Mental Health Week (UK)

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my concerns around the current mental health initiative is that the words are now synonymous with poor mental health. But what is a positive term?

How do you feel about the idea of ‘total mental wellbeing’? I ask because the terms we choose to think in are the terms that define our emotional state.

I think therefore I am

Never a truer word spoken, but it goes way beyond the power of your thoughts right into your subconscious mind…or body as we call it. As I learned and have said before, but it’s worth repeating. Your mind programmes your cells via neuroreceptors to have emotional reactions, and what we think of as our subconscious mind is our body reacting to a thought with an appropriate pattern. My person is thinking about something scary, send immediate-panic-attack-programme! I’m not being flippant, it’s scientific fact.

Wow that’s one powerful tool for change

The magical point of all this is that your mind can completely retrain your cells in your body, Joe Dispenza calls it programming the body to a new mind. Deliberately choosing better, healthier, happier, more powerful thoughts so that your mind can train out all the old programming. When I say all, I mean back before you were born! There is evidence that babies in the womb and newborns can have accurate memories of what was happening around them at the time. You, yes YOU, are capable of reprogramming all that and making your mind your own. Finally!

Brace yourself for good – and accurate – news

It’s not that hard! I did it via one meditation programme of Joe Dispenza’s – Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself – I also bought the book that accompanied the programme. It’s a bit weird, you have to visualise the density of space that your body takes up in space, amongst other things, and I just could not. So I gave up, just kept listening while I daydreamed, and the next thing I know my consciousness is out in space and I’m seeing amazing things and having a WOW moment that I never expected. I was literally outside my own mind, all the internal kerfuffle that is me, floating happily, feeling safe, and counting stars. I stopped at lots!

In the month he builds the length of the two programmes gradually each week, part two is Water Rising (a tad easier to imagine a room full of water), and takes you through a process of identifying what you need to change then gives you an easy how. Believe it or not, just the word ‘change’. That’s it. Finally he gets you visualising the future you want and it’s a wonderful feeling.

I dipped in and out of the programme, never really did it properly, and yet I changed completely and people who’ve known me for years are telling me that I’ve never been so calm, centred, relaxed, and peaceful. They’re right. I have normal anxiety now rather than the acute anxiety, complicated by medical anxiety, that I had for over 35 years.

No laurels here

I never sit on my laurels in life, I have an insatiable appetite for new information for one thing, I’m also looking for more and more joy! On that journey I want to share a couple of techniques that might help you.

  1. Change might not be enough to interrupt a thought at first. Here’s my crazy interruption sentence: Stop, cancel, clear, get that garbage out of here! You can write your own, make sure it’s light-hearted and makes you giggle! Secretly I sometimes think it when people around me are creating stress, not in an unkind way, just to remind my mind not to take it on board.
  2. I’ve been doing a lot of work with my mentoring groups on the heart chakra (energy centre) and how learning to tune into it connects you to your spirit/soul. From that and listening to Joe talking about the ‘unifying field’ which is another term for the ‘quantum field’, the ether, the universe. I wrote this:

I remain in my heart – my soul fills it only with love – I feel only love – I am only love – there is only love – love is the most powerful emotion – I am powerful beyond measure – I am love.

Why Lovey Stuff?

“There are only two emotions in this world, love and fear.
All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions come from fear.”
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

When I gave this some thought to this I realised that this was true, and of course anxiety manifests as a number of fears. I think we’d all agree that there’s nothing positive about any of that! We can clearly see then that if we move our minds to a positive emotion – love – we will retrain our bodies to send good emotions as often as is realistically possible. So love is pretty important don’t you think?

Gratitude Rocks

You’ve probably heard the idea of finding a really beautiful rock or crystal that will go in your pocket, and holding it and thinking about everything you love, then when you feel anxious you just hold that stone/crystal and mentally run that list of all those good things.

It’s a great idea, but that’s a tool for dealing with negativity. How do you respond to the idea that removing negativity – in this case in the form of anxiety – is altogether a better idea? I wish I’d known that was possible 35 years ago, because I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that I would have gone for eradication rather than management without a second thought.

Just a touch of realism

I used to find that when I thought of getting rid of anxiety the idea seemed impossible as there was so much bad stuff going on and so many bad things to think about – from the cold war (yes I’m that old) to illness, to my hated ‘career’, to my horrible relationship, and on and on…

The important thing to remember is that when you feel better you can deal with problems because you’ll have the energy and the clarity. Then only have fear and anxiety when any reasonable person would have it, when there are real issues: death, illness, redundancy, and so on. Apart from those times it is possible to seek joy, think joy, be joy, embrace happiness, and have fun – if you stay in the love mindset.

  • I love my life!
  • I love my family!
  • I love my pets!
  • I love my career!
  • I love my body!
  • I love my hair!
  • I love my car!
  • I love my motorbike
  • I love the many moods of the sky!
  • I love the moon!
  • I love the sun!
  • I love to hear children giggling!
  • I love kittens, puppies, and rainbows!
  • I love…I love…I love
  • I love feeling good!

