Month: February 2016

A million things…

A million things…

Our cognitive function i.e. our ability to think is a great feature of the human mind.

We can process information, we can make decisions, we can generate beliefs/opinions…

Thinking conjures up our emotions

We all have different amounts of head-space which enable us to think. It is likely to be divided into your different life areas, for example:

  • Work
  • Family
  • Relationships
  • Personal
  • Social
  • Health

Some areas of your life will run smoothly, and require minimal thought. Other areas may need more attention. So for the areas that need attention, how much thinking is enough?

How do you know when you are thinking too much?

It can be helpful to understand what you are trying to achieve from thinking about your chosen topic. Are you trying to process something? Do you want to make a decision?

If you notice that your thinking is not helping you toward your goal, your thinking might be stuck. The more your thinking loops, the more likely negative emotions are to get triggered.ย Sometimes we need to come outside our own mind to obtain new information that does not exist in our archives, to help us make a decision or understand something.

Sometimes we come to conclusions, yet we continue to think about them. What if it is the wrong conclusion? What if there is some information I have missed? We venture into worry territory, where anxiety lives. Sometimes we have to accept the information we have, and the decisions/conclusions we have made – purely for own peace of mind.

We all live on a spectrum of thinking.

Occasionally, we feel so laid-back we are practically horizontal; happy to let others think or decide for us…

Friend: What drink would you like?

Laid-back you: Surprise me!

Other times, we can be demons on a mission to make a decision…

Boss: What are our options?

Mission you: Well, we have several options. They all have pros + cons. Let’s review…

Often, for example, we can be a busy thinkers…

Busy me: There is lots going on at the moment, there is this and this and this. I’m not sure what to focus on.

Boyfriend: One thing at a time

Wise words…

Focused: I will choose this as a blog topic today

Mind: Motivated

Overthinking mind chatter can look like this…

Over-thinker: I have a really good idea. But it probably won’t work. But it might do. But other people might not like it. And I probably won’t have time. But it could be really good. So maybe I should try it. I could make time for it. But then I would be neglecting something else. I would feel really bad then. But it could work so well. Maybe I should see what my friends think. They might judge me though, if they think it is a stupid idea. I can’t risk that. But if it’s really good then I will feel great. And I’ll have loads of support. But what if I have to do it on my own? It would take a lot of effort, and I have a lot going on. I’ll just leave it and think about it more later.

Mind: Frazzled!

Depending how important the life area is that we are focusing on, it can feel like the more effort we put into thinking about it, the better the outcome will be. But when we reach the stage of being frazzled or anxious or stressed to high heaven we have definitely been thinking too much!

We are all unique, with different thresholds. Some of us can juggle different topics, issues, problems, wonderings, and continue as normal. Some of us can do that on some days, but not on others. Some of us are not good jugglers, and work best focusing on one thing at a time. Notice your patterns, and see what works for you. You might find it easier to make decisions in the morning, rather than the evening. You might be better at making important decisions when you are feeling relaxed, because you are in tune with yourself in those moments. You might like to talk topics over with people to gather new information.

Immerse yourself in the present moment

Use all of your senses to enjoy the unique moments happening in your life right now, where no thought is required.

  • Smell the aroma from your cup of coffee
  • Look around at the greenery of nature
  • Listen to the lyrics in the songs you enjoy
  • Taste the sweetness of the chocolate trifle
  • Feel the softness of your fluffy slippers

It takes practice to engage in these types of moments. If you can tune into your present activity, you know for sure, your mind is less likely to start whirring away!

If you notice your mind wandering, you can gently bring it back

It’s better to engage in the present moment, rather than engage in an over-thinking loop.

Take care,

N

 

 

 

 

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Gratitude

Gratitude

 

They often say that the key to happiness is to be grateful and thankful. Thankful for what you have. To not take anything for granted. To cherish your loved ones. To treasure your experiences. No matter what, we can choose to be grateful.

Sounds pretty easy to be happy doesn’t it?

So… I can end the blog here, have a lovely day!

Oh wait a second…

Do you sometimes take things for granted and focus on what you don’t have?

I know I do sometimes.

Does that make you happy?

