Viewing posts categorised under: Mental health

How do you start your day? I start mine by playing…

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 Children and play

Have you ever observed how children wake up and just play?  How they start their day quietly exploring, happy and content in their own company? It’s something we adults can learn from.  For most of our lives we’ve been domesticated away from playing when really, the practice of quietly playing can set you up for the day, and regular breaks to play or just watch the clouds in the sky can make SUCH a difference in your day. Whether you like to play Angry Birds (like former British Prime Minister David Cameron), Candy Crush (like PSU CEO Neroli Jones) or build Lego like Soccer Icon David Beckham, play doesn’t just reduce stress and contribute to overall wellbeing, it’s an incredibly rich mindfulness tool. Let’s keep this quiet play separate from physical play – we’re talking about starting your day mindfully, but in a way that is light and playful.  Physical play is a separate topic, here we’re talking about mind play rather than body play…

Play as a mindfulness tool

There’s a huge amount of psychology research material around the importance of play for both children and adults, but much of it focuses on the benefits and positive outcomes relating to stress, relationships and wellbeing etc. What hasn’t been well documented is how play relates as a mindfulness tool.  When I play candy crush in the mornings I just love it.  It’s a quiet part of my day where I’m just me, not a wife / mother / grandmother / CEO and business owner – just me and the game.  Each level of the game has a purpose, and for each game I set an intention and I celebrate the outcome.  As I play I observe myself – why am I choosing to make that move?  What is motivating me?  Am I playing for more of the positives or fighting the negatives?  What elements in this game can I see reflected in my day – ie is this game about precision and alignment or is it more about expansion and conversion? And as I play I am stimulated by these questions as well as by the colours, the spatial reasoning and the wisdom that comes with my observations.  Every next step I take in that game clearly adds up to a result and each one is completed with utter joy.  I learn from the losses and I know when I’m stuck on a level for a spell that it will be reflected somewhere else in my life – somewhere I feel ‘stuck’ but with that awareness can now ‘unstick’.  Play reveals thought and can be incredibly illuminating in a way that thinking something through often can’t reach or quite connect to. At the end of my play I’m ready to be a part of the world and later when I meditate, I already have insight into the intention I will set for the day that is mine to create. So you see, I don’t switch off when I play, I switch on… What do you play?  Please write in and share what starts your day and why it’s so great?     Neroli Jones  Personal Life Coach;  Founder and CEO Paradigm Switch  

Have you Met Yourself?

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“I was dissatisfied with most areas of my life, I had a job I hated, my health had suffered, the family were in disarray and my self critic made me feel I was failing at everything.”

  A familiar lament we hear only too often? Steve Grant, PS practitioner, certainly says so. It's hardly surprising, when you weigh up the the multi-tasking, juggling lives most of us lead. He has been using the practice of Voice Dialogues for over 16 years, to help patients suffering from problems ranging from sleep disorders to relationship breakdowns at both home and work. Steve believes it is most important to DEVELOP OUR INNER AWARENESS. “This is critical in understanding who is in control of our personal psychological car.” He explains. According to psychologists, Hal and Sidra Stone, we are all made up of many sub personalities - many selves; each one of them having been programmed as we developed and grew up. This practice of “Voice Dialogue” and the “The Psychology of Selves” was developed more than forty years ago, when The Stones identified each self to have its own agendas, memories, desires, physical needs and prejudices. We switch from one to the other regularly and often everyday, depending on what we are doing. Consider how different we act when we are at the office as compared to when we’re on a dinner date, or how our parenting varies to our friendships. Most of us display the following sub personalities: the people pleaser, inner critic, rule maker, the analyst, clown, rebel, or achiever. We also own the ‘being’ personalities such as being happy, vain, fearful, or sad.

Sub-Personalities have the Power

The problems arise when many people express only a tiny percentage of themselves, by getting locked into and limited by only a small group of these sub personalities. This creates our whole life experience and forms patterns we repeat in relationships, with inner feelings and emotions, leisure activities, career and financial status. Our health, creative expression, view of the world and so forth is further influenced by these sub personalities. If your life’s experiences are constantly repeating or not playing out in the way you want, don’t look for an outside cause. It is vital to consider the workings of the sub-personalities within your mind. Without having knowledge of these, it is very difficult to alter the dynamics of a relationship, or change other areas of your life to run smoothly. Our rational mind does not understand joy nor does it feel joy. Rather it uses a sub-personality to interpret the experience. Try to notice which sub-personality is being used - only one can be used at a time. The modality of Voice Dialogues allows us to unlock the key to understanding ourselves better. It provides a safe environment to access our subconscious voice, expose patterns and behaviours that sabotage or ‘block’ us from success.

