Therapy Digest 17

Therapy Digest 17

 

 

 

The Truth About Christmas Shopping Panic Attacks

 

 

Christmas shopping tends not to be for yourself but for other people. This makes it more stressful than ordinary shopping as its easy to get caught up with over thinking and feeling anxious about other peoples judgements or their expectations. Trying to juggle a Christmas shopping budget while wanting to buy something spectacular for a friend or relative is an almost impossible conundrum.

Most people with heavy work schedules don’t have much choice but to shop when the stores are heaving with other people all intent on getting their Christmas shopping done too. Try shopping at independent stores in your local area or even the neighbourhood Christmas Fair as an alternative to battling the city centre crowds.

On-line shopping is of course always an option but because the shopping experience is so unfulfilling and disassociated from reality its easy with one click shopping to forget you’re spending your hard earned money and overspend which can then fuel more anxiety.

If you do experience anxiety and need to shop at busy times, then go as early in the day as you can or preferably go with a friend so you can support each other amid the chaos. Also, wear layers of clothes as there is nothing worse than being stuck in a queue in an over-heated department store with a big winter coat and scarf making you so hot you feel at risk of fainting or passing out.

If you do start to have a panic attack in a busy shop just put your shopping basket down and head for the exit. Get outside and breathe deeply and slowly. What happens when you’re in a panic is that your breathing becomes more shallow so focus on regulating your breath and that will help you to feel grounded and less panicky.

Give yourself time and if you’re able to resume your shopping then do so.

Equally, if you need to go home, then you should do just that. You might think you’re the only person who has to abandon their shopping but being triggered in an over-crowded store is pretty common so give yourself a break and leave out any harsh judgments you might be making about yourself. It’s tough out there.

 If you are struggling with panic attacks and social anxiety it doesn’t have to be this way. Click on the link on this page to book an obligation free discovery call and chat to me about what’s happening for you. Remember if you’ve tried everything and nothing works then therapy could be just the thing you’re looking for to transform how you think and feel about yourself.

The Secret Challenge of Christmas Gifts

 

 

Christmas is a complex, emotionally loaded mix of romanticised mythology and pragmatic reality with the giving and receiving of gifts at the core of most peoples’ secular festivities. It’s not as though we don’t know Christmas is coming and yet some of us still leave gift shopping until the last minute.

So, why is that?

Christmas shopping is not as simple as ticking people off from an annual obligation list. If it were people would just shop efficiently with time to spare even during the manic seasonal run-up.

Instead, the would-be gift-shopper procrastinates. Frozen into inactivity by anxiety around the purchases they plan to make and how their gifts will be viewed and judged by the recipients.

At its simplest, a gift is an expression of attention, love and affection in an age where people are struggling more and more with the pressures to achieve anything like a healthy work-life balance. Plus current economic uncertainty increases financial stress, and many people are nowadays so time-poor that it’s almost impossible to sustain care for themselves let alone caring for others.

So the gift is left to say it all and, ideally, it has to speak volumes. It has to be profound and eloquent, and provide evidence of all of the subtlest feelings inarticulately stumbled over or even omitted during the previous twelve months.

Plus gifts have to come in on budget and be most likely given to people who probably don’t actually need any more ‘things’ in their life. So, no wonder we all panic and leave Christmas shopping right until the last minute.

And it’s not as if the presents we finally choose are terrible. It’s just that the portent of the gift – the significance we have imbued it with can rarely if ever, be fully realised  – however beautifully wrapped it is.

If you are struggling to make a connection with the people who count in your life or feeling side-lined and unable to express yourself fully then use the link on this page to book an obligation free discovery call with me so that we can have a conversation about how your relationships can flow more smoothly for you.

Shopping Addiction: Warning Signs To Watch Out For

 

 

Before there was online shopping some people had a problem with over-spending on the High Street so there has always been something about shopping that can feel compelling for some people.

For most though, who enjoy shopping, they experience a pleasurable boost to their mood when they purchase something they really like.

