We all have those moments where we occasionally feel like we may “lose it” in the day.
That irritation sparking inside, when someone cuts in front of you in a traffic jam or the supermarket queue, when the world is moving slower than you are, and you become increasingly frustrated and irritable as you realize that you are going to be late for work or picking up the kids.
Or maybe the times that you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and that rising, choking panic of the stress of a heavy workload, when it can begin to feel as if there are not enough hours in the day, or even the occasional stab of envy or deep despair you may suffer, when that other person gets the pay rise, buys that new car, fancy holiday or a new home that you may have been secretly wanting to have.
Not to mention social media, magazines and those reality TV shows, continually force feeding us that false view of a perfectly “perfect” world and the "better" lives that we may find ourselves disillusioned into believing that others are living around us.
In these moments, when we can be triggered by the outside world, we may find ourselves regressing mentally in age and telling ourselves things like:
"It´s not fair" (like a ten year old child)
Shouting and snapping (like a stroppy teenager)
Having an inner anger tantrum (like a spoilt toddler)
We can find ourselves emotionally going back there, regressing to a younger age, as we are taken back into an emotional state or feeling that we had way back when. This is often a past hurt or negative experience, that we have not learned to cope, handle or deal with.
The ridiculous truth is that our present day over reactions can be a response to our past memories and experiences, rather than what´s actually going on in the here and now. We regress automatically, as our old unconscious wounds, that we did not address or heal, come rushing back up to the surface. When something triggers that memory from childhood, those feelings come tumbling out on automatic pilot. Pouring out directly from our unconscious mind, searching for an outlet into the world and waiting for us to notice them and to (hopefully) do something about them.
Whatever age that you find yourself mentally re-enacting inside or outside of your mind (in those heated emotional moments), you are being offered a clue, as to when those real offending incidents happened in your life.
So how can minimize this emotional turbulence?
As a clinical hypnotherapist and helping professional in Mallorca, I focus on solution-based treatments, techniques, and mindful strategies with my clients.
Athough I learned my skills later on in life, and for me, this was great in so many ways. I was able to apply so much of my personal, and vast experience of life to all the new knowledge that I was acquiring, but I also discovered so many empowering aspects that wish I had already know when I was growing up. So many of these lessons, would have been so ueful in my adolescence.
It´s never too late to start learning and growing, and for those that are seeking more inner fulfilment, healing and peace or maybe a greater success in life, hypnotherapy and other talking therapies can transform your mind and life.
If you are beginning a journey of self-awareness, here are my top ten pieces of practical advice, to help you grow more emotionally mature and to uncover and unfold your adult inner self, the center of you that is capable of achieving all those outcomes and that stability that you may seek in life.
1) Nobody is coming to save you – so if you want to get something done you must do it yourself.
In real life, there are no men in capes. Yes, there are plenty of helping professionals out there – therapists, coaches, support groups and charities, who are all ready to give you whatever help you need, but YOU need to be the one that reaches out to ask for that help.
YOU also need to be the one that physically follows through and is prepared to make some necessary life changes to give you more of what you want in life (whether this is inner healing, dealing with past traumas or a more general goal focus on finding more motivation to get what you want our of life).
If you always do what you have always done, then you will always end up with the same result. If things are not working for you then YOU need to start by making changes for yourself, not for others.
On a more general level, we all need to take better care of ourselves. We need to focus more on giving ourselves what we REALLY need to feel good inside.
This means listening to yourself more and picking up on those grumbly, unhappy or overreactive parts of your personality that you may feel that you dislike.
Instead of ignoring these unwanted parts of yourself, or fighting with them, try to address them instead. Ask yourself what are they there for? What are these parts of you really reacting to? And what would you like to be feeling instead? What can you physically do to give yourself more of what YOU really need to feel happy inside?
2) Nothing happens unless you make it happen - you cannot change any part of your life unless YOU physically CHANGE your actions or behaviour.
A creative idea can grow wings inside your head, and yet you might still be walking, when you have wings to fly instead.
What are you actually doing about all of that stuff inside of your mind?
