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!”
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.
When depression descends it‘s not easy to shake yourself out of it and for some just not possible at all, so if that’s you, you might want to stop reading now.
Many people who experience depression say that as part of it, they feel helpless and hopeless and it’s understandable as it can leave you feeling stuck and impotent. Anyone can be hit by depression at any time in life and it’s important not to judge.
It’s also important to know that it’s not your fault and doubtless you have done and are doing the best you can. It can be very irritating if not downright annoying to have people tell you to snap out of it and I wonder if one of the reasons is that for some, depression is an inward expression of anger. To have well meaning people lay unhelpful platitudes on you, can triggers more frustration and can make the depression even more intense.
My personal experience of depression and that of working with others is that it invariably strikes people who are highly thoughtful, sensitive and usually kind and caring. They ‘feel’ deeply and can struggle with boundaries, because they are used to picking up on the emotions of other’s but aren’t used to protecting themselves from it. Like a sponge they unconsciously mop up negative energy from those around them.
Developing a supportive inner voice can help. Over time I learned to tell myself that ‘this will pass’ and for me it did and thankfully I did not remain in a permanent state of depression. Knowing that it would pass I was able to use this knowledge to help myself. I would sit in the same place each time – in my case my wicker meditation chair and remind myself that nothing stays the same and that it would pass. When you’re in the midst of it however you can be forgiven for thinking it wont!
Funny thing is, even some of my closest friends may be surprised to discover that I’ve wrestled with depression and the reason for this is that I’m not a lover of labels, so I’ve chosen to not say that I have had depression. My concern was that it would become ‘my’ depression and I certainly never wanted it to be mine!
Here are a couple of things that have helped me in the past and others I’ve worked with.
Sit with a trusted friend or therapist and investigate the last 3 or 4 episodes of depression with a view to identifying what the triggers were. Aim to recall what happened the day or the night before. What did you eat or do, what time did you go to bed, what were you watching, who did you see, what activity were you participating in before the depression started? Aim to unearth the patterns that lead to the depression and make them more conscious.
When we throw light on something that has previously been unconscious i.e. in the dark, it usually has the effect of de-potenising it, taking away some of it’s power.
Don’t do this on your own, because you obviously don’t want to trigger an episode.
Once armed with a knowledge of the patterns or people that seem to trigger the depression you can start looking at things to put in place to avoid those triggers. For example if you realize that depression can start when you lay in bed thinking about things for too long, or listening to the news, train yourself to get up within 5 minutes of waking up, or make the decision to turn off the news and choose something more positive to listen to.
You can use stick thinking i.e. “If I lay here any longer I know I’ll end up with that sinking feeling in my stomach that leads to me feeling really stuck and miserable” or carrot thinking… “If I get up now I can get on with… or meet up with so-and-so to walk her dog, or to just make a nice cup of coffee and listen to the birds singing”
Commit to becoming vigilant and aim to catch the depression as it starts, imagine you’re a spy and your brief is to watch and wait to ‘catch’ it before it takes hold so that you can interrupt the pattern it takes.
Make a decision to do something different until you notice a change no matter how subtle. Even a tiny shift can make a huge change to the way you feel.
That shift might be an arrangement that you strike up with a trusted friend to call them the minute you feel the depression starting so that they can come over to support and motivate you to do something different. This is of course by prior agreement.
Whilst we know that exercise is a great way to combat depression, it isn’t always easy or possible for everyone to join a gym however one simple step that you could take is this.
Stand with your feet hip width apart and raise your arms up slowly up into the air as you breathe in. Then slowly breathe out through your mouth like you’re blowing air out with a long sigh as you bring your arms back down. Do this at least 10 times – longer if possible. Do it several times a day on a bad day.
You are lifting your heart and lungs with this simple movement, engaging your cardio-vascular and respiratory systems which change your breath, your mental state and of course your physiology. This can be done sitting down too.
Depression isn’t just a state of mind; it can also be a feeling that emerges somewhere in the body or just outside of it.
Depression has been described by some as a heavy weight, a black hole or a dark cloud hovering over them. Others say it starts as a sinking feeling in their stomach and some say that it’s like having someone or something sitting on them. No wonder then, that people can feel stuck or disempowered.
It can be helpful to externalize the feelings and one way to do this is by drawing or painting your feelings on paper. No rules, you don’t have to have any artistic skills, nobody else will see this – unless you choose to share it.
When you’ve finished drawing, bin it, burn it or bury it but get rid of it. By doing so you’re making a powerful symbolic statement – to your unconscious mind- that you’re taking action to erase it.
Another powerful thing to do is to write, by hand, letters to people who you feel have a part in your depression whether past, present, dead or alive. I’ve worked with many people with depression who have been bullied in the past and when they’ve done what I suggest here they have been amazed at the results. You really will feel lighter when you do this.
Write to the bullies, tell them exactly what you think of them. Let the people who have played a part in the way that you feel, know your truth, tell them exactly how you feel. When you’ve finished the letter bin it, burn it, or bury it but definitely get rid of it permanently, this is the most important step. I do not advocate sending the letters – this is for you, it’s your therapy.
Your unconscious mind believes whatever is put into it, so it willbelieve that you’ve sent the letters, even though you know at a conscious level you haven’t.
