Tag Archives: perspective

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

 

 

Time to reflect

 

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Time to reflect

I’ve never believed in New Year’s resolutions but I do believe in time to reflect upon where we’re at in life. Scurrying along in life blindly rarely leads to effective outcomes. Rather, taking time to reflect on whether we are happy and in the right place can help us to refocus and put ourselves back on the ‘right track’ so to speak.

I liken it to swimming lengths in a pool. We need to life our heads out of the water every now and then to make sure we are going to reach the end of the pool at approximately the right place. Swimming sideways wouldn’t be very useful. The same is relevant in life.

Are you happy with your life? Are you living a life that is mostly true to yourself or are you at least working towards it?

Fear stops us from making decisions but procrastination can lead to longer term misery and frustration. We all need goals, some short term and some long term so help us move forward. Goals helps add structure to life and can give us a sense of meaning and purpose – two of the essential ingredients for contentment.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I wake up happy most mornings? If you don’t or wake up with a feeling of dread something is out of kilter, this may be a clue that your day is filled with things you don’t enjoy doing…explore this further.
  2. Am I getting most of my needs met in my relationship?
  3. Is there more positive than negative energy filling my life? Positive energy are the things in life that inspire you and make you feel energised. Negative energy comes from things that drain you physically and emotionally – people or situations or work etc.
  4. If you are able to pinpoint the source of your unhappiness, ask yourself if you can do anything to change it. Is this something within your control or not? If you cannot control it, find a way to accept and/or let it go. If it is something you have control over, create steps to begin the change process.

Living your best possible life can be achieved more easily by taking time to reflect. I highly recommend it.

Mandy X

All about perspective

 

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It’s all about perspective

I found the words below on twitter and thought I should share this with you. I don’t believe that positive thinking can overcome everything but I do believe that trying to choose thoughts that are hopeful will be more helpful than filling our heads with all that is wrong with the world.

Mandy X

 

Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Even if
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
Because
True happiness can be obtained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
The reality
Creates
My attitude
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say that
Today was a good day

Now:read from bottom to top..

I know which version makes me feel better xxx

Learn to pick your battles

 

 

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Learn to pick your battles

Have you ever heard of the expression: “Making mountains out of molehills”? I have come to believe that a lot of the stress and anxiety that we experience in our lives comes from magnifying and ‘catastrophising’ problems. I know I do it. A few years back I received a parking ticket that I felt was completely unfair and unjust. It was such a long and protracted saga that I am not going to bore you with details but suffice to say – a year later the problem had not gone away. I had a court date to go to the Crown Court (God knows how a parking ticket ended up as a matter  for the Crown Court) and I had amassed a pile of paperwork to fill three huge arch lever files. In the end I was given a complete pardon but it didn’t save me money in the end and the angst was certainly not worth proving the principle.

Now I am much more selective when choosing which battles to fight. I am a huge stickler for justice and this often gets me into trouble but I have managed to learn how to see the bigger picture and decide which matters are ‘small hills’ to navigate around and which hills are actually mountains that need to be addressed. Life is only as serious as you decide it needs to be.

Keeping a sense of humour is a great tool for combating stress and challenges. We can work ourselves into a right old froth by listening to our thinking – especially the thoughts that make us feel powerless, used or abused in some way. (Remember thoughts DO NOT represent reality directly – they are merely interpretations of what is going on).

I am still a huge advocate of standing up for myself and I won’t go quietly when the issue is of great importance but I have learned to let go hurtful comments from others, lies that are told about me or small injustices that I know I can live with. It’s a constant assessment about the emotional effort involved compared with the importance of the issue at hand. If I feel I can make a difference in a positive way, I might just wade into the fray. If it has to do with how other people think and their preferences I tend to leave it alone. You can’t control how others think and act, all you have control over is your behaviour and how you react (personal responsibility).

Only you can decide what is non-negotiable in your life and what you can live with. It might just be worth re-assessing the non-negotiable list from time to time though as I know mine has changed and has reduced dramatically in the last few years. It’s a feeling of freedom – knowing that there are fewer things in life that are going to ‘hook you in’ or press your emotional buttons.

Mandy X

 

 

 

Photo by Nathan O’Nions

planet earth

Life in perspective

 

Everything is relative. You don’t needto be Einstein to understand that. A human is as big to an ant as a buildingmay be to him. However, the world always seems such a huge place; so many countries, cities, forests, oceans, lakes, icebergs. So many animals and species. So much history.But ever since we developed the ability to look beyond our atmosphere, it became more and more apparent that our blue marble is tiny. Too tiny to even comprehend, when compared to other planets, stars, galaxies and the universe itself. So just to give you an idea of how tiny we really are here on planet earth, here are some visual aids.
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 Frederick T.

