Archive for the ‘Counselling’ Category

The Importance of Mindfulness

gold coast psychologist

Take a minute and think of any three things that are bothering you at present.  Now ask yourself – how many of those things are actually problems occurring in the here and now?

In today’s fast paced life where we often feel like we are running out of time, we often have difficulty enjoying the present moment.  All too often we are either too busy anticipating what is to come or thinking about what has passed.  Spending excess time in the past – or future – keeps us “in our heads” and leads to states of anxiety and depression.

What is Mindfulness?

The term “Mindfulness” is a translation of the Pali term Sati which is an important element in Buddhist healing methods. As an intervention strategy many online and personal therapists use mindfulness to treat an array of mental health conditions.

How Does Mindfulness Help?

Mindfulness helps by:

  • Making us aware of the ‘self’
  • Helping us to feel our surroundings and make full use of our senses
  • Allowing us a break from the chatter of our minds, giving us a chance to calm down
  • Allowing us to appreciate the beauty around us
  • Practicing and refining our concentration.

Easy Mindfulness Exercises to Try

  1. Mindful breathing: Allow the breath to flow freely. Do not try to control it. Keep breathing and stretch your arms with every inhale and exhale.  Focus all your attention on your breath.  When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath, without judgement.  
  2. Mindful observation: Select any natural object in your visual field (flowers, birds, the sky, water, a flame, a flower or even a picture) and allow yourself to become consumed by its presence.  Every time your mind gets distracted with thoughts, plans, or worries – just gently bring it back to observing the world around you.
  3. Mindful listening: This is simply selecting the music of your choice and listening to it on a low soothing volume. If it’s a song you’ve heard before, try to notice something new about it. Notice the intricacies and the complexities of the music.   When the music finishes, observe and name the next five sounds you can hear in the area around you over the next couple of minutes.
  4. Mindful eating: Take a break from the conversation and close your eyes.  Take a bite. Observe the nuances of the flavours.  Notice how it feels and tastes on different parts of your tongue. Roll it around on your tongue and observe the texture of the food.    

Mindfulness takes practice, but is well establish as an effective remedy for anxiety and depression.  Start with 5 minutes per day.

For further information, contact an online psychologist or Gold Coast Psychologist if you are in the area.  Check out my website PSYCoaching.

If you have any queries or suggestions on this blog, please share in the comments below.

Depression: A Laughing Matter?  The secret STIGMA lurking in my subconscious 

Fifty percent of the room had had it, or something similar, but nobody wanted to admit it.

What happens when you captivate the attention a big bar full of strangers, get them all laughing, then suddenly challenge them without warning  to “put your hand up if you’ve ever had depression?”

I was about put my hand up and let out a gratifying “yes!” but something held me back.  My shoulder twitched upwards, then down, then back up again as I quickly glanced around the packed bar to see if anyone else was going to admit it.

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Mental Illness in the Workplace

I am currently delivering workshops on Mental Health Issues for a range of government agencies in the workplace and thought I would share with you all some interesting facts:

Did you know that mental illness can affect anyone at anytime?

Statistically, approximately 1 – in 4 adults have a diagnosable mental health condition, yet most do not seek help (and it it is my experience that many who do seek help wait until their distress is severe).  Despite this, nearly half of all senior managers in a recent Canadian survey believed that none of their workers will experience a mental health problem at work.

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Mental Health Week, Website updates and Promotions

Happy Mental Health Week to everyone!

Did you know that at any given time, 1 in 5 employees are likely to be experiencing a mental health condition?
Mental Health Week 2014 runs from 5 to 11 October, and it’s a great time to show support for mental health and wellbeing in your workplace.
The week also marks World Mental Health Day on the 10 October.

How do I get involved?

You can start right now! Visit the beyondblue website for tips on how you can build a mentally healthy workplace, including:
  • improving the culture in your workplace
  • supporting access to psychological support services
  • raising awareness of mental health conditions and reducing stigma.
You can also check out the events that are being held around Australia to promote a better understanding of mental health issues.

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Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week takes places 7 to 13 October 2014, with 10 October being World Mental Health Day. It is a chance to reflect on mental health and take some positive steps to highlight the importance of mental wellbeing. This year, the theme in Queensland is “MIND-CLICKS – where minds meet”. It is a chance to reflect on mental health and take some positive steps to highlight the importance of mental wellbeing. Visit the link for more information. http://ow.ly/Cc7Le

Is it worth trying to be happy? The long awaited answers are here!

