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

Mindfulness Tips and Benefits

 

you_revolution17 jan2015

According to Oxford University Mindfulness Professors, thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers prove that mindfulness enhances mental and physical wellbeing and reduces chronic pain.

So if you want to reduce anxiety, stress, depression, exhaustion, physical pain, they all decrease with regular sessions of mindfulness exercises and meditations.

Mindfulness Benefits

 

Mindfulness can help you to reduce anxiety, stress, depression, and exhaustion

It can also help and teach you how to:

  • improve your reaction times at home and at work
  • rebalance your nervous system
  • regulate your emotions and moods
  • overcome exhaustion, procrastination and low-self esteem
  • accept yourself for who you are
  • achieve greater success levels in work and relationships
  • reclaim your capacity for fun, humour, excitement and joy

Another benefit of mindfulness is that it enhances memory retention and an increase in mental and physical stamina.

Research indicates that those of us who practice mindfulness regularly are calmer, happier, more contented and less prone to psychological distress.

Some Mindfulness Tips

 

As well as delivering Mindfulness courses, I also find it helpful to introduce some Mindfulness techniques and ideas during individual counselling and psychotherapy sessions.

Often these clients say that whilst they find the Mindfulness downloads that I recommend they try at home helpful, they are not sure whether they are doing the Mindfulness exercises correctly so here’s what I encourage my clients to do:

1. Regardless of what happens (eg if you fall asleep, lose concentration, keep thinking of other things or focusing on the wrong bit of the body, or not feeling anything), just do it! These are your experiences in the moment. Just be aware of them.

2. If your mind is wandering a lot, simply note the thoughts (as passing events) and then bring the mind gently back to the meditation.

3. Let go of ideas of “success “,  ” failure “,  ” doing it well “, or   “trying to purify the body “. This is not a competition. It is not a skill for which you need to strive. The only discipline involved is regular and frequent practice. Just do it with an attitude of openness and curiosity.

4. Let go of any expectations of what the mindfulness meditation will do for you. Imagine it as a seed you have just planted. The more you poke around and interfere, the less it will be able to develop. So with the meditation, just give it the right conditions – peace and quiet, regular and frequent practice. That is all. The more you try to influence what it will do for you, the less it will do.

5. Try approaching your experience in each moment with the attitude: “Ok that’s just the way things are right now “. If you try to fight off unpleasant thoughts, feelings and body sensations, the upsetting feelings will only distract you from doing anything else. Be aware, be non-striving, be in the moment, accept things as they are. Just do it.

6. 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”

 

I’ll end with my favourite two quotes:

“If you never give up you never fail”

“Small steps are better than no steps”

 

Tip nine for people with hectic lifestyles who want to make positive life or career changes

icons for campaign monitor_6

Do you have a hectic lifestyle and want to make positive life changes but precious little time to make them?

For those of you who didn’t get the opportunity to read tips one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight of my blog for people with hectic lifestyles who want to make positive life or career changes see:

Tip Eight: http://www.karendeeming.com/index.php/2015/08/23/tip-eight-for-people-with-hectic-lifestyles-who-want-to-make-positive-life-or-career-changes/

For those of you who did read my other tips, you will recall me saying that over the next few months, I’ll be sharing with you the mindfulness, self help and personal development techniques and tips that helped me to:

 

  • Escape the corporate cage, that is, my well-paid secure job and hectic lifestyle in London
  • Move from London to live in the idyllic countryside and do my dream job as a successful Psychotherapist, Coach and Mindfulness Teacher helping 1000s of clients at my Liverpool Street and Harley Street Practices and nowadays at my online, Bristol and Somerset Practices sometimes advising film Directors, such as Mike Leigh, on the authenticity of film narratives.

Though I am now doing my dream job, living in a delightful Somerset village and have many tools at my disposal, life is occasionally still tough so I’ll also send you some tips to help you remain motivated, and focused when you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, lost or you are falling victim to ”l’m too busy and don’t have enough time” and procrastination trap.

