Category Archives: relationships

Relationships form the basic foundation of everything we do. Knowing how to communicate, show empathy and embrace others in a positive way is essential for getting through life.

Do what’s in your heart

 

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Photo by GU / 古天熱

Do what’s in your heart

Inner wisdom is so underrated. When you do what’s in your heart and you follow your instinct, amazing things happen. The thing is, we tend to ignore that wise inner voice that is trying to tell us something. That gut feel nudges us to do something or to refrain yet we carry on regardless.

When you do what’s in your heart, you are more likely to experience a positive outcome than if you ignore what’s in your heart. I have taken note over the past few years of this theory and have found from my own personal experience that when I tune in to my instincts, it usually guides me in the right direction.

 

 

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When you meet someone for the first time, you make a judgement about them. How often have you found that your initial assumption was correct? The more emotional intelligence you have, the easier this will be. People with autism might find this harder but most people, who have empathy for others and are generally good with people should trust their instincts more. As it is with most things in life, some of us are better at things than others. Listen, tune in and see how effective your inner wisdom is in guiding. It is a skill that can be improved upon.

I believe that we give off energy, there are some people I immediately feel closer to and more connected to than others. Psychologists still can’t fully explain this phenomenon and I believe there are dynamics at work that we don’t fully understand. They are there nonetheless and if we can harness this energy and use it to guide and inform us we will be better placed to make good healthy decisions in life.

Mandy X

 

 

The best relationships

 

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The best relationships

What sets apart average relationships from the best relationships? Staying in a sub standard relationship is common although this will inevitably lead to unmet needs and resentment over time.

Communication

Talk and talk and then talk some more. Always express yourself in an assertive way. The more you ask for what you want and practise reflective listening, the better your relationship will be. Communication is a two way street.

No playing games

When we don’t talk and ask for what we want, we tend to find other less obvious ways to get our point across. This can emerge in the form of passive aggressive behaviour. Any behaviour designed to manipulate is dangerous for a relationship. A straight forward, honest and open approach is the healthiest way to behave in a good relationship. Be assertive and don’t assume you know what the other person is thinking. Ask if you aren’t sure.

Fun

Don’t allow the relationship to go stale, The best relationships enjoy fun and relaxed times. Monotony can get in the way and the mundane can bring about boredom. Keep it interesting.

Intimacy – Sex!

Sex keeps a relationship fresh and connected. It is the glue that binds a healthy relationship. If sex has dwindled, ask yourself why. Sex in relationships does change at times but as long as both partners are happy with the frequency, a relationship can still thrive. Problems arise when one partner feels they are sexually frustrated and this is where good communication and compromise helps.

Best friends

Being great friends provides a fantastic solid framework for the best relationships. Relationships built on sexual attraction alone don’t fare as well. Know each other, like each other and respect each other – a brilliant combination.

Compromise

Two people with different backgrounds are bound to disagree from time to time. Learn to compromise and you will be able to navigate the tricky times when there is conflict. Learn to be flexible and have empathy for your partner and compromising will be a doddle!

Relationships take work. No one is perfect and negotiation will be a constant companion in a good relationship. Those who are able to adapt and give out love and compassion even when the relationship isn’t always in a good place will find they stay in longer lasting and fulfilling relationships than the average. Long may love last!!

Mandy X

 

 

Find yourself

woman smiling forest photo

Find yourself

Photo by Claus Rebler

Do you know yourself? Do you know what makes you happy? When you find yourself, you know what makes you happy. You also know your strengths and weaknesses and are less swayed by others. When you develop you inner core and know who you are, you will achieve inner peace.

Here’s how to find yourself:

Rediscover childhood pursuits

What hobbies and interests have you stopped doing as an adult? Get back to trying some of them. Your ‘essential’ self was the person you were born to be. This person gets conditioned by society and your ‘social self’ develops. Your social self can hide your essential self and this is when we begin to feel lost and without identity. Think about activities where the times passes quickly – this is where your natural interests lie. Get back to those things you loved doing as a child.

