Health & Wellness Website, Life Coaching

Brighter Days Ahead: Combatting Depression

Depression. The word itself invokes a morbidity in us, especially if we’ve been there. When depression hits, it is very difficult to see the brighter side of life as we are plunged into a darkness that there appears to be no way out of.

I know – I speak from experience. As a sufferer of clinical depression, I have been lost in that darkness. I have felt like my very existence was futile, and wished for an off-switch to my emotions, or just an off-switch to me.

Battling my way out of that darkness was tough. There was no quick fix. But eventually I did it, and reclaimed myself.

However, when you’re in the depths of a depressive episode, it is very difficult to see a way out. It is also very easy to allow the darkness to immerse you completely.

My advice to you would be don’t give up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s all about changing your mindset to believe that.

Again, easier said than done.

The thing with depression is that it is insidious, and it will take control of your brain if you let it. Staying in bed all day. Refusing to leave the house. Isolating yourself because nobody can understand the thoughts that are running through your mind.

It may seem like an impossible task, but you have to take control back. Get out of bed. Take a shower. Leave the house. Meet up with loved ones.

The only way to break out of the negative cycle that depression enforces on you is to make yourself do the very things you don’t want to.

Sitting at home and wallowing in negativity will not help you. It will make you worse. Believe me; I know.

It will take time, and it will be extremely difficult. Baby steps are highly advisable rather than trying to achieve too much at once. Maybe try something small each day that will bring a little light relief into your life.

Watch a favourite movie or TV show (Friends always worked for me.) Eat your favourite dessert. Indulge in a hobby or activity that has always brought your joy, such as reading a book, drawing, writing poetry or in your journal. Take a walk. Put on some music and sing. Spend time with a family member. Whatever works for you – just try it. Anything that takes your mind off your negative thoughts is a bonus, if only for a short period each day.

The more you do it, the longer those periods will be.

And more than anything – make sure you get enough sleep. A full nights sleep should consist of 7-8 hours a night. This is essential to your health and well-being, because your body cannot function properly without sleep. And your body needs to function properly while you concentrate on healing your brain.

Depression can cause insomnia or broken sleep, but there are various remedies to stop this. Herbal tea, a bath before bed, light exercise or meditation, lavender oil on your pillow, relaxation before bedtime (no social media, messaging or tv.) There are also plenty of herbal tablets to buy over the counter. Failing that, seek professional help. Speak to your GP about relaxation methods or medication.

You can do this, you know. You just need to believe in yourself.

Health & Wellness Website, Life Coaching

5 Ways To Lead A Happier Life

“There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations.” Jodi Picoult

In my younger years, I was adamant that I had no expectations about my life. I gave off an ‘I don’t care’ vibe, and managed to pull it off quite well – to an extent.

In reality, I had very little control of my expectations and displayed an unrealistic view of how life should be. This was especially reflected in my relationships with others, and in particular my romantic relationships.

A few years ago, my boyfriend at the time was returning from a business trip and I was excited to see him after a week apart. Throughout the day at work, I was in a fantastic mood, cheerfully buoyant and ready for our reunion later that evening.

However, when he actually arrived home, he was tired after a long drive and seemed preoccupied with work, complaining about his manager and stomping around the house.

In the end, deprived of the reunion I had envisioned, I flounced off to bed early and left him to brood alone.

The next morning, I realised quickly that my reaction had been unfair. When my high expectations of our reunion had not been met, I had taken it personally and become angry and frustrated. I hadn’t taken into account the possibility of my boyfriend being tired and withdrawn, which was kind of selfish.

This is the most normal example I can bring to mind of my ridiculously high or stupidly low expectations causing unnecessary hurt and misery to both myself and those involved.

Our expectations create a view of how we think things should be, but very often people fail to live up to them. We cannot control how others feel, think and act, and by continuing to attempt to, we are setting ourselves up for a whole world of disappointment and unhappiness.

Losing all expectations brings us into any situation with an open mind, and clears the way for a happier communion with the people in our lives. But freeing ourselves of expectations is easier said than done.

Here are a few tips on how to lead a happier life expectation-free.

  1. Start with a clean slate. Go forward with an open mind. Forget about anything that has happened in the past, or that you think should happen in the future. Concentrate on the present and put one foot in front of the other. Stay in the moment and accept it for what it is.
  2. Concentrate on yourself. It may sound self-centred, but by concentrating on yourself and your own happiness, you won’t have quite so much time to wonder about other people’s actions. Plus, the only thing you really have control over is YOU.
  3. Embrace your life. Learn to appreciate the things you do have in your life rather than hankering after the things you don’t. Life is pretty amazing when you begin to live it day-by-day instead of constantly expecting things to go exactly the way you want them to. Okay, so your life may not be perfect, but nothing is.
  4. Be realistic. When you find yourself starting to expect something from a situation, stop! Take a step back and have a hard look at whether or not your belief or expectation matches reality. Is it really likely to pan out the way you think it will? Or are you being unrealistic? Sometimes, giving yourself the time to think it through rationally is all the help you will need.
  5. Believe in yourself. Honestly, it’s as simple as that. Believe in somebody. Believe in yourself. And eventually you will find that you aren’t even thinking about your expectations. You are just living your life, happily.
Health & Wellness Website, Life Coaching

Losing Your Expectations: The Secret To A Happier Life

We all have expectations in our lives, whether we are aware of them or not. We know where we want to be in life, who we want to be with, how we should be treated, even what our next meal should taste like. And these are all expectations.

