Ever find yourself in a communication bind with someone and you just couldn’t seem to navigate finding understanding or any positive outcomes.?
Marshall Rosenberg in his works titled Non Violent Communication explains how to break these communication binds to get your needs met while at the same time finding ways to meet the needs of others.
Key Points to Consider:
For Example : Saying the person who did that behavior because they don’t care, are mean, or stupid.
A toxic person is someone who is harmful or detrimental to your emotional and psychological wellbeing. We become like the people we are around most. For a generally happy and well-rounded person, these toxic relationships can seed self-doubt and negativity. It can happen so slowly overtime so that it becomes difficult to notice the impact on emotions and self-esteem. By noticing how you regularly feel when you are with the people around you and what thoughts and emotions are left after you are no longer with them will give you an idea about whether the relationship harmful or enhancing.You can protect yourself by developing a greater awareness of these emotional patterns and make choices of friendship that help you create the life you envisage. Understand that you deserve kindness and people who accept you as you are, people who allow you room to grow and support your dreams and aspirations. Being around kind, caring, fun loving people is key for overcoming life obstacles and setting up a happy and healthy mindset.
The quality of our friendships and relationships often reflect how we subconsciously feel about ourselves. By improving how we feel about ourselves, being kinder, having greater compassion and care for ourselves then we are able to bring this to our friendships. Take the time to discern people who share common interests and are good for your self-esteem. Notice how you feel with people and be conscious of steering the emotional connection in a direction that is mutually agreeable and enjoyable. Give time and attention to the relationships that you would like to develop and allow yourself a level of vulnerability with the people you trust.Surround yourself in people who are generally positive and who you share mutual respect.
If you find yourself in a toxic relationship then it is important to ask yourself what is your investment in this relationship. At some level every relationship we have is our choice. Kindly enquire with yourself if there a payoff for you to put yourself in this situation ? Is the relationship validating some negative thinking you have about yourself? Is it igniting some familiar emotional patterns that you recognise from your own history? When you make new decisions about what you deserve, and change some of that negative self belief , you will find that more positive friendships become more interesting and engaging. It can be scary changing relationships however the effort is well worth the final outcomes. Our social world makes a huge difference to how our life unfolds, so surrounding yourself in positive and uplifting people causes a spiral upwards effect.
For many it feels like an elusive state that only happens to other people. Do we dare hope that happiness is something that is reachable for us?
Many have researched and pondered this question over the centuries. In the western world we often believe that this it is a state we achieve when we are successful in our career, have money, own our home, have the car we want. We strive for it while struggling to manage in the present moment. We work hard to achieve our goals and at times find ourselves disillusioned when we find the goal posts keep moving, or the sensations of pleasure only last momentarily. Sometimes we may feel so victimized, stressed or angry with life that we live day to day in a state of survival, and just getting by – coping.
Happiness is a state of being and a way of being. It is a way of relating to life, thinking about and living in this world where we are connected via an internal gauge to feelings of joy, contentment, love, kindness, generosity and creativity. It is a state which is self-generated by the way we choose to think, where we focus our attention and the perspective we choose to view the situations and experiences in our lives. In order to achieve this state it requires our active engagement in directing the life we choose to live. We can altar our internal state of being by taking responsibility for who we are in the world.
“ Be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi. When we are able to create an internal state of being, and match this by action and thoughts that reflect the world we wish to live in we are truly free to experience happiness. All too often we put our happiness in the hands of other people. We give our power away not because we enjoy suffering, more because we didn’t know happiness was ours to take back. It is an easy mistake to think that because we have been deeply hurt by another or because we feel trapped or limited for a variety of reason that we cannot experience happiness. This is not true. We are not fundamentally flawed. We simple unknowingly took a fork in the road at some point in our lives that lead to a regular state of stress, depression, anxiety, anger and stress. We bought into stories and messages from our environment and people around us and took these messages to be true. We believed in our own pain more than we believed in our ability to create happiness. We allowed our thoughts and feelings to take over our experience and we lost ourselves in the story.
