Making life simple and lowering stress by cutting down on social communication

IMG_7525In 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.


©2015 Yaz

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Halloween and negative and positive feelings

Halloween MaskHalloween 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……..

©2015 Yasmin

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Stress and just simply breathing in….

Stress is a common condition to have these days. If we were to think back, back to the 60s, 70s, 80s…when people used to wear those large lealingapel jackets, wide bell-bottoms, very fluffy hair. Do you remember the roads? In documentaries, movies, don’t they seem nearly empty? Very little seems to be there. The cars seem to move freely and there were no real traffic jams. I was just walking in Ealing today and the traffic was chocca. Then, there were fewer people. Something like 3 billion people in the world. There are now 7+ billion people on this earth. It is inevitable that we will feel more stress from more people and more demands being made upon us. How do we all fit in? But we seem to dont we? Passing your driving test was a simple thing. There was no separate theory and practical test. There were fewer markings on the road. Less to interfere with your driving. Fewer cars and people to navigate around. When I take a stress test and use my biofeedback machine on a client I find there is a considerable lowering in stress levels when people learn to use autogenics, mindfulness, hypnotism or guided imagery. Thinking differently helps. It really does help to reduce stress. Or whenever you feel stressed it may really help to just stop and take a deep breadth in and out. Sometimes the simplest things are a very good way to start.

©2015 Yasmin

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Real and Pseudo CBT

CBT BooksA friend of mine went to see a therapist between 2014 and 2015. They had signed up for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) at a Therapy centre in central London. It was a chance conversation I had with my friend…for me to realise no CBT had been carried out after nearly a whole year of very expensive therapy at Harley Street….even though that is what my friend had requested. No assessment forms, not even the basic hot cross buns on the first or second session. No assessments as the sessions went on. Continue reading


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Sleeping in the Heat

FanIt went to a high of 32 degrees Centigrade today in London. That may not be much compared to some other really hot countries; but the houses, schools, colleges, shops and public transport in the UK are not built for the heat.  The concrete in so many buildings and pavements also adds to the heat.

There is a lot of humidity and sleeping can be difficult if you are feeling sweaty and uncomfortable. It certainly can leave you hot and bothered, exhausted and very tired.

Various things you can do to keep you and your house/flat cool.

Keep your curtains closed in the day-time. Then before going to bed, (if it is safe and off course not subject to burglary nor insects) open the windows to get a breeze.

Air-conditioning is often used in some of the hot countries that are used to hot weather but these can be bad for respiratory conditions. Have you sometimes found yourself catching a cold when staying in hotels with air-conditioning? If you can it is best to use an electric fan and do switch off all electrical items when you leave a room. Use cotton bedding and clothing. These are far better then polyester and artificial clothing.

Eat less and light and no alcohol is best….as although it does put you to sleep it does not keep you asleep. Best not to have a cold shower either. Lukewarm water is best as it wont close your pores and stop you sweating – that makes you feel hotter instead.

Have good sleep

©2015 Yasmin

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Greek tragedy and See-Saw Emotional Economics

seesawThere 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…..

©2015 Yasmin

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The Polls, Tactical Voting and Plan B

PollsWell the polls have closed in the UK. Yes, we have been through another election. Isn’t it amazing how no one can talk about the elections in the news during election time?

This election has brought about greater awareness on the tactical voting that goes on. I know someone in a Liberal area and if they vote Conservative (which is what they want) then they might let a Labour Candidate in. So they will vote Liberal. Then there are other friends in other wards which will also be doing this and let the less disliked candidate in.

I was thinking – if this applies to elections. Does this also apply to other areas of our lives? Do we try to take the lesser of two or three evils? The least despised option? Do we have tactical decisions because we feel we will not get what we want so therefore make a series of Plan B, C, D and more? Not ever taking Plan A seriously? For example, when a couple find their marriage is going down the sink. suddenly one of them (usually the woman) decides a baby is the answer. Well, that is a very poor tactic. Often this ends in the couple breaking up anyway, but now with an additional heart to break. Other plan B’s are getting married with someone you don’t really want to because you feel there is no one else or because there is heavy family pressure to do so. I know of so many people who got married even though they were gay. It was their Plan B and found that marriage may have made their parents happy but off course they were not. It eases the pressure temporarily but Plan B is not a good thing for long-term health and happiness.

