What better excuse to take a few minutes out of your day and get stuck into one of your favourites for the sake of it? Or for self improvement? To learn a new skill, to remind yourself of something you used to love doing, but stopped, and you can’t remember why? My favourite escape when I was a kid was to read. I didn’t realise that I was autistic as a child, so reading was my refuge, and I would read till all hours, because I was unable to get to sleep and anxious as a result. So, I’m going to recommend some books, and let’s see if there’s anything that fits you here.
This is an actual thing. Well, the tug of war world championships are being held currently, but I bet there isn’t a person alive who doesn’t struggle with their own personal tug of war. That internal can I/can’t I struggle….am I allowed to do this? Am I good enough? Am I allowed to have this? It’s something we all go through, and it’s usually down to a feeling of guilt, trauma, or just plain old worth.
While I’m typing this, I’m sitting in the garden, trying to focus, while playing tug with my dog. Not an easy deal, as she puts a squeaky burger on to my chair every couple of minutes for me to throw, then changes her mind at the last minute and I have to wrestle it from her. So I’m torn. Do I play with her, or just get this piece written and published? I know the answer really, but she’s so cute, and I didn’t adopt her to ignore her. And so the argument goes on. And on. And on.
It’s not really a life changing argument, but it’s just one of many I have during my day. Of the 60 odd thousand thoughts that go through my head each day, it’s just one small example of the tug of war I’m playing against myself, against other people, but mostly with myself; and it can affect every area of my life, right from playing with the dog, to what to eat for dinner, to how much money I can spend on developing the business, how much it affects other people around me, and so on. There are so many fighting metaphors for this, and we wrestle with our subconscious every day and take so much out of ourselves to come up with something that seems reasonable to all sides of ourselves.
In hypnosis, I work with a lovely technique called Parts Therapy, where we call out all the parts of you that are in conflict, or trying to make a decision, or feel like they are in this tug of war. Usually, hard to believe though it may feel to you, they’re usually trying to reach the same outcome, just not all going about it the same way. We all, I suspect, have a part that likes to torture us before reaching a decision, making us feel terrible, making us believe it will have a terrible impact, and can’t see a solution; another part will have practical solutions we can call upon. One of my clients used to see it as a board meeting, which was a brilliant way of getting all the parts of his subconscious together, working for the same goal and all pulling in the same direction; no more tug of war, no conflict, just peace of mind.
If this sounds like you, then contact me,and let’s see how we can change your mind and help you live your best life. Nobody got time for that kind of conflict.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a patterjack who needs a squeaky burger chucking across the garden…..
Have you noticed that when you’re not feeling positive, you stop noticing? Most likely not.
I remember coming out of a phase of depression some years ago and being surprised at hearing birds flying overhead in Leeds city centre. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d heard them, and it’s because I’d stopped noticing. I’d started to delete elements of my surroundings and developed tunnel vision.
When I heard those birds, I knew I was waking up again and it was time to notice things, REALLY notice them.
So since it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, here are my top 5 tips for positivity and what they can do for us. They’re listed in no particular order, so you can prioritise for yourself.
In my last post, The Stories We Tell Ourselves, I gave you a general overview of cognitive distortions, or, as I like to call it, how we like to chat shit to ourselves (OMG, I’m so professional, I swear I’m qualified. Look, you can trust me with your mental health, honest). In this post, I want to go into a bit more detail about the types of cognitives distortions we may experience and that hold us back from allowing us to enjoy life as much as we can. There may be one thing that stops us, just puts the brakes on a happy life, and we know what it is, but we refuse to stop the behaviour that causes it because our faulty thinking tells us that behaviour is more important than anything else.
Once upon a time, there was a loser called Paula, who could never be trusted to do anything right, who was a failure at everything, and who would never achieve anything any good. I would live with my parents forever, probably gain 500lbs and they would have to take care of me and no one would love me. Ugh. Pretty catastrophic sounding picture, huh? That’s around the time when I was genuinely felt friendless and alone, slept about 20 hours a day, and I was 17 and diagnosed with clinical depression. So now, let’s fast forward 30 odd years later.