Apologies for keeping people hanging on this one. I have been enjoying life away from the computer with a trip around the USA and Canada. My last post was one that I wanted to get out there so much that I did it all via my mobile phone. Apologies for any typos that popped up in the process.
I often define the happy and fulfilling life to my clients as a balance of connection to people, connection to nature and connection to a purpose. The latter may include hobbies, projects, and family roles. For many, connection to a greater purpose or a greater good is also valued (be it community / country / a god etc). I find that travelling helps me really connect to new environments that are beautiful, new and therefore stimulating. I find that connecting to people from other cultures helps strengthen my sense of identity about where I fit in the world, and I love connecting to and learning from people from other parts of the world and realising our shared values. More importantly, I just love to “shoot the sh**” and have a good time. That’s a great thing to have in common.

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Is it worth trying to be happy? The long awaited answers are here!

Apologies for keeping people hanging on this one. I have been enjoying life away from the computer with a trip around the USA and Canada. My last post was one that I wanted to get out there so much that I did it all via my mobile phone. Apologies for any typos that popped up in the process.
I often define the happy and fulfilling life to my clients as a balance of connection to people, connection to nature and connection to a purpose. The latter may include hobbies, projects, and family roles. For many, connection to a greater purpose or a greater good is also valued (be it community / country / a god etc). I find that travelling helps me really connect to new environments that are beautiful, new and therefore stimulating. I find that connecting to people from other cultures helps strengthen my sense of identity about where I fit in the world, and I love connecting to and learning from people from other parts of the world and realising our shared values. More importantly, I just love to “shoot the sh**” and have a good time. That’s a great thing to have in common.

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Is it worth trying to be happy? Part 2: The results

Firstly,

Apologies for this having taken so long. I have been overseas working on my knowledge, connection to people and connection to nature.

A couple of weeks ago I posted the following Quiz:

Which of the following were scientifically proven to correlate with happiness*?

-wealth
-physical health
-education
-socio-political climate (ie your system of government)
-age
-gender
-religion
-race
climate (weather)
-number of friends
-marriage

I asked you to take a guess about what the findings may have been be from large randomized controlled surveys conducted across thousands of people (mainly in the Americas ) from a mix of different backgrounds on what happy people have in common.

So here are the trends suggested by recent research:

Wealth
A cross-national survey involving thousands of adults indicated that once gross national product exceeds $8,000 per person, added wealth brings no further life satisfaction. in summary, being poor seems to have a negative effect on happiness, and being rich does not have a significant effect on happiness overall. In very poor nations, where poverty threatens life itself, being rich does predict greater well-being. In wealthier nations, where basic needs are generally met, even the fabulously rich are not substantially happier.

-physical health
-education
-sociopolitical climate (ie your system of government)
-age
-gender
-religion
-race
climate (weather)
-number of friends
-marriage

is it worth trying to be happy?

Is it worth trying to be happy? The science has been tested and the stats are in!

Actually, valid and reliable scientific findings about what makes us happy have been coming in for the last 10 years or so.

QUIZ
Which of the following were scientifically proven to correlate with happiness*?

-wealth
-physical health
-education
-sociopolitical climate (ie your system of government)
-age
-gender
-religion
-race
climate (weather)
-number of friends
-marriage

Before I give you the “answers” to the questions above – why not to try for yourself and post your queations or thoughts on the psycoaching website, Linkedin, Google+ or Facebook page. Or contact me privately through the Psycoaching website contact page.

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Positive Psychology: a (very) brief introduction & history

 

Positive psychology is a recent branch of scientific psychology that studies the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities, who are not experiencing significant levels of distress, to thrive. The advantage of positive psychology is that it unites scattered and disparate lines of theory and research about what makes life worth living and provides a theoretical backbone for coaching psychology.

According to Martin Seligman, President of the American Psychological society and arguably the strongest proponent of Positive Psychology, positive psychology can be delineated into three overlapping areas of research referred to as “the Pleasant Life,”related to enjoyment, “the Good Life,” related to engagement and “the Meaningful Life,” related to affiliation. Seligman contends that for life coaching psychologists, practicing exactly these three endeavors may bring some order into chaos by limiting coaching’s  scope of practice and providing the solid research base with a strong theoretical backbone that coaching psychology desperately needs.

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