See our slideshow here:
See our slideshow here:
In response to a blog about young people self harming despite
their parents trying to do everything right, and questioning if
there is too much stress with lots of homework and other things
they have to do, another person wrote that young people these days
seem to be given things on a plate and organised too much. I made
a further response to this:
Most people I know of my generation did have very bad things going
on when they were kids, but somehow we were tough enough to deal
with them, although they do still affect us, obviously. We never expected
to be given things on a plate, we were brought up to think for ourselves,
and to be versatile, and figure out our own ways of coping.
Yes, children now are often organised so much to fit into a system but it is becoming
obvious that there are things wrong with that system, so perhaps we should be helping
our young people become more able to cope with challenges and changes instead of
channelling them into specialised paths quite so much.
By the way, we had 2hrs of homework every day right through high school because I
was boarding, there was no choice but to go to the homework period between supper
and lights out not to say that I actually DID homework though I mostly wrote poetry!
I used to swim 50 olympic lengths before school and before dinner every day, and do
long distance running but it was all very definitely MY choice to do these things. I
think I still had some time to muck about with my friends, but I only got to see my
parents one weekend a month from age 11. When I was home, I used to wander about in
the wilderness most of the time though, so it must have been when I was very young that
the free thinking and versatility stuff was instilled in me unless I was just born that way.
There is a lot more that I wanted to say though :
We know that giving kids things on a plate tends to make them self-centred, and less able
to cope, yet this still happens. ‘Love’ so often then becomes a sort of ‘cupboard love’
which depends on the visiting relative or friends giving gifts or providing really fun days
out, so it also teaches them to be devious! This can especially apply when couples have
separated the children can soon learn how to get things from each parent by turning it
into a sort of competition if you aren’t careful. If one parent, or a friend, decides not to
play this game they can find themselves ‘dropped’ just like that.
And yes, children are organised so much to fit into the system study hard, get a job,
get a mortgage, have a family, accumulate things, and continue the cycle into the next
generation. Do we ever question whether there could be another way of not being
slaves to the ‘system’, which we can easily see has its problems if we stop long enough to
think. So many people are not really thinking though, because in their limited spare time
they seem to be sucked into the TV, which tells you a carefully concocted version of
reality that’s very different from the real thing (newspapers too), or the pub where they
can numb their thinking with drink and superficial conversation, or more business deals.
I suspect that some of our young people are having trouble understanding why we go on
round and round in these meaningless circles, and this could be a source of much
emotional distress. When I was a teenager my poems were all about the terrible things
humanity was doing to our natural world, and I know for sure that a lot of our youngsters
are very concerned about these sorts of issues. Even those who have an outlet for their
feelings such as writing poetry or writing and playing music, still struggle with the huge
chasm between their understanding, and the world where people seem to be switched off,
just working and drinking and acting as if the most important thing on earth was to be
rich enough to both socialise and compete with people who have the same priorities.
Basically the system gives the message that if you comply you will be given some of the
‘sweets’, just the same as spoilt kids – and once you start going down that road it is very
hard to turn back, so you end up turning a blind eye, and doing all sorts of compromising
things to ensure the sweets keep coming – particularly if you have now got a partner and
kids to answer to if the supply stops. Have you asked them though, what they really
think, do you actually know?
Not everyone wants to be like that. Many young people are much more grown up and
aware than that. If we don’t encourage our young people to think for themselves,
seek alternatives, or at least let them know that we accept their need to do so, then
they are going to feel very trapped, and also probably worried about disappointing us.
Those benefiting from our current systems are not our young people at all unless of
course they really are brainwashed enough to want to be the next big business magnet.
Our system perpetuates specialism rather than versatility, which means that you then tend
to rely on others to provide the services and things you cannot do or produce yourself,
and thus are relying on the continuing system whether we like it or not. We tend to be left
thinking that we can’t break out of it, but this isn’t really true at all. In fact, once the oil
runs out, we will probably have to survive at more of a local level anyway, so we need to
all be learning to be more versatile really.
