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How scaring the pants off yourself can be a good thing

I’m not a fairground ride kinda person (some jolly good self-talk there for you…!), so when one is in town, I dread my children finding out and wanting to go. I resist most times but every now and again, it’s good to take them for a bit of family fun. Sometimes though, the fun seems to be at my expense…

My family and I took ourselves along to a visiting funfair one Sunday afternoon. It offered the usual mix of rides to suit all ages so one of my children chose the sedentary ‘Teacups’, a more bolder older one liked the look of the reverse bungee jump and then the daredevil wanted to go on a ride entitled ‘The Orbiter’. I didn’t much fancy it as I’m not a big fan of rides that spin you around high up in the air, so my husband volunteered to chaperone.

I stood and watched as they spun around, waving and cheering and half-way through the ride, an announcement shouts ‘Are you ready?! Are you ready?!’ Whilst keeping...

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How your values set you apart from everyone else

It’s amazing how a film can evoke such strong emotions in you… My husband and I sat down to watch the next instalment of the oh-so gripping Killing Eve drama last week and whilst he popped off to make a cuppa, I was lining up the episode on BBC IPlayer. However, I was distracted by the film playing out as I switched on the TV.  Even though it was 40 minutes in, I was gripped and as my husband walked back in, apparently I was clutching the remote as if to say: “Don’t even think about Killing Eve.”

The film in question was The Light Between Oceans, based on the book by M.L.Stedman and starring Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark) and Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne). If you haven’t watched it, the premise is that mentally and emotionally weary from serving in the First World War, Tom takes on the job of a lighthouse keeper on a remote island off the Australian West Coast. It’s a life of solitude until he meets and...

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The guilt trap and why you should stop falling into it

GUILT - there’s a lot of it about, in fact if you could package all the emotional energy that goes into guilt and turn it into electricity, you could light up London for weeks.

Guilt comes in three flavours. There’s the guilt we put ourselves through, the guilt other people “put us through” and there is the guilt we try to lay on others.  

Let’s talk about our guilt first. Don’t we just love it, beating ourselves up day after day with something we can’t change
 
Our guilt is almost always about something that happened in the past; not too many people feel guilty about something they haven’t said or done yet. They may predict that they will feel guilty for something they intend to say or do but what a dreadful way to live consciously.
 
Most people admit to having done said something in the past life maybe two maybe 5, 10 or 15 years ago they can still always get a wince of regret -   almost an emotional pain...

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How your thinking affects stress

The word ‘stress’ is bandied around a lot – some people use it informally to perhaps describe a time when they have a lot to do – they’re busy and maybe concerned about how they’ll get it all done; others will use the word when they feel everything is closing in on them and are in a state of high anxiety. It’s all relative and who are we to make judgements about how one person’s stress compares to another’s and the effect it can have? 

It’s very important to consider our mindset when we’re feeling like things are getting too much and to remember the brain cannot be in an open and resourceful state when we’re panicking, feeling like there’s no way out. The important thing is not to co-exist with these problems but to find ways of consciously helping yourself, whilst also recognising that seeking help and advice may also be beneficial.

Severe and clinical depression requires counselling, medication or a...

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How changing your thinking can help you break through any barriers

Experiences and fun are at the heart of my family life so when my girls recently said they wanted to go roller-skating and that meant me as well, other than pride coming before a fall, I had no reason to say no… Funnily enough, my husband managed to find a very important job that needed finishing!


During some brief periods of watching at the side (come on, I needed some time to recover from the Crab Walk, Toe Jam and as for those Travelling Toe Pivots…!), I got chatting to a Dad who had brought his son Tommy and some of his friends. Terry’s son has cerebral palsy, which when he told me, led me to do a double-take as I watched Tommy carefully weave round and round the rink. Terry said Tommy has to lean heavily on using his stronger leg but loves the skating because of the sense of freedom it brings him. As well as cerebral palsy, Tommy also has Dyspraxia and Epilepsy. I was stunned how Terry nor Tommy let any of these conditions hold Tommy back.

Terry explained...

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Where does this confidence come from?

From an early age, we’re encouraged to speak in front of an audience – it starts with the school nativity or class assembly when you’re asked to read out a few lines. Some children seem born performers and are happy to be in the spotlight; some who might normally appear confident little things when with their group of friends, actually become shy in a wider setting and nervously utter their given words; for others, they look like a rabbit caught in headlights as parents sympathetically look on.

As we go through life, we can make a choice as to whether we put ourselves forward to be the spokesperson for a group, become a debater, chair meetings or indeed whether we perform to a large audience - be it as a speaker or as an actor. Whether it’s part of the job or a volunteering role or maybe a past-time or activity, there’s undeniably going to be plenty of times when these situations might arise. It’s the confidence you have which will determine...

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