CBT Bristol for anxiety

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Bristol for anxiety and stress

CBT Bristol to help you overcome anxiety

Most of my clients over the past years have reported difficulties with anxiety, so I thought it might be helpful to share a few Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) tips:

So what is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal, but often, a disagreeable part of life. It can affect us all in various ways and at different times in our lives.

We will all feel anxious at some point and it is very common to feel tense and unsure about a potentially stressful situation, such as, going for an interview, taking an exam or trying something new. However, for some of us, these feelings are very strong and lasting, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed. It is at this point, anxiousness becomes anxiety.

Anxiety is what we feel when we are tense, worried or afraid, often about things that are about to happen or are to happen in the future.

And often about things that we cannot control. Anxiety can make you imagine things are worse than they are and prevent you from carrying out everyday tasks.

There are no clear-cut reasons as to what causes anxiety and why it is worse for some people than others.

There are identifiable factors such as childhood trauma, a divorce, a death, that can be attributed to the onset of a person’s anxiety however, for others there is no obvious identifiable cause, and this can add to the distress and uncertainty that you may be feeling.

CBT Bristol research findings about anxiety symptoms:

Anxiety can affect us through our thought processes, through our feelings and through physical sensations.

We can experience many different ‘signs and symptoms’ of anxiety, but not everybody’s anxiety looks the same.

You may experience or have experienced some of the following:

  • palpitations
  • difficulty in controlling your breathing
  • a need for constant reassurance
  • feeling tense
  • fearing the worst (ie catastrophising)
  • constant worry
  • self-doubt
  • replaying situations in your head over and over and irrational thoughts

Or maybe something different.

So how can CBT Bristol help you to overcome anxiety?

The good news is that anxiety can be managed and reduced. It does not need to control your life. With support you can regain the control. Most importantly, anxiety must not define you as a person.

CBT – focuses on how your thoughts, attitudes and beliefs affect your feelings and behaviour and teaches you coping skills to deal with anxiety.

See more about CBT and CBT Bristol here:

CBT Bristol Tips for anxiety:

 

Step One

When you experience a negative thought, feeling or physical sensation, breathe, pause, step back then ask yourself the following question:

“what do I know?”

“I know that if I allow my negative thoughts to take over it is not healthy for me and leaves me feeling anxious, I also know that though I can’t stop my thoughts, feelings or physical sensations, I can change what happens next, such as, consciously deciding to stop myself from catastrophising or getting too attached to my thoughts.”

“I know that if I say to myself there goes anger, sadness, disappointment, shyness, self consciousness etc rather than saying I am angry, I am sad, I am feeling self conscious, I am disappointed it is more beneficial for my mental and physical health and well being”.

“I know that if I people please or sacrifice my needs to meet other peoples’ needs I will feel more anxious and it more beneficial for my health and well being to not get too attached these thoughts and instead pause step back and imagine that the thoughts are in a bubble floating in the sky, me walking in the woods /beach or that they are passing clouds in the sky . ”

“I know that thoughts aren’t facts”

What’s also important is that I challenge my thoughts, worries, stresses and anxieties by asking myself the question:

What is the evidence/concrete facts to support the believe that I will fail my driving test?”
and: what evidence/concrete facts are there against it?

CBT Bristol tips for anxiety

 

Step Two

If you struggle with anxiety, you are highly likely to have a very loud “inner critic.”

Most of you may already know, however for those of you who are unfamiliar, the inner critic often heightens anxiety, as it is your inner voice or negative chatterbox that often goes something like this:

  • What’s wrong with me?
  • I wish I was as confident as my friends
  • Why can’t I get over this and get a grip?
  • It’s ridiculous feeling so overwhelmed by such a minor event in my life
  • Other people have much bigger problems than me so why am I feeling so low?
  • Why can’t I perform as well as my boss and colleagues at work?
  • I’m a failure in relationships
  • I’m a loser, lazy and selfish blah blah blah…..

Sound familiar? Well you’re not alone in this universal catch-22.

We all have an inner critic, but not all of us let it run riot.

This relentless, negative self talk often expresses criticism, frustration or disapproval about our actions and its frequency, volume or intensity is very different for each us.

CBT Bristol has summarised below, how the inner critic might cause anxiety:

Inner critic dialogue is anxiety-provoking and shaming and so paralyses your sense of motivation and get up and go. It can result in unhealthy behaviours such as avoidance and procrastination, in order to reduce anxiety and stay safe when it is largely not necessary to do so.

In other words, because you are frightened or anxious about a particular situation, you adopt self protection mechanisms and put on your breaks too soon, often depriving yourself of adventure, enjoyment, pleasure and spontaneity.

So anxiety can be very unhealthy for you if you struggle to develop coping mechanisms
It may seem a mammoth task and a huge mountain to climb right now, however, here’s how to turn down the volume of your inner critic and, as I like to call it, my inner DJ’s sound system:

CBT Bristol tips to prevent the inner critic and anxiety taking over:

Awareness is the first step to recognising and letting go of your inner critic. Many of you won’t have even realised its presence until now.

