Why you shouldn’t care so much

 

worry photo

9 Reasons why you shouldn’t care so much

Worrying about what others think is a part of life but sometimes this worry can take over and influence our lives far more than is necessary. Here are reasons why you should care less about what others think of you and your lifestyle:

  1. It’s your life, not theirs. You have to live with the decisions you make, not them.
  2. Most people who judge have many reasons to be judged themselves. Avoid the hypocrites.
  3. In years from now, you will remember what you did, not exactly how you felt. Make sure you can look back and know the decisions you made had your best interests at heart, not the best interests of the observers and judgemental people around you.
  4. Others who judge and interfere often have more issues than you do, hence their need to interfere.
  5. Your opinion should be AS important, if not more important than that of others. By all means listen to what others have to say but ultimately make decisions in line with your values.
  6. Worrying too much about what others think can take you off your true path to fulfillment and peace of mind. Be still and tune in to your inner wisdom, ignore the ‘noise’ of those around you. Trust your instincts.
  7. The more you listen to yourself, the better you get at making the right choices that will serve you the best in life.
  8. The more you trust yourself and believe in yourself, the more your confidence will grow and the more you will realise that others don’t know best all the time.
  9. Others think about you and judge you much less than you realise. Don’t “mind read”.

Learn to trust your gut feeling and make decisions based on your own self knowledge. Being true to yourself is the best way to reach your full potential.

Mandy X

What’s your attributional style?

 

attributional style

What’s your attributional style?

We all assign meaning to things that happen to us and we tend to have habitual ways of doing this. Some of us lean towards a more negative attributional style and some of us tend to be more positive. Many depressed people possess a negative attributional style – when something positive happens to them, due to their tendency to engage in negative thinking, they see the positive event as being due to luck. When something negative happens – they tend to believe that this is due to their own failings.

An optimist on the other hand, will attribute positive things being due to their own strengths and will see negative things as beyond their control and as bad luck.

There are 3 types of attributional styles:

external (something beyond my control) vs internal (within my control)

stable (will be this way forever) vs temporary (will not lost)

global (a generalisation: I am always hopeless) vs specific (I am not so good at cooking rather than I am not so good at everything)

Positive people tend to attribute positive events to stable, internal and global causes and negative events to external, specific and temporary causes.

The more you feel in control of your choices and your life and feel that setbacks are temporary, the happier you are likely to be. Keep an eye on your attributional style and always be willing to challenge the way you assign meaning to positive and negative events in your life.

Mandy X

 

Tips for mental wellness

mental wellness

image: healthliving.today

Tips for mental wellness

There are things that you can do to improve your general levels of contentment and mental wellness. It may take some practice but it is worth it in the end. The more we learn to manage how we process information and become adept at what we do with that info, the more of a difference we can make to our experience of life.

  1. Work towards psychological flexibility

Psychological flexibility refers to the ability to look at events and experiences in many different ways. It means living life flexibly and being able to adapt when plans change. The more rigid we are about how life should be, and the more rules we have for living (eg. I must keep a clean house at all times, I must attend every social function I am invited to, I should be the strong one all the times..) the more quickly they are broken. When we cannot keep our rules for living in tact, it creates anxiety so it pays to learn to use different language – instead of “must” and “should” use the words “could” or “prefer”. Learn to adapt and be open to many variations and you will inevitably be less stressed. Identify what your rules for living are – they often take the format of: “If this….then that”. For example: If I show others the real me, they will reject me.

When something in life doesn’t go your way, try to find other ways to look at it. We can all find the negatives and feel downtrodden or we can look for an explanation that allows us to feel less stressed. For example: A client of mine recently lost money in a business deal that went awry. He could focus on what went wrong and blame himself and become miserable and stressed or he can choose to look at the situation as a way to learn and also separate what has happened from himself – he isn’t the failure, it’s just that what he tried didn’t work. He could tell himself life is a series of trial and error or he could internalise the mistake and be hard on himself which is unhelpful and doesn’t solve anything.