However, when those emotions become heightened or exaggerated then shopping takes on an entirely different, more compulsive nature which is a sign that shopping is becoming something of a problem. It is equally an issue if purchases are made in a zoned out or disassociated state as that is not balanced behaviour either and again should be viewed as a warning sign.

The rise of e-commerce sites and online auction houses have made spending money online not just commonplace but potentially worryingly compulsive.

While shopping online, consumers can get caught up in the illusion that they are not really spending actual money. A credit card gets debited, often from pre-saved details, and that removes the mechanics of shopping. It feels good for a moment, but because those feelings are only temporary, it compulsively needs to be repeated time and time again.

There has been a year on year increase in online spending. E-commerce growth is projected by emarketer.com provider of professional insights into the digital marketing world will increase to $4.058 trillion worldwide by 2020, making up 14.6% of total retail spending.

Alongside that spending growth, there are already approximately 11 million people (6% of current Internet users) who suffer from some form of Web addiction, according to the American Psychological Association.

The implications from this statistical data are that there will be a dramatic increase in compulsive behaviours associated with the Internet which will no doubt include compulsive shopping behaviours.

Signs of Shopping Addiction

So what’s the difference between the occasional online or high street shopping spree and a real shopping addiction?

Many people love to shop, and many people also spend more than they can reasonably afford. It is important to note that going on a shopping spree once in a while does not mean you are a shopping addict. However, there are several signs and symptoms shopping addicts display that you may want to look for.

Emotional Symptoms of a Shopping Addiction

Like all addicts, shopping addicts may try to hide their addiction, and if a loved one is addicted to shopping, they may try to hide it from you.

If you hide credit card bills, shopping bags or receipts, you may be a shopaholic. In some cases, shopaholics may try to hide their addiction by lying about just one element of it.

For instance, a person may admit they went shopping and then lie about how much they spent.

Some of the other emotional symptoms you may notice with a shopaholic include the following:

Shopping as a way to deal with feeling angry or depressed.

Shopping as a way to feel less guilty about a previous shopping spree.

Continuing the shopping habits even though it is harming crucial relationships due to excess spending.

Physical Symptoms of a Shopping Addiction

Although most addictions have physical symptoms related to them, shopping addictions can have too. Someone addicted to shopping can experience mounting feelings of anxiety as they acknowledge they can’t go shopping or spend more money online. They can suffer palpitations and changes in heart rate as well as feeling uncomfortably hot and agitated. After shopping, they may feel momentarily calmer, and their physical symptoms can subside until they feel the remorse and guilt of the ramifications of their shopping expenditure.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of a Shopping Addiction

The short-term effects of a shopping addiction may feel positive. In many cases, you may feel happy after completing a shopping trip. However, these feelings are often mixed with anxiety or guilt, and in most cases, the guilt or anxiety may propel you back to the store for even more shopping.

The long-term effects of a shopping addiction can vary in intensity and seriousness.

Many shopping addicts face financial problems, and they may become overwhelmed with debt. In some cases, they may simply max out their credit cards, but in other cases, they may take out a second mortgage on their home or charge purchases to their business credit card. If you are addicted to shopping, your personal relationships may also suffer.

It is important to realise that like any other addiction; genuine compulsive online shopping is a disease. Specialist therapy approach focuses on resolving and ending addictive behaviour. 

If you are experiencing compulsions to shop and over-spend and are ready to take back control of your life then you can book an obligation free discovery via the button on this page. Don’t hide away in secret with your mounting debts and anxiety. You can feel immeasurably better from even taking this first step to recovery. Book that call now.

If compulsive shopping has led you to money and debt worries then seek help. In the UK go to www.nationaldebtline.org or call them for free debt advice on 0808 808 4000. Check your national and local services for where you live.

Why Is The Death Of An Ex So Unsettling?

Why Is The Death Of An Ex So Unsettling?

Sally Baker was recently interviewed by journalist Liz Connor about how the death of an ex-partner or spouse can negatively impact your current relationship. The press interest was sparked by the recent news of the broken engagement between US singer Ariana Grande and comedian and actor Pete Davidson following the death of her ex-partner rapper, Mac Miller.