Acknowledge and make friends with your inner critic instead of continually arguing and battling with it.

Using the more playful side of your character and sense of humour, invent a nickname like I did such as DJ, Zippy, Chimp or Top Dog.

If you notice your inner critic or anxiety taking over:

Imagine it is a record turn table so that you can turn the volume down or that it’s a tape, play or film that you can rewind. Slow down. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and gently say no.

It may help to visualize a strong and wise part of yourself gently removing your critic from its stage or soapbox.

Over to you:

If after reading this blog you are still struggling to tame your inner critic, DJ or Zippy and are feeling overwhelmed with distractions and negative thoughts don’t panic or give up just yet.

CBT Bristol anxiety sessions can help you.

So, if you need a bit of extra support and encouragement and a few on line, telephone or face to face CBT sessions why not contact Karen Deeming to arrange an appointment or for a short free introductory chat on 07950 751352 or send an email to: karen@karendeeming.com

CBT Bristol for anxiety other treatment recommendations:

As well as CBT, there are other options available to support you with managing your anxiety:

Counselling – a talking therapy. Can bring clarity, peace of mind and the answers to the problems that you are struggling with.

See more about Counselling here: 

Mindfulness – enhances mental and physical wellbeing. Provides exercises and Meditation techniques to enable you to recognise triggers and reduce anxiety.

See more about Mindfulness here: 

Medication: There are medications available that can help manage some symptoms of anxiety. You will need to speak with your Doctor for further advice around this.

References:

www.mind.org.uk
www.anxietyuk.org.uk
www.counselling-directory.org.uk
Bourne, Edmund J (2015) Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 6th Edition. California: New Harbinger

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – how can it help you?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - how can it help you?

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

CBT is an evidence-based, collaborative, solution-focussed form of counselling/therapy approved by the NHS.

It is a way of talking about:

  • how you think about yourself, the world and other people
  • how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings.

CBT can help you to change how you think (‘Cognitive’) and what you do (‘Behaviour’).

These changes can help you to feel better. Unlike some of the other talking treatments, CBT focuses on the ‘here and now’ problems and difficulties. Instead of focusing on the causes of your distress or symptoms in the past, CBT looks for ways to improve your state of mind now.

When does CBT help?

CBT has been shown to help with many different types of problems. These include: anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic, phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia), stress, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis.

CBT may also help if you have difficulties with anger, a low opinion of yourself or physical health problems, like pain or fatigue.

How does CBT work?

CBT can help you to make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you.

These parts are:

A Situation – a problem, event or difficult situation.

From this can follow:

Thoughts
Emotions
Physical feelings
Actions

Each of these areas can affect the others. How you think about a problem can affect how you feel physically and emotionally.

There are helpful and unhelpful ways of reacting to most situations, depending on how you think about it. The way you think can be helpful – or unhelpful.

What’s most helpful is to approach issues with a more positive CBT mindset.

An example using CBT techniques:

The Situation
You’ve had a bad day, feel fed up, so go out shopping. As you walk down the road, someone you know walks by and, apparently, ignores you. This starts a cascade of:

Thoughts:
Unhelpful: He/she ignored me – they don’t like me

Helpful: He/she looks a bit wrapped up in themselves – I wonder if there’s something wrong?

Emotional Feelings:
Unhelpful: Feelings Low, sad and rejected

Helpful: Concerned for the other person, positive

Physical:
Unhelpful: Stomach cramps, low energy, feel sick

Helpful: None – feel comfortable

Action:
Unhelpful: Go home and avoid them

Helpful: Get in touch to make sure they’re OK

The same situation has led to two very different results, depending on how you thought about the situation and:

whether you used another helpful CBT technique: “thoughts aren’t facts”.

How you think has affected how you felt and what you did. In the example in the left hand column, you’ve jumped to a conclusion without very much evidence for it – and this matters, because it’s led to:
having a number of uncomfortable feelings behaving in a way that makes you feel worse.

If you go home feeling depressed, you’ll probably brood on what has happened and feel worse. If you get in touch with the other person, there’s a good chance you’ll feel better about yourself.

If you avoid the other person, you won’t be able to correct any misunderstandings about what they think of you – and you will probably feel worse.

This ‘vicious circle’ can make you feel worse. It can even create new situations that make you feel worse. You can start to believe quite unrealistic (and unpleasant) things about yourself. This happens because, when we are distressed, we are more likely to jump to conclusions and to interpret things in extreme and unhelpful ways.

CBT can help you to break this vicious circle of altered thinking, feelings and behaviour.

When you see the parts of the sequence clearly, you can change them – and so change the way you feel. CBT aims to get you to a point where you can ‘do it yourself’, and work out your own ways of tackling these problems.

What does CBT involve?

The sessions:

You can do CBT individually or with a group of people, or even a self-help book or computer programme.

In England and Wales, two computer-based programmes have been approved for use by the NHS. Fear Fighter is for people with phobias or panic attacks; Beating the Blues is for people with mild to moderate depression.

