UK Council for Psychotherapy

UKCP

Accredited Psychotherapist

British Association for
Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP

Accredited Counsellor

Counselling & Psychotherapy
Central London, Camden, Kings Cross, London NW1
Glen Gibson - Dip. Counselling, MA Psychotherapy, Dip. Psychotherapy
UKCP & mBACP Accredited male Therapist, Counsellor & Psychotherapist

therapy@counselling-london.org.uk 020 7916 1342

Mind, Thoughts & Beliefs

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Counselling London Psychotherapy, the power of positive thinking, think positively, think positive, stay positive, be more positive, stop overanalyzing
Mind, Thoughts & Beliefs

Counselling London Psychotherapy, positive thinking, think positively, stop overanalyzing
Influencing Our Thoughts, Beliefs

Psychotherapy and counselling in central London, Camden - the power of positive thinking, think positively, think positive, stay positive, be more positive, think positive thoughts, positive thinking techniques, positive mental attitude, stop negative thinking, stop negative thoughts, change negative thinking patterns, negative attitude, peace of mind, stop overanalyzing, overanalyze, stilling mind

Introduction Our mental functioning is influenced by millions of nerve cells including the neural pathways in our flexible brain (as we keep growing), which interrelate, expand our mind, facilitate our capacity to change and yet so much more than this - our personhood, sense of identity (and willingness to disidentify), feelings and humanity, the loving actions we take, don't take. We are all also influenced by our early bonding patterns the prevailing thinking, our culture & the social context of the time in which we are brought up in. Our thoughts create chemicals which make us feel. Changing our thoughts, at times can benefit us, help shape our future, yet positive thinking alone may be counterproductive. (Taking into consideration our biology, shadow and unconscious aspects may also help us.) Getting to know our personality (its known and unknown aspects), strengths, vulnerabilities, taking time to reflect upon ourselves, think deeply, may also help us so it can be easier to capture our thoughts, clarify them, organise them, filter them, make choices, respond to them.

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What We Do With Our Thoughts & Beliefs, Our Reasoning & The Weighting We Put On Things Without memory we would not be able to reason things, weigh things up in our mind which inform the choices we make. A thought alone can bring us stress, joy and as we change our thoughts, the story we tell ourselves, new possibilities emerge. The psychotherapy and counselling can help discover how we select, clarify, view and anchor our thoughts & belief systems (both adverse & positive) in a more objective manner, alongside other considerations (that also influence the weighting we put on to things):

Counselling London Psychotherapy, unhelpful thoughts, negative thoughts
Irrelevant Thoughts, Choice Of Thought

Thoughts Which Aren't Very Relevant Some thoughts may be relevant, other thoughts unhelpful, out of date. We may think too much or are on autopilot. It may support us to choose our thoughts, separate out the wheat from the chaff, the difference between the relevant concerns and reminders for us which we need to pay attention to, and redundant, irrelevant thoughts, when we drift into the past or worry about the future (taking us away from the present moment) - creating doubt and confusion, and we don't have to share all our thoughts with others or act on any of our thoughts. Clarifying our thoughts, choosing our thoughts may be important for some. And although we care about what others think about us we can worry so much that we overlook that what we think is more important than what others think of us. (See also Unhelpful Habitual Thinking Patterns, Unproductive, Negative Thoughts & Their Meanings)

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Overthinking, Overanalysing, Overwhelment, Confusion - Stuck In Our Head

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Overwhelmed, Overloaded, Overstimulated Feeling overwhelmed (frequently caused by what we tell ourselves and how we treat ourselves) puts us under pressure, especially if our self-compassion is in short supply. Sometimes we can let our thoughts run away with us as if we have a monkey mind, be hijacked by them. Struggling to reconcile & prioritise things in our head, we may have competing interests or priorities, an ever expanding "to do" list, maybe trying to do things right, perfectly. And feeling the pressure of time can be a further way we overwhelm ourself. We can do anything, yet can't do everything. We may often get into situations when we have too much to do in the time we have, remaining in a state of overwhelm, fogging our mind, draining us, worrying a lot. Our avalanche of thoughts can stimulate an avalanche of overwhelming feelings, active imagination which can take us over. We may allow our mind itself to scatter all over the place with overwhelming thoughts, rendering us anxious, complicating things, keeping ourselves permanently busy. And we may feel overwhelmed, because we think we are, telling ourselves this. Keeping things simple at times, focusing on feeling the way we want to feel may help dissipate our thoughts of overwhelment. We may allow small things in our head to escalate into onerous, mountainous things. Our buttons may get easily pressed and we can get caught by our own hooks, triggers. Some may make unrealistic promises or be caught in trying to please others (or seek validation, approval, affirmation, reassurance, confirmation, permission, recognition, appreciation, praise, attention, adoration, admiration), which can backfire. It may be important not to judge, be compassionate & kind to ourselves, so we don't shut down. Anything negatively or positively picked up, generated, will affect our mind some of us may have a sense of impending doom (see also Emotional Reasoning - Feelings Dominating Our Thoughts). Sometimes an aspect of our personality (e.g. our body, mind, feelings, sexuality, spirituality, maybe our desires, needs, memories) or the overwhelming experience of one of our senses - sight, visual stimulation, our hearing, taste, smell, touch, can be overstimulated, overloaded or tiring our mind. We may react impulsively despite our analytical mind. Weighed down, we may struggle to wisely use our senses, remain centred in our own ground, balance aspects of us, maintain peace of mind. Our personal boundaries may support us in this, alongside acknowledging and embracing the realistic limitations of the time we have, learning to balance & have perspective over what's important, urgent, essential, letting go of what we need to - what we no longer need to carry, so we lighten our load, no longer deny our Self, make space for us & our daydreams, rediscover or enjoy lightheartedness, playfulness, carefreeness, laughter, fun, pleasure and our sense of humour asking for help when we need to. (See also Overwhelmed By Feelings - Managing, Regulating & Transmuting Our Emotions, Core Painful Feelings)

In order to heal ourselves, we need to get out of our heads and focus on the language of our hearts. Dr. Jeff Rediger

So Much To Do & Having To Do It All Ourselves We may have so many equally important things to do, competing to be done, that we may frequently have dilemmas which one to choose. Being clear what we really need to do, letting go of trying so hard to work out which one to choose, may for some open up our intuitive sense & feelings, where somewhere inside we tend to know which needs attention first. Trusting this process may help us relax. We may also believe we have to do everything ourself or have unreasonable work expectations, which means we will always be busy doing everything as if we have to always keep busy through distractions. Our challenge may be to be less busy, yet more efficient. We may not find it easy to receive the cooperation from others or may struggle to invest in developing others' skills, so we can let go and trust. Stepping out of any martyr role, asking for what we need (including in our relationship) may be important. And enlisting the help of supportive others, trusting others to do things right may be a further challenge as may encouraging others to choose tasks to take on and where this is not possible, to match the person to the task - being clear about when, what & how to let others use their own initiative & creativity.

Counselling in central London and psychotherapy in Camden - the power of positive thinking, positive thinking techniques, positive mental attitude, confusion Counselling in central London and psychotherapy in Camden - the power of positive thinking, positive thinking techniques, positive mental attitude, confusion

Confusion Things may be tangled up in our head. Some of us may be confused, because we become anxious or have so many options, choices, roles and identities, too much information and need to sharpen our focus, just as a photographer decides what & where to readjust or focus their lens on, what really matters, discounting what doesn't. Adjusting & cleaning our lens may shift our perception, attitude. We may remain confused, overwhelmed by the overall picture and all its details, unless we select to put the spotlight of our focus on one particular subject or thing. We may also be confused because we feel lost, stuck, seeking direction, be overwhelmed with doubt, irrelevant thoughts, and struggle to be in the moment. The therapy can be a space to help unravel the things we want to unravel, clarifying what we want to clarify.

Rationality, Irrationality Some irrationalities (see also Unconscious Reactions) are common to most of us. On some occasions our irrationality, although counter-intuitive, may help us, yet often not (see also Magical Beliefs). Our rational mind helps us work things out, make sense of things & decisions, based on facts and reason - see also Our View Of Reality. (Yet when rationalising things we may also hold some limiting beliefs, fixed beliefs, be caught by old hooks.) Some of us may find it hard to rationalise (and we can be over-influenced by our internal dialogue or using our rationalisations to prop up our beliefs). Others, not taking into consideration our principles and experience, our sentience and "felt sense" - to perceive, experience subjectivity, feelings and senses, may try to rationalise everything, without acknowledging memory, our sources of motivation - some of them unconscious, and connection between our past, present, future, our desire.

An intelligent person is never afraid or ashamed to find errors in his understanding of things. Bryant McGill
Counselling and psychotherapy in central London, Camden Town - black and white thinking, all or nothing thinking, stop overthinking, over-thinking, being over analytical, get rid of magical thinking and preoccupations, short attention span, increase attention span, stop overanalyzing, overanalysing, stuck in head, confused & confusion, curious & curiosity, stilling mind, peace of mind

Our Inner World - Stuck In Our Head? Some of us may struggle what to do with all the thoughts that we form, especially those niggling thoughts, which then multiply into a web of thoughts. Untangling ourselves from being caught in our own web of thoughts may help us. As if we have a monkey mind, our thoughts may tie ourself in knots, juggle around in our head. We may dwell on them, ruminate in ways which aren't helpful. Staying focused in our head, over-analysing things, some of our thoughts may become a continuous stream as if they go around in a continuous loop - at times resulting in exhaustion. We may have allowed our thoughts to overwhelm us and need our internal boundaries. When stuck in our head for some time, we may have frozen our feelings, procrastinate or feel low, depressed. Affecting our sense of personal empowerment, we may be busy rationalising, needing to know everything, worrying & fixating on things, finding it hard to switch off, or driven by our obligations, internal rules. This turbulence in our head may go back a while. (We may be so stuck in our head that it can be as if there is no other world out there or inside us). Over-thinking can be our way to ignore our inner child, bypass our feelings (including our vulnerability, tenderness), bear any suffering or open our heart. We may have emotionally abandoned ourself and the rest of our body. We may want to connect to our vitality and restore the balance between our head and heart, feeling our feelings so we no longer internalise them, getting out of the need for the knowledge of our mind and inside the emotional experiences of our body, being in tune with our desires, passions (when it comes to our sexual life we may remain stuck in our head - out of tune with these desires the energy of love, inhibiting our sexual energy). What we think & believe to be possible, contributes to how we feeI. And because how we think affects our "inner world" and our responses, counselling & psychotherapy can examine the wisdom of holding on to unhelpful, irrational, distorted, fear-based thoughts or beliefs, and ways in which we can create different thoughts & meanings in our life, so our anxious mind is not so fear driven. Allowing ourself to be touched through our experiences, be content, have peace of mind, sensing our senses may be important to us, so we can choose to respond differently to our thoughts, manage them.

