Carrie Fisher – Champion for Mental Health Discussion

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The end of 2016 is going to be remembered as a period where each day brought a new celebrity passing for us to mourn. One day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away, Debbie Reynolds suffered a stroke while planning her funeral and sadly left us as well. In what can only be described as a tragic state of affairs, it is an extremely sad ending to two incredibly gifted and talented women. The loss of Carrie Fisher is made even more sad from the fact that she was such an advocate of discussion on mental health. She truly epitomized what it meant to be a mental health advocate, taking any opportunity that she could to bring mental illness issues into the light for discussion and to help to remove the stigma that is attached to it. As mentioned in the opening quote on the Rolling Stones feature, Fisher understood that the power in talking about mental illness was to remove the shame that surrounds it. Shame cannot exist one it is spoken aloud and greeted with acceptance. After her passing on the 28th December, many of her fans took to Twitter and did the unexpected; they came out about…

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The Benefits of Mindfulness

By | ACT, Mindful Eating, Mindfulness, Weight Management | No Comments

For the longest while, I couldn’t understand what all the fuss about this ‘mindfulness’ was. Was it the latest buzzword that everyone needed to get on board with? How could it be useful in losing weight, or reducing stress and anxiety, or any of the multitude of things that others had claimed?   My first experience of mindfulness was an interesting one. I was doing my Cert IV in Hypnotherapy at the time. The lecturer asked us to close our eyes and to simply observe the sounds that we could hear. I can recall her saying, ‘allowing the sounds to come to you… holding no judgement… just noticing them like you were hearing them for the first time ever.’ Even in that moment, something began to shift. It was like trying on a new hat; I had to consider what it was like to be curious again and to hear something new for the first time. I would later go on to learn the value of curiosity in learning, exploring and playing. She then asked for us to focus solely on the breath. Perhaps we could notice the feeling of the air coming in and going down our throats. Perhaps…

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A Very Honest, Very Raw Reflection On My 2016

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As I get towards the end of the year, I inevitably start to reflect on the year and to consider what I’ve learned from the past 12 months. Time to consider what has been some of the key messages my experiences have offered me. What is it that I need to take on board and to help me better understand myself as I get older. While a New Year is simply a passing of time, there is something about leaving one year and entering a next that can allow us to feel like we’re starting ‘fresh’ – I guess that is why New Year’s Resolutions have always been so popular. With that in mind, and in my usual self-indulgent way, I tend to like to share what some of those learnings have been. I always like reading what others have learned too – so I do hope you’ll share. They offer insights into how we can take situations and events outside of our control and to offer them meaning and value in our own life – and that process is important in being able to deal with them effectively, especially when the experiences have been negative. My learnings this year…

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How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions – Success after Jan 1st

By | Habits, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy | No Comments

Here we are, a little off the end of the year and gearing up for what we hope will become a far more successful year. Perhaps a New Year’s Resolution is part of your plan in making that better year become a reality? While many people make New Year’s Resolutions, only a tiny portion of people actually make it through the first few weeks, let alone achieve the outcome that they wanted. Last week, we looked at what you can do PRIOR to January 1st in order to help make sure that you have a rock solid plan in place and that you’re mentally prepared to take on your New Year’s Resolution with the determination and capability that you require. This week, we’re going to look at what happens after January 1st so that you can help keep things on track. So, regardless of if you want to lose that weight, get in shape, stop smoking, learn to become less stressed, taking up a new hobby or even just being nicer to one another, here are some tips on what you can do post January 1st to ensure your success. Know your Challenges and how to Get Around them As…

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Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong

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Johann Hari offers an excellent TED Talk where he explores some of the age-old myths around addiction and shares some of the newer research that is more about re-connecting people back into the community. He talks about countries that made sure addicts had a reason to get our of bed in the morning and have a sense of purpose in their lives. He offers up the concept of real connections, stating that ‘if you have a crisis in your life, it won’t be your Twitter followers who come to see you.’ He observes the parody of social networking, our obsession with exchanging ‘stuff’ in our lives for the sake of real connection. This is a fascinating insight into addiction that is worth your 15 minutes investment to understand why some people struggle with addiction in their lives. He also offers up some simple suggestions about what you can do to assist the addicts in your life. Johann Hari also has a book available titled ‘Chasing the Scream’. You might also want to read: What Is Shame (Really)? Breaking Addiction Through Counselling and Hypnosis Book Review: Healing The Shame That Binds You Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

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OUTthink Podcast – Episode 4 – Sexual Fluidity (Part 2)

