Walking and yoga are part of my exercise regimen to lose weight but they have not helped. I feel demoralised. What can I do to achieve my goal?

Instead of berating yourself for not losing the weight you want, you should congratulate yourself for being so committed to improving your health. Fast walking and yoga are wonderful for harmonising the mind and body in a positive way. To keep you fully focused and engaged, try some simple mindfulness techniques. Learn to experience what you’re eating in the here and now. It’s not about fad dieting or abstinence, it’s simply about intensifying the sensations of eating so that you are more aware of what your body needs. This leads you not only to enjoy your food more, but it also means you are far more in tune with your body’s hungry and full messages. Think of this as a long-term project. It’s going to take time and it will have its ups and downs, but the key thing is that you are going on a journey and you will get there in the end, no matter how many diversions you end up taking. Cement this in your mind, avoid the quick-fix mentality and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for all that you’re already doing.

I feel like I’m being manipulated by my teenage children. How can I regain the control I had?

You children can only manipulate you because you’ve allowed this behaviour to become so effective for them. You’ll discover that they’ve learned emotional techniques such as lying, tantrums, relentlessly negotiating and dividing and conquering, all so they can get what they want. And they discover it works. Learn to recognise these signs of manipulative behaviour and understand your own trigger points. Your response might be anger or giving in. Once you know what your triggers are, we recommend writing them down. You can then work to alter your response to a trigger event/comment. This way you are able to manage conflict without an obvious display of emotion. So, when a yelling teen states, ‘you don’t even care about me,’ do not to take this to heart but reply: ‘I understand you’re feeling angry with me, but you do need to do your studies now.’ Please don’t forget that they’re not always manipulating you or a situation. When they ask for what they genuinely require you must listen. Give all requests the consideration they warrant.