Posted on Leave a comment

DO HARRY AND MEGAN DO THIS?

In my last blog I wrote about the mistakes we make in relationships and how you’re on a hiding to nothing if you’re trying to change the other person.

Let’s have a look at Mistake No. 2. 

I’m sure that even the best among us are guilty of this next one, which is to think that we know them, better than they do. We are right! Only we have the answers, if only they would listen. Sound familiar?

A major cause of arguments between couples is the desire to be right. When you foist your views on others with the absolute conviction that your way is the right way, your ego has taken over. The ego part of the mind must be right at all costs, because ultimately it fears death.

The reality though, is that the more dominant the ego, the more likely the person you’re projecting onto will need to shut down to protect themselves,  or it will trigger their defence mechanisms and you’ll soon find yourselves arguing.

The next time you’re ‘helping’ someone and trying to get them on board to do it your way, it might be interesting for you to take a breath and notice what you’re feeling, is it frustration? Impatience?

Do you view the other person as the enemy? Perhaps you could ask yourself why it’s so important for you to be right?

In doing this we may be able to identify when our ego is at work and consider how can we change the way we communicate in relationships to get a better outcome.

Is there another place that you can step back into? Not literally, but within yourself?

Communicate with Compassion.

With practice you can learn to change your state,  perhaps come out of your head and drop into the heart space. Remind yourself that you’re in the presence of someone you love. When you come from a heartfelt perspective, it’s easier to reframe what’s going on between you in a more caring manner.

What is your common ground?

Is it the children? Or perhaps your desire to stay together? To not have to go through all that again, but mature in your relationship?  Or simply to improve your home?  Many fights happen around DIY.  From this perspective, you might have less of a need to be right, and more desire to approach your issues with a sense of compassion.

A Good Questions to Ask Yourself When Attempting This Reframe

“What would have to happen for me to see you as my friend, an ally?” What would you have to do to view them through the lens of love? Famous self-help author Louise Hay was an advocate of seeing your partner as a small vulnerable child and show them kindness. Be gentle in your approach and you might find the other person is more responsive to what you’re trying to share.

Relationship counselling can teach us how to better communicate with others and learn to listen properly.

Finally, with everything you know about the other person, can you trust them? Is it possible for you to let go and trust that they might have a perspective? Trust that they might also know what’s right for them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Mistakes we make in relationships

Although I trained as a Psychotherapist and Yoga teacher back in the early 90’s, to keep the qualification, it is a requirement to continue my education in these fields this is called CPD (Continued Professional Development.)

Each year I choose a training,  workshop, study or webinar  to further my education and recently I attended a great CPD about the mistakes that we make in our relationships. I thought I’d share some of my learning.

Relationship Mistake No. 1

Stop trying to change your partner. Why? Because you can’t. It turns out that you’re not a God after-all and you’re not them, so you can’t change someone else.

When you really stop to think about it, it’s actually quite egotistical to think that we could have the power to change someone else?

A Truth

Whoever you’re in this relationship with, know this, they are unlikely to change. Even if a tactic you employ such as shouting or crying works, it will only be temporary and is unlikely to change their behaviour for good. Just think of all that wasted energy.

Here’s an interesting question, knowing that you can’t change them, how do you feel? Helpless? Frustrated? Angry?

The trouble with anger is that is often leads to blaming, victimising and even bullying and then you  still end up feeling bad or helpless.

The other place we can step into is a state of helplessness, which leads to victim thinking and behaviour.  So ultimately, trying to change someone or something that is beyond your control leads to us feeling bad.

It’s a choice

So what is the solution? Acceptance, if we are prepared to deal in the truth that this is the reality, this is what he/she/they are like, take it or leave it.  Can you accept them as they are?  Beneath your desire to change them, what did you originally love about them? Can you embrace that again? What is it that they do that you do like? Can you build on this?

Another thing that you can do to empower yourself, is to take your focus away from them and put the spotlight on you instead. What can you change about you? That’s where your power really is. Maybe it’s time to get into a better relationship with yourself. Explore your own interests, create new friendships, challenge your fears  and do more.

Take responsibility for your projections.

You probably wont like this next bit, but the very thing you want them to change or do differently, is the one area that you probably most need to look at within yourself, something you ought to be working on.

It’s the smoking gun scenario, i.e. when we point the finger at someone else, we usually have three fingers pointing back at ourselves.

