Focus on yourself

self focus

Focus on yourself

It’s so easy to focus on the other person in a new relationship. Do they like me? Are they into me? It can become a draining and anxiety producing experience because we can’t control what another person feels or how they behave. This is why you must focus on yourself. All we have control and power over is how we wish to behave and react in a relationship. Focusing too much on the other person is a waste of time. I have been insecure in relationships in the past and it has turned a good relationship into one where I feel on edge. I am not the jealous type but I did tend to worry a lot when in a relationship and look for any sign that they were losing interest.

As you can imagine, this took all the fun out of the relationship. What I should have been doing was enjoying the relationship more and not overthinking and dissecting every small thing the other person did, driving myself crazy in the process.

Where to Put Your Focus

Putting your focus on getting your partner to like you, or constantly trying to figure out if they like you really doesn’t help you in a positive way at all. Instead, put your focus on yourself. Work at your own personal growth and self improvement. Have a lot going on in your life. The richer your own life is, the less bothered you will be if your partner is temporarily less attentive. If they are your whole focus, it will be a much bigger deal when they don’t text enough or show you enough attention. Work on really liking yourself and on finding fulfillment in your own life.  I know it’s much  easier said than done, but that’s what makes all the difference.

Be philosophical and trust the workings on the universe. Trust that things are unfolding as they are meant to. We don’t have much control over anything in this life. You can’t control how someone feels, or when, and if, certain things will happen to you and for you. All you can do is focus on yourself and find a way to be at peace, to accept yourself as you are, and to love who you are.

Mandy X

Anticipatory stress

 

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Anticipatory stress

I’ve noticed with many of my clients that they become stressed when they think about all the chores and duties they have ahead of them. It goes something like this:

“First I have to be up by 7am and get ready to be out of the house by 8.15 am. Then I have to make it through the traffic to work. I have a meeting at 11am but also have to fit in loads of phonecalls and I don’t know if I will have time to get them all done. I don’t know how I will squeeze lunch in as I have a report to write and I know two people are trying to pin my down for urgent meetings….etc”

When we consider all that we have to do all at once, it can seem like we have an insurmountable mountain ahead of us and can lead us to feeling panicky. Anticipatory stress comes from the fear of having to much to do and not being able to cope.

Instead of looking at everything that has to be done, break the day/week/month down into smaller pieces. This is called “chunking” and can help reduce and minimise anticipatory stress.

Deal with the morning separately from the afternoon and/or evening. Anxiety arises from the threat seeming overwhelming and our belief that we will not cope. If this feeling of being overwhlemed continues indefinitely however, it might be that you seriously need some proper time out. When last did you have some time off? We all need to have a few days in a row (at least a week, two weeks ideally for a proper rest) to re-assess and recharge. If you constantly feel tired and overwhelmed it may be that you are burnt out.

Have a look at what brings you positive energy (things, people who inspire you and leave you feeling happy and energised) and what drains you – negative energy. This could be toxic people, a bad job or a bad relationship to name a few. When we are out of balance and have too much negative energy in our lives, it’s common sense that we are going to feel tired and stressed. As much as possible, realign what you can to increase positive energy and reduce negative energy. Balance is key in counteracting stress.

Mindfulness techniques (I will write about this in a future post) can also be extremely useful in reducing anticipatory stress. We all tend to live in our heads too much, worrying about the future and learning to remain in the present moment is a fantastic skill that can allow you to really be present in your life now.

Stress is a part of life but we can learn to manage it effectively. Try the above tips and book that holiday!

Mandy X

Personal affirmations to counteract stress

 

confident

Personal affirmations to counteract stress

I created a personal mantra to help focus my mind when I am feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed by stress. It helps to remind me that it is possible to counteract stress by regularly ‘feeding’ myself a positive inner dialogue. I call it my 4R Mantra and I’d like to share it with you…

Resourceful – I am resourceful

The first “R” is for resourceful. I remind myself that I am good at finding a way around things. Whether it means finding out more information or by finding support from the right people, I believe that I can find these resources if I need them. The idea of being resourceful is a powerful one as it suggests that if I do not have the skills or knowledge to fix a problem, I will find someone or something to help.

See yourself as resourceful and believe that you will somehow find a way. Always believe that help is at hand. The next thing I need to work on is asking for help – still working on that one!