If you don´t allow an idea to come out of you and get used, it will go travelling off to someone else´s head instead. Ideas and creativity want to find their way into the world and they will seek out an open channel to arrive here. When you have something that you really want to do, stop talking about it and just get on with doing it. If you do not, then it will always remain inside of your mind and may never make it into your physical world. Talking about things is not the same as doing them, and no amount of “manifesting” in the world will work unless you start actually "doing" things to make whatever you are manifesting a reality.
As a helping professional, I can tell you that if you end up in one of life´s holes, I can sit on the side and offer you lots of direct care, support and attention. I can listen to you and we can explore all the reasons that you ended up in that hole and how it feels to be there and what you need to do make sure you don´t end up there again.
I can keep throwing down the best rope for you to grab, and even send down full written and video instructions, along with some extra strength to use to grab hold of that rope. I can also help you to want to reach out to grab that rope, and I will be waiting there to help you more easily come up to the surface again.
However, all this is useless, unless at some point YOU are actually prepared to physically grab onto that rope and hold onto it tightly. YOU need to take responsibility and make real world action to make things happen. What would it take for you to grab that rope?
By becoming more responsible for taking physical actions in life we become more “response-able” in all areas of life. In other words, we become more able to control and handle our emotional responses. Can you imagine how great that would be, to be more focused, calmer and in control of yourself when you need it the most? You are the star of your own life, and the sooner you realize this, the better.
3) Blaming others is a waste of time. YOU make YOU happy, sad and successful - not the outer world. Change your thinking to change your mood and outcomes.
So as kids many of us were punished using blame, shame or pain, right?
Yes, our parents did the best they could, but mostly, instead of being given actual consequences and choices, we were mostly treated to a cycle of blaming, shaming or paining. It still tends to be one of the biggest parenting problems that exists today.
A legacy that has been generously passed down to us through generations.
“Your fault”, “Their fault”, “My fault”. Punishments for “bad” behaviors, rather than rational consequences and healthy blame free analyzing of mistakes.
Blaming others is toxic. It rarely, if ever achieves anything positive at all, other than causing that pain and inner shame that destroys a relationship between two people and makes inner growth virtually impossible.
How can anyone be expected to learn anything from an experience, if they are made to feel so bad about it, that they can´t even face thinking about what happened, never mind analyzing it, finding what their part in it was and working out how to stop it happening again in the future. The chances are that if you make a mistake, you will probably already be feeling bad about it, without someone pointing it out to you and making you feel worse.
Needless to say, that if you are busy pointing fingers at everybody else, every time something goes wrong, then you are unknowingly giving away all of your power. We can only ever truly control our own actions and inner world, not that of others, so by allocating blame to others you give away that ability you have, to control your own future outcomes.
Can we really learn from other people´s mistakes or do we actually learn better from our own? We point a finger elsewhere to deflect because if it is someone else´s fault, then we can tell ourselves we don´t need to feel bad about it inside of ourselves. Yet all we really do by finger pointing, is upset the other person and then set ourselves up as victims of circumstance. We fail to grow and deny ourselves the enjoyment of the power of owning our mistakes and the joy of the resulting progress and learning we will experience from future success. How much will your future improve if instead of hiding from your mistakes and denying them, you owned them and really learned from every mistake that you ever made?
4) Material things will not make you satisfied unless you have already found inner fulfilment. Stop focusing on the outside world and start focusing on healing yourself first.
Reaching for a drink, a night out, a video game, a slice of cake, or any one of a million other ways to feel good will certainly give you that instant hit of pleasure (a dopamine rush in the brain). But what happens when it wears off? Even being out with friends, you can sometimes still sense a hollow feeling inside. Do you ever still feel lonely in a crowd?
Just like buying that car, that job, that house, that holiday, that watch, that new dress or coat. Will it really make you happier than you are right now or do you just tell yourself that?
Maybe that shiny new thing will make you feel great, but how long will it be, before that feeling wears off, and you will need to buy another new thing to replace that feeling again?
It´s like filling a never-ending hole, and just when you think its filling up, it empties out from the bottom all over again. And what´s worse is that the more you keep refilling it, the bigger the hole seems to become, and then the harder it is to fill and to keep filled. It´s a declining sprial of discontentment and dissapointment.