This might sound ridiculously simple but it really can take care of unfinished business in the back of the mind. Don’t take my word for it try it yourself to find out that this powerful exercise really does work!
Anything that you can do to empower yourself will be helpful
So the next time you’re feeling brighter write a list of the things that lift you and allow you to feel glad to be in the world. Put that list on the inside of a cupboard or on a mirror where you can see it to remind yourself to take tiny steps toward a better day.
Although I would never say I’ll never be depressed again, I do feel fortunate to be free of depression these days. I have used all the tools and tips I write about and whilst I appreciate that they may not be for everyone, I sincerely hope they help someone.
In the words of the famous song ‘All You Need is Love!
I would agree that love is definitely the antidote to FAGS that’s fear, anger, guilt and shame.
I’ve witnessed many people discover a gentle love and compassion for themselves that dissolves much of the negative chatter that lives in the ego mind.
How though? How do you use love to heal?
Try this exercise. Quickly write down as many answers as you can to the following statement.
Do it NOW! Don’t think about it too much.
Now do the same for this statement
I feel loved when…..
Next write down all the ways you can do this for yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to fulfil your needs and dreams, get into a great relationship with yourself by attending to what makes you feel loved and cherished. So if it’s touch. When did you last gently massage a beautiful cream or oil into your body? Make a date with yourself to do this. When did you last treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet of flowers, great bottle of wine or a trip to a show? Do that for you. If you need to hear words of love … start saying them to yourself… you get the idea? Stop waiting for someone else to meet your needs, meet your own. Your answers should tell you a lot about your view of love. If they’re negative responses you might want to do some deeper work on yourself. If that’s the case, drop me a line at ‘Ask Sue’ here at thestresshacker.com and let me know and I’ll include some exercises in a subsequent blog.
For my yogi readers. Sit quietly place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on top and softly chant the seed sound to the heart centre LAM you can resonate on the aaaah sound and also the mmmm chant for at least five minutes.
If you don’t care about being overweight then fine, don’t read on but if you’re constantly striving to lose weight only to put it back on, or are stuck in the yo-yo pattern of dieting you might want to try a new approach.
The majority of people with weight problems tend to be consumed by thoughts of what, when and how they will eat or drink. Constant worrying about food and focusing on feeling fat are your worst enemies in the pursuit of losing weight.
I know that the easiest way to lose weight and keep it off is to change your mind-set. Here are 3 ways you can do it
Update Your Mental Software.
Throw Away Your Scales.
Reprogram Your Mind using language it understands.
Change your mind and keep the change
Discover the best way to finally dump your negative thoughts and feelings. Upgrade your mindset and rebuild your self-esteem with my Mindful Weight Loss approach.
1. Update Your Mental Software
Are you interested in the quickest way to do this? Hypnosis. Reprogram your mind, by-pass the negative inner chatter and input positive thoughts that will change the way you feel. 21 days of consistent listening to positive, upbeat suggestions of self-love will have you automatically making better choices. You will find everything easier when you feel positive and confident.
The biggest part of your mind, the subconscious mind believes whatever it is told. What are you telling yourself about your size, weight, or the way you look?
2. Throw Away Your Scales.
Hopping on and off of scales create a hopeless addiction, get rid of them, they’re work of the devil! They lie too! Have you ever jumped on your scales and felt your heart soar because you’d shed a little weight? Only to get on your friend’s scales (because you couldn’t resist) to find you’d gained some weight?
Scales encourage negative thinking that will quickly spiral you down into feeling out of control, this is my opinion based on 28 years of facilitating weight loss with thousands of people.
Stop kidding yourself. You WILL KNOW WHEN YOU’VE LOST WEIGHT when your trousers feel loose or more comfortable, or when you no longer need to loosen your belt whilst eating. Resist the temptation to buy clothes in bigger sizes and work your way back into the wardrobe you have, by being kind, encouraging and loving to yourself. I go into the psychology of this more in the course.
3. Picture The Best You
Picture The Best You… develop the habit of putting yourself into a gentle state of relaxation (yes, this can be done on the train on your way to work, or just as you drift off to sleep) once relaxed; create pictures of you in your minds eye being the best version of you. Imagine yourself feeling, fit, flexible and strong. If you’re visual (I’m not so I just get on and imagine) visualize yourself doing and being who you are when you are what makes you feel the best. For example, see you looking very much in control, relaxed, confident, peaceful, in love with and loving yourself. See yourself sufficiently confident to make better choices. Encourage yourself to exercise by persistently picturing yourself swimming, walking or taking a class in the gym.
Your subconscious mind believes whatever you tell it… what are you telling it?
More importantly the language of the biggest part of your mind (the subconscious) is imagery, so it prefers to receive positive images. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself regularly.
Don’t be shy, take advantage of the Ask Sue facility here on the website and ask me any questions you have about losing weight.
If you’ve any questions about my Mindful Weight Loss course ask away! The course is unique and I created it more with the idea of helping people to become happier and more at peace with themselves with the weight loss being more a by- product of that. There is no dieting involved in this course, although you do need to want to lose weight and be prepared to make a commitment to doing so.
So if you know someone who would find this useful please pass it onto them.