Climbing Out of the Abyss- Part 14

June 18, 2015

Fear

Overcoming Fear

We are born with only two fears, the fear of falling, and the fear of loud noises. These are there to protect our survival. If we have other fears, we have acquired them though our repeated dominant thoughts, the use of our imagination and through learned behaviour and response.

What is Fear?

Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus which then produces the fight-or-flight response. The stimulus could be a spider, or anything else, which is a trigger for the brain to release chemicals, cortisol and adrenalin etc which cause our bodies to prepare to fight or flee. The oxygen in our brains travels very fast down to the heart and lungs area, and makes us breathe faster, blood and oxygen gets pumped into our muscles, arms and legs, giving us the strength to get away and survive.

When we think the same kind of thoughts, we engage our imagination, we produce the same kind of response in our bodies and minds, and we reinforce the fear. It’s a cycle that can’t be broken unless we change something first.

Learned Response

Observe any child, if they hurt themselves, see a spider, etc. They will always look to the nearest adult to see how they respond first, before they respond. This is how we learn how to act, behave and survive in the big world we find ourselves in. Most of us want to fit in and belong, so we mirror the behaviours and reactions of those closest to us. In a way we form a subconscious agreement with these people, that this is the way to react and respond when this stimulus or situation happens. This doesn’t just apply to fears, it also applies to relationships etc. We can find ourselves as adults still playing the same old scripts that we agreed to when we were children, and it becomes our automatic response to things.

So to change this we use a series of steps;

  1. Decide how you want to respond to future stimulus, decide how do you want to react, feel, etc.
  1. Use the Anxiety Breathing Technique (Part 8) on a daily basis to form a new habit in the body to prevent the stress response from triggering physiological changes. So that once your mind is calm the body becomes calm, and you can think more clearly.
  1. Then engage your thoughts and imagination, by acting out the responses that you do want, in your mind first. By thinking the kind of thoughts about what you want, you then get to feel the feelings that you want to experience. Practice playing positive mind movies (Part 2) which will enable you to create the desired result. Switching over to this new mind movie, whenever your thoughts prompt you to play the fearful disaster movie instead. You have a choice which movie to play, you just need to become aware of it and choose wisely.
  1. The best time to do this, is last thing at night before you drift into sleep, and first thing when you awaken. Your mind is at a very high natural hypnotic state of awareness at these times. It will also work if you take naps during the day, do it before and after them.

Part 15 – Living With Intention

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist / Photographer, in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com

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Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 13

April 28, 2015

core beliefs

Core Beliefs

How is your life? Do you find that you begin with the best of intentions to change something, but find yourself at the last minute giving up or sabotaging it? Do you often tell yourself things like ‘I’m worthless, I’m unlovable, I’m not good enough, I’m boring, I’m abnormal, I’m ugly, I’m stupid, I’m undeserving, I’m a bad person etc. etc. ?

If you’re not experiencing life as you’d really like to experience it, you may have acquired some unhelpful core beliefs.

Core beliefs are the deeply held beliefs that influence how we interpret our experiences. They are the lens through which we view life. They will also determine how we behave. An example: A person with a core belief of ‘I’m not good enough’ versus a person with a belief of ‘I am good enough’. You meet a new person and think of asking them to go out for a cuppa. If you are viewing life through the ‘I’m not good enough’ lens, you will probably think ‘ Sure why would they even consider going out with  someone like me, they’d probably prefer someone better looking, more educated etc…’ the resulting behaviour is that you won’t ask the person out, and you’ll continue to feel not good enough. A person looking through the lens of ‘I am good enough’ will have thoughts like ‘Sure it might be fun, what have I got to lose, and if they say no that’s ok, it’s better to be in the company of people who really want to be with me anyway…’ the resulting behaviour is that they will ask the person for a cuppa, and feel good regardless of the outcome.

If you want to change some core beliefs here are a few suggestions.

Keep a thought diary.

A belief is just a thought we keep thinking repeatedly. We form a subconscious agreement in our minds, and this in turn affects our thoughts, our behaviours, and in turn becomes a habit, which affects the decisions and actions we take or don’t take.

Look for the emotion involved, and look for the underlying fear beneath it.

What are you afraid of? This can include the fear of been held accountable if you change, and the thought of being less accountable if you don’t change.

Notice and become aware of where you may be trying to control or influence another person’s behaviour also, as we can only really have control and influence over ourselves.