However, if we went off now and did our own thing, or local community thing, then the
big boys of the banking and business world, and the governments, wouldn’t be making
money out of us; so they are constantly seeking more ways to shackle us and herd us
They want to keep us deeply entrenched, with our mortgages and other debts, and our
taxes and other commitments. But they also keep quietly adding more rules, regulations,
restrictions, and requirements to tighten the hold – to be able to take more from us, and to
stop us from doing much for ourselves. Many of these threaten our freedom and health.
They also want to keep us blindfolded, concealing the truth about just how incredibly
awful they have been in their manipulation of events in their attempts to grab everything
they value, and control the world, because of course they are afraid of retribution.
However, most people, and organisations, who are awake to what has been going on are
quite spiritually mature, and are more interested in putting things right than in retribution
or revenge. We just want to see everybody in with a fair chance of survival – with our
freedom and health intact. We want to find sustainable ways of living, helping each other
and yet continuing to be our unique selves, and continuing to evolve consciously into a
species capable of living in harmony.
So let’s re-assure our young people that we are prepared to go for this, or at least enable
them to do so. Let’s talk about it in families – there should be no taboos. Let’s give them
something to identify with, hope for, and help carry through. It’s not the first time that
we will be making some big changes, as history will show, so they had better believe that
we are capable of it. There is already so much good stuff going on that they should take
heart from that too – thankfully the internet has proved to be an amazing tool for sourcing
information and co-ordinating efforts. Let’s do this – let’s pull this team together now.
We are building links to useful sources of information & inspiration,
and co ordinating global meditation linkups for positive input into the collective
consciousness – the compost bed from which our new garden will grow.
Communication with Teenagers
You may have been used to having a child whom you have often needed to tell or
ideally show what to do, but now you have a teenager who needs to learn to be an adult.
They still need guidelines so that they know where they stand, and help with some
things too, but you can let them know that there are times when they can really help
you as well.
You could include them in discussions as if they were another adult about the place,
asking their views about family and other things. You might be surprised at their
insight, but you will need to be prepared to accept their honesty!
They need to learn how to deal with practical household things, and financial details
too, so if there are decisions that need to be made about how to handle bills, or set up,
fix, or replace something, do include them in that too. One day when they move out,
they will need to have an understanding of these things if they are going to be successful
at living independently. Of course they should help with the chores and DIY, but be
careful not to turn this into a battle, and make allowance for their busy study schedules etc.
It needs to be about willingly showing a little responsibility rather than doing things under
duress. You should make sure they understand that everyone has bits to do so that they
can see the fairness of it, and it might be an idea to change things around a bit every now
and again, for example offering them a choice of what they might like to get some practice
at this month or next. Try to gently teach them what they want to know, for example they
might like to make a meal for their friends, or for Dad’s birthday perhaps, or help make
sandwiches for your party (and be allowed to stay up a bit late to offer them around the
guests). Even adults need to be praised for the positives instead of always criticised, so
remember to notice if they do something particularly well or think of something for
If there are changes of job or working hours, or moves to be made, including your teenagers
in discussions helps them to understand your viewpoints and reasoning, a) so that they won’t
get the wrong end of the stick, and b) so that they won’t feel hurt or rejected or angry with one
or other or both of you. You can see how there could be a danger they might misunderstand
things if they were not included in discussion; for example they might make assumptions that
Dad made Mum suddenly go out to work when they were used to having her at home, when
really it might have been Mum who wanted to get into doing something. Or they might
presume that Dad was sacked when really he decided to give up a job to become self
employed, or to have a break for health reasons. It’s also obviously important to try to
give them an unbiased view of things, not a one-sided account from one parent or the
other, as that tends to manipulate their feelings and loyalties unfairly.
Even if there are family difficulties, it is far better to share what is going on. It’s
unrealistic to try to shield your teenager too much from the realities, whether the
issues are at home or in the big bad world out there. If you shield them too much
then they may get some very nasty surprises later, and possibly struggle to cope if it
is all too sudden.
Reasoning with someone you have helped to mature is the best way to come to
agreements about where they should be allowed to go and what time they will be
expected home, and what to do if they are in difficulty, etc. (for example, it’s okay
to phone home for a lift if they are stuck somewhere). Ask them what they think
reasonable rules are – you might be surprised at how responsible they can be if you
start out by treating them as if they are responsible. Show them the respect you want
them to show you, by negotiating firmly but fairly with them, instead of leaving them
to drift into a state of confusion and disconnection, or backing them into a position of
resentment and alienation. Young people need a strong sense of identity and belonging,
so it is ideal that they can still feel comfortable at home. Being brought into family
discussions makes them feel valued, and being helpful gives them a sense of responsibility;
both help them feel as if they belong.
