A New Workshop in Edinburgh

The Psychology of Changing Mindsets

Work, family, finances and health can all cause worry and stress. Some people take a holiday as a way of rejuvenating themselves. Other people may not have the same worries and lead more balanced lives. Often they have made changes themselves giving them more flexibility and choice in responding to life’s challenges. These are usually small changes and they can be easy and enjoyable to achieve when we have the skills and control to plan and achieve them.

Come along to our free talk where you will learn how change really works and how to make changes that work for you. We will also be introducing a 1 day changing mindsets workshop where you will learn about a number of different types of change, and how to make simple, practical and easy to apply changes in any situation.

Wed 2nd August 7:30pm at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre

Book your places HERE

Conan Doyle Intro

Life Lessons & Our Perspective

FYPDo you wonder where these amazing new strategies of life, presuppositions, laws of the universe, steps to success etc. etc. all come from?

There are so many ways to look at life, deal with our problems, ‘get what we want’ and ‘be content’ strategies out there that I really don’t have the time to study them all. What I have discovered is a very simple core to what they all seem to bring together. It is basically: WHAT WE FEEL INSIDE IS BASED UPON HOW WE SEE OUTSIDE. I don’t mean what we see, but how we see.

Think about the Law of attraction, we get what we believe in, what we will truly feel we will receive we will receive because the universe is reacting to how we perceive what we want. In NLP they have a presupposition that states The Meaning of your communication is the response that you will get. So if we put something out, it will come back, if we believe we are great, we will appear great and communicate as someone that is great. So we will attract what we are wanting! Sounds familiar doesn’t it.

So what if we look at some of the concepts out there which are currently popular and see how they fair.   The mind and the body are inseparable (NLP presupposition) your thoughts and emotions affect your body and vice versa, Wholeness and Integration, (Gestalt key concept) the mind and body as one unit, integration as a whole maintains balance, also Here and Now, the individual being in the conscious moment at the present time; Focus on the present moment (Mindfulness) when your mind is lost in thinking of the past or the future, bring it back to focus on the experiences of right now.

When we look through there are more interconnections between all these popular therapies and techniques.

The question is, which is right?

Simply put, they all are. If something is getting you to look at how you are living your life, affecting your health, and making you into a better you without causing a negative influence on others, then do it.

I wrote an earlier blog about perspective, we can all look at the same thing and see something different, and that is HOW WE SEE OUTSIDE. We can create whatever world we want to live in, based on how we perceive the world around us. If we allow it to be swayed by negative influence, then we will see more negativity, if we look for the good and see the bonuses life offers us then we will have a more positive outlook on the life and world around us.

What can we do to make the changes we need to make our own lives easier? After all, it is us that will need to make those changes, if we wait for others to make our lives better, we will be waiting a long long time.

I have found a list of Rules to being Human, which was translated from Sanskrit or discovered by Dr Cherie Carter-Scott and to be honest, I could see some of the core principles and concepts in pretty much all of the differing options out there. I haven’t read the book, so that is up to you if you wish to do it.

RULE 1: YOU WILL RECEIVE A BODY.

Whether you love it or hate it, it’s yours for life, so accept it. What counts is what’s inside.

RULE 2: YOU WILL BE PRESENTED WITH LESSONS.

Life is a constant learning experience, which every day provides opportunities for you to learn more. These lessons are specific to you, and learning them ‘is the key to discovering and fulfilling the meaning and relevance of your own life’.

RULE 3: THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY LESSONS.

Your development towards wisdom is a process of experimentation, trial, and error, so it is inevitable things will not always go to plan or turn out how you’d want. Compassion is the remedy for harsh judgment – of ourselves and others. Forgiveness is not only divine – it’s also ‘the act of erasing an emotional debt’. Behaving ethically, with integrity, and with humour – especially the ability to laugh at yourself and your own mishaps – are central to the perspective that ‘mistakes’ are simply lessons we must learn.

RULE 4: THE LESSON IS REPEATED UNTIL LEARNED.

Lessons repeat until learned. What manifests as problems and challenges, irritations and frustrations are more lessons – they will repeat until you see them as such and learn from them. Your own awareness and your ability to change are requisites of executing this rule. Also fundamental is the acceptance that you are not a victim of fate or circumstance – ‘causality’ must be acknowledged; that is to say: things happen to you because of how you are and what you do. To blame anyone or anything else for your misfortunes is an escape and a denial; you yourself are responsible for you, and what happens to you. Patience is required – change doesn’t happen overnight, so give change time to happen.

RULE 5: LEARNING DOES NOT END.