Resilient – I am resilient

I like to remind myself that I am resilient and in times of trouble, I like to  remind myself of the tough times I have already been through. I am still here – I have lived through tough times and have lived to tell the tale. Remind yourself regularly of how you have overcome problems in the past to reinforce that you will cope better than you think you will.

Ready – I am ready

I sometimes say to myself “Bring it on”. I don’t like stress and I hate feeling anxious but I accept that it will always be something that will enter into my life in various forms. Whether it’s through a tricky relationship or a challenge at work, I like to feel that I am ready for it. I try not to tell myself that I will be happy when….I can be happy now. I am ready now for the good and the bad. When you tell yourself you are ready it takes the fear away. You are prepared. When you don’t feel ready you are sending yourself a message that somehow you need to prepare or that you lack something. You hold the key – nothing is lacking…

Recognition – I recognise my strengths

We tend to be so self critical of ourselves and rarely give ourselves the recognition we deserve. Give yourself a pat on the back for all your triumphs, no matter how small. When you do something that outs you out of your comfort zone, give yourself recognition.

The above steps can help us to counteract stress and improve our belief in ourselves. It reminds us that we can and do cope better than we think we will when life is tough and challenging.

Mandy X

 

Top 100 Blog Award

 

personal development blog award

I wanted to say a big “THANK YOU” to all the readers who enjoy and read this blog. It’s thanks to you that this blog has been included in a Top 100 Blog Awards list for being one of the best personal development blogs out there. Onwards and upwards…

 

Here is the link:  Top 100 Personal Development Blog Award

Mandy xxx

 

 

What makes relationships work

 

happy relationship photo

What makes relationships work

I have often wondered what it is that makes a relationship work. Believe me, I have tried many different strategies to see whether I could come up with a foolproof method in order to be successful in the dating game.

I tried being really nice and keen. I also tried acting disinterested. After a while of internet dating, I upgraded my car and wondered if a nicer, more expensive car might improve my chances. I also moved home during my dating phase into a larger more expensive home. I kept some men guessing and didn’t return their texts straight away. I tried many different scenarios. Unfortunately, each different strategy didn’t produce overwhelmingly positive results and each time I ended up back at the drawing board where I originally started.

All of this made me realise something. Mostly, it’s not about the car you drive or where you live and it’s not about being too nice or treating them mean to keep them keen. What makes relationships work is down to one fundamental thing – how much the other person likes you and wants to be in a relationship. It’s that simple!

If the other person likes you, they will make allowances for many things. If they like you – that is, how you look and they fancy you physically and like your personality, the rest is less important.

You can stand on your head and do cartwheels and give your best impression ever but if the other person isn’t into you, nothing you do will change their mind.

So, the lesson here is – just be yourself!!

Obviously, you may be on best behaviour initially but fundamentally you need to be true to yourself. No one can keep up a pretense forever and you will just make yourself anxious trying to be someone you aren’t. Be confident in yourself and like yourself and others will be inclined to do the same. If someone doesn’t love the true you then it is their loss and this leaves you free to find someone who loves and appreciates just as you are!

Here’s to ‘TRUE LOVE’ – being true to yourself in love xx

Mandy X

How to promote emotional wellbeing

 

happiness photo

How to promote emotional well being

Looking after yourself on a physical level is important if you want to keep your mind healthy and protect your emotional well being. The body and the mind are closely linked and both need to be working well and be looked after in order for a person to function well. An unhealthy body won’t help promote a healthy mind.

Think of the acronym “PLEASE” to help you remember important aspects of this connection:

PL           Treat Physical Illness

E              Eat healthy

A              Avoid mood altering drugs

S              Sleep well

E               Exercise

FOCUS

Monitor what you focus on. Humans tend to focus more on what isn’t going right instead of looking at what is working.If you hear ten compliments and one criticism, you’ll probably focus on the criticism. Work on having an attitude of gratitude and appreciation.

Watch your thinking and let the negative thoughts float by. Thoughts will keep coming, you don’t have to focus on each one. Pick out the helpful ones and dismiss the negative ones. Self limiting beliefs can be detrimental to emotional well being.

OPPOSITE ACTION

Do the opposite of what you normally do. What we resist persists. If you normally get angry and shout, try walking away or whisper instead of yelling. Try force a smile. If you normally avoid people when you feel down, force yourself to call a friend or visit someone.

Doing the opposite can help you to change your emotion.

