Posted in Weekly Blog

Fun Games

Today’s group was the last of the year and we felt it was good to have some party games and talk about how people find Christmas.  For some people it can be a very hard time of the year with people feeling a certain pressure on them to be happy when they don’t necessarily feel that way. The energy as always seemed to lift when we played some fun Christmas party games and watched funny videos (See below). The group would like to thank everyone for their help and support throughout the year.  Here’s to 2017!

 

Posted in Weekly Blog

Dealing with emotions

 

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Wow-opening a discussion about what emotions are is like taking the lid off Pandora’s box….such a huge far ranging and complex topic, but here is how we got on:

So, we could name some emotions like anger, frustration, passion, joy, upset, low, jealousy, sorrow, guilt and fear and we got into a conversation about which emotions or in which context it is acceptable to express emotion in our society and culture and which ones are not.  For example, at a football match it is very acceptable for men to display passion, excitement, disappointment, cry and hug strangers, whereas these same men would be unlikely to do so at the office. “It’s like something changes when going through that turnstile”. It is possibly more acceptable in our society for women to discuss their difficult emotions that it is for men, though this does slowly seem to be changing as with current disclosures by men of abuse they experienced in football clubs, society is opening up to men talking about things as we start to move on from the stiff upper lip generation of the war. Maybe that approach was fitting for an entire society to heal from its losses and scars but it feels different now and in different times and with different issues perhaps it is more helpful to speak.

We thought about what are emotions for? What is their purpose?  Well, our emotions have an impact on our physical wellbeing, we talked about how bitterness can literally make you feel ill as it maybe does have some kind of toxin to our bodies, and we know it is documented that laughter is good for our health, and strengthens the bones.  Holding anger and stress will cause tension and tiredness and unreleased grief and unforgiveness can feed into being unwell with depression.

Emotions also indicate something to us, letting us know that something is good like peace, love and joy,  or that something needs attended such as compassion or guilt while some emotions alert us that something is wrong or unjust like anger or fear.

In considering how we respond to difficult emotions people talked about how it was an active choice to not become bitter or self-pitying or remain in a victim place where we may have been in a situation that caused us to feel hurt and powerless.  Instead we can choose to be grateful.  Practical ways that people responded to emotions were to talk it out or walk it out.  Some explained that by not allowing expression of emotion this leads to feeling numb, where emotions cease to be felt at all.

So, how much should emotion guide our behaviour?  Well we decided that it is probably best to think it out, and assess before responding immediately to any emotion, we agreed with the wisdom of the following quote:

“The best speech you make in anger, is the best speech you will probably regret”.                      Ed Garcia

People spoke about doing something different in order to have another focus to dissipate strong negative emotions, and again people spoke about choosing gratitude over bitterness.

Overall coping strategies to cope with strong emotions and stress which group members used were mindfulness and taking the power to make good choices about which emotions to run with or not and responding after measured consideration.

“Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf.”                                                                                                          Jonaten Martensson

Click here for an article further exploring positive emotions 

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Blog

Overcoming Fear and Building Confidence

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At this weeks group we used some brief sections of Susan Jeffers best selling book:

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We looked at her idea that:

“AT THE BOTTOM OF EVERY ONE OF YOUR FEARS IS SIMPLY THE FEAR THAT YOU CAN’T HANDLE WHATEVER LIFE MAY BRING YOU.”

This lies at the bottom of any fear we live with; getting ill, redundancy, loss, bankruptcy etc.  She says if we knew we could handle anything what could we possibly have to fear?

Susan Jeffers names five truths to assist in dealing with fear, these are:

  1. The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
  2. The only way to get rid of the fear of something is to go out ……and do it.
  3. The only way to feel better about myself is to go out…..and do it.
  4. Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else.
  5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.

We discussed the fears that people felt they couldn’t handle and looked into these a bit more.  Some people spoke about self-fulfilling fears, whereby the expectation affects a persons attitude and behaviours often leading to the expected result.  Others talked about learning to not worry about the outcome and try the thing anyway, for example rather than not apply for a job for fearing about not being successful, just apply for the job anyway-that is overcoming the fear and not worrying about the result.  We talked about how you can do some things with baby steps and things don’t have to be all or nothing (some things do!) you can try a little first and see if it works.

We spent time considering truth number 5, in that what can be motivating is that the fear of staying stuck becomes greater than the fear of embracing the change.  We got the idea of truth number 1, that in life we will always face fear because there will always be new and changing circumstances and instead of hiding from fear, to accept it as a normal part of life.

This was a good group with an energetic discussion and people left more positive about embracing change and, well, going out and doing it!

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