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EMOTIONS

Emotions are signals. You are programmed with a wide range of feelings that signal pleasure, pain, danger, anger etc. Use them along with information from your rational brain to help you work out what’s going on inside, and how to respond when events happen.

TIP: Observe where you place your attention and what you are making something mean to you OR about you. Self-reflection means taking time out to review your findings. Think about what the feeling might be trying to tell you and whether you should ignore them or pay attention to them.

EXPECTATIONS

Expectations live in the future and can be ideas or beliefs set by you or by someone else. They can be pleasant or unpleasant, but either way they generate a certain level of stress and anxiety. For example : it can a standard of behaviour set by parents that you ought to live up to, or a gift that you are expecting to receive, or a level of achievement that you must reach to get promotion/ win an award etc.

TIP : Expectations are set in the future, so in a way you could say ….it’s a guess. Expectations can create unnecessary stress and extreme disappointment. Perhaps it’s time to stop imposing unrealistic standards & ideas and punishing ourselves and others when we don’t meet them.

GRATITUDE

This is more of an attitude, and one of being content and appreciating the good things you have in life, whatever happens to you (doesn’t happen to you), and no matter how much you have (or don’t have).

TIP : ‘an Attitude of Gratitude’ is a simple daily practice, but can also be a difficult habit to kick-start. So start with something simple and if you can write them down so you can look back at them, e.g being grateful for fresh air, a comfy bed, clean water, your environment, your skills etc. Research shows reminding yourself regularly, raises your general level of happiness and contentment.

HONESTY

You might have heard the phrase, there’s your truth, the other person’s truth ….and the real truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, the truth is a matter of perspective and depends on where you are standing. Telling the truth when it might hurt someone’s feelings can be difficult. But if it’s said with a genuine intention of “love” behind the words then you have to trust that the hurt will heal.

TIP: When trying to have a serious/difficult conversation remove alcohol from the picture. This blurs the content and hurtful things are said more freely …which can never be taken back. However we all make mistakes, which can in fact become a great teacher.

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