Once thinking like that becomes automatic, who you are, and your body is so well-trained that when something tricky happens it will send the programme ‘needs something wonderful to think about’. Tricky is of course anything that doesn’t materially affect the process in your life:

  • Boss/partner/children in a strop
  • Dog has eaten the bath mat
  • Forgot the car MOT
  • Burnt tea (I excel at that but charcoal is good for the digestion, right?)
  • Washing machine has stopped working (Sunday’s fun)
  • Husband hasn’t cleaned the filter that he insists is his responsibility since Methuselah was a toddler!

Anything that you can deal with even if it takes some thinking about and a bit of planning.

The message is

  • Retrain that mind
  • Interrupt the unsupportive thoughts
  • Choose love and joy
  • Separate real from can take action
  • Visualise a better life
  • Stay on track
  • Kick anxiety’s butt!
  • Embrace ‘total mental wellbeing’ (don’t forget that fun helps a lot!)

If you’d like to connect, maybe have a mentoring session or join one of my groups, email me at transform@debhawken.com. Here to help.

To your happiness.

Deb xx


10 Tips to Deactive Your Anxiety

Photo by Bayu jefri on Pexels.com

I’ve just changed the main header of this blog to read “Deactivate Your Anxiety”. I’ve done it because I like to find terms in my life that remind me that I need to take affirmative action. Maybe the thought of deactivating your anxiety will help you. Actually switching it off forever; but how? Distraction.

Distract Your Mind

The ten tips I’ve chosen to offer below are to get you started on positive methods of distracting your mind. What we focus on grows stronger, and you need to get your focus off your anxiety and onto something that makes you happy. Yes, you can be happy.

Tip #1

Take up a sport or other physical exercise. It’s known that exercise raises the endorphins and it will help to improve your mood.

Tip #2

Take up a creative artform. Many writers, poets, artists, and musicians, begin from a place where there life is not working for them, especially a place of great sadness and loss. They channel their emotions into a piece of creativity, helping to explore them in a positive way.

Tip #3

Challenge yourself to learn something that takes your interest. Cookery, astrology, computing, Swahili. Anything that will require you to use the full force of your concentration. You may be thinking that you’re too anxious to concentrate, but you won’t be able to until you start retraining that mind.

Tip #4

If your anxiety is partly driven by your finances then you could take up something that will give you a second income. A craft or hobby where you can sell your products on line. A language so that you can offer translation skills. Astrology so that you can do birth charts. Floristry; car mechanics; learn plumbing or electrics. There are so many things that might help remove that particular anxiety.

Tip #5

Put beautiful music on as often as you can and listen to it, better still sing along, better still sing and dance at the same time. Even better still, music that brings back good memories of a time when you didn’t feel like this. Lift your vibe and your mind will ease.

Tip #6

Consider a martial art. If you’re afraid to go out martial arts training or self defence training will give you a real reason to feel less frightened. Martial arts will also increase your self-confidence in ways you cannot begin to imagine. Are you too old? I started age 39 and achieved my black belt aged 42. There were people in our club who started post-50. There are many martial arts, some requiring far less power than others. Tai Chi is always a good choice as you learn excellent self-defence techniques wrapped up in sets of calming movements. It’s a really useful calming mechanism.

Tip #7

Write about your anxiety, give it a name, make it a person, write their life story. As you write identify and seek to understand your triggers, and think about how you would help the hero of your book to move past their anxiety into a happier life. You can add a plot, characters, events. You can take your hero to countries and places you’ve always wanted to visit, they can experience things you’ve always wanted to experience. You can make their life turn out the way you want yours to turn out. It’s a crafty, creative way, to change your vibe and help you to work out what you want to do.

Tip #8

Think of something you enjoy and join a group. If you’re alone and/or don’t go out much, you could make it a dining group, theatre (visiting) group, even an amateur dramatic group. Maybe take a dance class, join a choir. I wouldn’t suggest fitness classes as people tend to go, run out of breath, and leave silently for the nearest shower. Something that puts you in touch with people who enjoy what you enjoy. From there the odd coffee and cake out and conversation might be a possibility. Small steps towards bigger changes.

Tip #9

If you’re able to be alone, take yourself away for a weekend somewhere you really love, the sea, a forest, mountains. Make sure there are plenty of opportunities for relaxation and reflection. Take a journal with you to capture any thoughts. Take a good book, become engrossed, see what surfaces whilst you’re not thinking about your life. It’s rare that people can sort out their problems when they’re surrounded by them, space offers clarity.

Tip #10

Change the things that upset you. Yes I know that sounds easier said than done, but ask yourself one important question: what happens if you don’t? Make a list, tackle the easiest thing on that list, then the next easiest, keep going. By the time you get to the big things you’ll be well prepared to cope.

You’re too tired and anxious?

Of course you are, that’s the problem, it’s always been the problem, always will be the problem, and it’s a real problem. As you know, I know, I suffered for 35 years in all. Anxiety drains your mind and your mind drains your body, and all you want to do is sleep, and stay safe at home. The trouble is that you don’t feel safe anywhere, or good anywhere.

Don’t focus on this. Don’t focus on having the energy. Try a few of the distraction techniques first to remind your mind that it can do other things than worry. Try to focus on those things, lose yourself in them, and in doing so you will give that mind a rest. That will release tension in the body, which in turn will release energy that you can use for healing.

To your happiness

Deb

Being Anxious

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

As if it’s something you choose?!