If you have individual CBT therapy:

You will usually meet with a CBT therapist for between 5 and 20, weekly, or fortnightly sessions. Each session will last 50 minutes.

In the first 2-4 sessions, the CBT therapist will check that you can use this sort of treatment and you will check that you feel comfortable with it.

The CBT therapist will also ask you questions about your past life and background.

Although CBT concentrates on the here and now, at times you may need to talk about the past to understand how it is affecting you now.

You decide what you want to deal with in the short, medium and long term. You and the CBT therapist will usually start by agreeing on what to discuss that day.

How effective is CBT?

CBT is one of the most effective treatments for conditions where anxiety or depression is the main problem.

It is the most effective psychological treatment for moderate and severe depression.

CBT is as effective as antidepressants for many types of depression.

If you have decided to consider Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and are not quite ready yet to make contact or to arrange your first session:

By clicking on the links below you can find out more about:

My Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) specialisms include though are not limited to:

  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • low self esteem and shyness
  • anger, anxiety, pain and stress management

Click here for details about my CBT qualifications, experience and accreditations.

 

See my Client Testimonials here.

You can book your appointment here or you can contact me on 07950 751352 or by emailing: info@karendeeming.com.

My Bristol CBT Practice address is: 14 Orchard Street, Bristol BS1 5EH.

Christmas Spa Packages and Self Care Benefits

Do you ever come across Christmas Spa Package ads like this?

Get away from it all with one of our blissful spa treat packages for two. Choose from a wide range of venues across the UK including Bannatyne’s and Marriott Spa, all offering a haven away from life’s stresses. From rejuvenating facials, immaculate manicures or soothing massages we can offer the treatment for you and your guest. As well as both enjoying a relaxing treatment leaving you each feeling as good as new, you’ll also have access to steam rooms, saunas and swimming pools at many of the locations. The gift of relaxation is ideal for any occasion!”

And think to yourself ooh this sounds delightful and is just the tonic I need right now to recharge my batteries just before Christmas on these cold dark winter evenings? Then ten minutes later think I’ve got a “to do list” the size of Loch Lomond so I’ll book this bargain Spa package later…

Then, before you know it, this amazing opportunity has totally disappeared from your memory or has suddenly been demoted to the bottom of your to do list because you simply feel too overwhelmed or too busy to take time out to book it. Me too !!

As a Health and Well Being Practitioner I often encourage clients to pay attention to their self care and am often emphasizing the benefits of a good work and play balance.

So dare I say it, when I was presented with a very generous spa treatment gift voucher by my friend earlier this year and I didn’t actually use until a month before it’s expiry date I felt slightly hypocritical as you can imagine….

Having said that, I do ensure that I book in regular monthly massage and coach appointments for myself and take regular holidays so it could have been worst, I may have missed this truly enjoyable and self indulgent experience altogether.

Set in the heart of the Mendips, just a ten minute drive from my cottage, Charlton House part of the Bannatyne’s Health Clubs chain has achieved an enviable reputation as one of the leading country house hotels in the South West of England. So if you’re looking for a luxurious spa break Charlton House makes an unforgettable stay and here’s my photos to prove it !! Yes, that’s me in the colbalt blue coat again !!

 

What is self care exactly?

 

There are many definitions of healthy self care. As I like to keep life simple, I break it down into four distinct categories:

Relaxation

 

By this I mean incorporating at least one hobby and activity into your daily routine such as: mindfulness, yoga, pilates, tai chi, qigong, art and crafts, reading a novel, playing a musical instrument, surfing and gardening. What’s key here is allowing yourself to enjoy the journey rather than the arriving, in other words, undertaking the activities at a slow pace it’s not a competition.

Exercise

Include at least one of the following activities at least four times a week into your daily routine:
• Cycling
• walking
• running
• ruby
• football
• cricket
• golf
• swimming
• rowing
• dancing
• basketball
• netball
• tennis

Diet

 

In terms of mood, I believe we are what we eat!!

I am not referring to a miserable life of fasting, food deprivation and diets.

What I mean by this is the introduction of a healthy daily diet consisting of mostly fruit, vegetables, seeds, fish and less fast food, red meat and carbohydrates.

For example, over the past few years, I have gradually reduced my daily bread, rice, pasta and sugar level intakes and only eat fast food and take aways about twice a year if at all nowadays.

As a result, I have noticed how less tired and sluggish I feel and how I feel increasingly more energetic and motivated.

My new motto is moderation not deprivation.

Adopting healthy sleep patterns

 

I go to bed most evenings before 11pm with the aim of sleeping for at least 7 hours.

Research indicates that engagement in emails and social media activities such as a facebook and twitter can overstimulate the mind resulting in difficulty sleeping.

So as part of my daily bed time routine, I ensure that I cease sending emails or engaging in any type of face book, twitter or other types of social media activities for at least two hours before going up to bed.

Do you include relaxation, exercise and diet into your daily routine?

 

If the answer is no then your work life balance or levels of self care are probably not as robust as they could be and you are not alone in this very common dilemma.

Most of us put work above family, friends and hobbies or have struggled with time stress at some point in our lives.

