What do you want?

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To truly live you have to know what you want. Whether you want to do this or that. Less of one thing and more of another. You may want to try something completely different but are too scared of failure.

Having the idea is the most difficult thing to come up with but once the idea is there it can be a difficult thing to ignore. It has to be a realistic idea of course. Then, once you know what you want it’s a matter of going about getting it or working towards getting whatever it is. Sounds so simple but it really is.

The things that are important to you in life are your guide to finding a fulfilling existence, the path with a heart. There are lots of lists of values on the internet and web sites about this type of thing but we as people tend to look outside of ourselves for things that will make us happier. New job, career, new partner, shoes, car, watch, clothes, furniture, drugs and whatever else we can think of to make us happier. This is a band aid type approach.

Real happiness is not just a feeling, it is what you get for living life, being connected to others, doing the things that are important or meaningful to you. Please don’t be one of those people who sit there complaining that they just want to be happy and not do anything about it. Not everyone enjoys mowing the lawn or cleaning the house or exercising but everyone loves the feeling you get after you clean the house, or mow the lawn, or work out. So, if you believe in animal welfare, help animals. If you love music, go see someone play. If family is important, give a relative a call. If your health is important, exercise.

Use your negative emotions as a guide and ask your self what these emotions are telling you. If you are discontent, ask your self why you are unhappy and what you could do to become a happier person. Your negative emotions will tell you where to start. If you are angry you may just be angry at yourself for not doing stuff. You may be sad because you’ve let some opportunities pass you buy. Don’t dwell on this stuff, use it as information. Emotions tell us something important is happening.

Of course you will give your self lots of reasons why you can’t do this and can’t do that. If you can’t then that is how it is and don’t worry about it. Move to the next thing. Don’t spend your life being bitter that you haven’t done X, W or Z. You can get stuck believing that you will only been truly happy today if you’d done X, Y or Z yesterday. Check mate! If you haven’t done it you haven’t and if you can’t you can’t. Acceptance is key here. You don’t have to like it, just accept it. Done. Get angry, punch a pillow, talk to a friend about it and do something that you can do now. 

So don’t live in the past and worry about the future. Live today and do something that is meaningful. The trick is to know what is meaningful and what is important to you. 

Take Care

Therapy Monkey 

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So who are the Angry People? Shame on you T.V!

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There was a show on the TV tonight about the increase in youth violence. It showed footage of young people  fighting and then the focus turned to the problem with alcohol. More footage of young people being wrestled to the ground by police. There was talk about limiting hotel and club trading hours and interviews with police about the increase in people carrying knives. The story then went into the lives of homeless people and how some are angry and have mental health issues. They even interviewed a young man about how he wanted to harm his self.   

So the logic of this show pointed the finger at homeless youth with mental health issues being the problem. Shame on this show for creating such a stigma. Sensationalist rubbish. It was like they had to blame a particular demographic so that we at home could watch and say “Oh, look at the bad people dear” and “I don’t know what the world is coming to with the young people of today”.   

Young people get into fights sure. However, I believe that they are not the only people doing the fighting.  The people getting into fights include regular people of all ages and all socioeconomic statuses. People that get into fights when they go out are usually just people who are having a bad time because they are upset about something and have had too much to drink.     

 There is no excuse for the fear mongering and stereotyping of young people and mental illness created by such rubbish.      

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Self Compassion and Self-Esteem: At odds with each other.

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Hi everyone   

Most people believe that they need stern self talk to get things done in life. It’s the notion that we need to be constantly pushed so that we do our best work and achieve greatness. Many of us subscribe to idea that pressure brings out the best in us so we internalise the language of coercion and carry it with us always. You can’t be too “soft” on your self or you will become “lazy”. Lots of you will recognise this type of guilt trip self talk that is full of commands like “should, shouldn’t, have to and got to”.    

