Resisting my habits this Christmas

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Hypnotherapy and Psycho-therapeutic counselling, REBT, and NLP Transformation Coach based in Marlow, Bucks.

Resisting my habits is usually quite difficult anyway, but around Christmas, with all the temptations, it’s even more so.

Throughout the years, resisting my habits take a lot of my energy. Habits around food, on my own and at social event. Habits around drinking, at parties, at home in front of the TV, or after a stressful day at work. Habit around the house, when cleaning and doing chores, and slouching in front of the TV. Habits around shopping, buying presents, buying food, buying things that I do not need and buying more than one of the same item. Habits around stress, leaving things to the last minutes, being late to an appointment, being late and driving erratically. And habits around medications, taking paracetamol when hungover, when in minor pain, when suffering PMS, when not drinking enough water, and at the onset of a headache.

Here are some helpful facts around different types of habits.

turkey  Habits around food

Weight management is a continuous process, which I constantly and persistently check throughout the day. Just like you, I know what is best to eat, I know what to avoid and I know about the important of regular exercise. Knowing your BMI can be helpful to knowing your ideal weight for your height. Knowing this shows that when weight fluctuates, and they do! The threshold limits of a BMI shows me when I reached my weight limit for my height. Plus, my clothes are tight and I can’t zip up my favourite dress!

Unhealthy habit around food includes; over/under eating, eating alone (secret eaters), eating in company (finishing your plate, and finishing others plate), eating irregularly (missing, skipping meals), eating poor diet (eating lots of fatty food, meat, and sugar), eating in front of TV/studying/relaxing/in bed (eating when not at meal time) and emotional eating (eating during and after a stressful event).

Remember how we starve ourselves before Christmas, so that we can eat on Christmas day! Your stomach size shrink when you skip/missed a meal, and it expands to hold 4 Lt of food. When you eat a large meal, your eyes are bigger than your stomach! Your brain takes around 20 minutes, to tell your stomach that you are full! But, you know all these facts.

In some culture, especially, Thai culture, meal time is a social gathering and the family gets together to enjoy food and eating in company. But wastage is seen as unforgiving, so no wastage is allowed. All the food must be consumed, even if it is on someone else’s plate! I don’t know anyone that allow food to go to waste.

Did you know that sugar is addictive? Did you know that fat is addictive? Why do you think they tastes so good? Our brain loves sugar and fat, so it fueled our emotions. Our moods is linked to food.

Eating when it is not meal time and down time is habitual, a ritual of relaxation, chilling, and winding down whilst nibbling at snacks. It is poorly managed and through repetition of eating behaviour, this eating habit is reinforced. You know how to stop this unhealthy eating habit. You know how to eat healthily. Why not make a small change today?

mulled-wine  Habits around drinks

Drinking alcohol is problematic in excessive quantity. Excessive quantity is consumption that make you feel blurry, drunk, and intoxicated. Following by vomiting and/or a very bad hungover, the morning after. Drinking and alcohol addiction, in the UK statistically has the highest criminal rate. Safe alcohol consumption differs between men and women. Alcohol damages brain functions, and cause a person to lose their inhibitions. As we are entice by alcohol’s welcoming nature of euphoria, but not without a price!

Alcohol is a short term rewards, not a full time self-destruction. Depending on a situation, but I can have a glass of wine and call it quits for the night. I can leave my alcoholic drinks unfinished. But, on some occasions, I have ‘let my hair down’ and go crazy. And not without a price! The hungover the following morning disabled me all day, that it wasn’t worth it,  as alcohol shrinks the brain, causing a massive headache.

Drinking alcohol after a stressful work day is a reward for getting over the stress. But, as alcohol is a depressant, the reward is short lived.

swirling-tree  Habits around the home

Keeping the house clean is a chores that needed doing, I personally like pottering around, taking all day to do cleaning. I don’t put time frame around cleaning, as this become a chores. Seeking to potter about enable me to enjoy doing chores. But, then again, I also rearrange my furniture and sort out my clothing at the same time. I move pictures and ornaments and places them in different location. It de-stresses me pottering around the house. This annoys my husband greatly who rushes to complete the housework. Rushes around with the hoover at 100 miles an hour! What was de-stressing soon become stressful. Cleaning is often a habit that can be problematic for OCD sufferers and compulsive helpers. Cleaning habits concern the primacy of control.

These people do not like mess in the home. The hoover is out as soon as dinner time is over. The polish is out as soon as the table is cleared. These obsessive cleaners do not like dirt or mess! Everything around the house has to be cleaned. Just how clean is clean? How obsessive of me.