 

Tip for week Nine, how to develop healthier personal boundaries to help you:

 

• Feel less angry, stressed, resentful, exhausted, guilty and overwhelmed
• Enhance your self confidence and self esteem
• Increase your energy levels

So what are personal boundaries?

 

Personal boundaries are “the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They allow us to separate who we are, and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feelings of others”

Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for him or herself what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how he or she will respond when someone steps outside those limits. They are built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning.

Personal boundaries define you as an individual, outlining your likes and dislikes, and setting the distances you allow others to approach. They include physical, mental, psychological and spiritual boundaries, involving beliefs, emotions, intuitions and self-esteem.

How do you establish whether your boundaries are healthy?

 

Firstly ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you a people pleaser who frequently agrees to do things that you really don’t want to do?
  • Do you experience difficulties standing up for yourself?
  • Do you allow insulting, off hand remarks from pushy, aggressive people because you are anxious or fearful of the consequences or of potential conflict?
  • Are you over sensitive and often take things personally?

If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions then your boundaries are probably not as robust as they could be. We have all struggled with boundaries from time to time especially with our parents and those closest to us.

We are not taught how to do this at school, so how can we be expected to know how to set healthy boundaries?

I believe boundary setting should be a mandatory item on the school curriculum.

What is a healthy boundary then?

 

Ideally, the ability to set flexible boundaries.

According to Nina Brown, there are four main types of psychological boundary:

  • Soft – A person with soft boundaries merges with other people’s boundaries. Someone with a soft boundary is easily manipulated.
  • Spongy – A person with spongy boundaries is like a combination of having soft and rigid boundaries. They permit less emotional contagion than soft boundaries but more than rigid. People with spongy boundaries are unsure of what to let in and what to keep out.
  • Rigid – A person with rigid boundaries is closed or walled off so nobody can get close to him/her either physically or emotionally. This is often the case if someone has been physically, emotionally, psychologically or sexually abused. Rigid boundaries can be selective which depend on time, place or circumstances and are usually based on a bad previous experience in a similar situation.
  • FlexibleThis is the ideal. Similar to selective rigid boundaries but the person has more control. The person decides what to let in and what to keep out, is resistant to emotional contagion, manipulation and is difficult to exploit.

Whilst a healthy relationship depends on the emotional space provided by personal boundaries, co dependent personalities have difficulties in setting such limits, so that defining and protecting boundaries efficiently may be for them a vital part of regaining mental health.

Before providing you with tips on how to set flexible, healthy boundaries, I thought it might be helpful to share with you: How healthy boundary setting techniques have benefited me in both my professional and my personal life:

 

Following extensive boundary setting training on my Psychotherapy Master’s Degree, the knowledge I acquired , outlining how to set consistent, timely, flexible boundaries, has made a significantly, positive difference to my life.

For example:

  • I mostly now do things that I want to as well as have to
  • The development of sound, assertiveness skills have provided me with confidence to say no nicely and achieve what I want both at work and in my personal relationships
  • 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
  • I now purposefully surround myself with people who champion and bring out the best rather than the stress in me. In other words, I am now equipped to manage and communicate with nay sayers, bullies and intimidating, negative, aggressive people much more effectively
  • Nowadays, I rarely feel tired, resentful and guilty

Over to you:

 

Here’s some flexible, healthy boundary setting techniques that work for me:

The first step is self awareness, that is, acknowledging that you experience difficulties with boundary setting.

Begin to say no nicely:

 

For most of us, the act of saying no is simple it takes a second. It’s not saying no that bothers us though it’s the consequences that concern us.

You can say no nicely by using words and phrases such as:

  • Thank you for asking me
  • That sounds interesting
  • I’m honoured to be asked
  • That’s really kind

Avoid using but as it carries negative connotations and instead use words like and however.

Leave a positive lasting impression – good luck

Let me know how you get on ask me another time or I’d love to know how you get on.

A question and answer example:

 

Question
I’m organising an amazing event and I’m looking for someone just like you to help with the organising. It will be great fun and it’s all for a good cause.