Grief can take us by surprise so even when you are very content with your current relationship you can feel blind-sided and distressed by the death of someone from your past who was once important to you.

How does grief affect your relationship?
Everyone handles grief differently but what always happens is that a loss, even of an ex-partner, can cause an upheaval of emotions. Situations and relationships that were left permanently in the past can be suddenly brought into sharp focus by the death of an ex-partner.

The effect of grief on a relationship can be detrimental when one part of a couple is not comfortable with how their partner is manifesting grief for an ex. It can make the non-grieving person in a relationship feel vulnerable that their partner may still have a strong sense of loss for someone from their past and it can make them mistakenly question their partner’s commitment to their current relationship.

Can a relationship survive bereavement – particularly the death of an ex-spouse?
When one partner is mourning the death of someone for whom they’d had feelings for in the past any unresolved issues or insecurities in their current relationship can come under more pressure.

If the relationship is strong, with good clear communication between them then ideally a person will be able to mourn the loss of an ex and have their feelings acknowledged and respected without their current partner feeling threatened by their obvious sadness and grief.

When someone is experiencing the death of an ex-spouse their emotional response can be complex and contradictory. They may feel surprised by the intensity of the sadness they feel for the loss of someone whom in reality treated them badly or let them down. They are an ex for a reason but empathy, care and even love for past partners isn’t linear and doesn’t stop entirely when the relationship is over.

The more loving, open and in touch with their authentic emotions a person is then the more likely they are to be open to experiencing sadness and grief for an ex-partner or ex-spouse.

However, a current partner can be impatient with their feelings of grief for an ex-spouse and feel their grief is not permissible or is even inappropriate. The person mourning their ex will soon learn to hide their emotions so as not to upset their current partner or family.

With their grief pushed down they will often feel unsupported, and their sadness can take longer to process and release than it would have in a more supportive environment. Not having their feelings respected sows seeds of doubt too that they are in the right relationship for them after all and this will weaken their current relationship.

How can you stay connected as a couple during grief?
It is possible to stay connected as a couple during grief and allowing your partner to mourn for an ex-spouse is to show the strength of the current relationship. Grief isn’t logical and as well as mourning the loss of an ex a person is also mourning the loss of that particular time in their life and everything that episode conjures up for them.
Experiencing feelings of grief for a past partner isn’t a measure of commitment to their current relationship either, but it can be a test of a relationship.

It’s important to make it clear to a partner experiencing the death of an ex that their sadness is valid and its okay for them not to be okay.

The whole experience can improve a couple’s bonding, help build better communication and connection and prove to both partners in their current relationship that they are resilient enough to cope with painful emotions and that they can still hold together.

If you are struggling with the emotional fallout from a loss or experiencing grief then reach out and connect. Grief doesn’t just happen when someone dies. When faced with chronic disease or a serious diagnosis we can feel grief for who we were or how we previously thought and felt about ourselves. Make that call.

Students: Mental Health at University

Students: Mental Health at University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was recently reported in the New York Times how freshman Harrison Fowler’s mental ill-health was handled at the prestigious Stanford University, one of the world’s leading teaching and research institutions in the US when he enrolled last year.

He took the decision to finally address the angst he had been struggling with for a long time. When he approached the on-campus mental health counselling centre he was advised to admit himself into hospital which he agreed to do. From there, he was sent to a private outpatient treatment centre where he was prescribed an antidepressant that he said triggered suicidal fantasies.

Fowler’s mental ill-health meant it wasn’t long before he was back in the hospital, being urged to return home to Texas.

Fowler didn’t want to leave his studies and he blamed the decline in his mental health on the medication he had been prescribed. In the end, he had no choice to take a year off from his studies and he is now part of a class-action lawsuit accusing the university of discriminating against students with mental health issues by coercing them into taking a leave of absence, rather than trying to meet their needs on campus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is interesting to compare how UK universities compare with their treatment of undergraduate students presenting with mental health issues. Stories abound in the British press about underfunded and over-subscribed counselling services at prestigious universities where it can cost students as much as £22,200 per year to study.

