Psychology

In The Bolt-Hole. More on Medium.

It can transform you into the best version of you

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Everybody has a dream, even if they claim otherwise. Sometimes they assume it’s out of reach and prefer to keep it a secret. They carry a vision of whatever it is in their head, though, and when they feel courageous enough, they take baby steps in the right direction.

Some want to be wealthy, influential, and successful. Others have smaller goals. They might yearn to date someone they imagine is above them. Or wish they were wiser, slimmer, or have another attribute they haven’t got, or hope to improve one they own.

It all comes down to craving material, or…


Hint: It’s someone you can’t get away from

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Without doubt, some folks are more challenging than others. Nevertheless, the most difficult person you’ll ever meet is right there in the mirror.

It’s the same for each of us. We think it’s our partner, neighbors, relatives, or someone else who provokes grief. They might be tough to deal with, but it’s the perpetual drip-feed of critique in our heads that reduces joy, not the irresponsible driver we face on the road to work, the disgruntled boss, or snappy spouse.

The happiest times in our lives have one thing in common; they coincide with an absence of painful self-talk. Usually…


They sting harder than sticks and stones

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“Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you.” Anonymous

I was about five when I first heard these words. I don’t recall the catalyst for the comment from my well-meaning grandfather, but the expression stuck in my head.

I turned it over, and like a smooth pebble it felt pleasing. It was comforting to imagine I was word-proof. Later though, I came to understand a different lesson from the saying.

Sticks and stones can damage your body. Words however, don’t mark your skin. They leave the outside of…


Your value is inbuilt, ever-present, and non-negotiable

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It’s a chilly February morning. As rain lashes and the wind drives leaf piles into whirlpools, I consider mental health. A hot topic at present. It seems there is a lesser discussed side effect of the mass COVID-19-withdrawal from municipal life: A prevalent dip in self-esteem, and looking at the issue is relevant to anyone’s sense of value, corona-virus or not.

Before COVID-19 stopped us meeting in public places, or entertaining at home, it was normal to derive self-image from public and personal roles.

Now, the pandemic highlights a glitch in how we measure our value.

Roles may still apply…


Spring is just around the corner

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It is easy to overlook spring’s emergence amid the winter chill. We might forget the flowers and trees are keen to burst into life — gray day’s gloom permeates every moment.

The coldest of seasons depresses many people. Lack of sunlight, short days, and an atmosphere of malaise stifles the warm glow and vibrancy prevalent in the spring and summer months.

Bulbs that sprout, with bright yellow blooms to sniff the air, though, remind me it won’t be long.

You’ve heard of the Danish practice hygge, perhaps, which is about cozying down to add comfort to dull, icy surroundings.

Cliche…


Lower the bar but hope for the best

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It’s hard not to create expectations, letting life unravel without craving events to turn in a direction you favor. Yet, studies show hankering for a specific outcome can spawn unhappiness.

You might imagine your happiness hinges on the way events turn out. If you get positive results, joy will flow. Negative results, of course, will engender the opposite emotions.

Research, however, suggests contentment springs from whether events match, or exceed your expectations. When you expect a great deal, but wind up with less than you hoped, your happiness plummets.

Get curious rather…


Maybe striving to be happy is the biggest cause of unhappiness there is

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Few people can say they don’t want to be happy. The search for elation is often a lifelong goal. But we are joyful on and off throughout our lives. Happiness isn’t absent. It’s just not constant, and we don’t need to chase it. Rather, it leaps out of the blue and grabs us. So, isn’t it absurd to seek it?

It’s not unusual to find a few students who train as counselors need to explore personal issues. Morris was one of those people. He was on a quest to discover happiness and overthrow his painful past.

He often sat next…


It might be time to ignite that lost passion and enjoy valuable benefits

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You’ve probably heard the advice do what you love umpteen times, yet it didn’t register. We often put off carrying out those actions that bring us the most joy because, well, there’s always time for them later. Tomorrow, or another day, when we’re not so tired or busy, we’ll write, dance, or create a masterpiece. Or so we imagine. That day may not come, though. Is our lack of enthusiasm to plug into our vital spark a problem?

Bliss

Your bliss comes from what you love to do. It’s an outcome of the enjoyable things you do, even if they don’t…


Your answers will show you how to be happier, wiser, and more fulfilled

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Your days will seep down an endless plughole if you’re not careful. You’ll get out of bed, perform a familiar routine, have the same old thoughts, and then go back to sleep. If you follow the same habits, and preserve the mindset that got you where you are today, there’s no hope for a better life. Do these sentiments strike a chord? Then it’s time to power-up your life and ask 10 breakthrough questions.

What quality do I want to embody most?

To transform into an ideal version of you, take action. Identify a major quality you want to embody. To uncover it, look at the people you…

The Bolt-Hole

The Bolt-Hole is a refuge for readers who want to curl up…

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