We are not taught about the significance of self care and work life balance at school, so how can we be expected to know how to create our ideal dream lives?

I believe self care and the art of work life balancing should be a mandatory item on the school curriculum.

How do you put self care strategies into practice to create a healthy work life balance?

 

Following extensive self care and boundary setting training on my Psychotherapy Master’s Degree and from attendance at several personal development courses, the knowledge I acquired , outlining how to create a timetable that reflects my ideal, dream week, has made a significantly, positive difference to my life and health and well being.

For example:
• I mostly now do things that I want to as well as have to
• My energy levels have increased, as I no longer experience high levels of time stress, caused by previously booking up my diary months ahead, as a result of over committing myself, saying yes to most social and work-related events and spending too much time on face book and twitter
• My moods are mostly positive because I no longer eat fast food, I also find it helpful to limit myself to watching only 1.5 hours of television most evenings
• Nowadays, I rarely feel tired, resentful and guilty except of course when I leave spa package bookings to the last minute !!!

Here’s an extract from my recent daily timetable:

 

8.30am – 9am Mindfulness Practice
9am – 1pm – Work
1pm – 2.15pm – Running then lunch
2.15pm – 6.15pm – Work
6.15pm – 6.30pm – Mindfulness Practice
6.30pm – 10pm – Family, Friends and Leisure time
10pm – 11.30pm – Read a novel.

What are the benefits of self care and creating your ideal, dream life?

 

You will begin to:
• feel less irritated, stressed, resentful, exhausted, guilty and overwhelmed
• experience more joy and happiness because more time will be spent doing the things you really want to rather than a life just full of to do lists and things that you have to do
• sleep better and as result increase your energy levels
• experience more peace of mind, a sense of clarity and feel more focused

Heath and well being are your most important assets and investments, without these, you may experience exhaustion, illness, burn out and struggle to be as productive and as successful as you could be at work. Put simply: Health = Wealth.

How to achieve a positive mindset to help you achieve your goals and ambitions for 2018

Blog Scacity Mindset jan 2018

Why is it no matter how much time most people are given, they often finish jobs or tasks at the last minute and are left feeling completely stressed out?
• Why is it that very high wage earners end up broke?
• Why do organisations get stuck firefighting?
• Why do the lonely find it hard to make friends or to find a partner?
• Why do most New Year Resolutions fail by February?

These questions seem unconnected, yet drawing on a raft of research in psychology and behavioural economics, Harvard economist Mullainathan and Princeton psychologist Shafir illustrate that they are all examples of a mind-set produced by scarcity. Put simply, you and most people, often force the brain to focus on alleviating pressing shortages and thus reducing the mental bandwidth available to address other needs such as:

• planning ahead
• exert self-control
• problem solving

The result these academics argue, is a life fixated on agonising trade-offs, crises, and preoccupations that impose persistent negative thinking and self defeating actions.

How can you re programme your scarcity mindset and develop a healthier growth mindset instead so that you can get the most out of your counselling or mindfulness sessions at work or in your personal life?

 

According to Psychology today, “making resolutions or new habits work is essentially changing behaviors and in order to do that, you have to change your thinking and “rewire” your brain. Brain scientists such as Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux and psychotherapist Stephen Hayes have discovered, through the use of MRIs, that habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior when you’re faced with a choice or decision. Trying to change that default thinking by “not trying to do it,” in effect just strengthens it. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking.”

Here’s some more Neuroscience research relating to scarcity mindsets which can have a huge impact on your counselling, mindfulness and coaching sessions:

 

• We recall negative feedback more than we remember praise.
• Unpleasant events tend to be more memorable than pleasant ones.
• The brain is programmed to be vigilant and wary.
• The brain reacts more strongly to negative stimuli than to positive stimuli.

Studies indicate that there’s a greater flow in electrical activity in the brain when we visualise a negative image such as a dead cat than when we witness something positive like a glass of prosecco or yummy lemon cheesecake.

How can Neuroscience and a knowledge of the brain help you to develop a growth mindset and the best return on investment on your counselling coaching and mindfulness sessions?

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Neuroscience is the study of how the nervous system develops, its structure, and what it does. Neuroscientists focus primarily on the brain and its impact on behaviour and cognitive functions.

Neuroscience is an increasingly wide ranging subject. Perhaps because the brain is one of the most complex structures in the known universe:

 

• intricate enough to coordinate the fingers of a classical violinist
• or logical enough to introduce the laws and theories of gravity.

Now let’s take a brief glimpse at the brain:

The right hemisphere is generally associated with creativity, communicating emotion, analysis of nonverbal information and the control of the left side of the body, temporal and spatial relationships.

Whereas, the left hemisphere is usually identified with logic abilities, casual relationships, sequential thinking, controlling the right side of the body and producing/understanding language and complexities.

The limbic system sometimes referred to as the “emotional brain” is usually considered as composed of the following:

cingulate gyrus, hypothalamus, hippocampus, thalamus and amygdala.