Stanford University says it has behaved properly. But the case lays bare the conundrum universities face on both sides of the Atlantic with an international epidemic of students and young people dealing with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts — in responding to a broad array of mental health issues on campus.

It would seem that both American and the United Kingdom educational institutions make the same or similar mistakes. Both are accused of not intervening soon enough even when alerted of concerns by fellow students; waiting too long to notify parents when students are in trouble, or not notifying them at all. Others condemn institutions for writing off students too quickly to avoid lawsuits or bad publicity.

These problems are not going away any time soon. As it stands only half of the young college students in the US who are experiencing a mental health crisis seek official help largely due to the justified fear of stigma and negative consequences. It was reported that too often, universities respond to disability-related behaviour with exclusion, blame and draconian measures such as a forced leave of absence.

America is a more litigious society than the UK and the class action lawsuit against Stanford is the latest in a series of challenges to mental health leave policies, at prestigious institutions such as Princeton, Hunter College, Western Michigan University, and George Washington University.

Stanford’s own website says that a leave of absence may be encouraged or required for a student whose psychiatric, psychological or medical condition “jeopardises the life or safety of self or others, or whose actions significantly disrupt the activities of the university community.”

The cases before the court describe when one student who had an anxiety attack, another who was harming, and others who had suicidal thoughts or who had tried to kill themselves. Quoting the legal experts they say that under federal regulations, it is clear that students can be barred from campus if they pose a threat to others. However, there is less clarity if they pose a threat to themselves and not others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The law is unsettled,” said Karen Bower, a lawyer who has represented students suing universities for making them take mental health leaves. “‘Disruption’ is the new buzzword. Universities have claimed that students who use too many resources, inform friends of suicidal ideation or require wellness checks have all disrupted the campus or campus operations.”

The Stanford lawsuit says that students who were placed on leave were effectively banished from the university and stripped of their privacy and autonomy. Their own doctors were second-guessed by the university’s, the lawsuit says, and the students were required to immediately withdraw from all classes, programs and housing. To return to campus, they had to write personal statements “accepting blame” for their behaviour.

In the UK the number of students who disclosed a mental health condition almost doubled between 2012 and 2015 to nearly 45,000, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency. In 2015 alone, a record 2,050 students with mental health problems dropped out of university. The number of suicides among full-time students in England and Wales has also tragically jumped – from 75 in 2007 to 134 in 2015.

Universities UK, the trade body for UK Universities has recently published new guidance to improve the link between the NHS and care provision at university, admitting that students moving from home to campus “may slip through the gaps in the health system, when they are most vulnerable”.
Unfortunately, gaps in the NHS health system, especially mental health are endemic across the whole country and students are at risk as much as any others sector of society.

While most universities now offer counselling support and train teaching and some auxiliary staff to spot signs of mental illness and have complex care packages in place, not all provide the same level of support. It’s worth would-be students taking a detailed look at what’s on offer.

University league tables do not as yet include a chart to measure pastoral services on offer but now that potential undergraduates are paying consumers they may be able to effect improvements in services or spend their education pound elsewhere else.

If you or a friend are struggling with mental health issues while you are studying it is crucial to be as pro-active as possible to secure the support you need through your institution. If you want to make contact with me the link is here on this page. Don’t stay isolated. Prioritise your mental well-being.

Therapy Digest 16

Therapy Digest 16

 

In the latest edition of Therapy Digest Therapist Sally Baker looks at how students in the US are taking legal action against their Colleges for failure to support their mental well-being. She looks at how the UK compares. Plus how the death of an ex-partner or previous spouse can prove to be disruptive to your current relation even when you’re happy and content with the life you currently have.

It was recently reported in the New York Times how freshman Harrison Fowler’s mental ill-health was handled at the prestigious Stanford University, one of the world’s leading teaching and research institutions in the US when he enrolled last year.