2. Try mindfulness techniques

Mindfulness means you are in the present moment -taking in your surroundings. You aren’t living ‘in your head’ worrying about the past or the future. Mindfulness takes practice but it offers a great release from the anxiety and stress we create in our minds. Practise mindfulness anywhere – become aware of your toes in your shoes – wiggle them about and focus on the sensation. Work your way up through your knees, if you are sitting down, feel your bum in the chair – does it feel heavy? Is the chair comfortable? Can you hear anything? Can you see or taste anything wherever you are? Focus on your immediate surroundings – the more you engage your five senses, the less time your brain has to worry unnecessarily. Mindfulness can also help to counteract anxiety. If you are feeling overwhelmed and stresses, spend 5 minutes focusing on your toes, surroundings etc and ask yourself whether, in that moment – are you safe? More often than not you will not be in any immediate danger. Mindfulness breaks the emotional connection and associated fear responses from certain parts of the brain and helps us to ‘reset’.

3. Connect with others

Social anxiety is on the rise and I see many clients who withdraw and isolate themselves from others. When they make the effort and push themselves out of their comfort zones and see others, they find their happiness levels rise – this is due to the release of the long acting hormone oxytocin. Being around other people is ‘where its at’ – much research supports this.

4. Learn to like and accept yourself

Learn to be happy in your own skin. Be your number one fan. Focus on your positive attributes and make sure you give yourself credit for every small triumph (and every large one of course – they all count!). The kinder you are to yourself and the more your treat yourself with, like you would a best friend, the better the energy you give off. Your body language will be different and others will respond to your differently. Really – starting with yourself is key and will have an impact on every area in your life in a positive way.

5. Meaning and Purpose – Goals

We all need meaning and purpose in life. It helps us to feel we are making a difference and that our existence on this planet is for a good reason. When we plod with no goals, purpose or meaning we tend to get stuck and chase unhealthy behaviours. Knows your strengths and weaknesses and make a list of your values. Learn to live in line with your values and create goals in line with these. Be true to yourself and create short and long terms goals to loosely offer structure and purpose to your life. This is important for mental wellness.

The above 5 tips are a great start to improving your life and increasing your resilience and mental wellness. I have found these 5 tips to be extremely useful in my own life and hope you will find this too :)

Mandy X

 

Feeling empty

 

feeling empty

Feeling Empty

Too often I meet clients who say, “I have the house, the gorgeous spouse, the children, a great job and car I want, yet I still feel empty”. More often than not, this is down to living a life that is not in line with your values.

It begins at an early age as we begin to get socialized by parents and society. We are pulled away from our ‘essential self’, the true leanings and interests we have as a person and we are told to behave nicely and suppress our desires in order to fit in with society. I think the following quote is quite apt:

“Society wants you to be yourself…just not like that”.

It takes courage to be true to yourself and to follow what you want to do and there will always be conflict between what we want to do and our need to please others and be accepted. We all need to adjust to a certain degree but when we try too hard to please others we can end up losing ourselves and find that we have taken a path that is fulfilling, leaving us feeling empty.

Take time out from your busy life on a regular basis to take stock of what is happening and whether it is actually making you happy. Do you like the job you do or is it just a means to an end? What brings you joy at the moment? What stresses you out? I get ‘edgy’ if I have my head down for too long and don’t get a chance to have a little time out to take stock and re-assess. I like to check that I have a few short term and long term goals in place to add structure and purpose to my life.

We all need to feel connected with others and have a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives. This is essential to avoid feeling empty.

Tips:

  1. Take time out to assess what brings you joy and contentment in your current life (positive energy).
  2. Ensure there is a balance between positive and negative energy (things that drain you/stress you out) in your life.
  3. Create short term and long term goals to add loose structure and direction to your life.
  4. Spend time alone and focus on self awareness. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Connect with others – contentment comes from a sense of belonging.
  6. Be true to yourself and stop people pleasing. It’s your life not theirs.
  7. Find a sense of purpose and meaning – something that makes you feel alive and well. It could be volunteering, and often involves helping out those less fortunate than ourselves.

Mandy X

Feelings follow behaviour

 

 

Feelings follow behaviourbehaviour photo

When we act in a certain way, our bodies send messages to our brains about how we are feeling. Research has shown that putting a pencil between your teeth tricks the brain into thinking you are happier as you are smiling!

If we are feeling lethargic, we tend to adopt a depressed,stooped posture which leads us to feel depressed. When we are light on our feet and moving freely, we will feel free and optimistic.

