Friday, March 27, 2015

When that's not what you meant.

Do you often say, 'that's not what I meant',  or hear, 'you're not understanding me.'? This could be because there's a difference of perception in what is said between you and another, based on interpretations of a past negative situation. 

What do you see in the image below? 

Is it a young lady or an old woman? Either way, what you see maybe different to what others see. We perceive things at multiple levels of awareness. At the most basic level, there is a neurological perception, the way we perceive sensory-based things. 

Lets call this 'Representational System', which fundamentally means the expressions of the way we individually process and describe information based on the following processing styles; Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic and Auditory digital

  • Visual - Seeing
  • Auditory - Hearing
  • Kinaesthetic - Feeling
  • Auditory digital - Inner dialogue or self talk.
As an external event happens, (someone says something or does something to us), we make an Internal Representation (I/R) of that event. The Internal Representation combined with our physiology, creates an emotional state within us. The state that we are in are a combination of internal pictures, sounds, feelings and self talk that we have experienced over time caused by either negative and/or positive events. 

The way we represent the world and these external events comes in through our five senses (sensory input channels) which are;
  • Visual - the things we see in our mind or in reality
  • Auditory - sounds or words we hear. We hear them ether externally or in our own minds
  • Kinaesthetic - any emotions or sensations including touch and texture.
  • Olfactory - smells
  • Gustatory - tastes.

When information reaches our brains, it is given meaning and forms a subjective experience of the world - this is our representation and perception.  

As the external event comes through these sensory input channels it is filtered and we then process the information for that event. We delete, distort and generalise what comes in. When two people experience the same event in the same way, they respond differently because they filter and process differently than each other. 

  • Deletion - It's important to delete information from the thousands of events happening around us from our minds, otherwise we'd go mad. We are able to do this as we selectively pay attention to certain aspects of our experiences and not others, omitting or overlooking as events occur.
  • Distortion - Misrepresenting reality. Distortion twists the truth in that the speaker draws conclusions or makes assumptions.
  • Generalisations - Always!, Never!, Every! When we have an unhappy experience or one we describe as 'bad', we are afraid that it will happen again. We come to believe that a single experience can represent an absolute truth. 

There is no right or wrong when it comes to perception, but there is a right or wrong in how we behave due to our own interpretation. For example: You are convinced a friend has lied about you or you feel like an important person just doesn't care enough about you. You react in an aggressive way because you feel it's justified. 

How do you think the other person feels being on the receiving end of your aggression? Maybe part of you don't care, maybe you're thinking they deserve it, maybe you just want the other person to recognise 'what they've done to you.' 

What is it you want from the other person? An apology? Recognition? What if they don't agree that they've done anything wrong and try to explain to you that, that is not what they meant? 

The key here, is to recognised when your anger has been triggered and then understand what it is you are perceiving. Have you deleted good information, distorted what you've heard, generalised too much? Ask yourself, 'is it me, is it them, is it us? 

You may see the young lady, but another will see the old woman. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How to liberate your mind?

Three simple steps to mindful liberation: 

Step one: Stretch your arms above your head and take a deep breath in, hold for 2. Lower your arms and touch your shoulders at the same time let out your breath in a quick blow. Repeat another two times. (Don't worry if you're in the office and others can see you, that's part of the mindful liberation).
Step two: Find a scrap of paper and write your immediate thoughts and feelings down. Underneath each letter, draw a rectangle of varying lengths. Turn the paper round so the rectangles are now above the letters. Add some triangles to the rectangles. By now you should be seeing what looks like buildings. Continue to add to the picture. Maybe add some windows, a sun above the buildings, some flowers, animals or even people. Let yourself be creative.
Step three: SMILE. If you find this hard to do genuinely, make a long 'e' sound which will stretch the corners of your mouth outward. This to mimic some of the characteristics of a smile, it will also cause happy feelings, which will liberate your mind. ‪#‎angermanagement‬ ‪#‎depression‬‪#‎mindfulness‬

For more helpful tips please visit Restoring Lives Facebook Page

Friday, March 06, 2015

Childhood Hangover Remedy - Our Basic Human Rights.

If you've ever been told as a child, 'stop crying', or 'children should be seen and not heard', or 'stop acting like a baby', you may be experiencing emotional restrictions in your life, like you have no rights to be, or to feel. Many of us are suffering with, 'childhood hangover'; a lingering effect from a distressing experience or something that remains in us from a former period in our lives.

Just one negative word said to us as a child can cause unsettling or insecure feelings that remains within us as adults. This can cause us to feel, believe or think that we have no right to certain actions, values, and needs or to make our own choices and decisions. We revert back to childlike state and unhealthy anger manifests based on repressed anger we felt as a child. 

To begin on the path to healthy anger, it's helpful to understand our basic human rights. Understanding your rights as a human being, reinforces your dignity and worth as an individual. 

The following is a list of what I believe to be our basic human rights, needed to promote healthy anger. It is by no means a perfect remedy for childhood hangover, but it certainly helps ease the affects if you allow them to resonate within you. 


    To recognise and accept your own value systems as appropriate
    To say NO when you feel you're not ready, if it is unsafe or it violates your values
    To dignity and respect
    To make decisions
    To have your needs and wants respected by others
    To terminate conversations with people who make you feel put down and humiliated
    To NOT be responsible for others behaviour, actions, feelings and problems
    To make mistakes and not have to be perfect
    To learn from your mistakes
    To expect honesty from others
    To all your feelings
    To be angry with someone you love, if they hurt you
    To feel scared and say “I'm afraid”
    To grieve over losses in your life
    To safety and security
    To make decisions based on your feelings
    To change your mind at any time
    To be happy
    To stability, i.e. roots and stable healthy relationships of your choice
    To own your personal space and time needs
    To be relaxed, playful and frivolous
    To be flexible and comfortable with doing so                                                                    
    To change and grow
    To be open to improve your communication skills so that you may be understood
    To make friends and be comfortable around people
    To be in a non-abusive environment
    To trust others who earn your trust
    To forgive others and yourself
    To give and receive unconditional love