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Mindfulness: thoughts are like autumn leaves in the breeze - MJ270019 Mindfulness, a personal journey

I experimented with meditation as a way of managing chronic low-level depression and to help manage the consequent irritability. It was valuable help, but as a Westerner I needed more than Oriental spiritualism. I got to the point with meditation of: “OK, so what do I do with it, how do I use it?” It allowed me to start functioning again, and get away from the darker thoughts.

Coffee and croissant A Day in the Coffice, Restoring Effective Habits

I was going stir crazy and it was entirely self inflicted. With the poor summer I was spending too much time stuck in the house and I was finding displacement activities that were stopping me getting on with other more productive, and rewarding, activities. Worse still it was dragging down my mood, yet it was all avoidable,

Busy man graffito HE18072 Moving Forward with Life, New Beginnings

Since I wrote the article Being in the Present and because of it I have been able to make changes to my attitude to life. As a result of those insights I have changed my focus and I am no longer hankering after my old life and especially not my old career. Although I miss the income I do not want to go back; it is time for a change. Letting go of the past was a useful lesson from Choosing to Be.

Choosing to Be, cover Choosing to Be, Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master

Kat Tansey's inspiring, often amusing, story of her journey out of suicidal depression with the aid of cats is for anyone, spiritual cat lover or not.

The Time Paradox, cover The Time Paradox, Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd

The Time Paradox explores how our attitudes to time affect behaviour and consequent lifestyle. It suggests ways that readers can make changes they desire or need.

The Element, cover The Element, Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

The Element provides reasons why many young people under achieve and disengage from education. Using real life examples it suggests an alternative educational approach that works with an individual's passions.

Taking the Medicine, book cover Taking the Medicine, History of Drugs and Trust

In Taking the Medicine/em> Burch argues many medical treatments, old and new, have no evidence they work. Good intentions are undermined when bad science meets blind faith.

The Diet Delusion, book cover Diet Delusion by Gary Taubes, Bad Health Science

The Diet Delusion reviews the research into obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases of the modern world - the results make uncomfortable reading.

Curiosity of childhood - X1153 Rediscovering Enthusiasm

My recovery from depression is going well but still requires me to actively adopt a positive attitude although it is beginning to be second nature. I am also trying to become open to new opportunities based on curiosity and rediscovered enthusiasm.

The way is marked - GI10002 The Dream has Begun

Not realising a new adventure has begun can get in the way of being happy. It can be easy to miss the obvious. Whilst I was fretting about what new direction to take it was pointed out to me that I had already taken it.

Just enjoy the walk - JH30019 Being in the Present

Living for now; I had a generally good Late Summer Bank Holiday weekend and I learnt some things about living for today. Accepting loss of people, things and what one once was are important parts of the recovery from depression.

Busy is not always the best answer HE18072 Starting Over, New Life

It is over a week since I updated my War Diaries and overall it has been pretty good. There have been many more "up" days than "down" and I am starting to get more done. Now I am turning my attention to some big things that once resolved should have a huge positive impact on my mood; but it is by small steps. I still have to be careful about my energy levels.

Writing in the garden, August Curiosity and Depression

The curious journey out of depression, It is a wonderful, if slightly cool, early morning in August and I have just understood more about my journey out of depression.I am taking time over a cup of coffee to reflect on what I have learned from Kat Tansey’s book Choosing to Be.

Writing as therapy Writing as Subconscious Therapy

Writing is a valuable aid to analysis and planning. Writing an article as though it is to be read by an outsider forces the mind to understand and structure the issue. I have had to face up to fact that the profitable market for my consultancy services has effectively disappeared due to austerity, and in any case I am ready for aq change. As consequence it has left me without work. I have no firm plans for my retirement which I thought was at least two years away. It now seems I am facing it now and I need to make sense of my situation.

Exercise does not have to be intense Short, Sharp Mood Swings

Over the last few days I have been taking my own advice of making sure I get out of the house for frequent gentle exercise in the form of a brisk walk and social contact. It has been a busy few days where my mood had been mainly good but with some disconcertingly sharp and uncomfortable mood swings.

Get out for a contintental breakfast or coffee Social Interaction and Exercise

Part of depression is the tendency to become very introspective and to shun social contact. This feeds the vicious circle that drives mood lower; breaking out of that cycle is essential for relief from depression.

Curiosity is a valuable tool - X1153 Depression, Exercise in Problem Solving

I have a huge thirst for knowledge and there is little that does not interest me. On good days, like today, I can see my depression as an opportunity to use many of my talents.

Stormy skies and beauty coexist Mood Management Requires Constant Vigilance

A weekend that was essentially productive demonstrates the narrow divide between being OK and in a dark place. I experienced both this last weekend. Over the weekend I achieved quite a bit. I got a book review written and published on Suite101 and another sketched out for my own Solidus site. Alison and I got several jobs done in the garden and I caught up on some administration that I had been avoiding. So all in all a useful weekend and much of the time I deservedly felt pretty good and relaxed. But...

Recognising depression is not always easy - JI09AA Acknowledging the Problem of Depression

The first step in dealing with any type of problem is recognising that there is a problem at all and then identifying the nature of that problem. I now realise I have been depressed to some extent for several years; possibly since my mother died and when, for some reason, I did not go through the usual grieving process. With hindsight I do recognise much earlier bouts of what I now understand as depression or, at least, dysthymia.

Small pleasures, apple blossom The Pleasure of Small Things

Take pleasure in small things, simply enjoy life today. It is very easy to worry about what might happen. But think what it really means for most of us.

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