Second That Emotion

All of us (though some are exempt from this) have been or still are hostage to our emotions, with many people not even being aware of how they feel from one moment to the other.

However being aware of how you are feeling and the thoughts you have – can help you gain some control over wayward emotions such as anger, angst, sadness or anxiety. Basically the more ‘self aware’ you become the more able you are to control your emotions.

Being self aware simply means being aware of our thoughts and feelings which in turn gives us the opportunity to be ‘aware’ of them without becoming emotionally attached to them and when we become the ‘observer’ of our emotions we can choose whether we wish to change how we feel or wallow in our emotions.

For example, how many of us have been cut up on the road at some point by what would appear to be a ‘thoughtless’ driver? Most of us no doubt! But self awareness allows us to see that our angry response to this incident is ours – maybe our outburst (expletives!) are called for but maybe they weren’t – maybe the guy just didn’t see you?

So yes we got angry – but being aware that you are angry in the first place is great but being aware that our response to this incident is also our choice – means we gain control over how we feel – or for how long we feel these emotions, because lets face it – feeling bad sucks!

Self awareness allows us to remain calm in stressful situations, helps us to chose a more beneficial or positive state of mind and as a result we feel more balanced and positive. We become the ‘observer’ of our emotions – ‘I am feeling angry/sad/overwhelmed etc – which enables us to distance ourselves from those negative emotions and then gives us leverage to change them into a more positive one, if we want to! So if we find ourselves in a bad mood we can get ourselves out of it more quickly than other people who are less aware of their emotions.

On the flip side there are people who loose themselves in their emotions – drowning in their emotions or wallowing in their sorrows or worries. These people are immersed in their emotions and are unable to ‘see’ them clearly and as a result become overwhelmed by the emotions they experience. They have little perspective on the emotions they feel as and a result have little control over their emotional life and live at the mercy of their own emotions feeling they can do nothing to improve their situation.

And then we have those people who are aware of how they feel but do nothing to change them. Some people believe that they should experience all emotions as they arise as this is natural – but then there is a fine line here between wallowing in these emotions or really ‘feeling’ them and moving on.

And of course there are those who know they feel depressed, or sad, or angry but chose to stay with these emotions and they are ‘who I am’.

Your emotions are not who you are – they ‘tell’ us how we should feel based on past, present and future experiences however they are not always appropriate or the best option. You always have a choice – to feel bad or feel good. Simple.

Yes it’s necessary to feel bad sometimes – they make the good times good – and it’s better ‘out than in’ we are told (and I’m not talking about wind here!) – if we feel upset, angry, worried – deal with the cause of these feelings and move on – it’s a far healthier option than denying our emotions or believing you are a slave to them – you are not!

We all have times when we feel low – and that’s okay – but if these feelings drag on then perhaps you need to ask yourself if these emotions are serving you at this moment in time. Do they make you feel good – probably not – so do something about it.

Make a commitment to yourself to be more self aware – and once you start to notice your emotions – you can then go on to question whether they are appropriate (not all emotions we feel are – they can be a learned response) and if not – change them and move on.

You have a choice in life – to live a more fulfilling and happier life – or to chose to be a victim to your emotions. We all feel them – good or bad – but it’s how we ‘experience’ them and ‘deal’ with them that determines our lives. So chose well!

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Confident Children And Imagination

My son was a very anxious boy this morning. He is playing in the school team this evening in a deciding match for the league title and he is scared!

As a mum it’s all to easy to say ‘don’t be ridiculous, you’re a great player’ and leave it at that, but if your child is really worried about something or lacking confidence then surely there is a better way to help them that just offering reassurance?

Well thankfully there is! Confidence is based on perception i.e. your child’s own idea of whether they feel they can do something well or not and like us all, confidence can be diminished through ‘bad’ experiences. And when I say ‘bad’ the experiences themselves may not necessarily be bad but the meanings we take from them may be.

So your son is anxious about a match or your daughter feels scared about doing her Show and Tell – how can you help them?

Two ways really and both very simple and incredibly powerful.

The first one is to get them to ‘rehearse’ what they are going to do in their mind and talk them through it with as much positivity as possible. Make them feel incredible and make sure that every detail is positive and that the outcome is a success.

Not only will this boost their confidence as you are doing the exercise but it also programs their mind to do what they have been ‘rehearsing’ too! So when they stand up in front of the class or get in front of that goal, their mind goes ‘ah right, I know what I need to know now’ and more often than not, they will get the results the practiced.

However be realistic. Don’ set them up for failure! You son will probably not score 10 goals even if he is up front and not in defence! The idea is to get them to focus on the skills needed to get the results they want and to program their minds for success and remember what the mind can see you will achieve – so if your child focuses on failure (which is probable if they are worried) they are more likely to fail. So get them to always focus on what they want from this moment on (and you too!)

To help them feel more positive towards doing this and the following exercise, mention how all the top sports personalities carry out this exercise and how it improves their game/race etc.

Another great way of boosting your kids confidence (which can be incorporated with the exercise above too) is know as the confidence switch. This is quite simply setting up a physical anchor which when ‘fired’ produces feelings of well being and confidence in your child. 

So how do you literally turn on a confidence switch? Well the first thing you need to do is decide what the switch will be (a good place is a knuckle on one hand, the back of the hand or even their nose) and ensure you keep this ‘switch’ and that the pressure used is the same too i.e. press the same place all the time and with enough pressure to register the touch but not too much that it’s obvious. Also once this is set up the switch needs to be something that you child themselves can access themselves if and when they need it. So discretion might be key.