When you make a shift in your own thinking and behaviour, it changes the dynamic of the relationship and then perhaps the other person will change a bit, in order to accommodate the change in you.

Stop victimising, stop blaming and start taking responsibility. It’s time for you to grow.

Posted on Leave a comment

Open It Now! It’s For You

How are you? It certainly feels like we’re being tested on so many levels in these changeable times.

I’m sure you know that among other things,  stress is a feeling of not being in control which can trigger all kinds of emotional, psychological and behavioural problems.

But how to deal with it? One of the main keys to dealing with stress is to develop flexibility so that we improve our bounce-ability factor and become resilient.

Dare I say the most flexible tree is the bamboo because of it’s ability to bend easily in the wind and then stand tall again.

How can we become more flexibile? Well I could say take up yoga, develop new hobbies, improve your way of thinking by listening to hypnotherapy programmes. But better still, find your own ways. 

Write down 10 things you could do to become more flexible mentally and physically.

Along with sending you my good wishes for the holiday period I want to offer a couple of approaches to help manage stress, anxiety and any other difficult feelings.

A Christmas Gift For You
 
Please do the exercise, as it’s experiential, it will only that will take about 7 minutes of your life and it may prove valuable. Try it now.

1. Sit somewhere away from distractions and close your eyes.
2. Repeat the following words to yourself silently and mentally.
“Be” “Just Be” repeat this periodically until you find your breathing slowing and a sense of quietness beginning to emerge.

You might find the next bit challenging and counter intuitive on one level but just go with it.

3. Invite the negative thought/feeling/emotion into the quieter space by simply saying “I welcome…       (anxiety, frustration, sadness, headache, stomach churning or whatever.)

4. Imagine them as an unexpected, slightly unwanted guest who’s arrived at your door but your good  manners dictate that you’re going to invite them in anyway!

5. When you’ve repeated ” I welcome” let’s say anxiety in, notice where it lives. Do you feel it in your chest? Or stomach for example.

Don’t get lost in the thought or feeling and don’t get too involved, stay mildly detached, you’re merely observing it.

6. After a few minutes of this, welcome in the opposite feeling/emotion/thought. So you might then say silently “I welcome peace and calmness” again repeating it several times.

Notice what peace and calmness feel like and where these feelings sit in your body.

Another odd thing to suggest but do it anyway…

7. Begin to move back and forth between the words  “I welcome anxiety and tension” then “I welcome peace, calmness and tranquility”

8. Finally after doing that for a couple of minutes, imagine you can step back away from the opposites and repeat silently “Be” “Just Be”

Let me know how that works for you.

The second gift I would like to offer is a free mind/body training that will lead to a more relaxed in control you.Download it and practise it until you’re able to do it anywhere anytime on your own. It’s my gift to you along with my fervent wishes that you be well and happy.

It’s a tried and tested method that with repetition will give you a greater sense of control in your world.

https://www.thestresshacker.com/product/relax-autogenic-relaxation-response-program/

Oh and if you fancy listening to an interview I gave earlier in the year about finding your purpose check it out here:

https://www.hotflushrebels.com/optin1597304230526

Posted on Leave a comment

Enhance Your Mental Health And Wellbeing

the stresshacker, yoga nidra, dynamic sleep, audio programme

Happy Mental Health Awareness Day!

You may have been wondering where I’d got to and why I haven’t written many blogs recently. Thank you for emailing and asking it’s prompted me to let you know that in the spirit of mental health awareness I have been taking care of my own wellbeing.

At the start of the pandemic in March like many, I began working from home, with clients online and teaching zoom yoga classes, my working week soon became busy. As a result I found myself pretty much cooped up in one room for quite long periods of time.

Although I’m fortunate to have a great view of some trees and sky the fact remains it’s a small room.

To counter stress, the threat of any mental health issues and to keep active, I started cycling and got hooked!

I love the freedom it offers and have discovered places in my area that I didn’t know existed. This activity is so good for the mind because cliché or not, it is true that a change is as good as a rest.

As a result, I have developed more resilience on all levels in addition to feeling fitter; I’ve improved lung capacity and muscle strength

Is your main trigger for frustration technology?