When I suffered from acute anxiety I was often treated as if it was a choice, a switch I could just turn off and everything would be okay. I’d be less of a pain in the butt. It surprised me that those around me didn’t realise that if there was an off switch I would have hit it faster than the speed of light, the moment I knew what anxiety felt like. But that’s the way of the world, simple answers to the problems you don’t have.

Take a walk with me

I’m 16 years old. It’s a beautiful sunny day in South London. One of those good to be alive days. I feel good. I always feel good.

I decide to go and meet my mum from work. I set out feeling great, I’m enjoying the walk, full of the joy of being alive. I take one step. Yes one step. Everything changes.

This feeling that I have no name for hits me in the stomach. I didn’t have the words to describe it, it was just awful, horrible, heavy.

That’s how anxiety and I first met. In one step. I had no idea what it was, I literally couldn’t name it. But it was going to go wasn’t it? That which you’ve never felt isn’t staying for 35 years is it? Thank God I didn’t know that’s how long I would battle this thing. I walked on.

As you read, it didn’t go. It never went. I remember good times during those 35 years but always, somewhere at the back of my mind it was there, waiting to come forward. Sometimes it was intermittent, sometimes it was bearable, sometimes I didn’t know how to drag myself out of bed and go on.

Thanks guys!

I can understand that people go fed up with me, but with the exception of a mentor who did his best, no one tried to help me. No one sat me down and asked me how I felt, why I thought I felt that way. Moreover, they saw that I had real problems in my life but no one suggested that I solved them, or offered me a weekend away to stop and think.

One person told me later that he was desperate to stick me on the back of his motorbike and take me away, the night before my first wedding, but it was too late then. It was wonderful to know that he saw and thought about it, but no way would I have had the courage to say yes.

I was ridiculed, laughed at, bullied, tutted at, told I was a nuisance, but never helped. Things are so much better nowadays, anxiety is no longer hidden as an embarrassing situation that no one can cope with, especially those who don’t have it. It’s out in the open and thank goodness for that.

The way out

I found two interim ways out. Spiritual thinking and a gluten free diet. Now, please remember that I can’t make any medical diagnoses, promises, or even suggestions, I am only telling you my story here. I decided to stop eating wheat as I was told it can be complicit in digestive issues, and a month later my anxiety dropped to normal levels.

I did not expect this, but I know other people who have said the same, so I share it just in case it will help you.

The second interim way was spiritual thinking, and although looking at life in a different way definitely helped to ease my anxiety and give me a feeling of more control, it did not cure it. It took it from unbearable to managable.

The way out part two

The next step in bringing me down to more normal levels was a visit to The Conference for Consciousness and Human Evolution (TCCHE) held in London every August Bank Holiday weekend. I’ve mentioned this before and I’m going to keep drip feeding it into the blogs as it’s vitally important.

Through that conference I discovered things about myself that I didn’t know, how I scientifically hang together as a human and how humans work. It really opened my eyes to the fact that I knew very little about myself and my programming and operating procedures.

For example, your subconscious is over 90% of your mind right? Your subconscious is programmed into the cells in your body! Yep that’s right. Your body knows how you react to certain situations and when you’re in one your cells send a message to the brain “be anxious now”, and off you go.

I obviously can’t explain this in any depth as I’m not a scientist. But if you read Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr Joe Dispenza and then buy the 2 CD meditation set of the same name, you will not only know a lot more about the recent discoveries in human biology and ‘stuff’, you will be holding a potential way out in the palm of your hand.

The meditation CDs require dedication – to yourself. You will have to sit down every day for a month alternating between the two CDs. On a bad day when you can’t concentrate listen anyway, changes will happen. On a good day you’ll be breaking through the old programming and creating a new programme for your cells. In other words, deprogramming your anxiety.

Action!

This is the key word with anxiety. People get you to talk about it, to share, to explore it, but at some point you have to tackle the causes.

If your anxiety is clinical then you do that via the medical profession, obviously some people prefer the holistic route, and I certainly took that one, but my anxiety wasn’t due to a clinical imbalance. However…

If your anxiety is not clinical then it can almost certainly be helped by making changes in your life until you’re in a good place, with good people, doing things that make you happy. This, of course, will take time and effort. You won’t need to move out of your comfort zone though…you’ll need to smash it to smithereens and cast it to the four winds.

Just when you’re exhausted by life!

Exactly, and guess how I know that? I hit rock bottom, realised that for me the only way was up and that I had to do the climbing. It seemed like a ridiculous idea, I tried, I failed, I slipped back, I started again, I got more tired, and repeat! I started in the wrong way.

The right way is meditation such as I’ve suggested. Unless anxiety is clinical or diet related, it’s the mind that is in trouble and the mind that needs care. Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, are all mind-care activities. They’re what you use when your mind is under pressure to learn to help it relax.

Will it relax at first? Will it heck-as-like, it will take that nice quiet space to remind you of everything that’s bugging you, in triplicate. You’ll need to get used to saying ‘it’s okay, I’ll get to all that later, just rest!’ Given time it will, and that’s why a guided meditation is the best idea. It only requires you to listen. If you can’t, put it on when you get into bed and allow yourself to relax and fall asleep, it will still work. Just make sure your earphones are comfortable.