All of these are examples of too much looking outside of yourself for joy when the real truth is that joy is already living inside of us all. By turning to look for this instead, we can find something way better than happiness. By attending to what we need to love inside of ourselves, we accidentally find inner fulfilment instead. Fulfilment means that those holes aren´t even there to need filling.
The clue was always there for us inside of the word – Full – fill - ment.
Realizing this is like finding out that you have been wasting time chasing a slice of cake in front of you, forever headed and focused that way, only to turn around one day and look in the other direction, to discover that inside of you, this whole time, was a whole bakery of treats, with never ending supplies.
And what are we doing when we use words and phrases like “working on ourselves” and “healing is painful”? Is it any wonder that these phrases can put us off looking within? How often is the thought of doing something worse than the reality? Especially if you are using such extreme language to deter you, before you even begin.
We often traumatize ourselves before we start doing certain things, by using these negative mind movies, show reels inside of our mind or ridiculously awful words with negative associations. If you want to become more motivated to look inside of yourself, simply begin with how you view the process. What do you believe will happen if you look inside instead of outside for that joy? What could you realize and tell yourself that will encourage you to turn away from that slice of cake, to look the other way and to feel the joy of discovering your inner bakery instead?
5) Nothing lasts forever- we will all die one day so stop living like we live forever and start living like you are dying instead. Stop putting things off. There is only ever now so make your now count.
What are you waiting for? We constantly tell ourselves “my life will be better when (I am thinner, richer, smarter, working less, working more, married, divorced, have kids, when they grow up…) ”
Here is the news flash and wakeup call. Your life is happening right now – not next week or next month or next year. Right NOW!
If you are constantly looking ahead, you are missing the intensity of life´s real moments. How can you give yourself fully to enjoying the present when you are stuck in the past or longing for a future that doesn´t yet exist. The past and the future do not exist anywhere but inside of our own mind.
Planning is important, but please, don´t let it interfere with todays goals or happiness. Enjoy things as they happen, make the most of your time by slowing it down. Focusing on what´s happening in each moment as it unfolds can offer you endless pleasure. There is always a now until there isn´t !! It is here, it is real, it exists.
Get out of your head into your senses to practice living life more fully and completely.
Whatever you keep putting off… stop !! Get it done, if something is getting in the way of it happening, work on dealing with it now, so that your path ahead is clear. Get doing instead of talking about it. If you need help to make things happen reach out and get that help. Be prepared to do whatever it takes. And savour every moment as if it is your last.
6) You cannot change the past so don't cry over spilt milk. Wipe it up and learn how to keep it inside the carton next time instead.
Regret. Another emotion that causes so much pain and shame. This is a really unhelpful type of self blame in action and continually hitting yourself with a big shame and regret stick will not make things any better. It will only make you feel worse and what happens when you feel worse?
The trick with minimising the sting of self-blame is to realize that we all only do whatever is right for us in any one given moment in time. This means that if you knew any better at that moment, you would always have done better. So be kinder to yourself, forgive yourself for mistakes and realize that you simply cannot apply today´s learning to yesterday´s actions.
It would not make any sense to do this. If you do screw up, you can say
“Yes! – I screwed up, I made a mistake, I did something that I wish I had not done. Let´s not waste a good mistake by giving it away or dwelling on it. Let´s analyze it instead… Ask yourself with curiosity, what do I learn from this? What good can come out of this moving forward? I know now, what not to do. So now I can work out how to do it much better next time.”
Thomas Eddison made 1000 screw ups when making the light bulb. He simply told himself that he found 1000 ways not to do it, which then helped him to discover the right way in the end. Thankfully, he was not sat around using his big blame and regret stick or we would all still be stuck in candlelight, waiting for electric spot lights to be invented.
7) Complaining & moaning will make you feel worse not better. Start asking yourself "so what am I going to do about it?" Instead.
Moaning is one of the most addictive and unproductive past times on the planet. We are all guilty of this and there is something about our brain that loves the negative chemical soup that moaning creates. It dates back to our survival days, when mulling over negative events helped our primitive caveman ancestors better avoid external problems and threats. If we continually remind ourselves how bad something was then we really make sure that we do not do that thing again, right?