Become aware of your thoughts that are upsetting you and choose the most dominant one.

On a piece of paper, ask yourself, ‘If this thought were true, what would it mean?

Draw an arrow down to your answer,

Ask ‘Well what’s bad about that’?

Draw an arrow down to your answer,

Ask ‘Well what does that say about me’?

Draw an arrow down to your answer,

Ask ‘Is this true all of the time’?

Draw an arrow down to your answer,

Ask ‘What experiences do I have that show that this belief is not completely true all the time?

Draw an arrow down to your answer,

Ask ‘What would be an appropriate, balanced and helpful core belief?

Look for evidence that things may be different from your upsetting core belief.

If you practice challenging your thoughts regularly, you will change your beliefs.

Part 14 – Overcoming Fear

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 11

March 2, 2015

The Happiness Ratio

smiley

‘At any moment, you have a choice that leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it. Letting go, gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness, if in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions, we cannot be free’ – Thich Nhat Hanh

There have been many researchers claiming to have found a mathematical formula for finding happiness. Some said the ratio was three positives to every one negative, and others claimed that the ratio was five positives to a negative in order to be happy and flourish. But how can anyone really measure such a thing? We are all responding to things in our own unique way, based on our individual experiences.

Personally I found in times of crises, when I was feeling low and overwhelmed, it was very difficult to find any positives. When we’re feeling low, we have a distorted perception of things, everything seems to be going wrong, and knowing about the ratio doesn’t necessarily help to make it any better.

However as I practiced becoming aware of my thoughts (part 1) and by developing my emotional intelligence (part 9) I discovered that I could change my perception. That as I changed my thoughts about things, the things I thought about changed, in a way. I saw that a situation was just a situation, I could think about it in many ways, which could affect how I felt about it. I could be either miserable or happy.

I found that by cultivating an attitude of gratitude in everything, that I was able to tip the balance. I was able to become happy regardless of what happened. Suddenly my awareness was focused on all that was going right in my life, even though it could easily have seemed like a shambles. I would shift my focus again and again each time. I would just keep asking myself, ‘Tell me one thing that’s going right… great now another… now another’ Then my mind would focus on all that was missing, that it thought I needed to be happy. So I would shift my focus to all that I did have, even though at times it wasn’t much. I’ve been lucky enough to always have clothes to wear, to have a roof over my head, some money, no matter how meagre and some food to eat. So by viewing it from that perspective, I was luckier than some. I could be grateful about that.

And like the quote at the start of the article says, we have a choice in any moment to move closer to our spirit or away from it. Your spirit sees life as an adventure with different opportunities to learn and grow from your experiences.

It is our attachment through our thoughts about things that keeps us from finding happiness. You can find happiness right now, this moment if you wish, by just enveloping yourself in gratitude for all that you do have right now, it turns everything into more than enough. And yes the personality will always want something more, will always want things to be different right now, but you get to choose what you want to put your focus on, and if those things make you feel good, you will have found your happiness ratio.

Part 12  Being Proactive

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


Climbing Out of the Abyss- Part 10

February 4, 2015

Entrainment

 Entrainment

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” ― Nikola Tesla

Have you ever met someone or been in a situation where you felt really good and energised, or felt drained or out of sorts afterwards?

Your body has a natural mechanism that synchs you with strong external rhythms. There is a Universal law of Harmony for the purpose of conserving energy. In physics, it has been observed that there is less energy used where two objects are entrained with each other. Any two vibrating bodies will entrain their energy, if exposed to each other for long enough.

Some examples of this: Pendulum clocks, even if the pendulums are swung in different directions or speed initially, they will eventually fall into sync with each other. Women in close proximity, ie Nuns or very close friends etc will entrain their menstrual cycles, so that they happen at the same time.

A person who has a higher vibration will cause others energy to rise and entrain in sync with theirs, enabling them to feel better. It’s important to become aware of your energy vibration, because if it’s lower, people will feel worse leaving you, as they may entrain to your energy. Or if you’re not aware of your energy, you can entrain to their lower energy and feel drained. Some people entrain with every person they meet, and they can end up taking on a lot of energy that isn’t theirs, which can lead to weight gain, addictions, health problems and emotional imbalances. Most of us aren’t in sync with each other and this can be draining. People will entrain to the most dominant energy.

How do you know what vibration you are? Are you ill, depressed, unhappy, stressed, have lots of conflicts, eating poorly? You have a low vibration. When you are well, relaxed, calm, eating nutritious foods and thinking positive you have a higher vibration.