Some people also find that a walk puts them into a meditative state, swimming, running, cleaning the oven (yes I know I screamed too but apparently that works for some). If what I’ve suggested doesn’t work then find out what does work for you.

If you try meditation first, heal that mind and reprogramme those cells, then start to tackle the problems in your life, you have way more chance of success. I’ll come onto a method for doing that in the next blog!

Problem Identification without Thinking

See you in the next instalment

To your happiness

Deb

Email me on transform@debhawken.com if you need help.

The Lost Generation?

My Mother

To put what’s happening now in perspective. It is frightening, worrying, it has delayed life. But…the second world war broke out when my mother was 11, and ended when she was 17. She described a time when the Doodlebug rockets were being employed against the British. You would hear the whine of an engine, and if it stopped just behind you, you knew it was coming down close to you, and you were probably dead.

From the troops fighting at the front, to the children evacuated from the cities, to the public hiding in bomb shelters, or being killed in their own homes, much of the world was under siege, much of the world was frightened, and much of it was wondering if it would ever end. For my grandparents it was the second world war of their generation.

How does this help young people today?

It helps because they were no braver than you, no more capable than you, had you been alive in those days you would have coped too. You would still have gone out and about, still have gone to school. You would have met friends, gone to parks, and probably volunteered for the armed forces when you were old enough. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

You, though, are facing a double problem. Firstly, you have something hard to deal with and face, something that’s put your life on hold, which is never easy. It may have put your family into financial crisis, your parents may be struggling to feed you, your education has been disrupted or put on hold. Many people are very concerned at the moment, and for those struggling with their mental health there is an added burden to be carried.

Your second problem, as if that weren’t sufficient, is that the media are having a field day calling you “The Lost Generation”, suggesting that your future’s have been ruined by this current situation, as if there is no way forward for you. It’s absolute, complete and utter rubbish.

Universities take mature students of all ages, at my first university 40% of the students were over 30 years old. Colleges will take you if you take another year to get where you want to be. Exam results don’t count anywhere near as much as the person you are and the resourcefulness you show, they’re just a starting point. Employers will recognise what you’ve been through, because those old enough to employ you will probably have children of their own.

The rest of your life is up to you. What you do. How you act. How willing you are to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. That’s the key thing, if one door closes will you open another? I wish someone had told me when I was young that I had that phenomenal power in my life!

A bit about the Law of Attraction

Many of you may have heard of this, it’s a belief system that says that the universe is full of abundance in all good things. That there’s enough money and success for everyone. That you can achieve all your dreams and more. That all those things are within your power.

That’s it in a nutshell but there is more to it.

It’s basis is mindset. The first rule is to make sure you’re always thinking about what you do want and not what you don’t.

Right now, don’t think about how your education has been interrupted, see yourself in the future really happy and successful, driving a great car, living in a lovely house, smiling from ear-to-ear all day and hold that vision. The best part of it is that you don’t have to know how those things will come about, you only need to know that it will.

You’ll be familiar with the term vibe, as in vibration. If you send out a good vibe into the future you will get a good vibe back. If you’re not sure about all this and it’s the first time you’ve heard about it, read up on manifestation and the Law of Attraction, if you really like reading then search on the “12 Spiritual Laws”.

You will also find that some very successful people believe in the Law of Attraction, and that a good vibe works. You will also discover that they’ve been knocked down and knocked down hard. Steve Jobs, who started Apple, had the company taken away from him, then he started Pixar, the animation company, and made that a huge success. Then Apple had to ask him to come back because they weren’t doing so well without him. There are so many stories like this.

Read up on it, see if it feels interesting to you.

Time for earmuffs or earpods

Something I wish I’d been taught was that I define my life, I am the power in my life, I am allowed to live my life happily, and I can create the changes I want.

I suggest with all my heart that you close your ears to all talk of what you can’t do, how your future is being affected, how you’re the lost generation. You are not. You’re a generation who will rise above this situation, who will move beyond it, and who will have many many years and many many opportunities to create the life of your dreams, on your own terms.

When one door closes…

There are thousands more that can open.

To your happiness and a great future

Deb

Everyday Life During a Pandemic

Feels like my mind when I’m anxious, messed up but still quite pretty. There’s always hope in there.

This has been the worst year I remember in all my 63 years of partying and struggling on this planet.

Fortunately I haven’t minded the lockdowns, I’m a natural recluse (or perfect writer-type) and I’ve been mainly alone for most of my life anyway. I’m married, but my family are mainly dead or stopped speaking 30-40 years ago, and my husband’s lovely family are in New Zealand. His choice not theirs.

The thing that’s worried me greatly has been an underlying message about mental health, especially that of younger people, and I don’t feel it’s been either positive or helpful for them. Nor do I feel that the message has been particularly helpful to adults.

Focus is Everything

Firstly we need to draw the distinction between clinical mental health issues, severe mental health issues – such as PTSD, and everyday issues. It’s the everyday issues I’m talking about in this blog, I’m not qualified in the others and having had one small example of PTSD I can tell you I never want to encounter that ever again.

So the focus here is everyday life in a pandemic, with non-clinical, non-severe anxiety. I’m trying to catch people before they fall into those categories.