Moaning is just outdated in today´s world. We need to focus on positive unburdening instead.
When someone is carrying a heavy bag, it´s fine to sit with them and watch and encourage them to empty this bag out. We can sit with them while they make themselves feel better by offloading and unburdening themselves, but when the conversation begins to go round in circles into moan territory, without solutions, it is the equivalent of picking up all those heavy objects and putting them back in the bag.
Continually unloading and reloading those bags each time will continue until the person carrying it gets weaker and weaker until they eventually collapse under the weight. This is not a productive activity.
To avoid this from happening we unload our bags or we sit with people while they unload theirs, and we simply wait until the bag is empty. Then we encourage them to move on by gently and lovingly asking yourself or them “So what am I or you are you going to do about this?”. This ensures that the bag stays empty or the person finds a way to be stronger before they reload those things back into that bag.
So next time you find yourself ruminating and moaning and complaining about someone, something, or some event, remember to give yourself that chance to improve and grow by turning words into actions and encouraging your brain to look for progressive solutions instead of wallowing in an unhelpful negative chemical soup.
8) Stop reacting to your emotions - take steps to learn how to watch and manage them. As long as you are a victim of these, you are living your life by accident - instead of on purpose! Be the action not the reaction.
All of our emotions serve a purpose. Even the ones that we view as being negative or undesirable. The important thing is to recognize that an emotion is there for a reason. By naming it as we feel it, we can be more aware of what you are feeling and what is causing it. Notice what you are telling yourself inside of your mind, that is causing it or perpetuating the feeling. Recognize that it is a momentary state that will pass when you allow it to pass.
Being able to pause to self reflect before we take action can require some practice. Thought watching in the form of mindfulness and meditation is incredibly useful for training the mind to insert that valuable pause that you need to give yourself enough space to do this.
Recognizing that you are not your thoughts and that you can watch them rather than allowing them to swallow you and take you over, is very useful when it comes to regulating your emotions. Once you have practiced doing this more and more, you will be able to dispute unhelpful beliefs and thoughts that are causing these emotions and become more enabled to form new and more progressive and constructive ones instead.
Becoming mindful of your thinking helps you to avoid spiralling down inside of those feelings or acting in haste and doing something that you may later come to regret.
Noticing what you need in a more physical and holistic way will also support you to regulate those emotions even more. It is crucial to give your body what it needs to feel good. This can be a healthier diet, more sleep or regular mealtimes, increased exercise and rest. Or maybe you require a better adjusted balance between work, rest and play.
Listening to your body more will allow you to hear what it needs. It may not have a direct voice but, it will communicate with you through your emotional and feeling states and it will signal to you when something is unbalanced or in need of more attention and self-care.
How could you start listening to your body more and what can you do to address any imbalance in your life to give yourself the optimum life conditions for you to start thriving instead of surviving?
9) Stop judging everybody. This is toxic & creates insecurities or false self esteem - start spotting the sameness and seeing the world as equal but different to you instead.
Judgement is rooted inside our own needs. If you are unconsciously raising yourself above everybody else or below them, then maybe it is time to stop looking at the other people and to start looking inside for the reason why you are feeling a drive to do this.
Modern psychology tells us that we tend to gravitate towards people that are similar to ourselves in some way, as our natural instincts tell us to “like” people who we feel connected to and have a rapport with. Rapport is that meeting of unconscious minds and is generally based upon how similar or relatable a person acts, looks or appears to think to our own inner world, values, and appearance.
Alternatively, if we gravitate towards someone who is not like us, it tends to be because we unconsciously want to be more like them, and we feel that someone is above us and possesses qualities that we respect and admire.
Despite this continual quest to relate to people and spot similarities and familiarities between ourselves and the characters around us, as we test for “likeability”, we also have a built in radar for spotting the differences in people.
These differences create disharmony and awkward or negative feelings inside of ourselves. When we feel this inside of ourselves, we believe that we do not like a person. The truth is that it is not the person that we dislike, but our own feelings towards them. We feel our own values will not be understood, respected or even worse, challenged in some way.
