The next homeless person you see might be that way because of an invisible brain injury and not for any of the other reasons we so quickly generate. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Traffic accidents and falls can mean complexities of daily life are too much to handle

Tragic journey: the man on the Luas seemed to get a sense of belonging from being in jail.  Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

A man on the Luas meets his needs. But his life journey will have an unhappy ending

Cygnet: in the Ugly Duckling story a baby bird thinks it is a weird-looking duck but turns out to be a beautiful swan

Not every ugly duckling can become a swan – happiness is learning to like who you are

Those in the top fifth  of the welbeing table rate   their neighbourhood – as a place in which people talk to each other and can get advice from each other – more highly than those with the lowest levels of wellbeing. Photograph: iStock

Engagement in social activities is a major contributor to wellbeing, according to a British study

Everyday technologies provide ways to create a sense of connection with your teenage son or daughter when you have to be away from home

It’s easy for parents to underestimate the value to their teen of being present as much as they can

I have always been intrigued by people who can apparently brush off levels of stress that would have most of us pulling the bed clothes over our heads until further notice. Photograph: iStock

If I could not find my own happiness in the middle of the stresses of life, did I deserve to be happy at all?

I wondered why I felt quite so put out by the computer being down

Men are left behind in a world where even mechanics must connect cars to the internet to fix them

Respect for the other partner and respect for the child’s needs has to underpin the differences between parents

Cut yourself some slack, mum and dad. Perfect parenting is inherently bad for children

The emotional distress experienced by young people is, to them, something new with which they need to learn how to deal.That’s why it was so awful that school counselling services were cut in the financial crisis. Photograph: iStock

We think of self-harm as involving cutting, but drug overdose is more common

Whether the green area is a city park or a country forest, we still get health effects from exercising. Photograph: iStock

Research shows that fitting in exercise isn’t as demanding as we like to make out

Narcissists’ Chief of Staff: President Donald Trump is  convinced that people admire him even when it’s pretty obvious to the rest of the world that people do not. Photograph:  Reuters/Carlo Allegri

Trump genuinely can’t understand what it is everybody is getting upset about

An unmarried father now has automatic guardianship rights so long as the parents lived together for a year and so long at least three months of that year occurred between the birth of the child and his or her 18th birthday. Photograph: iStock

Behind all the legal issues lie human stories and emotions so strong they can tear lives apart

After they marry, couples influence each other’s drinking. Photograph: Lambert/Getty Images

Many men drink less when they marry and many women drink more, according to a 10-year study

“As humans, we have a negativity bias – even though more positive than negative things usually happen to us.”

Why do people tittle-tattle – and what can you do if you are on the receiving end?

Many people need to cultivate a degree of self-compassion so as not to keep driving themselves on relentlessly

But can he keep it up for 30 minutes?... Pencils at the ready...

Hen party nude drawing with a ‘tasty Italian’ creates quite a picture in the mind

The thought of not drinking can be more difficult than the act of not drinking

‘If it’s no good without alcohol, then it’s no good’

A survey by Calm and the Huffington Post reveals that one in five men feels he cannot provide financial dependability

Men are much less likely than women to confide in others, including their partners

The Claus family  enjoy lunch: we all need a break from our ‘healthy’ diets. Photograph: Reuters

Some people find it stressful to treat themselves at Christmas

The prolonged period of social withdrawal often begins at school

In Japan, the number of young men who shut themselves away is estimated, variously, at 250,000 and one million

 Facebook chief executive once declared that young people are smarter.  Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Prejudice means people who lose their jobs in middle age at an enormous disadvantage

“People need meaning in their lives and how to provide meaning in a world in which work is changing utterly is a fundamental question for our society in our time.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

It takes teamwork build an ‘antisocial’ bonfire. So, let’s learn from the youths who stacked pallets

Christmas isn’t only Christmas Day. If you can’t be with your children for any part of Christmas Day, try to arrange something for another day over the Christmas period. Photograph: iStock

Remember, it’s easier to do the talking now than on Christmas Eve

Hemeless man sleeping on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

When I see people helping others, usually giving out food, I feel better. Then I feel worse again

Your adult child gets home two hours late without texting and you say, “I was worried about you.”

If you want to be happier, boost your partner’s happiness. It works, say the researchers

In relationships, you  can’t have the adoration without the fighting.

Two people in any relationship are going to rub each other up the wrong way

Talk, talk: to have someone else to share our reality with is a deep need in human relationships. Illustration: iStock

Sharing memories is a key to quality friendships between people

When we look at the fragile mental health of many men we can see that the tough guy is, increasingly, a fiction. Photograph: iStock

We have a clichéd idea of what a real man is but even John Wayne needed a break from being him

“I would bet the house that Roy Keane is an introvert but I think we can all agree that he is not afflicted by a lack of confidence.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Introverts can often pass themselves off well as extroverts, but what’s the point?

