5 Ways to find love and keep love

 

love photo

5 Ways to Find love and keep love

Not that I can purport to be an expert on love matter as I have certainly had my fair share of disappointments, but I have picked up on some wise advice along the way through my exposure to couples – their triumphs and tragedies.

  1. Look outside of your usual type

    I have come across many couples who have said initially, when they first met, at least one of them did not have high hopes for the relationship. Instead, they were pleasantly surprised and the person they felt they would never end up with long term, broke down all their preconceptions and led them into a new found sense of curiosity and fulfilment. At times, we assume we won’t fancy someone or they won’t be the right ‘type’ but give it a go – you may be amazed and find that initial error in judgement could’ve cost you the chance of a wonderfully long and enjoyable relationship!

2. Keep the faith

Try to leave your cynicism behind. The older we get, the more emotional baggage we tend to carry. Along with that baggage comes a whole accessory load of rigid rules and thinking. Be aware of the thoughts that might limit you in love and try to dismiss them – thoughts, after all are just that – a thought IS NOT a fact. Thoughts often end up far off from reality is actually presenting. Withhold negative judgement and watch your insecurities. Believe that there is someone out there for you who will love you just as you are. You might not have found them yet but remain hopeful that they are out there looking for you too.

3. Keep up the positive self talk

It’s such an old cliche but it’s true – you need to love and accept yourself first of you want to be able to maintain a happy positive relationship. That way, you won’t be needing to feel desired by others if your partner doesn’t always reassure you. You will feel happy in your own skin and much happier and grounded in a long term relationship. When we like ourselves, we also give off positive body language that tells others we wish to be treated well.

4. Don’t compare

Comparing your relationship to what you see of others is a disastrous move. Each relationship is unique and when you compare, you aren’t comparing the exact same thing. You are comparing the ‘warts and all’ reality of your relationship to the limited reality of what others are willing to show you. This is an inaccurate comparison and all it will do is leave you feeling deprived and with a sense that you are being short changed. The reality may be that the other couple are miserable and don’t connect at all – you are comparing your perceptions to a false reality. Instead focus on ways to strengthen your own relationship – that is where your power lies.

5. Work consistently at your relationship

Think of a relationship like a bank account. When you first get together, the account is in fact empty, not full, as some people assume. If you want to withdraw, you have to put something in first – just as in a relationship. If you want love and to feel cherished, you need to put some love and effort in too. The more you put in, the more you will be able to withdraw. Relationships take work – constant communication, compromise and consideration.

Be positive about finding love and remind yourself regularly of all your good qualities and what you could bring that is positive to another person’s life. Not everyone will appreciate your star qualities but then they weren’t right for you anyway.

Mandy X

5 Top tips for dating men successfully

 

dating photo

5 Top tips for dating men successfully

Dating can be a minefield of mishaps and crazy failures. I have certainly had my fair share – from men asking me if I fancy them the moment I arrive (and being annoyed when I refused to answer) to rude uncouth behaviour – shouting at waiting staff and then proceeding to leave with a small piece of their lobster dinner still attached to their cheek! Thankfully I can look back and laugh at my absurd encounters – a sense of humour is always vital when dating. From my own personal experience, general research statistics that I have come across and my client’s experiences, I have put together a few top tips for dating men successfully.

  1. Never ever have sex on the first date ever

Some may disagree with this one. They would say – If you fancy each other, why not go for it? That may be true but if the relationship is the right one, a little self restraint can only be a good thing. Why rush it? Get to know each other a little first and tease each other – the wait can be tantalising. Many men I have spoken to have said they find it off-putting when a girl is to quick to jump into bed with them – it can show a lack of self esteem and also gets guys wondering whether you do this with every other guy. I guess you could call it double standards as men do not get judged in the same way. Nevertheless, it is a good strategy to live by.

2. See yourself as a prize

Tell yourself that any man would be lucky to be in a relationship with you, Think of your strengths and repeat them to yourself regularly. eg. Why wouldn’t a man want to be with me? I am funny, clever, affectionate etc etc

Watch the self talk. Feed yourself with a positive mental diet. You owe it to yourself and you don’t do it, no on else will. Men are captivated by confident women who seem happy in their own skin. Confidence is not the same as arrogance. Arrogant behaviour involves the belief that you are superior to others, being confident means that you like and accept yourself.

3. Trust your instincts

I would’ve saved myself a lot of headaches if I had just tuned in to my inner voice of wisdom more often.We pick up a lot more than we see with our eyes. If a man seems overly keen and wants to rush you – beware. If a man ignores you and seems unpredictable, this behaviour will probably continue. Don’t try make yourself ‘fit’ the man – if it is meant to be it will feel good and natural without too much extra work. Do they seem set in their ways? Do they listen to you or are they very opinionated? Do they seem genuinely interested in you?