We also entrain with our expectations, thoughts are energy too. Have you ever visited family or old friends and ended up acting the way you used to act, or saying things that aren’t the kind of things you’d say nowadays? They seem to bring out the worst / best in you, or the old you? Well you’ve unconsciously entrained to their expectations of you, we show them, what they continually expect of us.

This works with children too. Nobody can rise to low expectations! Everyone has the ability to show us either their good or their bad side. We can’t control the behaviour or change others, we can only control and change our thoughts and behaviours, that’s really important. But we can influence and inspire them energetically, to show us their better side a bit more, by thinking about the side of them we like the most.

If you are having a conflict, by matching (entraining) your breath to theirs, you will increase your understanding of each other. Or by choosing to be aware (mindfulness part 6) you can decide to not entrain with them, keeping your energy vibration higher will be less draining for you. If you slow your breathing down and stay calm (managing stress & anxiety part 8) if you have a long enough time with them, their energy will entrain with yours instead.

Part 11 The Happiness Ratio

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 9

January 5, 2015

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence

‘Nobody can hurt you without your permission’

– Mahatma Gandhi quote

 

I’m going to add to this quote and say, that nobody nor any situation can hurt you without your permission. It is only your thoughts about things that can do that. Change the way you think about it and you’ll change the way you feel. This is something I learned as I developed emotional intelligence.

So what is Emotional Intelligence and how can it help us? It is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our emotions in a positive way, which can affect our behaviour and our interactions with ourselves and others. We can learn how to bring our emotions into a state of balance, so that we’re not being tossed back and forth in a sea of uncertainty.

Developing our emotional intelligence can help us to communicate more effectively, become more emphatic, find positive ways to cope, overcome challenges, relieve stress, create healthier relationships, and minimize conflicts, which can lead to a more fulfilling life.

Becoming aware of our emotions, in each moment, can help us to remain calm and focused in unsettling situations and can help us to see how they influence our thoughts and actions.

Most of us are on auto pilot, reacting to present situations, based on experiences we had in the past (see Mindfulness Part 6) if we centre ourselves with our breath, (see Managing Stress & Anxiety Part 8) we can come into the present moment and ask ourselves if this is the appropriate reaction right now, or are we just replaying a script we have been using all our lives.

Say for example you send a text message, and the person doesn’t reply. You might think they are ignoring you. By the end of the day if they don’t get in touch, you might not be in the best of moods. This could end up in a conflict. You’ve allowed an unanswered text to affect your mood and possibly hurt you.

From an emotional intelligence perspective, you notice that the text hasn’t been answered and you consider what might be the reason, a) maybe they are too busy right now, and don’t have enough time to text properly, b) maybe they don’t have credit, c) maybe they are upset with you, but just need some space to think etc…You breathe slowly and ask yourself why you feel ignored, you consider all the options and wait until you hear from them before jumping to conclusions. You distract yourself with something else.

  • Calm down, take time out regularly to breathe slowly and practice observing how you feel in each situation, so that you can respond in a conscious manner based on this moment rather than your experience from the past.
  • Learn to trust your emotions and how you feel, be true to yourself, and you’ll suffer less.
  • Notice your behaviour at different times, and take full responsibility for how you choose to feel and respond, no one can make you angry, that’s a choice you make.
  • Be proactive instead of reactive. Try and see a few different possible perspectives to any situation.
  • Ask questions: What is important now? What am I learning from this? Do I need to set healthier boundaries? Are my needs being met? What are the consequences if I say or do this?

Part 10 Entrainment

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 8

December 21, 2014

Managing Stress & Anxiety

Breathe

‘Stress, is when you wake up screaming, and you realize that you haven’t fallen asleep yet’- Unknown Quote

 

When something happens, or we recall something, that we don’t like, we create resistance in our body and mind to it. Stress and anxiety are actually our reaction to events. Our body perceives it as a threat. This triggers a stress response in the body called ‘Fight or Flight’. Oxygen gets transferred from the brain and goes into the heart and lungs, to help supply more blood to the muscles in our arms and legs so that we may flee if necessary. Adrenalin and cortisol gets pumped in excessive quantities to help improve muscle function to help us fight. But, if we’re not in a fight or flight scenario, what happens? We feel sick, our breathing becomes shallower; our heart rate speeds up, we can’t think straight, we may get weakness in the legs, nausea, stomach upsets, some people think they are going to die on the spot, they may develop a panic attack, develop anxiety, get angina pains, palpitations etc.