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Our logical side may be important, yet putting so much emphasis on the logical part of us we may have neglected the emotional aspect of us or be out of touch with the physical feelings in our body. Balancing our logical side and being in our head with the rest of ourselves may be important. Staying in our head we may have abandoned ourself, our own psychological journey including our emotional and physical experiences. Thinking may come easy to us, whereas experiencing us, being in the moment, authentic & real, honest, centred, solid, fully grounded, inhabiting our body, in touch with our vitality may not come as easy. We may ignore our unconscious aspects, living in our head as if we are just a conscious brain, always trying to work things out, maybe having all or nothing thinking, closing off, shutting down, bottling things up. We may have de-valued or neglected all of who we are, from our head downwards - our body, senses, intuition, our feelings, insights, creativity, sexuality and the heart & soul of who we are. Caught up in our thoughts, mind, things may have become crowded, chaotic at times, when our awareness becomes centred in our head, as if when talking, moving, we steer from this place, leading from our head, as the rest of our body follows. We may have begun to take ourselves so seriously, that we struggle to relax into ourself, be light-hearted & playful, which may go a long way back. Accessing our emotions & vulnerability (without seeing them as a weakness), being able to empathise, opening and listening to our heart and less stuck in our head, so we are less confused and are able to do things, may be our challenge. Being emotionally connected in our relationship may also be important. (See also Integrative Counselling Approach - Holistic Counselling)

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. Albert Einstein
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Overthinking, Overanalysing Things, Paying Attention To Detail - Can't See The Forest For The Trees We can be so busy concentrating on the details of everything, that we become confused, can lose sight of the bigger picture, become anxious, stressed (which in turn can distort our clear thinking), as if there is civil war going on in our head we "can't see the wood for the trees". This dissecting things, paying attention to detail can be helpful at times, yet we may struggle to let go of this when we need to, when it is not necessary, which may point to our perfectionism. Ruminating, we can also over-think, making the small things big, and our head heavy as we analyse everything, over-complicating things. And all this overanalysing things can be paralysing for us. We may find it hard to keep things simple, be light-hearted, step back from the detail, seeing things on a broader scale. Lightening up, rediscovering our sense of fun, playfulness, being able to laugh, may be a challenge for us. Thinking too much, we can tie ourselves (or end up tying others) into knots. Avoiding our own painful insights, some of us may try to intellectualise everything as part of our protective patterns. We may become depressed. Love may be hard to contact. We may struggle to stop at times, listen and respond to our emotions, our heart, opening our heart to others. The counselling & psychotherapy can explore this with you.

Our Mind Like A Room, The Room In Our Mind We may want to consider our mind as a room, whether we clutter it, what emotions are hanging on the wall, are the curtains, blinds or windows open (see also Keeping An Open Mind) or closed, how bright, spacious, comfortable and creative is our room.

Camden Psychotherapy and Counselling in London, Kings Cross - thoughts and beliefs

Emotional Reasoning - Feelings Dominating Our Thoughts Much of our thinking is driven by our feelings, and the reverse is also true. We experience our thoughts through our emotions as feelings (e.g. an angry thought produces and angry feeling, a shameful thought produces a shameful feeling). Our thoughts and active imagination therefore carry an emotional charge, creating chemical which make us feel as if we become our emotions - that this is who we are ("I feel stupid so I must be"). How we think affects our moods and our moods affect how we think. We may struggle to find a calm, reflective space inside of us to embrace our thoughts. If we view the contents of our mind as frightening, then we may activate our fight, flight or freeze response, as our thoughts tumble even further. The feelings we are experiencing may endure (and we may overshare our feelings) yet our thoughts may pass in different moments. Psychotherapy or counselling can help reduce or manage the impact of powerful emotions, like fear, anxiety & anger, impending doom, so we are able to think more clearly. Some of us may want to move away from fear-based, shame-based thoughts. (See also Overwhelmed By Feelings - Managing, Regulating & Transmuting Our Emotions, Core Painful Feelings)

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Our Priorities

Prioritising Things With Ourself, Others How we prioritise things that matter to us, what we value helps inform the decisions we make. Reconciling how to prioritise things, what's urgent, important to us, yet not for others, communicating our priorities yet respecting others can be challenging as can exploring if how our and others' priorities can be harmonious. Adjusting our own priorities when necessary may also be important.

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Beliefs & What We Tell Ourselves

Self-beliefs & Believing In Ourself (See also Finding Our Way Through Difficulties & Old Beliefs) Our belief systems - about us and the world, influence us and the decisions we make (see also Mind Reading - Jumping To Conclusions, Fortune Telling, Believing Our Beliefs). We may be holding onto some pre-existing, unhelpful beliefs about ourselves and who we are. At times we have all called upon our unhelpful rationalisations - even speculations, to prop up our belief systems. This may include our limiting beliefs, fixed beliefs or being caught by old hooks. Our internal working model, personal templates, prejudices, biases, desires, hopes, values, perceptions & attitude may also influence our self-beliefs. The attributions we have given to us (or have inherited from our family), inform our "internal environment", and our sense of who we are and the therapy can explore this further. Many of our beliefs about ourselves & the world originate from our childhood (some beliefs may come from our wounded place) - often our "shoulds", "shouldn'ts", "oughts", "musts" affect our interactions (e.g. "I should..., therefore...", "I can only be happy if..."). We all create expectations, disappointments, assumptions, meanings and conclusions. Some of these beliefs, especially the ones we hold as precious may not help our sense of safety. They may be restrictive or unhelpfully define all of who we are now (see also Beliefs & What We Tell Ourselves). We may also have other beliefs like "If I have more money, or a better job, I'll be fine", "If I try hard, I will be rewarded", "Things should be perfect", "I'm missing out on things". Believing in ourselves, in who we are, may matter to us. Counselling & psychotherapy can help us discover our life scripts, any false beliefs, how we construct our thoughts, what beliefs we can let go of, any new ones that may be emerging, which fit closer to who we are, so we can view our thoughts, perceptions & attitude more objectively, bring them up to date, alongside the impact of our own unconscious. We may be holding on to unhelpful beliefs about ourselves:

  • We can't forgive (us or others)
  • The care we receive from others means more than caring for ourselves
  • Others should love us to make up for what we didn't receive as a child
  • We are not capable or worth having love for us, that others have to love us to prove our own self-worth
If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of doubts of my own. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Unhelpful, Redundant, Inhibiting Rules, Loyalties, Oaths, Sacred Cows, Obligations, Duties, Taboos The loyalties, oaths and sacred cows we have & hold, linked to our morality, can be very close & important to us, many of them non-negotiable. A call of duty can bring us responsibility, sense of purpose and dedication if it includes our engagement, creativity, satisfaction. However without these qualities it can bring an experience of obligation. Holding on to things, we may be loyal to old beliefs from our past, which we have yet to challenge. We may for example be holding on to bonds of family loyalty or based on painful experiences we've previously had, loyalty at all costs, even to our self and others, which no longer serve us (see also Not Wanting To Let People Down - Fear Of Disappointing, Hurting, Upsetting Or Annoying Others, Our Partner). We may have made often unspoken promises to ourselves (or others), decided certain things are sacrosanct (see also Rigid, Fixed Beliefs Written In Stone), hold on to old roles, fixed identifications (e.g. our people pleaser, codependent self, self sacrificing in our relationship), which now limit us and our beliefs of who we are. Some of these rules, loyalties, oaths, duties & sacred cows may unconnected to our morality - some may be linked to early unconscious agreements we made to ourselves. They (alongside our fatalistic beliefs) can be draining, hard to shake off, be inhibiting like a straight jacket, restrict us, limit our beliefs, keep us stuck, stop us & others flourishing, affecting trust in our relationship. Sometimes our sense of duty, loyalty can be misplaced or we follow a sort of blind loyalty without us consciously choosing now (see also The "Should", "Shouldn't", "Ought", "Must", "Never", "Always" Beliefs). Some of our sacred cows, oaths, may be more about our fear or duty, be unhelpful or redundant now. Infusing duty, calls of duty with love can enhance what we do, how we are. Burdened, some of us may be obliged to think, feel, make choices and decisions, behave in certain ways, do things, which can build up resentment. We may feel like a victim or martyr at times, have become loyal to externally imposed structures, yet want to break certain taboos seek our own path now, shifting obligations to options - even for the things we are obliged to do, being in touch with the healthy side of being selfish, our own free will.

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Rigid, Fixed Beliefs Written In Stone Some of our thoughts & beliefs can get embedded in us, entrenched, as if things are written in stone in our head, affecting the conclusions we draw (see also Unhelpful, Redundant, Inhibiting Rules, Loyalties, Oaths, Sacred Cows, Obligations, Duties, Taboos), the quality of our free will. We may for example believe that we should know everything (see Tolerating Not Knowing - Our Need To Be In Control). Others may deny any value or meaningfulness of life, believing that nothing really matters. Our fixed, rigid beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking (see also Unhelpful Self-Beliefs Related To Our Esteem). (See also Flexible Thinking), may also result in having overly rigid boundaries believing it is weak to change our mind. Counselling and psychotherapy helps to pinpoint what beliefs and boundaries are fixed, over-rigid and which ones are fluid & flexible, any redundant beliefs (the ones we are willing to let go of) and how our values, conscience, integrity & principles, the nature of our free will impact upon our beliefs.

We are entitled to change our mind at any time.

Scenarios Creating scenarios based on repetition compulsion, our old triggers, what we tell ourselves or what others think about us, overly worrying inside, our relating state, may inhibit us. We may make up stories, fantasies in our head, imagining what might happen, or we'd like (or not like) to happen (see also Repetition Compulsion). Our scenarios may carry our fantasies, anticipations, fears, worries, hopes, influencing what we believe or would like to believe, often based on our script and we can also enter into a drama in our relationship (see also Drama Triangle of Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor), taking on different roles (see also Our Free Will, Free Spirit).

