Mindsets: Why Affirmations Fail

Waves of Life Kabat Zinn“Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” The Queen in ‘Snow White’

“The Devil is in the details, but so is Salvation.” Hyman G. Rickover

“To change your mindset it’s not ‘what’ you are thinking that is important it’s ‘why’” Dr Pete

Affirmations: A Poison Chalice!

It’s not working!” cried my anorexia patient Chrissy. “Every day for the last few weeks I have been doing exactly what you told me to do – looking into the mirror each morning and telling myself ‘I am not fat and ugly – I am beautiful & healthy’, yet I feel even more depressed, fat and ugly then ever before!!!”

Affirmations are a poison chalice! Whilst it is a simple fact that your thinking patterns will lead you to happiness or despair – changing your thinking patterns is not so simple. When I did my postgraduate training to be a clinical psychologist I was taught to encourage people to use ‘affirmations’ and think ‘positive thoughts’ about themselves – and say these thoughts out loud in order to change their negative thinking patterns into positive ones. The idea being that if they repeat these positive thoughts often enough they will eventually replace the negative thoughts. Whilst this idea may be logical – the notion that you can ‘fake it till you make it’ – it does not change your thinking patterns – and used as a stand alone self-help strategy is down right dangerous – often making things worse. [Read more…]

The Tipping Point of Stress: Know Your Score!

TMI Info OverloadEveryone has a tipping point – when it all becomes too much. I had one the other day. After waking up too early with a new baby, followed by a multitude of regular waves and daily hassles, I had to manage a medical emergency with a family member.

I got home late in the evening and tripped over the kid’s toys and snapped! Luckily no-one was watching as I kicked the toys to one side and let out a couple of expletives before collapsing in a heap – exhausted and feeling like I couldn’t cope. [Read more…]

Stress Management: Are You Amateur or Pro?

Pro SurferMost 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…]

Waiting For A Sign: Unsolvable Problems

WaitingForASign

“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…]

Success Secrets 6: Train Insane or Remain The Same!

Triathlon“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Joseph Kennedy

“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…]

Mood Foods & A Bowl of Concrete!

Mood Food “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…]

The Top 10 in 2014

Yoga Balance

The only thing constant in life is change’   François de la Rochefoucauld

What a big year 2014 has been! It feels like there has been more turmoil and change in the world this year than other recent years. We’ve had more than our fair share of wars, conflict, and disasters both man-made and natural.

We’ve also had an increasing recognition of the importance of global warming and climate change as well as the ever-present challenges of job security and financial pressures as we try to provide for our families and maintain some semblance of work/life balance. [Read more…]

Summertime Sadness: The Loneliness Trap

Summertime Sadness“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” Plato

“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…]

Purpose In Life P1: What You Need to Know!

Purpose Fire“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better”
Robert F. Kennedy

“They who have a ‘why’ will endure any ‘how”
Nietzsche

To successfully Ride The Waves of Life, you need to ignite the fire of your inner Purpose so it becomes the compass that gives direction to your life. Like the Fire burns hot, so does will your passion and Purpose for life. Having a clear sense of purpose and personal mission allows you to know the true direction for your life, enabling you to make every day a masterpiece and leave a positive legacy. [Read more…]

Double Trouble: Getting Stressed About Stress!!!

WipeoutBeing stressed is bad enough, right? But have you ever met someone who has been stressed for such a long time that they start to get anxious or depressed about their ongoing stress condition? [Read more…]