4. Keep an open mind

When we have had a few negative experiences, we can be quick to judge someone new. Try to be as open minded and objective as you can with each new person you meet. Everyone deserves a chance. Watch those emotional barriers that you have put up.

5. Have fun!

Try to keep a sense of humour and not take dating too seriously. See it as a fun way to meet new people (especially if you are internet dating) and enjoy the experience rather than being too focused on the end  result – “I must find a partner to love me”. That will come – be patient.

If you have any dating tips, please send them as I will follow this post up with further suggestions on successful dating. Being single has it’s virtues too – enjoy whatever stage you are in.

Mandy X

 

5 ways to overcome self doubt

 

self doubt

5 ways to overcome self doubt

There are times in life when we feel unsure of ourselves and our abilities but there are ways to alleviate the stress associated with self doubt:

  1. Focus on your strengths and achievements

When we are experiencing self doubt, we tend to obsess on what we can’t do. It’s always a good idea to remind ourselves of how far we have come and of the things we know we can do well. Regularly congratulate yourself for success in your life, no matter how small.

2. Have a positive attitude to failure

How do you see failure? For me, failure is about giving up altogether – it’s not about trying something and not succeeding as I can still learn from that experience and grow from it.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others

Comparing ourselves to others is always a faulty way to try figure out whether we are doing well or not. Usually we end up comparing only one aspect of ourselves/our lives and this can lead to an inaccurate comparison. We also tend to compare the areas where we feel inadequate or ‘less than’. Follow your own path, it is different to others – focus on your own progress, not someone else’s.

4. Engage in positive self talk

What do you say to yourself on a regular basis? Do you call yourself names and criticise yourself? Learn to identify negative self talk and replace it with something kinder. Treat yourself as you would a best friend. Be kind to yourself. Instead of saying “I am useless”, try saying something like “I may make mistakes at times but I am human and everyone makes mistakes.”

5. Don’t retreat into your comfort zone

It’s tempting to run for cover when we feel self doubt creeping in. It leaves us feeling vulnerable. Where possible, try to keep yourself out of your comfort zone and keep facing your fears. It may feel awful and very uncomfortable but becoming accustomed to that uneasy feeling will allow you to eventually feel comfortable, and ultimately conquer you fears. Keep at it and know that the situation is often never as bad as you think it is.

Self doubt can tip the balance and leave us feeling stressed and out of sorts – accept this as a normal part of life. Never associated what you do with your worth and value as a person as they are completely separate. Keep trying and keep failing – it’s what will eventually bring you confidence and a ‘thicker skin’!

Mandy X

 

How to improve willpower

 

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How to improve willpower

We all get into that battle between long term goals and instant gratification. When we struggle with low frustration tolerance and are unable to deal with the discomfort of abstaining, we throw our willpower away and gratify ourselves in the moment, only to feel worse afterwards and so the whole cycle continues. Read further to find ways to improve willpower…

It doesn’t help us to achieve our long term goals when we have the attitude that life MUST be fair, easy, well ordered, exciting, pleasurable, or hassle free. When life doesn’t conform to these standards we look for instant gratification to help us escape from our discomfort.

We are constantly weighing up the pros and cons as we choose our behaviour. This process often operates unconsciously, below our awareness. The more advantages we see in the moment, the  ore we will be swayed towards the behaviour with the most possible rewards in the moment.

List the disadvantages of not having willpower. Then really think deeply about the disadvantages – if your lack of willpower is related to overeating, imagine the consequences of regular over eating – lack of confidence, shame, disappointment, reactions from others, health issues etc

Imagine the negative outcomes of overeating as often as possible. Visualise this situation regularly. Every time you are tempted to over eat, visualise your list of disadvantages. This results in a heightened awareness of the consequences of immediate actions.

At the same time, learn to challenge your own “musts” and “shoulds”…do you believe life should be fair and easy? What thoughts are telling you to give up on your long term goals? Make a list of why your “must” thinking is false. Here are a few examples:

“I must be perfect” = challenge and reframe to something like this: I am an imperfect human and as such, I am allowed to be imperfect. I will sometimes act imprefectly.

“There is no law carved in stone stating that “I MUST”…”

“I may want to be thin but I don’t need to be thin. I would prefer it, it does not have to be a “MUST”.”

“Reality is reality – not what I think it must be.”

“One failure doesn’t mean total failure, or that I’ll never succeed.”

Use positive affirmations to help you stay on track. Write them on post it notes and leave the around your home where you can read the often.

