Welcome Friends

Welcome to my funny little world. Sometimes it's a bit sad, sometimes it's a bit mad, but I try to give you some uplifting words every day. And in amongst them I'll give you a little philosophy and celebrate just being. If you like a good bedtime story or you are just curious about your life or mine or you want to be encouraged, then come on in, the water's lovely!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

New Year Blues?

I know it isn't New Year yet but everything that can be said about Christmas has already been said hasn't it?

Some years ago I met for the first time, one of those people who hates New Year. Until then I had not been aware of this substantial group. This particular individual explained that he found New Year depressing because it was an opportunity to look back over the year past and realise that he had achieved nothing, not moved on in life, not got anywhere nearer to reaching his goals.

My thoughts were instantly that this was one seriously depressing and depressed person! Well heavens, if you looked back at all your failures wouldn't you hate it too? I certainly would. This man had no perspective on what he HAD achieved. Maybe he had learned to cook macaroni cheese or discovered more about recycling or painted his kitchen, bought a new car, educated himself by reading a paper twice a week. I don't know what he had done but I know he had achieved something. But he wasn't acknowledging anything that he had done.

Perhaps some of our strategic goals might not have been achieved in full but let's not let that overshadow who we are and what we do and have done this year. I haven't achieved everything I wanted to and I haven't got as far with some goals as I wanted to get either. What I have achieved though has been an expansion of my hypnotherapy work, an excellent work/life balance and a deeper love for my small son. Those things are important and although I did not do the one thing that I wanted most this year, I will not be feeling depressed when the New Year arrives.

Take a proper look at what you have done this year. And if you acknowledge the detail then you will find achievments and positive change too.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Celebrate Happiness

I feel like I'm in a confessional, "Bless me Father for I have sinned because it has been a few weeks since my last blog post." What can I say? Family and home pressures too numerous, not to mention the time I have to give to my clients, and actually it is right that I give more time to family and clients than to my blog.

Onwards with the blog!

My subject today is to celebrate happiness. I have a couple of very worthwhile clients at the moment who have both suffered difficult childhoods and difficult subsequent life experiences. If I let them dwell on these they could feel pretty depressed don't you think? So we are trying to stimulate their happy neural networks. Every day they have to think of and dwell on a positive memory or experience or feeling.

Thoughts are only flases of electrical stimulation and they go round the brain through networks. These networks are the ones they know, the ones they have been used to taking and using. A person who likes dogs will have a neural network set up so that each time he sees a dog he feels positive, happy, perhaps a nice memory may be sparked. Someone witha dog phobia would have a diferent, negative network of thoughts activated by the same stimulus. Each of these networks are in part habits. The brain is used to responding in this way os it always responds in a similar manner.

So if we keep prodding and stimulating the positive networks then we can develop more positive habitual ways of thinking. And if we have a habit of thinking positively then we become more positive overall.

Despite the tough times, everyone does have some positive memories or experiences to draw on. Any tiny memory will do - playing in the snow, a funny time with a friend, enjoying a certain TV programme - anything at all. If you train yourself to consider a happy or positive memory or a positive thing about yourself as a person every single day, you will be compounding and strengthening your positive view of yourself. You will improve your self-esteem slowly but surely.

There are positive parts of everyone and we need to strengthen these sides of ourselves in order to learn how to deal with the negative parts of life. Even something that started off badly will have a bit of good to build upon.

If you have been born into an unfortunate situation, it is not necessarily your destiny to stay in that mould. You CAN change your stars. I would like to recommend a film called "A Knights Tale" starring the late Heath Ledger, which describes how the unlikliest situations can turn around.

And remember, in your darkest hours, "I may be lying in the gutter, but I am looking up at the stars." I wish Heath Ledger had been able to see those stars.

The stars ARE there. All you need to do is open your eyes and look up.