©2015 Yasmin

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Depression can kill and the Lufthansa flight


Depression really is a killer. It kills your time on earth, your motivation and now we can see that it can also can kill those around you. We have discovered that the co-pilot of the Lufthansa flight where 150 lives were lost was suffering from depression. When a person is in severe depression they often believe that what they are doing is the right thing and there is no other way out. Those who are suicidal often have these feelings. They do not realize that tomorrow could be different and if young they may not have the knowledge that things can and do get better. Things can improve. Instead it has to be good now. Everything has to be right. There can be no deferred gratification.

One of my friends told me that years ago, she had been suffering from depression. When she realized that drinking, taking medication to sleep, overeating, staying in and simply hiding in bed was not the answer; she decided to get therapy. She was feeling suicidal but she had children and was aware that they needed a mother. She fortunately had that insight even in a depression. She knew she required time to get better. So she used her savings and spent 3 years in therapy. She is a very different person now and does realize she does have choice. In therapy she realised she also had to change the way she thought and did things. Some parents who have been depressed and suicidal have killed themselves and their children. Those who are depressed believe they are doing the right thing for them and their children. Most though, thankfully, do realise and do not even consider this option. Others I know have gone to a centre and have had a few sessions of therapy to help them.

But get something is a must. If you are feeling depressed and If the resources and the knowledge you have and the way you access them is not helping you now then find someplace and someone who can help. I am so sad for the people who lost their lives in this accident and so sad for their relatives and loved ones left behind. Sometimes I don’t think people take depression seriously enough. They laugh it off. Make jokes about it. Depression is a serious issue and it really does have an effect on those you love and those around you.

©2015 Yasmin

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Depression Unawares to Aware


Depression can seem to catch us unawares. It can come from a feeling. From something happening outside which reminds us of something past. It can happen when suddenly we think even the unimaginable. Then off course if we don’t know what depression is – it is unimaginable. And it is hard to imagine it could ever happen to us. Depression happens to other people. Never to us.

But one day should it ever come to visit us in the dark of night or even on a bright sunny day. What can we do? Notice and accept it is really there. Depression is telling us something. Something you need to do. If it needs to be quick. Then go to behavior – what you do counts. Even if we do not feel like it do exercise. Do watch what you eat. Nutrition and exercise are key. Go out, see people. Other deeper levels require looking at our thoughts then using those thoughts to change behavior, feelings and whatever more really needs to be done to move forward…….

©2015 Yasmin

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Christmas and Domestic Abuse

Christmas and Domestic Abuse.

treeChristmas is often a time for the family to get together, a time of cheer and joy. What happens though if the family is an abusive one? One where domestic abuse occurs. Often such a season is one where there are high levels of stress. Buying a gift in such families is one where there is a lot of resentment. If the gift is not liked and the person is abusive, sarcastic comments may ensue. The sit down dinner can be one of intense stress. A meal that is not ‘perfectly’ done can find itself thrown against the wall. Plates shattered and on the floor. Meal times can be one of pure home and domestic terrorism. In the UK a new domestic abuse law has been announced – that of ‘coercive and controlling behaviour’. You don’t have to suffer physical pain to experience domestic abuse, it can also be psychological.

Christmas dinner can be the worse of all meals. Then there is the added financial stress that adds even more to the domestic terrorism that can go on within a household. People needing to walk around on eggshells for fear of ‘provoking’ an outburst by even the most mildest of comments or ‘looks’. Often those who grow up in domestic abuse also continue to marry and partner with future domestic abusers. The lessons start now. Look at where you are. Who you are with? Where do you want to go? Do you have an escape plan? How is money? Is there someone you can discuss this with? Therapy to stop this constant re-enactment? How do we break free of such abuse?

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