Your teenagers need enough freedom to discover age appropriate things, like music
for example. If you are going to try and prevent them from going to an event they can
hear down the road, then don’t be surprised if they disobey you and sneak out. Try to be
realistic, then it is easier for them not to be tempted to defy you. Far better to sit down
and say that you realise that they ought to be allowed more freedom as they grow up,
and say that you trust them, and hope that they will always feel able to come to you if
they get into any tricky situations. Ask them to let you know if they feel the rules need
re-negotiation as they prove themselves, and if they have any questions anytime at all.
Even much younger children can be really good at understanding situations. When my
lads were still at junior school I would ask them why they thought it was wrong to do
certain things, to check their understanding, especially if something was dangerous.
I also sometimes asked them what punishment they thought they deserved for a
transgression and they were really harsh on themselves. Even as toddlers standing in
the shopping trolley, I would ask them why they thought it was not a good idea for a
mother to buy the sweets her child was yelling for – and they knew well enough that if
you bought them under those circumstances, then the child would always know in future ~
that if he hollered loudly long enough he would ultimately get what he wanted. So I would
reward good behaviour with a treat rather than the other way around, sometimes as we
left the shop and sometimes later – they knew I would be fair. We used to have a red
plastic cake container that we kept those miniature versions of chocolates in, and also
little boxes of raisons (which they loved), and if it had been a good day they were often
allowed to pick a ‘red tin goodie’ after supper. They would help choose the goodies for
the ‘tin’ in the shop, and that of course was a good opportunity to show how it was a good
idea to go for the special offers – 3 packets for the price of 2 meant the tin was fuller
and there was more choice. They were really good at judging when they needed to go
to bed too, so showed good signs of developing self-management skills.
So, I always say that children and young people ought to be given a lot of credit for their
understanding and good judgement, and consulted on things whenever possible.
Obviously you do not want to stress them by giving them too much inappropriate
information too early, but introducing things gradually makes it a lot easier for them to
grow up sensibly. You wouldn’t want everything to come as a big shock all at once later on
would you? Of course, spoiling people of any age can turn them into lazy users or even
manipulative control freaks, so you wouldn’t want to do everything for them anyway.
It doesn’t do them any favours in the long run as, apart from not learning anything, they
don’t have a chance to develop self respect or satisfaction through achievement and inclusion,
so they can become sullen, and bored too. It is important to help them develop self esteem
in a balanced way, giving them the chance to try things, and win praise, but not so much that
they become over inflated either. We want them to gain confidence but not become too
Our Young People can become quite distressed and confused about life as they come
across so many new things going on. They tend to be quite sensitive about what is happening
in the world as they are trying to make sense of life and what it might mean to them, and
figure out what they want to do. Things like wars, third world suffering, animal welfare,
environmental, ecological, and economic issues, powerful people getting away with things
they shouldn’t, etc, can all be great cause for concern. It is no good trying to brush these
things under the carpet as that will not gain you respect; your young person does need to be
able to discuss them properly, form opinions, and consider things they might be able to do
to help change things, otherwise they might become depressed, or cynical. They might also
be wondering why your generation has allowed these things to happen. If you don’t really
know how to deal with these issues, then at least help find them places and people they can
turn to for information and advice. Lots of organisations offer online information as well as
actions that can be taken, such as the chance to sign petitions or get involved in fundraising.
Teenagers also ideally need events to mark and celebrate their transitions into adulthood,
things that offer real meaning, that touch the deep person inside, so plan birthdays etc carefully
I have workshops to help with this transition, and information will be in one of my forthcoming
books, but in the meantime I will aim to write more articles about it. Young people might like to
do some things that are a bit different or special to help them on their journey like rock climbing,
martial arts, canoeing, etc –something to help them focus on a mind, body, spirit level, to
integrate all these aspects of themselves into a balanced being.
