Do you feel stuck?

mindset stress Jul 21, 2021

Who doesn’t love a good movie? My family and I recently watched “Knives Out”, a good ol’ fashioned “who dunnit” that keeps you guessing to the end.


“Knives Out” has all the elements of a great story. Drama. Mystery. Intrigue. Struggle. Villains.  Twists. Humour. Surprise and of course, a fitting ending.


You’re kept on your toes throughout as Detective Blanc works his way through all the possible suspects to find out who murdered Harlan Thrombey, the wealthy novelist. All along there are little titbits to dupe you into thinking you’ve figured it out but then … wham, something else crops up and it’s back to the drawing board. 


In most great stories, there is a struggle of some sort. The main character faces what looks like impossible odds. The prince must first slay the dragon and beat his way through a thorn forest before he can even think about rescuing the princess from the...

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Discover how the 3 C's affect your ability to handle challenges

mindset stress Jun 23, 2021

Some say that adults make about 35 000 choices every day. I don’t know which patient soul took the time to count, but the point is, we make a lot of daily decisions.  

And because we face a constant barrage of options, our brains look for ways to make things simpler. It might take 10 minutes to decide what to eat in a restaurant but if every decision took that long, it would be hard to get anything done!

So, our very efficient brains get really good at finding ways to manage excessive information. We develop habits which remove a lot of conscious thought. If you always exercise first thing in the morning, it becomes something you “just do”. You don’t act based on how you feel or if there’s enough time. It’s simply part of a routine that always happens.  

Repeating activities until we are skilled is another way of reducing the thinking load. Do you remember when you first learned to drive or play a musical instrument? It took all your...

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The salt and pepper approach to managing emotions

emotions stress Jun 02, 2021

Salt and pepper, knives and forks, socks and shoes, hot chocolate, and marshmallows. There are some things which just go together … although the jury is still out on hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Each of these things has a unique function. If you run out of salt, you can’t improve the taste of food with extra pepper. Two knives don’t make for easy eating and an extra pair of socks won’t cut it if you’ve forgotten your shoes.  

Synergy is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the interaction or cooperation of two or more organisations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

When it comes to our emotions, we are similarly equipped with two complimentary systems that work in a synergistic way.

On the one hand, we have neural pathways in a part of the brain known as the limbic system. These neural networks help us to make sense of our world. They underpin our emotional...

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The truth about emotions that most people don’t know

If you’ve lived for a minute, you’ve probably seen the words “keep calm and carry on” written somewhere. That was the slogan put out by the British government to prepare people for World War 2. More recently, it makes for good marketing and you can find it’s cousin on just about anything from socks for woman in labour (“keep calm and push”) to mugs for stressed out teachers (“keep calm and pretend it’s on the lesson plan”).

I know the intention is good but actually, it’s terrible advice! As some wise soul said, “never in the history of calming down has anyone calmed down by being told to calm down”.

Staying calm is about keeping things under wraps. But emotions are unpredictable. They make us feel vulnerable. And in a heightened emotional state, we are prone to saying or doing things that we later regret. So, we resort to control. 

Through our childhood years and beyond, we are very likely to hear...

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5 tips for designing a life that works for you

autism lifestyle stress May 19, 2021

Did you know that there are shops which sell products specifically for left-handed people? You can buy all sorts of things … from scissors to knives, peelers, tin openers, garden equipment and a host of other things that might take your fancy.

As the only right-handed person in my family, I get a tiny taste of what “lefties” experience every day. The kettle is always facing the wrong way and don’t get me started on the bread! Thank goodness for the sliced variety – it prevents the inevitable doorstop which results when a “rightie” cuts after a “leftie”.  

“Design”, as Steve Jobs said when introducing the original iPhone, “is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

We all have our own unique design which affects how we operate on a day-to-day basis. We gravitate towards things that match our design and steer away from things that don’t.

If you have a talent for...

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Understanding Autistic Overwhelm

autism relationships stress Apr 28, 2021

The “O” word. Overwhelm. I hear so many of my clients use it to describe how they feel.  

Overwhelm is often the reason that intellectually able people seek a diagnosis in the first place. It’s not necessarily big issues with communication or people skills per se but rather, a sense that it’s all too much.

“All too much” comes in many shapes and sizes. It may be the university student who drops out of their course because they are too far behind. Or the partner who is collapsing under the combined demands of raising children and running a home. It could be the person who feels unable to cope with the endless emails and project challenges at work.  

The reality is that demands grow as we move from childhood to adulthood. “Adulting”, as some call it, comes with a lot of pressure. University students, for example, have to figure out a myriad of new things. From feeding themselves to finding their way around campus, making new...

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The key to managing stress that we aren’t taught about

adults stress Feb 09, 2021

I recall a particular day a few years ago, when my two children were engaged in a full-scale battle. You know the kind where accusations fly through the air like invisible spears? Things took a turn for the worse and one child pushed the other. My inner parent suddenly leapt into action and what happened next was most unexpected ...

“Use your words!”, I exclaimed in a desperate attempt to end the mother of all arguments. At which point … my children both burst out laughing! Not exactly what I was expecting but … it did have the desired effect. I looked at them totally bemused. What could possibly have prompted that reaction?

My daughters told me that they had been watching the film, Parental Guidance. It’s a comedy in which two grandparents fumble their way around modern child rearing practises whilst looking after the grandchildren. They are given a quick parenting lesson before the grandchildren arrive … where their daughter tries to explain...

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