Try Imagery:

  1. Vividly imagine a situation where you feel tempted to drink alcohol/smoke/eat etc You’re experiencing a strong urge, but you resist.
  2. Now as you imagine this, allow yourself to feel anxious, depressed or agitated about not giving in to the temptation. Do this for a few seconds.
  3. Still picturing the scene in step 1, make yourself feel concerned, disappointed or appropriately frustrated – INSTEAD of feeling anxious depressed or agitated. Since you create and control your feelings, with persistence you can modify them.

Show yourself that you can improve willpower and tolerate frustration even though you don’t like it. Convince yourself that no law of the universe says you must eat/drink/smoke etc merely because you want to. Remind yourself that discomfort and deprivation are just that and no more – never awful, terrible or horrible.

Mandy X

 

Not a morning person

 

 

 

waking up photo

 

I am definitely not a morning person although I admire those than can get up early and get loads done before work. Please teach me!

I saw this clip the other day on Facebook and wanted to share it – makes me smile. I can certainly relate to it..watch it all the way through   Mandy X

 

 

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

 

generalised anxiety disorder

GAD

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD for short) is a common anxiety disorder where a person worries excessively in most situations. Their fear or anxiety is not limited to one specfic situation but is generalized to many different types of situations. GAD often involves a sense of dread and/or doom and “what if” thinking.

Often, people who have Generalised Anxiety Disorder possess positive beliefs around worrying. These, however are erroneous. They believe that worrying keeps them safe from harm and helps them to be prepared. Investigating this idea further usually demonstrates that there are no guarantees in life and that there will often be times when we worry in order to stay safe and events still occur that are beyond our control. “What if” thinking means that the present moment is ruined by feeling anxious over an occurrence in the future that may never happen.

Having GAD leads a person to imagine worst case scenarios and pretty much torture themselves mentally. They live a fearful life in their minds rather than engaging with reality around them.

Ways to deal with Generalised Anxiety Disorder:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a very good therapy to help counteract GAD.

  1. Challenge your thinking

Where’s the evidence that what you are thinking is true? Always ask yourself is there is another way to look at something…is there another explanation?

2. Gain perspective

Are you likely to feel this way in a week from now? A year? What would you say about this if a friend asked you for advice and was in the same situation? Can you add some logic to the picture?

3. Know the difference between what you can and can’t control

A lot of our “what if” thinking is based upon hypothetical worries/events – in that they may never happen. A real worry would be fixing a dishwasher that has packed up. A hypothetical worry would be worrying that someone might not like you if you don’t act in a certain way. There is no obvious evidence for this so it is best to learn to dismiss this thought and not focus on it.

4. Focus externally rather than internally

GAD sufferers tend to be really caught up in their own heads. Focusing on others and the environment can ease worry by focusing less on our fears and insecurities. Consider what other people may be thinking or focus on their behaviour rather than your own.

5. Allocate ‘worry time”

If you absolutely must spend time worrying, try setting aside an hour a day to write worries down and then try to problem solve them and create an action plan. Worrying that goes over the same thing again and again is wasted energy and will not achieve anything.

I have a fridge magnet with this quote on it: “Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it won’t get you anywhere”. So true!

If you cannot control your worries and they are seriously interfering with your life, it might be a good idea to seek professional help and go see your doctor who could recommend counselling/CBT and/or medication.

Mandy X

 

Focus your mental energy where it matters

 

focus photo

Focus your mental energy where it matters

What do you focus on every day? Think about it – do you spend a lot of time thinking about what isn’t right and how annoyed you are with your life and others? The content of our focus determines the quality of our life. It makes sense – if we focus on all the negatives, we are going to feel pretty fed up and miserable and this will translate into someone experiencing a sad life. Not much quality of life. This is why it is important to focus your mental energy where it matters.

If we make a concerted effort to focus on what is good, we can immediately feel better about our lot in life. Of course, it isn’t possible to ignore the negatives but research has shown that humans tend to default to the negative. One theory suggests that when we were cavemen hunting and gathering, we had to be tuned in to danger – hence the negatives in our environment. The nature of that threat has changed now but the same ‘fear parts’ in our brains activate when we feel anxious.

One way to cope with anxiety and negative thinking is mindfulness. Sit quietly for 2-3 minutes and focus on your immediate environment. Feel your toes in your shoes (or wiggle them if you are bare foot) and keep our focus on your body. Can you hear any sounds? Taste anything (if you are eating)…the more we focus our 5 senses in the here and now, the less time our brains have to wander off and cause trouble for us by inviting more worries in.

Focusing on what you can control rather than worrying obsessively over things you cannot control is also a waste of mental energy. Focus on what you can affect.

Becoming an efficient ‘mind manager’ who can dismiss unhelpful thoughts and can exercise psychological flexibility is the key to a happier and more contented existence. Your thoughts will come and go, you can pick and choose the ones you wish to focus on – remember thoughts are NOT facts.

Mandy X