While you are alive there are always lessons to be learned. Surrender to the ‘rhythm of life’, don’t struggle against it. Commit to the process of constant learning and change – be humble enough to always acknowledge your own weaknesses, and be flexible enough to adapt from what you may be accustomed to, because rigidity will deny you the freedom of new possibilities.

RULE 6: “THERE” IS NO BETTER THAN “HERE”.

The other side of the hill may be greener than your own, but being there is not the key to endless happiness. Be grateful for and enjoy what you have, and where you are on your journey. Appreciate the abundance of what’s good in your life, rather than measure and amass things that do not actually lead to happiness. Living in the present helps you attain peace.

RULE 7: OTHERS ARE ONLY MIRRORS OF YOU.

You love or hate something about another person according to what love or hate about yourself. Be tolerant; accept others as they are, and strive for clarity of self-awareness; strive to truly understand and have an objective perception of your own self, your thoughts and feelings. Negative experiences are opportunities to heal the wounds that you carry. Support others, and by doing so you support yourself. Where you are unable to support others it is a sign that you are not adequately attending to your own needs.

RULE 8: WHAT YOU MAKE OF YOUR LIFE IS UP TO YOU.

You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. Take responsibility for yourself. Learn to let go when you cannot change things. Don’t get angry about things – bitter memories clutter your mind. Courage resides in all of us – use it when you need to do what’s right for you. We all possess a strong natural power and adventurous spirit, which you should draw on to embrace what lies ahead.

RULE 9: YOUR ANSWERS LIE INSIDE OF YOU.

Trust your instincts and your innermost feelings, whether you hear them as a little voice or a flash of inspiration. Listen to feelings as well as sounds. Look, listen, and trust. Draw on your natural inspiration.

And then this added one from the book:

RULE 10: YOU WILL FORGET ALL THIS AT BIRTH.

You can remember it if you want by unravelling the double helix of inner knowing.

LYMS

If these rules are truly from ancient Sanskrit then that would make them thousands of years old, and if we look at things that have been around that long, religion firmly pushed to the side, that is one subject I will avoid. We can look at traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and how some of the understanding of meridians and energy points for acupuncture is now being ‘proven’ in science, how hypnosis was used to treat conditions in ancient Egypt, forms of yoga, energy transfer like Reiki is being understood due to the heart being over 50% neurons and emitting 60 times more electromagnetic energy than the brain.

All of these new factors that are much older than any modern medicine, all given a bad name by artificial practitioners and those who claim to have an idea of how it works but don’t, yet science is catching up. Does this mean that it is a cycle? Do we go round and round, dealing with stress, coping with self doubt and comparing ourselves to what other people have and want? And then rediscovering that it isn’t important and us being us is? Personally I hope so because I have become aware, aware that I can’t change others, if people want things in their lives to change, they have to know what it is they want to change and find the answer to change it for themselves, and it is usually within the perspective of their own lives, as we all have.

Is my life better? A question I have been asked, I could answer: “compared to what?” Or “than who’s?” I can’t give an answer because the question to me doesn’t make sense. You see here are my thoughts, and if you disagree, then that is completely your choice based on your perspectives built from your own experiences, so how can I alter that? My thoughts are these:

We spend so much time putting ourselves under masses of stress and worry about things that are never going to happen, we think about 1000 things that ‘could’ happen when we know that only 1 of them will, so we have 999 ideas and storylines in our head stressing us out and affecting us in a negative manner. That is a lot of stress over something that isn’t real!

We put ourselves under pressure based on what WE think OTHER people are thinking! Do they like, love, hate, critique, compare, fear me?

We compare ourselves! I wish I had their hair, eyes, body, job, money, car…. And list goes on.

People dress to meet specific understandings of what a person in that position should look like, we do things that we believe people should if they were us, we base entire lifestyles and appearance based on what others thinks, then an individual stands out and shows that it doesn’t matter, so everyone becomes ‘the same individual’.

I have met a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds, and personally I feel those who are trying to be in the right post code (zip code), drive the right car, play the right sports and read the right newspaper have lost their individualism and therefore anybody presenting the same ‘choice’ can do just what they do, because they are all just mimicking the same aspects.

When I see someone doing things their own way, not trying to fit into the right categories I usually see a much happier person. When we do things for ourselves, it does not mean we ignore others, it means we do things for others because it is what we want to do, the idea makes us feel better inside seeing someone else feeling better by our actions. Not one person on this planet is perfect! Not one! So out of that 7 billion people is it really so bad being you?

