Silhouette of woman from behind

The numerous symptoms of depression range from relatively mild; where life has become dreary and joyless; to very severe where it’s an effort just to face the next day. In the first case, the person may not even know they’re depressed, while in the second they may even consider suicide as a way out of their suffering. Whatever the level of depression it affects all areas of life; mood, energy levels, sleep, appetite, libido and of course, relationships.

Father holding baby to chest

So often the dread of something is far worse than the thing itself. Worrying about sleeplessness, and about how we’ll feel the next day, burns up far more energy than simply accepting it; relaxing and focusing on letting go. Whenever we lack sleep and feel fragile; whenever we feel vulnerable or over stretched, we try to control our lives by mapping out our future. In attempting to “sort things out”, we can fall prey to obsessive “planning” in the small hours of the morning – a time when…

Rain landing on water

In an ideal world food should simply be an enjoyable way to fuel the body. However in some instances, food has become inextricably linked with emotional messages that have nothing whatsoever to do with nourishing the body. Food can be used as a reward; the only way some people know how to demonstrate affection is by lavishing food. Others use it as a punishment: forcing children to finish everything from their plate, or sending them to bed hungry for a misdemeanor. This can have two different outcomes –…

close up of barbed wire

There are numerous ways past traumas affect our present behaviour; from panic attacks to depression, from phobias to explosive anger. Traumatic experiences, no matter how severe, can be resolved by identifying and working with the deeper underlying imbalances that caused them in the first place. It is said that if we can’t, or don’t want, to deal with emotional pain (and here I include hatred, anger, jealousy, grief), that blocked energy has to “land” somewhere. It is the physical body and in consequence our behavioural patterns that carry the…

Train tracks between fields

The loss of a loved partner, child, friend or even a beloved animal can leave us feeling bereft, angry and even depressed. We embark on a future without our loved one while surrounded by numerous reminders of their absence. Our everyday lifestyle and actions are seriously affected. Grieving is a PROCESS that we need to go through – it doesn’t just pass away with time nor can it be rationalised away by the intellect.

Person running down country lane

When we release feelings of anger or hatred for another, we free up an enormous amount of energy that then becomes available to invest into other areas of our life. Do you ever notice that when you’re angry or resentful towards someone, your thoughts keep returning to that person or situation, again and again, dwelling on what was said or done, or even plotting revenge? This takes a lot of energy and leaves you with little or no peace. Self judgment always stems from our own unhealed pain….

Blowing bubbles

Our every mood and emotion is mirrored in the way we breathe. When we’re relaxed and happy our breath is soft, deep and flows easily. When we’re fearful, angry or traumatized however, we tend to hyperventilate; taking short shallow breaths or even holding our breath altogether! Often we don’t even notice this tendency, and many people become aware of their breathing only when they’re out of breath.

Turtle swimming in sea

When as children we’re faced with frightening or abusive people or situations that are beyond our ability to handle, often the only way we can cope is by tightening our bodies, holding our breath and turning our attention away to some dream reality. This is called Body Armouring and as children we do this automatically and unconsciously in our attempts to protect ourselves from an abusive outer reality. The greater the level of abuse and dysfunction in our outer world; family, school, peer groups, neighbourhood, the more we…

Child sucking thumb

As infants when we cry, very often our mother will put something into our mouth – something to suck, drink or eat to quieten and soothe us. This happens countless times during the most formative years of our life. In consequence we often unconsciously link pain, anger, frustration or grief with the need to put something in our mouth.