I remember making my first ever journal entry in 2008. It was a green, A5, soft covered book with lined pages, which ended up being transformed into my confidant and wise adviser. I had not anticipated what a powerful and useful tool that journaling would become for me. It developed into an invaluable medium where I could freely articulate my thoughts and feelings, which I could not express to others at that time in my life. It increased my awareness of myself and my life, as well as it being a place to release any pent up feelings of sadness, anger or fear. It was also a space where I could rejoice and record my achievements or happy events. I have not stopped journaling since 2008 and I now have quite a collection of different note books on my shelf of varying shapes, sizes and colours. I now see journaling as an important part of my self-care routine as well as it being a method that assists with my continuous personal development.Read More
The New Diary by Tristine Rainer
This is the first book that I ever read on journaling and it is still one of my favorites. The New Diary begins by discussing the benefits of writing a journal before moving on to the basics, such as whether to keep your journal private and to encouraging you to let go of the usual rules of spelling & grammar. The New Diary contains different ideas on how you can write your journal. For example, writing unsent letters, writing a self portrait or using lists. Tristine then uses diary excerpts to demonstrate the ideas that she is suggesting. This meant that I was then able to see how I could apply these methods in my own journal. These excerpts also bring the book to life and make it so readable.Read More
I am sure that the majority of us find ourselves putting off certain tasks for a various reasons. Just yesterday I found myself watching some TV, surfing the internet and tidying up, when really I needed to sit down and sort out my paperwork. Does any of this sound familiar? Quite often procrastination is a minor problem, but it is thought that up to 20% of people can have real difficulties with it, where procrastination goes on to cause major issues with their education, career and/or personal life.
There are many reasons for people procrastinating and it is can very individual to each person. Some of these reasons are benign, whereas others are much more problematic and deeper rooted. The most common reason given for procrastination is that it is a means of avoiding unpleasant emotions. Certain tasks may cause feelings of boredom, frustration and the fear of failure.Read More
I decided to write this blog as I often hear people say, ‘I have this issue but I don’t need therapy as I have friends and family I can speak to’. Whilst having a good support network is important for our well-being, sometimes we need more specialist assistance to help us through a difficult or challenging problem. It is great if you have someone that you can confide in and who will listen to you without judgement, yet not everyone has this. However, even if you do you could still benefit from therapy. I have listed a number of reasons which I feel that therapy is different from talking to a friend or a family member:Read More
Anger has a bad reputation, yet it is a natural and valid human emotion just as sadness and joy are. Often, as children we are taught that it is wrong to be angry and that if we show our anger we can begin to believe that we are bad for having done so.
I remember as a child, I was given the clear message that anger was not acceptable. This message came from teachers, family and society. My anger was met with punishment or rejection, and as such I learnt to suppress it rather than learn how to use it in a more productive way. This suppressed anger would then either turn into resentment or it would be turned inwards towards myself. What I was not taught as a child, and had to relearn as an adult, is that anger is not bad and that it can be a very useful and helpful emotion.Read More
In my previous blog I talked about how anger can be a useful emotion. That it can empower us to make changes and defend ourselves. However, anger can also become an issue depending on how we react to it. This blog will focus on how to overcome problematic reactions to feeling angry. I have created three characters, Abigail, Claire and Edward to demonstrate some of the unhelpful ways that people can react to their anger and the impact this has on them:Read More
In the previous two blogs I talked about how you can start to understand your anger and how to manage it. This third blog looks at more creative methods for exploring and managing anger. The methods I will talk about here are writing an angry letter, drawing angry feelings or creating a collage. The drawing angry feelings or creating a collage can also be done with any other emotion too such as sadness or grief or happiness and hope.
Write an Angry Letter
Unsent angry letters can be a great way to express pent up anger in a safe way. It can be a space for you to freely describe what you think and feel about a person or a situation you areRead More
There are many different causes for chronic pain, such as, fibromyalgia, arthritis or injury. Maybe you are living with chronic pain or you know someone who is. Chronic pain can have a huge impact on many aspects of a person's life. Pain can bring about sleepless nights, irritability & anger, anxiety and depression. It can result result in the loss of independence and feelings of frustration or shame.
Prior to experiencing a chronic illness the persons life may have evolved around work, caring for family and being active. Yet the debilitating nature of pain can limit how much a person is able to do. It can also affect their relationships with their family, friends and colleagues and leave the them feeling lonely and isolated.Read More
For a while now I have been wondering as to whether the diagnosis of mental health is helpful. I have mixed feeling around this so I thought I would put some of my thoughts into a blog.
I frequently find that people who have been given such a diagnosis are actually having perfectly natural reactions to events that have occurred at some point in their lives. Diagnosis can open up access to help and services, yet at the same time it can lead to people being over diagnosed, heavily medicated, stigmatised and feeling as if there is something wrong with them.Read More
I have recently been posting on my Facebook page about the positive affects that nature can have on us. I keep discovering more and more research that seems to demonstrate that being outdoors is great for both our physical and psychological health. However, if you are feeling low, depressed or anxious it can be extremely difficult to get the motivation and the energy to regularly get out into nature. If you are wanting to get outdoors more then here are my top five tips:
Start by considering what it is you would like to gain from spending time outside. There are the obvious benefits such as physical and psychological health but there might other factors that could also be motivating for you. May be you would like to learn a new skill, make new friends, become fitter.Read More
Starting a new venture, project or hobby?
How do you feel about new beginnings and change?
As I started to write this blog I initially thought of the term ‘new beginnings’ as a positive concept. The idea of starting out on a new adventure and heading down a road or path that is full of potential. Yet the more I reflected on this, I realised that even the most well planned of journeys can be fraught with various obstacles and challenges.Read More
Shortly after writing the previous blog I was reminded of this poem by Wordsworth:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
If you take a Reiki workshop you would often be taught about the Reiki Principles (Gokai). I will use the next three blogs to explain what these principles are and a bit about each one. The principles are as follows:Read More
Just for today do not anger
This is the second Reiki Principle.
Anger can be both a helpful or unhelpful emotion depending on how it is expressed.
Anger can be used to empower us and take action. It can be used to defend ourselves and those close to us. It gives us a voice to express unfairness and injustice that is done to us or to those that we love. It can also bring people together to fight for social injustices. However, there can be a less positive side to anger. Anger can become destructive, causing issues to the person who is angry and to those around them. Consequences of dysfunctional anger can result in, the loss of a job, poor relationships, sustained unpleasant feelings as well as it manifesting as physical complaints.Read More
Worry and anxiety takes us out of being in the present moment as it means we are predicting something that may happen in the future.
How many times have you found yourself worrying about something which either never happens or never ends up being as bad as you imagined it to be?
There is a wonderful Chinese proverb that reminds us not to judge or predict whether events are good or bad as we never can predict what the outcome of them will be.Read More
The final two principles are 'Just for today do what you are meant to do' and 'just for today be kind to others'
Do what you are meant to do/work hard
This principle is about working on your personal and spiritual development. There are many opportunities every day to continue to work on ourselves, such as offering kindness to ourselves and others, working on our anger or worries, appreciating and being grateful for what we already have. Every day is also the chance to work on living in the present moment.Read More