At that question, around 60%+ thought ‘but you haven’t had my life’ another 20% were likely to think ‘you couldn’t manage my life!’ and so on (made up stats, just to make a point) but the amount of people who genuinely think ‘I like my life because I am happy and those around me are happy’ are too few to say. Isn’t that a horrible thought that not enough people are actually happy and know that those around them are too?

Take time to think about yourself, you are not a machine, be aware of yourself and others and read some of those rules, presuppositions, concepts and whatever else is there. Relax your bodies, relax your minds and listen to them. Your body tells you when it is tired, in need of food and water and under too much pressure. Stop trying to be that person who you think you should be and enjoy being the person you are, unique and here. Don’t waste it, enjoy it, see the light in the eyes of others, take time to be aware of your own feelings, thoughts and wants. Yes, we need to work, pay bills, support families but if you put yourself under so much pressure that you can’t do that, then isn’t that a paradox?

Personally I find writing very hard, I struggled wondering whether my spelling, grammar or punctuation wasn’t up to par, but then I stopped and looked at it this way. If I want to say something, and put it into text then I can do that. If people are more concerned about the way I’ve written it, well, then they weren’t reading the article, they were judging it. If people are going to judge what I say, then that is based completely on their own perception and again trying to make me fall into a box or category based entirely on what they understand or believe from what they have been told. Fine, if that’s what they want to do, it is their choice, mine is to sit here and let the words fall out of and into hands that still use 4 fingers for typing on a good day. I am me, a person with their own thoughts, morals and beliefs, based upon what I learned as I grew up, who I learned things from and then added to by finding others thoughts and ways by looking in new directions, speaking to new people, looking how others perceived life and realising I was wrong in my thoughts at times, but that was through lack of understanding or, as most of us do, taking others opinions to be factual.

Is this text factual? Well when I have spoken of other peoples work, it is what is out there, but this article in itself is again my own opinion… do you know what yours truly is?

Here is a great test for you, play this sound clip of 3 chimes and see where your mind goes. No questions, no answers, just listen and notice your own mind.

I think you’ll be surprised.

Insight at the Headway Way Ahead 2017 Conference

Positive Inspiration once again attended the Headway Annual Way Ahead conference this weekend. Headway UK is a National Charity that offers support to those individuals who have survived an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and their families. Part of the Positive Inspiration goal is to offer our support to help organisations like Headway UK deliver as much as they can in areas of natural health to complement and assist in recovery. We were there to present coping mechanisms and lifestyle techniques to help with emotional and stress related anxieties. All of which give positive outcomes in health, both physically and mentally, as well as confidence for the individuals to look forward in a positive manner.

joe_demo

Positive Inspiration set up our stand within the atrium of Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre, Staffordshire, along with other contributors and sponsors. The display stand, shown being manned by Joe Devlin, one of our Directors, was set up to demonstrate the way the mind works by using a mobile EEG machine. This extraordinary set up allows us to show on screen how our brains show constant activity and just how difficult it can be to relax the mind. We had great interest in the display as our EEG was tested by individuals throughout the weekend; those using it were able to see how the brain waves fluctuated and peaked, they even gained the opportunity to use the power of thought to make things explode and make virtual objects levitate.

These simple demonstrations were used to explain to people the importance of relaxing the mind and as a visual aid to help everyone understand that it actually is a skill to calm the mind in a way that is beneficial for recovery and personal health.

Lead Therapist Rogan Grant, also shown, held one to one sessions explaining techniques available to help with some of the issues connected to ABI, as well as group relaxation sessions. Several attendees tried out our EEG before and after the group sessions and were amazed at the differences in readings! The results displayed clearly how some easy to follow techniques in relaxation can have a dramatic affect on the mind.

In today’s stressful environments we all need the ability to cope with stresses and anxieties, we offer various techniques that people can use at home, work or in any situation they may encounter.  Any of these techniques can have a positive benefit within a person’s physical and mental health. Learning to relax the mind will also have health benefits on the body too. Look at our ErgoDynamics page for details on stress at work

demonstration

We would like to thank all of those involved within Headway who were so generous with their time, for us and all the delegates. The weeknd included some great opportunities for those attending to meet and become social, we spoke to so many people, all of which had amazing stories of recovery, survival and success. A personal thank you to Jim Montana for sending us photographs to share, to Alastair White for the invitation to attend Headway TWA17 and to everyone else involved in an amazing weekend.

Positive Inspiration aims to create new opportunities to be able to offer treatments, individual and groups sessions and new therapies to those affected by ABI, their carers and family members.

NEW – VAK Therapy

VAK-image-3VAK therapy, is a combination of several practical, advantageous and acknowledged forms of current therapy models. By taking the most successful areas and combining them, we have created a new integral and thorough package.

