Why Good Advice Might Be Bad Advice (and vice versa)

[post status: a little rough, but there’s something useful buried in here!] Here’s some advice you might hear if you’re dealing with anxiety: “It doesn’t matter WHY you’re struggling, accept the feelings and focus instead on the present” Sounds great. But, then, so does this: “we should confront and heal our past traumas so they […]

‘Working Conversations’ Talk about Anxiety

You might be interested in this talk I was invited to give recently at the University of Liverpool. The occasion was “Working Conversations”, a conference intended to discuss what a better mental health service might look like. I was invited to share my experiences with anxiety, some thoughts about custard, and to throw open a […]

Have Fun, For Fun’s Sake!

[This relatively sensible post was originally written for puttylike.com] I often feel pressure, like questions are burnt into my brain by endless repetition: Am I contributing to the world right now? Am I making enough money? Am I deepening myself, learning new skills and growing as a person? You might think that achieving any of […]

You Can’t Not Do Things, You Can Only Do Them

[Another quick post today.] Sometimes it seems as if the solution to a problem is to NOT do something. For example, if our problem is “I can’t stop thinking about this person” it might seem that we simply have to stop thinking about them. Obvious, right? No. Actually, that’s impossible.

Do You Plan, Ruminate, Worry, Poke, Prod, and Fumble? How to Stop Overanalysing Your Life

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] I’ve been planning to write this post for approximately seven years. Every possible paragraph has been carefully researched. Each of my thoughts has been studied intensely by a number of focus groups so that they are perfectly formed. (In fact, the focus groups were themselves chosen by focus […]

Do You Feel the Need to Be Impressive?

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] Hi, my name’s Neil Hughes and, because I’m human, I want you to be impressed by me. This is a normal urge. We are social animals, so it’s natural to be concerned about our status within the tribe. Our brains: Am I important? What do people think when […]

Why You’re So Confused About What You Want

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] There’s lots of advice out there on how to achieve your dreams. But what if I don’t know what my dream even is?! How on earth do I move on when I have difficulty realising what I even want?