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    Letting ourselves lose control is often why we’re miserable.



    After more than 20 years working as a clinical psychologist at the Smart Therapy Centre, I find the single main reason why people present for help when they are unhappy and often miserable is because they (over and over again) give themselves permission to lose control. It might be allowing themselves to scream, overeat, kick someone, collapse when things get hard, drink excessively, hide and refuse to go out, take drugs or allow their anxious and depressive mentations to escalate into panic.

    Whatever the behaviour – the cause is the same. If you want to cope better with life and feel much happier, then stop giving yourself permission to lose control. Otherwise, over time you teach your brain to lose control at the tinniest, most miniscule things. We need to do the opposite. That is, train our brains that we are more than capable of NOT losing control when things go off the rails. So, next time you ruin your party dress, smile and take it in your stride.

    Please contact the Smart Therapy Centre for coaching:

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    In the end, all of us, are the sum of our decisions. 



    Take a look at two 60 year-old men. One is a dreadful role model: unwell (almost dead), overweight, boring, lacking in curiosity, retired and isolated and narrow-minded. Unpleasant to be around. The other is an inspiring role model: fit, healthy and full of vitality, interesting, a repository of knowledge, working, engaged and open-minded.  An inspiration to be around.

    Some would say they were born that way. I’d say they made different life decisions.

    One was accountable to himself and the other one was not. No excuses! Don’t take the easy way out – expect more from yourself and then deliver it – In short, be accountable.

    Please contact the Smart Therapy Centre for coaching:

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    We often give up when we feel scared – but it is important to examine our motives.



    When we get really frightened, we usually don’t want to know that we feel scared, so we fabricate stories to tell ourselves. The smarter we are, the smarter and more persuasive are our stories.

    For example, women often suddenly decide that they want to have a baby when they get stuck in their careers. Men often abruptly leave relationships for younger partners when they are challenged to face their own aging process.

    Don’t be fooled – we should NEVER GIVE UP without a thorough examination of our TRUE motives. If we give up then we stop learning (because the new stuff, like ‘career advancement’ or ‘aging’ is always scary to learn). If we stop learning this new stuff, then we can get stuck in our tracks in a repetitive, self-sabotaging pattern making us unable to move forward in life! In other words, GIVE UP, GIVING UP!

    Contact the Smart Therapy Centre for coaching.

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    We all experience up's and down's

    Feelings come and go, try not to take them personally!



    I saw someone in my work yesterday who had felt a bit nervous about a social event the week prior to our session. She normally didn’t drink but on this occasion, she had three drinks to help her relax. The next morning, she felt low in her mood and slightly anxious (alcohol has this effect). Instead of just getting on with her usual day and not paying it any attention whatsoever she spent the next week worrying about what was ‘wrong’ with her and ruminating on whether her symptoms would ‘get worse’. Of course, they became worse because of her paying them so much attention.

    Try to remember that everyone feels up and down during life - so try not to take it personally. Feelings are transient, and they come and go for many different reasons. Mostly try not to pay attention to them. Despite what many people say, keep your focus more on what you ‘do’ in life rather than on how you ‘feel’ about life.

    Contact the Smart Therapy Centre for coaching.

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    Choose to be strong

    We all get scared – it’s not much fun, but it’s normal.

    On the other hand, because we are humans with large frontal brains, we always have the power to decide how we will behave when that fear occurs.

    Do we collapse and lose all control; do we get drunk; do we over-eat for comfort; do we take drugs; do we focus on the fear so much that we have  panic attacks; do we scream at someone else and blame them or do we tell ourselves we are simply victims of our own pathology and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves?

    Or, do we decide to be strong, stop collapsing and make ourselves accountable to our future selves?

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    The need for Self Rescue: we have to dig deep and save ourselves!

    It is hard being anxious or depressed, but in the end we must all decide to take charge.

    I have worked as a clinical psychologist now for over 20 years at the Smart Therapy Centre and I have seen thousands of people in that time, and there is one thing of which I am sure.  People only recover when they stop being passive and waiting to be rescued.

    It is crucial to decide to stop the rot (the anxious or depressive rumination), no more excuses, take charge, dig deep and save yourself.  No matter what anyone tells you, there is no one coming to save you – there is you and only you!

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