It is the site of: emotional states and behaviour; the bridge between the conscious and subconscious brain and short term memory/ information storage, especially short term recognition of facts, objects, people etc.

The amygdala, the brain’s alarm system is located in the limbic system. Its key function is to call you to attention, and in an emergency, to mobilise or shut-down your body and mind so that you’ll survive.

Sadly though, this alarm rings automatically and unnecessarily often incorrectly informing you that you are experiencing a flight or fight situation when the actual reality is that you are not and the alarm is just being over cautious.

When our amygdala misinterprets a bodily sensation such as sinking stomach to be a message of despair and pessimism, it has exactly the wrong result, reducing rather than enhancing our attention and alertness.

That’s why anxiety, frustration, anger and other chronic stress reactions can occasionally, or for some people frequently, escalate into huge problems.

 

Put simply, we’re not using our amygdala as effectively as it was intended.

Mindfulness strategies can help to reprogramme your brain’s natural tendency to focus on scarcity rather than on the positives of a situation:

 

When you experience a negative thought, feeling or physical sensation, breathe, pause, step back then ask yourself the following question:

“what do I know?”

“I know that if I allow my negative thoughts to take over it is not healthy for me and leaves me feeling anxious, I also know that though I can’t stop my thoughts, feelings or physical sensations, I can change what happens next, such as, consciously deciding to stop myself from catastrophising or getting too attached to my thoughts.”

“I know that thoughts aren’t facts”

Following your attempts at implementing the above strategy, record on a piece of paper the process of what happens when you try this technique and the automatic negative thoughts that stop you from supporting yourself.

Now, let’s take a real life example of a person wanting to create their dream life:

 

Instead of focusing on scarcity and deprivation by talking yourself out of it by getting into a negative thinking style of what ifs, buts, shoulds etc, ie scarcity, approach your dream life by placing yourself in a growth mindset:

Here’s how:

 

(1) firstly, create your own life script by writing down a series of positive affirmations on a piece of paper or on your tablet such as:

“I’m really happy and grateful for all the following things that I’m just about to say:

I’m really happy and grateful to be a wildly successful writer and public speaker, and wife with an endless regular weekly supply of income that greatly exceeds my outgoings.

What’s also wonderful is that my work is mostly daytime and online so I can do it anywhere in the world.

I have over 5,000 twitter and instagram followers and I’m thrilled that my fiction book is a best seller.

I have great health and I’m really enjoying a good work life balance with lots of time to relax and exercise to play piano and make jewellery and other creative activities.

My life is full of fun and joy and I have an abundance of male and female friends that bring out the best in me in Wiltshire and in other parts of the UK .

And I’m open to receiving this and more thank you.”

Repeat this at least once each morning and then just before you go to sleep for at least a six week period.

 

(tip: ensure all statements are in the present tense as if they are happening right now and avoid using words such as not, never, no longer etc)

(2) then, cut out some images/photos from either a magazine or the internet relating to your life script and arrange them on a piece of paper or on a cork memo board/whiteboard. Alternatively, create a collage by using pinterest or instagram.

What is key here is to look at the relevant image/photo whilst you are reading each affirmation out loud (ideally smiling and with heaps of enthusiasm and belief!)

 

(3) Be mindful. Become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment by moment, rather than living in the past or future

(4) Last but not least, reflect on this statement: you never fail if you never give up

In other words, it’s about moderation not deprivation and adopting a small steps approach such as and be patient…

Sounds simple and perhaps mumbo jumbo doesn’t it? However, I have used this technique with several clients and friends to help them tackle issues such as:

• overcoming procrastination
• overcoming addictions
• overcoming shyness and social phobia
• overcoming anxiety and exhaustion
• overcoming loneliness

 

The results have often been astounding. Having said that though, most of these clients have undertaken a few counselling or coaching sessions with me, Karen Deeming, before adopting the above exercise in order to achieve their goals.

What’s the primary principle behind this techique? The subconscious mind operates 95% of your life and only 5% of what you are thinking or perceiving is your conscious mind.

 

The subconscious mind works most effectively with pictures and imagery so you want to take advantage of that, ie the photos. Once you train your subconscious mind to focus on the things that you want then your performance starts to follow because your performance is always aligned with your subconscious mind.

Also as children we picked up messages from parents, peers, teachers and society, not always positive, that literally form the 95% that we are not conscious of and this 95% is really running the show often resulting in fears and doubts that cause us to procrastinate or to feel stuck and demotivated.

For example:
• don’t dream like this
• you can never have this kind of house
• don’t set yourself up for failure
• you can never run your own business it’s too risky

We then blame our doubts and fears on the external world and we play the victim but the reality is it is our own selfs we are our own saboteurs.

The creating your dream life exercise is an ideal tool to reprogramme your subconscious and of course your unhealthy, scarcity mindset.

 

Does any of this sound familiar? What can you do about it?

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you’ve probably fallen victim to the scarcity trap and mind set. Naturally, the reason will be different for each person and remember you’re not alone in this very common dilemma…

Take control of your negative internal chatter box alias “inner critic”.