The Message

Is that it’s been a terrible time, true, especially for those who have been ill and/or lost a loved one. It’s also been tremendously difficult for those who have lost jobs, businesses, and still have a lot of worry going forward as to whether they will keep their homes, etc, if they can’t return to work.

For those with disabilities and the clinically vulnerable it has been a miserable time of hiding indoors because you’re on the high risk list, not getting much fresh air and not seeing family and friends. Technology helps of course, and we are blessed to have it, but nothing replaces a real hug.

For young people at school and university it has been difficult, and I’m going to share a separate blog to go into the focus on their situation, but their lives won’t be affected by this as is popularly thrown around, to their detriment.

It’s All Just Terrible and No One Can Cope

That’s the message I’m objecting to. The media are hammering the idea that the public can’t cope with what’s going on. Those alone and vulnerable aren’t able to cope with not seeing family, people in nursing homes and care homes can’t cope, people unable to see their loved ones when they pass can’t cope. People already suffering from mental health issues can’t cope. Children can’t cope not being at school. Young people can’t cope with the disruption to their education, or their university experience. NHS staff can’t cope. The elderly can’t cope. And on and on and on and on.

If you think about it this country is doing a sterling job of coping, and I would image that others are too. Yes all the things above matter, but even if you’re struggling, if you’re keeping going then you are coping and you should be immensely proud of yourself. There seems to be an attitude nowadays that says that feeling hurt, feeling overwhelmed, feeling anxious, feeling frightened, and so on, means that you aren’t coping, and that isn’t true.

I was crippled by acute anxiety for over 22 years undiagnosed, and a further few before I beat it, except for normal situations that would make anyone anxious. Yet I’m here, which means I coped. It hurt so much, but I’m here, I got through it. So are you.

Not knowing what to do, or how you’re going to get through this situation, fearing for the future, being anxious and hurt by this situation, they’re all horrible, but you’re still standing. Someone needed to write something to remind you of that.

If You’re Really Not Coping

Don’t feel upset with yourself, each experience is unique and one size of idea doesn’t fit all. What I would say is, that perhaps in reading this, you might realise that you are doing well, that what you’re feeling is appropriate under the circumstances.

Remember though that doing well when you’re feeling great is completely different to doing well against the odds. People often think they’re not doing well because their measuring upset, unhappy, and frightened, against a good time when everything is going swimmingly.

I’ve lost track of the clients who have given me a huge list of upsetting events, and then told me they’re stupid to feel as anxious and lost as they do. I won’t put the reply I normally use here as it’s not exactly PC, but it does make them smile, all I will say is that I offer a short-sharp reality check and tell them how much I admire them for the way they have coped. Because I do. They usually go out with their heads held high realising how incredible they are.

I wish I could do that for each and every one of you who are not feeling that you’re coping at the moment.

Can I Help?

As you know I’m not given to promoting my work on this blog, it’s an offering of help. However, these are unusual times and many are struggling, and I’d like to offer you some positive support if you, or anyone you know, needs it.

I run spiritual mindset groups where we study a huge range of things that help us to a) have a more positive focus on life, and b) build a library of our own techniques to help us navigate life. We also dip into the world of spiritual work if that’s appropriate to any particular group. But my spiritual background was self-help first, and “What the heck this world is full of miracles” second.

So, you can email me at transform@debhawken.com (via this blog) if you’re interested in working with me, I am slightly crazy and given to simplifying things and making them as easy to deal with and humorous as possible, you have been warned. At the moment the groups are doing a happiness project that is going down rather well and proving extremely useful. I also take people through that 1-2-1.

Conclusion

Hang in there, this will end. If you’re still struggling along then pat yourself on the back and respect your courage. Remember that hurting doesn’t equal not coping. Most importantly…

The economic situation is driven by the pandemic, it’s not a sign that any country is collapsing, and there’s no reason that once things pick up, life shouldn’t return to normal or better.

I would imagine that the airlines will be booked years ahead with people wanting to go on holiday, visit family and friends, or get their businesses up and running. Those airports, the planes, the products, the goods, they will all be needed again and they will need workers to provide them.

I’m holding positive intentions for us all of better, better, and fantastic.

To your happiness

Deb xx

A Worrying Trend from the 1980s

Let’s anchor in the positive

In the late 1980s I saw a documentary on TV that I’ve never forgotten, it was about sick societies. It described how, in America, people were able to buy over-the-counter drugs for a number of medical conditions, and although that wasn’t happening in the UK yet, it was coming. The point was that Americans were getting more and more focused on ill health as a result.

Too Fantastical?

Nope. This is exactly what happened in the UK, remedies and solutions appearing that focused our society on ill health in ways never before imagined. Gradually, over the intervening years, life has become more and more stressful, and there is a far greater focus on health. You might think that this is a good thing, but by the same token it’s put a drip feed of uncertainty in our minds about the human body.

Now that we have social media you can’t switch it on without seeing that someone needs prayers for themselves or someone else who has something that needs curing. I send those prayers of course, but I’m aware enough to realise that this focus is contributing to mental health issues.

Me as an Idiot!

I was talking to a former friend a few years ago now, saying that I did not like going into supermarkets and hearing the constant mention of what foods were healthy, what foods helped to prevent this, that, and the other. One supermarket in the UK traffic-lighted food, and red meant that fat and/or sugar-wise it was very bad for you. My question was, why are they selling it in that case? It struck me as a contradiction to warn you and also sell you the food for a profit.