An expectation is a preconceived notion of how things should be. We expect that things will be just as we have imagined them to be, but very often, people and situations fail to live up to our expectations. And that’s where the problems arise.

We have all been let down in the past by someone or something that has not turned out to be as good or as perfect as we imagined them to be. How did that make us feel?

Upset. Disappointed. Disillusioned. Unhappy.

By expecting things to happen in the way we want or imagine them to, we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Having expectations about how our desires should manifest will only create negative feelings when these expectations are not met.

“So I should lower my expectations instead?”

Absolutely not!

Having high expectations will understandably invite disappointment as people or circumstances consistently fail to live up to them.

Having low expectations, however, will create a very negative way of thinking, and this in turn stunts our happiness.

By expecting everything to go badly or not happen at all, we are narrowing our outlook on life and making everything seem like it, well, sucks.

Yes, there will be occasions where your low expectations are surpassed, and for a while this will give you happiness. But when so many things meet your low expectations, it will just reinforce your conclusion that life is basically sh*t. And eventually, this will cause unhappiness.

“So, I shouldn’t have high expectations and I shouldn’t have low expectations – what should I have?”


Yes, that’s right. NO expectations. Let them go. Let the universe shape your life for you.

You can’t control the way people act, think or feel, and you can’t guarantee the outcome of a situation just because you have expected it to be so. Basing your happiness on outside influences will eventually lead you to anger and misery, as well as frustration at a life that isn’t going as you planned.

Go with the flow. Experience life a moment at a time. Enter into situations with an open mind, and let whatever happens unfold. Remain confident and positive and ready to accept life as it is rather than how you expect it to be. You will be amazed at how much happier you feel.

Health & Wellness Website, Life Coaching

The Path To Happiness

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”

– Marcus Aurelius

Happiness: we all want it. We crave it in our lives, and work hard to achieve a happier future. But very often it eludes us. Why is that?

I love the above quote by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. It describes our path to happiness in the simplest of ways. And in fact, that is what happiness actually is – very simple. The problem is, we insist on making it more difficult than it is.

These days, people frequently attach their happiness to another person or a goal or possession. It is seen as something to strive for, which is no bad thing. But when our happiness depends on it, this isn’t so good. If I could buy that new car, then it would make me so happy. If so-and-so agreed to go out with me, then my life would be complete. Too easily, we relinquish control of our own happiness and allow other people or things to dictate the path our life will take.

Stop that!

This is the quickest way to unhappiness. Believe me – I have been there.

Striving towards an illusion of happiness is not guaranteed to bring you happiness. I’m not saying it won’t bring you happiness, but this can never be guaranteed. By expecting this to happen, you are setting yourself up for a fall. Because, and I’m not saying that it definitely won’t happen, but what if it doesn’t?

Does that mean you can’t be happy?

Happiness should never be based on outside influences. Yes, people or things can certainly provide you with a level of happiness, but true happiness must come from within.

First and foremost, you must be happy with yourself. And the only way we can truly be happy with ourselves is to believe it.

When Marcus Aurelius said that happiness comes from within, in your way of thinking, he was right.

Yes, it’s that simple. Believe that you are happy, and you will be.

Health & Wellness Website, Life Coaching

Welcome To Your Happier Life

My name is Jo and I am the founder of A Happier Life For You life coaching.

I began my journey to happiness many years ago, when I decided my lifestyle and my mindset had to change. For so many of my younger years, I went through life with a negative outlook and suffered deeply from clinical depression.

It was only after a few years on anti-depressants that I realised life didn’t have to continue in this vein, and only I had the ability to change it. And so began my gradual journey to recovery, and to reclaiming my happiness.

I won’t lie; this wasn’t a quick process. I had my dark moments along the way, and periods of terrible unhappiness that I struggled to escape from. Eventually, however, I began to notice a pattern emerging, and it gave me something to work with.

As a highly intuitive empath, I have struggled over the years with my own moods as well as my ability to act as an ’emotional sponge’, meaning I become deeply affected by the atmosphere and the people around me. Knowing how to harness this has been the hard part, but I was aware that things had to change for my own well-being.

Going through such a major spiritual awakening has inspired me to help others find their happiness, and to heal from emotional suffering. Learning how to understand and positively channel my own emotions has helped me to become a happier and healthier person, and this is something I want to share.

I am hoping that my own journey will inspire others to embrace a different frame of mind and find their own way forward to a better, less stressful life.

Happiness is within us all. We just need to develop our ability to think positively.