Category Archives: Human Behaviour

Patterns in human behaviour – why we are all more similar than we think

What are safety behaviours?

person looking at phone photo

Photo by UltraSlo1

What are safety behaviours?

We all engage in safety behaviours to differing degrees. A safety behaviour is something we do to provide us relief from anxiety. The problem with safety behaviours is that they only work temporarily and our attempts to self soothe end up becoming a repetitive pattern. The safety behaviour inadvertently ends up prolonging the anxiety.

For example: For someone who finds being in social situations anxiety provoking, they might avoid a social situation altogether. This helps them avoid the anxiety but doesn’t deal with the underlying fear. The threat of social situations stays unchallenged. So the avoidance is the safety behaviour but the anxiety will always be there when faced with a social situation. The anxiety of social situations will remain.

Another example of a safety behaviour: Someone who is insecure in a relationship might constantly check up on their partner by texting and phoning their partner. Initially, once they have checked on their partner, they might feel better…but only until the next thing triggers their anxiety and they need to check again. The need to check will not go away and in this way the anxiety is maintained.

The idea is to reduce safety behaviours, ‘sit’ with the anxiety and realise you can cope without the safety behaviour. This is the correct way to reduce non-productive safety behaviours.

Learning to challenge the threat with using a safety behaviours allows us to learn how to cope with the anxiety. Do what you fear – that’s the basic premise.

Be aware of what you do to reduce your anxiety…do you check your phone constantly? Do you avoid situations you fear? Work at approaching your fears and learning to deal with them. This will improve confidence and help you to be more resilient.

Mandy X

 

The daily grind

 

chained to the rythmn

Photo by matsuyuki

The Daily Grind

 

Apologies to those of you who aren’t Katy Perry fans but this video is brilliant as it is a great example of “purposeful pop”. Katy Perry sings about a theme park called Oblivia and being “chained to the rythmn.” It’s all about the daily grind. Are we just like rates in a maze? Being chained to the rhythmn is a euphemism for being stuck in a system where politicians are dishonest and don’t deliver on promises. Where we are all so influenced by online technology and are glued to our smart phones and ipod screens. This means we are less in the present moment and ‘absent’ from our lives in many ways.

The guests are dressed in vibrant 1950s clothes, an era of great optimism for America. The song’s lyrics depict a world of repetition and ignorance, where technology renders us oblivious (hence the name “Oblivia”) to people’s real problems- mental health, poverty, inequality, corruption and so on.

The “greatest ride in the universe” turns out to be a treadmill. The guests aren’t there to have fun – they’re assets. Cogs in the machine. Literally hamsters on a wheel.

In the closing scene, Katy Perry turns to make eye contact with the camera, tacitly issuing a challenge to us, the viewer.

Are we comfortable with unquestioning conformity? Or will we join her big pop revolution?

I urge you to be a critical thinker, don’t believe everything you see in the media, it is always slightly slanted according to one’s interpretation. Learn to stand apart, be a non-conformist and stand up for what you believe in.

Mandy X

Earn money while dating

 

couple in love photo

Earn money while dating

Get ready for it – there’s a new dating app out where you can earn money while searching for your soulmate. I decided to give the new dating app Spritzr a try and found it an enjoyable experience. Spritzr’s founder and CEO, Manshu Agarwal, was searching for love. He found that his best dates came through friends. However, he could only go to so many friends’ parties, and email or facebook introductions were really awkward. So he thought, why isn’t there a fun, low pressure way for friends to play matchmaker? Now there is.

It’s easy to set up as you can use your Facebook profile and you’re on your way. You can play matchmaker and match up other singles. They see your suggestions and if any of them match and like each other, you could earn $10 cupid cash.

Users simply drag and drop photos of singles they think would make a good pair. The more couples they successfully match, the more Cupid Cash they earn, which can be exchanged for real money. You choose whether you want to be actively involved in finding a partner by choosing the “single” option or, if you are in a relationship but want to help others find love, you choose the “in a relationship” option – simple!