I told said friend and she commented, as people usually did, that I was worrying unnecessarily again. She told her very straightforward, plain speaking, logical, husband that night and he looked at her and said “You think Deb’s wrong? Haven’t you noticed that I always wear earphones and play music in the supermarket? I do it to stop exactly that drip feed of negativity that she’s talking about”.

I was so pleased I wasn’t the only “idiot”. My friend did admit that had stopped her in her tracks as he was so sensible.

Let’s Look at the Facts

Whether you take any notice of anything you hear makes no difference to the fact that your brain has heard and processed it. We live in a world where our bodies are constantly under perceived threat of something or the other and perfect health is rarely mentioned.

We don’t keep fit because it’s a good idea, we keep fit to avoid bad things. We don’t eat healthily, we eat to avoid bad things. I remember reading many times that tap water is bad for us for many reasons, yet there are only two bottled waters that are deemed safe by someone or the other, the rest are polluted. I was past getting afraid of water by that time, but a few years before water and I would have fallen out big time!

To add to all this we now have the mental health situation being given a high priority, by everyone from the royals to your favourite stars who have suffered such. It’s good that we’re talking about it, but the focus is especially important for people who suffer from mental health concerns.

Positivity Coming!

Okay, none of this sounds good, and none of it is good for the mental health of an anxious person – as I well know. I was a victim of this thinking for years. I mean decades.

You will be familiar that a positive focus in life is important for both mental and physical health? Yet we’re also encouraged to focus strongly on the negative impact of many things on our minds and bodies. What can we do to alleviate this?

Meditation is your greatest ally. Calming the mind calms the body, and gives both time to heal. If you broke your leg you’d put your foot up to rest wouldn’t you? It’s just as vital to put your mind up to rest everyday. A healthy mind is proven to help the body, and trust me when I tell you that your anxiety will diminish if you can get a regular meditation programme going.

If you are susceptible, and maybe even if you’re not, avoid, avoid, avoid, as much talk of ill health, posts about ill health, programmes about ill health, as possible. Whilst it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and I was certainly never ashamed to have anxiety – I had reasons as you do – it’s more than important to protect the mind and body from this constant drip-feed. If you have a worry talk to your doctor, and although in the UK they’re under a great deal of pressure, the NHS website is a useful resource for advice. I’m sure other countries have similar options.

Be very wary of social media. I was on the group page of one of the world’s most positive thinkers who works scientifically and spiritually on the subject of health. His work is extraordinary and backed up by evidence. Almost the entire page consisted of people asking for healing, for which I do not blame or criticise them one iota, but it was just too much.

No Lack of Compassion

I mean it when I say that I feel no blame or criticism towards people asking for help. The important point for me, and I’m the only person who can look after my mind in the way I know it needs to be looked after, is that I know that constant sad talk will get to me if I’m not vigilant.

I don’t like apparently turning my back, if you consider sending out a heartfelt prayer for ‘all those on this page’ turning my back, but it’s something I have to do. Just as I wouldn’t walk into a gym and yell ‘put 200 kilos on that bar and throw it over here’, I can’t lift the heavy weight of pain of too many people at once. I know that about me.

In order to protect yourself you need to know your tolerance levels and what you can and can’t take too, there’s nothing wrong with that, there’s no shame in that. Like me, you will be the way you are for a reason. It indicates no lack of love or compassion.

My Reason

When I was 8 years old a member of my family joined the London Ambulance Service as a front line ambulance driver. What this person did not know, could not have known, was that they were on the verge of a mental deterioration into acute anxiety, and for good reason. The other thing they didn’t know was that it would take the form of an inappropriately strong and negative focus on health.

This person went round hospitals asking doctors about various things, they encountered them in their job, and no matter the horror of the day, or the nature of their latest research, they came home and talked about those things at tea times. I was 8, my brother was 1, and he told me that he grew up dreading tea time. I won’t repeat the stories to you, suffice it to say that they were never going to build a healthy mindset, especially around having a body.

Follow the Positive Rules

Eat well, eat healthily because you want to feel wonderful, not because you’re full of fear. Exercise because it raises your endorphins and gives you a buzz. No need to worry about why you’re exercising. You don’t need to think of the negatives, just do the good things because they make you feel good.

Respect the health of your mind as much as you do the health of your body, but remember that you don’t need constant reminding that mental health is now a big issue in western society. You know this, you know to seek help if you need it, knowing what others are going through can be comforting, but you already know that you’re not alone in anything you feel. You literally can’t avoid knowing.

The most important rule though is that you won’t heal a damaged, broken, unhappy, mind by keep using it on unhappy things, anymore than you would repair that broken leg by walking on it without support. You need to move away from that thinking in order to heal your mind.

The Law of Attraction/Manifesting

My final, and best piece of advice, is to learn about and follow the ideas around the Law of Attraction and Manifesting. Because their singularly most important point is:

Keep your mind focused on what you do want, not what you don’t.