The research into happiness indicates that there are in fact a number of ingredients to happiness. People who live happily tend to spend time relating to others, they exercise and try out new things. They are learning and challenging themselves with new experiences. The research also shows that people who are happy actively focus on appreciating their lives and living generously. They have a sense of direction which is meaningful to them and have a sense of a life purpose that is greater than them. They have a level of emotional resilience to manage life’s ups and downs and have a way to think about life so they don’t get bogged down in negative thinking when life is challenging. They focus on the glass half full rather than half empty and induce emotional states that are positive, joyful, loving and appreciative. The research indicates that the more one focuses on these emotional states the more one is likely to experience them. Focusing has a spiraling upward effect.
We have also discovered that the body gets addicted to emotions and continues to create situations where we continue to experience whatever emotions we have regularly.
The good news is that we are able to change how we think and how we feel to create a new habit of being. The first step is to step back and ask yourself honestly how you are feeling and thinking about life. Look underneath the social façade and ask yourself have you achieved the sense of joy and happiness in life that you hoped for. Self-exploration is the key to change. Changing thoughts and habits in behavior and entering the unfamiliar liberate us to experience new heights in health, happiness and wellbeing. At some point it requires us to stop looking outward for our world to change before we can be happy and start looking inward to liberate yourself from your own painful thoughts and feelings. Awareness is the key to changing these patterns of thinking as you cannot change what you do not know about. It can be helpful to talk to a professional who can assist you in navigating your way through the journey of change to form new habits of health, happiness and wellbeing.
Written by Marianne Love, Psychologist
Mindfulness is simply awareness. Awareness in it’s true sense has no judgement, no agenda, makes nothing right or wrong, it is fully objective. We can bring awareness into any moment in our life and in doing so we become present in our experiences. Awareness allows us to gain more information in any one moment. We are able to more fully see, hear, smell, taste, feel and relate. Have you ever noticed that in some moments you can do several actions and not remember….driving from A to B …hmm how did i get there?… As we get older and do less new activities more and more of our life experience goes on automatic pilot. This means that it requires very little of our attention to do those things and in doing so we relate less and less to the experience.
Remember what it is like doing something for the first time? Isn’t it beautiful watching the excitement and fun of a child as they go through many first experiences? Mindfulness brings us so fully into our experience, in this moment that we are able to experience life with renewed depth, and fullness. This moment is the only truth we have to relate to. Any experience in the past is simply a memory, and future hasn’t occurred as yet. Awareness in this moment is the doorway to creating a life of health, happiness and well-being.
If you would like to join our mindfulness programs you are more than welcome to call and get further details. (03) 93919866. We are in the process of creating an online program so check back in for that.
I have noticed that in the work that I do as a psychologist, many of my clients come in because of emotional distress such as anxiety, anger, old trauma and painful beliefs of self worth. We are so readily programmed through out our lives by painful experience. The brain stores these experiences away, remembers what they are and makes decisions to be on alert for that to never happen again …The mind is then easily gets caught up in a pattern of self protection that causes more suffering. It can feel very complex and layers of thought get built on top of each other in order to create a sense of self protection and safety. Then add to this that fact that we are only 1% conscious. That means a huge process is going on that a person no longer knows what is happening and how to manage or change it. When we are 99% unconscious it becomes difficult to be aware of the thoughts underlying the feelings. Imagine a huge white wall with a little dot on it. The dot is our awareness and the rest of the wall is what remains in the unconscious.
Because of this we can so easily find ourselves in a bind that only seems to get worse. It is a little like when a record gets stuck on a certain track …and keeps playing over and over again. The record is simply stuck. It requires outside intervention, outside awareness to get off the area it is stuck on.
Albert Einstein said “we can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them”
The good news is that as people put their attention on improving life and healing, what was unconscious becomes conscious. The key is gaining new information and knowledge. Upgrading the neural pathways in the brain to be more conducive to health happiness and wellbeing. Brain research and science is showing us that the brain is very adaptable and is forming new neural pathways and letting go of old ones all the time.
STEPS TO LIVING YOUR POTENTIAL:
The key to remember: What you think and do is wh0 you become
May all good things come your way. Dream big and live it before you believe it to be true.
