I had a conversation the other night with a gentleman in his 50's, who also admitted something similar. That he suffers from "loneliness". I was so sad upon hearing this. Vulnerability always does that to me. Moves me in inexplicable ways. A lot of us get lonely at times, yet we are often too afraid, or too embarrassed to admit it.
To know oneself is both a pain and a pleasure. Often the pain is going through the journey of discovery. The pleasure is finally discovering what you are here to do - your purpose. By knowing our purpose, we can establish what we are in the world to do.
Shock horror, it turns out that analysing your feelings and facing your every weakness is a recipe for crazy. There is now hardly a minute in the day when I don't think: Why did I say that? Why did I do that? Am I self-sabotaging? Am I scared of being vulnerable?
New psychological studies have proved that walking improves our cognitive performance; that it enhances our working memory and ability to learn, as well as creative thinking and problem solving. To reap these walking-induced benefits, however, we must be walking at our own chosen pace.
On a late sunny afternoon October 2nd 2014, I skipped out of my new Doctor's surgery feeling like a teenager. Having just received the news about my present state of health, I had every reason to radiate joyfulness and exhibit my delight and gratitude.
Many of us adopt an exercise and nutrition approach that involves us staying on the straight and narrow Monday to Friday, where we diligently exercise and eat our greens, but is then a bit more relaxed at the weekend, where we eat and drink most of the things that we have resisted for the previous five days.
Visual cortex, the part of your brain that is devoted to processing visual stimuli is the largest cortical tissue within the brain. It's serious brain real estate. No wonder. As the wise saying goes "A picture is worth a thousand words". Visual content is rich in information. In today's world it is also overwhelming.
Apparently, we see 1500 advertisements a day featuring people whose body shape in no way represents our own. This make us feel inferior. On a daily basis, we think we're failing to look as we should. And this does not make us feel good. It's not a trivial issue. If we feel bad about how we look, we make bad choices about our health; we are more likely to be depressed.
We are witnessing a crisis of wellbeing at work. Official statistics paint a picture of a nation that is stressed, anxious, overworked and insecure. UK employees work some of the longest hours in Europe, and over half of them are worried about losing their jobs. Far from being the price we pay for a competitive economy, this is economically disastrous: sickness absence alone costs the economy an estimated £100billion a year, and longer hours are associated with worse productivity. Our relentless search for growth is not only destroying the quality of our lives: it's failing even on its own terms.
Whilst there are many studies that link having a good breakfast with lower weight, most of these do not actually prove that weight loss can result from having a good breakfast - only that people of lighter weight generally tend to have a good breakfast. There could of course be many other reasons why they are of a lower weight than people who skip breakfast.
At some time or another we've all experienced our share of emotional hurt. And often when we're hurt, we dump our feelings on others or speak harshly. But this doesn't always work. Getting stuck with the hurt and moping around feeling sorry for ourselves also doesn't work. Suppressing hurt also doesn't work. Why?
Think for a moment about stress in general - stress is a naturally occurring state that increases alertness. This state is only meant to be temporary; unfortunately many people live within it constantly through synthetic highs - such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, energy drinks and many more stimulants.
Forget the 'mental' and just think 'illness'. I was ill, seriously ill, three times in my life. I was in hospital for three months on each occasion and took a long while afterwards to convalesce. But now I have been well for many years. I do not take medication. I am capable and active - I am married, with four wonderful children, a career and a happy, fulfilling life. Ergo, I am better.
One of the most common sleep problems I encounter in my clinic is waking in the early hours - usually between 2am and 4am - then finding it hard to get back to sleep. In the long term, missing out on this vital stage of sleep can be debilitating and even lead to serious health problems.
Whilst I'm in the shower, Dorothy starts talking to me. Dorothy is the voice I currently hear. Thankfully, she's also the only voice I hear at the moment. I've only been hearing her for a few months but she's very similar to other voices I've heard in the past - nasty. Dorothy tells me that satellites are watching me whilst I shower.
For those of us working to popularise mental health though, the focus of World Mental Health Day can be frustratingly negative, dominated by discussions of mental illness and defined more by the differences between us than the things that unite us.