Thursday, September 10, 2020

What are you making Covid-19 Pandemic mean to you

Apparently, we make meaning out of everything. The sky is blue and that means..., I vote Democrat and that means..., I have this degree and that means..., etc.

The colour of our skin, the job we have, the money we make, the religion we follow: all of these, and all the rest, have a meaning of some sort that we attribute to it. The meaning we attribute to anything  defines so much about how we think and respond to life, especially critical times in our lives, such as a Pandemic.

Meaning however is more often than not a learned experience. Our culture, politics, financial status, family, upbringing, religion and more: all generating meaning for us - meaning that we use to generate responses to our ever changing environment.

Meaning, in many cases, has become a default. How we react, respond, cope, or not, the ways we see and feel our world are, for so many of us, a default setting.

The global Pandemic is a catalyst for emotion where many people find themselves defaulting to positions of fear, anxiety, anger, and of course creativity, compassion, care, love and hope. The MSM would have us believe that it is doom and gloom and yet there are many stories of creativity and success. People seek for stronger footing in times of hardship and the mind seeks solutions.

What if our default position in times of significant change was creativity, trust, compassion and personal wellbeing? What if there is always a silver lining to the storm clouds and this state of mind becomes our default response? The meaning we make out of the shift in our environment defines what happens next, and in times of pandemic, climate disruption, and everyday life-change, meaning is everything.

'This means that', becomes what ever we want it to mean. 'This Pandemic now means I fell even more inspired than ever to create positive outcomes'. 'This crazy time means I can feel more encouraged to trust myself and my ideas’. ’This upheaval now means I can feel  even more empowered to love and act with compassion’.

The narrative that we hear repeated from the main stream media is a generalisations, distortions and deletions of the most negative or extreme responses to the crisis: riots, political upheaval, unemployment, financial difficulty, financial collapse and more. It can feel challenging to not let this constant stream of generalised information to get under your skin, and yet, if we shift our meaning-making perspective, we can take it on board knowing that we are a part of the regenerative solutions that are, and will continue to unfold.

When you notice yourself ‘making meaning’ that does not feel like it is serving you: stop, take a moment and ask yourself; ‘What do I want?’ Name it: ‘I want some inner comfort!’ Now make a statement: ‘I wonder how this crazy situation i find myself in (or witnessing) can mean I can built more and more inner comfort’.

Here’s the thing; your mind does not differentiate between reality and fantasy. Try it; Remember a lovely event from the past and notice how your body responds - your body believes it’s real and happening. That is how horror movies and love stories can generate such strong responses. So, when we shift the meaning and use the words I have suggested, the mind and body simply take them onboard. 

The trick is; don’t expect an answer or an immediate internal response - just consider the idea, shift your perspective, and unlike what the power-broker out them might want, take control of your own state of mind and the behaviour that follows. I call this 'Collateral Freedom' - personal freedom arising from what appears at first glance to be the opposite.


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Not Just for a Sunday

Photo by Aaron McLoughlin

“Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.” Winston Churchill
Seriously, if we're lucky, we will make time for a nap on Sunday, however more so than ever before we fill our weekends with 'stuff to do'.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

How to help your children with nightmares and spooky stuff

In this video, I talk about nightmares/fears, worries etc and how to help children with these disruptive challenges.

The structure or How the child is thinking about the nightmare is the most important factor when talking to them about it. And what we want the child to experience is a lessening of the intensity of the emotion they were feeling so that they can relax and get back to sleep.

The video is just over 8 minutes long, and below is a written transcription of the video. (Click the Read More link)


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Sleep Makes You Look Younger

Here is an article from the daily mail in the UK  and it talks about how sleep makes you look younger.

Apparently, the old adage that an hour of sleep before midnight is worth three after is correct and it because the SWS or Slow-Wave Sleep occurs in the first few hours of sleep. Some research suggests that this will happen no matter what time you get to bed, however, most people get to bed before midnight which backs up the adage. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Emotions and Sleep

Emotions and Sleep

This video (and transcript below) are about emotions and how they effect our sleep and of course some tips for working with emotions for a better sleep.

Transcript (please excuse occasional spelling and grammar issues)

Emotions are a really big thing. I talk about them quite a lot in my book "Better Sleep Sooner", which you can download or buy from the site. Emotions are what drives us and one of the gentlemen who was involved in creating Neuro Linguistic Programming, that's Richard Banner, he often says when he's talking about sales to workshops and to clients that we're selling an emotion when we're selling something and it's like that for ourselves. We are constantly selling an idea to ourselves and the emotional feedback we give or get from that is what sells it and that's what can often work for us and it can also work kind of against us. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

How your anxiety is ruining your sleep

Many people who come to see me for sleeping issues are also experiencing some degree of anxiety.

In this 11 minute video, I discuss anxiety, what it is, how it can negatively affect your sleep, and a few techniques and ideas that may help.

Having experienced heart-pounding anxiety in my own past, especially because of sleeplessness, I can honestly say that it can be a frightening experience and when we are in the middle of it, it can feel like there is no way out. 

Anxiety is a structure of thinking that can become habitual over time, however regardless of how long we have had anxiety, it is still a strategy running within the mind, which means that it can be altered and even released. 

There is a transcription of the video below (Click the Read More link and please excuse any typos). 

If you have any questions about the video or anxiety please contact me.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sleep and Peak Performance Webinar

Recently I was asked to give an online webinar to the Personal Trainers Council of NZ and its members.

Below is the video recording via YouTube. The first few minutes is a little info from the PT Council and the webinar organisers and then I get straight into it. Enjoy!

The upshot of this webinar is that Sleep and getting a good sleep has huge influence on Peak Performance.

When we are training, be it our brains or bodies (or both), we are building the muscle, ironically, when we are resting, and resting is the key.

What and listen to find out more, and of course if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

"Hi Jean,
Thank you so much for piping up in Dave's workshop & reminding us about Aaron McLoughlin's sleep webinar.  You were right, he is good to listen to his content is practical & informative.  Really enjoyed it." G. Christchurch