Over to you:

 

If after reading this blog, you are still struggling to overcome your scarcity mindset and are feeling overwhelmed with distractions and negative thoughts don’t panic or give up just yet.

Coaching, counselling or a  mindfulness course can help you.

 

So, if you need a bit of extra support and encouragement and a few on line or face to face counselling or mindfulness sessions why not contact me to arrange an appointment for a short free introductory chat on 07950 751352 or by emailing me at karen@karendeeming.com

I’ll end with a few growth mindset insights that have helped me, Karen Deeming, along the way:

 

• whatever is going on in your mind is what you are attracting
• happy feelings will attract more happy circumstances
• visualize and rehearse your own future
• shift your awareness

Counselling and coaching is about personal growth and development and encouraging people to discover their potential for living as well as for people with anxiety, depression, stress, bereavement, low self esteem, and relationship difficulties.

 

Mindfulness, emotional intelligence, focus, personal development and confidence building book recommendations

blog feb 2018

Struggling to entertain yourself whilst you are snowed in?

 

We live at a time when there are more self-help books on the market than any one person could hope to consume in a lifetime. But in today’s world, finding the time to read even one book, let alone a dozen, can still pose quite a challenge.

To make it easier for people like you with hectic lifestyles, rather than spend hours looking for the most acclaimed self help book, I have come up with the most popular mindfulness, self-improvement and counselling books from my client library:

Key themes covered include: mindfulness, emotional intelligence, focus, personal development and confidence building:

 

1. Screw Work Let’s Play by John Williams

2. Free Range Humans by Marianne Cantwell

3. Stop Talking Start Doing by Shaa Wasmund

4. What’s Stopping You?: Why Smart People Don’t Always Reach Their Potential and How You Can by Robert Kelsey

5. Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Professor Mark Williams, University of Oxford and Danny Penman

6. The Artist’s way by Julia Cameron

7. Ask and it is Given: How to Manifest the Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks

8. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

9. How to Save an Hour Every Day by Michael Heppell

10. Overcoming procrastination by Dr Windy Dryden

11. Subpersonalties by Dr John Rowan

12. Meeting the shadow by Connie Zweig

13. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

14. It’s not how good you are it’s how good you want to be by Paul Arden

15. Freedom from your inner critic by Jay Earley and Bonnie Weiss

16. Perfect Love Imperfect Relationships by John Welwood

17. Sane New world by Ruby Wax

18. The Chimp Paradox by Stephen Peters

19. The six pillars of self esteem by Nathaniel Branden

20. Boundaries and Relationships by Charles Whitfield

21. Boundaries where you end and I begin by Anne Katherine

22. The Self-Acceptance Project: How to Be Kind and Compassionate Toward Yourself in Any Situation by Tami Simon

23. The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free From Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry
by John P. Forsyth and Georg H. Eifert

24. The Compassionate Mind Approach to Overcoming Anxiety (Compassion Focused Therapy) by Dennis Tirch

25. The little book of Ikigai – The essential Japanese way to finding your purpose in life by Ken Mogi

26. What you think is what you get – An introductory textbook for the study of the Alexander Technique by Donald L Weed

 

This will keep you out of mischief on a cold winter’s evening tucked up with the cat, dog or your laptop on the sofa or when later in the year you are sipping a refreshing cold gin and tonic on a sunny beach

so as one of our favourite authors states: “stop talking start doing” …….

 

How to make New Year’s Resolutions work

you_revolution17 jan2015

  • Why is it no matter how much time most people are given, they often finish jobs or tasks at the last minute and are left feeling completely stressed out?
  • Why is it that very high wage earners end up broke?
  • Why do organisations get stuck firefighting?
  • Why do the lonely find it hard to make friends or to find a partner?
    Why do most New Year Resolutions fail by February?

These questions seem unconnected, yet drawing on a raft of research in psychology and behavioral economics, Harvard economist Mullainathan and Princeton psychologist Shafir illustrate that they are all examples of a mind-set produced by scarcity. Put simply, you and most people, often force the brain to focus on alleviating pressing shortages and thus reducing the mental bandwidth available to address other needs such as:

  • planning ahead
  • exert self-control
  • problem solving

The result these academics argue, is a life fixated on agonising trade-offs, crises, and preoccupations that impose persistent negative thinking and self defeating actions.

Back to New Year Resolutions:

So what’s your resolution this year?

  • to lose weight?
  • to exercise more?
  • to stop smoking, gambling or drinking?
  • to develop better money management strategies?
  • to relax more and stop spending so much time at work?

the list can often be endless……….

According to Psychology today, “making resolutions work is essentially changing behaviors and in order to do that, you have to change your thinking and “rewire” your brain. Brain scientists such as Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux and psychotherapist Stephen Hayes have discovered, through the use of MRIs, that habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior when you’re faced with a choice or decision. Trying to change that default thinking by “not trying to do it,” in effect just strengthens it. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking.”

If we take the example of a weight loss resolution:

Instead of focusing on deprivation and starving yourself, ie scarcity, begin your resolution by developing a positive mindset of abundance.