 Puts life in perspective…innit?
Mandy X

Perspective

 

Ascend

Ascend (Photo credit: Billy Wilson Photography)

Perspective

For some reason I have always been able to see life from a distance. I liken it to watching a large anthill. Seeing the ants rushing about, carrying food along and carrying out their daily routines oblivious to the larger world that exists around them. The many fields with more anthills all around them. All that exists for these ants is their anthill and along with that awareness comes a limited perspective on what it is really all about.

I’m not saying that I believe in aliens but I often look at our planet and see all the conflict among us, on a micro level between friends and family and on a larger scale where countries, religions and political parties are involved. I wonder if we would all manage to put aside our differences if we were attacked by some unknown outside force.

This overarching perspective has helped me to transcend the petty small issues of daily living. The more we keep our eye on the really important stuff the less significant the small troubles seem.

Tips for maintaining perspective:

1) When going through a tough time, remind yourself that whatever you experiencing will not last forever. See it as an opportunity to show yourself how strong and resilient you can be.

2) Think about how you will feel tomorrow, one week from now or a few months from now. Whatever seems insurmountable in the present often isn’t such a big deal when we look back on it.

3) Keep a sense of humour and always remember that there are others worse off that you. Be aware of all the good in your life to counteract negative thinking.

4) Take time out, remove yourself from the situation if possible. Sometimes a change in scenery is all we need to encourage fresh perspectives.

5) Think about why whatever you are going through is NOT a problem. This encourages logical rational thinking and takes the emotion out of the equation. Emotions lead us to distort reality.

Perspective helps to maintain equilibrium and encourages a healthy detachment from current woes. Meditation helps to maintain perspective and calm a busy brain. Try not to get caught up in the moment when you are feeling emotionally vulnerable or overwhelmed.

Mandy X

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Seven Things to Strive For

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Are you happy in life? Do you feel that things are going they way you had hoped? If not, here are a few suggestions that we can all strive for that can increase happiness and self fulfillment:

 

1)Good friendships and strong family connections. We don’t get to choose our family but nevertheless, family members are often the ones that come to your rescue when life gets tough or when there is a crisis. Cherish your family and make time for them – especially the ones that you relate to. Some people have no family at all, so be thankful for those that are in your life. Put the barriers down and forge closer connections. A good network of friends help us to get through dark patches in life. They can often be the saving grace. Appreciate your friends and never take them for granted or abuse the relationship in any way.

2) Healthy body. We live in an age of convenience foods where time is limited. Make sure that you can take time out to relax and rest. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit and make sure you get at least eight hour’s sleep every night. When we neglect ourselves, it can encourage negative self talk and a downward spiral can emerge. Be good to yourself.

3) Positive Mind. Be kind to yourself. Develop self reliance and be your own best friend. If you don’t love yourself how can you expect anyone else to? The more you like yourself, the more others like you – the law of attraction is in operation in this process. Our inner worlds mirror our outer worlds. How we see the world is how the world will manifest for us in many ways. If we don’t believe we are good enough, we will inadvertently give out signals showing others that we don’t like ourselves enough. Engage in positive self talk and dismiss negative talk. it’s easier said than done but positive self talk can be learned and will become a habit if practiced often enough.

4) Gratitude. Instead of always wishing you had something you haven’t got – be grateful for what you do have in your life. Constantly focusing on what is missing will definitely lead to misery and possibly depression. There are many things to be grateful for in life – force yourself to find them.

5)Sense of purpose. The world does not revolve around you. Everyone has goals, troubles and duties. Everyone is dealing with their own challenges. Give back a little instead of always making issues about you. Helping others less fortunate than you is a great way to add meaning and purpose to life. Volunteer, give to charity..help out in the community. It takes the focus off you.

6)Perspective. When we are in emotional turmoil, one of the first things to disappear is perspective. We become to caught up in the present moment that we can no longer see the bigger picture. Step back from the problem and ask yourself whether this will still be a problem one year from now. Will you still feel as upset in the future. Also, ask yourself if you can or can’t control the situation. If the trouble has to do with someone else, you can try to influence them but ultimately you will not be able to control them. If it is something you can control then create an action list…ask yourself if your worrying is resolution focused. Are you worrying without solving anything or are you engaging in healthy, productive thinking that leads to possible solutions?

7)Integrity. Many people act a certain way but inwardly don’t practice what they preach or mean what they say. Do you live a life that is congruent with your beliefs and values? For example – if you see yourself as a kind person, do you behave in a kind way? Peace of mind comes easier to those that say what they do and do what they say.

 

Mandy X