Do you avoid doing jobs because the thought of it stresses you out? Do you give up on your health regime after that first glass of wine? Are you late for things simply because you didn’t leave on time? Chances are you’re letting your inner child take control of your life… I know, I know, you start out with really good intentions at the begining of the week. You’re going to eat sensible, healthy foods. And yet by Tuesday you’re on your second take-away.
Have you ever considered that your inner child has taken over and is running the show!
What Happens When You Let Your Inner Child Rule
That inner whining often goes something like this: “it’s not fair, I’m tired, I don’t want to work, I can’t be bothered to go shopping, I need a treat now, I deserve it!” And giving in to it means that you – the adult – are no longer in charge. Let’s face it if you were, you might be able to have a more grown-up conversation with yourself!
Your inner adult might say something like: “I know you feel like you deserve a treat, but if you do eat those crisps or drink that extra glass of wine, your workout at the gym will feel even harder and ultimately the dress you want to look stunning in next weekend will feel tight and uncomfortable. You’re just hungry let’s get something yummy and healthy to eat right now and if you still want crisps after you can have them!”
When Louisa was younger she used to love people watching with her sister when they were in the car. They would take it in turns to pick out a stranger who they would judge and criticise for something, each trying to out-do the other with insults.
When she was older Louisa felt more and more uncomfortable indulging in what had once felt like harmless fun.
She’d reasoned as a teenager that it didn’t hurt anyone because the strangers couldn’t hear them and it eased their boredom.
Years later however Louisa recognised that the discomfort she felt stemmed, not only from being mean to innocent strangers, but also because of what it told her about herself and her attitudes.
What our judgements say about us
If you can be unkind about a stranger, how mean are you to yourself? Do you spend a lot of time criticising the way your friends and colleagues behave? Then you’re probably harsh and critical about yourself.
Judging others means you’re judging yourself. When we point the finger of blame or judgment at another, you’ll notice three fingers pointing back at yourself. We levy a much heavier burden of judgment on ourselves when we judge others.
In life we tend to attract mirrors of ourselves, in our partners, friends and colleagues.
Look at the things in others that you like or dislike, love or hate, you’ll discover that they are aspects about yourself that you are not owning.
Consider the one thing that you find most abhorrent, something you believe you would NEVER do – be very careful, because you almost certainly house some aspect of that deep within your psyche!
So the next time your inner Judge starts pointing, be kinder to yourself and curl those fingers into a yoga mudra (gesture). Bring your thumb and index finger together and slowly repeat the words ‘I am peace, you are peace, there is peace’
Judging takes up a lot of psychic energy and takes us away from the here and now. Next time you catch yourself judging, distract your mind by singing the lyrics to a favourite tune.
Constant judgements mean that we are not accepting what is, which creates conflict and creates mental turmoil.
Sack the Judge and treat yourself a to a mental holiday. Discover more peace and positivity when you retrain your brain with my positive thinking book and audio.
Are you lucky in love? Do you feel loving and loved?
Sometimes when we lose confidence we shut down in areas of the body to protect ourselves. Many a person who has been hurt in a relationship will unconsciously create an invisible barrier around their heart to protect themselves from being hurt again.
Later they feel frustrated because they can’t find a loving relationship. It’s confidence that’s needed, the confidence to love the self first, before being able to open up again to someone new.
Love and compassion begin at home.
When you love yourself fully and freely it’s easier to love others boundlessly. So fill your cup, practise better self-love and nurturing now. Be kind and gentle to yourself and treat yourself with the love and respect you would afford another.
Here’s an exercise that will start the process and help you to open your heart.
Take a moment to think about someone you love… it’s OK if that’s your dog or cat! Think about what you would say to them if this were your last opportunity to let them know how much they mean to you. If you can’t think of anyone you love. Imagine how it would feel to really love someone. Imagine a flow of warmth circulating around your chest and flowing out to that someone special.
Come on do it now … just see how it feels to write down exactly what you would say, express your love as openly and honestly as you can without restriction. Remember write don’t type, it’s an entirely different and more positive experience when we put pen to paper.