Answer
Wow well first of all thanks for asking. I’m honoured. However, I’m going to miss this one as I’m committed to several important things at the moment which all need my time and attention. It wouldn’t be fair on them, or you, if I said I could get involved with something else and then did a poor job with everything. Let me know how it goes though.

Situation specific examples:

 

Saying no to your boss at work
Wow thank you for thinking about me. It sounds like a great project and I’m up for a challenge. To take it on and do a brilliant job I need your help. Could you help me to find a couple of hours a day by reassigning some of my other responsibilities? I know Giles has done data input in the past so he would be great at that.

Saying no to an angry person
I feel uncomfortable when you shout at me, so I’m going to leave the room until you calm down.

Responding to a bully, naysayer or a critical person
It’s not OK with me that you continually put me down and criticize my appearance so I’d like you to stop doing this.

When you feel put on the spot
“I don’t know what I’m doing that evening yet and I have a policy of not making decisions right away so I’ll get back to you later in the week.
(If the person persists and tries to manipulate or make you feel guilty, keep repeating this statement to them over and over again).

Cancelling a previous commitment you have made:
I know I agreed to help you with the flower show, after reviewing my diary though, I now realise that I won’t be able to give it my best attention so I’m happy to help you find someone else by the end of next week.

Time saving examples:

 

Q Would you buy a newspaper when you drop Charlie off at the scouts?
A Yes of course. And I need your help with something. Would you empty the dishwasher while I’m out.

Q Could you take care of the phones while I’m away? Ill be back in an hour or so..
A No problem at all, and actually you could help me. Would you mind dropping this off at the Post Office while you’re out?

A few assertiveness techniques

 

Assertiveness is: “the ability to honestly express your opinions, feelings, attitudes, and rights, without undue anxiety, in a way that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others”.

Here are some useful examples of assertive statements:

  • Thanks for your suggestion. I’ll take that into consideration
  • No, I am not busy on Tuesday, but I want to keep it that way
  • Could you tell me more information so that I can understand what you are trying to say?
  • I will have to get back with you about that
  • I think I understand what you are saying, however I am in disagreement
  • When is a good time for us to talk about something that has been bothering me?
  • I feel you are being very aggressive toward me
  • I get upset when you start shouting at me

I Statements

 

These make for great conversation openers because blame is avoided, and may allow the other person to save face or take responsibility before becoming emotional. If you are used to arguing with someone and suddenly try this, you may get quick improvements in communication.

If the other person becomes aggressive or passive you can continue with “I” statements.

For example, “I will continue this discussion when we both agree not to name call.” Or for the passive person, “I realize that you are not ready to talk with me and I respect that and I know I can’t make you. I will be ready when you decide to talk.”

If after reading this blog you are still struggling to remain in the here and now, reach decisions and are feeling overwhelmed with distractions and negative thoughts because of this, don’t panic or give up just yet.

Counselling, psychotherapy sessions or a personal development or mindfulness course can help you.

So, if you need a bit of extra support and encouragement and a few on line, telephone or face to face counselling or mindfulness 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: info@karendeeming.com.

 

Mindfulness is key theme for Mental Health Awareness month 2015

icons for campaign monitor_5

Do you want to?

  • reduce your stress and anxiety levels
  • achieve the things you want to as well as those you have to
  • find balance in work and play and in your mind and body
  • to wake up in a morning feeling less exhausted and more energised
  • develop strategies to overcome insomnia and procrastinating
  • address and develop tools to tackle negative thinking patterns
  • have a more comfortable relationship with food and kick old habits such as overeating, over monitoring your food intake and obsessive calorie counting
  • stop comparing yourself to other people and people pleasing
  • work on your low self esteem issues
  • understand why you talk yourself out of doing incredible things because you are afraid to discover if I’ve got what it takes

If your answer to one or more of these questions is yes then you may benefit from Mindfulness.