Couch potato is a pass time that I most enjoyed in the evening after dinner/supper. It is a down time and it is winding down time. The problem is sometime, this down time is stretched to earlier during the day and later into the evening and into the witching hour. And with persistent, this relaxing time becomes too comfortable to want to make effort to move and soon, we become lazy. Becoming inflexible, static and soon our imprint stays on the sofa.

figurines-of-two-santa-claus-and-shopping-cart  Habits around shopping and spending

Spending habit and shopaholic are serious habit that must not be under-estimated. It is just as addictive and secretive as eating habit. It is linked to attachment and object possession. Shopping this way lead to financial destruction and debt problems. Spending without thinking of whether you want or need to the goods can lead to accumulation of belongings. When your house is full of stuff, and you find it difficult to let go, you become a hoarder. Hoarding disorder is a problem in later life, as people find it difficult to depart with their possession.

Spending habit is a problem when you have no disposal fund and yet still spending on credit, in a form of store credit and credit cards. Spending habit is a problem when you have to have new item of clothing, need to have that new dress, need to  have the latest iphone, or need to have the latest console game. Spending this way is about the need to be the first with the possession, be the first to have the latest product, and be the first to be popular and be the first to be admired. Be the first to run up your debt too, if you don’t be careful.

Shopping habit also extend to purchase of services; with an intention to use. For example; joining the gym or sport club and attended only a few times. Belong to a social club and hardly attend. Or is a member of cinema club, and not been to see any films.

santa-in-police-lineup  Habits around anxiety and stress

It is stressful getting organised for Christmas and New Year if you’re hosting and cooking for large group of family and friends. Anxieties rises high this time of year when the working days are shorted and you are expected to still get all your work done, losing up to a week between Christmas and New Year. Anxieties rises when family comes together. It is really a season to be jolly, when you hate your sister’s partner, and he spoil Christmas for the rest of the family for being obnoxious? Is it really a happy occasion, when you have to visit family members that you don’t want to see the rest of the year, but have to make effort to see them on Christmas day! It is a happy holiday when you spend your day off in company of distasteful people? Being pleasant and civil to family members, eluded by family secrets never to be told, but secretly everyone know but choose the code of silence.

Christmas and New Year make me anxious, not sure about you. I find it difficult visiting everyone and the logistics of the journey is somewhat tight as I rushed from one place to the next, like visiting services on motorways. That’s not relaxing!

I’m anxious about eating too much and sabotage my trim waist line and put on weight, too quickly and over indulging myself. Worrying about dieting before Christmas day so that I can eat more on Christmas day! Exercise pre-Christmas and post-Christmas, who does that? You are not the only one! Good luck resist feeling anxious or stressed over Christmas.

pills-2  Habit around medicines

Sometimes, it all gets too much and the only thing that seem to work is a couple of paracetamol. Popping a couple of these babies seem to fix everything from a hangover to a headache. It is better than suffering surely? It is easy and quick. Who like pain?

Unless, you pop pills so often that 2 of these babies don’t seem to work, and you find popping two more in 3-4 hours. Or you take medicines as soon as you have a tickly cough. Rub anti-inflammatory on your sore as soon as you feel a throb. Perhaps take a shot of flu jab on the October 1st in preparation for winter.

Maybe hypochondriac is a word you recognize. But, is there anything wrong with being prepare for a symptom? Sometime, variety is the spice of life. Allowing your body to experience pain, so that you can increase your pain threshold is helpful. Try to resit and allow your body to do what it does best and fight those internal nasties with it’s own anti-bodies.

Perhaps you have other habits around Christmas that you like to share?   

Step back to my roots

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For years, I’ve been searching and chasing my tails! Like an Ouroboros! Really unsure of what I was looking for and testing different paths, roads and highways. I walked 500 miles. And I walked 500 more!

I don’t regret my search, it was the path that I needed to take. It was the journey that I needed to make.

Now in my 40s, at the virtue life stages of care, I came to a jolt. Halted by the realization, that I am back to the beginning of my search, back to square one, and back to my roots.

I wanted to know who I am, I wanted to know why I am here, I wanted to know; what is my purpose, I wanted to understand; what is my role and I wanted to identify the real me.

In my reach, I have read many self-help books, I have been in counselling and, still in counselling as I am studying for my MA. See more about me. I have reflected, contemplated and explored my psyche. I studied many forms of psychological approaches to understand my psychological profile. I have studied sociological societies and cultural differences. I have personally experienced polarized effects of differences between Eastern and Western societies. I have experimented with different types of therapies, mostly alternative therapies, such as hypnotherapy, NLP, aromatherapy, reflexology, mindfulness, meditation etc.

I wanted to fit in and belong, whether it be in a family group, community group, school group, or social group.

