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3 Simple Ways To Beat The Blues

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.

Depression - Beat The Blues by Sue Smith The Stresshacker
Depressed

Music

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.

Depression - Beat The Blues by Sue Smith The Stresshacker
Make Music & Change Your State

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. 

Mantra

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.

Grounding

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.

Depression - Beat The Blues by Sue Smith The Stresshacker
Get Grounded.

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.

Also please look at our products and courses in The Stresshacker store to help assist you with your journey.

 

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How X Rated Are Your Thoughts?

You know that saying “You are what you eat”  it’s the same for your mind, you get out of it what you put into it.

Along with every other thought that you process daily, your early programming also filters to the surface of the mind from time to time and some might say there’s not a lot that can be done about that.  Not me though, I know it’s possible to swamp early negative messages with positive programming. That’s what hypnotherapy has practiced for years and science now calls neuroplasticity!

Don't watch things you wouldn't want a child to see.
Don’t watch things you wouldn’t want a child to see.

If you doubt that the mind is adversely affected by what you watch, ask yourself if you would allow a child to watch it if the answer is no, why do that to yourself?

Same goes for your reading material. If you would like a quieter mind and a deeper sense of peace in your life, be discerning about what you put into your mind. Your senses are there as filters. The more rubbish you watch the more desensitised you become to it!

Continue reading How X Rated Are Your Thoughts?

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Is It Time To Wake Up And Smell The Coffee?

Build It And They Will Come!

From time to time I talk about Transactional Analysis, the psychotherapy model that suggests that we have three ‘parts’ running in the back of the mind, that of the parent, adult and child.

For the purpose of this blog and to keep it brief, let’s assume that the programming of the Parent Part and the Child Part is from our past conditioning and as a result, set in stone. This would mean that the only part available for us to grow and develop is the Adult Part.

Because the subconscious mind believes whatever we tell it, we can program the Adult Part of the mind with positive thoughts and ideas.

If we think of the adult part as a clean slate for example, with no past programming, we can set realistic and achievable goals out into the future in order to have, be, or achieve the things we want in life.

If you don’t have a goal, how can you get there?

If we sent 22 footballers out into a field without the goal posts, there would be no game!

When coaching clients, I help them to explore how they would like to see themselves in the future.IMG_6806

Play around with this idea now. How would you like to see yourself in five years time? What will you be doing? How will you be living? What work are you doing? What sort of holidays are you having? What sort of relationships are you enjoying?

If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.

The kind of life you would like to lead and the future you would like to have is unlikely to happen on its own, it wont just magically appear. Let me ask you a question. Do you really think that someone else will come along and read your mind, somehow know what you want and need and then provide it? Nope. No one can know what you want and need more than you!

adult

As an adult, you’re in charge of your life and it’s up to you to make it happen.

Try this exercise; pick one area from the following list:

My working life/career/business.

My finances.

My health and fitness.

My relationships.

My personal goals, this can include travel, courses, and education.

My community/what do I give of myself to others e.g. time money support expertise.

Now ask yourself these questions: If I don’t have to worry about anyone else or what they think, if I don’t have to worry about money or paying bills, what would I be doing? (in the area that you picked from the list).

Quickly write down the things that come to mind.

Build on this idea a bit more by asking more questions like what would it look like, it sound like, how would it feel, what images come to mind?

Does it make you feel light hearted and excited when you imagine that future you?

First of all get to work by dreaming it. I’m going to pick this up again in my blog next week, so be sure to read it to know what to do next.

Enjoy!

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SHUT THE F*@/ UP!

Years ago I did some additional NLP training with Dr Richard Bandler one of the two originators of Neuron-Linguistic-Programming or as I like to think of it Positive Psychology.

Among other things NLP looks at ‘Modelling on Excellence’ so when we find something that we want to do well, or to have, the aim is to “model on’ or copy the behaviour or steps that allowed others to achieve that outcome, with the expectation that we will achieve similar results.