CHECK THE FACTS

Are there times in your life when you have overreacted or where you have assumed something and been wrong? Always check the facts – thoughts are not facts. Looking for evidence can reduce the intensity of emotions. Ask yourself what triggered your emotion? What interpretations and assumptions are you making? Does your emotion and its intensity match the facts of the situation?

Always stop and take time out before reacting to something, especially if your emotions are running high. A little bit of time is always a good way to add perspective to a situation.

Mandy X

 

 

Reasons to love and commit to someone

 

happy relationship photo

11 Reasons to love and commit to someone

They love you as you are

When someone loves you, they actually like your strange little habits instead of finding them annoying.

They do small things without being asked

When your partner does small favours for you without having to, it shows that you are on theit mind and that they want to please you and make you happy – this is a very good sign.

You can tell them anything

When you feel that you can be completely open with your partner without fear of them rejecting you, it helps foster intimacy and a sense of unconditional love

You are best friends

When your partner is the first one you want to tell about an event in your life it’s a good sign that you are best friends.

You share the same sense of humour

When you can laugh at the same things it can help you to feel that you are a little team who ‘get’ each other in a way others don’t and this can make you feel closer as a couple.

Ideally, you have similar political and religious views

This is a bonus in a relationship but not not lead to a ‘make or break’ situation.

You are good emotional support for each other

Some people have more emotional intelligence and empathy than others, and it can be a real struggle in a relationship when one of you needs more emotional support than the other. Finding someone who is supportive and makes you feel cared for can be wonderful in world where there are few ‘soft places’ to fall.

You want the best for them

When you love someone you want them to be the best possible person they can be and enjoy it when they get ahead. You will do whatever you can to help them have an easier life.

If something bothers you, they will try to stop doing it

When someone cares about you and you have a complaint about the relationship, it will be important to them to try stop whatever it is that is upsetting you. Instead of denying what is going on or telling you that you are wrong, they will be mature enough to look at their own behaviour and how it may be contributing negatively to the relationship.

You miss them when you’re apart

When you aren’t together, they are on your mind a lot of the time. If you don’t think about them much it’s probably not a good sign or if you don’t look forward to seeing them after a break.

They respect you and talk to you nicely

When you truly love someone, you respect them and treat them well. This doesn’t mean you never argue or disagree but you tend to speak to each other in a respectful, loving manner.

Relationships can be wonderful but they involve a certain amount of emotional risk. Enjoy the intimacy and trust your instincts. Give a relationship a chance and don’t run at the first sign of trouble but also learn not to take too many knocks. Remember you teach people how to treat you, whether you react or not.

Mandy X

 

 

 

 

 

How to decatastrophise

 

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How to decatastrophise

We’ve all been there – something triggers us and we end up catastrophising and imagining the absolute worst case scenario. We make mountains out of molehills. Try out the techniques in this blog post to decatastrophise and get back to normality. One thought can sometimes spiral out of control and before we know it we have become homeless, bankrupt, single /and/or have imagined ourselves on our deathbed. Learn to deal with anxiety and stress in a calmer way and enjoy a less stressful life.

Steps to decatastrophise

Specify the catastrophic consequence clearly:

This has to be as specific as possible. “What if something bad happens?” is too vague.

Here are a few good examples:

What if my health never gets better?

What if my partner leaves me?

Losing my job

Change any “what if” statements into concrete declarations of fact:

Examples: My health will never get better

My partner will leave me

I will lose my job

Challenge the truth/validity of your statement:

Ask yourself if anything bad has ever happened before. Ask yourself how often this might happen or whether it is very likely to happen. Also ask yourself whether there is any clear evidence to suggest that your worry will come true.

Ask yourself what a friend might say if you told them about your worry. Are there any reasons to doubt your worry coming true?

Examples: My health is bad right now but I have been ill before and improved. The doctor said I had a good prognosis.

My relationship is going through a rough patch but that doesn’t mean my partner is thinking of leaving me. My partner has given me no indication that they might leave me.

I might be performing worse at work but losing my job is a big jump. Perhaps I am jumping to conclusions. There is no evidence that I am about to be fired.

Come up with three positive alternative statements:

My health will probably get better. I’m at my worst now – even if I don’t fully recover I’m likely to get better than I am now.

My relationship will survive this tricky patch

My job will still be there tomorrow

Remember that thoughts are not facts and there are times when we allow our thoughts to get the better of us and cause us great distress. Use the above exercise to restore calm to your mind and see things from a different perspective.

Mandy X