By releasing your fears you become stronger

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”  advises Professor Brené Brown, who shows us through her work, how we can turn fear into power.
Neroli Jones, PS founder has a more amusing analogy: think Nancy Ganz shapewear – “you can push and squeeze the unwanted pounds around but they won’t just vanish – they have to go somewhere!” A very big thank you to Steve Grant  Paradigm Switch Osteopath, Acupuncturist and Voice Dialogues Coach.      

All is Well in My World

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The passing of Louise Hay was indeed a sad day for us all at PS. Even though she died of natural causes and had reached a ripe age of 90, she represents a great loss and will be missed by millions, all over world.

Louise has been proclaimed to be founder of the self-help movement as a pioneer in initiating the connection between mind and body as well as bringing spirituality into the mainstream. In 1976, she published Heal Your Body, at a time when self-help was almost unknown. It was an instant success and steered Louise who was 50 at the time, into a thriving, lifelong career. Along came the phenomenal bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, which sold more than 50 million copies and reached the New York Times bestseller list for 13 consecutive weeks. By that time, her affirmations and intuitive self-healing had been proven to be successful. Louise herself had been diagnosed with cancer and by using herself as a guinea pig she replaced traditional drugs and medicine with her affirmations, visualisation, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy. Louise healed herself within six months. By revealing how mental patterns can cause physical illness Louise taught us to use visualisation, affirmations, and positive thoughts to help reverse ailments and illness. Through Louise’s healing techniques millions have learned how to create healthier, more positive, pain-free and fulfilled lives. As well as not-for-profit - The Hay Foundation, Louise created Hay House, a publishing company that will continue her legacy of self-discovery, spirituality, and healing. Louise will be remembered for her wealth of illuminating quotes and sound teachings that are more relevant than ever, in today’s world of spiritual chaos, and growing mental and physical disease. She has been pivotal in growing the spiritual groundswell, gaining momentum around the world.

RIP Louise Hay.

We thank you for shining your light.

5 Ways to Instantly Boost your Wellbeing

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Nurture from within

“Wellbeing is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment."

Martin Seligman     Paradigm Switch founder Neroli Jones identifies 4 pillars of wellbeing; mental, physical, purposeful and the one that is often the most overlooked - emotional. To experience a true sense of wellbeing we need to balance all these elements. Here are some effective wellbeing practices you can incorporate into your week.

MASSAGE

Boost your wellbeing through relaxation

Boost your wellbeing through relaxation

Massage is a recognised way to reduce stress and produce deep relaxation. Consider a massage when you are feeling particularly tense or anxious. The practice of using touch as a healing method began over 5000 years ago as a sacred system of natural healing when ancient civilizations found that massage could heal injuries, relieve pain, and prevent and cure illnesses. Todays therapists practice a multitude of techniques originating from the ancient methods. From those origins comes the inspiration to help with healing physical and emotional wellbeing.

 

GET CREATIVE

Whether it’s with arranging a vase of fresh flowers or crafting your own garden, putting some inner creativity into your life will develop a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Not all of us are budding artists but most will take pleasure in cooking a delicious meal, or creating a calm space in the home. Whatever your ‘thing’ - just lead with the heart. In her best-selling book Elizabeth Gilbert explains the untold benefits of living a life creatively –

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”  

Elizabeth GilbertBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
 

BORROW A DOG

Boost with a pooch

Boost with a pooch

This is a good one because not only does it provide the value of spending time with a furry friend, but gets your body moving too. The benefits of animal therapy are well documented. According to http://www.pawsforpeople.org spending time with a friendly pet lifts our physical, mental and cognitive focus. Many hospitals now encourage dog visits as a form of natural healing while a number of studies have found that people who spend time with animals experience some real positive effects such as lower blood pressure, a sense of belonging, fewer colds and flu, less stress and elevated moods.

   
smell lifts the spirit

Smell lifts the spirit

SENSORY BOOST

Our most primal sense is that of smell as it exerts surprising influence over our thoughts, emotions, moods, memories, and behaviours. Scents are experienced in the brain, long before we develop a conscious awareness of it. This is why it's nearly impossible to describe them with language. For this reason, scents can have a powerful influence over how we think, feel, and behave. Try burning some essential oils to suit your mood, match them up to add energy, focus or calm into your life.