My journey was lonely at times. I had loneliness as my company. At times, I found myself to be lost. Tempted by materialism and greed, I began to acquire un-necessities. I was pressured into being someone that I didn’t like. I was comparing and competing against others, forced to see thou as enemy. I was confused by etiquette and political correctness.

My journey was blocked when I got stuck. Like a runner; hitting a wall, I could go no further. I was physically and mentally exhausted.

I was so busy in my search that I’d missed the beauty of my ecology. I passed through many wonders, many people and many places. Whizzing at 100 miles per hour! I missed it all!

It was only when I came to slowing down. Walking slowly and slowing my speed and pace that I realized what I had missed.

Going right back to my roots, from my earliest memories as a child, I missed the bonding, the connection and the love that I didn’t know or had. I missed having someone that I can trust. I longed for the touch and intimacy of being wanted. I yearned in my heart for the acceptance and welcoming. That’s the reason for my search.

Going back to my roots allow me to retrace my footprints in the sand. It allows me to relive some of the painful experiences and traumas in childhood. It allows me to find the earliest pain that was deep in my core. My heart and my maternal imago, and being Thai and being a Buddhist.

Going back to my roots, I found the gift that was given, the unspoken gifts and the gift made up the person I am today. The gift of love.

Inner child works helped me to find the lost little girl within, healing the sad and pensive child sitting alone in the corner recesses of my mind. I share my inner child experiences with you and I share my story with you, and I will share what I find with you, in Resources.

Today, I am still travelling and I think I will continue searching. Walking a different path, but searching. And searching is no longer daunting or arduous. The searching is fun, hopeful and exciting. Because it is not what I find but it is what I will learn along the ways that matters.

Living with the bullies

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Hypnotherapy and Psycho-therapeutic counselling, REBT, and NLP Transformation Coach based in Marlow, Bucks.

I have spent times with bullies. They are everywhere! They are at work, at home, at school, at my local supermarket, at my social clubs, at my gym and on the road!

Being bullied as a teenager, I know what it is like being the subject of the bullies. Bullies targeted me because I was different; racially prejudice bullies are ripe within our society. Racism is still a problem for many people. I didn’t have the resources to deal with the bullies, but I didn’t yield to being bullied. In the situation, I sat proudly, sat up straight, learning forward, towards the bullies and tall and stared at them blankly at them; with expressionless facial features, showing no emotion of disturbances or annoyances (not giving them the satisfaction that they desire). My head and body raised up, like a venomous snake, ready to pounce, if I must. I continued to stare affixed in their eyes, and I did not yield!

And eventually, they got bored and tired of taunting, and moved onto someone who shown signs of being an ‘easy-target’. The bullying only lasted two terms. I was lucky, back in those days, I could not understand their words (having only been in the UK not even 6 months!), and so it didn’t bother me. But, I still knew from their gestures and signs of body language that I was being bullied.

I knew that I was not going to be a victim of the bullies. I knew that I didn’t want to be the victim of the bullies.

Bullying is a deliberate harming and humiliation from others. It is a very self-effacing behaviour that benefits the bullies. They get insidious, sadistic satisfaction from their taunts. They get gleeful joy from their hilariously un-funny expression and dumb jokes. They are extremely sad and insecure in themselves to have to resort to primitive social conformity, in order to fit in, in order to gain popularity. Bullies are everywhere, you won’t need to look far to see when someone is being bullied.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You may find it difficult to believe that bullies does not born this way. A person is generally, mostly good and pure. It is their life script, life experiences, conditioning and interpretations that made them become a bully. It begins in (Erikson’s Psycho-social development stage) the toddler, specifically around the ‘terrible twos’; at this stage, if the child’s aggressive tendencies were not curb or handle healthily, the child goes on to become a bully.

But, bullies would be nothing without victims.

Bullies lack self-confidence and self-esteem. They are plagued by an inner turmoil. Dissatisfied with life and the living. Most often, jealous of their victims that they targeted. They are envious of innocence, purity and naivety. These thinking and feeling make them unhappy and they seek to make their victims to be just as miserable and desolate. They seek to be superior over their victims.

Bullies will bully victims around other people, so that they earn recognition for their actions, with an audience. Next time, they are bulling you – clap your hands!

