|Posted on 31 October, 2016 at 18:05||comments (2)|
Imagine for a moment that your partner, best friend, parent or child had a horrible day. Maybe they didn’t meet a deadline at work, didn’t get much sleep, struggled with the stressors of daily life or just felt low. What would you do?
No doubt you would jump to their console, ask what they need, embrace them, cheer them up, listen to them and empathise with them. This is a pretty typical response, as we don’t like seeing people we care for hurt.
But the question is what happens when the person who is hurting is you. Do you treat yourself how you would that friend or partner? Would you acknowledge your pain and figure out how to help yourself? Or would you soldier on, tell yourself to toughen up and push those feelings aside?
If you’ve ever flown in a plane before you might recall the emergency flight procedures that command you to first fix the oxygen mask to yourself, before helping the child or person next to you. There is truth in that process. Why? In order to be able to help others and offer kindness you must be able to look after yourself first.
Self-kindness involves being warm and understanding to ourselves, particularly at times of suffering, failure, or feelings of inadequacy instead of ignoring our pain and criticising ourselves. Self-kindness leads to greater self-acceptance and satisfaction. When we lose our urgent need to belittle and criticise ourselves, we open ourselves up to a more fulfilling way to experience life.
Top 5 Ways to Be Kind To Yourself
Allow yourself time to do something you enjoy. Write a list of the things you enjoy and make time to schedule these things into your week. Everyone needs and deserves time out for themselves, be it reading a book, walking the dog, having a bubble bath or coffee with a friend… Do more of it!!
2. Learn what your body needs
Check in with yourself! Notice feelings of hunger or thirst, notice your inner thoughts and feelings and start giving yourself those things that you need! Drink plenty of water, nourish your body with healthy foods, move your body or allow yourself to switch off and rest when you need it!
3. Watch Your Words
Pay attention to your internal dialogue! Everyone has self-talk so start paying careful attention to what you are saying and how you are speaking to yourself. Take time to reframe negative self-talk into something that is helpful, neutral, and supportive. This isn’t as easy as it sounds and it may feel unnatural at first so practice, patience, and persistence is key!
4. Have realistic expectations
There are so many pressures and expectations placed on us from society to do certain things or act in certain ways… it can feel impossible at times to meet these expectations. When expectations aren’t met it often creates feelings of failure and disappointment. If you make your expectations realistic, this will allow you a better chance of being able to tolerate experiences that don’t turn out the way we’d like or think they should.
5. Be your own cheer squad
When things are tough or you are battling with something, encouragement is a wonderful means of giving you a boost. But, does encouragement always have to come from someone externally? We should try to have positive belief in ourselves to carry us through. Acknowledge the successes you have made, the steps you have taken and challenges you have overcome. Give yourself a high five every now and then!
So how will you be kind to yourself today?
|Posted on 27 July, 2016 at 0:25||comments (0)|
How many times have you promised to do something but didn't and kicked yourself for this afterwards. It's always easier with hindsight but what I'm talking about here is FORESIGHT; which can be defined as having the ability to see potential problems developing and to act on this sooner rather than later. I bet you wouldn't drive from Sydney to Melbourne without filling up the petrol tank; otherwise you might not get very far; so it's similar with life problems; if you can see the train coming, do something about it now.
Many of our clients tell us that they saw the problem coming but did not do anything about it.
Here are some barriers to calling a psychologist and how to overcome these. Which of these do you identify with?
1: Fear: this is a primitive emotion which is the cause of many problems on this planet. Fear can prevent one from taking the necessary steps to help one self; so ask yourself, if you do not go and get help what are the likely consequences? Take a deep breath; psychologists respect how hard it is to seek help and honour your courage with privacy and high standards of professionalism and confidentiality. Guaranteed you will be heard without any judgement and you will be given practical and insightful solutions to help yourself.
2. Procrastination: If you suffer from anxiety or depression it is likely that this is a problem; putting off what needs to be done now for later. Using the petrol tank analogy; should you delay filling up the tank you will not get to your destination. The best way forward in dealing with procrastination is setting an immediate goal; taking a deep breath and giving yourself reassurance that once it's over you will feel alot better. Most clients feel relieved after a first counselling session with a qualified Psychologist and getting things off their chest; knowing that they will get support and help.