Mind Reading - Jumping To Conclusions, Fortune Telling, Believing Our Beliefs Our self-beliefs influence the conclusions we draw, how we think. We may worry to stop bad things happening or assume others are negatively reacting to us without much evidence. We can draw many conclusions, including, have many beliefs:

Fantasies - Fantasy Thinking Our fantasies can carry our fears, hopes, wishes, desires & ideas. Then can help us strive for the best, perfection, help us achieve things. Fantasies have the potential to propel us towards what they point us to. Yet our unrealistic fantasies allow us to get carried away with them, holding onto our fantasised ideas at all costs, despite evidence to the contrary or reality as it is. We may be living from a fantasised place, rather than how it actually is and this can be also true in our relationship, where we may have a fantasy of how love should be or what we want to believe, maybe searching for our idealised partner, or the perfect relationship, marriage.

Wishful Thinking Some of us can have harmless moments of wishful thinking, daydreaming, which passes or leads to positive change. Others can unhelpfully get stuck with unfulfilled wishes - "I wish I did this, had done that", not leading anywhere, and this may indicate a need to mobilise our resources and act.

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Magical Beliefs For some of us our magical beliefs, daydreaming may have been a familiar safe place to go to when younger and the jewels of our magical thinking may also have been of creative benefit. Most of us have developed magical thinking at times, especially when younger - sometimes believing our fantasies. We may also believe we were wrong, bad, responsible for events outside of our control, as if believing we can entirely influence outcomes (despite evidence to the contrary) - that if we do that - this will happen, when in reality these beliefs may be more like distorted thoughts, superstitions or based on taking in literally & following what we were told. Sometimes we can have irrational fears based on our magical thinking, that we cause things outside of our control to happen. We may catastrophise or awfulise. We can also hold magical beliefs way back in childhood, that certain behaviours, gestures or words can change reality. People who influenced us may have made remarks, often in jest or throw away comments (e.g. that we are somehow made responsible for making others feel the way they do). Some things said may have been serious statements which we believed as fact or reality, that we caused events, whereas there may be other influences. The effects of these messages (and the false causation we put onto them) can live on now, instructing, informing our life in restrictive ways. In spite of our maturity, some of us may continue to hold on to some childlike magical thinking, other times we may simply hold hope. An example of our magical thinking can be believing or hoping that if we do something, that something unrelated happens or that all of fine and it is grace that will take care of us, without any action on our part, we can just be passive. Another example is convincing ourself we always have enough time, yet being continuously late for things. Recognised hopeful thinking may include: crossing our fingers, touching wood, wearing a certain lucky item of clothing in order to ensure that something else, unrelated happens. Some may turn their magical thinking or bothersome thoughts into obsessiveness or compulsiveness. Others, as if coming from their wounded-self or inner child, can turn experiences, or what they are told, into universal truths as if there are no exceptions, alternative ways of seeing things, for this may affect our religious beliefs, sense of the spiritual. Often our magical beliefs start off with "If only", e.g. "If I only had enough money or find the right man or woman, I would be OK". These magical thoughts or beliefs can act as a form of self sabotage, be restricting & distract us from fully living how we want to in each moment. Accepting some things as they actually are, yet valuing the magical in our lives, may be challenging.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Douglas Adams
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Magical Thinking The mind is a powerful instrument and we can't easily place the rational side of things in one distinct box and the irrational into another, maybe daydreaming & fantasising. The influence & power of our hopes, aspirations, imagination, cultural background, beliefs, faith (prayer, meditation for some) is enormous. Sometimes coincidences happen as things come together. And at one level everything is connected, which can support our magical thinking. Yet at times we may falsely link causation to suit our personal logic - "if we hadn't done this, that wouldn't have happened". Cause, effect, habits, taboos, rituals, life scripts can form most of our lives. Religious & spiritual practices have important & valued rituals too. However, certain rituals, taboos, sacrifices, magical thinking may be based on superstition, scapegoating, fear, manipulation, the absence of love or irrational thinking. Discriminating between the areas of science, religion, spirituality, personal beliefs & experiences, even alchemy is challenging. Some of us can hold on to what is termed magical thinking - believing there is only one correlation (our own logic or beliefs, or those beliefs we've taken on from others as if they are our own) between our actions influencing the outcome, yet other factors, including irrelevant thoughts, may not have been considered. (Another magical belief may be if we worry enough it will stop bad things happening.) Fortune telling, we may also try to mind read, jump to conclusions. Many of us were brought up on myths, legends, fairytales, pointing to symbolic meanings & important messages, some of them with magical beliefs, which we may have taken literally.

I am a lover of what is, not because I'm a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. Byron Katie

False Beliefs False beliefs and thoughts that make us feel bad (see also Unhelpful Self-Beliefs Related To Our Esteem), can sap our energy (see also Self-beliefs & Believing In Ourself) and affects the weighting we put on things. Being in touch with our home truths can make us feel good, energised (see also Truth, Knowledge & Knowing Things).

We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better. Maya Angelou
Counselling in London, psychotherapy in Camden - internal dialogue, self-beliefs, mind as an iceberg

Truth, Knowledge & Knowing Things There can be a difference between what we believe, what we know and what we fear. Knowledge is information, yet all we have are our own versions of truth (in which we can search for things to support our self-beliefs), our internal dialogue & limiting beliefs at times, some of which may support our relationship style. What we presume to be factual and reality can widely vary. We may want to utilise the therapy to explore our own rationalisations. Some of us can know things through books, TV, internet, etc., through an intellectual way, being in our head, as if facts are the only truth, maybe at a cost of our emotional depth, intimacy, openheartedness or difficulties in creating space, quiet time, taking pauses, observing & reflecting. Some may struggle in living with the unknown, where much of our knowledge, truth, may be unconsciously hidden, which may emerge through the therapy interactions. We may also want to trust our own experience, which brings our knowing, utilising all our senses, explore what truth is for us right now (without being attached to being right & without so called fear-based truths) and what it means to be truthful & honest in our relationship. Knowledge is of the mind yet we may have ignored our emotional experiences - located in the body. The role of intuition, gut feelings, our conscience & personal integrity may also be included in the therapy, alongside the attitudes we hold & actions we take through our wisdom. Letting go of things can paradoxically take us closer to truth. And when we are in touch with truth, we may feel good, have more energy and for some this may point towards spiritual connection. (see also Our Home Truths)

The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water. Sigmund Freud
Counselling in central London and psychotherapy in Camden, Kings Cross - positive thinking

Our View Of Reality People and situations may not change, yet how we view them may. How we see reality - what is, can be viewed through a combination of our perception & thoughts, and when these change, so too may the realty which appears before us (see also What We Tell Ourselves, Internal Dialogue - Choosing What We Think). Struggling to accept uncertainty, the unknown, the future, we can respond to our thoughts, beliefs as if true, Our reality may also be shaped by the facts around us (checking our realities and distortions through our interactions with others), our belief systems, relationship style, how grounded and in the moment we are, in tune with our intuition & senses (including what we see & feel, don't want to see & feel). Whether we see things from the inside or on the outside, are in touch with other sides we haven't thought of may also influence our sense of reality (see also Our Perspective). How we mentalise things may also shape our view of reality. Exploring our rationality, sense of truth & knowledge, any all or nothing thinking may be important and we may feel better, more energised inside when we discard our false beliefs and are in touch with our own truth as we keep an open mind, be curious. Seeing & facing reality as it actually is is not always easy and may call upon our state of grace. Being as neutral as we can be, using our observational skills a realist - seeing things as they are may be important to us yet we may also want to include our vision, imagining, creating our future. Sometimes in certain elevated moods moments, our sense of time & reality shift, as if something else is transforming in our life where we can experience advanced forms of reality through peak experiences. The therapy can be an avenue to explore further these influences alongside our home truths, unconscious aspects.

One man's ceiling is another man's floor. Paul Simon
Counselling in central London and psychotherapy in Camden - the power of positive thinking, think positively, think positive, positive thinking techniques, positive mental attitude, perception of reality

Our Assumptions & Interpretations Sometimes we can hold on to our confirmation bias - that events confirm our existing beliefs. We may select people, who share our beliefs, and so confirm our assumptions, which may be unhelpful or inaccurate at times. It can be a learning process at times to be with people who challenge our assumptions when they need to. We may find people difficult simply because they are different to us. We all make assumptions, it can be hard not to and keep an open mind (see also Limiting Beliefs, Mindsets). Some of our interpretations may have their origins in childhood. We may want to hold our assumptions, interpretations lightly, especially those initial ones, which can be the basis of forming false beliefs. Double checking our perspectives can assist. Our assumptions can be based on lack of experience, choosing an easy path. The assumptions we have about people or things are only our beliefs without actually knowing them to be true and we can respond to these thoughts as if true. Some of us may use our assumptions, versions, as facts or reality, supporting our decisions. Being curious and taking time to find out facts and responding in way that give the benefit of the doubt, without thinking the worst, can assist us. We may automatically do things that we believe are right, rather than listening to our self, knowing what we actually want, following our own path. This too can be looked at in the therapy. Because of the stories, fantasies, depth of imagination and emotions triggered, many of the situations we evaluate, including of other people & us, has little to do with what is actually happening, as if we are living from some sort of script.

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Keeping An Open Mind We may be convinced we've got something figured out, that we know it, and don't need to know anymore. At this point we may have a closed mind, be no longer open to new ideas, perspectives, learning, losing our humility along the way. Others may be quick in making assumptions, rushing in, closing our mind. It can be challenging to keep our mind open, learn, understand things better, yet at the same time stand by our truths, without necessarily accepting every point of view. Being curious, open to other possibilities, willing to reconsider, revise our assumptions can support our open-mindedness, change our view of reality, as may keeping our heart open, letting go of what we need to.

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Psychotherapy and Counselling in London, Camden - thoughts, beliefs, alarms, triggers

Observing, Labelling, Naming Our Thoughts - Thoughtfulness Ruminating is different to being thoughtful. We may want to consider being thoughtful - preparing our mind before we carry out tasks, reflecting on what feelings we want to bring on to situations. Responding to our thoughts, filtering, challenging, being mindful of them in different ways may at times help us as may not taking all our thoughts at face value or as truth (some of us may blame ourself for things we are not responsible for). Getting to know the type of thought we are having (including any irrelevant thoughts) and naming them - whether it is a judgement (e.g. "I'm a loser because I made a mistake"), a memory or evaluation, without necessarily lingering on them, can support and anchor us, so we don't have to jump on any train of thoughts, which leads us to destinations we don't want to end up in. For some of us our train of thoughts can whizz ahead, as if the other carriages are not very connected. Getting off our train of thoughts, watching on the platform all those trains come and go, arrive and depart, can give us perspective and we connect to our inner direction, when we give space to our thoughts through our awareness.