I spent a few hours playing around with this app – it’s free to download and I managed to match one couple. I found that rather rewarding. It’s a fun way to see how good you are as matchmaker and I haven’t come across another app like it.

“Channel your inner cupid” as the app suggests – it’s definitely worth a try!

Mandy X

Itunes link for Spritz: CLICK HERE

Money on the side

savings photo

Money on the side

Having money on the side no matter what your circumstances, is vital for freedom and independence. Many clients come to me, unhappy in their relationships/marriages yet fear leaving due to lack of financial means to support themselves. I have come to realise that wherever possible, it is important to have a separate saving account with spare money in it. To some, this may seem cynical but I just see it as being practical. Savings never go to waste anyhow and I have seen how beneficial money on the side can be when someone has had enough of a miserable relationship.

The amount of people I know who are stuck in unhappy circumstances purely due to financial constraints is startling and worrying at the same time. Having money on the side allows you stay with someone because you want to be with them, not because you need to stay out of lack of other options. What a sad place to be!

Plan for the future, care about your freedom of choice and independence.You may never need to money but it is prudent to have spare savings just in case. It will give you a sense of choice and confidence. Start saving now.

Mandy X

If you want to know more about being financially astute, have a look at Tony Robbin’s products. I have recommended his advice to many clients and it has helped quite a few avert a crisis! I am also currently reading the book below and finding it very informative. X

Tony Robbins’ Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook

unshakeable

 

6 Remarkable Things to Know About People Living With a Chronic Illness

 

women photo

6 Remarkable Things to Know About People Living With a Chronic Illness

Life is tough for people with a chronic illness, but through the pain and the fatigue and all the other symptoms and side effects, they show an extraordinary passion for life and try to achieve as much as possible. With help from themighty.com, we’ve compiled a list of eight remarkable things to know about people living with a chronic illness.

They possess a profound strength. 

Anyone who has a chronic illness must be able to manage their daily lives regardless of being in acute pain or feeling extreme fatigue. Many work, have families, run the home and some are even caregivers for others with chronic illnesses.

They don’t give up no matter how hard it gets, they dig deep and fight through each day.

They are empathic to the pain of others. 

Knowing what it’s like to live in constant pain, those with a chronic illness tend to have more empathy and understanding for others in similar situations. They’re often the first to lend a helping hand when needed.

They often suffer in silence. 

Acutely aware that others may not want to hear about their pain, many people with chronic illnesses will suffer their hardships quietly. They may miss social engagements because they are too ill to attend, but will downplay their non-attendance.

They become very good at pretending to be well and often don’t look ill. This may be because they have made an extra effort with their appearance to mask how they really feel, or they are managing their symptoms with medication so they can get through the day.

They have a different take on life. 

When you’re faced with a chronic illness and possibly your own mortality, you tend to place importance on different things. They will jump at new opportunities, try not to put things off until tomorrow or sweat the small stuff, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

They may miss social events without warning. 

With a chronic illness, symptoms can come and go. Just because a person is feeling well one day doesn’t mean they’ll feel fine the next. The unpredictability of their disease will mean that they too are unpredictable. Don’t be disappointed if they don’t show up to your event—if they could be there, they would be.

They need your support and understanding. 

People with chronic illnesses have enough to deal with in life and they rely on family and friends to be able to understand their circumstances and support their needs. Offers of help are not expected but are certainly appreciated. Even just taking the time to ask how they’re feeling will let them know you’re there for them.

You’ll also need to understand that issues like depression, anger, frustration, and self-pity can all present themselves from time to time. Allowing people the time to work through these emotions is essential; be there to listen and offer unconditional love and support.

The symptoms of cystic fibrosis will vary from patient to patient, but there are commonalities in the way that CF affects the body. Learn more about them here.

