Colours arouse strong emotions in all of us. These emotions may be linked to memories. I can't stand bottle green because it reminds me of bleak school uniforms. But ochre yellow and fuchsia pink always take me back to sunny days in colourful Rajasthan India.
It's so easy to stay settled in our comfort zone waiting for 'someone' to come along and tell us it's OK to leave. Only we can give ourselves that permission. We can quieten that voice in our heads that says "you're not allowed to do that' and shout back: "Actually I am!"
Clothing humanises us; it's a primary form of self-expression. History has shown, conversely, that a fast way to dehumanise and diminish a person is to strip them of their personal clothing. You may have seen distressing images of mistreated prisoners; they are often naked or semi-naked, their lack of clothing emphasising their vulnerability and robbing them of individuality.
Unhappy people feel they need to scratch a massive itch, to leap out of a rut, to satisfy a deep desire. And they can do that with something very small. A tiny, positive action can bring happiness today. And again tomorrow. And every day.
Becoming a people-pleaser may keep the peace - even win you friends - but is the personal cost really worth it? Often resentment, dissatisfaction and loss of self-esteem are the result of not being able to say No.
Christmas is coming and it's not just the goose who's getting fat. Many people will also be piling on a few extra pounds over the holiday period. So how can we use what's known about the brain to put less in our stomachs this year?
I am currently conducting a survey into confidence and one of the things I'm interested in is the way a person's body is when they lack confidence. They tend to slump, they withdraw physically, their head drops and their eyes look away.
As humans we have evolved as social animals. It once made sense for us to stick to our own tribe because outsiders represented danger. They don't any more. Invite more outsiders into your tribe and freshen up your friendships and your life.
With the UK's National No Smoking Day less than a month away, if you're planning to give up on that day you need to start preparing now. Don't be fooled by some of these myths about quitting smoking and you can be smoke-free next month!
The brain is the ultimate habit machine. Your life has unknowingly been sent down a set of rails, and your cunning brain switched to autopilot. Making changes means seizing back control. To do this you have to shake up those old habits and routines, take new routes.
My lack of interest stems from the fact that what you're thinking has little to do with how you will behave. Sure, what you're thinking will affect how you're feeling. But it will barely connect with what you do. And what I'm really interested in is behaviour.
Bronnie was a palliative nurse whose life was transformed when she found herself tending to the needs of the dying. She began to catalogue the most common regrets of the people she cared for. A common wish was that they had simply let themselves be happier.
This week a government body finally woke up to the fact that TV makes us fat. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is drafting recommendations that people cut down on their TV consumption. Having ditched the box myself ten years ago, I wonder why it took them so long to switch on to something so obvious.
What you wear affects you psychologically. It can profoundly alter your mood. It also influences how others respond to you. And the visual illusion created by cut and fabric dramatically changes the appearance of your body. Your clothes can affect your job prospects, your love life and even your self-image.
My friend Ruth recently confessed to me that she just didn't know how to feel really happy. She wasn't depressed, she insisted, she just wasn't feeling really happy. What is happiness? I asked her. She immediately came back with, "It's a feeling. A good feeling". As our chat continued we realised that we can't wait to feel happy. Sometimes we have to do happy.
Research shows that adults who can delay gratification and regulate their behaviour are more likely to be high achievers. They're also the savers with long-term plans, quietly gloating over the live-it-up splurgers.
After starting my day with a diet of positivity I find my whole outlook changes. And this has a knock-on effect. After all, if you enter a room with a smile on your face you're more likely to spread a bit of sunshine than if you go in scowling.
08/04/2014 13:03 BST
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