Make up positive sayings and read them everyday, suggestions might be:

  • I’m strong and positive
  • I love and trust my mind
  • I enjoy focusing on good and happy things

They’re only suggestions, there are thousands upon thousands of Law of Attraction sayings out there to help you. Find the ones that work well for you. Remember though, what you’re saying doesn’t have to be real at first, this is you saying what you want to be, and the more you say it, the closer that feeling will come. You’re literally reprogramming the mind, including your subconscious.

So…

I haven’t enjoyed writing this particular blog, it’s focused on more bad stuff than I normally like to consider. However, I have one personal rule that cannot be broken:

Your stress and anxiety is your greatest teacher, it tells you exactly what’s wrong and exactly what you need to change. It even shows you what you need to do.

Sometimes we have to look at what may be undermining us in order to avoid it. We have to be mindful of the not-pretty-stuff so that we can deal with its impact. We never stop caring about others, but we remember that we can’t carry the pain, fear, suffering, anxiety, and depression of other people for too long and in too great an amount, without our minds starting to struggle. We have to remember that, because we’re no use to man nor beast if we go down too.

We can’t be unhappy because other people are, because then we lose our ability to help them.

You see, being happy, being mentally centred, being positive, believing in the good things and that everyone deserves them, and focusing on those things as much as logically possible, is loving towards yourself and others. Your children, grandchildren, friends, family, colleagues, everyone whose life you touch, will thank you for taking care of yourself and showing them how.

There is nothing more loving.

To your happiness

Deb xx

Something to Cut Down On

Avoid avoid avoid

Unless you’re wise enough to have added only close friends and family that you trust on social media, and to only engage with positive conversations, it’s likely that social media is seriously adding to your stress and anxiety.

Many people say how bad they feel on there, yet continue to engage, without realising that the only way they will feel better is to build a time-line that is positive and empowering for them, and avoid all contentious issues.

We love to know

I’m as addicted to social media as anyone, or I was. In the past year though that’s changed. I do have some wonderful friends on there with whom I still communicate, but more and more I’m keeping to myself and only engaging when it makes me feel good to do so. Remember that saying:

The pen is mightier than the sword”? (Edward Bulwer-Lytton)

Social media is the modern version of the pen. No matter whether they’re written or typed, harsh words hurt. You know that, you feel it in your stomach when you read them. So it’s vitally important for your mental health that you approach social media with caution – forever more!

No one can help you…

But you. Often loneliness is a side effect at the least, maybe the cause, of anxiety and depression, which drives us to find people to connect with. It was much better in the day-and-age where you needed to go out in order to do that, or pick up the phone and hear a voice. Even though discussions could be painful at least you could ask questions, leave, or hang up. Now we’re subject to the first thing that pops up when we logon and often get mired by scrolling to the detriment of our mindset.

If you want to feel better you have to be the main person who helps you. The help and support of others is wonderful, but if you’re not the team leader then no one else can help you.

So be a leader, take control of social media. If you are on absolutely everything it may be healthier to choose your favourite, that will cut down your exposure and time very quickly. But whatever you do, if you find social media upsetting, stop hurting yourself.

All it needs is a quick readjustment of your connections and things will be much brighter, and so will your mind and emotions.

To your happiness

Deb xx

Stop Torturing Your Mind

Let it be!

Anxiety isn’t nice and it can make you feel slip into self blame and self loathing at times. Asking yourself over and over again why your mind has to do this, what’s wrong with you, why are you like this and other people aren’t? It’s something you need to stop doing.

I’ve already covered in another blog the fact that you’ve got to this place for a reason, and just as you wouldn’t walk on a broken ankle without a plaster, you can’t put your mind through hell because it’s just had enough!

Forgive

Even if you did something stupid to break your ankle, you might be a bit miffed with yourself, you might say a few curse words and call yourself a few names, but you’d probably land up giggling at yourself sooner or later and telling the story at the dinner table, to huge gusts of laughter. You’d forgive yourself, probably concluding that you’ve paid the price and there’s nothing more to be done.

Now forgive yourself for being anxious. In all honesty why doesn’t really matter, yes as the person you are now you could have made better decisions, but you’re judging your past, younger, less aware self and finding them wanting. You’re doing the best you an as the person you are at this time, and they were doing the best they could as the person they were at that time. Plus:

It usually takes the words and actions of more than one person,
and more than one difficult event to make a person anxious.

Heal

Allow yourself to heal, as I say over and over again (and guess how I know), meditate. As importantly, build some fun into your life, read enjoyable books where everyone doesn’t die in a plague, natural disaster, at the hands of a serial killer. Read something that makes you feel good.

Read books about the way the mind works and learn to understand yours, Joe Dispenza, Gregg Braden, and Bruce Lipton, to name but three, are awesome on these subjects.

Play happy music as much as possible, always have it on in the background if you can. Get friends or family to join you on a day out, go somewhere interesting, get into discussions about what you saw. Go the beach. There is so much positive you can do that will allow that mind to rest and recuperate. A holiday would be ideal, with some fun people.

Learn to Manifest

I’m a Law of Attraction Practitioner and Infinite Possibilities Trainer ™, and one thing I love about the whole Law of Attraction, Cosmic Ordering, thing, is that you have to train yourself to think about what you do want, not what you don’t, and you don’t have to worry about how it will all happen. Miracles have happened, and fairly regularly to those who practice manifestation. All you really need to do is:

Visualise – show up – do something (Mike Dooley)

In other words daydream (paying detailed attention to that daydream) about the ideal life for you, then go out, meet people, research, think about what you could do.

