Category: Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety management. Take control and breathe.

Stress Can be Good for You

Stress and anxiety are aspects of our lives that aren’t going away very easily.

Even so, you’re more powerful and in control than you think.

It may seem that stress controls you because it’s more powerful. But it isn’t, you’re letting it.

Stress as a Helpful Tool

You’ve already been using stress unconsciously as a tool to cope through uncertain times. Now use it purposefully to gain more positive results. Stressing or worrying about an outcome or experience makes us feel like we’re taking action. This then feels like a bit of control instead of sitting back and accepting the situation. Yet we’re unaware of this ‘choice’.

You’re habitual actions, like ones that come from stress and anxiety, are from habitual thoughts. When you purposely choose your thinking you can change your habits.

Try it out…

EXERCISE 1:  Set aside 15 minutes out of your day to bring up all the worries and upsets that are currently affecting you. Write them down with the main thought and worst case scenario. Eg. worried about speech/afraid I’ll freeze and look stupid, unsure about asking for money/afraid to lose the friendship or job etc. Then finish with a question of curiousity (not looking for the answer). For example: Is that true? (that I’ll freeze or lose the job?) Who knows if that will happen or not. Do I have options if that happens? or any other question that works for you to open up the possibilities.

Get comfortable with purposely allowing your worries, stresses and fears into your mind. Take the action of acknowledging them to get clarity instead of allowing them to over run you.

After doing this for 5 days write a comment on how you feel. Did it make a difference?

Stay tuned for more exercises to learn to use your stress and anxiety to help instead of harm.

 

Your Goal for Happiness, Peace and Success Starts Here – Pt. 1

Your Goal of Happiness Starts Now Your Goal of Happiness Starts Now Your Goal of Happiness Starts Now

OUR CHOICES CREATE OUR EXPERIENCE

All our choices are based on the information we have and that’s made up of what we’ve learned and experienced in the past. It’s a mix of emotions and facts. But even cold hard facts can be distorted because, as we are meaning making machines, we’ve learned to judge everything and slot them into ‘good’ or ‘bad‘. In essence creating an emotional decision. And so often our judgments of ‘good’ are based on avoiding discomfort or with fear that something bad will happen otherwise. To make decisions to reach your goal it’s important to recognize and choose the alternative to the fear based choice. And that would be basing a decision on walking towards something that enlivens and empowers me rather than running from discomfort or fear of lack or losing. I use the terms Fear or Love to make it easier for me discern what to choose.

I ask myself what will I gain rather than what will I lose.

THE DAILY REPETITIVE LOOP..Changing perspective with Liz Coleman RTC www.thespacesbetweencounselling.com

Without the awareness that comes from introspection and meditation we’re living an habitual, repetitive loop day in and day out. This is like insanity, choosing the same thoughts, choices, feelings and actions to create your days yet always hoping for a different result. Unfortunately, most of the decisions that come from this insanity loop are from a place of Fear. ..which then creates your reality. That’s why STRESS AND ANXIETY are such a constant in our life. The fear of lack or losing rules us.

To try and change our experience we’ve mistakenly learned that changing our behaviour will change our thoughts and experience. But no.. it’s often the other way around. Changing your behaviour may temporarily change your experience, like moving to another country. But left to the robotic, repetition of your habitual mind you’ll be right back to the same feelings, thoughts, choices etc. Then voila… same experience as before just in a different country.

YOUR EXPERIENCES TODAY ARE BASED ON YOUR GOAL AND DECISIONS FROM YESTERDAY

Looking at where you are today… what fear based decisions have you made that are keeping you from your goal of Happiness, Peace and Success?

Coming soon Part 2 of YOUR GOAL FOR HAPPINESS, PEACE AND SUCCESS STARTS HERE. I’ll explore how to recognize the fear based choices and start choosing from a loving state of mind.

 

For personal and private exploration of this topic your friendly counsellor can help. Find one you feel comfortable with to gently step into your story with you. You will be amazed at how relieved you’ll feel just sharing your experiences. A counsellor is a neutral third party to help you see what’s stopping you, validate the successes you have made and explore your opportunities.

Call 604-809-8947 now to find out more. Or Click to find a time to talk.

Continue to Part 2

EXPAND YOUR LEARNING…

Find out more about personal growth or counsellor training at Clearmind International 

More information on the spiritual study of the Fear or Love thought system click A Course In Miracles

Read more

Liz Coleman RTC

Not Happy? Not Unhappy? .. You’re in the Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone can be like the Dead Zone when you’re neither Happy nor Unhappy.

At first escaping to comfort isn’t all bad it’s helpful. Like a reward, we’re happy and feel relieved with the break from the anxiety and stresses of life. But when escaping becomes the place you live from... you are in the Comfort Zone.

The reward and happy feeling of Facebook, gaming, TV or whatever your escape, eventually wears off. It always does. Then you risk becoming caught in your comfort zone. If you don’t drop the activity to find something new the need for the happy feeling will force you to just do more of it. Longer periods of TV watching or longer, more often Facebook sessions etc.

You’re left feeling unfulfilled.

Neither happy nor unhappy.

Do you want a different experience?

The first step is to sit in the ‘need’ to escape. When you notice your urge to watch tv, have a smoke or check your phone stop…. notice your feelings and thoughts … take 5 deep breaths. Make the activity more conscious rather than an automatic behaviour. You’ll feel more in control and have taken power back to live the life you want.

Next step is to try something new. That something that’s been niggling at you but you’ve always found excuses to avoid. Follow your desire to learn or do something new.

Feel the discomfort of challenging yourself and the aliveness that results.