He took the decision to finally address the angst he had been struggling with for a long time. When he approached the on-campus mental health counselling centre he was advised to admit himself into a hospital which he agreed to do. From there, he was sent to a private outpatient treatment centre where he was prescribed an antidepressant that he said triggered suicidal fantasies.

Fowler’s mental ill-health meant it wasn’t long before he was back in the hospital, being urged to return home to Texas.

Fowler didn’t want to leave his studies and he blamed the decline in his mental health on the medication he had been prescribed. In the end, he had no choice to take a year off from his studies and he is now part of a class-action lawsuit accusing the university of discriminating against students with mental health issues by coercing them into taking a leave of absence, rather than trying to meet their needs on campus.

It is interesting to compare how UK universities compare with their treatment of undergraduate students presenting with mental health issues. Stories abound in the British press about underfunded and over-subscribed counselling services at prestigious universities where it can cost students as much as £22,200 per year to study.

Stanford University says it has behaved properly. But the case lays bare the conundrum universities face on both sides of the Atlantic with an international epidemic of students and young people dealing with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts — in responding to a broad array of mental health issues on campus.

It would seem that both American and the United Kingdom educational institutions make the same or similar mistakes. Both are accused of not intervening soon enough even when alerted of concerns by fellow students; waiting too long to notify parents when students are in trouble, or not notifying them at all. Others condemn institutions for writing off students too quickly to avoid lawsuits or bad publicity.

These problems are not going away any time soon. As it stands only half of the young college students in the US who are experiencing a mental health crisis seek official help largely due to the justified fear of stigma and negative consequences. It was reported that too often, universities respond to disability-related behaviour with exclusion, blame and draconian measures such as a forced leave of absence.

America is a more litigious society than the UK and the class action lawsuit against Stanford is the latest in a series of challenges to mental health leave policies, at prestigious institutions such as Princeton, Hunter College, Western Michigan University, and George Washington University.

Stanford’s own website says that a leave of absence may be encouraged or required for a student whose psychiatric, psychological or medical condition “jeopardises the life or safety of self or others, or whose actions significantly disrupt the activities of the university community.”

The cases before the court describe when one student who had an anxiety attack, another who was harming, and others who had suicidal thoughts or who had tried to kill themselves. Quoting the legal experts they say that under federal regulations, it is clear that students can be barred from campus if they pose a threat to others. However, there is less clarity if they pose a threat to themselves and not others.

“The law is unsettled,” said Karen Bower, a lawyer who has represented students suing universities for making them take mental health leaves. “‘Disruption’ is the new buzzword. Universities have claimed that students who use too many resources, inform friends of suicidal ideation or require wellness checks have all disrupted the campus or campus operations.”

The Stanford lawsuit says that students who were placed on leave were effectively banished from the university and stripped of their privacy and autonomy. Their own doctors were second-guessed by the university’s, the lawsuit says, and the students were required to immediately withdraw from all classes, programs and housing. To return to campus, they had to write personal statements “accepting blame” for their behaviour.

In the UK the number of students who disclosed a mental health condition almost doubled between 2012 and 2015 to nearly 45,000, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency. In 2015 alone, a record 2,050 students with mental health problems dropped out of university. The number of suicides among full-time students in England and Wales has also tragically jumped – from 75 in 2007 to 134 in 2015.

Universities UK, the trade body for UK Universities has recently published new guidance to improve the link between the NHS and care provision at university, admitting that students moving from home to campus “may slip through the gaps in the health system, when they are most vulnerable”.
Unfortunately, gaps in the NHS health system, especially mental health are endemic across the whole country and students are at risk as much as any others sector of society.

While most universities now offer counselling support and train teaching and some auxiliary staff to spot signs of mental illness and have complex care packages in place, not all provide the same level of support. It’s worth would-be students taking a detailed look at what’s on offer.

University league tables do not as yet include a chart to measure pastoral services on offer but now that potential undergraduates are paying consumers they may be able to effect improvements in services or spend their education pound elsewhere else.