Sometimes you might want to have a meeting with you, your partner, and one teenager at a time,
for discussion or debate. Ask them to suggest topics to bring to the table, and you can do the
same, so you sort of have an agreed agenda. You should make an effort not to sidetrack too
much so that you can focus on what you agreed, and don’t get into areas you haven’t prepared
for, or get caught up in emotional slanging. Everyone should be prepared to consider everyone
else’s feelings and viewpoints, and try to understand why they think and feel that way. Don’t try
to coerce people to agree with you, or try to lay down any laws. Everyone should be allowed to
question or challenge, as long as it is done politely. Who knows what you might learn from your
If you are coming to these sort of ideas late, when your teenager has already become
frustrated and bewildered, and there may be behavioural issues at home or at school or
both, then you could try explaining to them that you did not know what to do before but
that you want to try now. You could ask them to help you to know how to help them.
It would probably make things worse if you said “You need to do this…. Or that…. Or
else…..” Surely it would be better to say “What do you think we could do to help?”
Even if they reject you now (due to their pent up frustration or other emotions) don’t give
up, just say that you will be there for them if they want to approach you when they are
ready. You can then suggest “Let’s sit down and discuss what we can (realistically) do to
make things work out better for everyone”. Another suggestion could be, “We would
like you to help us understand how you feel and what you think about things so that we
can try to help…… “ There might also be a good time to point out that parents just don’t
always know that much about being parents, no one gets training, it’s just something you
try to learn how to do as you go along. This can often defuse blame and anger in both
directions, as they suddenly realise that you can’t actually be expected to know
everything, and by the way, neither can they. So hopefully we end up with both parties
now being willing to try again, because after all you do still care about each other or you
wouldn’t be having the conversation.
I don’t think it ever hurts for young people to know if we are struggling a bit with things,
it means that they will recognise that it isn’t an ‘us and them’ situation, we are all in this
life together, and it would be really great if we could be a team. Of course, you don’t
want to overdo it and fall to pieces in front of them, just be natural. A lot of the time
I think that people are too afraid to open up and share their feelings because they don’t
think that others can understand or empathise, so it makes them feel vulnerable to
ridicule; but actually it makes us all more human.
If there are things that parents find too difficult to handle themselves, then there is
nothing wrong with turning to outside help.It is far better than letting things slide.
You may find that a grandparent or uncle might be the right one to help, or it might
be the parents of one of your young person’s friends that they feel more at ease with,
or maybe even a professional mentor, or perhaps someone via school or college might
have the relevant experience. It is that much easier for someone who is a bit detached
from the situation to bring a clearer perspective to things, so don’t feel jealous or
inadequate, just be grateful that your young person is getting some help. Too often
in today’s society, families have been separated by having to move for a job, or other
reasons, so it is sometimes not so easy to access extended family support, which puts
all sorts of extra pressure on parents anyway. Just try to make any outside help seem
as normal as possible rather than stigmatise it. Whether it is official or unofficial it is
still essentially just a friendly ear, with perhaps some practical advice.
Hopefully you won’t have much problem, especially if you are already open to ideas such
as those expressed here. Even if there are issues now, try not to panic too much about the
future, because things can always be improved with a little effort. In the end, family love
usually wins through, and things get better sooner or later. Stuff can be forgiven or put
into perspective, especially once your young people have children of their own and they
find out for themselves what it’s like to be a parent!
See our blog – Helping Our Young People to Think for Themselves
You are a unique being, here on earth to experience life. It is up to you what you make of
that life. If you find a way to be your true self then that will give you a deep sense of
personal power. There are many things you might like to find out about to help you
achieve this, so plenty to keep you busy!
If depression is getting in the way, don’t despair, there are many things you can do to
take back control. It isn’t all about medication and counselling, although it is of course
always highly recommended to see your doctor and discuss options. Also bear in mind,
that some people do have misconceptions about counselling – it is not a huge mystery –
it is just a chance to talk with a professionally trained person who is detached from your
situation and can therefore help you obtain a different perspective on it and hopefully
understand better what you might need to do to help yourself move forwards.
You can also look at your lifestyle to ensure you are getting enough sleep, exercise, and a
balanced diet, for starters. It’s really important to give ourselves the best chance for
recovery by taking care of all aspects of ourselves.