The need of the food industry to sell large quantities of sugar in various forms is  an important factor in the rise in obesity, but by blaming the obese person, we let the industry off the hook. Photograph: iStockphoto

Surely the sugar content on food labels should be easy to read?

My version of getting away used to be walking through the fields of our farm for ages

It’s okay to want to wander off and find a quiet corner if that’s what you need

In an age in which an image of breasts on television would pass unnoticed by many and would induce a yawn in many others, it is extraordinary that people can get themselves worked up about a woman breastfeeding discreetly in public.

Results of ‘Census of the Heart’ suggests an Irish reluctance to engage in self-love

The funeral is also an important aspect of support. Families who have been bereaved by suicide ‘emphasise the benefits of and comfort in having a public funeral so that adequate tribute is given to the deceased’. Photograph: iStockphoto

If you avoid speaking to someone in grief because it is uncomfortable, they may feel rejected and isolated

In Ireland we have women-only gyms or gyms with women-only sections for those who feel more comfortable exercising with other women.

Quota system in Irish politics has more to do with social engineering than women’s needs

The university lecturer who taught you on the way to your degree could be working in Spar to maintain an income during these summer months. Photograph: iStockphoto

Having a degree doesn’t mean you’ll be keeping your head above water

Those reluctant to undertake weeding and other tedious tasks should “just think of the compensations, such as a nice, healthy, schoolgirl complexion for one, and saving a fortune on fancy soap for another”

One lady with a fig leaf correctly attired will have more allure than all of Kew

‘I caught myself complaining out loud to an otherwise empty kitchen about those little stickers “they” put on bananas and which you have to peel off when recycling them.’ Photograph: iStockphoto

Padraig O’Morain is developing more irritations – ‘take the sticker off the damn banana’

It’s one of mother nature’s cruel tricks that the capacity to fall in love and sexual capacity erupt at a time when the ability to control one’s emotions is still underdeveloped. Photograph: iStockphoto

When people are in love, 12 areas of the brain get involved in producing romantic cocktail

It’s close to impossible to get to the end of most to-do lists, so stop trying

Being productive is a good substitute for existential angst

People who have been bullied at school tend to be more optimistic than their peers  when they face negative situations in the future.  Illustration: iStockphoto

After a trauma, the majority of people report they grow stronger

One of the problems about the whole talking thing is that people who like to talk are often paired with people who do not like to talk. Photograph: iStockphoto

I suspect women can be scared by these words too ... it’s just men are less likely to say them

Commuters look at their mobile phones as they wait in line for a bus after finishing work in Hong Kong. Photograph:  AFP Photo

In Augsburg there are traffic lights in the pavement for people who are absorbed in their phones

The belief that poverty is the fault of the poor is fairly well entrenched. Photograph: iStockphoto

People research registered disgust rather than fellow-feeling at the image of a destitute person

When children  have regular contact with their father at a young age, in other words before they are 11 years old, they  are less likely to get into trouble with the law. Photograph: iStockphoto

Children whose fathers take a warm interest in their progress do better in school

The health of family carers is good or very good though most have had the experience of being mentally or physically drained by caring, according to research. Photograph: iStockphoto

Why does Mayo have the highest proportion of carers providing unpaid care, asks Padraig O’Morain

Happiness is like a butterfly that lands on your hand and as soon you notice it, the butterfly flutters away. I think that’s a pretty good attitude to happiness.  Photograph: iStockphoto

Seeing happiness as a right causes anxiety and disappointment

Mental health is no longer about ‘them’ but about ‘us’. It has become a human rights issue. Photograph: Thinkstock

All over this country, people who are, in fact, physically healthy are taking their own lives

Quay Street, Galway: How is it possible to move from the Shangri-La represented by the lively streets in Galway, to taking your own life only a matter of minutes away? Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

It is all too easy to feel isolated even if you’re old enough to know that the feeling is illogical

Laura Dillon, born in London into a family which held the baronetcy of Lismullen in Co Meath had, by the end of 1949, completed a series of surgical procedures to make her a man.

Laura Dillon became Michael Dillon, the first woman to transition through a combination of surgery and hormone treatment

Try not to take the past too seriously. It might not have happened that way and it might not be the explanation for everything you feel today. Photograph: Thinkstock

That's Men: Memories might feel real but are often far from accurate

Whole swathes of middle class and professional people have been wiped out financially since 2008 but they won’t talk about it so we catch only glimpses of it. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Failure always leads on to something, but it isn’t always bright and wonderful, says Padraig O’Morain

The 1916 story shows us that men and women who can make astonishing things happen can also vary astonishingly in their own personal characteristics. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Several of the leaders like Pearse, McDonagh and Plunkett don’t fit ‘real man’ persona

Why should the alcohol industry be allowed to promote alcohol as though it is a risk-free gateway to good cheer, good fellowship, sporting achievement and general life fulfilment and nothing else?