The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Eckhart Tolle
Relationship counselling and relationship psychotherapy in London Camden, Kings Cross, marriage therapist and marriage counsellor for relationship problems and marriage problems, Author: Frank Derks, Title: Air Filter

Over-Talking, Oversharing - Balance Between Withholding Or Sharing All Our Thoughts Self-control, emotional resilience, managing our internal dialogue, taking into consideration the impact of what we say especially in our relationship may be a concern for some especially if we tend to exaggerate, over-emphasise, accentuate or have certain conditions, e.g. ADD/ADHD. We all have private lives and free speech doesn't mean we have to let all our thoughts spill out, say everything and this relating state can be too much for us and others at times through texting, emailing, social media, online chat, internet communication (see also Loose, Porous Or Uncontained Boundaries). Some of us may be extremely guarded, cautious, holding back what we say, struggling to be open and especially in our relationship (see also Strengthening Relationship Communication - How We Relate), withdrawing and withholding which can take us further away from emotional honesty or giving feedback to others). On the other hand, which can be misinterpreted as criticism, being unsupportive. "Do we have to tell everything - all our feelings and thoughts?" may be a question we hold (see also Over-Talking, Oversharing - Whether Or Not To Share Our Feelings - Taking Responsibility & Care For Our Feelings). How we keep communication safe and our personal boundaries can support us not having to share too much, so we don't feel threatened by always saying what's on our mind, containing what we need to contain. Living in the moment with awareness, reflection we may at times also want to catch ourself before we speak, catching any irrelevant thoughts, centring ourself, because we are aware of others' feelings, so we don't go down roads we don't need to go down, regret or feel guilty for what we've said. There is a lot in-between these two extremes. Each conversation may call upon us to be clear about what is appropriate to share, and what isn't. And when we filter our thoughts, don't over-share, this can support our self esteem. Adapting to situations, being congruent, knowing our truth, distinguishing between what's secret, what's private, choosing to speak our truth (without the necessity for always having to search for validation, approval, affirmation, reassurance, confirmation, permission, recognition, appreciation, praise, attention, adoration, admiration, acceptance), being emotionally honest, gentle, warm and respectful with a tactful approach may be important for us. If online sometimes the simple use of emojis ☺ may be more effective. (See also What We, Others Observe - Giving, Receiving Feedback To & From Others, Our Partner)

The said can't be unsaid.

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Counselling and Psychotherapy in central London, Camden, Kings Cross - thoughts, beliefs, alarms & triggers Psychotherapy and Counselling in London, Camden - thoughts, beliefs

Our Triggers Hand on heart, all of us can get worked up about certain things (when something happens and brings out disproportionately strong emotions): other people, situations, change, experiences, what we tell ourselves, our own anxious worries, memories, overwhelming thoughts, beliefs, feelings and what we make of things (e.g. disappointment). One feeling may trigger another, e.g. we may feel love, then fear. Even a look, a word, a mannerism or nuance in someone can become triggers, as may a certain sound, smell, taste and it can be as if we sometimes get caught in our own drama with our own script. Our triggers (usually picked up somatically through our physical feelings - see also Our Painbody) can be experienced as warning signs, indicators of stress. These triggers can magnify our stress, becoming false alarms in our head - triggering our fight, flight, freeze mechanism, and may relate back in time linked to origins of fear or terror, traumas, heartbreak, deep loneliness, grief, feeling crushed. And some of these triggers, hooks can be set off unconsciously and things can have their own momentum as if we are acting out our own script with rehearsed scenarios. This may be especially true of what triggers our unhelpful habits, addictions. Our thoughts & emotions, e.g. insecurity, may trigger further thoughts and associated feelings (e.g. low self-esteem, confidence, stress, fear, anxiety, anger). Struggling to manage these at times we may become over-defensive, as our protective patterns kick in. Oversensitive at times, our buttons can get pressed. We all have things which are particularly stressful for us and have our personal habit triggers (some of them reactive, as if coming from nowhere), and ways of responding, e.g. attacking, blaming, withdrawing, going numb, getting angry or turning to addictive triggers, etc. On a mission we can feel compelled to impulsively or compulsively act, yet we may not be very free. Our triggered reactions now tend to originate from our history, often linked to situations or thoughts which triggered our original trauma, as if our unhealed wounds from our past catch up with us in certain situations, setting off a chain of events. A response to our triggers may be trying to control others, outcomes. We may become judgemental or critical of ourself for having these triggers, struggling to accept any fears, terrors behind any of our protective reactions. Our self compassion may be in short supply, as may choosing what we are willing to forget and what we are willing to remember, maybe forgive ourselves or others. One of our familiar triggers may be to demand an apology, get angry, upset, and in the heat of the moment it can be challenging to turn our attention inwards to not abandon ourself. It can be as if others make us feel something, the roots of which may be linked to our early bonding patterns, attachment, relationship style. We may be triggered by certain kinds of people - those who push our buttons. Learning from our triggers rather than avoiding them, trying to control, retaliate, can points us towards what we need to heal, our growth. It may be important for us to feel safe before we can come to terms with our own triggers. These triggers in us can affect our relationship, marriage. Counselling & psychotherapy can support you in this alongside exploring the story that others confirm in us or tell us about qualities in us we may have or resonate with that we would rather not. When these stress triggers are pressed it can be as if we are painfully caught up in something (hooked) deep inside of us. The counselling and psychotherapy may also explore the nature of our free will. (See also Linking Our Behaviour To What's Happening Inside)

Counselling London and psychotherapy Camden - internal dialogue, positive self talk, hooks, triggers

Our Hooks Our own hooks may often work in tandem, so as we unhook ourself from one hook, we can then be free to choose where now we want to place our hooks. Being aware of our unhelpful hooks (alongside limiting beliefs) and also choosing to utilise the positive ones may be supportive. Our hooks can carry unhelpful messages, e.g. "It's weak not to know things", "I'm not good enough". Letting ourselves off our hooks may help us. It can be as if we have our own personal colour coded hooks (often felt initially in our body), some of which we are unaware of are spontaneous, catching us by surprise, which can be too late, because we have unconsciously reacted now, linked to events from our past, as if we are experiencing our own condensed history now. Our hooks may be closely tied up with our personal identity. We can allow ourselves to be hooked in, take the bait, and unhooking ourselves, supported by our boundaries, can enable us to get off our hooks, free up more space. (See also Old Hooks, Buttons, Triggers, Played Out In Our Relationship)

Counselling & psychotherapy can be a space to explore our personal hooks, triggers and how these might affectsthe weighting we put on things, ability to disidentify from our hooks, triggers. These may include times of conflict, stress, trauma, shame, grief, living from our own internal drama triangle, when we are hungry, angry, lonely, tired, lost or stuck or experience loss, separation.

Unconscious Thoughts & Beliefs Often our thoughts, beliefs, expectations, and indeed actions, are not conscious - they lay outside of our awareness and affect the weighting we put on things. We can be in reaction to these. Counselling & psychotherapy can help us become aware of the sources of these, so our choices & actions become less automatic & more conscious. (See also The Realm of the Unconscious)

A subtle thought that is in error may yet give rise to fruitful enquiry, that can establish truths of great value. Isaac Asimov

Our Opinions Linked to our beliefs and what we tell ourselves, we may hold on tightly to strong opinions about a lot of things (see also Concrete Thinking, Thinking In Absolutes & Over-Generalising - All Or Nothing Thinking, Either/Or Thinking, Duality). Others may be easily swayed from one opinion to another, based on our moods. The therapy can be a space to explore having the confidence to know when not to have an opinion, stick to our opinion, challenge ourself in seeing other perspectives, reconsider or reformulate our opinion

Our Preoccupations Sometimes we allow certain thoughts, worries to occupy our mind. Preoccupied by them, we can't seem to get them out of our mind. We may become tired. A preoccupation for some may be questioning how we can have control over feeling safe, which may lead to us being defensive and we may it supportive to consider what is loving to us and others.

Counselling London and psychotherapy Camden - internal dialogue, positive self talk, duality, yin-yang

Concrete Thinking, Thinking In Absolutes & Over-Generalising - All Or Nothing Thinking, Either/Or Thinking, Duality Narrowing things down to a limited set of beliefs, options and choosing the most obvious one can at times be helpful, especially when we are in a hurry or need to focus. Sometimes, in our fundamental way of thinking (including either/or, polarised thinking, convergent thinking), it can be as if things have to be totally one way or the other, affecting our opinions (see also The "Should", "Shouldn't", "Ought", "Must", "Never", "Always" Beliefs). Thinking in extremes may affect our feelings (e.g. depression), behaviour, ways we sabotage things,. We may inappropriately magnify certain things - blowing them up out of proportion or shrinking the importance of other things. In our "all or nothing" thinking, things have to be this or that, where things must be "completely", "entirely". We may end up disappointed. Over-generalising - this is the way it will always be can be a fixed defeatist position. We may also struggle to have a mental filter so we dwell on the negative and rarely explore the positive (see also Optimism, Pessimism & Discounting The Positive). We may have black and white thinking and our shadow, shades of grey or other colours for us may be overlooked. Developing our divergent thinking, dropping any rigidity, open to a range of possibilities, perspectives, ideas may support us, change our view of reality. Accessing our flexible thinking, creative imagination and being curious, holding an attitude of what we might need to learn, may also assist us. As if wearing blinkers or holding on to rigid boundaries some of us may have developed concrete thinking, a way of thinking in absolutes (especially for those of us who can't bear the unknown or who tend be perfectionist). When caught in our concrete thinking, it may be a lot to live up to (e.g. having to do things perfectly or not at all, success or failure, right or wrong, good or bad, either-or), which may limit the way we see & act in our binary world. Sitting with being unsure for a while, to be relaxed with not knowing alongside our ambivalence may be a creative challenge for us (see also Uncertainties, Contrasting & Contradictory Feelings). The integrative counselling and psychotherapy can explore ways of encompassing so called ambivalence, contradictions, opposites (certainty/uncertainty, I/other, intellect/emotion, body/mind, negative/positive feelings, good/evil, human/spiritual, being/doing, consciousness/brain, suffering/love, love/will, life/death, inner/outer), any limiting beliefs, thoughts and what else may be emerging for you, including any existential concerns which may emerge. (See also Impact Of What We Say, The Words We Use)

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. William Shakespeare - Hamlet

All-Or-Nothing Thinking Affecting Our Relationships In relationships, we may idealise or devalue the people we meet or struggle with commitment. When we hold on to all-or-nothing beliefs we may easily become angry. We may also struggle with being autonomous yet part of a couple, what is ours, our partners or belongs to us both. We may experience all or nothing feelings, e.g. we must either feel loved or get approval, affirmation, reassurance, recognition, validation, appreciation, praise, permission, confirmation, otherwise we may feel rejected, abandoned.