How are you feeling?If you are content and satisfied, you are probably behaving in a way that is working well for you – stick with it.If you are down about things, remember that you create your own reality (in terms of your perceptions/attitude) and that you do have a choice.If you took a different approach to what you do, you would start to feel different and in turn this would have a positive knock-on effect on other areas of your behaviour and your life.

Maybe you are doing what you have always done.We are creatures of habit and when things don’t go our way, we often get caught up in doing more  of the same thing in an effort to get the result we want. The trouble is that then we end up feeling the same, only more so.

What could you do differently right now? How could you ACT differently? As soon as you change your physiology, by moving in a new way, and change your actions and the way you look at things, you will feel different.

If you want to feel happier, act happy. If you want to feel confident, act confident – sometimes we have to “fake it to make it”. If you want to feel motivated, behave in a way that someone who is motivated would behave. We can wait forever to feel in the mood to do something and that mood may never come, but if we just get up and get started the feelings will usually follow the behaviour and the mood for doing what we are doing will come upon us as if by magic.

The fact that feelings follow behaviour is an incredible and useful reality. It means that the power lies in a positive action – no matter how scared or resistant we may feel. Use it to your advantage and you can find a resolution to most issues.

Mandy X

 

 

How to know you are loved

 

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How to know you are loved

Relationships are funny things. We can bumble along and somehow, a relationships that was good turns into something that just isn’t what it used to be. We get distracted with work and other life issues and if we aren’t careful a good relationship can end up ruined. If we don’t regularly take stock we can end up in a functional relationship that doesn’t meet any of our emotional needs anymore and stay in something just because it’s familiar rather than because it is a relationship that makes us feel alive, inspired and brings out the best in us.

Signs that you are loved:

Your partner cares about your happiness and they actively do things that they know will make you happy.

Your partner doesn’t like to let you down or disappoint you – reliable.

You can count on your partner to keep to their word,

Your partner is honest and open with you.

They are there for you in a crisis.

They want the best for you and support you.

 

Signs the relationship needs some work:

You don’t spend much quality time together.

You don’t communicate about your feelings – the important stuff.

Your partner promises you things but doesn’t deliver, unreliable.

You are like strangers in the same house, there is detachment.

There is an increase in conflict and arguements.

Every relationship is different but trust your instincts on whether someone is right for you or not. Never stay out of fear that you won’t meet someone else. Staying with someone who is not good for you will belittle you, lower your self esteem and limit you chances to meet your full potential.

Mandy X

 

Don’t quit – a poem

 

brave photo

Don’t quit – a poem

This is a lovely to poem to read when you feel low and down trodden….hope it cheers you up if you’re feeling sad.    Mandy X

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

For life is queer with its twists and turns

As everyone of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.

Success is just failure turned inside out,

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far.

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit!

  • Anonymous.

How to identify your goals

 

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How to identify your goals

Here are 7 goal setting questions to ask yourself that can help you hone your ideals and goals that you might want to work towards:

  1. What are your five most important values in life?

Identify your five most important values and prioritise them from one to five.

2. What are your three most important goals in life, right now?

This is called the ‘quick list’ method. When you only have 30 seconds to write down your three most important goals, your unconscious mind sorts out your many goals quickly.

3. What would you do,how would you spend your time, if you learned today that you only had 6 months to live?

When your time is limited you automatically prioritise the most important things. Imagining a time limit helps us to stop denying the fact the  life doesn’t go on forever. As a doctor once said, ” I have never met a businessman on his deathbed who said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office’.”

4. What would you do if you won a million pounds/dollars cash, tax free, in the lottery tomorrow?

How would you change your life? What would you buy? What would you start doing/stop doing?

5. What have you always wanted to do, but been afraid to attempt?

This question helps you to see where your fears might be blocking you.

6. What do you most enjoy doing? What gives you your greatest feeling of self esteem and personal satisfaction?

You will always be the most happy doing what you enjoy.

7. What on great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?

Imagine that a genie appears and grants you one wish. The genie guarantees that you will be absolutely, completely successful in any one thing you attempt to do, big or small, short or long term. What one exciting goal would you set for yourself?

By the simple act of knowing and acknowledging what you want, and writing it down, you will have moved yourself into the top 3 percent. You will have done something that few people ever do. You can do it…

Mandy X