Are you living a value driven life?

happiness with balloons


There is no doubt that life gets busy for many of us. Without too much question we fulfil our routine and obligations and look forward to our next holiday. Many adults reach a time where they question their satisfaction with their life and question their career, their relationships, their home environment and/or something else in their environment.

Research has clearly demonstrated that those who live life according to their values experience higher levels of happiness and satisfaction.

Have you considered your values? Is your life consistent with your values? Work through this activity to better understand your values and to set some goals to increase your value driven your life is.

Look through the below listed values and write down approximately 20 of the values that are most important to you. These should relate to times and experiences in the past that have produced feelings of happiness and satisfaction for you as well as values that would be important for you to have in your future.


Accountability          Accuracy       Achievement            Adventurousness

Altruism                     Ambition       Assertiveness           Balance

Being the best          Belonging     Boldness                   Calmness

Carefulness              Challenge     Cheerfulness           Clear-mindedness

Commitment             Community   Compassion              Competitiveness

Consistency              Contentment  Continuous              Improvement

Contribution              Control           Cooperation              Correctness

Courtesy                    Creativity       Curiosity                    Decisiveness

Democraticness       Dependability Determination         Devoutness

Diligence                   Discipline      Discretion                  Diversity

Dynamism                 Economy       Effectiveness            Efficiency

Elegance                   Empathy        Enjoyment                 Enthusiasm

Equality                     Excellence    Excitement                Expertise

Exploration                Expressiveness Fairness               Faith

Family-orientedness Fidelity         Fitness                       Fluency

Focus                         Freedom        Fun                             Generosity

Goodness                  Grace             Growth                       Happiness

Hard Work                 Health            Helping Society        Holiness

Honesty                     Honor             Humility                     Independence

Ingenuity                   Inner Harmony Inquisitiveness     Insightfulness

Intelligence               Intellectual Status Intuition                Joy

Justice                       Leadership    Legacy                       Love

Loyalty                       Making a difference                        Mastery

Merit                           Obedience    Openness                 Order

Originality                  Patriotism      Perfection                  Piety

Positivity                    Practicality     Preparedness           Professionalism

Prudence                  Quality-orientation                           Reliability

Resourcefulness     Restraint        Results-oriented      Rigor

Security                     Self-actualization Self-control       Selflessness

Self-reliance                         Sensitivity      Serenity                     Service

Shrewdness                         Simplicity       Soundness               Speed

Spontaneity              Stability          Strategic                    Strength

Structure                    Success         Support                      Teamwork

Temperance              Thankfulness Thoroughness        Thoughtfulness

Timeliness                 Tolerance      Traditionalism           Trustworthiness

Truth-seeking           Understanding Uniqueness          Unity

Usefulness               Vision             Vitality                                Zeal


From your list of top values, highlight five that are most integral to you and write a short sentence about how and why that value is important to you.

Is your life at the moment fulfilling your top 5 values?

If it does, congratulations! You are living a value driven life. When your mood is low or you are preoccupied by a sense of satisfaction, try to acknowledge that your life is successful in its ability to meet your values.

If your top values aren’t being met write down some ideas to help you make some changes in your day to day life to help you achieve a value directed life.

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Improving Awareness of Depression and Suicide- World Suicide Prevention Day and R U Ok Day

suicideIt is World Suicide Prevention Day (Tuesday 10 September) and R U Ok Day (Thursday 12 September) this week. These two days aim to reduce stigma and get people talking about depression and suicide.

We have written this blog to contribute to a better understanding of depression and suicide and to reduce the stigma associated with it. Taking responsibility in knowing the warning signs of depression and learning to speak about it (rather than hiding from it) will help reduce the overwhelming incidence of suicide in Australia and Worldwide.

The Statistics

Almost one million people worldwide commit suicide each year. This equates to 1 death by suicide every 40 seconds! Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world (particularly young people)and is expected to account for 25% of the total disease burden in the world over the next two decades, beating cancer and heart disease in percentage accountability. For every person who commits suicide, there are 20 or more who make an attempt on their life.

Suicide is often the result of depression. At least 350 million people in the world live with depression. It impacts not only the sufferer but their loved ones too. Unfortunately depression and suicide remains hidden and many people don’t receive professional treatment or support.

How to Recognise Depression in Others (and yourself)

Depression is characterised by low mood, a reduced pleasure and interest in activities, poor sleep, appetite disturbance, social withdrawal, feelings of worthlessness, irritability, poor concentration and suicidal thinking and planning.

Ask Your Friend or Loved One: R U OK?

These details can be found in greater detail on the R U OK website.

1. Ask R U OK?

2. Listen without judgement

3. Encourage action

4. Follow up


What if you think the person is considering suicide?


While the awkwardness and difficulty of asking someone if they are having suicidal thoughts is completely understandable, I do urge that you ask the person you are worried about directly about suicidal thoughts and plans.

Take communicated thoughts of suicide seriously. Try not to become too upset, agitated or anxious- reassure him/her that suicidal thoughts are common in depressed mood and don’t have to be acted on. Also reassure him/her that there is help available and if they have been receiving help in the past that other options might be available.

Try and find out if the thoughts are fleeting or if they have been formulating a plan to take their life. This can be asked by questioning whether they have thought and/or decided on how they would take their life and if they have taken steps in preparation for it.

If you are concerned about his/her risk of suicide do not leave them alone (or ensure that when you do that someone else is aware and is committed to monitoring his/her safety) and get immediate professional help (Australian services listed below).

Treating Depressed Mood and Reducing Risk of Suicide

Depression does respond to treatment and reduces risk of suicide for many worldwide.

Treatment of moderate to severe depression typically involves a combination of medication and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

CBT focuses on the implementation of some key strategies including:

Behavioural Activation/Activity Scheduling:

The lethargy circuit theory of depressed mood clearly states that depressed mood often results in reduced motivation and desire to engage in previously enjoyed activities. The concern is that engaging in fewer activities also then reinforces and worsens your mood. Scheduling regular activities into your diary and forcing yourself to do the things that you don’t feel like doing, has been shown to have significant positive impacts on mood.

Thought Challenging/Cognitive Therapy:

It is not the situation that causes us to feel the way we do. Rather, it is the way in which we interpret and think about the situation that influences our emotions and behavioural responses. Challenging the way that you think about a situation in a realistic and positive way will help you to feel more positive and to cope with the situation. Thought challenging is about developing a rational and positive perspective of a situation that will assist you in reducing your experience of negative moods. We can often not change what has happened in a situation but do have some control with the way in which we think about it.

Links to more information and to a CBT program for depression

(note: Australian Sites)


Beyond Blue

Black Dog Institute:

Cloud Clinic:

R U Ok Day:

Suicide Prevention Australia:


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The Brain : A user’s guide to Emotions

The revolution in neuroscience is providing us with more and more information about how the brain and mind are interrelated


The Brain: A User's Guide to Emotions
Source: The Brain: A User’s Guide to Emotions

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