Turn it around now and pretend someone has sent this letter to you, read it out-loud to yourself seven times. Really anchor these sentiments.
What we say to ourselves becomes true for ourselves. It’s true and that’s because the bigger part of your mind (the other 90%) absolutely believes what it’s told. That is such a valuable piece of information I have to repeat it. YOUR UNCONSCIOUS MIND BELIEVES WHATEVER IT IS TOLD!
Affirmations work! Really they do, but don’t take my word for it practice them yourself and see the results… try the following
“I am open and receptive to a warm loving, respectful relationship”
“I attract a positive loving man/woman into my life”
“All my relationships are harmonious”
The more resistance you feel to saying affirmations the more likely you are to need them and do you know something? It really doesn’t matter whether you believe them or not because your unconscious mind does.
Once upon a time you didn’t know that 2 + 2 = 4 you repeated it often enough to know that it was true. You also didn’t know your alphabet until you practiced it over and over. If you’re good at reading, it’s because you read a lot! Repetition is the mother of all skill.
… “My heart is open and receptive to love and happiness” go on try saying it a few times; notice how it makes you feel. Good Right!
According to author Professor Richard Wiseman in his best selling book The Luck Factor you make your own luck.
If you’re struggling to find love and feel blocked or numb around your heart area, practice these two yoga stretches on daily basis.
Yoga Technique 1: The Windmill
Stand with feet hip width apart soften the knees raise your arms out to the side at shoulder level and keep them there. Keep your hips facing forwards and turn your trunk and arms to the left, keeping your arms straight and at shoulder height, fix your gaze on the fingers of the back hand. Turn back to the centre and repeat to the right. Keep your gaze fixed on the fingers of the back-hand. Repeat 10 times. Stop if you feel dizzy
Yoga Technique 2: The Chest Opener
Stand with feet hip width apart and bring your arms behind your back and clasp hands together. Draw your shoulder blades together and imagine you could slide them down your back toward the floor, now lift and lengthen up through the front of the body and take a gentle stretch backwards sending hands and arms toward the floor but keep them in touch with the back body. DO NOT take your head back unless you are certain that you have no problems with your neck.
January is renown for being the worse month for depression and there are many reasons for it. With the build-up to Christmas and the hype over, the extra lights in these dark months taken down, it feels gloomy and cold. Some people may have got into debt, some are dealing with redundancy, whilst others wrestle with existing mental health conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder or clinical depression.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to detect that you’re spiralling into a downer, that’s great awareness and hopefully you already have some strategies that can help to pull you out of depression. Because this time of year can be particularly tough, challenge yourself to do something different to change your state.
I’ve put together three ideas to help shift negative energy.
Calm your mind with classical music, even if it’s not your usual genre (e.g. my usual choice is jazz) take a chance, open your mind and listen to a nice classical piece. Ask a friend for a recommendation or visit Classic FM until you find something that resonates most with you.
Apparently baroque is the best music to have playing in the background to help concentrate if you’re studying. So the next time you’re getting ready for work, or doing some mundane chores treat yourself to something calming and different.
On the other hand if you feel really heavy, stuck and lethargic put on something with a strong loud beat, such as We Will Rock You by Queen or the 1812 Overture to help you get moving. Put on your earphones and go for a stomping power walk whilst listening to some heavy rock. Whatever your choice of music make sure it’s one that will positively change your (emotional) state. Find a song you can sing along out loud to, it’s great for getting your breathing going (we don’t breathe very well when depression kicks in) … think Whitney Houston’s long held notes in I Will Aways Love You.
I downloaded the Gayatri Mantra (Click to view video about it) which I found incredibly peaceful. I noticed that after I’d listened to it for a while it, it continued playing in the background of my mind. It gets rid of some of the negative head mush and I’m left with a peaceful mind for quite a while. Traditionally it should be chanted 108 times. I turn to it now whenever I need to de-clutter my mind and it works a treat. My favourite version is by Deva Premal.