Laugh a lot

Have fun. Play and mess about. Laughter smooths over a lot of negatives in life. It doesn’t take them away but it can make life more bearable. Learn to take life less seriously, things are often never as bad as they seem. Take regular time out.

Trust your instincts – listen to others less

We all have self doubt and this can hijack our own wisdom. Learn to tune into your inner wisdom. It is always there whispering to you but often we don’t listen. Tune out the ‘noise’ from others and tune into your instinctual tendencies. You’ll be amazed at how far you can go when you have self belief and trust your own judgement more.

Ask yourself – is this was my last day on earth, would I be happy doing what I am just about to do?

This one question sorts out priorities. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and stop thinking in an inspired way. Every now and then it’s important to assess where you are going, whether you are on track to achieve your goals and if the quality of your life is good enough. If it isn’t, put together an action plan and do some problem solving around possibilities for change and the future.

Stop the “musts” and “shoulds”

There is no need to place unnecessary pressure on ourselves and we do this when we use the words “must” and “should”. Try replacing them with “could” or “I would prefer…”. We always have more choice in life that we think we do and these 2 words limit us.

Live in the moment

Our power to make a difference, feel happy and make changes lies in the present moment. This is what is happening to us NOW. Learn to enjoy the small things in life and be more mindful. The past is gone (learn from it) and the future is yet to come (do things now to lay ground for the future). Set goals and have a future direction but then get back to living in the present moment. Look at how happy our pets are – they live in the present and don’t worry about things that might never happen. Copy this behaviour.

Be true to yourself

This one’s important – be a misfit, be different, be unconventional but whatever you do, be true to yourself. Be proud of your quirks and differences. The more you love and accept yourself (yes, I know it’s a cliche) the more others will too. Love yourself, be yourself and never change who you are to get others to like you.

Finding yourself means being introspective regularly. Know yourself well and figure out what you like, dislike as well as what your strengths and weaknesses. There is nothing quite like being loved for who you really are.

Mandy X

 

 

 

The effects of childhood abuse

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The effects of childhood abuse

The effects  of childhood abuse can last forever. It can influence your thinking, emotional state and the way you relate to others way into adulthood.  Child abuse takes a wide variety of forms.

The most common forms of childhood abuse are:

sexual abuse

neglect

emotional/verbal abuse

physical abuse

parental substance abuse and/or mental illness

children witnessing domestic violence

The long term effects of child abuse

PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, lack of emotions and hypervigilance. The traumatic past event can be triggered by a smell, similar situation or sounds.

Errors in thinking

Adults who were abused as children may have the view that the world is a dangerous place. They may distrust others and isolate themselves. Some adults behave in the opposite manner by becoming very dependent on another person (sometimes referred to as “co-dependency”). Abuse often leads to an adult who struggles to relate to others, often due to their beliefs that others can’t be trusted. Fear of intimacy can reign and cause havoc.

Emotional Distress

Severe stress as a child can alter brain chemistry. It can also affect the way the brain develops and matures, leaving a person more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Anger is another common symptom of emotional distress.

Avoidance and disassocation

As a child, we are extremely vulnerable and don’t have a way to escape our situation. As a result, children have to learn a way to cope with the abuse on a mental and emotional level. What often happens is that children learn to disassociate and ‘compartmentalise’ the unpleasant emotions. They somehow find a mental ‘box’ where they stuff the unpleasant experiences and emotions. In its extreme form, children create separate personalities knows as multiple personality disorder. Children who are abused can form personality disorders – a distinctive and dysfunctional way of viewing the world. The brain creates unnatural pathways to cope with abuse and this affects lifelong functioning.

Some abused children go on to avoid experiences that caused upset in their childhood. The other extreme is to over compensate. Parents underestimate their influence on their children.

The first step to dealing with childhood abuse is to acknowledge what happened and that it wasn’t healthy. Therapy can help immensely, allowing adults who were abused to understand they did not deserve the abuse and that it was their parents who were to blame, not them.

We cannot change the past but we can update our thinking and beliefs about the past. An abused childhood can hold us back but only if we allow it to. As adults, we have the power to reject old childhood messages from our parents and re-create another life that is more healthy and conducive to love and happiness.

Mandy X