With this approach, my hope is that we can eventually create a world without intervention at the point of crisis, where good mental wellbeing is woven into the fabric of our society and where we all lead healthier, happier lives as a result.
The negative effects associated with sleep deprivation should make improving and educating on sleep health a priority issue for the NHS. As a doctor, I know from personal experience that the number of patients seeing their GP due to poor sleep is rising.
A sports coach may want to help a young person develop sporting character, but it is the influence of the parent who shapes a young person most. If sports teams wish to pursue glory, parents are one of their best assets.
In a world of so many opinions, possibilities and 'right' ways to live, decision making can feel overwhelming. We've all been faced with choices - some 'small' and others that feel much more 'important' - should we say yes to that social engagement, do we speak out for what feels 'right', do we turn down that job that doesn't feel right but would say goodbye to financial worries?
When it happened to me, I suddenly exploded and my cancer anger poured out of me. The flood gates, the iron gates, reasoning and rationality, trust and self belief - none was strong enough to hold back the eruption of rage, anger, bitterness, hate, resentment and fear.
Years ago, before self-harm became part of my life, my understanding of the term would have been as a purely physical act. I equated self-harm with physical self-injury, of the sort that would leave visible damage.
You're standing in line, awaiting your first coffee of the day. At Starbucks or a hip, provocatively independent, organic joint, whichever better fits your world-view, budget or addiction level. I'm not fussy, as long as it's caffeinated, which says a bit about all three for me.
I listened to the crying every night but one night I heard the father opposite sobbing. His child was getting worse. Doctors and nurses rushed in, discussing next steps. At that moment, a flash of insight hit me: this pain is universal. It's not personal, it's not mine alone. That's just the way things are.
My understanding of self-compassion has changed dramatically in the last three months or so. Up until I really started learning about it, I believed that self-compassion and treating myself were the same thing. They're not. There's a world of a difference between the two. Self-compassion is defined by two key features:
When we put our head above the parapet and strive for something bigger and better, naturally we dream that it will be a success, but it's no fun if it's too easy and that is when we begin to get complacent. How boring would life be in a world where everything went our way? We will never strive for more when what we've got appears to be sufficient.