So what’s this got to do with my headline?

Finding out what naturally happy people do to feel happy helps others to model on that behaviour

smiling-kids-facesPeople who are happier in life tend to be self-nurturing, kind and loving to themselves. They have learned to live with and accept their limitations, which doesn’t mean they don’t strive for things or have goals, more that they have reached a place of self-acceptance.

Happier people have also learned how to quieten the negative chatter in their minds.

How often are you aware of that nagging voice in the background of your awareness? That demanding, negative part that criticises what you’re doing or how you’re doing it?

People give this part many names from the devil, the ego, to the parent part. However you choose to label your ‘gremlin’ is your business. But do you know how to stop it from droning on and eroding your efforts to feel okay about yourself?file000727125552

There are loads of clever therapeutic interventions for quietening this unhelpful inner voice, but for a quick fix, try Bandler’s advice who told us in training “Tell it to Shut the F**! Up! I did! It did! It does work!

Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.

I’ll be honest and say I prefer the words ‘That’s enough! Be Quiet Now” Which I find works just as well. Choose your own wording, but next time you’re having a bad day and your parent part or inner critic is giving you a rough ride, you might want to try this until you close it down.

As you become aware of the negative chatter, mentally and silently shout Shut The F**! Up several times. Follow this up with several days of ‘reprogramming’ by listening to something like Super Charge Your Confidence, my hypnosis program that helps build self-esteem and notice just how quickly your adult part bounces back into control.

Enjoy and let me know how you get on.

 

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Can You Do Ten Things At Once? Multi-Task My Arse!

Women have had the dubious title of multi-tasking dumped on them for years but at what cost?

Years ago, before I trained my mind to be more linear I used to ‘multitask’. I would happily start about 10 jobs and then surface sometime later to find myself in a state of organised chaos. Usually I would pull it all together and be reasonably satisfied with the outcome but it was always with an uncomfortable sense of having somehow failed.

After many years of digesting authors like Brian Tracy and Stephen Covey of The Seven Habits Of Highly Successful People fame (there weren’t that many female role models of that type in those days). I felt very pleased with myself as I focussed exclusively on the job in hand. Taking Brian Tracy’s advice, I would clear my desk of everything except the job I was working on and focus on it exclusively until it was completed.

I took a certain amount of pleasure smugly ticking off one task after another and felt very pleased with the new-found order and regulation in my life. I also enjoyed the feeling that I was somehow being more grown-up, as I applied myself diligently to my work and projects. I was finally focussed!

Nowadays the battle isn’t so much with my old patterns, more with the demands of modern technology. There I am working on a project when the ping of a message on my phone or an alert of a new email threatens to distract my attention.

Apparently every time we follow up on these distractions we weaken our own neurology. According to Dr. Earl Miller, Professor of Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology we simply cannot multi-task well. He says we are single-minded and have limited capacity for simultaneous thought.

I also wonder, are we collectively becoming hard wired to check emails, texts, Facebook and twitter? And as such are we losing the capacity to concentrate? I’d say so. I wonder what the tipping point is

Focus, to get back the locus of control.

What can we do to stop ourselves being pulled into the magnetic, collective force that has us checking our phones constantly? We could practise yoga and meditation to help develop concentration but I’m thinking about a much simpler approach to strengthening our neural pathways. Exercise choice! We have the right and the know-how to turn off push notifications, alerts, ringers and vibrations. We can even put our phones and laptops out of sight and earshot!

The powerful image of the mobile phone is imprinted into the psyche;IMG_2459

and for many holds important information such as diary, address book, notes, photos and banking. But don’t let it dominate! Assert your power and control, choose when you will check mails and texts,  strengthen your neural pathways by training yourself to stick to these windows of time.

Mastered that? Great now turn off the rubbish messages in your mind that tell you, you need to check Snap Chat, Instagram or Twitter for the tenth time in an hour! Or is that another blog!