If you are constantly stressed, the cortisol and adrenalin are still being pumped into your body in excess, these are natural and necessary substances that the body produces but they become harmful over a period of time. They weaken our immune system and wreak havoc with all the cells and organs in the body. Your cells are either in a position of growth or protection. When the stress response activates, the cells go into protection, they close off to all stimuli. This is where illness gets a hold.

I’ve personally found the following to be very helpful, I rid myself of anxiety, I’ve eliminated the symptoms of a stress related illness, reduced the incidence of angina pains, lowered blood pressure etc etc.

 

  • Anxiety Breathing Technique

 

Practice this every day, first thing in morning and last thing at night, and more often if you can. Make it a habit so you can use it easily if in dire need.

Initially close your eyes, but as you get good at this you will be able to do this with eyes open. Slowly breathe in, imagine that you are breathing in from the tips of your fingers all the way up your arms to your head and chest, as you practice you will be able to take longer breaths in. Then slowly exhale, imagine that you are pushing the breath out down through your legs, feet and out your toes, and that you are surrounding yourself with a feeling of calmness. Do it a few times until you feel calm. Say to yourself, ‘I am calm, I can handle this’. This signals your brain to keep the oxygen where it is needed, helping you to think straight, to concentrate more, make better decisions etc. it stops the fight or flight reaction from triggering, and over time it improves your immune system and your health. You can use this technique for anyone having a panic attack also.

  • Rest and nurture yourself

 

Look after yourself or your body will make you pay attention and you’ll have to find the time to be ill!

  • Re read some of the previous parts, Thoughts (part 1) Positive Mind Movies (part 2) Self Talk (part 5) Mindfulness (part 7)

Part 9 Emotional Intelligence

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 7

November 18, 2014

Self Esteem

Self Esteem

“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.” 
― 
Laurie Halse Anderson – Quote

 

I love that quote with the line ‘A mirror that doesn’t matter anymore’. It kind of sums up the result of building your self – esteem. I spent 44 years living with low self- esteem, where the mirror mattered and I really didn’t like what I saw there.

The term ‘Self-Esteem’ refers to a person’s general emotional evaluation of their own worth. It is an attitude and a judgment towards the self, it is all about the stories we create about ourselves.

We’re not born with low self-esteem, but we soon become trapped in a triangle of disempowerment. We begin to identify with the roles of either Victim, Perpetrator (forcing issues) or Noble Rescuer (saving people) or else we’re looking for someone to save us. Have a look at your life right now, which role are you playing? I’ve played all these roles over the years, and the problem is, we begin to identify with them. When I was a victim, life was unfair, it was out of my control, when I was a Perpetrator I found I couldn’t actually control everything, and when I was a Noble Rescuer, I found that if people really wanted to be saved they would do it themselves. I was also looking for a Noble Rescuer, to solve all my problems. I found this disempowering. The only person we can control is ourselves. The only person who can save us is ourselves, we are our own magic wand!

We also become identified with roles of being a parent, or our job, our status, our possessions, our illness etc etc. Problem is, what happens when your children grow up? Or you lose your job or possessions? Does your sense of worth go too? Yes! Who are you without these things? Most of us tie up our self -worth in external things, and this affects our self-esteem, because nothing is permanent.

To maintain low self-esteem, you will have to continue to identify your worth with these types of things, and you will have to constantly judge yourself on this performance. You will need to be critical and have negative self-talk. Knowing this, how do we turn it around and begin to build our self-esteem and tackle the enemy within?

  • Become aware of your thoughts (part 1) and choose alternative ones that make you feel good.
  • Develop positive self-talk (part 5) if you catch yourself putting yourself down, focus on what you are good at.
  • Write down the roles you’ve identified with, awareness is the first step towards changing something.
  • Accept responsibility for the part you play, no more blaming, it gives our power away.
  • Stop judging yourself, you’re doing the best you can with what you know right now, and when you know better, you’ll do better.
  • Don’t tie up your worth in external things. Find out who you really are without these things.
  • Find things to like about yourself, and practice doing things that you enjoy.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.
  • Be patient with yourself, this takes time. Start creating a new story for yourself, this will build your self-esteem!

 

Part 8 Managing Stress & Anxiety

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


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