• Shortage of certain minerals can be linked to depression (look for my article about
this, or use a kinesiologist to test you for shortages). Basically if you are short of
something (which can easily happen for many reasons) then your body and brain may
not have the right chemical balance to function properly. So if this is the case, then it
can easily be addressed and will help you enormously.
• Lack of daylight hours or sunlight can also be a cause, and these days you can get
supplements to help with that, or use special lighting to emulate the sunlight. This
can make a huge difference to your brain function. Consider this especially if you are
living in more northern latitudes, or if you have moved country. It can take a lot of
time to adjust to the seasons and ways of a new country anyway.
• Teenagers do need more sleep than adults, but only a bit more, so it’s okay to rest on
weekends for example if you are up early during the week, but don’t get sucked into
sleeping all day as that tends to make things worse. Try to plan things for yourself to
do and so set times by which you have to be up. If you have been sleeping too much,
then addressing this by setting some limits and routines can help a lot. You tend to
feel better about yourself anyway if you are not just lazing around all the time. I
know it can be hard to be motivated if you are not working for example, but try to
make lists of things you can do, find hobbies, be creative, help others. There is so
much interesting stuff in the world, and the internet can help us find out about almost
anything, so it seems crazy to allow ourselves to be sucked into games all the time –
try to break any addiction to playing day after day, and to any other addictions that
might have too much power over you. A life coaching plan can help you approach
this if you want to ask me about this, just email.
• Teenagers also tend to have more difficulty going to sleep if they go to bed too early,
so plan your sleeping hours to suit, but bear in mind that you may have to make
allowances for others in the home, so if you need to negotiate things promise to be
considerate, and that will help.
• Plan what you eat to suit you too, different types of people need different food types,
and also some days we need to eat more than others, so listen to your body’s needs. I
don’t mean eat chocolate and junk food, I mean healthy things obviously. But some
people need a lot of protein for example, and some people get most of their vitamins
from fruit, whereas for others it may be better to focus on vegetables. A lot of people
do not get on well with wheat or dairy products, this does not necessarily mean you
have a huge reaction, it may just mean you feel a bit bloated or full of catarrh. We all
need a certain amount of carbohydrate, but sometimes we really overdo it. If there
are a lot of colds going round, it is good to keep strong to fight them off by eating a
bit extra of what seems really good for you, and if you already have a cold, the same
applies. I tend to want salty things like anchovies, along with salad such as lettuce,
and avocado, and even olives (which I don’t normally like).
• Energy management is something we often forget. I used to stay up all night painting
when I was first living on my own, and felt great for a bit, but then it caught up with
me, and I was not just tired, but down. These days I manage my energy better, says
she, now writing this article at 2.30am, but I did get a sleep thisafternoon, honest. (I
needed the rest then after working in a hospital most of the day.) Also, sometimes we
have to say no to things or even to visitors so that we can conserve our energy for
something we have to do later for example.
• Drinking enough water helps to move toxins out of your system. There is no other
drink that works as a substitute for water except herbal teas (not infusions), with no
• Exercise also helps to get rid of toxins, and of course stress too. You might like to
consider some of the more unusual things to find something that really works for you.
You might like something that tests particular skills, such as rock climbing, or might
want more overall stretching and balance, like Yoga. Martial arts are very holistic.
Or perhaps you could help someone elderly or unwell by taking their dog for a walk?
• If you are putting too much stress on your body with drink and smoking or other
substances, then perhaps you can find help to reduce that, as they will take their toll.
Mineral imbalance can be a factor in addiction too (refer to my first point).
• If you still need help with depression, then yes, a counsellor can help, but be sure to
choose one that is not going to dwell on negative stuff for too long. They do need to
get a proper understanding of your situation, which includes looking at all the things
that might be challenging you, but then they should help you to move forwards
positively. If things aren’t going the way you think they should, then do say so.
Any professional should be willing and able to change their approach if needed.
If not, then change your professional. This is your life, it is too important to just let
• Sometimes a life coach may be more help to look at forward planning to achieve
goals. I can send you planning sheets and guidance notes by email if you request
them, and let me know what you are aiming to achieve.
