eased my foot out and removed my sock. I watched, with fascination as my ankle doubled in size before my eyes.I was in pain and I was angry. This was...

Before you can love anyone else. Before you can care for anyone else. In fact if you want to be any use to anyone long term:You have to love you first.I used to think loving myself was selfish. I thought prioritising my needs was self-indulgent. Surely it was better to sacrifice what I wanted to make others happy?I was a classic people pleaser, believing I would be loved and accepted only if I behaved and performed as others' wanted me to. So I morphed and changed according to who I was with. I tried to keep a lid on any...