Compartmentalising Things Compartmentalising things - putting things in boxes, can sometimes help, so we can get on and do other things, or not become too preoccupied. However, we may compartmentalise our thoughts, beliefs, behaviours & life into neat or separate boxes, which may not always help. We may also compartmentalise things that are too hard to look at (e.g. our own unwanted habits, addictions), in order not to feel or because we struggle to integrate all our feelings. Some of us may live our whole life compartmentalising things, as if everything is separate, not interrelated. This may include separating out our body, feelings, mind, sexuality or our spirituality, as if these aspects of us are unrelated (see Overwhelmed, Overloaded, Overstimulated). Disconnected, we may struggle to integrate all aspects of our life and this may affect the weighting we put on to things. The integrative approach to counselling & psychotherapy can explore this with you & supports you in this integration including our unconscious aspects.

Thinking On Autopilot Some of us may have a lot of autopilot thinking, when our mind churns around thoughts in disconnected ways. We may not be engaged with ourself or the task in hand, as if we are daydreaming and have lost our self somewhere. The counselling & psychotherapy can be a space to explore what else is happening for us around this and our conscious choice to reach for thoughts that make us feel good or bad.

Relationship counselling London, Camden, Kings Cross, marriage counselling, sexual relationship, trust in relationships, Author: Bart Everson, Title: Divergent

Convergent Thinking, Divergent Thinking Choosing the best option, solution at times may include convergent thinking - coming up with a standard correct answer or divergent thinking - creatively exploring possible perspectives, options, solutions. The counselling and psychotherapy can explore these different modes of thinking (first identified by J.P.Guilford).

What We Tell Ourselves, Internal Dialogue - Choosing What We Think Everyone talks to themselves (self-talk), having conversations - an inner chatter that runs in the background of our mind and our negative or positive commentary affects our attitude & achievements. Our internal dialogue, choices of thought can be as supportive or unsupportive, as we can be to ourselves (and we often feel this differently in our body - see also Our Painbody). What we tell ourselves, the narrative, script we hold, influences our actions (see also Controlling Our Thoughts Affecting Our Actions) & how we are in the world. (We can also have imaginary conversations in our head with others.) Some of our thoughts may go round & round, replaying, organising, imagining, planning, plotting, rehearsing - "what am I going to do next?", and be unsettling, especially if we always need to maintain control. Our monkey mind may race ahead. Replaying things over in our head and thinking about future scenarios, impacts upon the way we are. What we tell ourselves - having a running commentary in our head, working out what may happen, can make us anxious, fearful, affecting our body - with corresponding physical symptoms, sleep, eating patterns & general functioning. (Some may become easily bored once we have imagined the result of things in advance. Others may be tempted to overshare their feelings, thoughts, maybe linked to our porous boundaries.) Unchecked, our internal dialogue stops us being present, engaging in life. Choosing our self-talk in negative ways, eroding our confidence, is one option. The impact of what we say, tell ourselves, affects us. Moving away from our personal doubts, we may want to take responsibility for our unhelpful narratives, complaining, for example "life is mundane". We can sometimes have an internal argument with ourselves between different sides of us. We may have a strong internal judge, inner critic (see also Inadequate, Inadequacy) or perfectionist. This part of us may try to cover up our difficult primary emotions, substituting them with secondary ones. Some thoughts are important, others not. Our mind may wander off somewhere, feel lost. What we tell ourselves about situations may be different to the reality and we may struggle to let go, be in the moment. The therapy may include looking at the thoughts we induce, becoming conscious of them, discussing the importance & significance of them and how we filter them. We may also want to review the time we spend on our thoughts, how we invest them negatively (see also The "Should", "Shouldn't", "Ought", "Must", "Never", "Always" Beliefs) or constructively, on the things we want to develop and how we are in touch with what inspires us. Changing the way we feel by acknowledging (even apologising to ourself), yet saying "enough" to our negative chatter may assist us alongside listening to our internal dialogue in compassionate, respectful ways, giving ourself credit, boosting our self-worth, being supportive, encouraging. We may also have a choice whether to listen to a second voice - a deeper inner voice (maybe more elusive, distant, yet always present) of a more intuitive, guiding, caring nature, so our running commentary comes from our core self, less so our wounded self or early unconscious beliefs. Counselling & psychotherapy can help by hearing & unravelling this. We may also have imaginary conversations in our head with others, and the counselling can also explore the meanings of these, how they shape our opinions alongside any unhelpful habitual thinking patterns, negative thoughts and scenarios. (See also Listening To Ourselves)

Limiting Beliefs, Mindsets From the earliest of time we assimilate and inherit beliefs and breaking free of limiting beliefs, so they no longer skew our decisions, life direction may be important. We can limit ourselves in many ways including holding onto concrete thinking, through limiting our beliefs especially if we get caught in our old hooks. We may hold on to beliefs about ourself that are limiting - stopping us from fully living and this can erode our esteem. What we make of experiences (see also Unhelpful, Redundant, Inhibiting Rules, Loyalties, Oaths, Sacred Cows, Obligations, Duties, Taboos), our perception and emotions can at times limit our beliefs and the counselling can explore these with you (see also Our Assumptions & Interpretations). Some of these beliefs may come from our wounded place. We may be holding onto habitual, mental attitudes, limiting beliefs, which limit our potential and creative imagination, determine how we interpret & respond to situations, some of which may be unhelpful. Keeping an open mind, allowing ourselves to daydream, transforming our limited beliefs (e.g. "It'll never happen" to "I suppose it does happen", "I can't" to "I suppose I can", "I will never be able to do this" to "I suppose I am able to...") may enable us to think outside the box as to what's possible. The counselling and psychotherapy can explore how we feel about our beliefs, mindsets and the attitudes we hold alongside looking at the cost of our limiting beliefs, understanding where they come from and calling upon current evidence that now undermines our limiting beliefs. The therapy may also explore how we can repair our limiting beliefs with more positive ones, how we can step away from them, be in a place where we can let go of needing things to be different than how they are and live from our truth, where beliefs can simply be experienced as perspectives. This can empower & transform our limiting beliefs as we choose to direct our energy, so these beliefs don't dominate. (See also Controlling Our Thoughts Affecting Our Actions)

The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far
creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.
Albert Einstein

Self-Defeating Thoughts Some of us may hold such self-defeating thoughts, stopping us in our tracks (e.g. "It's too late to change", "It's too much work, so I won't bother", "I will never be able to do that", "I'm just not good at it", "I'd rather be right than happy"). We may want to acknowledge that our unpleasant thoughts are not always necessary and can begin to choose thoughts that feel better. Self-encouragement and a degree of optimism may be in short supply. Our cynicism may rule.

Unhelpful Habitual Thinking Patterns, Unproductive, Negative Thoughts & Their Meanings If our self-image is negative, so too may our thoughts be. Some of our unhelpful thinking, negative attitudes, may have formed patterns going back some while (see also Early Unconscious Agreements, Beliefs), informing our internal dialogue as we worry more. We may have become very judgemental, critical, of ourself. Our fear, anxiety, esteem can further distort our thoughts, which may become irrational, unhelpfully negative in attitude and circular, unproductive or irrelevant. We may also need to learn to control our mind and properly respond to negative emotions and thoughts as well as paying attention to our body and its interconnection to our thoughts, emotions, etc (see also Our Painbody). Having thoughts, which render us anxious, hopeless, disempowered may be counterproductive, and we may be seeking ways how to positively respond to them. Recognising our negative thoughts, without suppressing them, may be important. Postponing or letting go of unhelpful negative thoughts, remembering & reminding ourselves of our goals, looking forward to the results may support us, reduce our anxiety. Being in touch with supportive others can also provide positive mirrors in checking out these unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, weighting we put on things. The counselling & psychotherapy may explore any habitual thinking patterns, our intentions behind them, their meanings, the benefits, identifying the feelings underneath that we may want to avoid or resist - naming & acknowledging these (and associated reminders from the past, old wounds), alongside what we may be trying to control. We could view two types of thoughts, one that feels good, is loving - aligned to our essence or thoughts that are not aligned and feel painful. The therapy may also include alternative ways of re-framing our beliefs, postponing our unhelpful thinking, negative thoughts, learned helplessness, so we can consciously allow in and focus on positive thoughts, envisioning so we are more in the moment.

Mundaneness - Believing Life Is Mundane The mundaneness of life can't always be avoided. We all have routines, a level of ordinariness, when nothing special happens and things can be predictable. Yet some of us believe that life has to be mundane (see What We Tell Ourselves, Internal Dialogue - Choosing What We Think), as if there is no other choice. Some of us may mistake mundaneness for boredom. We may have abandoned ourself or be lonely, empty inside. The mundaneness that we experience may point to changing some old routines and something inside of us seeking change. We may feel disappointed, stuck, maybe blocked, have unexpressed feelings, sometimes depressed, living life on automatic as if there is no other way out, that we have no free will. Our imagination, vitality may have diminished and we may have lost touch with who we are. The mundaneness we experience in life may also have an existential element or nudge us to seek deeper meaning.

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Discomfort Inside Some of us may feel distant, as if watching ourself from afar. Others may be tense, holding discrepancies, opposing thoughts, beliefs, values about our own identity & self-image. Others may experience lots of thoughts to'ing & fro'ing like waves which we find hard not to get carried away with. Reducing our discomfort around this, being grounded, may be important.