You don’t have to risk your life to get out of the Comfort Zone just take a step and stretch.

Remember comfort will always be there if you need a safety net.

Just take notice if you start living from there.

Find out more about Goal Setting to really give the boot to the Comfort Zone.

Help! I can’t stop my Bad Habits

When Eating, Drinking and other behaviours become Bad Habits

Sometimes the normal, healthy behaviours we engage in every day become out of control default behaviours, creating problems such as stress and anxiety. Unhealthy habits can be sneaky, starting with an innocent ‘reward’ for having a bad day and leading to becoming the ‘go to’ in an attempt to make yourself feel better. When this happens you can feel powerless to stop it.

Bad Habits and Inner Demons

Common Bad Habits:

  • Eating too much, or not at all
  • Watching TV or movies
  • Checking Facebook, email or surfing
  • Alcohol, smoking or drugs/medication
  • Ranting to friends, gossiping
  • Shopping
  • Work, Exercise, Sleep, Sex

In some cases, daily behaviours become default behaviours and bad habits that you use as a way to cope and distract yourself from feeling the underlying stress and anxiety. It may be your reward or ‘go to’ you’ve done all your life or it may be something new. Chances are you’ve done ‘something’ all your life to avoid feeling.  That’s what these default behaviours are for, to numb and comfort so you don’t feel the upset or hurt underneath. When you try to alter the behaviour, you are not getting to the root cause: your feelings. The feeling underneath may have started innocently but became huge and menacing after being hidden and avoided for so long.

Clients will often share that if they start crying they’ll never stop, or they fear if they let the sadness come out they’ll fall into depression like a deep hole. The feeling has become big and ominous. I’ve heard others call it their Inner Demons. However, the truth is that feelings are feelings, and the menacing monster was created using your own imagination.

Facing the Feelings

The FIRST STEP is to recognize that your behaviours are causing a problem, (often it feels like “Help I can’t stop”when some behaviour is out of control) and that you desire a different experience (feeling calm, at peace and in control). Much like a personal goal, this recognition can help you when things get tough.

I feel …

Now I want to feel…

The SECOND STEP involves manifesting that goal feeling in your body. When did you experience that feeling (sharing with someone special, at a performance or receiving praise and acknowledgement)? Where do you experience that feeling? For example you may want peace, and peace feels like a warm sensation around your heart and chest; relief may feel like lightness in your shoulders. Create a habit of breathing and recreating this feeling every day. Eventually this becomes normal, and you recognize the stressful feelings sooner before they cause problems.

The THIRD STEP occurs when you catch yourself engaging in some of these unwanted behaviours. Create some space between your stress or anxiety, and the default behaviour. When you recognize you are stressed, breathe and give yourself a moment to feel before acting on the impulse. Do not be discouraged if you recognize the stress and behaviour after you’ve eaten, checked your phone or turned on the TV. This is the perfect time to remember your goal feeling and breathe into it. Ground yourself by closing your eyes and putting your hand on your stomach or looking into someone’s eyes. This will bring you into the present where you can check in with yourself to see what you’re feeling. Post reminders to breathe deeply so as to create a habit.

The FOURTH STEP involves getting to know these feelings you’ve been hiding from. These apparent Inner Demons are beneficial. They have something to teach you and can help you find more joy and peace in your life. Write down the thoughts and feelings as often as you can. Open up and share your fears with someone you trust. Revealing the fears behind the bad habits will lessen the intensity of the default behaviours and the need to numb the feelings.

Soon you will be able to enjoy these daily behaviours again without feeling out of control. You will decide whether the reward will be food or alcohol, or the positive daily habits you’ve created to manage your stress and anxiety and avoid numbing.

Healthy Communication for Couples - Surrey Counsellor

Is Your Communication Helping or Hurting you?

Conflict Resolution for Healthy Communication

Whether you are a boss speaking to your employees, a daughter to her mom, or friend to friend, the dynamics of communication are either working or not. Good or bad, your ability to communicate effectively touches all areas of your life.

Unhealthy communication can leave you:

  • Lacking close friendships
  • Feeling like no one really knows you
  • Distant or cut-off with family members
  • Passive or withdrawn
  • Experiencing out-of-control emotions or rebellious behaviour
  • Experiencing conflict and unhealthy anger
  • Needing approval from others
  • Blaming or gossiping
  • Seeing others as lesser than yourself or better than yourself
  • Experiencing indecision, frustration & resentment
  • Depressed

CONNECTION TO SELF = CONNECTION TO OTHERS

If you are not feeling connected to yourself, how could others feel connected to you?

Changing your mind will change your life but until you’ve experienced it it will seem impossible.

All the values you have learned through your family and culture interpret how you experience events and information. Unbelievably, about 70% of all communication is non-verbal. Beyond what your words are saying, much of what you are thinking is being communicated, often without you being aware.

Thankfully, as you become more aware of what your values are, you can make intentional changes and, not only does your inner world improve but your outer world and how others relate to you will change too.

There are very practical tools to build this awareness of how you are communicating and relating to others.

Once you learn how to shift your focus to yourself and rely on your own inner guidance, other people disagreeing with you will no longer bother you and you will be able to make clear, calm decisions.

Your peace of mind and confidence will help ground you and provide a stable, safe and satisfying feeling in your life while the people around you will experience a sense of freedom to be themselves.

If not just for yourself, give the gift of clearer, heartfelt, and more functional communication to those around you. What an amazing tool to teach your children!

Contact www.thespacesbetweencounselling.com for more info and a free consultati

Couples Therapy and Relationship Counselling with Liz Coleman RTC

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