 

BE KIND

Something as small as writing a few thankful words to someone who supports you, or giving a compliment to a stranger can work wonders for the soul. By giving, you boost your internal sense of value and wellbeing. Studies have shown that volunteering promotes better psychological and mental health as well as increased longevity.
kindness breeds kindness

Kindness boosts wellbeing

Next time you’re out and about be ready to offer a seat to someone need or lend a hand to a struggling mum with a pram. It’s tempting to overlook these small acts, while we rush through life, not realising that it’s a simple way of actually making us feel better. Psychologists recognise that doing something positive for someone else can lead to a feeling of well-being in both the helper and the recipient, even a sense of elation. If you develop a balanced wellbeing, other areas of your life will benefit. Kindness attracts kindness.

We’ve all heard of Emotional Intelligence, so what is Emotional Wellbeing?

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  When faced with corporate burnout and her own threatened state of wellbeing, Neroli Jones, founder of PS embarked on a journey of personal discovery. She identified four key quadrants that underpin  our wellbeing – and realised that it is  not until these are in balance, that we can expect to feel a complete sense of  health.  These pillars, she names  - the Physical, Mental, Purposeful and Emotional.

"I call this our Wellbeing Compass"

 
When our Wellbeing Compass is in balance, we can navigate successfully through the pathway of life's highs and lows with ease, effortlessly. On the other hand, when it is not balanced, that is when the problems start. Until now emotional wellbeing has been quite overlooked, with much of what we see in the news focused on mental health. The emotional impact on our lives has traditionally been sidelined or neglected altogether. If mental health is that of the mind, emotional health is that of our feelings and the related aspects of that – our relationships with others and with ourselves. A few years ago, when Neroli was caught in an unexpected downward spiral, her health alerted her to a crisis point before she had worked out that apart from addressing the obvious physical imbalance, it was the emotional side of things that really needed attention. Being a high achiever, placing unrealistic demands on her body, she'd turned to pushing herself harder in an attempt to improve her fitness and physical health. This, in fact proved not to be the answer and had she listened to her body in the first instance, the crisis might have been easily avoided. It was not until  Neroli acknowledged her body's cry for attention that she could flip the paradigm and  start to give it the love it so desperately yearned for.   So, baby steps of self-kindness were taken to get her  health back on track; wellbeing became   her utmost priority. We are not programmed to be kind to ourselves and it is often seen to be a form of self indulgence, but this illuminating journey helped to navigate her pathway to wellbeing, big breakthroughs and quantum leaps. Learning to love ourselves where we are right now, not where we could be / should be / are expected to be – but right here.

Emotions are simply feelings with a judgement attached. Once we understand this, the rest falls into place.

Emotional wellbeing is about truth – the truth of now. It’s about self-acceptance without judgement and it’s about love. More often than not, we feed ourselves a diet of toxic lies. Our relationship with ourselves is the most profoundly complex relationship we will ever navigate and yet we spend most of our time developing or managing relationships with others, outside ourselves. Emotional wellbeing focuses on your relationship with you…. ask yourself regularly – how does this (person, event, conversation, activity – whatever) make me feel? Do I want more of that or less of that? How you feel    tells you everything. You actually do know what you need, you do know what makes you happy, but you do need to invest the time to listen. That's called emotional wellbeing. To understand  your personal wellbeing and discover how  balanced  you are, go to  the Paradigm Switch compass tool and spend a few minutes to reveal where you need to focus  on improvement.  You might be quite surprised at the results.  The PS Compass will point to   the quadrant that needs most work, so you  then can  be directed to the best suited therapies.  