Sometimes this can be based upon an unconscious transference, which is nothing more than a similarity they have (visually or personality wise) that reminds us of somebody else from our past.
Sometimes it is based upon one small thing that person may have said or done. And occasionally it is racist or culture based with a shocking generalization and inaccurate belief that people are all the same.
And yet, we all do really know that we are human beings not human doings. Each of our behaviors is continually context driven and our behavior, reactions and thoughts can change, along with our physical and emotional states on a momentary and hourly basis. A person behaves in each single moment in a way that is right for them in that context. This is human nature, but we are all different because we all have totally different life experiences, even when we share a race or a skin colour or religion. We are not the same and even though our lazy minds do find it easier to process information, when we generalize in this way, it is nothing more than an illusion or mind trick, because we cannot really be categorized with labels.
To judge people for one small slice of behavior, or based upon what someone else says about them or someone they unconsciously or consciously remind us of, from our own past histories, really says much more about us, than it does about them. Don´t you think?
So next time you feel this “judgement” coming up about someone else, you can stop to ask yourself some questions.
What does this feeling say about me?
Am I placing this person above myself or below myself and why do I feel the need to do this? I could be simply choosing to recognize that they are just different, or behaving differently to me (no better or worse) so what is stopping ME from doing this?
What is it that is triggering my feelings about this person and is it based upon a full and whole picture of who that person really is, how well do I really know this individual?
What do I know about that person´s current situation or their past that may be affecting or influencing their present-day behavior?
Often, we can discover unhealed parts of ourselves at the bottom of our negative judgements of another human being. When we choose to become offended by that person, enraged, or upset or uncomfortable around them, ask yourself what vulnerability is it highlighting inside of ourselves and how may we better understand this and attend to our own needs so that we can strengthen this part of ourselves that needs help. When we stop feeling so triggered by others, we become be empowered to judge less to feel more personal space, joy and freedom inside. What would you feel if you were less judgmental about the world around you? Would this bring you more internal peace and happiness or less? When all else fails, we can practice building up better tolerance by stopping our game of spot the difference with others, and start to play spot the same-ness instead.
Choosing curiosity to seek understanding can help to liberate you from the judgement mindset. Always seeking first to explore and understand before judging and condemning.
Perhaps people may have very different values to you, but where did you get your values and how do you suppose that they got theirs? What has made them so different?
How responsible are you for your own unconscious programs and how resonsible are others for theirs?
10) Work out who you are - what your values & limiting beliefs are. If you don´t know them you will stay chained to childhood, never find your tribe & never escape the things holding you back in life...
Know yourself so that I may get to know you more… These are wise words taken from philosophy and yet so few people do take time out to really get to know, befriend and love themselves. Understanding who you are and what drives you helps to give you more passion and the knowledge of what you want in life. What is it that you want?
Our life in the end simply becomes a reflection of the things that we prioritize the most, the daily choices that we make over what, how and who we dedicate our most precious asset, our time.
Questioning your limiting beliefs and understanding those values that are really driving you forward, the things on which you unconsciously and consciously base those priorities on from day to day, enables you to better understand what is holding you back in life and what will allow you to feel more fulfilled inside.
How can you know what you want in life if you do not know who you are? You don´t need to go to India or become spiritual to get to know yourself better. You just need to spend some time becoming curious about yourself, and learning what makes you so uniquely you. Where did all those beliefs come from and what evidence supports them?
The more you know yourself, the easier it becomes for you to find your comfortable place in society, to connect with others who share your dreams and to finally grow up to be that inner adult, knowing that you have good self-esteem, feeling good enough, strong enough and happy enough in all ways. Knowing and accepting yourself, means waking up feeling more contented, at peace and able to head into a bright life that is full of your heart´s most inner desires. What is stopping you from exploring your inner world and beginning to unfold your unique self today?
Philippa Jolley is a clinical hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, NLP and mindfulness practitioner in Mallorca Spain. She offers online sessions and in person sessions for a variety of issues, as well as providing progressive services for life goal and life purpose coaching, performance enhancements and more.