So what is VAK? VAK is an acronym for Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic, as stated within NLP language of modalities. Also known as the 3 perceptual channels:3 channels

So what does that mean? We all understand things in different ways, if you are a visual person, you may learn easily by watching and repeating, an auditory person will listen to what is being done, and kinaesthetic is feeling, or emotional learning. Although it isn’t just about learning, it is about understanding.

The-emotional-triggers-of-colours

If you are asked to picture something in your mind, and told to focus on details, to help you with a problem or emotional issue but you are an auditory person, you would probably find the process difficult unless someone used the terms like and “what can you hear?” or “what is that situation telling you?”

If you are working with a group, you know that some people will have preferences in different areas, so you could try and adapt your personal language to engage everyone, or you could stimulate all 3 senses at once. That is where VAK comes in. By understanding the use of colour, sound and language we can use the latest techniques and equipment to stimulate all of the senses and work as a complete package from start to finish, offering a more sustainable method that will work with a generalised technique gaining specific results to individual issues.

VAK is coming out within Edinburgh during this summer and will be available to trial in several selected locations, so watch out for new information and FREE trial sessions near you.

Perspective of thought – Take Back Control of Your Life

Perspective of thought – Taking back control

The perspective we have is personal; no one has the same thoughts, feelings or experiences as you do. Even those who share your memory moments and events will have different emotional connection and memories to you.

What if it is your perspective that is the reason for you feeling so low, stressed, worried or other negative feelings?

In different theories, styles and therapies we have different ideas:

Gestalt – The representation of the 4 zones.

NLP – Our filters that make us delete, distort or generalise.

CBT – Training your mind to see positive will make you feel more positive.

Mindfulness – Awareness of the internal and external influences

Psychotherapy – How we react throughout our lives and changing them

Counselling – The singular solution to the singular problem

Law of Attraction – We get back what we give

EVERY life changing solution that we can learn from and build upon self change that is available has, in my opinion, a singular attribute:

If we can change how we think, we will change how we feel AND if we change how we feel, we can change how we think!

So is it up to us to make the changes we need?

What can WE do?

For emotional calm to produce rational thought we have to be able to cope with life’s stresses, manage how we put ourselves under pressure because only a calm mind can have rational thought.

Emotions influence us, we can’t analyse and feel the emotions consecutively, which is the benefit with mindfulness or self awareness. If we are trying to be logical in thought for our work, or our life management, emotion changes our perspective and therefore how we think.

Most people have an awareness of the fight or flight response, it is where our bodies automatically react to the stimulus present. Thousands of years ago if a wild beast jumped out the FoF response would kick in and flood the body with adrenalin, increase the heart rate and narrow the blood vessels, it would pump Cortisol into the bloodstream to fire up the Neurons and all of a sudden in a split second, we had tremendous focus and the physical ability to run for our lives or fight for them.

We don’t have wild beasts jumping out on us, so we don’t need this response on a daily basis to survive, but the body doesn’t know that. Now we are under stress at work, dealing with the finances at home, problems that occur day in and day out. The FoF kicks in on a semi permanent basis and our bodies can’t cope.

If you ever watch a cat walk past a mirror, it will suddenly react to the reflection and you can see it has responded physically but then watch as it moves on and returns to its calm self. In nature we are supposed to return to the calm state too, but in today’s society we remain in the FoF response mode, and it has other effects.

When we are stressed or anxious, worried or fearful the same responses are in play, just the same as if we are positively excited too, but that response calms quickly. Strange how we hold on to the negative isn’t it?

stress image

This response pumps out the adrenaline, noradrenaline and Cortisol, what do these do you wonder, well here is a short list of some of the things that happen:

Blood vessel contract

Heart rate increases

Air passages open

Breathing increases

Neuron stimulation

Pupil dilation

Hyperactive senses

Muscles primed

Sudden burst of high energy

Now some of those you may think are great, you are stronger, can think quicker, are more aware of your environment, but these are meant to be sudden and quick, not maintained. So if you live at a rate of accelerated function, it is going to tire you out quickly. I like to use the metaphor of a car, if you drive a car at full speed all the time, you are going to burn out that engine, but if you slow it down and let it cool you can speed it up again and again and again and it will keep going, but only if you slow it down and let it cool properly.

The side affects of being in the FoF response is that the body knows it doesn’t need everything to be working inside to physically run away or fight, so it shuts those areas down. It knows that you need to be very alert and focus on fighting or finding a way out, but you don’t need to concentrate on everything. So you might find that you lock onto one aspect of issue.

