No Real Stress ? – Let’s Create Some !

..Do we look to create stress and do we secretly see this as a comfort ? …. 

Last week I was speaking at an evening event for a business organisation – the topic was Reconnection and Mindfulness in life and work. We got involved in the discussion on stress and how this is produced both physically and psychologically and of course spoke of work stresses .. it was a financial institution so end of tax year was a real trigger and avoiding fines by completion to deadlines .. and so on …. and it got me really thinking ..

Thinking about stress , the way we use the word to describe almost everything that pushes us slightly out of our comfort zone and the fact that stress is totally a concept we in our modern , safe world have designed.. that for many stress is only relevant to their world and in the greater scheme of things no real harm is done … and yet we remained fixated on stress.

If you think about individuals living in much more difficult circumstances , fighting for survival , hunting for food , living in war-torn cities , living with chronic or terminal illness  .. we would hand on heart say yes that is stress and actually you didn’t choose it – you didn’t look for it – it came upon you and you needed to work through it.

But interestingly for those individuals who are not living in these conditions it appears that a large proportion of humans still actively seek to bring stress in to their world.

For clients there is the point in which stress comes upon them due to past events which did cause stress and having not processed these, emotions crop up at totally -unrelated  times – causing feelings of stress about the stress or anxiety – help to move forward is needed here.

For some it’s a career choice where again there is life and death situations to handle – individuals will have a clear view of why they choose to do this – to help others and potentially to alleviate stress for others whilst taking on stress for themselves .

Then there’s the next stage where we really don’t have any life or death situations but we still feel stressed and look to create it – I do this all the time – I am a procrastinator , a last-minute dot-com girl – proud of the fact I never miss a deadline but, take everything up to wire .. and provide myself with a whole load of stress which can often keep me awake at night … why do we do this? .. why not plan ahead? .. what is it that pushes me to do this almost every time  .. could it be, we are in fact, addicted to stress and have a need and desire for this which we believe allows us to function?

We know that in stress we produce different chemicals in our brain .. adrenalin is a key factor in this .. the waves of adrenalin mixed with excitement or fear can give us an edge , produce focus, allow us to push through barriers … we know that part of our brain is totally focused on keeping us safe – pointing our hidden dangers and ensuring we are in survival mode …. and yet for many of us again this part of the brain is not really needed on a regular basis. Our world is comfort led  – the proverbial saber tooth tiger is no longer lurking behind a rock.

We see people talking of giving up the stressful life and looking for ways to drop out and live a mindful and peaceful life .. and yet this can cause them to be stressed – the ability to slow down an uncomfortable position in itself.  .. and of course we get competitive about stress. Conversations about who is run ragged during their day , who works the longest , whose children are the most to handle and have the most clubs and biggest social life..and finally there is this world the digital world – a world in which we share our happiest times .. and develop comparitonitus so we can be stressed at how well everyone else is doing.

I am coming to the conclusion that stress is something we subconsciously seek , that if we were to be given a stress free world we would create concepts and deadlines and rules against which we could measure our stress – almost as if being stressed has become a comfort , a norm that we strive to hold onto …. the question is can we truly as humans alleviate stress from our lives .. and the bigger question is .. do we even want to ?

Why not come over to the Bemoore Face Book Group – Reconnection and join in the conversation and find support ?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bemoorefindyourroar/

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaihh8g2BXqUD_H9jQ-OA_w?view_as=subscriber

If you need support for stress , anxiety , OCD , Depression or general well-being and confidence drop me a note at amoore@bemooretherapy.co.uk.

For more information on programmes and support available visit http://www.bemoore .uk

 

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Confidence – it’s an inside job !

But a little external oomph does no harm !

It’s true that confidence is from the inside. You feel confident and feel is the key word .. the feeling you get when you just know you …

Through therapy we work with clients to get them to not just think differently ( which can be exhausting to keep up) but to feel differently and confidence is part of that and when you get it ..it can be transformational!

We talk about not relying on external factors – because then you are not truly able to be as you wish to be – you look to get validation from others, from situations , from the weather even…and it becomes ingrained that when the external factors are not in your favour – the confidence or feel good factor also goes out the window.

But this week 2 things have come to mind .. with clients it’s about how to get started on that journey , because this is also the thing . If you don’t feel confident , then you need to make a start , you need to have something to build on , and feeling confident that you can be confident is a tricky situation to be in.

It’s alright for us therapists to say – ‘of course you can do it , of course you can wear it , of course you can say it .. just try – go one ! ‘.. but the fact is there is self-doubt there and encouragement is good but might not be the key that starts the engine… because you have to believe it to be true.

And then there is the fact that once you feel confident it doesn’t mean to you always do feel that .. it’s normal for everyone as I have written about before to have that crisis of confidence and want to give yourself and your self-esteem a boost – or a kick up the bum.

So this is a time when actually turning to something external could be just what you need.

Here’s a few idea ..