• If you are not sure what you want to do with life yet, or have become confused or
diverted, then I have a method that can help you intuitively tap your subconscious to
discover your true interests, so contact me by email to ask me to send you my
instructions for doing this. I have even helped mothers decide what they want to do
when their kids have grown up, as this can sometimes seem like an empty time.
• Or you might benefit from more therapeutic help, such as healing sessions. You can
find pretty much anything you need via the internet.
• We all need to find a balance of mind, body, and spirit, to be complete in ourselves,
so you may be seeking answers for spiritual questions, to help you make sense of life.
(If this is the case, then do take a look at some of my spiritual and nature related
articles. They might help open up a whole new perspective.)
• There are many tools like meditation which can really help you find the balance to
cope with life. In fact they can be fully integrated with your life.
• Communication can be an issue for anyone, and I have written about that too, from
the perspectives of parents, children, young people, adults, friends, partners, and work
situations – so I hope that some of this might be of help.
• If your depression or emotions make you feel as if you can’t talk to anyone, then
often writing can be an alternative, whether it be letters, poems, songs, or anything
else. This tends to release the emotions, and you can end up seeing things a bit more
clearly then too. You can even write really nasty things and then just throw them
away afterwards, but it allows you to vent about how you really feel without hurting
others. I tend to only publish positive stuff, but I do also write dark stuff just to work
those things through. Everyone has dark times, it’s just how we deal with them that
matters. I used to have 3 days in a cycle of every few months or so (and still do
sometimes, especially in winter) where everything just seemed to be wrong, and
nothing seemed to help, but I knew it would only be those 3 says, so I would just keep
myself to myself and write rubbish until it worked itself through. This could have
been hormonal, as I recognised that I often had 3 day migraine periods on the other
months, and just had to accept that I needed to take tablets for those 3 days to enable
me to carry on with normal life. Writing also formulates your ideas better so that you
can communicate them to others, or so that you can plan what you want to do next.
If you feel confused about a situation or your emotions, it really can help a lot to just
write everything down, and in time you will tend to formulate an idea of which bits
really matter and which don’t, and what you could maybe do about the ones that do.
• There may also be other forms of creative output that will help ease your pain,
anything from woodwork to pottery to painting to needlework to gardening, to
making music….. you name it really. Most people benefit from having a hobby –
it tends to bring some balance to things like having to go out to work every day or
having to be around to care for someone else, for example.
If your family or colleagues do not seem to respect your views and feelings, then you
must ask for that respect, and ask for opportunities to make your input. They are
probably not doing it deliberately, nor realising how you feel. Even if you don’t know
what you want to say yet, that opportunity should be created, and then you will be more
likely to develop ideas to express, particularly as you hear others doing so, or in response
to certain topics. It might be nice to start with debates on topics that having nothing to do
with your personal situation but that you have an interest in, for example current issues in
your locality, or at work. Everyone should be allowed to introduce topics, kind of like
making an agenda.
If you find you need to look further afield to find someone to talk to, then do so, perhaps
a grandparent, a friend’s father, someone you hardly know but seem to ‘click’ with, or a
special interest group. Don’t expect those closest to you to necessarily have the skills to
be everything for you. We all have certain strengths and weaknesses, no one can do
everything well. Parents do not receive training to be parents although it is the most
important thing in the world! They just have to try to make the best of it according to
instinct, and what they can find out. Often they would be only too glad to help do things
differently if only they knew how, so asking to talk to try to gain mutual understanding
could be a huge relief to them. Ask everyone to plan to set aside time to both speak and
listen. It could help to make some notes about what you want to say, to help with clarity,
and prompt memory. We all need to take responsibility for our communication, as well
as for our actions. Perhaps as we learn more, we might even be able to help someone
else, or help the human race by finding ways of doing things a bit better in future.
You might think you are different from others, and indeed you are, but only to a certain
extent (as we are all unique, and yet we all belong to the human race). You might be
surprised to find that a lot of other people might think more like you than you imagined.
It is quite normal for a young person starting out in an adult world to feel a bit out of
place – there is so much to learn about and deal with for a start. Indeed anyone can
suddenly find themselves struggling in this way. We might have been caught up in things
and not thinking much about the meaning of stuff, and then suddenly start to question.