So what exactly is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a scientifically based tool designed to help reduce stress, panic attacks and anxiety and has been widely approved by the international medical community. It teaches greater awareness of our thoughts, feelings and sensations through simple techniques like meditation and gentle movement. And you don’t need to sit cross legged in the mountains to do it!!!

The ability to achieve a successful work life balance in order to live more creatively and fully has never been more important than in today’s society. Unless you take more quality time on your own, you will always experience emotional and physical difficulties from the beginning of your working life until the grave.

What are the benefits of Mindfulness?

It provides you with a range of tools to help you:

  • rebalance the nervous system
  • teach you how to regulate your emotions and moods more effectively
  • overcome exhaustion, insomnia, procrastination and low-self esteem
  • accept yourself for who you are
  • achieve greater success levels in work and relationships
  • reclaim your capacity for fun, humour, excitement and joy

How does Mindfulness work in practice?

Practice the three minute mindfulness breathing space meditation below not cross legged on a mountain in the Himalayas at your desk or sat upright in a chair at home, in your business hotel or on the bus or tube if you live in London.
http://franticworld.com/free-meditations-from-mindfulness/

Tips for the 3 minute breathing space mindfulness practice

Whilst listening to the 3 minute mindfulness breathing space, just allow your thoughts to rise, plateau and fall and imagine that they are part of a film/tape or actors in a play coming and go or clouds in the sky and that you have the option to press the stop button at anytime.

Most importantly, remember that thoughts are not facts and are only your own interpretation of emotions and feelings and other people’s actions and so when you next experience a negative automatic thought write it down and ask yourself what evidence is there to support this thought and what evidence is there against this thought.

1. Regardless of what happens (eg if you fall asleep, lose concentration, keep thinking of other things), just do it! These are your experiences in the moment. Just be aware of them.

2. If your mind is wandering a lot, simply note the thoughts (as passing events) and then bring the mind gently back to your breathe
3. Let go of ideas of “success “, ” failure “, ” doing it well “, or “trying to purify the mind “. This is not a competition. It is not a skill for which you need to strive. The only discipline involved is regular and frequent practice. Just do it with an attitude of openness and curiosity.

4. Let go of any expectations of what the 3 minute mindfulness breathing space will do for you. Imagine it as a seed you have just planted. The more you poke around and interfere, the less it will be able to develop. So with the 3 minute mindfulness breathing space , just give it the right conditions – peace and quiet, regular and frequent practice. That is all. The more you try to influence what it will do for you, the less it will do.

5. Try approaching your experience in each moment with the attitude: “Ok that’s just the way things are right now “. If you try to fight off unpleasant thoughts, feelings and body sensations, the upsetting feelings will only distract you from doing anything else. Be aware, be non-striving, be in the moment, accept things as they are. Just do it.

Focusing on the breath fills some people with a sense of dread so are there any alternatives to the three minute breathing space?

Yes try this sounds and thoughts mindfulness meditation instead:

http://franticworld.com/free-meditations-from-mindfulness/

Before beginning the sounds and thoughts mindfulness meditation, as above read these tips first:

Just allow your thoughts to rise, plateau and fall and imagine that they are part of a film/tape or actors in a play coming and go or clouds in the sky and that you have the option to press the stop button at anytime.

Most importantly, remember that thoughts are not facts and are only your own interpretation of emotions and feelings and other people’s actions and so when you next experience a negative automatic thought write it down and ask yourself what evidence is there to support this thought and what evidence is there against this thought.

1. Regardless of what happens (eg if you fall asleep, lose concentration, keep thinking of other things), just do it! These are your experiences in the moment. Just be aware of them.

2. If your mind is wandering a lot, simply note the thoughts (as passing events) and then bring the mind gently back to the sounds around you.

3. Let go of ideas of “success “, ” failure “, ” doing it well “, or “trying to purify the mind “. This is not a competition. It is not a skill for which you need to strive. The only discipline involved is regular and frequent practice. Just do it with an attitude of openness and curiosity.