Mandy X

Source: Source link

Thoughts on rebound relationships

 

broken heart photo

Thoughts on rebound relationships

Are rebound relationships a good thing or a bad thing? Can they work? Rational thinking would dictate that it is probably best to leave some space between the end of one relationship and the beginning of a new relationship. My thoughts on rebound relationships are that they can work under some circumstances but there is a higher majority of rebound relationships that don’t work out.

The reason for rebound relationships not working out are varied but the main reason is that the relationship starts in a dysfunctional place. Emotions aren’t neutral and one partner (or both) will be looking to fill a void. In essence they choose someone out of need rather than because they really want the relationship for the right reasons. A sense of urgency develops and needs can be compromised, standards lowered in order to meet urgent emotional voids left by the previous relationship.

When we act on emotional urges we tend to use different parts of our brain (the emotional part – amygdala and hippocampus) and we rationalise in a different way. What may seem a good idea to the emotional brain may not be such a good idea to the rational, healthy mind a few month’s down the line.

Of course, rebound relationships can take away some of the pain of a previous relationship breakup and focus our attention somewhere else. As a counsellor, I have seen people do this, only to end up back in therapy because they haven’t dealt with their underlying issues – looking for another person to fix them rather than them taking the time out to fix themselves and get into a better place emotionally.

It is always a good idea to ‘reset’ your emotional and healthy reasoning mind back to zero, so to speak. With a rebound relationship, nothing is reset and it can be likened to a train starting off from the station without being on the rails properly. A rebound relationship can be a plaster for unresolved trauma and pain.

I know someone who lost his wife eighteen months ago. He hadn’t fully grieved her loss but was emotionally needy and sought out relationships very quickly. He inadvertently wanted his new partners to be similar to his wife and was unable to tolerate differences between their behaviour and his ex-wife’s behaviour. A clear sign that he was not fully over the loss. No one can take the place of another and only by resetting our emotional state (by self exploration and some time out) can we be ready to accept a new person – good and bad.

Rebound relationships can however help someone to move on quicker, perhaps not necessarily in the healthiest way but it can speed up the length of time that one feels heartache. There will always be a danger though that the emotional connection in the rebound realtionship is damaged due to all the emotional baggage that has come into the relationship. Emotional detachment may exist. Comparisons tend to be stronger between the current partner and ex partner in rebound relationships and thinking and emotions may be distorted.

train photo

Where possible, get the train ‘back on the tracks’ in the station before leaving again for a new destination. Some people can do this fairly quickly and enter into a new relationship with robust stability. Each situation is different but the most important aspect is to work at feeling stable emotionally before starting something new.

Mandy X

 

 

Reject rigid rules

 

rules photo

Reject rigid rules

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not talking about breaking the law. I do however think it is important to reject rigid rules when it comes to your subjective world. In Cognitive Behavioural therapy, we talk about unhelpful thinking styles (also known as cognitive distortions) and one of these is black and white thinking – also known as rigid rules.

Rigid thinking styles limit you in life – they narrow your focus and make you judgemental. The more rigid your thinking is, the more rules you tend to live by. The inevitable result is that the more rules you have for life, the more often they will be broken.

Some common rigid rules:

People must always like me

I am only worthy if I am in a relationship

I am only good enough if I have lots of money

People must see me as successful

Life should always go smoothly

I should not have to experience any set backs

It’s my parent’s fault

I should cope all the time

Showing emotion is a sign of weakness

The above examples lead to anxiety and stress as we try to live according to them and find they are constantly being challenged. The key to contentment is psychological flexibility. Learn to go with the flow more. Open up your thinking and look for other ways to look at your life and your attitudes. The easier you find it to adapt your thinking and reject rigid rules, the happier you will be for it.

Life won’t always go as planned (in fact it rarely does). You will find that acceptance rather than resistance works much better. Rigidly trying to make the outside world conform to your rules is a waste of energy and won’t ultimately work. Know your values of course but live with an open mind. Be curious…you may learn far more than if you stick doggedly to your rigid rules.

Mandy X