If you are struggling with mental health issues while at university or worried about a fellow student make sure you are as pro-active as possible to get the support you, or they need. If this resonates with you please make contact and book a discovery call with me to better explore your options to transform your mental well-being by resolving the issues that are blocking your abilities to succeed.

Sally Baker was recently interviewed by journalist Liz Connor about how the death of an ex-partner or spouse can negatively impact your current relationship. The press interest was sparked by the recent news of the broken engagement between US singer Ariana Grande and comedian and actor Pete Davidson following the death of her ex-partner rapper, Mac Miller.

Grief can take us by surprise so even when you are very content with your current relationship you can feel blind-sided and distressed by the death of someone from your past who was once important to you.

How does grief affect your relationship?
Everyone handles grief differently but what always happens is that a loss, even of an ex-partner, can cause an upheaval of emotions. Situations and relationships that were left permanently in the past can be suddenly brought into sharp focus by the death of an ex-partner.

The effect of grief on a relationship can be detrimental when one part of a couple is not comfortable with how their partner is manifesting grief for an ex. It can make the non-grieving person in a relationship feel vulnerable that their partner may still have a strong sense of loss for someone from their past and it can make them mistakenly question their partner’s commitment to their current relationship
.
Can a relationship survive bereavement – particularly the death of an ex-spouse?

When one partner is mourning the death of someone for whom they’d had feelings for in the past any unresolved issues or insecurities in their current relationship can come under more pressure.

If the relationship is strong, with good clear communication between them then ideally a person will be able to mourn the loss of an ex and have their feelings acknowledged and respected without their current partner feeling threatened by their obvious sadness and grief.

When someone is experiencing the death of an ex-spouse their emotional response can be complex and contradictory. They may feel surprised by the intensity of the sadness they feel for the loss of someone whom in reality treated them badly or let them down. They are an ex for a reason but empathy, care and even love for past partners isn’t linear and doesn’t stop entirely when the relationship is over.

The more loving, open and in touch with their authentic emotions a person is then the more likely they are to be open to experiencing sadness and grief for an ex-partner or ex-spouse.

However, a current partner can be impatient with their feelings of grief for an ex-spouse and feel their grief is not permissible or is even inappropriate. The person mourning their ex will soon learn to hide their emotions so as not to upset their current partner or family.

With their grief pushed down they will often feel unsupported, and their sadness can take longer to process and release than it would have in a more supportive environment. Not having their feelings respected sows seeds of doubt too that they are in the right relationship for them after all and this will weaken their current relationship.

How can you stay connected as a couple during grief?
It is possible to stay connected as a couple during grief and allowing your partner to mourn for an ex-spouse is to show the strength of the current relationship. Grief isn’t logical and as well as mourning the loss of an ex a person is also mourning the loss of that particular time in their life and everything that episode conjures up for them.

Experiencing feelings of grief for a past partner isn’t a measure of commitment to their current relationship either, but it can be a test of a relationship.

It’s important to make it clear to a partner experiencing the death of an ex that their sadness is valid and its okay for them not to be okay.

The whole experience can improve a couple’s bonding, help build better communication and connection and prove to both partners in their current relationship that they are resilient enough to cope with painful emotions and that they can still hold together.

If you are struggling with the emotional fallout from a loss or experiencing grief then reach out and connect. Grief doesn’t just happen when someone dies. When faced with chronic disease or a serious diagnosis we can feel grief for who we were or how we previously thought and felt about ourselves. Make that call. The link is on this page.

2 Self Help Hacks To Change The Way You Think

2 Self Help Hacks To Change The Way You Think

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you losing sleep worrying about what might or might not happen in the future?
Do your thoughts go around and around in your mind on an endless loop?
Does negative thinking spoil your enjoyment of life?

If you feel anxious all the time and plagued by worrying thoughts it may be because you have developed an unhelpful thinking style.

People’s thoughts and reactions to circumstances and events are influenced by their style of thinking. In fact, your thinking style can make a difference between being burdened by worry or being someone who can glide through life and never be overly concerned about anything.

Let’s take a closer look at thinking styles and perhaps you can recognise patterns in your own thinking.