Do anything that involves thinking about what you do want, how you want to feel, and the sort of life you want to live. Do nothing that involves focusing on how you’re feeling and where you are at the moment, positive change and a happy life should be your own focus. The more you hold that vision the more likely you are to find surprising events turning up in your life. The right job on a better wage, the right house where you feel happy, a great car, friends, maybe romance.

Language!

Think in only the best language, speak in only the best words. Talk about a great job, fantastic friends, plenty of money, a wonderful car, a terrific holiday, how well you get along with people.

If you ask for an okay car, that’s what you’ll get. If you have a habit of doing things like that then sit down and ask yourself one very important question:

If others believe that they deserve the best, why don’t I?

The only difference between those you’d wish to be like and you, is that they’ve done different things and made difference decisions. You can do that too.

Believe that you deserve the best and you will get it. Deliberately and consciously choose that belief and nurture it.

If bad thoughts or old thoughts try to get in the way just say ‘change’ or ‘stop’ and deliberately think a good thought.

It will work.

To your happiness

Deb xx

Festive Stress

If your festive season doesn’t feel like this!

Anxiety isn’t helped by the festive season, you may have to see too many people, go to places or events you’d rather avoid, or simply don’t have the energy to cope with all the extra work that comes with relaxing and enjoying a huge meal and time with your loved ones and friends.

What to do?

Meditation is something someone with anxiety should be making a regular habit. Once you learn to meditate you will be able to take yourself into a state of relaxation sitting in a busy place with both eyes wide open, because you will know what it feels like to be relaxed. Remember to start by listening to beautiful music, there are many great tracks out there including nature sounds, and just learning to listen to the music and really hear it.

Stop and think. You might feel pressured to be a kitchen wizard at Christmas, or have loads of people over for a meal, but if you’re struggling then your mental health comes first. You must say no if you need to, or say that you’d love a get together but it will be on another day, or later on Christmas day with simple nibbles available. The people who love you will accept it.

Ask the family to help you with preparations, and flatly refuse to lift a finger if they don’t, that should work. It’s one year, it won’t hurt them, and they might have fun. You could encourage them to try making part of the meal and create something they’d like to try. You can grab dusters and have a race with a prize at the end for who can dust a room the fastest; properly and without breaking anything. Ask for help, be creative, your recovery is to their benefit.

Do NOT fall into the trap of feeling that you’re ruining Christmas by being anxious, you will be anxious for a reason and it’s not for anyone else to judge that reason. If those around you want you to feel better, and you want to feel better, then you might just have to put yourself first, or make a few changes, so that you can continue your voyage of recovery. The sacrifice of one year to not normal will pay dividends in the long run.

Remember

Nothing is more important than feeling good.

It really is as simple as that, and if you won’t help you then no one else can.

To your happiness

Enjoy the festive season

You deserve it!

Deb xx

Living Under a Door

Not for me a mind like this beautiful and tranquil scene

In the middle ages one of the ways in which a woman was tested for being a witch was to take a wooden door, lay it on top of her and put rocks on it. If she lived she was a witch, if she died she was innocent. The ultimate lose/lose situation. I used to wake up in the morning feeling relaxed, and in an instant it would be as if that rock-laden door was descending on me, and the brief moment of peace was gone.

How to Face the Day

If you struggle like that I would suggest that you always start your day with a meditation that calms the brainwaves, something that takes you into alpha and theta brainwaves. These are the brainwaves of peace and tranquillity.

In alpha brainwaves you have space in your mind to think, theta brainwaves are the space where healing of the mind and body takes place.

Driving in Alpha Brainwaves

My best example is driving. When I started to learn to drive my father had just had a heart attack, I was 18 years old, stressed beyond belief, scared I would lose my dad. My ex said to me that I should learn to drive because I would have been able to drive my mother up to St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

Anyone who knows London knows that driving up there takes a huge amount of skill and attention. Some natural drivers, like my brother, are able to do it easily, I was not a natural driver. All my life I’ve known when I’m ready to do something, and I knew that I should wait a while before I tackled driving.

I failed my test twice, changed driving instructors and passed on the third attempt, however, I was never a happy driver. I had to psych myself up to drive anywhere, even somewhere I drove everyday. I never ever drove a car if I didn’t need to.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

I have mentioned Joe Dispenza’s book and double CD meditation set before, and probably will again, and I will admit that I didn’t even stick to the programme with these. Blogging isn’t the only thing I can be random and undisciplined about. However…

About three weeks after I started doing the meditations I was out driving, and I realised that I’d just hopped in the car and was driving where I needed to go. My mind was clear, untroubled, and focused on what I was doing. It was a hugely surprising moment.

That’s what alpha brainwaves do for you.

Big Deal Huh?

To someone who likes driving and doesn’t suffer from anxiety, no big deal at all. To someone who’d been frightened for over 40 years – pure unadulterated magic!

It’s an odd thing, but when you’ve suffered from anxiety and start to beat it, your life becomes far more magical and amazing. Obviously I would have preferred that it had always been that way, but hey, take the wins wherever they come from!

To your happiness

Deb xx