Stress is practically unavoidable, isn’t it? How damaging stress really is, most people are not aware of it. And many of those who are aware of it are rather at a loss of what to do about it. When we google STRESS, there are 234.000 thousand websites that offer some commentary on the topic of STRESS. Given that it is becoming more and more of an epidemic, these commentaries and advises don’t seem to make much of a dent in the problems stress is causing people. So what are we doing wrong?
- First of all, most people mistake the cause of stress. That is a big problem, because if you think your cause for being hungry is the lack of exercise and you subsequently exercise more, you are barking up a very very wrong tree.
- Secondly: most people use tools, skills, and techniques that – for a fleeting moment or two – relieve a person’s stress but do not address the cause of it. That’s like providing a sinking rowboat with a bigger bucket … no no no, you have to fix the leak!
If STRESS is something that plagues you, you might want to start learning about the origins of stress and what it does to your body. Most people don’t take stress serious enough. IT IS A KILLER and it pays to ACT NOW! Watch the U-Tube clip and when finished, make contact with me or another health professional you trust! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYG0ZuTv5rs
Over the last 20 years positive psychology and positive thinkers have suggested that by simply following a number of steps ‘Happiness’ is in our grasp. Who would not like the idea? But wait a minute …. if there were only 3, 5, or 7 steps to Happiness, would people not have achieved it by now? People are not stupid – at least not the majority. So what is wrong with the picture?
Happiness is not a commodity, a trade-able good that can be acquired by following a prescribed formula – like how to start your car’s engine. (more…)
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” This quote from Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change) describes succinctly the problem most people have when communicating. Most courses and trainings refer to ‘active listening’ as a desirable practice, yet it teaches people to listen to the words, the content, and then repeat it back to the speaker.
In contrast, deep listening as I understand it is listening for the meaning behind the words, is listening for the feeling that the words are pointing it. In a way, it is listening with a sense or curiosity WITHOUT checking with our own mind whether it makes sense to us, we can relate to it, whether it is stupid/reckless/naive to name just a few examples. If we would listen that way (checking with our own mind) we would only listen to our own thoughts about something and not to the other person. (more…)
The Auckland Three Principles Meet-up Group (check out here their website) is a place to learn about and deepen your understanding of the Three Principles as formulated by Sydney Banks and practiced today in many countries by a growing number of facilitators / coaches / counsellors in a wide number of contexts: business, personal growth, prisons, schools, families, sport, and high performance activities.
We had an interesting meeting last Friday during which we explored how people sustain their well-being. I would like to share one topic that comes up really frequently and … hence again last night as well: Why it is not useful to look back! It is easy to say “don’t look back – you are not going that way”, but people seem to get caught in trying to understand the thoughts that caused their distressing feelings. (more…)
This morning I came across an article called “How energy vampires drain your spirit and soul” suggesting that negative, demanding, inconsiderate, and un-boundaried people drain your energy, leaving you exhausted and depleted. To protect yourself from such drain it is suggested that you limit contact, set boundaries – indeed the author came up with 11 ways to do so. The only thing missing was garlic.
Of course, like all vampire stories, the idea that a person can drain your energy isn’t true either – even though there may be a lot of people who believe that other people, circumstances or events can ‘DO’ something to you. However, human beings are just not built like that. Sorry! We don’t come with power sockets or USB ports that other people can – without our consent – plug into and upload or download files, feelings, thoughts, or for that matter energy. (Actually, in ‘the land of psychiatry’ the notion that someone can make you do things or gives you thoughts or feelings, is an indication of psychosis). Let me show you what I mean:
When I talk about stress I mean all these feelings that come as ‘entourage’ of thoughts of worry, fear, anxiety, and all forms of obsessive thinking. Most people, when they think about it, see that their feelings are directly connected to their thoughts – thoughts about circumstances and events people consider worthy of feelings of worry, fear, or anxiety.
The next question I often hear is “How can I stop them?” quickly followed by some ideas how to think positively, to go for a run, meditate, do DBT or EFT, mindfulness, or some other interventions depending on what ideas people are leaning towards. The idea is – and it is a reasonably good one – to change the problematic thought. Think positive, reframe, meditate, or go for a run, to name just a few. However, as most people know, today’s problem is quickly replaced by tomorrow’s dilemma … and so on, and so on …! (more…)
This morning I heard in the NEWS a comment made by Keven Mealamu, the captain of the Blues, that he lost his confidence because of the poor start of the Rugby season with the Blues ending up in the bottom of the score board.
I find it fascinating how widespread the myth is that outside circumstances can influence what happens inside of a person’s mind. How terrifying it must be to think like that and find yourself at the mercy of people and circumstances no one can control. But it’s a mirage, it’s not true! (more…)