The Black and White Thinker

This is an ‘either, or’ style of thinking that tends towards the extreme in any situation. Black and white thinkers generally fail to recognise all the shades of grey in their life and have an ‘all or nothing’ attitude. An example would be if they fail at a task then they berate themselves as a total failure and forget all the times they’ve succeeded before. It is as if they cannot acknowledge or own any track record of achievement for themselves.

The Catastrophic Thinker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This kind of thinker always thinks the worst. If something challenging happens in their life the thoughts they have will automatically go to the extremes of negativity. An example would be if a friend turns down their invitation to meet up it is because their friend no longer wants to know them or ever see them again and they’ll end up alone without anyone to care about them. This type of thinking is exhausting and can reinforce feelings of powerlessness and overwhelm.

The Over-Thinker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This kind of thinker ruminates about everything thinking and re-thinking and the outcome is never positive. If a colleague at work says something to them that can be taken two ways for instance or is ambiguous they would never think to dismiss the comment as a throwaway remark or ask for clarification. Instead, they spend endless amounts of time and energy trying to work out what this person might have meant by what they said. It bothers them and makes them feel unsettled. An example of this type of thinking could be if their partner says you look slim or fit in that outfit they can’t just accept the compliment without ruminating on whether perhaps their partner has been thinking they looked previously heavy or overweight.

Identifying Your Thinking Style
These types of thinking are considered to be disordered thinking which means your emotions are sub-consciously determined by your thoughts.

These are thinking styles you may have developed over time and it just felt natural for you to think in this way but you can see how they have a negative influence on your mood and how you feel about yourself. Identifying what thinking style or even the mix of thinking styles that is your default setting is one of the first steps to taking conscious control of your thoughts so that you are no longer a passive casualty of your thinking imperatives.

When considering what kind of thinker you maybe it’s also useful to explore whose thinking style reminds you of. For instance was one or both of your parents’ catastrophisers or black and white thinkers?

If so, that can defiantly have an influence on your thinking style you and once you can identify ‘Oh my father was always a worrier or an over-thinker’ then you begin to make a space or create boundaries around your thoughts so that when you slip into worrying you can consciously say to yourself ‘I’m just thinking the same way my dad always did.’

This insight you can help you to consciously choose to interrupt your thinking with the aim of letting it go.

Changing a thinking style will take vigilance and insights and with practice, you can have a thought; decide whether its a helpful thought or not; interrupt it, and formulate a more helpful positive alternate thought instead.

How To Change Your Thinking Style
There are several ways you can change your thinking style.

Break State
Breaking state is purposely doing something to interrupt your thinking and to stop your negative ruminating circular thoughts. So instead of just submitting to hours of negative thinking the best way to break state is by doing something physical. In Energy Therapy there is a well-established technique called ‘Cross Crawl where you stand up and alternate raising your left knee to tap that knee with your right hand and then lower that knee and raise your right knee and tap with your left hand. Repeat five to ten times. Alternatively, you can run up a flight of stairs or go outside in the fresh air. You need to break the pattern of negative thinking and stop allowing your thoughts to dictate your feelings.

Breathing
When you are caught up in worry and anxiety your breathing becomes much more shallow. This happens without people realising. An effective way to change your thinking is to assess your breathing by taking three gently in and out breaths so you can score your depth of breathing on a scale of zero to ten. Just take an intuitive guess. A zero score means no breath in your body at all and a score of ten signifies you are breathing deeply and freely.

You may be surprised to find your breathing is below five and to increase the depth of your breathing you can tap with a soft fist around your collarbone and focus on breathing more deeply for a few moments. The tapping around your collarbone is another energy Therapy technique to help you feel more grounded and secure. Reaching and touching the collarbone is a natural response for many people when they hear bad news. It’s a natural non-verbal self-comforting reaction and you can use it to move out of negative thinking to feeling calmer and more secure.

Is your style of thinking getting in your way of happiness and success? If you want help to transform how you think and feel about yourself then reach out and make contact. You can book an obligation free discovery call on this page.