Erm, no!

root

We all have the capacity for happiness and joy, but we can miss out on embracing them due to the lack of attention we give to what we do have on a regular basis. We can prevent ourselves being joyful.

Two potential reasons we avoid joy:

  1. It can feel like an effort to be positive & grateful
  2. It can feel risky to experience joy

Often we wish for joy most when we are feeling low; it is especially hard to be positive & grateful when we feel this way.

ย Being grateful for thoughtful gifts is a breeze.ย 

Are you this grateful on a daily basis?

Not necessarily

What is risky about experiencing joy?

If we’re too happy, something bad is bound to happen next!?

Do we know what will happen in our future?

No

Does worrying about bad things happening in the future prevent them from happening?

No

Could good things happen in the future?

Yes

Does worrying about the future stop you appreciating what you have right now?

Yes…

***

I wonder what would happen if we all focused on conscious gratitude…

Give it at go & let me know how you get on – I’d love to know!

Take care,

N

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connection

Connection

I truly value connection, and not just my wifi connection ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am talking about relationships, whether it be with family, romantic partners, friends or colleagues – which enhance our lives in different ways.

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As an avid watcher of First Dates, I enjoy watching people trying make connections with each other. They try to suss out what they have in common, what their values are, whether they have any chemistry, and basically whether they want to see each other again!

People often search for a “spark” when dating; usually an indicator of chemistry.

A spark can highlight the potential for a romantic connection.

Sometimes though only one person feels it, or they both feel it but it fizzles out quickly!

For longer-than-one-date couples, I’m always curious to know how romantic relationships started; where they met, and how the connection got formed. It interests me how people go from being strangers to falling in love! #eternalromantic

Some real-life examples of meeting places…

  • Living in the same halls at university
  • Working in the same workplace
  • Living in the same house-share
  • Drinking in the same pub
  • Eating in the same restaurant
  • Travelling on the same coach
  • Attending the same party/wedding
  • Watching the same theatre show

The potential for connection is everywhere!

This potential is not just for romantic connections, I have made many friends in the same places. It depends what you are looking for, and how open to connection you are.

One of my best friends was introduced to me by another friend. We arranged to meet up for a “blind-friend-date” – I had recently moved to a new city, so I was very open to meeting new people. We chatted in a pub for a few hours, and by the end of the evening I’d invited her to see a comedian with me. We started meeting up regularly, and we have been friends now for over 6 years ๐Ÿ™‚

A sign to me that I can be friends with someone is if I am able to be myself around them. I don’t feel on edge at all, I feel relaxed; if we can talk openly & have fun – it’s a winner!

Perhaps our most enduring connections are with our families. Ideally, your family connections are based on unconditional love; you are cared for, and guided, from being a newborn until you leave the nest, and beyond!ย The mixture of family unity, and the strength of the individual connections within the family, can provide a great foundation for the rest of your life ๐Ÿ™‚

I believe, once formed, all connections require four things to be successful:

  1. Strong foundation for the connection
  2. Commitment to maintaining the connection
  3. Ability to manage any ‘disconnection’
  4. Positive feedback from the connection

Disconnections are usually temporary, like misunderstandings, differences in opinion, betrayals of trust, and doubts about the merits of the connection.

Have you ever experienced a connection struggling due to mis-matched values or goals? Have you ever noticed that the less effort you put into your relationships, the less likely they are to last?ย  Have you ever had a disagreement with someone, and not been able to resolve it?ย  Have you ever stayed connected to someone when there was no incentive to keep it going?

For romantic relationships, as much as a spark can provide potential, if there is nothing else substantial present then becoming boyfriend & girlfriend is highly unlikely.

He may look like Bradley Cooper, but if he is not committed to spending time with you, and is often argumentative – he is not a good candidate for long-lasting connection.

It’s the same with other relationships – the absence of commitment and positive feedback are clear indicators that you are not going to receive much joy from the connection…

When connections bring so much joy, understandably disconnections can cause anxiety and/or sadness.

The good thing to know about No. 3 is that you can learn how to manage disconnections.

As disconnections are people related – the best thing you can do it communicate with the person you are feeling disconnected from and work together to resolve it.

Permanent disconnections are more challenging – but remember, you have your own inner strength, your connections, and the potential for future connections.

Read my other posts for more inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

Take care,

N