Early on in Lockdown, I had some really frustrating IT issues, at one point my entire website was wiped, boy did that stress me out! In an attempt to stop myself from throwing the laptop out of the window and to protect my mental health and wellbeing, I took off on my bike instead.

And this is when my mental health awareness kicked in

because within 10 minutes I observed a complete shift in my thinking and noticed that I was simply enjoying the moment. Looking at the trees and breathing in the fresh air I felt free and happy. I’d let all that tension and aggravation go by changing my activity.

But how do you make that kind of shift in your wellbeing if you don’t happen to like cycling I hear you ask. The answer is to change your activity sufficiently to alter your emotional state, which will in turn will affect your mental health positively.

Fortunately there’s a really easy solution and that’s yoga.

I’m not even talking about poses or sequences here. I’m talking about Yoga Nidra the practice sometimes called deep yogic sleep.

Here’s how it works, by regular practice we train the body to relax quickly and develop the ability to step back and observe the impact that certain thoughts, ideas and images have on the physical body.

As such we develop awareness, more self control and as a by-product better mental health. Yoga Nidra teaches us to detach from things that can trigger unwanted emotion (unless someone wipes your website that is!) helps us to develop mental resilience and to feel more empowered.

If you want to join us in a live class on Thursday evenings drop me a line or pick up a copy here https://www.thestresshacker.com/product/yoga-nidra-dynamic-sleep/

Here are just some of the things people say after a session of yoga nidra.

“ I slept for a straight 9 hours afterwards!”

“ … a lovely relaxing class”

“I couldn’t wait to go to sleep, and slept longer than usual. Yesterday felt super refreshed”

“Just what I needed, and feel totally rested”

“Wonderful class I enjoyed it so much, had a full 8 hours sleep last night”

Yoga Nidra  is an effortless way to enhance your wellbeing and really does require minimal effort.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Posted on Leave a comment

Anger Management

Ever wondered why you’re so quick to anger?

Losing it‘ signifies much deeper underlying issues such as loss and grief.   Anger forms part of the bereavement cycle?Anger Management The Stresshacker Sue Smith

When I discuss this with clients I’m often told “But I haven’t had a bereavement. I just flare up for no reason.”  Yet they’ll go on to identify loss. Loss of their dreams, a relationship or a part of themselves in childhood.

The emotion of anger usually covers fear and the bottom line is that fear centres around feeling unloved or unloveable.

Many a child has felt humiliation and shame at being shouted at and rejected by an angry parent however temporary.

Whilst parents are not saints and don’t come equipped with the perfect parent handbook it’s safe to say that most parents intend to do their best.

Women appear to adjust to parenthood more quickly as they navigate bodily changes and fluctuation in emotions during pregnancy.  Whereas men’s bonding often starts when the child is  older.

Both will grieve the loss of their previous lifestyle – their job, friends and colleagues. It’s natural to feel anger in these circumstance.

In Psychotherapy, Transactional Analysis is a model that  suggests that we have 3 main parts in our psyche.  The Parent, Adult and Child.

Your guide book for how to be a parent is a direct result of how you were treated by your parents. What they said and did becomes your inner map, voice and reactions.

You may blindly follow your guide book or totally reject it by doing  the opposite.  More commonly people cobble together bits of both in an effort to ‘get it right‘.

All that’s needed is a trigger. You’ve asked your child patiently for the fifth time to pick up their towel from the bathroom floor, the anger explodes and you’re shouting and screaming at them.

You don’t have to be an actual parent to follow your map either. When you get angry with yourself and judge yourself harshly? That inner critic is your parent part.

How does a child feel, who’s been bullied?  Worthless and unloveable.  Your inner child feels exactly the same after an internal battering.

How To Manage That Anger

The key is to develop a healthier adult part.

Risk being vulnerable and explore your losses. Make time and space to have more authentic honest conversations with trusted friends, partners and therapists.

It is possible to diminish anger and bear the losses. It is possible to feel in control and to like how you talk to yourself and others.

Here’s a few starting points that will help.

Develop the tools of mindfulness. Use your breath to ground you in the present and to stop you reacting like a victimised child or a volatile parent.

Work on rebuilding your self esteem so that you are more able to tolerate the emotions.

Do you want a shortcut to that? Update the software of your mind and listen to Stress Free With  Confidence, or Assertiveness Now rapidly reprogram your subconscious mind to build a stronger autonomous adult part.

Let me know your thoughts.