In our age of abundant technology many of us feel spaced out and insulated from the earth. Walking around in rubber soled trainers and padded foot wear means we miss some of the finer signals from the earth and this can contribute to feeling even more disconnected and separate.
Connect to the earth; she’s warm and nurturing! Don’t take my word for it, walk barefoot on some grass and see how long it is before your feet feel the warmth of Gaia. The energy that comes up from the earth through the feet stimulates hundreds of nerves in the legs and brings with it a sense of connection which you may feel as a tingling or pulsing sensation.
When you consider that no matter where we are in the world we are held by gravity to mother earth it seems daft not to spend a little time tuning in to it.
As always, I’m interested in what shakes you out of your depression so share it with me … it could helps someone else.
As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week you might have anticipated a blog from me on this subject. Self-acceptance and self-love are two main keys to better mental wellbeing but…
How do you accept yourself if you don’t like who you are?
In my work over the years I’ve learned that people dislike themselves for all kinds of reasons from experiences such as negative programing in early childhood, through to bullying, abuse, unfulfilled dreams and disappointment in relationships. The list is endless.
However one of the main reasons for lack of self-love and acceptance is FAGS. Carrying the emotional burden of Fear, Anger, Guilt and Shame plays a huge part in self-loathing.
Most of these emotions reside in your body rather than your mind. Check it out, the next time you feel a bad feeling, try to locate the place in your body where the feeling appears to live. For example you may notice that fear lives in your stomach, throat or chest.
The fact that these emotions do not grow up, that they remain as raw and intense as when they first occurred, is the reason why so many people appear to get stuck in the past. Triggered by a bad feeling they are catapulted back into an old miserable memory and find themselves thinking, feeling and acting low.
Because all of this appears to happen outside of conscious control, it can cause depression, anxiety and panic attacks. These negative feelings create other negative patterns of behavior people talk about feeling little and disempowered and stuck in states of regression. On the extreme end of the spectrum some withdraw inside whilst others resort to self-harm. As I return to my original question.
How do you accept yourself if you don’t like who you are?
Here are 4 tips for maintain positive mental health
1. Let’s start by establishing one simple fact. You are unique. There is no one else in the world exactly like you. You are special, an extra ordinary one-off! It’s true! As a result you are irreplaceable.
Please read that sentence over and over again, repeat it out loud. Then stick that sentence in that special compartment in your mind that deals with multiplication and wait for it to replay itself right up into the front of your mind.
2. Developing the ability to gently observe oneself is an essential component in the integration of negative memories
Hypnosis with a qualified experienced hypnotherapist (me!) will help. Ask your hypnotherapist to teach you self-hypnosis.
Develop a regular practice. Start with 10 minutes and day and build-up, as you feel more comfortable.
Attend an 8-week course.
A regular yoga practice will enable you to observe yourself from a more peaceful perspective. British Wheel of Yoga for a list of teachers.
3. When we need to heal the body needs safe touch because it carries deep tension as a result of bound-up emotions. Find a good qualified body worker. There are many different types of massage, from clothed massage in Shiatsu, or gentle aromatherapy, to sports massage or deep Rolfing. Find what suits you.
4. Movement. If you’ve never experienced it try a 5 Rhythms class or workshop and shake off your stuff. Failing that, make sure you’re alone, put on a favorite track that you once enjoyed dancing too, or could imagine dancing to and turn it up. Get up, close your eyes, and begin to move your body. Keep practicing until you feel like you want to move more. When you feel ready open your eyes and dance like crazy.
According to The Mental Health Organisation 78% meet the criteria of the most common mental health issue in the UK of anxiety and depression. If you’re one of those suffering my heart genuinely goes out to you. Just putting one foot in front of the other some days can be the biggest challenge so some of my suggestions such as No 4 may be akin to asking you to fly as well!
Please keep your chin up, look up at the sky and breathe. Wrap your arms around yourself and gently rub your arms and whisper, “It’s going to be alright”. Self-soothe and care for you because you are special. You are unique. You are irreplaceable. I care about how you feel and others do too.
I’ll end with my favorite quote by Oscar Wilde “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”