Christmas and the holidays are upon us again. A time of good cheer and joy?
Many find it a time of pain and disenfranchisement. This article explores what is happening and how to manage the Holiday period.
This time of year can be particularly stressful for people. Not everyone comes from backgrounds where there was no domestic violence or aggression in the family. Many have experienced it before. The statistics are high for those who have experienced domestic violence to be in a relationship with another partner, repeating their earlier experience. If we grow up in a divisive environment and one of disharmony, being in the presence of those who do experience happiness and joy can feel very uncomfortable and unfamiliar. The awkward and the familiar can seem wrong. But this is where you need to challenge this. To challenge the desire for the past pain. To start a new path, it is necessary to challenge it.
So what do you need to do? Make sure if you are not seeing a therapist that, you start to see one. I suggest that you fake it till you make it. Even if you feel like hiding away. Or if you usually get drunk, say awful things, and then don’t remember what you said. Work on being nice. Being decent with others. If you disrespect others, then regret and guilt will turn around, and no change will ever happen. Shame and guilt have an annoying habit of not permitting adaptation to occur. Drink far less or not at all. If you don’t drink. Note if you disassociate and zone out to cope with the stress. Then work to look at what is happening around you. What people say and do. There are some decent people and, of course, some very unhelpful people too. It is essential to be present to experience what is real or not.
Therefore I ask you to go out. Be there with others. Take some time out if you need it. If your Past has been abusive, you will need to work more on changing it. But it is possible. You are not alone. One step at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time and one year at a time.
I wish you a truly and really authentic Happy Holiday.
There seems to be a lot of fake news around. Fake news exists when people use emotional reasoning. Emotional reasoning is a cognitive process by which a person concludes that his/her emotional reaction proves something is true, regardless of the observed evidence. Emotional reasoning can be like fake news – we believe it because we read it or even think it.
An example is – “my partner is losing interest in me because they are spending a longer time then usual reading the newspaper at breakfast” to concluding “He must be having an affair”. It would be important to see if the person having these thoughts about their partner also has them at other times too and in other relationships. Whether the person the thoughts are being directed at, does have a history of affairs. Or whether the news in the paper may actually be particularly interesting today. So many other thoughts are possible. But if the thought is untrue and the actions of the person thinking it are not in line with what is really going on – life can be one big upside down bubble.
If the thought is untrue and the actions of the person thinking are based on the untruth; then it is very possible for the reactions and behaviors of the person thinking them to then be dysfunctional unhealthy responses. The person could break-up even though there is nothing to substantiate the thought. But this ‘fake-news’ confirms that their own paranoia and beliefs must be true. So many other thoughts are possible. Not everyone has affairs. Most do not. Most are too busy to earn a living and make it from day to day. But fake-news and fake thoughts really camouflage what is really going on. I tend to make sure to see the source of the news I read. To look at established papers and then to question what I do read.
Fake news and fake thoughts can camouflage what is really going on. I tend to make sure to see the source of the news I read. To look at established papers and then to question what I do read. In the same way, I also filter and vet my own thoughts too. Life is complicated enough with real thoughts let alone fake thoughts also coming into the equation.
I wish you a Happy New Year with real news and really useful thoughts…….
What times we live in. So much has changed. So much has happened. In a time of change what can you do to minimize the upset? The trauma of it all? Does it have to be dark?
We have Brexit and not Bremain. Changes are going on. A completely unexpected change. Or is there? Is there really going to be change? I often find people do not like change. Do not like movement and usually do all they can to avoid it. We often hope others can change but not ourselves. The thing is we often have to change. Change ourselves, change how we respond, change what we do. Whether we like it or not; we are changing all the time and those around us are also changing too. Every second of every day we are changing, aging, moving. There is nothing we can do to stop it no matter how much we may try.
Before Brexit, I would ask clients to imagine Brexit actually happening. The unimaginable. Then to imagine themselves being OK. The world not ending. Them adapting and then being able to manage. The world not exploding into riots and currency not being devalued so much that pound notes would need to be carried on wheel barrows in order to buy a loaf of bread. The thing is to go to the place in your head you do not want to go to….and then go. It is amazing what you can imagine if you want to. Then imagine managing. The world still going on. You being OK. The world being OK. Usually the worse we imagine is not as bad as others tell us it will be. Fear usually drives many of our decisions. Going to the fear can free us.
I was watching a bartender make drinks at a restaurant last weekend. It was really interesting as to how the cocktail was put together with such accuracy. Everything was measured. The ice was shaken in a cocktail shaker for a set number of times. The drinks were mixed and poured to the exact droplet.
It made me think. Why all this fuss about the glass being half full or half empty? Why not have many glasses? Let us have more than tap-water. How about different kinds of juice? Sparking water from the Himalayas? Why not a long tall and swirly glass? Why not pieces of fruit in the glass? Why not more? We really need to think abundance and not just whether the glass is half full or empty……
Along with millions of other people in the UK. I was preparing my tax returns for the 31st of January deadline. Other countries have a different deadline. It is a sobering experience preparing the accounts. Putting them together. Looking and dragging out old invoices, statements and receipts. Dredging through old emails and files. Adding them up, clicking and cutting and pasteing.
The reality of adding up the figures of what is or is not there. Every year we can put this together and get an idea of how much into the black or red we are. Such a clever way of finding out where we are numerically. Such a clever way for the government to add to their coffers. Who owes what and how much?