I love the amount of research available into how the brain works and the effects thoughts have on the body. Did you know that for every thought that you have, there is a huge chain of chemical reactions that occur in the body to give you your emotional experience? It is helpful to understand how this works because this leads you to be able to consciously direct your thoughts and feelings.
Happy people are not happy by luck. They have a particular way of practicing life that allows feelings of love, joy, excitement, appreciation, enthusiasm, interest etc to be a part of their lives. The research to date shows that regardless of your history, it is possible to retrain yourself into these happier states of being.
So here is a brief lesson in biology and the chemistry of emotions. When a thought occurs in the brain, this causes the hypothalamus to create what is called a peptide. This is a chemical that goes into the blood stream and activates the cells to react. For example if you have a stressful thought, your body will get tense and may make you want to run, fight, or freeze.
The very interesting aspect to all of this is that the cells of the body get addicted to any peptide it gets regularly. If you live everyday in a state of stress, then the cells of the body change themselves so they can manage all the peptides related to stress. Once these cells have a large number of receptor cites for this peptide, it begins to shoot messages up to the brain to release more of this. This is one of the reasons why changing the habit of who we are and how we feel can be a challenge. Your body will give you some resistance day you decide to live a calm and relaxed life instead of the stress you are accustomed to. It is going to remind you of all the things that could go wrong and how you need to get yourself braced for them. It will get you into fight or flight mode ready for the imminent attack.
The other contributing factor to this is that the hypothalamus is the part of the brain that measures all the peptide levels and makes sure they are all at usual levels. It will also release more of a peptide if it notices this is dropping. This is all great when we choose the feelings we want to have on a daily basis.
The good news is that the body is very adaptable. You are the boss of the trillions of cells in the body. When you hold firm in your decision and you create new thoughts and feelings, your body realizes that it is now required to change its cellular structure. It now gets addicted to whatever new thoughts and feelings you are practicing. It only takes 21 days to form a new habit. It isn’t long before the old urges stop. The key is not allowing a thought go by reflects the old habit. Because all these thoughts and feelings are all based on past experiences, one great strategy it to come into the present moment. This moment is fresh and new. It can assist to look around you and connect with the environment in the present moment. Have a statement you say to yourself and while you are saying this statement consciously pull up a different feeling. Find something you can appreciate in the situation you are in. Focus on that J …
The key is an internal shift, which changes the emotional habits, and thought paths of the brain. When we make the internal shift, we notice that our world around us begins to change. We start to notice all the aspects of our world that reflect our new state of being. We become the difference we are hoping for.
The relationships we are in are a great reflection of how we feel about ourselves.
Have you ever wondered why you or people around you continue to pick the same type of partner? This is because we are in an emotional or chemical agreement with our partners. We are in agreement to give each other the emotional charge that we are familiar with and addicted to. This often happens at a subconscious level and will feel out of the realm of choice for many.
We become addicted to whatever emotion we are having regularly. Like any other addiction we will consciously and subconsciously go out of our way to get our chemical hit. So every thought produces a chemical in the body. The body adapts to this chemical and will ask for it over and over again. The same as for a person addicted to heroin or tobacco.
Now let’s imagine that the emotional addiction is guilt, shame, anger or fear. The bodies need for this chemical hit and the way of thinking of the person will work in alignment to find a perfect partner who will be able to feed this chemistry and validate the beliefs. So a person with a high level of guilt will potentially find a partner who is addicted to blaming and not taking responsibility. The result is both parties become more entrenched in their patterns over time.
So how does this change? Firstly through realizing that we are indeed responsible for the situations we are in. If they can’t improve or change than we are responsible to resolve the relationship and move on. If the relationship simply reflects our own internal chemical addictions then they are a great avenue for self-awareness. Ask yourself – what emotions am I having regularly with my partner? What beliefs and thoughts underlie these emotions? You are just about free the moment that you take charge and acknowledge that these thoughts and feelings belong to you. Because how you think and feel is very personal to you, you are able to change it at your will. You are more than 50% along the way to change.