3. Money and time: With the government Medicare mental health plan scheme counselling has become a lot more cost-effective; probably your local Thai takeaway is going to charge you more than the gap required at a counselling session, so monetary reasons are far less an issue anymore given the Medicare scheme. Concessions are available too and in some cases there is minimal cost per session. As for time; sessions are often held in and out of business hours to help accomodate peoples busy lives. Even phone sessions and skype are now possible! You will be accommodated to make it easier for you to come to the session.
Left untreated stress, anxiety and depression can cause not only emotional health problems but also physical health problems, including hair and skin disorders; cardiovascular problems and addictions such as smoking or drinking.
So will you delay asking for help any longer longer knowing that help is at your fingertips?
Written by Ilan Cohen
|Posted on 14 July, 2016 at 5:45||comments (0)|
I thought I would devote a little time to the new craze Pokemon Go.. I thought I would share my thoughts and insights into this new craze sweeping the nation. If you havent heard.. pokemon go is a new game that takes the player outdoors to try to catch virtual creatures. The game cleverly intertwines reality and fiction, and has seen thousands of people take to the streets to catch their critters!!! So why the craze, what is so great about this new game? It appears that the appeal is that people are out hunting around together in the outdoors.... it certainly beats being locked inside staring at a screen for hours on end right? Whilst this may be true... it is important to think about what this "getting outside really looks like"... From a bystanders perspective, it appears to be a group of people staring at their phones walking around completely oblivious to what is happenning around them? Occasionally their may be some chatter amongst the group about the game, but mostly walking and staring.So the question must be asked, is this healthy?
Well yes, and no...... Pokemon go may help those who do spend hours on end indoors gaming, and gets them outdoors and engaging in some limited social contact. It can help to build social skills, as they are connecting about a common theme, and makes breaking the ice easier for people with social anxiety. It can have significant health benefits of exercise and more movement in general, and the benfits of being out in fresh air and sunshine.
The negatives however are significant.....
Players may be focussed on the game on ot being fully aware of their environment, and as such falling victim to accidents through lack of attention. They may become targets of crime as their preoccupation is quite evident, and may be easy pickingf for predators wanting to locate a preoccupied person to target .There are also concerns about "luring" that is an issue for young people, and parents please ensure all precautions when your young people are out in public spaces. Games dont necessarily mean safe!!!
Overall, Pokemon GO has certainly changed the face of gaming on its head.. and will likely see a new era of virtual gaming arise. So what are your thoughts on this new craze....?
|Posted on 7 July, 2016 at 0:10||comments (0)|
So you are on the commute home, and your mind is filled with the day’s activities…. Suddenly you become overwhelmed with all the things you have forgotten to do, things you still have to do tomorrow, and a million thoughts about what Your colleague said to you that really bothered you…. Sound familiar? You arrive home, walk through the door…. And you suddenly realize you can’t remember your trip home! You hope and pray you didn’t run any red lights… But it almost feels like you teleported home! This is what happens when we are not being mindful…. We are on autopilot… And we are stuck in out thoughts unable to absorb any of the present around us.
So…. How do you leave it behind you?
1. Start a pack down routine. Pick a set of behaviours that you do each day like lock filing cabinet, shutdown computer, switch off the light etc…it helps to give you a sense of packing away the day that has past…
2. Self talk can be a really powerful weapon to help you process your day. Talking out loud helps you process the billion thoughts that are aimlessly running around your mind.
3. Pick a point in your journey where you allow yourself to think about work until that point. It may be a landmark, a train station, a particular street… Then once you reach that point you start focusing on what is ahead of you…. Dinner, home, to etc…
4. Use mindfulness to help you come out of your head, and into your body. What is it that you can see, hear and feel around you. This is extremely helpful to ensure you don’t get stuck in your thoughts.
I would really like to hear from others about how they leave work behind… I hope these are useful and help people start to take control of their work life balance!