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Things My Psychologist Says


Let’s try not to label everything good or bad or measure.

EVERYTHING is progress.


Instead of derailing your day for one unforeseen obstacle, give yourself a point for each small thing you did that morning, and build incrementally…showered, got dressed, got the kids ready, dropped them to school/daycare, got to work on time…


Be sure of what you are asking or aiming for, before you communicate it, otherwise it can lead to unnecessary frustration and resentment.


Ease your consumption. Particularly in the depths of anxiety.

Media, devices, social channels. Disengage to move calmly forward.


What does perfection look like for you? Describe it.

Because if you can’t, that’s okay too, but the energy and exhaustion caused trying to attain “it” is probably not helpful.


You are getting back to the gym, health-kicks, eating healthy again etc? All good things, well done. But these can be distractions in isolation. The real hard and productive work is diving deep consistently into you, your character and your behaviours.


The runaway train of your mind is in fact just a train.

It has regular stations, and with practice you CAN choose to disembark safely at any stop.


Raising your voice at your kids every now and then does not make you a monster.

You are human! Focus on all the good you do for them daily.


Mindfulness can take many forms. It’s not all yoga, journaling and meditation.
It can be cleaning, walking, reading, Netflix, sleeping, painting, cooking, climbing mountains, getting a haircut, singing, dancing, chess, gaming and more.


Try to accept that being in an almost constant state of alert may mean that when things go “well”, you may create scenarios of panic that are just not there in reality.

It will pass.


What is the worst that could happen if you have an awkward conversation with a brother or mate about their health?

At worst, it’s uncomfortable for a maximum of two minutes (but they know you are there for them and love them no matter).

At best, you save a life.


The fact that you find yourself in internal turmoil over a situation, means you do really care about it, the person, the cause, it’s just important HOW you show that.

So don’t be too hard on yourself.


Voicing out loud / singing your so-called “irrational” thought streams that cause you discomfort can help diffuse their impact over you (just maybe do this in the car or bathroom!).


You don’t have to do a 9-5 or go consistently at something forever. It’s okay to go hard in life at times, late nights, early starts, work projects, big goals, there are times you have to.

But it’s equally important to rest and do the opposite for periods. It mirrors the unpredictable rhythm of life.


Our imagination can be so powerful that it can be equally destructive as it can be empowering.

Imagine if your own beliefs had no limits and you could practice using that skill to go uphill, to dream the attainable, inspirational stories.


If you feel that anxiety, frustration or similar at a moment of conflict, remove yourself quietly from that space.

Leave the room, go for a walk around the block. It will likely diffuse any potential explosion so you can tackle it more effectively in time.


Base friendships on not just shared experiences, but shared values, shared ideas and shared ability for your capacity to change.

Hold onto those friendships for dear life.


I’m a personal trainer.

I’m going to show you some exercises AND you are also going to workout on your own.

I’m going to see you an hour a week, a month etc, but if you think that’s enough exercise, no way, do the hard yards and show me how strong you are.


Mindfulness meditation. There is no right or wrong. There is no failure. You cannot do meditation badly. We are all made to see things in complex ways, no-one is made to do this perfectly. Accept that whatever we try is a good effort.


Stoicism and self-reliance are great in certain situations, eg. for a firefighter running into a fire.

BUT even then, they still need to come out and debrief with colleagues, friends etc.


Being a man these days should mean being able to read the room.

Being flexible and adapting to the context you are in. 


We cannot hold onto these frames of reference as if they are something we should constantly strive for, good, bad, happiness. Everything is oscillating constantly.


Know your triggers. But know how to respond to them.


The second you "catch" that you are not doing something you used to do or know you should, eg. exercise, that's not a time for self-rebuke and beating yourself up, it's a time to catch it and think about productively how you get back to it.

If you go to the negative, then you feel like crap and you never do it again because you think you failed, which can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and the cycle continues.


Flexible masculinity is my jam, not “positive” or “healthy”, which are focussed on an outcome.

Flexibility is focussed on the process. Looking at the idea of where I am, what I am doing and how I can respond better to those around me to get the most out of myself.


People say repeatedly that men don’t have the mechanism to talk or just can’t talk about their feelings.

That’s bullshit.

It’s pure practice.


I want to see you when you are well, when we can work through impending challenges, rather than attempting to rescue a crisis.

That’s where we will make true progress.


As a man, having great friends nourishes the soul.

Banter will only get you so far.


As humans we can be pulled to the negative much more, it can be interesting and attractive to focus on catastrophe vs beauty.

Do the complete opposite. You want to lie in bed and watch Netflix? Go do the 1000 push-up challenge.

Shift it up, change the game. You CAN do this.


The constant narrative that you are not good enough is just that, a narrative.


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1 comment

  • John Milham

    Now that list makes bloody good sense!

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