5 Ways to Spend a Winter’s Day

Winter is coming to an end, but the weather forecasters already promised a cold, wet weekend ahead. Is there anything more relaxing than sitting with your favourite buddy close to the fireplace and enjoy whatever you are doing with a cup of hot chocolate? (Steffie and Sorcha asked “Is there anything else?). Yes, we should listen more often to our pets! Continue reading “5 Ways to Spend a Winter’s Day”

Only One Step to Happiness: End of Story

rel ships happyOver the last 20 years positive psychology and positive thinkers have suggested that by simply following a number of steps ‘Happiness’ is in our grasp. Who would not like the idea?  But wait a minute …. if there were only 3, 5, or 7 steps to Happiness, would people not have achieved it by now? People are not stupid – at least not the majority. So what is wrong with the picture?

Happiness is not a commodity, a trade-able good that can be acquired by following a prescribed formula – like how to start your car’s engine. Continue reading “Only One Step to Happiness: End of Story”

Finding peace – letting go of anger

I thought the end of the year is a good time to focus on what is important. In my opinion it’s finding peace – inner peace as well as peace in the world around us. The latter doesn’t seem to be achieved easily considering the level of violence experienced worldwide – amongst countries, religious groups, racial groups, communities, and even families. There is everything from bomb attacks in Nigeria on Christmas Day, overflowing refugee camps, assaults, murder, women’s refuges at the maximum of their capacity, abuse of children, road rage, down to grumpy old (wo)men. Continue reading “Finding peace – letting go of anger”

The Happiness Problem

The Happiness Problem

Most people are interested in finding happiness. We measure our quality of life by being happy, by having a deep-seated sense of well-being and peace of mind, by being content with where we are heading in our life.

Positive Psychology has given us plenty of research data that shows that happy people have longer lives and have significantly better physical and mental health. All good reasons to pursue happiness, aren’t they?

Positive Psychology has also provided us with plenty of ideas and steps of how to achieve happiness. They are not particularly earth-shattering news, rather more common sense: eat well, sleep well, have good friends, have good relationships, have a job you enjoy, and have time to relax and have fun. You can read up about those steps in an article I wrote 3 years ago.

Now, 3 years later, the question that has to be asked is how come that in spite of these simple guide lines people are not entering the place of bliss-full happiness by the millions? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to follow these common sense steps. Why are we not turning into a world full of very, very happy people? Continue reading “The Happiness Problem”

Eliminating Stress Effortlesly

Stress is a major contributor to serious physical and mental health problems. Conventional ways of dealing with stress through medication or stress management strategies don’t seem to be effective, because the occurrence of stress is on a constantly increasing upwards curve. Learning how to deal with the stress of running late for a meeting doesn’t seem to help people with dealing with a truant teenager.

Conventional methods only treat the symptoms but don’t address the cause of a person feeling stressed out. I am conducting several Information Evenings that will show

you are only one thought away from

~ Being stress free and having peace of mind
~ Bringing out the best in yourself and people
~ Maintaining mental and emotional stability
~Dealing with any problem easily
~ Finding your internal resilience and wisdom
~ Being in control

What would you say if you could be shown the principle how to put stress from relationships, work, family, parenting, or life in general behind you simply by understanding your mind and your ability to think?

What would you say if I showed you that you have the ability to access peace of mind and happiness in an instant?

Wouldn’t you want to know about it?

You will not have to learn new ways of doing things or talk about problems from your distant or recent past.  All that is required is a sense of curiosity and interest in finding out about your most precious part: your MIND.

To find out more follow this link

Looking For New Love

It is not unusual that a relationship comes to an end. Whether people lose a partner through death or through a separation, getting over the loss is never easy. After a time of grieving the loss of a partner and the dream of a life together, people may start looking for a new partner.

Hopefully by now people have matured and don’t get attracted by superficial qualities. If people have approached ‘mid-life’ there is usually a sense of having no time for silly games. A new relationship will show much promise if people look for someone who is interested in establishing a lasting relationship rather than in a fling. This involves finding a person who is available rather than someone who has lots of excuses for not being able to form a commitment.

Look for a partner who is emotionally open, is comfortable with their vulnerabilities, and is willing to take responsibility for his or her own feelings. Is the person you are interested in honest, is respectful, has integrity, and is trustworthy? If you can answer these questions with ‘yes’, you are well on your way.

A totally other issue is, of course, having a good look at yourself. How well do you know yourself? Are you aware of the ways you contribute to relationship problems or even break-ups? Before you go about looking for a new partner, maybe it’s a good time to look at your own ‘skeletons in the cupboard’. It might be a good idea to get help with this self-exploration to make sure that you don’t trip over your own outdated beliefs and understandings. You can contact me if you would like some assistance in exploring these issues for you.

