Do you feel depressed after Christmas?

Many of us feel depressed after Christmas. When the festivities are passed, we’ve welcomed in the New Year, or watched others do so, and the tinsel is put away, we’re left with ourselves and what is unfulfilled or not working in our lives.  It’s the post-Christmas let-down for some, while others may not really enter into the spirit of the occasion in the first place. It can be a hard time. It’s like a massive bump back to earth, back to seeming reality. We get caught up in the pre-Christmas rush to buy presents, get in the food (“Get ready … Read more

You can make yourself feel happier if you choose

In contrast to the conventional wisdom, the World Happiness Database has found that having goals doesn’t make you happier. Given that very many in coaching start with questions around goals, this can seem a challenging proposition until we reflect on the relationship between having goals and happiness. The point that is being made in this research is that intellectual concepts like goals, meaning and purpose aren’t in themselves things that create a sense of wellbeing, although they can help. Goals help us move towards something that is life-enhancing. As is argued, it is in the action and thus the experience … Read more

Enjoyment of your holiday is to let joy be present

It might seem a strange question, but how often do we really, actually have enjoyment in our holidays, do we en-joy them, and let joy be present? Holidays aren’t always the pleasure for people that you might think they “should” be. August can be a strange month. For most of us, it is holiday time, but not all  go away this month, and some aren’t having holidays at all. The locality where one lives can be very quiet, almost unreal. In Paris apparently about 50% go away, and those that are left are more relaxed and strangely friendly with one … Read more

How generosity in others reminds us of what is missing in us

Reflecting further on generosity, I’ve often noticed how it seems to be the people who have least who are the most generous and helpful towards their fellow humans. I was talking with a coachee who had been on a charity fund-raising drive across Asia and how he had driven through very remote regions and hit all sorts of problems along the way. However, what most struck him was how invariably friendly people were, hospitable and willing to help them fix their problems with their car. He told me it was particularly so amongst those who appeared to have not a … Read more

Focus on what gives you contentment

Perhaps you have been enjoying the spring weather. Perhaps you have been anticipating a break coming up over the Easter period and may even be enjoying one now. Or maybe this spring is passing you by. Sometimes we can be so absorbed with what’s going on for us that we can miss what is right in front of us, including that which can give us pleasure. Do you miss what could give you real pleasure in life? We might have pressing matters that we need to attend to. Very many of us are seemingly constantly busy, with too much to … Read more

Why do people cry at weddings?

I attended a wedding last weekend in the august surroundings of the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral in London,  at which someone my wife had known a long time was getting married. It was a traditional Anglican wedding, during which we were treated to a sermon by the priestess. Her subject was “Why do people cry at weddings?” I was initially absorbed by her range of psychological explanations, until she settled on a religious explanation as the real reason. Well, if you are a devotee of that tradition, or others for that matter, I can imagine that her explanation that … Read more

Become aware of your deep inner resource that is always there for you

Deep inside us we all have a great potential resource, our inner Awareness. It is a bit like an inner secret but not necessarily one that we would fear others finding out but that we just don’t need others to know about unless we’re feeling like talking about it. It just is. It’s there for us for whenever we need it. You can access this inner Awareness at any time. You could even be aware of it all the time. However, to access it, all you have to do is to consciously take a deep breath, let go on the … Read more

The quality of your life

You might give your mind a mental scan and check out how it’s doing as regards happiness and contentment right now. Where is it on a scale of 1 to 10? What might your mind be preoccupied with right now? What has been absorbing your attention recently? If you didn’t have the computer to distract you, where would you go in your mind? This is a useful check. It’s to get at what is in the background of your awareness. Sometimes we aren’t thinking about it, as our minds might superficially be on something else. But we might know it … Read more

When joy goes down the pan

So we’ve been having good weather. Perhaps you have been focusing on that and feeling good. Then you might have been enjoying the weekend. Or you might have been practicing focusing on your own inner joy. But then along comes rain, or you’re back at work. Perhaps the same old issues re-emerge. And your good feelings disappear, to be replaced by other more negative ones. Is that a familiar pattern? Do you find that you might be enjoying yourself when some negative thought creeps in and the whole edifice dissolves? Some people might even say that when they feel good … Read more

When did you last have a really good laugh?

When did you last have a really good laugh? Like really let go and had a belly laugh? It can be a sobering question. One senior manager in a company where we were running a laughter workshop shared that he hadn’t laughed like that for 10 years. He could remember the last time clearly. You might ask yourself: how serious do you tend to be most of the time. How much do you laugh? It can be a useful indicator of the level of joy in our lives. How much do we feel pleasure, do we smile naturally (as opposed … Read more