There is so much noise and bustle, and emphasis put on artificial and/or superficial
things. A lot of things don’t seem to make sense, including people’s behaviour. You
might think that we have got ourselves in an awful mess, but then again, if you take a
look at history you can see that we have done it before and then sorted things out again
somehow. There are lots of good things too, so we can try to focus on these while we try
to figure out the rest. We need variation and contrast in the world otherwise we would
not be able to appreciate the good stuff as everything would just be the same – boring.
Always cut yourself some slack. If you are impatient with others around you then
chances are that you are impatient with yourself too. Stop expecting so much from
everyone, including yourself – we are just humans trying to bumble along, some being
lucky enough to have more in their favour perhaps, but everyone has something to bring
to the table, so do try not to judge.
I know it is easier said than done when you are depressed, but try to find ways to focus on
the positive. Turn your thoughts away from criticising others and things around you by
simply thinking about better things. You can use affirmations in many ways.
• First thing in the morning and/or last thing at night, you could just remind yourself of
a couple of things to be grateful for – such as good weather, loving husband, helpful
teenagers, wonderful children, our good health, our job, our good looks, our specialist
skills,, etc etc.
• Anytime at all you could use affirmations to boost your own self esteem – just say
them calmly to yourself several times, for several days in a row, until you start to feel
they are true. Here are a few ideas, breathe deeply and try to FEEL them to be true.
”I am loved” (this could mean by family, partner, friends, God, or the universe, etc)
”I love” (this could be anything such as the above, or such as hugs, food, books,
music, walks, swimming, flowers, trees, cats, sunshine, rain, whatever you can think
of. Try writing down a list, and add to it every day. Draw too if you feel so inclined.
”I am lucky enough to be able to ……..” (list your skills here, and also everyday
things such as cook, drive, read and write, etc… anything that lets you go about your
life in both normal and special or unique ways.). These are also nice to do while you
are walking along, and you can add things you see around you – perhaps the bird
singing in the hedge, the blossom, the sun.
• And here are some more:
I release past fears and resentments / I am open to receive. / Life is a miraculous
gift! / I am here to learn, grow, and have fun. / I am responsible for creating my own
happiness. / I deserve to take good care of myself. / I nurture my body and feed my
soul. / I make the time to be still, and listen to the truth. / Talking it out – heals /
I express myself clearly and positively. / I forgive others and myself, and let pain go. /
I am becoming more and more of who I can be. / I am ready to move forwards.
• Affirmations must be in the present tense to be effective – not some vague distant
• There are also a lot of inspiring quotations out there – I have an inspiration page on
my website, which I regularly add to. I also include some in my books.
Do remember that is normal for people to feel down at least some of the time, just some
people hide it better or deal with it differently perhaps. I tend to think it is people who
think more deeply about life who struggle a bit more with it, perhaps because a night’s
partying doesn’t switch it off – it is not really the answer because it all seems a bit
shallow to you.
Please don’t feel bad about yourself because of it, as obviously that would make it worse
– just try to recognise the patterns and find the best ways for your unique self to deal with
it. Try to look for things you can learn from difficult situations or emotions instead of
trying to dismiss them. Allow yourself time to work things through instead of expecting
to be unrealistically ‘normal’ all the time – just ensure that you put a limit on how long
you dwell on stuff – you must move beyond it at some point – and if you let yourself
work it through fully instead of trying to ignore it, then you are more likely to do this.
Observe yourself and notice the patterns – then use your self management skills – for
example you might say, okay so this weekend I am going to just set time aside of myself
to work this situation over, and I’ll be okay by Sunday dinner time and go out for a really
nice meal (as a reward). If you need an extra day, then take Monday off work, but be
sure to return Tuesday, don’t allow this to drift. This is how you take back control, and
earn your own self respect, which is much more important than other people’s respect.
However, you do also earn other people’s respect when you take control – step back
when you need to, instead of trying to be sociable – even ask people to give you a bit of
space instead of coming round – knowing that you will be better company later on when
you are ready and be open, explain to them why instead of letting them feel rejected.