The Essential Ingredient Happy People Share

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“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”    Helen Keller

  If you look around at the people you admire, the ones that inspire you, that make you feel good, and the ones who have that contagious energy you just wish you could catch…. What is it they have in common? Chances are, you’ll find that they have a reason to get up in the morning. In other words they are motivated by an innate purpose or sense of moving forward to achieving something they feel passionate about. Being happy can take on a number of disguises – it deceives us into thinking we’ll get happy if we:

Get a new car

Go on holiday

Find a partner

Go shopping

Eat our favourite food

Go to the gym

Go partying with friends

  These are all enjoyable but temporary happiness moments. More often than not, once the holiday is over, we are faced again with having to find another happiness distraction. And so the cycle spins around and around. Continuous research findings have shown that a lasting sense of happiness or contentment comes with being useful. If we are being useful to ourselves, friends, family, the planet or even our pets, our sense of identity or pride is lifted, thus inducing a feeling of achievement and satisfaction. You just need to look at a new mother to witness a purpose surge of happiness. According to Volunteering Australia, 96% of volunteers said it made them happier people. It’s also worth noting that volunteers are healthier and sleep better. They experience a ‘helpers’ high’ akin to an emotional and physical sense of wellbeing. Financial security, a sense of purpose in life, and good personal relationships are said to make up the "golden triangle" or 3 pillars of happiness according to one of Australia's largest wellbeing surveys. Unfortunately, the toughest one to harness is to find your purpose, which essentially underpins the other two happiness pillars. Finding your purpose can be both challenging and elusive, often taking many years to discover.

The Answer is always Inside Yourself

Spiritual teacher and Hindu Priest, Dandapani gave up a promising career in engineering, to train with a guru in a cloistered monastery for 10 years. It wasn’t until he settled in New York City, before he could pinpoint the key that unlocks our authentic purpose, lodged deep within each one of us. The challenge of course, is to allow it to surface. “We are all too busy distracting ourselves to let our true sense of why we are here become apparent.” Dandapani tells us. “How can we hear what’s within if we don’t listen? You can’t meditate however unless you are taught how to concentrate or focus and that takes practice. Purpose is hard to find for many of us and there’s no easy shortcut to find it.” One tool that will help you to measure how in touch you are with your purpose is by completing our Paradigm Compass test, which you will find by clicking here. We invite you to talk this simple exercise that allows you to assess how far you are from finding your true purpose, and then will direct you to the most appropriate help, if necessary.  

Negative Thinking is an Addiction

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According to the National Science Foundation we think between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. Of these it is estimated that 95% are the same thoughts that run through our minds everyday. When you consider that our reality creates our mindset, it’s hardly surprising to learn that when we begin to think negatively, our world will eventually deteriorate, reflecting those thoughts. This is how we become addicted to negative thinking. Einstein quote thinking Think about it. It might seem as though we are just reacting to life events, but what is actually happening is that the negative thoughts in the first place are in fact facilitating most of those events. Be aware - it is not the other way round. So, if you want to change your life, you need to change your thinking. Can Albert Einstein be wrong? Every conscious thought is recorded by our subconscious mind. It never questions or disputes the validity of a thought. It literally takes our word for it. For example if we think “I’m never going to have any money” that fact is accurately and literally recorded. Your subconscious mind then communicates directly with the quantum energy field which then manifests your reality. The more negatively we think, the more this will be reflected in our everyday lives and experiences. It might be in an unexpected way, but the negativity will be there. This is the law of attraction, and it works regardless of if we understand how it works or not. Try these effective tools to dispel negative thinking:

  • Flip the mindset. Negative thinking is simply thinking about what you do not want, while positive thinking is thinking about what you do.  If you focus on a positive outcome, that is what the subconscious will record and pass it on to a reality.
  • Take responsibility Take responsibility for all your thoughts, and notice that you are not your thoughts. Try to separate your reactions from a life event and be aware of how you choose to react rather than repeating past, learnt behaviours. It will empower you from your negative thinking.
  • EFT Tapping can dispel  moods and feelings, making way for positive thoughts.
  • Make some endorphins The ‘happy’ hormones produced with the increased oxygen flow from exercise, will naturally alter your mindset.
  • Watch your words Avoid saying ‘but’ – “I love my work, but…..” or making false excuses – “I can’t stay because…”
  • Ask positive open-ended questions How can this get better? Where could this lead to? Don’t restrict yourself with answers, just put the thought out there.
Our minds are an amazing engine, capable of endless possibilities, the only thing that draws us back, is ourselves. Only you are the administrator of your destiny. holding the world"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny." Frank Outlaw