Category Archives: Human Behaviour

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

Things you don’t need for happiness

happy photo

 

Things you don’t need for happiness

Here are things you don’t need for happiness and they will help you to be more aware that life can be simpler and more fun than we realise. . I have found that many people spend inordinate amounts of time focusing on these things that are inane in the grand scheme of things:

To have everyone liking you

You will never be able to please everyone and have acceptance/validation from everyone. It’s a fact of life yet we spend time trying to please others unnecessarily. No one enjoys conflict but it is a waste to believe that you can get everyone to like you. We all want to be popular but that comes naturally when you are happy in yourself.

To have complete certainty

Life is inherently uncertain and the sooner we stop resisting this fact and make uncertainty our friend, the quicker we will experience peace of mind. We can learn to tolerate uncertainty by placing ourselves regularly in situations where the outcome is unknown. The more we do this the more we develop and grow our resilience. Regularly placing ourselves in unfamiliar situations gives us proof that we can cope with uncertainty. Get out of your comfort zone and face uncertainty with a positive attitude. There is nothing to fear. Constantly trying to control your world around will just lead to frustration and exhaustion.

To be in a relationship

Some relationships make us more unhappy than happy yet there is a common idea that being in a relationship is better than being single. The trick about life is that happiness comes from your attitude rather than your circumstances. Happiness is an inside job. It’s what we tell ourselves about a situation that makes us happy or sad. Get to know yourself well. Know your strengths and weaknesses and know what makes you happy and put that at the core of your life. Once you have that stable foundation within you, life becomes easier and the right people will come into your life. You don’t need another person first before happiness will emerge.

Consistent happiness

No one is happy 24/7. Happiness is experienced as a fleeting appreciation in the moment, and then it slips away to a lower level intensity.I was in Los Angeles two months ago and  had a fleeting sensation of pure happiness. I was sitting by the pool in the sun with my music playing with a hummingbird buzzing past me every few minutes. The combination of the sun. music and this cute tiny bird made me smile from ear to ear. I love those fleeting moments when life feels really good. Some people believe that they should feel this way all the time but it’s physically impossible for the human brain to operate at that level continuously.

Achievement

Taking time out can create just as much peace and happiness. We are conditioned to believe that we have to be achieving to be happy but I also know people who don’t achieve in the conventional sense who are incredibly content in their lives. The trick is to know yourself rather than comparing yourself with society in general. This can skew your values and true aspirations.

Value as a human being comes from being happy and joyful – you will give off far healthier vibes to the world than if you are a stressed out achiever, doing something that isn’t really for you but that you think you should be doing in order to be seen as a valuable human being. That’s nonsense.

Lots of money

Research has shown that after a certain amount, the level of happiness does not correlate to the amount of money earned. As long as we have enough to eat, live and connect with others, happiness tends to stay quite balanced. I think the approximate amount is around £49 000 per year. See here for more.

Happiness is achievable for everyone – mostly it relies upon your optimistic attitude. That is always a good start. Life is tough at times and being optimistic doesn’t mean you have to always see positives but you can at least reframe a bad incident into something more digestible on an emotional level. For example – instead of catastrophising and thinking the worst, it is possible to find a story to tell yourself that softens the blow.

Mandy X

 

 

Photo by Britt Selvitelle

Thoughts on failure

 

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Thoughts on failure

What are your thoughts on failure? Is it a lack of financial success? Is it owning a small house or being single? We all have different ideas about failure and the beliefs we cling to will determine how negatively failure impacts upon us.

Many of my clients blur the lines of failure. They blur the lines between failure being a verb and failure being a noun. I will often hear them say “I am a failure”. This is the number one rule about the concept of failure: Failure is a verb. A person isn’t a failure. Negative thoughts can create intense negative emotions, so spare yourself the grief by being aware of the nature of your thoughts. Never ever see yourself as a failure. Yes, perhaps something to tried to do didn’t work out but that certainly doesn’t equate to the ‘doer’ as a failure. Big difference!

In my books, life is a series of trial and error. We win some, we lose some. Failures show that we are alive and that we are trying. I see that as commendable. I view failure as giving up completely. If you are still trying and haven’t let life beat you down, you aren’t failing.

See failure as your friend. When you look at the process of failure as a a valuable lesson, you will no longer fear making mistakes and…well…failing.

Get living and get failing and see that as success!

 

Mandy X

 

Your thoughts aren’t real

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“The quality of your life is determined solely by the relationship you have to your own thinking” – R.Carlson

Your thoughts aren’t real

Okay, hear me out. The idea that your thoughts aren’t real may seem bizarre but once I have finished explaining you will see the logic. Your thoughts are your perceptions about the world. We don’t experience the world directly, we experience the world through our preconceived ideas and attitudes that have been created during our lives. We all have ‘filters’ that change how we perceive things around us. For example, the same event can happen to two people, the exact same experience, yet these two people may take very different lessons and experiences from that one event. If thoughts were real and standardised, we would all experience the world exactly the same way.

Imagine that you are sitting on a park bench with a friend and a dog approaches you. Imagine that you were once attacked by a dog. Your thoughts would be fearful and you would try to escape the dog. Your friend may not have the same filter of fear for dogs and may want to pet the dog. The exact same event yet very different outcomes. The difference between the two people was their thinking. Their thinking influenced their experience.

Your consciousness produces a stream of thought, one after the other. When we pay attention and focus on a thought it seems real but as soon as we distract ourselves the thought and the emotion attached to that thought disappears. Thoughts come and go.

Once you understand that you are the creator/thinker of your thoughts and that your mind doesn’t produce reality, it produces thoughts, you won’t be as affected by what you think.

Thoughts directly affect how we feel. It’s impossible to feel without thinking something first. Try feel angry without first thinking about something that makes you angry – it’s impossible. Focusing on negative thoughts will cause you to feel low. It’s common sense. Analyse less and live more in the moment. By all means, create goals and problem solve but don’t believe that you can think your way our of depression.The more you analyse, the worse it will be. Try mindfulness as a way to distract yourself from your mental torture.

Overthinking is one of the worst things you can do. Learn to let go of the thoughts, dismiss them and picture them passing you by…you can choose the ones you want to focus on and the ones you wish to dismiss. It takes practise but becoming a better ‘thought/mind manager’ will make you a whole lot happier.

Mandy X

 

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