The next phase of change is breaking this chemical addiction with your partner. You can do this overtly and discuss with your partner what you have noticed about the emotional patterns between you and plan change. Or you can simple make different choices personally and act out a new way of being with your partner. This is also liberating for them as it allows them the opportunity to change and step into a new chemistry. If they choose not to go along with the change, they can sometime feel unsatisfied if you do go with change. This is because they are no longer able to get their chemical hit. If they are addicted to anger and when you no longer engage in any victim roles they will begin to feel unsatisfied. They will say things like they don’t know you anymore. Something doesn’t feel right and they will continue to invite you back into familiar patterns of relating. When you hold your ground in this process, they will either change with you or they won’t. If they do then your relationship is destined for great improvement.
One of the greatest aspects of relationships is growing together. If we continue in familiar emotional habits with our partners we don’t tend to experience any new thoughts or feelings. Over time this can become a problem because we are no longer stimulated. This is sometime what results in a “midlife crisis” where one of the couple suddenly needs to make dramatic changes in order to feel alive and have new emotions. Then suddenly the new sports car or another partner starts to look interesting.
The key to all of this is become self-aware of emotional patterns, to take charge of these and clear within yourself any thoughts and feelings you are holding on to. Then act out and take on different roles with your partner and let them in on the process of change you are going through. For example your partner complains that you don’t do something to their liking, instead of reacting angrily with all the ways they don’t do things to your liking, you decide to stop and listen to what they have to say. You care that they are feeling this way and you let them know that is not your intention. You discuss how you can come to a mutual agreement about how this can unfold in the future and you go for win win. Because this is a new role, such as the ‘peaceful negotiator’ rather than the ‘reactive defender’ it will have a whole other emotional chemistry to it and you will feel differently. The more you act out any of these roles the more they simple become you. You form new habits and create a new life.
The first relationship any of us have is with self. You are with you all day and all night long. Is this relationship full of love, joy, happiness, appreciation? Do you connect to your body and appreciate the trillions of cells working together to give you life. It is amazing that in 3 months you are nearly all new again. Most you of the cells in your body have replaced themselves. Only when we can honor, love and cherish ourselves, can we love and cherish other living beings and our planet.
So much of the counseling work I do is having people become aware of the inner battle. All the voices from past and present which swim around in peoples minds which are often worry , stress based , or critically orientated against the person. The most important war your will every solve is the internal one. I believe all conflict between people, countries, are simple are reflection of internal warring in the human psyche that is unresolved.
So the first place to start in creating a new consciousness on this planet is with the self. I noticed when people love themselves, speak their truth and back themselves, they attract loving and kind friendships in their loves. The relationships around them reflect how they feel about themselves. I also noticed that they become more loving and accepting of others. When people have won the negotiation with the inner conflicted thoughts and they turn their feelings around they begin to allow room for love. Love is at our core. It isn’t something we have to work at. It is simple something we need to make room for by letting go of all the interference, thoughts and past memories of pain and suffering.
Much of improving our inner world is about getting conscious and aware of what our habitual thoughts and feelings are. Once we are conscious without judgment, we can begin to change what these thought patterns are. Simple because the old thoughts are loud or carry a strong emotional charge doesn’t make them true. These thoughts were mostly past down the genetic line, through your environment and moments of significant emotional impact in your life. We hold on to these negative beliefs and emotions because we believe it will protect us from being hurt again. Only to find that the hyper-vigilance and our own beliefs become the pain and problem we want to escape. So simple noticing what thoughts you are having and choosing different ones rewires the brain and your emotional centers to a new pattern. What we practice and rehearse becomes the new pattern we live by.
“Anxiety.” The word has become common in today’s society. You may hear your co-worker say he’s experiencing anxiety around a presentation he has to give, or your older children talking about the anxiety they are feeling about an upcoming exam.
Anxiety has actually become one of the most common health problems in Australia. Approximately 1.3 million adult Australians (12% women and 7.1% men) are affected by anxiety disorders during a 12-month period.
But what is anxiety, and how does it manifest in everyday life?
