Journalling can be helpful.Newsflash. I know, I am about 100 years behind the curve. For a long time journalling was one of the things I should be doing, along with a daily quiet time, reading the Bible in a year (every year), making dinner from scratch every night, regular exercise and cutting out carbs. Somehow writing to process how I felt had made it into the 'duty' category and as such, when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2009 along with lots of other shoulds, oughts and musts, I gave up the desire of being someone who...

It is possible to live most of your life asleep to the things that really matter.Modern life - life as we know it - works to prevent us from thinking deeply about anything. The pace, the activity, the busyness, the screens, the hustle, the consuming and our ever-expanding expectations conspire to shrink our attention span and distract us from spending any time pondering the important stuff.We are numbed from the big questions: why are we here? who are we? what does it all matter anyway ?And if it is not the speed of life that prevents us, we can find ourselves actively...

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...

In the morning when you wake the dread is already on your shoulder. You feel the panic rising and swallow hard to stop it. It all feels too much.  You pull up your big girl pants and give yourself the pep-talk you have well-rehearsed about just getting on, just doing it, not quitting, not stopping.Throughout the day you struggle to make decisions. You find yourself rushing from one thing to another, worrying about what won't get done. Your breath catches in your chest. You feel you are always dropping the ball. The other shoe is about to fall. You are...

I find change hard. I like familiarity and routine. I like tradition and rituals. These are the things that help me to orient myself in the world. To make sense of life's unpredictable moments.But if we know one thing we know change is the only constant. The only thing we can be sure will follow us.Sometimes life changes and we have no choice but to accept it even though it is devastating; we experience tragedy and have to learn to live with it.We lose a loved one, a friend moves away, we are ill, our job role changes, we experience...

You have permission to make a changeI am giving it to you.Not that you need me to.You were already allowed.If something is not how you want it to be, if you are not getting what you need, if something else would make you happier, you are allowed to change it. You are allowed to try something else. You are allowed to quit, or have a go, or say no this time even though you have always said yes.You have permission to make a change.Life is big and busy and full and it can feel easier to stick with the status...

Recently I asked my email list* what they were struggling with.I don't have all the answers but I want to know my readers better and write about the things that are on their hearts.I was overwhelmed by the response and felt so privileged that so many took the time to share their stories with me.There were a few themes that emerged, common threads between the responses. So often we think the things that make us feel ashamed or scared separate us from everyone else, when actually it is these struggles that unite us. If only we knew how like each other...

This morning I took two minutes to sit quietly in my chair before I started work.I close my eyes. I pay attention.A relentlessly joyful bird sings outside the window. The wind whispers down the chimney. The builders in the next street use a piece of equipment that makes a dull grinding noise and the traffic further afield brings a bass note to the song.My glasses rest on my nose. My hands are in my lap, fingers interlaced, one thumb on top of the other. The skin is warm and slightly dry. I scan my body looking for tension and remember...

When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what matters. There are so many things you would never think to tell anyone.  And I believe they may be the things that mean most to you...