In some ways we need to have such a system to measure how far we go in our own lives. Are we just stuck or moving onwards or downward? How do we measure how we are moving? What parameters do we use? Just the black and white of figures? Our vices? The place we live in? The car we own? Our dogs? Cats? Our partner or the one we found or lost? Our children? The articles, books we have published? The jewellery we now have or lost? These things and more can be added and subtracted in our own personal tax year. Then what about the lies, untruths, deceptions – not only to others but also to ourselves? How do we tally these up? What about large corporations that do not pay tax? People that avoid it? Do they avoid life too? Or do some also have their cake and eat it? Continue reading →
In a world of choice; We have Skype, Wats app, Messenger, Text, Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and much much more. I have been wondering if we maybe have too much and too many. Its hard enough keeping up with the world as it is. Why not do one or a few things well and then let go of the many that are hard to keep up with in the time we do have? I often advise clients who are suffering from stress and anxiety to let go of some of their ‘means’ of communication. It is hard to know how and when to meet people as it is. In the end to choose one or a few…but not all. Real friends would not mind adapting to your needs. Real friends would understand your need to cut down different media in order to have real time to communicate. It does work and does reduce anxiety. I knew someone who had over 6000 people following him on instagram. But when it came down to it. He knew hardly anyone who was there and he often felt lonely. Chatting online and filling it with online people we have never met looks like it fills the emptiness… but when you shut down the phone the emptiness returns. As humans we are built to communicate. If we cannot be with a person, then a phone call or skype does help but our eyes, hands, face and body all are built to communicate. It always helps to see and be with people.
Halloween is a celebration on the eve of the western Christian feast of All Hallows Day. It happens every year on the 31st of October. Children and adults run around wearing scary outfits and go trick and treating for candy. Scary movies and Halloween programmes are presented as a buffet to feast on television. The scary movies and thoughts abound. It is also a very creative time too and some of the costumes are so creative and exploratory. The creative seems to be able to sit and grow on the back of Halloween.
Negative feelings seem to be easier to bring about then positive feelings in a movie. Why is that? It is because the area of the negative is easier to activate then the positive. We are naturally galvanised to the negative. It is far easier to think of the negative then the positive. For some it is Feelings of fear, anxiety, concern, worries, doubts, anger, hatred, annoyance, dislike, jealousy that are far easier to awaken then feelings of love, joy, happiness, care, tenderness, confidence, like, awe, and gratitute.
Halloween is a time when it is OK to have any feelings of fear and disgust. The rest of the time though it is also important to also have other non-halloween feelings and to have a wide range of positive emotions at hand, to be able to go easily at will to other more positive emotions for the rest of the year. The other 364 days of the year……..
There is talk of a Greek default to the International Monetary Fund, a default to the EU and many other and more defaults. This has been going on for a long time now. How many years? It seems OK and sorted and then we find out it goes back again to not just square one – but an even larger square. It seems a borderline economic scenario. The stock market will always recover in the end. Others will always have an interest in seeing things worked out or not. For some reason some markets seemed to have improved by the end of last Friday. The stock brokers make money by buying and selling, buying and selling when it goes up and when it goes down. The more we catastrophise the better… but is this something to also bring into our own lives? Should we also live with this emotional See-Saw too?
In our own lives if this keeps going on and on. It is time to get sorted out. If for example we get depressed/anxious but then better but then go back to being depressed/anxious… still go on again and again. Then it is time to settle and sort things out. Time we did something and go to the main cause of it all. If we have a spending addiction and live beyond our means then we have to sort it out. If we keep getting depressed and not seeming to get better then if the environment has been changed….maybe its time to change ourselves and how we think about things. It may not just be the people around us. It may be us. Sometimes it is hard to accept change and to move to other ways of thinking or being but that may be the best thing. Otherwise it may simply just going on and on from bad to worse. Throwing in good time and money after bad. That does not make it better. Best to throw out the See-Saw.
Often with catastrophising – it is a way to avoid taking action and avoid responsibility. Some people seem to move from disaster to disaster not knowing the middle way to things. Sometimes we just have to leave them to it. Watch and wait until things come to some sort of equilibrium. Usually things do sort out. Things do come to some sort of equilibrium. It always seems to work out in the end but the See-Saw can make us all feel so dizzy at times…..
Oh dear. Sometimes there are certain rules in life that are often forgotten. I forget them often myself. I remember as a child being told – if I was doing something I could not tell my mother – then I should not be doing it. The second thing in this internet age is that there is no such thing as privacy.
What to keep on your icloud – Keep only what mum can see…..
I wonder about the photographs that were put on icloud and have been recently hacked into. This was where some famous female celebrities photographs were redistributed online.
Is this something they could talk about and show their mothers? I do not see to see any photographs of nude men being mentioned amongst the collection of hacked photographs. Someone showed me some of the photographs and I remember thinking – what was going on? There is no such thing as privacy online. This exhibitionism and proliferation of selfies can be so unsafe. Anything that can be kept and used again can be used in a way none of us may plan. These days of webcams. Security cameras. Digital information. We are public everywhere we go.
I am so sorry to see this. Is this a gender thing where women have been socialized to see themselves in such a way or are men far better in not putting anything online? Or is it that hackers were mainly male and only looking for female nudes and there really are photographs of men too in such poses too? Are women too trustful and do not consider their own safety and security? If so, that is so sad and it must have been so traumatising for these individuals to see photographs which were assumed to be private – splashed online. That would be such a painful Wu Chi feeling to experience. This feeling of loss, embarassment and upset. The wanting to disappear into emptiness. So maybe there is no such thing as privacy and maybe mum was right.
I was just watching a dog who had just had an operation. He had a cone wrapped around his head to stop him licking his wounds. The cone was there to help him heal. After three days you could see the dog had adapted to sleeping, eating, drinking and playing with the cone on. I wonder if the dog knew it was only temporary and would be coming off after a week? Did the dog think it would be permanent?
It made me think of people with Depression and Anxiety. Depression and Anxiety is one of the most pernicious diseases of the 21st century. 20% of people are at one time or the other suffering from depression this year and every year. Continue reading →