Here’s how:

(1) firstly, adopt a positive affirmation statement in the present tense such as “I’m happy and grateful that I have lost 5lbs this week” repeat this at least 40 times each morning and then just before you go to sleep for at least a two week period

(2) then, find a photo of yourself when you were slim or a photo of someone else in a magazine who is slim and look at this following each affirmation

(3) Be mindful. Become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment by moment, rather than living in the past or future

(4) Last but not least, reflect on this statement: you never fail if you never give up

In other words, it’s about moderation not deprivation and adopting a small steps approach such as:

setting a specific realistic goal such as aiming to loose 5lbs by the end of January not something vague like to loose weight.

Sounds simple and perhaps mumbo jumbo doesn’t it? However, I have used this technique with several clients and friends to help them tackle issues such as:

  • overcoming procrastination
  • overcoming addictions
  • overcoming shyness and social phobia
  • overcoming anxiety and exhaustion
  • overcoming loneliness

The results have often been astounding. Having said that though, most of these clients have undertaken a few counselling or coaching sessions with me, Karen Deeming, before adopting the above exercise in order to achieve their goals.

What’s the primary principle behind this techique?

The subconscious mind operates 95% of your life and only 5% of what you are thinking or perceiving is your conscious mind. The subconscious mind works most effectively with pictures and imagery so you want to take advantage of that, ie the photos. Once you train your subconscious mind to focus on the things that you want then your performance starts to follow because your performance is always aligned with your subconscious mind.

Also as children we picked up messages from parents, peers, teachers and society, not always positive, that literally form the 95% that we are not conscious of and this 95% is really running the show often resulting in fears and doubts that cause us to procrastinate or to feel stuck and demotivated.

For example:

  • don’t dream like this
  • you can never have this kind of house
  • don’t set yourself up for failure
  • you can never run your own business it’s too risky

We then blame our doubts and fears on the external world and we play the victim but the reality is it is our own selfs we are our own saboteurs.

The weight loss exercise is an ideal tool to reprogramme your subconscious and of course your unhealthy, scarcity mindset.

Does any of this sound familiar? What can you do about it?

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you’ve probably fallen victim to the scarcity trap and mind set. Naturally, the reason will be different for each person and remember you’re not alone in this very common dilemma…

Take control of your negative internal chatter box alias “inner critic”.

Over to you:

If after reading this blog you are still struggling to overcome your scarcity mindset and are feeling overwhelmed with distractions and negative thoughts don’t panic or give up just yet.

On line coaching, counselling or a personal development or mindfulness course can help you.

I’ll end with a few insights that have helped me, Karen Deeming, along the way:

  • whatever is going on in your mind is what you are attracting
  • happy feelings will attract more happy circumstances
  • visualize and rehearse your own future
  • shift your awareness
  • counselling and coaching is about personal growth and development and encouraging people to discover their potential for living as well as for people with anxiety, depression, stress, bereavement, low self esteem, and relationship difficulties.

 

 

 

Tip Two – How to develop more confidence – Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness tools for employers and for business

you_revolution17-jan2015

 

New Mindset new work opportunities…

Does any of this sound like you?

 

  • I want to reconnect with my creativity, spark and imagination but don’t know how
  • Instead of feeling demotivated and bored at times, I want to feel more focused, passionate and enthusiastic about my work
  • I’d like to achieve even greater success levels in work and relationships
  • I want to become more productive, to procrastinate less, to make smarter use of my time and to consistently meet/exceed my targets
  • Making it to the top of my career is a key priority for me

Continue reading

Tip One – How to achieve more focus at work – Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness tools for employers and for business

you_revolution17-jan2015

 

New Mindset new work opportunities…

Does any of this sound like you?

 

  • I want to reconnect with my creativity, spark and imagination but don’t know how
  • Instead of feeling demotivated and bored at times, I want to feel more focused, passionate and enthusiastic about my work
  • I’d like to achieve even greater success levels in work and relationships
  • I want to become more productive, to procrastinate less, to make smarter use of my time and to consistently meet/exceed my targets
  • Making it to the top of my career is a key priority for me

Continue reading

Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness tools for businesses and employees

you_revolution17-jan2015

New Mindset new work opportunities…

Does any of this sound like you?

 

  • I want to reconnect with my creativity, spark and imagination but don’t know how
  • Instead of feeling demotivated and bored at times, I want to feel more focused, passionate and enthusiastic about my work
  • I’d like to achieve even greater success levels in work and relationships
  • I want to become more productive, to procrastinate less, to make smarter use of my time and to consistently meet/exceed my targets
  • Making it to the top of my career is a key priority for me

Continue reading

Sub personalities – the people inside us

you_revolution17 jan2015 

Identifying and working with subpersonalities to improve your decision making skills:

So what is a subpersonality?

Most of us have had the experience of being ‘taken over’ by a part of ourselves which we didn’t know was there. We say ‘I don’t know what got into me.’