Once you have decided where the ‘switch’ will be then you need to set it. So get your child to remember a time when they felt really great, perhaps when they scored a goal previously or when they were doing something they loved doing such as dancing, singing or simply a time when they felt really great – perhaps playing with friends or on the rollercoaster! 

Get them to close their eyes if they want to (it’s ok if they don’t want to) and get them (with a little help from you) to talk through the positive experience as if they were actually reliving it again. Ask them what they see, what they hear and ask them to really focus on how great they were feeling and as you know yourself, when you focus on happy memories those old feelings flood back don’t they? 

So when you see that your child has associated into those feel good feelings (it will be very obvious with a child when they are!) simply touch their ‘switch’ for roughly 10 seconds. Then stop.

Get them to go through the memory again maybe this time bring in more details or try another memory. Again get your child to really focus on all that they remember and when you see them accessing those happy feel good feelings again, anchor them by touching their knuckle again.

Do this a couple of times at any one go – don’t overdo it as your child will get fed up! Do it again with them the next day or the next to ensure that their confidence switch becomes more powerful.

However one of the best things about the confidence switch is that your child doesn’t even have to know what you are doing! You can get them to focus on happy memories whilst you anchor these feelings by touching their hand (in the same place and the same hand!)/knuckle/nose in such a way that they are unaware of what you are doing. 

Also every time they are feeling happy, confident or at ease with themselves you can simply top us this switch by touching their knuckle for a few seconds. 

You need to go this exercise around 4 – 8 times and then try out the switch. Get you child to focus and then flip the switch and ask (and watch out for signs) them what they noticed? Keep topping up this confidence switch – whenever you child is doing something they are enjoying, when they tell you about a fab goal they scored at school or how they did this incredible dance move – just switch that switch. The more you do this the better the result.

They will be delighted with their new weapon of  mass construction! So give this a go – it’s easy to do and will make your child feel so much more confident and in control. Furthermore, the more they use this switch the more likely the behaviour is to become a natural part of who they are. 

I will keep you posted on the result tonight!

Take care and speak soon!!!

It’s Time For BED

Belief, Expectation and Desire are the three most important ingredients to personal change and each one plays a valuable role in your future outcomes.

Belief is one of the most powerful tools available to any human being today, whether that be you, a doctor, a cancer patient, someone wanting to lose weight or an individual who wants to kick the drink habit. Belief has been well documented in it’s amazing powers of healing, it’s also helped top athletes reach for the skies and it can help you to overcome obstacles in your life and be the best you can.

So what is belief? Well a belief is simply knowing that something is true and if you think about it, you either believe in something or you don’t. You either believe in God or you don’t. A belief is something that you believe 100%. Beliefs run who we are at an unconscious level and unfortunately many of us go through life with no idea that our beliefs about ourself and the world we live in dictate pretty much how we live our life.

If you were brought up being told that the world was a scary place then you are more than likely going to grow up in a scary world, avoiding certain places, people and situations whilst an individual who was taught that the world is a wonderful place is far more likely to get more out of life and explore more opportunities because they feel safer and more open to the beauty of the world they live in.

So your beliefs shape who you are and how you feel however beliefs are not rigid and can be changed (forget all that nonsense about a leopard never changing it’s spots!). Most if not all of us were brought up believing in Father Christmas and no-one could convince us he wasn’t real at some point but now? Well come on! So beliefs can be changed.

However if you want to believe in yourself more or be the employee of the month, then you need to know that there is a possibility that you could succeed, because if there is no chance of changing or getting that award, then why bother trying in the first place? So Expectation is also crucial to success. Believing that you can succeed is one thing but expecting to win is another. Why?

Well if you know that you are a valuable member of the team at work and constantly hit your personal targets then you probably will expect to win employee of the month at some point wouldn’t you? And expecting to win is great because that will motivate you to succeed right? However expectation can also create problems if unrealistic targets are set.

If you believe that weight loss hypnosis will work for you (belief) and you expect to reach your ideal weight then you probably will, however if you expect to lose 3kg in one week then you may be in for a downfall. Expectation is certainly a motivating factor in achieving results but set them too high or be too unrealistic and you have a greater change of failure which could have a knock on (the Six Nations is on at the moment!) effect on your belief in your ability to succeed.

Which leaves us with desire. If you want to lose weight and you believe you can but hey, I’m quite comfortable with who I am at the moment, then there’s not much change that you will lose weight is there? Because in order to achieve you need to want it! You need to be able to almost touch it, hear it, taste and smell sweet success in order to produce that drive, that determination to succeed.

Desire is powerful and not just the physical or sexual desire either! If you want to succeed, you want to be the best in the field, then you are going to give your all in order to get there. Desire has kept many people alive in what seems to be hopeless situations, the sheer desire to see loved ones again, even when the expectation of survival is low, has a phenomenal impact on motivation and desire can overcome so many physical, psychological and emotional barriers.

So you have always wanted to be a doctor, ever since you mended your doll’s leg when you were five (desire) and you have managed to get to medical school with hard work and determination because you believed that you could do it and now you expect to be one of the the leading surgeons in the country (you can almost feel the motivation, determination and drive to succeed already cant you?) well guess what? You have more probability of succeeding than someone who has higher grades than you have but only went to medical school to please their parents and to be honest, isn’t sure if they are really good enough to become a doctor anyway!

A powerful way to increase your belief, expectation and desire is to practice regular visualization. Seeing yourself successful, visualizing yourself winning, getting a feel for how great you are going to feel is an incredibly powerful way to increase desire, build beliefs and raise expectations.

So if you want to improve, succeed, accomplish or just lose weight then remember – get to BED! Or rather build Belief, Expectation and Desire and get visualizing today.