Life's Contradictions Thinking in absolutes - all or nothing thinking, we may believe there is only one way of seeing things, as if there aren't other options. Confusion may reign. Our contradictory thoughts (and feelings) at times may push and pull in opposite directions. We can feel both positive and negative feelings. Our ambivalent feelings may also play out in our relationship. We may get caught in what seem like "Catch 22" situations. Sometimes, whatever we do to make things better, things may stay the same or get worse. Many of us struggle responding to the changes & contradictions, dilemmas, ambiguities, double binds, paradox, mysteries, unknowns & uncertainties of the world. Sometimes the only one constant in these contradictions is us. Therefore we may also want to utilise the counselling & psychotherapy to be more in touch with the sense of what we are, our own essence and internal presence without thoughts consistently in the foreground.. We may also have existential concerns.

In life we will come up against a range of contrasts, contradictions, dilemmas, confusions, ambivalence & paradox. The therapy explores these including:

Everybody wants to be happy, nobody wants to suffer. Dalai Lama

Existential Angst Some of our thoughts & beliefs may not only be about the day to day aspects of Iiving, but also include existential dilemmas & beliefs. Psychotherapy can offer a space to express, explore these.

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all
I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all
Joni Mitchell

Our Perspective What preoccupies us can be seen from different broad or narrow perspectives (see also Being & Doing - Dilemmas We May Hold). The way we see things (including any problems) may not always be the way they are - one person's loss may be another's adventure. Stepping back and seeing things from a distance, taking a bird's eye view can change where we see things from. One way to reduce the emotional impact of thoughts is to have perspective by looking at them, rather than from them. Moving our body can help widen our perspective as can self-reflection. The therapy can help us reflect upon and name our moods, thoughts and outlook (which influence our perspectives), e.g. worrying, criticising, judging, organising, planning, remembering, rehearsing, what may happen and what we need to do next, etc (see also Tolerating Not Knowing - Our Need To Be In Control). Divergent thinking, utilising the vastness of our creative imagination & associated images, giving our mind space, viewing both the panoramic view as if from above and small details, allowing for what emerges. This may broaden our perspective also affecting our vitality. Creatively thinking our way through things, finding solutions, re-deciding things may also help. Counselling & psychotherapy can help us look at different perspectives, angles, which can reduce our limiting beliefs, mindsets, what's helpful and rational, exploring our own rationality, for example, we may be inflexibly holding on to an overly pessimistic or optimistic attitude. We may have overlooked what we appreciate in our life and want to spend our valued time on things that really matter. We may want to view situations, problems in a different light, from different perspectives, so how we view us & others can evolve. Being in touch with what we value may also support our perspective about what we appreciate, respect.

Relationship counselling London, relationship therapy, marriage counselling, relationship trust, sexual relationship, trust in relationships, trust relationships, sexual marriage

How Our Perspective May Influence Situations Sometimes perspectives from our past can cloud our vision now (see also Our Vision, Visualisation, Envisioning The Reality We Wish To Be True), give us rigid boundaries. And being in touch with our desire, future potential, shifts our perspective. We can choose to see difficulties in situations, or opportunities, focusing on possibilities or impossibilities. We may have become a little blinkered by what we know (alongside our limiting preoccupations), and it can be challenging to give our mind space, seek other, different, larger perspectives or opinions, stepping outside our comfort zone, stretching ourselves, allowing ourselves not to know, which can open up the space to make quiet time, take pauses, in order to reflect, observe, mentalise things. When a situation becomes difficult, we may automatically view it as if it is a problem, compounding this with worry, frustration, disappointment. Yet seeing situations as challenges or even gifts, can change our perception, the meanings we make and in turn create a different type of feeling & experience, which impacts upon how we respond to situations. Framing situations as problems may make it more difficult for us to solve problems. Our problems come & go and continuously thinking about them, magnifies them. Re-framing problems into possibilities for learning, knowing they will pass and we are bigger than them, will handle them, wondering what opportunities may also be possible, can bring about aspects we haven't considered, noticed before. Different solutions, insights may emerge, facilitating change, transformation. Keeping an open mind as if seeing things from afresh, connecting, interacting with what inspires us and being with supportive others may also widen our perspective. Being curious, asking others (even those who we believe know less than us) may enable us to engage with fresh or adventurous ideas, or come up with novel, simpler approaches, which we may want to give consideration to. Holding a mature perspective in our relationship, so we can respond to any challenges may be important.

Counselling in central London and psychotherapy in Camden - positive self talk, internal dialogue, perspective, mirroring, Author: Sarah Joy, Title: Grand Union Canal

Our Perceptions, How We See Ourself How we see ourself in the mirror, and want to be seen, informed by our senses, view of reality, our beliefs and what we tell ourselves, the weighting we put on things (often influenced from life's experiences, others' comments) whether strong, introvert, extrovert, interesting, willful, incapable, kind, awkward, creative, whether we over-estimate or under-estimate ourselves influences how we carry ourself - our demeanor and how we project and present ourselves onto the world. And we may view the world as a challenge or struggle, a place to learn, a stage. The counselling and psychotherapy can help explore whether we want to reflect on who we really are and want to be, the value of daydreaming and give ourselves the best possibilities to flourish.

When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite. William Blake
Counselling in central London and psychotherapy in Camden, Kings Cross - perceptions, attitude approach, Title: First Boxes, Author: Julie

Relationship Between Our Perceptions, Attitude & Approach Our perception can be seen as the way we uniquely understand things affecting our relationship to life. Our perception not only affects our stress, fear, anxiety but also our approach and attitudes and attitude towards risk. We perceive the world through our senses and how our brain makes sense of information underpins everything we know and believe. And each experience, object, evokes reactions in us (e.g. favourable, unfavourable), as if we are invested in them and they, therefore, in us. We also see the world through the various lenses of our personal perception. And if our lens is out of focus, or very dark, our sense of reality may be blurred. Cleaning, adjusting the lens of our perception may support us, so we are less confused or ruled by the impact of our past, which can also influence our relationship now. When things seem complicated, we can choose to simplify them by clearing away our unnecessary attitudes, associated memories, which colour our current perception, which can support our peace of mind. Our perception is close to who we are. Seeing clearly, "in the moment", through situations & people as they are, free of projections, unhelpful self-talk, focusing on what matters, finding out what solutions are best, can make it easier on us. Our perceptions (especially old ones) are limited, partial, personal and can also be inaccurate, sometimes seeing what we want to see, not seeing other things. As we, others, and situations change, so too may we need to transform our perceptions - refreshing them, so we can see others and experiences more as they are. As we are in the world, so we affect the world (see also Ownership, Guardianship, Trusteeship). Our perceptions affect our feelings and the way we perceive things is influenced by the emotions we are experiencing and when we feed that feeling this produces chemical in our body equal to that feeling. Sometimes our perceptions & attitudes can keep us trapped as if we are in a box, maybe accompanied by fear or doubt, and when we are willing to shift our perception or attitude, we can experience a freedom which can open up choices for us. Our box at times can be useful, giving us a boundary to ground our ideas, imagination, yet this may also restrict us if it becomes rigid, outdated (especially if the lid is too tight), affecting our attitude, approach and what we bring to the table. What we carry inside, the attitude, sense of calmness we have when we don't like things, affects us and others. Some of us may be quick to dislike things - staying in this place. Finding a way to like our dislike or some positive aspect of this so we hold a hopeful attitude and approach, may support us as may freeing up our choice to see things pessimistically, optimistically. We can choose to be critical or be appreciative. The counselling & psychotherapy may therefore explore how we see things (see also The Realm of the Unconscious), alongside how we freshen up, spend our energy, broaden our perceptions, see other possibilities, what we create - our day, our life. This may include examining our values, assumptions, beliefs, prejudices, biases, templates, attitudes, intuition, etc. and examining how our perception creates our reality...

If you are distressed by anything external {or internal}, the pain is not due to the thing itself
, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
Marcus Aurelius

Negative Attitude Our negative attitude may be connected to our survival genes at play - the purpose of which is to anticipate worst outcomes, so we have a good chance to survive. Our attitude towards someone contains our perceptions and beliefs about them. Checking if they reflect reality may be important. If we are holding a negative attitude towards someone it influences how we communicate with them,and as a consequence our attitude will often be reflected back to us. Some of us may have unhelpful habitual thinking patterns, negative thoughts, others hold onto a learned helplessness. And if so, we may have a pervasive tendency to seek out or create negativity, do things which make us unhappy (maybe even sabotage things, watching ourselves doing this), as if somehow reinforcing an old belief that this is our life script. We may want to get rid of habits, which no longer work for us. Letting go of what we need to - our negative perceptions, accepting things as they are, yet acknowledging we may prefer something different, can help dissolve things & release what we have been holding on to, so we have a greater capacity to be happy and love. Some of us may want to change our perception & attitude, so we are freer to be how we want to be, feel how we want to feel. We may want to creatively transform our perceptions, utilising our own possibilities, spotting any golden nuggets along the way, alongside being in touch with what inspires us, what we envision, value, supported by our free will, sense of humour & vitality. Counselling & psychotherapy can explore the beliefs we have about ourself and the wider world, any blind spots, and how these impact on our feelings.

I can see clearly now, the rain has gone. Johnny Nash

Attitude & Its Effects Our intentions affect our attitude which in turn affects our intentions. Our attitude (much of which may be unconscious) to everything (e.g. risks, dread, cynicism, a problem, being stuck, lost, challenge, curiosity, gratitude, enthusiasm, love) affects our outlook, outcomes, energy, life in general. It could be said that our attitude is our experience. Utilising our attitude may be something we want to explore in the counselling and psychotherapy. (See also Optimism, Pessimism & Discounting The Positive)

You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude. Eleanor Roosevelt

Memories - Choice In What We Are Willing To Forget & What We Are Willing To Remember Stress and the weighting we put on things, narrative we tell ourselves can affect our memory and if our memory for the past if poor we may feel disconnected. Sometimes our memories can be stuck and we can continue to re-enact them, sometimes unconsciously. Choosing our response to our thoughts & beliefs can be challenging, as may learning to let go or give so much weight to unhelpful thoughts, memories, dwelling on the past, which may inhibit our ability to forgive ourselves or others. Some of us may continuously remember things we no longer need to (e.g. worries or hurts), or forget things that we could remember to support us (e.g. what matters to us). (See also Remembering - Choosing How We Look Around Us Now, How We Look Back & Ahead)

Quality Of Our Thinking The quality of our thinking affects the quality of our life and the counselling explores these aspects - how we think, what's productive, unproductive, supportive, negative, constructive, destructive, what's muddled or vague, what's clear or focused.