  1. Create a great playlist and play it loud and sing and dance to raise you up!
  2. Write out 3 affirmations of how you would like to be feeling – I Am Amazing / Fabulous / Awesome / Confident – say them out loud and really listen to your voice.
  3. Find one item of clothing or one outfit that you love and loves you back – put it on for that added boost.
  4. Work with a trusted friend confidante to create a list of things about yourself you like – or they like even and make it visible to you on a daily basis.
  5. Start to document your positives and start to write down all the good things which happen .. and if that’s hard then start with simply writing down non negatives.
  6. Do some exercise or at least go outside – if its sunny stand and feel the sun or your face and if it’s raining – dance in the rain ( you can do this in your back garden)

For me there are 4 things I know I have in my tool kit  ..

Firstly get up  , yoga and get dressed .. if I stay in my PJ’s I find my mood doesn’t lift so well.

Put my face on .. yep – putting on my make up and big hair creates a feel good moment for me.

Great heels – shallow I know again but when I need to lift myself a great heel does this literally for me.

The key is create your tool kit – to use it to get started or bolster you up .. but not to rely on it. Keep working on that inner confidence and your self-esteem but know that sometimes it’s OK to get some help.

Check out http://www.bemoore.uk/events for the latest workshops designed to enable you to embrace your true fabulousness. #findyourroar .

Why not come over to the Bemoore Face Book Group – Reconnection and join in the conversation and find support ?
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bemoorefindyourroar/
If you need help with OCD or Self Harm Behaviours drop me a note at amoore@bemooretherapy.co.uk.
And subscribe to my YouTube Channel to get loads of advice on how to Reconnect in Your Life and hear real life Reconnection stories. – ‘The Reconnection Space.’
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaihh8g2BXqUD_H9jQ-OA_w?view_as=subscriber
Coming soon – dedicated webpage to OCD/Self Harm Support and Online coaching course to introduce you to my Reconnection Programme.

 

 

Is Positivity Over- Rated ?

Or .. ‘actually I just don’t like it and I just don’t want to !’

I had a discussion very recently with a client and it got me thinking .. as a therapist I spend a lot of time talking to people about embracing what they like about themselves. Making lists of good qualities, skills and attributes and thinking about leaning into the negative emotions – exploring them and facing their fear!

But I wondering if there is a slightly different message to be had. Positive Psychology is everywhere now and I am a big fan of course. .. but I feel it can often be mis- interpreted. That individuals can feel even more pressure to just think positive and all will be well. To like everything about themselves and to not question anything – to embrace the whole person and not want to change anything .. in addition to tackling all the things they feel anxious about.

And I realised that it made me feel quite exhausted just thinking about it ..

And it made me think that this is not actually the message we are trying to give.

I know as a human being , as a woman – there are things about myself I would like to change slightly. The mum tum I have gained following 4 children spanning 20 years and some surgery is one of them. The fact that I have held onto being a size 12 for most of this time but now as I approach 45 the jeans are starting to feel a tad tight.

On an emotional side the way I am struggling with focus at the moment and the pressure I feel to be happy all the time when actually I am noticing my patience is wearing a little thin at times and I am prone to outbursts of crying – especially in the car and especially to anything Celine Dion or Evanesance based ( but that also creates a feeling of anger  to be honest ).

So here’s the thing – you want to be able to like yourself – that is a given – you should not dislike yourself as a whole – but yes it is OK to have things about you to want to change. Sometimes the change will actually be beneficial like starting a healthier lifestyle or taking into account those emotional outbursts may not be appropriate in all situations …..

Perhaps you are holding onto unhealthy habits emotionally or within relationships or you see behaviours which are not in line with who you would like to be.

Simply suppressing them and thinking positive thoughts is not going to cut it if I’m honest – reflection is needed and you need to be brave and say that sometimes change is needed.

.. and btw perhaps you have been anxious or putting off a task – rather than putting pressure on yourself to just get on with it – why not question your motives? I had a client who didn’t like being in crowded shops especially supermarkets .. she felt a lot of pressure to change this – but actually when we explored it – she didn’t want to do this task anyway ! .. so rather than simply steam ahead why not check in and see if you actually would really enjoy it – because it s totally OK to say – to be honest I don’t even like it !

I guess what I am trying to say ( and apologies as this has been quite testing to put into words) is that it’s OK to not be OK , it’s OK to not be positive about the whole you , it’s OK to want to make some changes and it’s OK to say no to things …. the bottom line is all about choice . As along as you know it’s your choice and it’s because you want to and you understand the implications of both sides – and you are not doing it because of negative beliefs or comparatonitus to others or because you think you should …. then thats just fine with me !

… just so we are clear – I don’t want to run a marathon … the thought makes me anxious but aside from that I can’t think of anything worse than running for 26 miles so I am not going to …. and I am happy that my mum tum was a result of my children but also happy to admit that part of it is caused by a love of Prosescco and Italian food and rather than simply accept it I do need to make some changes if these size 12’s are going to stay in place much longer ! .

Why not come over to the Bemoore Face Book Group – Reconnection and join in the conversation and find support ?
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bemoorefindyourroar/
If you need help with OCD or Self Harm Behaviours drop me a note at amoore@bemooretherapy.co.uk.

And subscribe to my YouTube Channel to get loads of advice on how to Reconnect in Your Life and hear real life Reconnection stories. – ‘The Reconnection Space.’

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaihh8g2BXqUD_H9jQ-OA_w?view_as=subscriber

Coming soon – dedicated webpage to OCD/Self Harm Support and Online coaching course to introduce you to my Reconnection Programme.