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The second half of our chat with Lisa Torney is out today, continuing our discussion on sexual fluidity and even touching on the topic of why heterosexual people may sometimes pretend to be ‘change sides’. It’s a great conversation and provides some insight into the world that exists between straight and gay. Click below to listen to the show. You can also check out our podcast page, subscribe on iTunes or listen to the previous episodes on our Youtube Channel. You might also like to read: OUTthink Podcast – Episode 3 – Sexual Fluidity (LGBTQIA+) Why I Created OUTthink. OUTthink – Chat with Daniel Book Review: The Velvet Rage

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Book Review: The Velvet Rage

By | LGBTQI, Shame | No Comments

Book Review: The Velvet Rage Dr Alan Downs, PhD There is something about The Velvet Rage that feels almost as though Alan Downs is sitting down to an intimate chat with you, exploring the seemingly common themes amongst gay men’s lives that are influenced and often impacted from the effects of toxic shame and inauthenticity. I often found myself going back over certain passages due to the beautifully poetic feel of the writing, allowing both the meaning to resonate with me as well as the feelings and thoughts that came up as a result. When it comes to ‘self-help’ books, Dr Downs has managed to create something special in ‘The Velvet Rage’; a book that can truly impact and change the lives of countless gay men while also being an engaging and touching body of work. As you may have read from some of my previous blog posts, we are all touched by shame. Some of us are capable of dealing with that shame in a way that is positive for us, allowing us to feel guilt to change or understanding that we have more to learn and keeping an open mind. Some of us are also challenged and limited…

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Top Tips for your Mental Wellbeing this Christmas

By | Counselling, Loss, Mindfulness, Therapy | No Comments

While Christmas time is traditionally seen as a time of family, sharing, laughter and love for many, it can often be filled with difficulty, loneliness, isolation and depression for others. For those experiencing mental illness, this time of year can be far more difficult to deal with than most. Consider that, for those who find the day to day difficult enough as it is, the added pressure of Christmas brings with it additional spends that could impact a tight budget, additional parties for those dealing with addictions, and spending time with family and friends for those who are just not in the right headspace to endure these things. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health issue at some point; imagine what kinds of additional strain periods like Christmas may place on that person. Wonderful organisations like Beyond Blue commit to providing additional support to people in need over this period in order to help those who are feeling alone, alienated or ‘orphaned’ (for many reasons) to get the connection and assistance that they need. What kind of pressures exist for people this time of year? Financial pressures; not being able to afford gifts,…

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‘I Can’ Vs ‘I Can’t’: Stuck In The Problem And Unable To Change

By | ACT, Counselling, Hypnotherapy, Therapy | 2 Comments

Insight for today; ‘I can’t’ vs ‘I can’. As Henry Ford once famously said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” When we’re sitting in self-talk, how often do we find ourselves talking about what we can’t do and getting absolutely stuck in that moment? I Can’t… The very nature of ‘I can’t’ seems to have people focusing on what isn’t possible. It is the companion to excuses and reasons and limits us to a stand still. It is the black and white thinking, all or nothing and it ultimately holds us back. It is the victim state of mind where everything is outside of our control. It is the ‘decision is made’ and being stuck in the problem. “I can’t talk to that guy – he will never like me!” “I can’t make the changes that I want to my life. Everything seems to get in the way.” “I just can’t even…” I Can… ‘I can’ is the language of opportunity. It questions the self-talk and creates options. It is the power to know that there are steps, no matter how small, in a direction you want to go in and it promotes change. It…

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How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions – Getting Ready for Jan 1st

By | Habits, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Motivation | No Comments

This is part one of a two-part series.  Check out part two for tips after January 1st as well as a special offer. It’s come to that time of year where we reflect on the year that we’ve just encountered, look at the state that we’re in and come up with that dreaded tradition of a New Year’s Resolution. Maybe the year has been a little unkind to you and, as a result, you’ve discovered some unhelpful ‘coping strategy’, such as over-eating, smoking, drinking, gaining weight or even a little too much ‘partying’. Maybe the pace of the year and the circumstances it provided has left you feeling a little stressed, anxious and uneasy. It would seem likely that your new year’s resolution is going to focus on what you feel is out of line with who you want to really be, such as “I’m going to quit smoking” or “I’m going to lose that weight” or “I’m going to get myself to the gym more”, or even simply “I’m going to not stress as much.” According to Statistic Brain, up to 62% of American’s will potentially make a New Year’s Resolution this year however only 8% will successfully achieve…

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