Different types of bullying includes:-

  • Psychological bullying; repetition and intentional use of degrading words or actions, that result in psychological harm. EG: Stalking, manipulation, intimidation, and blackmailing. This can be passively carried out. Or it can be visibly carried out as sniping and griping in the playground or as office gossips.
  • Cyber bullying; using technology and social media to verbally, socially and psychologically bully. Most recently done as ‘trolling’, as people hides behind social media to target strangers, friends and foes. Making nuisance phone calls and nuisance texts. Bullies watches from nearby for self-gratification.
  • Physical bullying; all forms of physical bodily harm and exertion of force and violence onto another. Including physical injuries such as punching, kicking, hitting a person with another object, with an intent to inflict physical bodily harm.
  • Verbal bullying; using hurtful words, comments, name-calling, teasing and sniping. Again, this can be direct and indirectly carried out. Direct verbal bullying is hurtfully name-calling, bitching at the person directly to their face, and in plain view of others, often done as a joke, in sarcasm around the office environment. Indirect verbal bulling is name-calling, bitching at the victim to another person, but within ear shots, so that it can be discarded as – I wasn’t talking to you! You misheard me, I was talking about someone else! As a diversion, groups are gathered near the victim and conversation is inflow, hurdling indirect verbal bullying.
  • Social or Relational bullying; using relationships to hurt someone. EG: Exclusion, ignoring someone at social activities, from  joining or participating in groups or events. Happens frequently in school playground, during school runs, where parents of same social class will gather to socially bully another parents who is often perceived to be less financially stabled. Or older aged parents grouped together to single out a younger, single parent (and her children, from playing with each other).
  • Sexual bullying; using sexual name-calling, sexual words and phrases to humiliate a person. Using crude and vulgar sexual gestures, uninvited touching and groping, sexual proposition and advances. Any unwarranted, unsolicited comments about a person’s sex/gender and sexual assault. Sexual development in the teenager years, are so vital for development. Sexual bullying around this age, can cause severe under-development of sexual drives. Causing promiscuous relationship development in later life for the victim, whilst satisfying the narcissistic tendencies for the bullies. Sexual bullying can lead to sexual abuse.
  • Racial bullying; using a person’s race, culture or religious differences to humiliate, isolate, and intimidate someone.

All the different types of bullying has the same theme; to target and single out the victim, to isolate and humiliate the victim, to persistently stalk, to continually and repetitively try to break the victim into submission.

From the perception of the person doing the bullying: they think they are dominant, they sadistically feel superior to their victim and gain pleasure from making someone suffer. In the short-term, they want to feel better about themselves, for their lack of self-confidence. They have less self-esteem than their victim (it’s true). They, too, are suffering, psychologically from bullying their victim, but also physically, because mostly, they are often a victim of bullying too, by someone that they cannot stand up to. Pity them if you will.

And as a result, they become mean, angry person, which is why they become bullies. However, this is not true in all cases, but this social theme is fairly common.

As bullies become their bullies, and this cyclical behaviour trend continues, when their victim becomes a bully.

From the perception of the person who is the victim: they think they are submissive, they under-estimate their abilities to cope with the bullying. I’m not suggesting or underplaying the traumatic persistent effect that a person suffer from being bullied. But, if they often think that they are powerless to do anything about it. Thinking that they have no choice but to ‘put up with it’. Thinking that there is no other alternative to handle the bullies. Suffering psychologically, possibly from freezing in situation, possibly from frightfully fearing the bullies, especially if the bullies gang up to target a person.

There are 3 ways that this person can turned out: who would you choose to be?

Person 1 – In order to make themselves feel better about themselves, they go on to bully someone else, who is smaller, weaker and perceived to be non-threatening. Become the bully themselves.

Person 2 – Cowered in the corner, curl up in a ball, become a shrinking violet. Wanting to be invisible and stand isolate, because no one will want to be around you, in case, they too will be a target for bulling. Become quite and withdrawn. Become a punchbag and covered in physical injuries, or psychological and mental scarring. Developing unhealthy eating problems or self-harm to ease the psychological and mental pain. Have difficulty sleeping, having nightmares and night terrors.

Person 3 – Standing tall take the verbal abuse – it’s really true that ‘sticks and stones may break your bones, but words cannot hurt’. Words cannot hurt, especially when they are someone else’s. They aren’t your words, why take them, why make it yours. They aren’t your opinions, why listen to them. Stand up to the bullies with your skillful will, with your witty comments and snap-chat back. Stand up to the bullies, look them in the eyes and stare at them with pity, for their suffering. Stand up to bullying and stand confidently. Stand up to bullying is not necessarily ‘physically fighting’ back, only you can make that call, it is about breaking behaviour and pattern interrupting. Interrupting this cycling of social engagement so that you do no become a bully yourself. Break free from bullying. Seek help and find resources that can help. Tell everyone about the bullying, tell as many people as possible and shout about it.

Bullies don’t have any power over you. You have the power over you. They bully you because you have surrender your power to the other. They bully you because you have unconsciously, unwilling and unknowingly given them permission to target you. But, you can change, and change is possible. You do have it in you to change. And you can start, right now, or during talking therapy with me. The choice is yours.