I discovered the other day that someone I have known for many years committed suicide. This is the second time I have experienced someone connected to me taking their own life; a friend of mine also committed suicide when he and I were both in our late teens. Knowing one person who took their own life is relatively common – the statistics show that around 1 in every 6200 people worldwide commits suicide. But knowing two is certainly getting to be unusual. Continue reading “The people around us”
There was an article on the BBC News website a couple of weeks ago outlining a potential new treatment for the severely depressed. The treatment is nasally-administered ketamine which, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, led to significant improvements in the symptoms of heavily depressed and suicidal patients.
The effects were short-lived, levelling out after 25 days, but were considered to be significant enough that the team behind the trial are now entering phase three trials (the last phase of clinical trials in which the drug is tested for efficacy and safety on a large group of patients) with the intention of bringing a new product to market. Continue reading “Chemicals and depression”
I was out running on Sunday morning and it struck me that there seemed to be massively more other runners out than usual. Great to see so many people also making the effort to get themselves fit, you might think.
But hold on a minute. Continue reading “Fairweather Fitness: or the Value of Discipline”
I’m not sure why, but I have never seen happiness as a necessary outcome of my life. Indeed, for large portions of my life, I haven’t even seen my own happiness as desirable. I don’t know whether that is, in itself, good or bad but I do know that at many times I have lacked a way of clearly orienting myself in the world. I am still not able to do so all the time but I certainly have a much clearer idea about which direction I am travelling in. Continue reading “Is life about happiness?”
There is a great deal written about exercise: how you should exercise, when you should exercise, what body parts you should exercise… The MOST IMPORTANT PART of exercising is simply deciding to do it and ACTUALLY DOING IT.
Once you have made the decision, just do it – in whatever form you feel most comfortable and engaged with. Walk, run, swim, pogo stick, skip, play football… Whatever takes your fancy, just do it. Continue reading “How to get started exercising”
There were many things that helped me haul myself out of the pit and back to a frame of mind in which I could make clear, considered decisions. One of the most valuable was practicing mindfulness. The other was regular exercise.
For me, and for many other people I know and have read about, exercise is enormously beneficial to my state of mind as well as my general health. Keep reading
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is one of the most valuable and transformative meditation techniques I have tried – and I’ve tried plenty! I am always sceptical of techniques and processes that make bold claims to change your life but in this case there is not only anecdotal evidence (myself included) but also scientific evidence.
The technique is remarkably simple but it is the deliberate practice of it that makes it so effective. Keep reading