Counselling London Psychotherapy, lack of focus, lack of attention, problems with concentration
Our Mind

Counselling in London NW1, Camden, Kings Cross - positive thinking - caged mind, Author: Bill Strain, Title: The Green Mile

Caught Up In Our Mind, Unnecessary Thoughts - Giving Our Mind Space When we are caught up in our mind we may feel ungrounded, not live our life in the moment. Continuously thinking about our daily life isn't always necessary and we can postpone our thoughts, put a full stop, boundary around them. Being in our personal power, discarding & filtering out what's unnecessary, letting go of anything that restricts us, cleaning our mind of any clutter, observing ourself and our mind, our continuous thought processes, any wasteful thoughts, ideas, opinions, beliefs, expectations - gives our mind space as we get out of the cage of our mind (see also Being & Doing - Dilemmas We May Hold). Our mind may be elsewhere as if separate from our body and feelings. As our mind changes, other possibilities, perspectives arise (see also Mindfulness & Meditation). Our wasteful, unnecessary, repetitive or negative thoughts may also lead to wasteful, unnecessary, repetitive or negative actions. It may be necessary to think about things but when our thoughts become repetitive, we can acknowledge them, letting any unnecessary thoughts go so we can save our energy for clear and constructive thinking when we need to. For some, our mind can seem like a sponge - absorbing everything around us. On the one hand, this can broaden our outlook, enrich us, keep us sharp & stimulate ideas. Yet squeezing out what we don't need to hold on to, can enliven us, bring us energy, enthusiasm, open the windows of our mind & concept of time, put us in touch with our thought-free self for moments or create fresh space for fresh thoughts and thinking outside the box.

The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument,
and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart.
That's where you need to go.
Elizabeth Gilbert
Counselling London, Psychotherapy in Camden near Kings Cross - positive thinking techniques, focus, attention, concentration, monkey mind

Wandering Mind, Monkey Mind Sometimes our mind can be like that of a monkey, jumping from branch to branch, from thought to thought with rapid speed (mind racing in this hyper energised state things may also spin around), task to task (this can be especially true if we have ADD/ADHD). Giving our "monkey mind" time to run wild - full of inner chatter, playful or daydream at times can be exactly what we need to do and support our creativity. Yet other times it may be important harness our energy, thinking creatively and constructively soothe our monkey mind with affirming thoughts that we are calm, nurture our mind, be in touch with our purpose and to focus. Silence, stillness may also support us.

Counselling London Psychotherapy in Camden - positive thinking techniques, focus, attention, concentration, attention span

Wandering Mind - Our Focus, Attention, Concentration The counselling & psychotherapy can explore ways to stay focused, concentrate on the things that matter to us, knowing what we really need to do... Our concentration can be helped by the attitudes & interests we have. We all at times have a wandering mind, lost in thought, rendering us lost, stuck, confused, easily distracted, keeping busy for business sake, going off on tangents. And when we daydream, it can have benefits and distractions. When our mind wanders off to different locations, it may help us to be aware of where it's gone, when it wanders off, and its duration. When necessary, bringing our mind back to the location we want it be in may be important. We may have a bit of a monkey mind, loosing our focus in the process. Narrowing down our attention & focusing on what's important to us, what's good and positive - allowing the energy of our attention to flow, grow gives us the capacity to be more engaged with our will and passion in what we are doing. As if we are an archer, selecting our arrows, we can aim them towards our target, releasing them into the world. Our focus & attention ebbs & flows throughout the day - we can lose concentration & come back to it, affecting our productiveness. This could also be connected to our energy levels, sense of purpose or values. Sometime our focus can jump around. When our focus is more focused, aligned to our own path & inner authority, we can become more resilient, productive, efficient, do things easier and our attention can seem effortless as if we are in the zone. Yet for some, being overly focused may limit our flexible thinking skills. For some it can help to imagine completing the task at hand in order to boost the possibility of completing what we need to complete. Others may be concentrating on the end result, which can become too dominant or overwhelming, rather than staying with the task in hand, being fully present. As our insights & consciousness expand (our field of awareness - that we are more conscious we are conscious), we can choose what to do with this & where to put our focused attention now, in touch with what matters to us, so we are not caught somewhere between our past, present & future. In order to focus our attention & concentrate, it may be important & supportive for us to:

the power of positive thinking, think positively, think positive, self-beliefs, mental confusion, positive self talk, internal dialogue, internal dialog

Distractions, Distracting Our Mind Distractions are all around us - will always be there and how we respond to them is up to us. We may turn our focus & attention onto all sorts of external distractions or stimulus and getting distracted is a choice we make. In stressful situations we may turn to distractions, unhelpful habits or addictions, yet our problem may remain. A challenge for us may be to pay attention to what is happening around us and at the same time choose not to get distracted - focus, despite any distractions around us, so we don't procrastinate. It may be important for us to place our focus & attention where we need to without unhelpful distractions (see Wandering Mind - Our Focus, Attention, Concentration). How we distract ourselves may also be insightful... Sometimes we may prefer to get on and do things, despite distractions. On other occasions, we can get pulled to distraction - any distraction, thinking about anything other that where we need to concentrate our attention. Sometimes we can turn to distractions when anxious. Changing our old habits of unhelpfully distracting ourself may be challenging. We may let our mind run away with us, losing our self in the process. Our mind may race ahead, making lots of connections, taking us off track, focus on the wrong things. Being mindful and giving ourself time to experience whatever emotion we have, free of judgement, may promote our resilience. Ignoring the call to distraction inside our head, bringing our focus & attention back to what really matters & what we value, dedicating specific time to the task at hand, seeing things through may support us. We may want to find helpful ways to tune out of our unhelpful distractions. Some of us may want to utilise our distractions to our advantage, turning to healthy ones. Remaining energised, setting specific times to do tasks, may help us focus. Bringing our thought back towards our direction, even if we aren't exactly sure where this will take us, may be important. Our internal boundaries can support us and our ability to concentrate, even around distractions and we may want to use the therapy to distinguish between our healthy & unhealthy distractions.

Counselling in central London and psychotherapy in Camden - positive self talk, internal dialogue, perspective, re-framing

Clarity, How We Think - Clarifying, Filtering, Strengthening Our Thoughts, Beliefs We may want to understand our thought processes, clarify them, get to know how our mind works. How we think affects our moods, inner world. Confused, we may want to revisit how we think, what our learnt beliefs are & what we tell ourselves. Sometimes we can make things real in our head. We may play out scenarios in our head - fortune telling, or go blank as if watching ourself from afar at other times. Being in our own integrity, clarifying our thoughts, filtering them, organising them, making distinctions between unreliable, false thoughts (e.g. our running commentary), false alarms (e.g. unnecessary worry about our thoughts, fears) and truth, may be important for us, influencing our ability to reduce procrastination, make decisions, choices, decide what needs to change. And these challenges, alongside our emotional reasoning and the relationship between our perceptions, attitude and approach can be explored in the counselling & psychotherapy. Diffusing any fear-based thoughts, noticing and naming our false beliefs, thoughts - where they are coming from (e.g. a wounded or scared part of us), so we don't automatically believe them and strengthening the quality of our thinking, intention, beliefs, creatively thinking how we think may be important to us as may having a reality check on our thoughts, beliefs. For some, moving our body, self-reflection, being in touch with our real passion and clear about our values, listening to our heart, inner wisdom, can help bring clarity.

Feeding Our Mind, Healthy Mind It is said we are what we think and the therapy can be a space to explore what we are feeding our mind with and what constitutes a healthy mind.

Expanding Our Mind Some may view our mind simply as a function of our complex brain activity, or separate from our nervous system, yet our nerve cells possess the ability to communicate between each other, influenced by our thoughts & feelings. Through our mind we are able to experience our relationships to these thoughts and feelings, including our subjective experiences, peak experiences and consciousness, providing us with the capacity to change. Our mind has a regulatory function where things can come together through space and time. Because the energy of our body, feelings & mind are interconnected alongside our interconnectedness with others as we are able to expand and connect with others.

Thinking Freely, Freeing Our Mind Freeing our mind may include letting go of unhelpful attitudes, perceptions, beliefs and being open to fresh ones. We may simply seek a sense of peace. At times, we may not want to focus on anything, just to give ourself a moment of peace - letting go of whatever we hold on to (including things of our past, yesterday's way of thinking, negative attitudes), so we can let in good feelings, feel lighter, think outside the box, carry our freedom, allow for peak experiences, feel grounded and ready to return to the task in hand. (See also Personal Freedom)

Flexible Thinking Especially when stressed, sometimes our thoughts and beliefs may be rigid, fixed as if cast in the tablets of stone as may our boundaries. We may want to free our mind so it's flexible, open to new evidence, moving away from rigid, fixed beliefs written in stone, concrete thinking towards thinking freely with creative imagination, ideas and thoughts. Choosing whether to have unloving thoughts carrying annoyance, anger, shame, hatred, or loving thoughts which make us feel good, aligned to our essence is an ongoing process and the counselling and psychotherapy can explore this further alongside the weighting we put on things, and how we respond to ambiguity. (See also Flexible Boundaries, Adaptable Boundaries)

If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Mary Engelbreit

Mindfulness & Mentalising The therapy may promote the experience of mindfulness before any mentalising. Mindfulness - connected to creating space to reflect makes room for our experiences, directing attention to our moment by moment process of experiencing, while mentalising make sense of our experiences. Both can bring awareness of awareness to thinking about thinking, help us integrate (recognise our experiences) and regulate our experiences.

The contents of the mental stream are not as important as the consciousness that knows them. Mark Epstein

Mindfulness & Meditation Mindfulness is an approach to life that facilitates us to effectively relate to our experiences, helping us manage difficult times. Mindfulness is one of many meditation practices and these experiences are not therapy but can be experienced as therapeutic. Whereas meditation usually requires us to remove our self from activities as we train the mind to get somewhere else, mindfulness can be experienced anytime, anywhere, experiencing our aliveness fully in the moment. Paying attention to what we are experiencing - often the simple things, can open up the space for us. (Rather than being overly focused on being present, it may also be important to loosen up, "seize the day", be spontaneous, have a range of "now's".) Mindfulness has origins in Buddhism with its emphasis on impermanence and uncertainty yet in our culture tends to focus on stress reduction. It is a simple human way of paying attention on purpose - being intentionally aware to what's happening in the moment without judgement, accepting what is, so we have a greater connection both internally and with others and outwardly by taking care of ourself, exploring and understanding the interconnection of our body and mind, mobilising our own resources to help us thrive. This includes paying attention to our immediate experience, our internal presence, noticing, utilising and anchoring our body sensations, thoughts and feelings - monitoring them as they form in our mind (see also Body, Feelings, Mind Connection), being in touch with the ebb and flow of the present moment, conscious of our experience, aware of moving between "doing and being". We may want to consider the benefits of mindfulness, which can also be described as full, compassionate and non-judgemental awareness of each present moment (seeing what we are able to see) - concentrating attention on the breadth of our experiences in the here and now and making sense of them - being present, aware of our experience while we are experiencing it, without self judgement, purposefully bringing & directing our attention into our body and tuning into our senses, being centred, grounded and anchored our self, distinguishing between what happens to us and what happens in us.