Your true friends will understand, and will also feel good if you promise to call on them
if you really need to, otherwise that you will see them when you are done. This honesty
lets them see that you are managing the situation logically, and it also sets an example to
give other people the permission to use these skills.
I should say here that it is really important to write things down as you work them
through, rather than just trying to work them out inside your head – because your mind
will tend to just get woolly and run out of steam, whereas writing it down develops
clarity, mostly because there is more of a sequence to it. There are other ways you could
do it of course, such as speaking out loud and making recordings, and listening back, then
recording again. I can’t say I’ve tried this, but I can imagine I might find myself
laughing at myself after a bit – I must try it! What I have tried though, is to pretend I am
actually having a conversation with someone, where I am both people, so I change places
and speak for each one – an amazing exercise, as not only do you work through the
situation, but you also get to understand the other point of view a bit, if you don’t just
make a parody of it – but even that would be fun.
Don’t try to speak directly with other people involved in the situation, or actually send
them a letter or email, until you have taken the heat out of your emotions and reached
some clarity about your feelings. This way you can vent without walking out of or losing
your job, or damaging your relationship (whether partner, colleague, friend, or family).
Obviously, if by the end of it you have boiled it down to a few crucial bits that need
addressing, then you can deal with it appropriately because the exaggerated emotional
response has gone and you can be clear about what you need to do or say. You should
thus be able to respectfully approach others and explain your viewpoint and ask for what
you need. If you feel a need to apologise for anything, then that is fine, but don’t be
defensive about it or dismiss the problem that way because it will only arise again, try to
be clear about your viewpoint and what steps you think need taking to remedy the
situation. As long as you are prepared to listen to other people’s viewpoints as well, then
you should expect people to consider yours. It is the only way that solutions can ever be
found that work for all parties. If there are negative things that need to be said, then you
could always soften these by also pointing out any positives – for example, “I really
appreciate that this is a great project, but do I think that we should take a different
approach to how we…….. because I feel ………..” or “I am really grateful that you want
to always do the cooking, but I would really like to sometimes have a turn. To be honest,
we do have some differences in taste, and it’s only fair that I get to choose what we eat
and prepare it the way I want to sometimes. Also on the days I cook, perhaps you could
do the dishes, instead of it always being my job – I don’t mind doing chores, but I like a
bit of variation where possible, and I would enjoy the creativity of cooking.”
You cannot progress with life if you don’t deal with the bits that really matter. If in the
clear light of day you decide you need to make some big changes, then it will also restore
your power to start making your plans gradually. Even if it is something like moving out
to your own place, or a total change of career, let the power of knowing that you need to
do it guide you so that you feel excited by new possibilities rather than daunted by the
process of getting there. If you lose steam anywhere along the way, remind yourself that
you are breaking free of a situation that you could have let yourself remain trapped in if
you hadn’t had the strength and insight to realise it, and the courage to do something
Okay so maybe there are a few ideas here that might help you start to feel more
comfortable with yourself and the world around you, and I can always help you find more
if you would like to contact me. If we can find our rightful place in the world then we are
likely to be able to banish depression and take back our personal power. Please do not be
afraid to seek it out.
As Shakespeare wrote “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day,
thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Bundle of 2 MEDITATION GUIDES is available from our GUIDES page.
Guide 1 – Information / Principles / Energy and Breath / Protection /
Grounding / Safety
12 full pages + 4 pg bonus informative book review.
Guide 2 Practice
23 full pages of techniques & examples to use from simple to advanced.
Includes some meditations for groups and for couples.
Bundle of 2 STRESS BUSTING Guides is available from our GUIDES page.
A 40+ page Guide for Stress Busting
from Stress Consultant Julia Woodman
including her TV demonstration script.
plus an additional 20+ pages of guidelines
which she uses for her workshops
with extra ideas and exercises to help you.
and see my other blog here –
Depression, Addiction, and even Weight issues can be linked to Mineral Imbalance –
for some ideas about how body chemistry might be affecting you
(including cell function, hydration, detoxification)
PROFESSIONAL POET. Julia Woodman (also known as Jay or Joules) writes and teaches about many thngs to try to help people and communities locally and globally She also works as a poet and artist in schools and festivals, sometimes including storytelling. She has wide experience of working with children and young people, as well as relevant training.