That’s men: In 1960 the average consumption per head was 4.9 litres. Last year it was 11 litres

The teenager who has learned to do nothing  might be more adapted to the future of our society. Photograph: Getty

Mastering the art of doing nothing could prove to be a vital skill of the future

Dutch psychologist Ad Vingerhoets says that in the UK, studies show that most men are comfortable with showing their emotions and that the Victorian disapproval of tears no longer holds sway.

That’s men: Women cry in situations that make men swear

Millions of people around the world are   uncomfortable due to their own uncertainty and embarrassment. Photograph: Thinkstock

That's Men: Don’t underestimate all those people who go around afraid to say boo to a goose

At this very moment, lots of people in the world who are not all that different from you, who live ordinary lives, are very happy at some good news they’ve got.

That’s men: There is an assumption that there is only so much happiness to go around

The Mindfulness Matters project is inspired by the fact that whenever Derval Dunford looks out her window at home she sees Croagh Patrick in its various moods.

That's men: The Irish language recognises the movement of emotion. ‘Tá brón orm’, sadness is upon me

We have come to believe that to be worthwhile we have to meet the expectations of others

‘I saw a group of men playing boules in a small square on a sunny afternoon. It struck me [it] provided a sort of undemanding friendship of a kind that I think men want.’

Retirement, divorce and death all reduce the availability of friendships as time goes on

If the food had been served on a larger plate there is also a good chance that she would have eaten more of it.

When you’re the eldest in the family, you start off life in ‘eat all you want’ setting

Invisible audiences made up of people who are longer around continue to matter to us as though they were actually there sitting in front of us

Invisible audiences make you feel guilty even though they don’t know what you do

The general consensus on the radio programme was that when you hit 50, you are going to find it hard to get another job or maybe even to get an interview. Photograph: Getty Images

In an industry that thinks you’re over the hill at 40, you’ve an ‘employable’ span of 15 years

There is no shooting the breeze during the day at work – but then it’s play time

If a lot of your life is built around drinking, you need to figure out what you’re going to do instead. Hill walking?

You don’t have to climb Mont Blanc because you’re sober for a month. Do something you actually like doing

Give yourself a ‘no problem-solving’ break to aid your wellbeing at home or at work

Sometimes negativity is telling us about something we need to address and we would do better to listen to it than to push it away.

I work on the assumption that every day contains concealed trapdoors for me to fall through

Reader responses to a recent column illustrate important points about dealing with bullying in the workplace. Photograph: Thinkstock

I heard myself say the words, ‘Don’t, you, ever, speak to me like that again’

The pursuit of happyness: In the movie, Will Smith and his son struggle to find a home.

There is no need to get unhappy about being unhappy or sad about sad

Getting better and better sounds like a great idea, but here’s the problem with it: when do you actually get to enjoy what you do?

Quality of relationship between non-resident father and mother can even affect child’s physical development

Something about the wheelchair man, maybe about his audacity at being out crossing roads, seemed to have got the driver all het up

Recovery’s relaunch good news for those in need of help

Violence inflicted on their mothers by adult sons has long been reported, but lately, violence towards fathers has also featured i(...)

‘I was getting ready for a two-hour train journey when the Three Amigos, as I came to think of them, arrived.’ Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty

I heard one whisper to the other that my laptop must be worth a grand

Many of us build our lives around the avoidance of the experience of shame, even when we don’t realise that’s what we’re doing

More than 18,000 men described themselves as taking care of the home in 2011 census

Couples dancing at a dance hall, circa 1937. Photograph: London Express/Getty Images

‘Leave room for the Holy Ghost.” These were the words with which one parish priest would separate dancing couples when, in his vie(...)

How the bishops ruled the dancehalls in the 1920s, and all that joyless jazz

All the Lonely People: When it comes to connection, loneliness and belonging, it’s all about degrees, writes Padraig O'Morain

Debate about wider issues on homelessness needs to be part of national conversation

Children are taught mindfulness at both primary and secondary school level. Photograph: Thinkstock

Mindfulness enhances children’s focus, memory and ability to manage behaviour and emotions

‘I believe in the world around me: that will have to be enough’

If you wanted to find a crucible in which to grind down the mental health of men, women and especially children, homelessness woul(...)

Once we accept this, we can see what’s good in our everyday moments

A study estimates up to 47% of jobs in the US may be at risk from computerisation

We need to have easily understood ways of defining standard drinks

Intimacy may be the most powerful drug of all and it’s one many of us fear

A typical cycle of abuse is a rise in tension, followed by an explosion, followed by what’s called the “hearts and flowers” stage

The Woman’s Aid report on abuse highlights signs to look out for and advice on leaving

‘Many people have panic attacks. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

In an edited extract from his new book, psychotherapist Padraig O’Morain describes key causes of worry and mindful techniques for (...)

The bottom line is that, as they age, men and women should not take their social relationships for granted.

Families can sometimes be overbearing, so keeping a social network is important

Apple founder was so hurtful and aggressive he got fired from his own company

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