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

Men are not immune to suffering, and the reality of physical abuse goes far beyond gendered stereotypes

Is the pursuit of excellence destroying our quality of life? I was left asking myself this question by three very different source(...)

Most people would think that young people – and not only females – who become utterly drunk make easier prey

New research shows that cultivating a sense of gratitude could make us happier and healthier, says Padraig O’Morain

In many respects, that’s what the whole boredom thing is about: an inability to be okay with being with yourself. Odd, isn’t it, that we find ourselves so boring that we desperately rush to get away?

What I find intriguing about boredom is the urgency with which we run away from it

In a study of 40 men, 19 had attempted suicide after they were raped, says Padraig O’Morain

It’s difficult to believe now, but in the 1960s transistor radios created a sense of unease among the people in charge, says Padra(...)

People suffering from ‘ideal self’ syndrome are in good company – we all do it, says Padraig O’Morain

For decades gay people in Ireland were invisible and could not contemplate coming out

It’s wrong to assume men are some sort of inferior robotic beings who lack empathy, says Padraig O’Morain

Padraig O’Morain on life and all its regrets

In 2013, more than 2,000 men reported almost 8,000 incidents of domestic abuse to the organisation Amen

Abused men often cover up for their partners in the hope that the abuse will end and they do not want to leave the kids with a vio(...)

Unrealistic positive thinking can be dangerous and unhelpful: instead  focus on good relationships, realistic goals, and on a sense of compassion towards a self that sometimes works well but is often faulty. Photograph: Thinkstock

Research shows importance of being realistic about personal goals and expectations

Advances in technology de-skill us in ways we never imagined

On my 29th birthday I sat on a bench in St Stephen’s Green and said, “I don’t want to be in this job this time next year.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

I discovered quickly that most of us don’t actually know what we want, except when it comes to goods and services

 American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer will make screening for mental health issues a condition for retaining accreditation for cancer treatment centres. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

American Psychological Association says coping with distress improves patient outcome

Padraig O’Morain on his irrational objection to other people getting older

Twelve years ago nobody wanted to hear groups such as Focus Ireland, Simon or Threshold complaining. The country was in the upward spiral of a boom. Who needed to listen?

Padraig O’Morain believes the factors that pushed people into wretched living conditions go back 12 years

Male stereotypes work against men in ways that perhaps are not always recognised.

Everything in the garden is not rosy for men – more men than women take their lives worldwide, by a big majority

Men don’t have to become women and women don’t have to become men but we could all learn from one another

Rumination is going over and over the same distressing thoughts and images. It is associated with depression and stress

Tips to help you negotiate this emotional minefield with the minimum of upset

Feeling sorry for ourselves is a tiresome habit we should avoid

The need for ‘cognitive closure’ may drive some young westerners into Islamic extremism, says psychologist Arie Kruglanski

Sometimes we men forget that, while it’s important to do gardening and work around the house, it’s the children who really drain p(...)

Furtive: the appeal of ‘sexting’ may have to do with its secretive nature and the human capacity to get a physical kick from language. Photograph: Thinkstock

Erotic letters have long been popular. New technology just means they arrive faster

Some people may have put their memories aside to enable them to get on with their lives

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