That feeling of fear. What is it? Describe it? When I ask this of myself and others, the replies are the thoughts people have about fear and not a description of the "feeling" of fear. That is not unexpected, after all it is the left brain's, rational/analytical job to put into words feelings that arise from somewhere in our bodies, the subconscious.
In today's mental health climate, there is arguably no hotter topic than stigma. It's something that sufferers, advocates, charities and governments alike are trying to curb, and justifiable so, given that studies have suggested that as many as nine out of every 10 people with a mental illness feel that stigma has negatively impacted their lives.
My mum refused to leave me even in a room on my own, which was particularly hard considering she was also single-handedly raising my brother and sister, both recently diagnosed as autistic. When she had to take them to hospital appointments, she left me with my grandparents, she was so worried I'd hurt myself. And I often did hurt myself.
I had heard that women in their third trimester get emotional, only the other day I sprayed my face with too much fake tan and burst into tears (looking back THAT, was funny) but no one warned me of the gut wrenching, heart smashing 'end of an era' come down that I spent the weekend with.
I used to think naps were either for the elderly or students but actually, they are a really savvy way of boosting creativity into your day. Plus, it makes sense that only short naps have positive benefits because humans are monophasic (we sleep once a day unlike most animals who sleep several times a day).
So how was your last couple of months at work? Nice and relaxed: you've been making the most of your lunch breaks, nipping out for yoga classes and managing calmly. Or - and this, perhaps, is the more likely scenario - there's a rising tide of emails in your inbox, you're on a tight deadline and doing the work of three people after recent cuts. Sound more like it?
A friend of mine once said to me, "I don't know what God is, but when I look at a butterfly or a flower, I know that I can't do that." It is possible to view the world this way -- with the acceptance of uncertainty and appreciative curiosity for the mundane -- because of a set of networks in the nervous system that I refer to as the "growth function."
We have two nervous systems. One is the sympathetic nervous system or the "on" switch for anxiety and the other is the parasympathetic nervous system or the "off" switch. We need to learn where those switches are and what turns them on and then what turns them off and let me tell you it's not simple either, but also not impossible.
Since I've practiced these steps I've discovered lightness and ease that has replaced the anxiety. I now see that my need to try and control the future left me no room to enjoy today. The drive to control every outcome has left me, yet nothing outside has changed. I had been trying to find happiness but instead I've learnt to be free of unhappiness.
The £1.2 trillion question is this. What will it take for older people to release their housing equity in order to plan for care? For me the answer lies in changing the conversation about planning for later life and providing an environment where the focus is on relationships and contribution.
Toby Maguire is the Stress Management trainer at The Body Holiday, St Lucia, where he has been working for 3 years. Before joining the renowned wellbeing resort he spent 12 years in Thailand where he set up his own hotel and spa training company whilst working as a stress management consultant, meditation instructor, life coach and holistic practitioner at health and wellness resorts.
Our lifestyles often mean we have no reserves of energy to draw on if something happens and we find ourselves in crises. Many of us work flat out for years without taking a break. Our bodies are used to short bouts of effort and stress, but we are simply not designed for it to go on for years. We have to find what makes us happy and add it into our lives now for optimum health.
Dear Penny and Jim, I'm writing to thank you for having me on The Breakfast Show on BBC London last Thursday. I don't know if you remember me; you were running a news piece about the tragic death of Tallulah Wilson, a girl who suffered from an eating disorder and subsequently killed herself in late 2012...
Language is very important and as we can see, getting it right can in some cases be a matter of life or death. And while I understand big companies need to chase people who do not pay their bills, they need to be accurate in the way they communicate with customers.
'Bulimic' spenders -purchase only to rush back to the shops, guilt-stricken to return what they've bought, once they realise they can't afford it or that it's not actually going to give them the lifestyle they want. Although their 'reverse shopping' habit keeps their finances under control they expose themselves to high stress levels and feelings of self-loathing.
Often when growing up many of us were shamed for not being perfect, criticised harshly for not getting things right first time, even mocked or ridiculed, emotionally or physically abused, or ignored. If any of that resonates with you, the chances are fairly high that unless you have re-framed all of the punishing lessons you learned as a child you will have low self -esteem.