Here are a few short definitions:

1 A semi permanent and semi autonomous region of the personality capable of acting as a person.

2. Subpersonalities are psychological satellites, coexisting as a multitude of lives within the overall medium of our personality. Each subpersonality has a style and a motivation of its own, often strikingly dissimilar from those of the others. Another way of describing it is that subpersonalities are the people inside us and that each of us is a crowd.

Psychologist, Miller Mair offers a more elaborate description:

“Perhaps it is easiest to introduce the idea of ‘self’ as a community of selves’ by referring to the smallest form of community, namely a community of two persons. Most of us have probably, at some time, found ourselves talking or acting as if we were two people rather than one. We talk sometimes of being in ‘two minds’ about something, part of you wanting to do one thing and part wanting to do something else. Quite often we hear people talk of having to ‘battle’ with themselves, as if one aspect of themselves was in conflict with another.”

During my MA training as a Psychotherapist, I was very fortunate to be taught about subpersonalities by Dr John Rowan who has written extensively about this topic. More recently though, at a one day workshop the Trainer, named Peter, was very brave in naming a few of his own subpersonalities: Peter Pan, Perfect Peter, Promiscuous Peter etc.

Below is a collage of a person’s subpersonalities

 

you_revolution17 jan2015

For example, the angel figure at the bottom of the collage represents their compliant, goody two shoes subpersonality and the headmaster with an accompanying wooden cane at the top of the image symbolizes their inner critic subpersonality.

Do you recall Mr Men, series of children’s books by British author Roger Hargreaves in the 1970s?

The series features characters with names such as Mr Tickle, Mr Happy, Mr Forgetful, Mr Daydream, Mr Uppity, Mr Silly, Mr Messy, Mr Funny, Mr Mean, Mt Chatterbox, Mr Nosey, Mr Greedy, Mr Impossible, Mr Strong, Mr Lazy, Mr Cheerful etc who have personalities and physical attributes based on their names.

Perhaps Hargreaves was referring to his own subpersonalities here?

As Stephanie Foley puts it in her very helpful you tube clip:

Subpersonalities are habits or patterns of behaviour that we have followed since childhood: eg inner child, the very responsible one, the rebel, the organiser, the controller, the adventurer, the saboteur, the aesthete or the worker.

By recognising and working with subpersonalities she argues that the conformist can be transformed into someone more adaptable, a rebel tendency can become innovation or maybe the rebel and the conformist can work together and develop a new sense of leadership.

See the clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbqZKNsl7A8

Often our subpersonalities are battling with one another and so can cloud our judgements or make us appear indecisive especially in the work place.

So as I see it, if we acquaint ourselves with our subpersonalities we can then identify the perfect environment in which they might blossom and thrive (ie create the ideal soil that promotes grow).

Subsequently we can establish a middle ground between those that are in opposition with one another such as the bully at work and the meek mild subpersonality at home. In other words, attempt to harmonize our subpersonalities so that we feel less fragmented and more whole.

By turning down the volume of the bully at work, the gentler side of one’s personality can emerge in order to make more balanced decisions and a more pleasurable and motivating office environment for work colleagues.

As Assagioli, Italian Psychiatrist and pioneer in the fields of Humanistic & Transpersonal Psychology wrote:  “We are not unified; we often feel that we are, because we do not have many bodies and many limbs, and because one hand doesn’t usually hit the other. But, metaphorically, that is exactly what does happen within us. Several subpersonalities are continually scuffling: impulses, desires, principles, aspirations are engaged in an unceasing struggle.”

As Dr John Rowan articulates:

“The questions which seem to have been of most value in making subpersonalities concrete and explicit are the following:

What do you look like?

How old are you?

What situations bring you out?

What is your approach to the world?

What is your basic motive for being there?

What do you want?

What do you need?

What have you got to offer?

What are your blocks to full functioning?

Where did you come from?

When did you first meet (name of person – ie you)? What was going on?

What would happen if you took over permanently?

What helps you to grow?

How do you relate to women/men/children?

How does this relate to my personal story then?

The inner knowledge of my subpersonalities has helped me enormously to make my life work. In the context of this blog though, I’ll focus on the most appropriate examples.

As I explained earlier, two of the hardest life challenges I have needed to face so far was deciding whether or not to:

  1. escape the corporate cage, that is, my well-paid secure job and;
  2. leave behind my hectic London lifestyle and Harley Street Private Practice to live in the idyllic countryside and do my dream job as a successful Psychotherapist, Coach and Mindfulness Teacher at my Bristol and Somerset Practices.

The major conflict here was between my overly cautious risk averse subpersonality ‘Cautious Karen’ and my adventurer and thirst for knowledge and new experiences subpersonality ‘Curious Karen.’

Fortunately, following a number of lengthy debates between the two subpersonalties, Curious Karen managed to persuade Cautious Karen that both decisions would enhance my quality of life and achieve a healthy work life balance.

What can you do about subpersonality inner conflicts?

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you are probably struggling to make decisions as a result of subpersonality internal battles. Naturally, the reason will be different for each person and remember you’re not alone in this very common dilemma…

Take control by making friends with your subpersonalities and encourage them talk to one another.