How open are you to a lasting, intimate relationship? Do you find yourself getting fearful, suspicious, and not trusting when it comes to making a commitment? Do you avoid showing your vulnerabilities and your honest thoughts? Are you avoidant and defensive? If this is the case, you might sabotage your relationships without being consciously aware of it.

Are you quickly interpreting other people’s actions? A major problem in relationships is that people draw conclusions without checking out with their partner why s/he has been acting they way they have. Mindreading is so common a mistake that it is almost tragic how many relationships suffer under people’s reluctance to discuss with their partner what was really going on.

Having realistic expectations of one’s partner is another key to successful relationships. Avoid thinking that through the power of your love your partner will turn into this wonderful person/prince. Modern relationships are not fairy tales. They are about understanding that your feelings are created by your thoughts and taking responsibility for them. Be sure that you have loving feelings towards the person in front of you and not towards a set of potentials that you fantasize into that person.

Last but not least understand that love is not something that you can find – like a set of keys you’ve lost when you were out jogging. Love is not a certain thing; it means many different things to many different people. Love is most of all a verb. To love someone means to demonstrate caring, supporting, understanding, respecting, appreciating, and enjoying another person. Long-lasting love means to demonstrate love mutually to each other over and over again.

Love has very little to do with ‘chemistry’, the stuff that makes ‘the earth shake’. Not that these experiences aren’t pleasurable. Love, is much more ordinary. This reminds me of movies where actors/actresses are cast because there is a ‘chemistry’ between them that translates well on screen evoking the pretense of love. Sometimes these actors are becoming a couple after they’ve finished the movie. However, often these relationships don’t last very long. Chemistry in itself is not enough. Love is like a garden that needs lots of constant attention.

Finding Love Again After 40

heartsThe fabric of our society is changing. Even though growing up most girls and boys see themselves in the future happily married with or without children, single people households today already outnumber family households. This is true for New Zealand (source statistics New Zealand) and probably reflects a worldwide trend. Singles who are 40 years and older make up the fastest growing group of singles who seek a (new) partner today.

However, most ‘mature’ singles are finding out that there are very few opportunities to meet other singles. Traditional ways of meeting prospective partners don’t seem to exist anymore. The heart warming News Zealand tradition of the Saturday dance in the community hall, where people meet, is well and truly history.

Online Dating websites have taken over from traditional introduction service, replacing the ‘personal ad’ in the lonely heart section of the weekend newspaper. Today, the single person who is looking for love, friendship, or romance can browse through the registered members of online dating sites, look at photos, and skim through people’s profiles.

On the ‘Pro’ side, there is lots of information available and each profile will give you a good impression of what kind of a person you are dealing with. You can make a much better informed choice when you think of contacting someone.

On the ‘Con’ side, like in all other locations (bars, clubs, etc.) you might come across someone who is dishonest, sends out false signals, and is just interested in some form of sexual or financial exploitation.

One thing is sure, online dating has become today’s way of meeting new people. You still have to employ common sense, you still have to check the person out; you still have to see whether there is chemistry between you; you still have to work on establishing a healthy relationship. There are no shortcuts to lasting love.

Overindulgence and Impulse Control

Eatingcake It is no secret that a lot of what people do is motivated by their need for being happier. There are those who indulge in excessive eating, drinking, using drugs, shopping, exercising, or ranting and raving at every other person around them, to name just some examples. All in the service of making good feelings stay longer and/or bad feelings to go away.

They overindulge in a ‘pet-activity’ not for the activity’s sake, but in a vain attempt to regulate their emotions, to feel better – often to the detriment of one’s health, financial situation, or relationships.

Continue reading “Overindulgence and Impulse Control”

The Benefit of Groups

Cgroup "The quality of a person's social life could have an even greater impact than diet and exercise on their health and well-being. There is growing evidence that being a member of a social group can significantly reduce the risk of conditions like stroke, dementia and even the common cold. New research by the Universities of Exeter and Queensland, Australia, shows that membership of social groups has a positive impact on health and well-being". (American Physiological Society (2009, September 13).

Continue reading “The Benefit of Groups”

Uncertainty & Negative Emotions

Aquarium032Do Dom, Do Dom, Do Dom …. remember Jaws? I think I saw it more than 20 times and yet, I never saw it! Although being a movie lover I have to admit, there are many of my favorite movies that I've watch over and over again – and I never saw "it". By it I mean the moment when the shark attacks, the intruder slides through the dark house approaching the non-expecting victim to be, the ice is breaking underneath the child's feet, or the gun is about to get fired. I never really saw Bruce Willis getting shot in the sixth sense. I leave the room, get a drink, adjust my hair, file my nails …. anything really. Go figure!

Continue reading “Uncertainty & Negative Emotions”