Are you resilient? Have you got what it takes to ride the most challenging waves of life? As a psychologist with a PhD and 20 years experience I thought I did. But I was wrong. Through adversity, I found out the hard way that there is a big difference between ‘knowing’ about resiliency and stress management and being able to ‘expertly apply’ these skills when you need them most.
“Like Water That Flows So Are The Tears Of Our Emotions”
“You’re Emotions Are Important Passengers BUT Never Let Them Drive!”
Dr Pete PhD
After all these years working as a psychologist I am still amazed at how difficult it is for bright and capable people who are under pressure to be able to identify and separate their thoughts and emotions.
Most people may think they are emotionally aware but when they are struggling with challenging waves of life they often lack self-awareness. Have a look at these two cases below:
Let’s explore further why affirmations fail. Have you heard of the (dysfunctional) exercise of looking into the mirror each day to tell yourself you are beautiful to boost your self-esteem? Why is it that sometimes we do not feel beautiful despite the fact we look into the mirror and tell ourselves we are beautiful every day?
In the last blog we discovered that the reason affirmations often fail us is that they don’t engage our thinking patterns at the deeper levels where our unhealthy mindsets are hidden. Whilst our surface thinking may be changed through our affirmations and mantras, the deeper unhealthy mindsets remain unaffected and so our negative views remain intact despite the positive things we say to ourselves in the mirror. We refer to these important layers of thinking as the ‘Story’, which represents our surface thinking and the “Back-Story” which represented our deeper level mindsets.
In order to become more resilient and happy in life we need to be able to (1) quickly and easily uncover the Mindsets that have created a negative back-story to our lives, and (2) genuinely challenge and change these negative Mindsets to re-write this into a more positive and helpful back-story for the future of our lives. [Read more…]
I have met some really caring people over the years – people who were calm, kind and generous, people who were knowledgeable, encouraging and supportive, people who excited, enthusiastic and motivated. I have also met some really fit and physically healthy people – people who were active, self disciplined and fashionable.
In each case I have admired their positive characteristics and felt compelled to strive for greater self-improvement. But also, as time progressed, I became aware of their imperfections and limitations as well. The really caring people were not always physically fit and healthy, the really physically fit and healthy people were not always the most calm and caring. [Read more…]
‘Forgiveness’ is such an important part of being able to recover from psychological problems and live a healthy and successful life. Yet ‘Forgiveness’ is often misunderstood and can lead to a range of unhelpful behaviors and consequences causing unnecessary harm to ourselves and others. In this article I want to share with you what the true meaning of forgiveness is and reveal the 3 most damaging myths of forgiveness and how you can avoid the mistakes and heart ache these myths may cause.
Most people know a bit about Stress Management – they have read a few books, watched a few episodes of Oprah or Dr Phil and done some breathing or muscle relaxation. Despite this knowledge, the rates of Depression, Anxiety and Stress are rapidly rising among us with 1 in 2 people on the planet (3.5 billion) likely to have a serious psychological disorder during their lives – WHY?
Surely it can’t be because we don’t have the knowledge needed to manage our stress? Perhaps it’s because, as the saying goes, ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ and knowing about something is very different to being able to expertly apply it to your life when you need it most! [Read more…]
“You’ve got to get yourself together – you’ve got stuck in a moment…” Bono, U2
“The river must flow but not flood” Dr Pete
Have you ever been stuck in a moment and waiting for a sign to show you the way forwards? I have. On numerous occasions throughout my life I have found myself facing challenging waves of life that I could not control. [Read more…]
“Eat, sleep, run, repeat’ Unknown
I want to share a secret with you about my own recovery journey. During the darkest hours of my mid life crisis I struggled with fatigue, low mood & constant worry. Changing my thinking patterns helped, eating healthily helped, talking to my counselor and supportive friends and family helped but it wasn’t until I started intense exercise that I truly began to feel permanently upbeat and energized for life! [Read more…]
“Food is the most abused anxiety drug. Exercise is the most under-utilised antidepressant.” OrganicGuide.com
The other day I added a big bowl of concrete to my diet – yep not actual concrete but the ‘harden up’ attitude needed to get me to give up comfort food and get back into serious exercise again.
You see I had been in a bit of a slump – over tired from ‘sleeping like a baby’ for a few weeks (my 9 month old’s sleep /wake cycle was affecting us all!) and had got into some really bad habits around managing my fatigue by comfort eating… [Read more…]
“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out” J. Buck
The summer festive season is upon us once more and for many (myself included) it is a bittersweet time of the year. The chance to slow down and take a break from the chaos of everyday life and catch up with family and friends can be both a blessing and a curse. The blessing of relaxing and unwinding and re-connecting with family and friends can also become the curse of unexpected illness, stress, interpersonal conflict and loneliness.
Like so many other parents in separated families, the festive season is a mixed blessing for me. My children spend each alternate Christmas with me so the festive season can be either an intense high-energy family time or a quiet time of reflection, rest and solitude.
In either case, the expression ‘the cup can be either half empty or half full’ can apply. [Read more…]