Have you ever had an argument and realised after that you focussed on one small point and couldn’t let it go, even though it was minor? That is the Cortisol pumping into your brain. When you push yourself too far, the FoF kicks in to fight mode and being we have a society that doesn’t attack and tear at a throat, we allow our brains to do what is best, find the alternative.

Anyone who has lost their temper and said something they regret, here is your chance to forgive yourself, Your brain went into attack mode and instead of physically attacking you attacked verbally, your mind looked deep inside for the most affective way to hurt that other person. You weren’t the evil person you thought you were, you were physically reacting to a primeval response to defend yourself embedded into our DNA. Let it go and move on.

Is it easy to move on, it could be if you calmed yourself. Look at all the reactions mentioned earlier and think about what they can do to the body if they are constant… Heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, seizures, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders.

Remember how I said the body shuts down what it doesn’t need, well it shuts down the digestive system so people gain or lose weight, they get ulcers, IBS, colonic irritations and diseases; the immune system closes down leaving us open to illnesses and not being able to maintain white blood cells, which means no defence and issues with bone marrow production, maybe even to higher rates of cancer. In women the reproductive system shuts down making it harder to conceive or more prone to problems during pregnancy. The liver and the kidneys slow down, making it difficult to cleanse the system out.

These issues have a long term affect on our bodies, but also the state of our minds, learning how to relax the body is one thing but we also need to relax the mind. If we start taking notice now, we can help ourselves in the future.

Constant attack from Cortisol poisons the system; it also releases the Tau protein, which is found in cases of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), this has recently been in the news for footballers heading the ball. It has the same symptoms as Alzheimer’s so isn’t always known to be the reasons behind issues in the older generation. With Cortisol being a trigger for the Tau protein and that same protein being present in CTE, are we putting ourselves at major risk in our own older years?

How can we calm these affects? There are exercises, breathing techniques, etc. You need to find what works for you! I personally have several techniques I use and teach, so find someone near you and try different things, it has to be something you are comfortable with and enjoy. The first few times you try, depending on how stressed you are, may feel awkward or strangely uncomfortable. Try, try and try again, you will begin to relax, when you do you will notice change and change is what you are looking for.

When we approach an event or situation we have expectations based on our mindset, our physical health, our emotional state and individuality (are we alone or with others). This has the result in making the moment follow your beliefs. When looking for the negatives, the problems, the bad feeling, it takes very little to give you the confirmation or proof that the negative would be there to find. Yet we have to be reminded by others frequently about the positive aspects of the exact same events.

Why is this? Negativity kept our species alive, it is in our DNA, we are genetically programmed to be aware of the bad, the risk, the problems that ‘might’ occur. Go back to the Fof, it is a survival mechanism, but we don’t need those instincts in life now… or do we? Yes of course we do, we wouldn’t walk across a collapsing bridge, or put our hands into a fire. We would keep away from places where we could fall, but yet we can logically fix the feelings of danger; just look at the people who like to go bungee jumping, parachuting or base jumping! You can even add in smoking there, that’s against every survival instinct!

These extreme sports all trigger the FoF response, but for those that do the sport, or achieve the ‘impossible act’ we get the rush, it is a rush of endorphins rewarding the body for its achievement, and it really is a high because endorphins are our natural opiates, which is probably why we term people adrenalin junkies, they love that natural high of success.

We don’t need to go quite that far, we can simply be aware that our genetics are trying to help us survive by making us think negatively, to be cautious, to figure out what could go wrong and that is simply so that the subconscious mind can figure out a way to beat it, to create a plan; if only we were consciously aware of that side too.

When the FoF response is in play we will create a list of things that might happen, so we are prepared to counteract them. When we are living our lives in this stressful and anxious manner, we become aware of all of these things that “could go wrong’ and it adds to the stresses already there, which again makes us doubt the outcomes due to weighing up the good/positive result with a continuous bombardment of possible negative results.

This isn’t just with events, it is with personal thoughts, and how we believe others may respond in action or thoughts.

We can create images in our minds about anything, in any place! That is the strength of our mind and also the subconscious taking advantage.

So what is the answer? Ask a thousand people and get a thousand responses but for me, if we can let our minds take a small respite from these pressure we place ourselves under, then we will have a different outlook on what is out there. If you work through your lunch, you are working at 50% of your ability, if you take 20 minutes and go for a walk during lunch and actually look at what is out there, you will be like a new person and will get more done. Take a break, recharge and you’ll be more productive. If you think about it, that means you’ll get more done, which means you will have more time, and that eases the pressure and so on.

All you need to do is find your way.

 

Now YOU can take back control!