Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life: A Guide for Anxious Humans

Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life: A Guide for Anxious Humans

Neil Hughes

Language: English

Pages: 306

ISBN: 0993166806

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Do you want to feel less anxious, be more peaceful, and laugh - a lot?

Occasional comedian and full-time worrier Neil Hughes isn't the kind of person you'd expect to write a helpful book.

He's an idiot.

Or, at least, so his Inner Critic is constantly telling him. No wonder he's anxious!

But somehow, during his nervous bumbling through life, he learned to live with anxiety and to manage the unhelpful mental habits he'd picked up along the way.

Oh... and he stumbled on the Meaning of Life, too.

Now he's sharing hilarious real-life stories, inventive fantasy fiction and badly-drawn graphs to help you to be less anxious and more happy.

In this compelling, surprising and delightful guide to life for humans, Neil explores the roots of anxiety and how to (gently) uproot them, all while battling the irritating interruptions from his doubtful Inner Critic.

Then - after handling love, crises, relationships, purpose, and contentment - he even makes time to consider how we can solve death and the Meaning of Life itself.

Whether you're pitying Neil's hapless attempts to navigate the real world, or joining him on imaginary adventures to outer space or magical shops, you'll discover deep insights into anxiety, new techniques to live more happily, and plenty of laughs along the way.

And, somehow, it turns out everything can be explained using custard...


"It's not bad, I suppose" - Neil's Mum

"Neil has a pleasing use of commas" - Anonymous

"it is a book" - Isla McLoughlin, aged 2-and-a-half


"To merely call it a self-help book would be a complete disservice to the author. Part biography, part guide, and part Brother's Grimm Fairy Tales of the Strange... if only I had read this growing up then I might not have felt so alone." - Claire Eastham, weallmadhere.com

"A brave book and a noble one because, really, what better thing can a person do with their own suffering than to use it to try and help others. It's on my read-this-again shelf." - Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall

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weren’t consistent with this: I was relying on the validation of friends, on making people laugh, on meeting girls. My happiness was fragile in that it required these responses from people, or I felt empty, worthless, or non-existent. Yet I would have professed to believe I had my priorities correct. If you’re comfortably self-fulfilled and enjoying your relationships without needing others, then that’s excellent. But if you haven’t checked, how do you know that’s what you’re doing?

everybody all the time. If we somehow achieved this level of awareness, we’d be overwhelmed by pain and tragedy merely by watching the news. But, for some, discovering that we aren’t central to anybody but ourselves can be a painful experience. We can fail to learn the lesson, and regularly clash with reality, as it repeatedly demonstrates that it does not revolve around us. Or we can learn the lesson too well, and lose faith in our own worth. It’s not easy to remain in the middle ground, which

at all. His piano is always perfectly tuned. But he doesn’t exist. It is unreasonable to try to live up to such an impossible standard. We all make mistakes. We can take this a step further by projecting our ideal selves onto other people. We imagine they have access to the same imaginary ideal version of us that we do, and that they also find us wanting in comparison to the fictional model. For example, sometimes I have to visit a world in which my comparison-addicted brain immediately makes

Lastly, we can remind ourselves of something positive. When we compare we automatically feel as if we are lacking, and forget all we have that’s already good. Taking a moment to be grateful is a powerful antidote to the negative emotions of comparison. So: Notice it. Gratefully recognise something good in our lives. Then, either take action, or let go of attachment to the goal. Deeply ingrained comparison takes time to erase, but it is possible. Be aware of your inner monologue, and catch

seconds later it fades to a more tolerable feeling. And you’ve gone another ten seconds without immediately giving into the desire. We can’t go for long without bodily necessities like food, bathroom visits or sleep, and I’m not suggesting that we do. Of course, we must look after our bodies in a healthy manner. But practising allowing momentary desires to come and go helps train us to release larger desires. If we automatically jump to obey every desire as soon as it appears, then we are

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