Funny thing is that it seems to be a common human condition. Stress and pressure to ‘get up there’, ‘make a stand’, ‘be noticed’ and become the ‘king of the castle’. Self-esteem is about comparing your self to others and making sure that you can feel good about yourself knowing that you have climbed the ladder of success. The proof of the climb is that there are people worse off than you.   

Problem with self-esteem type of thinking is that there is always someone better off as well.  So the pressure continues because you can never really be satisfied that you have done enough. There is always more to be done. This is why self-esteem is linked to feelings of anxiety and can create a focus on the self that may become distorted. Those with an inflated sense of self-esteem can become quite arrogant and feel like the world is beneath them. Those with a poor sense of self-esteem can never measure up and can become depressed and anxious. Either way there is a sense of detachment from the rest of humanity. A sense that we are on our own.   

Self compassion however, fosters a sense of connectedness to the rest of humanity and is based on being kind to the self. The sense of connectedness with the world comes from an understanding that we are all in the same boat, are all making the same mistakes and are all enjoying happiness over similar achievements. Self compassion allows people to relax and do the things that they know will bring happiness to their lives while creating a sense of fulfillment. An understanding of your own humanity will free you up and take the anxiety of making mistakes away. People do just as much when they are relaxed and well. It is much easier to have fun and be creative in a relaxed space.  A head that is taunted by commands is no fun, neither is anxiety that one has not done enough and feelings of guilt for failures. 

So be kind to your self and don’t be too down when you make mistakes. We have all made mistakes.  It is all part of being human.  

Take Care  

Therapy Monkey.   

    

The Addict Industry: Is this news to you or just Politics?

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 Hello reader    

Most people are unaware of the  ‘Addict Industry’. You hear a little about the “bad guys” in the news and let’s face it, no one really cares what happens to them.  They need to be dealt with,  Right ………?  So society does what wants with them.     The Addict Industry is a gold mine if you know where to dig.        

You’ve probably heard it said that we all know some one “on drugs” and how everyone has a relative that is an alcoholic. If you haven’t heard, take a moment now. Do you? You probably do.  That’s a lot of people. Lots of  ‘hooked’ people.    

The list of workers in the ‘Addict Industry’ would include but is not limited to people working for; the police, Courts, Corrective services (prison staff & parole officers), Corrective Services  Industries (using inmates as labour),  rehabs,  psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, charity organisations, DoCS, methadone clinics, chemists, pharmaceutical companies, security guards, video surveillance companies, the list goes on and on ……..        

 The Addict Industry grows larger every day. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really beautiful people out there working in the industry. This is about the those who are making big money while professing dedication to improving  our society. I don’t buy it!  There are more prisons being built all the time.  Money makers trumpet their goodwill towards others but if you listen to them closely they are unethical, selfish and speak mostly about how wonderful they are.  These people seem fair but smell real foul and gravitate towards positions of power. They know who’s shoes to shine and are quite charming to the people above them. Those below don’t seem matter unless they want their car washed or need words of thanks and praise to fill their massive egos.     

The problem is that the Addict industry has a helpful façade but actually keeps many of their customers dependent while fostering a sense of hopelessness in its customers. This is only mentioning drugs and alcohol. The big picture becomes pretty scary if you include all the diets in magazines, internet addiction, video games, dating sites,  junk food, fizzy drinks and anything else you can think of that ‘hooks’ people.   

If you don’t believe me, ask yourself why the world is becoming more overweight when there are thousands of diets to choose from. Building more prisons would be a waste of time if the criminal justice system was working. More and more people are on medications for anxiety and depression instead of a less depressed and anxious population. The opposite to treatment is occurring.   

The more we focus on ‘the fix’ the more we feel broken.   

People are not broken. Only stuck believing that they are broken.   

People need knowledge, empowerment, hope and inspiration. Instead the “Industry” maintains its customers as consumers so they keep coming back.  There are many workers who battle on while being stifled by the politics of small-minded business people. The business and therapeutic models of treatment differ vastly so admin people should go away, balance their books and leave the clinical work to those who know what they’re doing.    

More later ………          

Take Care           

Therapy Monkey              

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