anxiety

Autumn Workshop

Worry and anxiety. They can run and ruin our lives. They can make us feel like our decisions can’t be trusted. Or that there is something terrible waiting for us around the corner. Living with these worries can have a detrimental impact on our body, mind and soul. You may find that you’re always tired or you can’t relax.

This doesn’t have to be the case. You don’t have to go through life feeling worried or anxious all the time. You have a choice, especially once you have the tools.

Myself and a fellow psychotherapist will be running a one day workshop to help you learn about anxiety. How it impacts you and how to change your patterns so you can learn how to have it control you less.

In the beautiful and tranquil setting of the Wisdom Centre you can take some time for yourself. Learn about your triggers and better ways to cope.

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If you are interested in this workshop you can purchase tickets here.

When: September 30th at 10am

Where: The Wisdom Centre, Cork Street, Dublin 8

Cost: €80 for the full day, all supplies provided.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

“Too many people are unaware that it is not outer events or circumstances that will create happiness; rather, it is our perception of events and of ourselves that will create, or uncreate, positive emotions.” – Albert Ellis

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“Is that normal?”

This is one question that as a therapist I get asked time and time again. Are those thoughts, feelings or behaviours ‘normal’? It ties into the fear that we are not the same as everyone else. The comparisons we can make to friends, family or even strangers can be incredibly damaging as they can make us feel like outsiders.

What is normal?

Personally, like perfection, I do not believe ‘normal’ really exists. Normality is based on cultural, social and personal constructs. Depending on what country you are from, the town you grew up in and family you were raised, normal can look very different. Instead of asking yourself is something normal or not, ask instead, ‘Is this helping me or hurting me?

  • Do you feel the need to drink alcohol when you’re feeling sad? (help or hurt)
  • Do you internalise your anger until you want to explode? (help or hurt)
  • Are you scared of happiness in your life because you are waiting for the other shoe to drop? (help or hurt)

We often go through life one way, not knowing things could be different. It’s okay to feel sad and want to cry. When you are angry you are permitted to express it as long as you aren’t hurting someone else. Feeling happy doesn’t mean fear is waiting around the corner to take it all away.1235048_10151844828924190_420843887_n

Instead of beating yourself up because your thoughts are weird or your dreams seem unrealistic, embrace it! The truth is, we’re all a little weird, which makes weird ‘normal’. We can all have those bizarre imaginings that makes us shake our heads. But isn’t that amazing? As far as we know, we are the only beings on the planet who can create these worlds in our mind.

The only time you should feel concerned is if these imaginings are bringing you down. If you are always worried about how you are stacking up how can you enjoy the weirdness that is you? Today allow your mind to daydream and go easy on yourself. Life can be such a challenge, you don’t need that voice in your head to add to the struggle.

“There is no such thing as a weird human being, It’s just that some people require more understanding than others.”  – Tom Robbins

Past and Future

Life is fast. It seems even faster when we aren’t being present to the now. Many things keep us away from the present moment, however I believe that it’s negative emotions that pull us the hardest.

What do I mean when I say ‘negative emotions’? These are the parts of the human experience that can be the most difficult to work through. Anger, sadness, jealousy, worry, guilt and being judgemental are not enjoyable feelings. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling them, problems arise when we get stuck in feeling them. Which makes it difficult to let go and find brightness in our world.

I believe guilt (wishing we had or had not done something) and anger (wishing that someone else had or had not done something) keep us in the past. While anxiety transports us to a future that may or may not exist. Focusing all that energy on those moments means that what is happening right now is being missed.

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Being present is no easy feat. So where to start?

  •  Awareness – start noticing your thoughts. Once you take up the role of a non-judgemental observer you can learn a lot.
  • Options – once you have the awareness you have options. The next time a negative thought pops into your head you have a choice to make. You can follow it to the past or future, or instead say ‘no thanks’ and stay in the now.
  • Develop – you can start to train your brain to ignore the fear or not to feel overwhelmed by it. These thoughts aren’t necessarily facts and in this present moment, there is nothing to fear.

As the Summer arrives it’s the perfect excuse to sit outside and focus on your breath. Imagine you are on a sun holiday. Most people find it much easier to relax on holidays because they feel like they’ve left the stress of life behind. That’s partly true but in reality the stressors haven’t changed, your perspective has. Starting today try to change your perspective, attempt not to focus on things that have already happened or have yet to happen. Instead learn how you can let go and be present. Maybe grieve, put the past behind you and start fresh. Live your life as if you are on an eternal holiday. Be grateful for each passing second, because unlike many you are here to be a part of it.

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” – Ivan Turgenev

Time

We live in a world of instant gratification. We have centuries of knowledge available at our finger tips. We rush and race both mentally and physically. People are constantly exhausted and no one asks at what pace we are actually meant to function at.

Time is a construct which differs depending on where you live. Living in Western civilisation often means we are very connected to time. Usually talking about what little of it we have. There is so much anxiety related to time that ironically it causes us to waste the precious moments we have.

While on a holiday in Nepal I asked a local man what the weather supposed to be like the following day. He looked at me confused and bewildered and said, ‘How should I know, it’s not tomorrow yet.’ I smiled and knew he was wiser than I.

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We can often get consumed with the past and/or the future, which means we are missing what is happening right now. We don’t give ourselves the space to explore what thoughts or emotions we are experiencing. When was the last time you asked yourself how you were feeling?

Why not start giving yourself a few more minutes a day. Funnily enough making time for a short mediation like the one below can make you feel like you have more time. The amount of guided mediations out there are staggering, find one that fits for you. Then start deciding at what pace you want to live your life, don’t let that be dictated by others.

 “We have been moving along at such a fast pace that we no longer know what we are doing. Now we have to wait until our soul catches up with us.” – Paulo Coelho