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Beating the Negative Self-Talk

By ACT, Motivation

Beating the Negative Self-Talk Last week, I explored a little around maintaining motivation. The response I had was so positive that I felt it was worth continuing this week a little further. Why do we lack motivation? There are often a few reasons why we might find a lack of motivation creeping in. As human beings, we have a tendency to avoid discomfort. This might not come as a surprise to anyone however discomfort covers not only physical sensations but also uncomfortable feelings too such as boredom or frustration. If you’re required to do something that is tedious and boring, you’re more likely to just not want to do it. Self-doubt is another factor when it comes to a lack of motivation. If you’ve been given a task to do and you don’t believe you’re capable of doing it (either due to lack of skills or to negative self-talk despite actually having the skills) then you are absolutely more than likely to procrastinate and delay doing what is required. In some cases, you might be feeling overwhelmed and this can cause feelings of exhaustion, worry, anxiety, stress, decision fatigue, and a whole range of other personal experiences. When you’re feeling…

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Enjoy a Mini-Mindfulness Meditation

By ACT, Mindfulness

Enjoy a Mini-Mindfulness Meditation The benefits of mindfulness Let me tell you something; when I first started to do this thing called mindfulness, I didn’t get it. I sat there, trying to focus on the breath, spending half the time wondering if I was going it right and, more importantly, why I was doing this in the first place? What was the point? It wasn’t until I did some study with Dr Russ Harris that it all began to make sense when he started to talk about ‘the distraction’. Go back thousands of years in time, it was ‘distractions’ that kept you alive. The sound of a bush rustling could mean a tiger or a neighbouring villager coming to attack you and so being able to focus on distractions was something that activated the flight, fight or freeze mechanism that we’re hard-wired with and potentially saved us. Now, we don’t have tigers and villagers in bushes, but that hard-wired mechanism still exists and still serves a purpose. When we anticipate that something is wrong, our natural fight, flight or freeze response kicks in. The problem is this; what if it goes off over everything? Even the things that it shouldn’t?…

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What Do Cats Wanting Attention Teach Us About Acceptance?

By ACT

What Do Cats Wanting Attention Teach Us About Acceptance? Have you ever tried working on the computer when you have a cat in the room with you? I’m sure the cat owners reading this know exactly what I mean. You know when your cat is in one of their persistent moods and they really want your attention. Depending on how you’re feeling, you might find this sudden need for attention from an animal that is infamously aloof to be heartwarming, or perhaps amusing, or sometimes even annoying when you have a deadline to face or when you find that it is breaking your focus and taking away your attention from where you would like it to be. I don’t know about you but when that has happened to me, I’ve often found that I am faced with a few choices. The first is to try to ignore the cat. Now, I do believe it was Yoda who famously said, ‘do or do not, there is no try’, and I suspect that he may have never had a cat. He is kind of right though, since ‘try’ often indicates make an attempt or an effort. It’s like when a friend says…

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Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

By ACT, Shame

Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Mark Manson What do you give a f*ck about? I turned 40 a few years back. Around the time I turned 40, things felt like they were beginning to ‘fall into place’. I often refer to it as that ‘sense of alignment where everything is pointing in the same direction’. I was finding myself taking more risks from the heart instead of the head and bringing change into my life that felt good and more authentic. Doing that also took a greater sense of courage and vulnerability. To be able to step into a new and uncertain opportunity meant embracing the hope of a more meaningful day but also realising that there was a risk that I might also fall flat on my face. To be honest, even acknowledging both sides of that ‘risk vs reward’, I was ok with that. It didn’t mean that I didn’t still feel the anxiety of taking that risk however it did mean that I felt I was living far more authentically. I remember being at a bar with a friend of mine named Darren and saying to him that I didn’t feel like I…

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Facts About Habits That Might Surprise You

By ACT, Addiction, Habits, Smoking Cessation

Facts About Habits That Might Surprise You I want you to imagine that you’ve just woken up in the morning. What’s the first thing you do? Do you head to the bathroom first? Do you make yourself a coffee? Do you start off each day with a meditation or mindfulness exercise? When you have a shower or bath, how do you dry yourself off? What about how you get dressed? For many people, this exercise highlights one vital point; they have a habit of doing the same thing as part of their ‘morning routine’ each day. Within each morning, there are a series of habits that help them to structure their morning and to get things done. This article has collected some interesting facts about habits that may make you look at them and what you do a little differently. What is a habit? A habit is a routine of behaviour (action) that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously with very little conscious decision involved. It is repeated over time and generally done in the same way for the same reason each time. If I was to ask you to describe in great detail each step of how…

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Download a FREE 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation

By ACT, Mindfulness

Download a FREE 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation This 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation is essentially training for your brain! With repeated listens to this mindfulness meditation, you’ll be assisting the brain in developing the skill of choosing what distraction it would like to focus on; in this instance, either the distraction of ‘the breath’ or the distraction of ‘the thought’. In a world where we can become consumed by our thoughts, having the skill to allow ourselves to notice and acknowledge our thoughts while still being able to focus on what matters is going to be extremely valuable. Whether we like it or not, our lives are going to have moments that make us feel uncomfortable, anxious, stressed or unhappy. Many of the moments we feel these things will be in reaction to circumstances and events that are completely outside of our control. A mindfulness practice will help to develop skills where we can observe those thoughts, acknowledge them, thank the mind for offering them, and choose to focus our energy and attention towards an action that is aligned with our values, our goals and the kind of person we want to be. We can’t change what is outside of our…

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What Understanding ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ Has Taught Me

By ACT, Confidence, Shame

What Understanding ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ Has Taught Me We’ve all heard the saying ‘nobody’s perfect’. I think we can all agree that this is true. The funny thing is that so many people don’t really understand the power that is contained within these words and how a bit of reflection on them could have a more meaningful relationship with them. How it is often used. When we hear people say ‘nobody’s perfect’, it is generally used more as an excuse and often as a request to cut some slack. “You didn’t do what I asked you to do last night.” “I’m sorry. Nobody’s perfect!” Or it can often be used as a consolation for things that are often something that we don’t like about ourselves and that we are often unable (or unwilling) to change. “I do smoke but nobody’s perfect and everyone has at least one flaw…” This is where it gets a bit murky. While it is true that we should often show self-compassion, we shouldn’t be using something like this to excuse behaviour that is unacceptable or that could be changed. Unfortunately, this is often where this saying is potentially abused. You’re not perfect. No one is perfect….

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Book Review: ACT Made Simple

By ACT, Mindfulness

Book Review: ACT Made Simple Dr Russ Harris I remember a few years ago when I was first introduced to ACT. I have to admit, I struggled with it initially. All this stuff about fusion and observing your self and rich, full and meaningful lives; it all felt a bit much. Fast forward a few years and several training sessions later and I have to say that ACT is transformative in its approach and has continued to be a source of revelation for many of the clients that I’ve worked with as well. ‘ACT Made Simple’ might be slightly deceptive in its title. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT to its friends) might come across as quite straight forward, however, putting ACT into practice can sometimes highlight some of the subtle yet challenging skills that come into play during the average session. With that, Dr. Russ Harris does have a remarkable knack for writing content that is both easy to read and to understand. The beauty of ‘ACT Made Simple’ is in the beautifully playful way in which Dr. Harris can easily engage the reader and offer them insight. ACT itself is often built on experiential exercises so even the…

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Getting Mental Health On The Line – Weekending 09/07/17

By ACT, Addiction, Counselling, Habits, LGBTQI, Mental Health, Mindfulness, NLP, OUTthink

Getting Mental Health On The Line – Weekending 09/07/17 Getting Mental Health On The Line is our weekly post that acts as an additional resource for both clients and fellow therapists alike. This week, we’re presenting some of the best from the past week featuring topics as diverse as an exploration of the brain-body connection in neurological rehabilitation, a look at Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), utilising NLP to create meaning and purpose in your life, how our brain is being hacked by social media, mindfulness meditation, and a look at the psychology of drag! If you have a video that you would like featured in our weekly roundup, then drop Lawrence a line with a link to your video. Train the Brain: Exploring the Brain-Body Connection in Neurological Rehabilitation By University of California Television (UCTV) ACT What Every Counselor Should Know | Counselor Toolbox Episode 149 By AllCEUs Counseling Education The Secret To Creating Life Defining Moments – NLP Mind Hack By NLP Gym In this video, Damon Cart explains how we create life defining moments even though it may seem like it’s just chance. If you want to know more about using NLP to create meaning and purpose…

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Getting Mental Health On The Line – Weekending 14/05/17

By ACT, Addiction, Anxiety, Counselling, Depression, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Motivation

Getting Mental Health On The Line – Weekending 14/05/17 This is a weekly post to act as an additional resource for both clients and fellow therapists alike. This week, we’re presenting some of the best from the past week featuring topics as diverse as insights into hypnotherapy and hypnosis, advice on how group counselling can work with issues such as anger, addiction and depression, tips on building self discipline and motivation, supporting families of people living with dementia, a look at what narcissism actually is, managing stress, managing your time, what life is like for an ACT therapist, and lastly, a look into same-sex domestic violence issues. If you have a video that you would like featured in our weekly roundup, then drop Lawrence a line with a link to your video. Hypnosis Training Video #500: Hypnosis Insights Learned by Producing 500 Hypnosis, Etc. Episodes! By Free Hypnosis Training Videos In this Video: Hypnosis Insights, Nuggets, Tears & Promises! We are so excited to be all together for this milestone episode #500. Yes, we also have Celeste, Brenda and Erika all ready to let you in on some of the most important insights they have discovered about hypnosis and the…

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