4. Let go of any expectations of what the sounds and thoughts mindfulness meditation will do for you. Imagine it as a seed you have just planted. The more you poke around and interfere, the less it will be able to develop. So with the sounds and thoughts mindfulness meditation, just give it the right conditions – peace and quiet, regular and frequent practice. That is all. The more you try to influence what it will do for you, the less it will do.

5. Try approaching your experience in each moment with the attitude: “Ok that’s just the way things are right now “. If you try to fight off unpleasant thoughts, feelings and body sensations, the upsetting feelings will only distract you from doing anything else. Be aware, be non-striving, be in the moment, accept things as they are. Just do it.

Vulnerabilty, Glastonbury Festival and mindful running

Glastonbury Festival Site

Whilst I was happily jogging through the Glastonbury Festival site this morning, I began to reflect on all the artists who had played at the pyramid stage. For some reason Amy Winehouse immediately popped into my head.

In that moment, I was reminded of an article that I wrote in 2011 “Vulnerability Friend or Foe” that many of my clients and readers liked at the time so I thought why not share it with the Being Practice community too. Here is the blog:

Continue reading

Taming inner critics, DJs and Zippy

Most of you may already know, however for those of you who are unfamiliar, the inner critic 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?

Why do I always leave everything to the last minute?

I’m a failure in relationships

I’m a loser, lazy and selfish blah blah blah…..

Why can’t I stand up for myself?

I’m fed up of people pleasing it’s draining me of my life energy

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.

Continue reading

Blue Monday-Mindfulness tips to beat stress, anxiety and depression

Aren’t Januarys tough sometimes? what with post Christmas blues and cold dark nights?

This video which Founder of the Being Practice, Karen Deeming, produced for her Coaching Agency, You Revolution,  shows how mindfulness can help you with Blue Monday. Mindfulness can also help you to reduce and overcome anger outbursts, stress, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, negative thinking patterns, high blood pressure, low self esteem and exhaustion.

Have you noticed that you’re feeling a bit more under the weather and more tired than usual because of the long dark nights or overspending at Christmas?

or are you feeling disappointed that your New Year’s Resolution or diet aren’t going as well as you had hoped?

Well you’re not alone in this dilemma, because the third Monday in January, supposedly the most depressing day of the year has now got an official name

 

Do you know what it is?

Blue Monday!!!

You may be doing a dream job, even then though, Blue Monday can still be tricky especially having to climb out of that lovely warm duvet before 8am

What helps me to cheer myself up on Blue Monday is my daily mindfulness practice, or simply snuggling upto the cat on the sofa.

Mindfulness, widely approved by the international medical community is a technique for reducing stress, exhaustion, high blood pressure, panics, anxiety, and negative thinking patterns

It teaches greater awareness of our thoughts, feelings and sensations through simple techniques like visualization, meditation, gentle movement and yoga you don’t need to sit on a mountain in the Himalyas to do it either

Let me share with you an example of how mindfulness can help you:

Despite a heavy rain prediction here in Somerset a few days ago I decided to cycle to the local farm shop.

The cycle route from Pilton to the farm shop is no stranger to me but today it was a strikingly different experience because I had decided to attempt mindful cycling.

In other words, I adopted a small steps approach, focusing on the here and now and the journey rather than a speedy arrival at my destination.

How stunning I chuckled to myself as I was greeted by the distant view of Glastonbury Tor. Slightly distracted by these delicious in the moment experience, I cycled through a muddy puddle resulting in drenched socks.

What helped me overcome the soggy socks incident, were the charming duo of cocker spaniels grinning at me from the rear window of a scruffy jeep ahead.

So, good news, mindfulness and focusing on exquisite landscape instead of the lack of sunshine resulted in a highly pleasurable experience

And you can achieve this positive mindset too.

If after listening to this clip or reading this blog you are still struggling to motivate yourself on Blue Monday or indeed anytime in 2015.

Why not take this one small step today by contacting me Karen Deeming to find out more about mindfulness or about on line counselling sessions:

e: info@thebeingpractice.com

t: 07950 751352