Anxiety is defined as “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill / fearful concern or interest.” Of course, most of us have experienced anxiety before, as a common response to stressful environments or situations. Luckily, these feelings generally subside when the situation or stressors are removed.
However, an anxiety disorder develops when negative feelings of stress, worry, or confusion are present for long periods of time. Quite understandably, a disorder like this can seriously affect a person’s ability to cope with daily life, and/or his ability to find pleasure in daily activities.
When someone suffers from an anxiety disorder, she may feel fearful, anxious, or even irritable for a long period of time, often without any apparent reason or cause. She may also experience depression in addition to the anxiety, and/or struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.
Wondering if you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder?
Below are 3 common symptoms to help you decide:
Because there are so many different kinds of anxiety disorders (including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder/Social Phobia, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder), the symptoms can manifest in many different ways.
People with an anxiety disorder may experience the following symptoms at a level so intense, it keeps them from functioning at their normal capacity:
If any of these sounds familiar, you can get help, and when you do, you can begin to enjoy your life much more fully.
Psychological treatment has been found to be very effective in the treatment of anxiety. Aspire Health & Psychology is a professional psychological service in Newport Victoria, Australia. Psychologists in Aspire Health & Psychology will be able to provide you with more information in different treatment options and provide most kinds of popular psychological therapies. Our mission is to deliver happiness and better health to every client.
Having a Bad Day Again? When “Sadness” Might Actually Be Depression, and what You Can Do About It
Although one in every five Australians will suffer from significant levels of depression, only half of them will actually seek appropriate treatment – often because they believe they’re “just feeling down,” or “having a bad day.” Unfortunately, without treatment, clinical depression won’t just go away on its own. If you’ve experienced prolonged bouts of sadness or hopelessness, or you’ve found that you simply don’t enjoy life like you used to, you should know that there IS help – and you CAN feel better.
To correctly identify depression, and then work toward improved mental health, it is important to first answer the question, “What exactly IS depression?”
Let’s take a look at Frank’s story.
Every morning for months, Frank has struggled to get out of bed, and to accomplish simple tasks like paying the bills, or ironing his work shirts. Although nothing in his life has changed, he feels down, lonely and despondent, most of the time. He struggles to really engage in anything, and while he can’t put his finger on a certain event that triggered these feelings, he simply doesn’t enjoy life anymore … no matter how much he wants to. He doesn’t look forward to anything – not even to playing with his children, or going out on dates with his wife.
For the past few weeks, Frank has tried to “fix” his feelings of unhappiness. He’s gotten more sleep, exercised more, and eaten foods he’s heard contain “mood boosters.” But nothing is working; He can’t figure out why he feels so down, and in turn, is burdened by a constant feeling of hopelessness.
Frank, like so many Australians, is struggling with depression, a mental state in which a person feels sad, down, and helpless for a prolonged period of time.
If Frank’s story sounds familiar, you may be wondering what the difference really is between occasional sadness or hopelessness, and a clinical depressive disorder. How does a person tell whether she’s just down, or experiencing grief, or whether she should seek treatment for clinical depression?
Sadness and grief can be healthy and functional emotions, which allow people to be resilient, and adjust to the hardships we all encounter.
On the other hand, depression is a totally negative emotion, which lasts two weeks or longer, and actually keeps people from living the life they want to. It harms self-efficacy, and inhibits personal growth. Although it is often seen as a response to major life events, genetic and biological factors can drive it, as well.
People with major depressive disorders may experience some or all of the following symptoms on a regular basis – often nearly every day:
If any of this sounds familiar, there IS good news: you DON’T have to live this way! If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, consider seeking professional treatment from a psychologist, who can use several different types of therapy to begin the process of attaining mental health and happiness – so you can live your life without the constant pain.
*Please note: Frank’s story, above, is fictitious. It is not based on a real person, and is used only as an illustration of the symptoms of depression.
Aspire Health & Psychology is a professional psychological service in Newport Victoria, Australia. Psychologists in Aspire Health & Psychology provide most kinds of popular psychological therapies, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Schema Focussed Therapy and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), in order to deliver better health to every client.