And all is always now. T.S.Eliot

Mentalising We may want to explore the benefits of mentalising - focusing our attention on the full depth of our experience, allowing our thinking space to grow, including unconscious dimensions, making sense of the contents of our experiences, our history and mental states, having a reflective style, so we are able to generate multiple perspectives and consider our behaviour (e.g. acting on impulse), experiences in light of our experiences, rather than being trapped in the reality of one view

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. Roger Miller

Nurturing Our Mind When distracting or negative thoughts interrupt our focus, concentration, intrude upon us, some people are helped by simply acknowledging these thoughts (maybe making a note of them, so we can give them attention later on), so we can focus on what we need to focus on. Replacing these with creative positive thoughts, feelings, images, memories may help some of us. We may want to get to know our mind - befriending it, listening to it, what helps, what doesn't, what facilitate our mind's contentment. Analogous to physical feelings - keeping our mind vibrant, energised, we may want to avoid the heaviness of thinking too much, especially if the weight of our thoughts become pessimistic, sarcastic, cynical, draining, negative. And this negativity may be connected to thinking from the past, struggling to accept uncertainty or the unknown. Creating a different space, so we can think about our desire, future, exercising our mind, stimulating it with curiosity, creative ideas, imagination may also help nurture our mind alongside resting it, taking pauses, digesting what we take in. Feeding and nourishing our mind with healthy, light, fresh positive thoughts - ones that uplift, rejuvenate us, may at times assist us, supporting our vitality.

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Albert Einstein

Peace Of Mind, Stilling Our Mind, Contentment, Inner Peace, Calmness - What May Not Help Contentment and peace of mind is not a bland acceptance of life and doesn't mean we have to lose our drive, have no goals, just be optimistic. Peace of mind, feeling at ease with ourself may elude us. What gives us peace of mind varies from person to person, yet there may be some common denominators. Stilling our busy mind - from the thoughts that keep coming in and having a good night sleep, may be important for us, as may not always reacting to external stimulus (e.g. always having to turn to some form of technology as if we have no other options). Buying things, finding the perfect partner, may be other ways to seek peace of mind outside of ourself. Calmness doesn't have to mean being perfectly serene. We may pray, meditate to find peace, yet peace of mind may be elusive, which may be linked to trying to bypass our core painful feelings or struggling to manage & regulate them, embrace suffering & love. Some of us may be overly optimistic. We may have certain expectations, fears, e.g. fear of love, fear of death, dying, which stops us feeling calm, being at peace compounded by any existential concerns. We may be seeking peace of mind, contentment (acceptance), want to feel relaxed, yet get anxious - often trying to keep busy or despairing if we find stillness, silence difficult (see also Finding Out More About Ourself). We may hit pockets of existential loneliness. "It will be all right when..." may not be a helpful way of experiencing a peace of mind in the moment, as if peace of mind and coming from our core self, serenity is always some way off. Listening to our heart, letting go of what we need to let go of, relinquish, beyond the limits of our personality may support our peace of mind.

There is no joy but calm. Alfred Tennyson
Counselling in central London NW1 and psychotherapy in Camden, Kings Cross - positive thinking - focus, attention and concentration, calm waters

Peace Of Mind, Stilling Our Mind, Contentment, Inner Peace, Calmness - What May Help Accepting that disturbances, issues in our life are inevitable, responding to them may counterintuitively give us peace of mind. Our acceptance of what is - that this is the way things are, are meant to be at this moment may be in short supply. Discontented we may start to change things, yet remain discontented inside. Being content, more carefree may matter to us. And from this contented place we can begin to make changes. When our body is relaxed, so too may our mind be and vice versa. Allowing our mind to be content, take a break, to slip momentarily into a neutral, relaxed mode between tasks (while at the same time acknowledging our thoughts, perceptions, attitudes, noting what needs attention later) can bring our motion to stillness, bringing us rest, temporary solace, peace of mind & balance, and it can also be a place of calm waters to renew things. Taking this break, expanding the gap, can empower us to be more energised, make clearer decisions, and move forward towards our right direction and to take action. On a practical level, simplifying things, seeing things through, completing things, finishing our tasks, enjoying our accomplishments, keeping things simple, letting our thoughts out the back door from time to time may also help bring us peace of mind, as can soothing, loving, accepting ourselves and others (and that we are powerless to control others). Contacting our sense of joy, playfulness, laughter, humour and serenity, surrender, being patient & loving, the positive qualities of daydreaming may support our peace of mind. Opening our heart, letting go of what we need to let go of, including what the future should be like, our need to be in control, being in touch with our vitality, breathing, stable in our own ground, balancing all the different aspects of us, being in touch with what relaxes us, our sense of forgiveness, listening to our inner voice, trusting our self, our innateness, being honest with ourselves, experiencing silence and stillness, supported by stabilising our mind, using our breathing may further facilitate our peace of mind, allow us a sense of inner calmness, inner peace, harmony, time to reflect, observe things, so we quieten the mind, which for some may lead to inner tranquillity, feeling more at ease and free from what was restricting us with a sense of more space, being in the moment, being in our being, maybe an experience of interconnectedness or spiritual connection, enquiry. Our body, feelings, mind are interconnected and we may need to pay attention to these aspects of us being in balance with a consoling perspective. (See also Psychological Wellbeing, Psychological Health, Psychological Resilience, Mental Wellbeing, Mental Resilience)

positive thinking techniques, positive mental attitude, short attention span, increase attention span, confused & confusion, curious & curiosity, stilling mind

Our Curiosity Some of us may be caught in the same patterns of thinking, feeling. We may have became cynical or lost our sense of curiosity somewhere back in childhood. Being exploratory, curious, inquisitive, interested - investigating possibilities, exploring things and acting upon our curiosity, holding our sense of wonder, can give us pleasure, allow us to grow & develop, share it with others. And when fearful, depressed (or believing we have everything figured out), the potential for any surprise, spontaneity can diminish. Rediscovering & allowing ourselves to be curious now may be important and we may want to explore what it would be like to take the longer way home for a change. We can turn our curiosity inwards - tuning into our sense of feelings, memories & reflection, and also outwards, through our interactions. Being curious about others also enhances our empathy and emotional intelligence. Being inquisitive, learning to live with uncertainty and the unknown, can open us up, allowing us, our minds to expand. It can also allow our own unorthodox or personal thoughts to emerge. When we are curious, open to exploration as if we are a tourist, it prompts us to keep learning - our mind stimulated and enriched and we discover more about us and others (and maybe what was previously unconscious). As our curiosity manifests, our consciousness evolves. Our curiosity stems from our open mind - enabling our questions to become our quest and can be experienced as life affirming, the fuel for our imagination, creativity, potential & search for meaning. Exploring the purpose behind our curiosity may support us. Closely linked to our motivation & willingness to learn, lives our curiosity. Counselling & psychotherapy may help foster your curiosity - a quality of love, where it may be taking you, how it affects your sense of realty.

Our Ideas - Responding To What & How We Think Being creative, curious, having ideas, can stimulate us, yet if not made them into form, put into action, we may become frustrated (see also Accessing Motivation, Acting From Our Personal Will, Heart).

the power of positive thinking, black and white thinking, all or nothing thinking, short attention span, increase attention span, confused & confusion, curious & curiosity, stilling mind

Counselling in central London and psychotherapy in Camden, Kings Cross - positive thinking, focus, attention, concentration

Controlling Our Thoughts Affecting Our Actions If we are uncomfortable with the way we see things, we may want to experiment with alternative approaches to thinking differently and this can affect how we feel, our behaviour, which influences different outcomes (especially if we are prone to putting our life on hold or procrastinating, sabotaging things). Whilst we can't control all what happens out there in the world, we can control our own actions, have choice in finding, having and following our "No" or "Yes". Our actions can be supported by clarifying our goals, plans, utilising our will. Envisioning our future, utilising our mind as a tool, we may have more control over our thoughts than we may think. The first thought that enters our mind may be hard to control, yet our response to this first thought (and choosing our second thought), is also under our control. As we create our thoughts so too can we guide & steer them to where we want. Controlling our thoughts, so they don't control us, may be a challenge. Like a radio, we may want to consider what thoughts we we want to hear, listen to, transmit - select, carry our thoughts, intentions, desires on a wavelength of our choosing - whether we want them in the foreground, background, whether we want to fine-tune or turn them off, so we can also create space, quiet time, take pauses, observe and reflect. Others may prefer to view our mind as if a garden - choosing what to grow, pruning, weeding out negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, attitudes, so we can reach for the best feeling thought, choose elevated thoughts (see also Elevated Moods, Elevated Emotions) plant positive seed thoughts - tending to them in order to cultivate our mind, helping us to flourish, take positive action.

Everything has been figured out, except how to live. Jean-Paul Sartre

Questions About Counselling For Positive Thinking We may have some questions about our positive thoughts or negative thoughts, positive attitude and also about being curious and confused, confusion and curiosity, e.g.:

  • Having a negative attitude - what about my negative thoughts?
  • Negative thinking patterns - how can I stop negative thinking?
  • How to stop overthinking? What can I do about my over thinking?
  • What is magical thinking?
  • How can I respond to my internal dialogue?
  • I have a short attention span - what can I do?
  • How can I increase my attention span?
  • How can I change my self-beliefs, give me some positive self talk?
  • How can I change my all or nothing thinking, black and white thinking?
  • How can I be not so over-analytical?
  • Is it OK to change my mind?
  • I am forever changing my mind, is this wise?
  • Being curious - how can I benefit from my curiosity?
  • How to be positive and how to be more positive?
  • How to think positively - what is positive thinking?
  • How to think positive - how can I have positive thoughts, positive attitude?
  • Being positive - how to stay positive?

Counselling London Psychotherapy Central London

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