Let’s talk about sex: Sex in the 20th Century and why Brits won’t talk about it.

Think about the first time you ever had sex. Was it a good experience? Was it an awkward experience? Was it a very ‘brief” experience?

I have heard many stories recently about people’s ‘first’ time whether they are stories about the first time they masturbated, the first time they had an orgasm, the first time they had sex with someone and so on.

So many thoughts were flying around in my mind about sex, orgasms and connecting with people. We are an open generation when it comes to sex, how we label ourselves as well as not being ashamed to what we currently get up to.  People call themselves gender fluid, gay, straight, bi, trans…  Whatever terminology people use to explain how they like sex- it’s been defined and out there. And, that is so good for people. We live in a generation where we don’t have to feel judged for the things we get up to under the sheets.

But with all of this non-judgement why do we find ourselves feeling unsatisfied in our relationships? We are allowed to communicate openly to our partners, but yet we fall short of being satisfied between the sheets. We find it difficult to open up and be vulnerable when we love and make love.

Do our egos get in the way when it comes to sex and relationships? Do our insecurities damper the love connection? What is it about men and women that just don’t connect? Or do we connect… but we put too much pressure on things that we don’t have or things that are not that important. What is it about sex, that when you ‘do it’ with someone it changes everything? Does social media get in the way of communication? Does porn ruin everything for us ‘regular’ girls? Does porn ruin everything for the ‘average’ kind of man? These are just a few of the questions that crossed my mind when reflecting about sex in the 20th Century.

I think having sex with someone breaks down a barrier or wall. You become vulnerable. I mean please… you are having sex with someone and you make ‘that face’ you know… that face that is totally embarrassing! I mean having sex is quite a private, intimate and special thing for many. Not many people talk about sex and the do’s and don’ts.

I could remember the first time I moved to England and brought up the topic sex after having one too many white wines. I could remember my friend turning to me and saying ‘us Brits do not talk about sex, Jessica!’ It just was not the ‘in’ thing to do.

I didn’t understand why everyone thought talking about sex was so embarrassing and a faux pas. I mean I actually was very perplexed about this notion. And, secondly I thought… I am not going to make it in this country especially if people are so uptight and keep their thoughts to themselves. But was it like anything else that caused embarrassment such as uneasy feelings, negative feeling and often the truth that the Brits like to sweep under the rug. After all, that is where that saying ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ comes from.. a post World War II coping mechanism that created a generation of passive aggressive culture that after a few pints start snogging each other excessively.

What is it about certain cultures and sex? Why do they make it so dirty? Why can’t people talk about it? How are we going to make it better if we can’t discuss it? I mean NOT ALL WOMEN ARE THE SAME! Just as NOT ALL MEN ARE THE SAME!  When doing the do!

I have read several articles on ‘how to’s’ and I am thinking to myself… actually.. that’s not true, you need to do it like this. So, there is a lot of information out there on sex and intimacy but everyone is different and there is no secret recipe. This is why talking about sex and communicating is so important.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Do you think people do talk about it sex in England? Are Brits too embarrassed to talk about sex? Would love to hear from you!

 

If you would like to talk about sex, marriage, divorce, orgasms or lack of please get in touch! http://www.brightonwellnesscentre.co.uk
SKYPE: JESSVALENTINE
@getwellbrighton

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Learn mindfulness in 5 easy steps through using your senses: the five senses exercise

This exercise is called “five senses”, and provides guidelines on practising mindfulness quickly in nearly any situation.  All that is needed is to notice something you are experiencing with each of the five senses.

Follow this order to practice the five senses exercise:

  • Notice five things that you can see.

Look around you and bring your attention to five things that you can see. Pick something that you don’t normally notice, like a shadow or a small crack in the concrete.

  • Notice four things that you can feel.

Bring awareness to four things that you are currently feeling, like the texture of your pants, the feeling of the breeze on your skin, or the smooth surface of a table you are resting your hands on.

  • Notice three things you can hear.

Take a moment to listen, and note three things that you hear in the background. This can be the chirp of a bird, the hum of the refrigerator, or the faint sounds of traffic from a nearby road.

  • Notice two things you can smell.

Bring your awareness to smells that you usually filter out, whether they’re pleasant or unpleasant. Perhaps the breeze is carrying a whiff of pine trees if you’re outside, or the smell of a fast food restaurant across the street.

  • Notice one thing you can taste.

Focus on one thing that you can taste right now, in this moment. You can take a sip of a drink, chew a piece of gum, eat something, or just notice the current taste in your mouth or open your mouth to search the air for a taste.

This is a quick and relatively easy exercise to bring you to a mindful state quickly.

 

If you would like to learn more about managing your anxiety get in touch with The Brighton Mental Health and Wellness Centre.

The Importance of Therapy and Support Networks.

When dealing with mental health issues of any kind, it is so important to talk it through with a recognised professional and/or your support network. Talking through difficult and painful emotions (of depression or anxiety for example) with someone you trust is vital for mental wellbeing and balance.

If you are lucky to have a good, stable support network, utilise it. Your friends and/or family are so important in promoting happiness and keeping you well, so long as they are a calming, stable influence on you. Positive support promotes wellness in all of us.

Whether it’s one friend, a family member or an extended support network on or offline, talking to those you love and who care for you is vital. If you need further support there are health charities like the Samaritans who are always on hand to listen on their helpline. Mind charity are also a brilliant support and resource, as are Rethink Mental Illness. All promote a non-stigmatised view of mental illness and a listening ear.

Don’t suffer in silence. Tell someone you trust how bad you are feeling. Share your thoughts with a professional who can help you unpack the difficult emotions you are feeling.

Whether its one-to-one talking therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or psychotherapy, there is something to help you if you are struggling with mental health issues. It doesn’t matter what issue, disorder or behaviour pattern you need help with, there will be a therapy to help you back to wellness!

 

At the Brighton Wellness Centre, we offer a range of therapies including Skype sessions to help those struggling with mental health issues. Please click here for our details or email Jessica Valentine to find out more.

On Self Confidence: Being your true, authentic self.

What is self confidence? Confidence is something that can only be developed over time and often comes about after one has either taken a hard knock or experienced something wonderful, such as a success. Both wonderful and negative experiences can break us apart so that we are left with our true selves. And from finding our true identity, we can then grow and grow in confidence. Often the difficulties in our lives can cause much pain and a lack of self confidence. We cling to the vestiges of our lives, unsure of who we are, where we are going and what will happen to us.

I very much believe in the idea of creating the life you love, the life you want and to be the person you want to be. Often limiting beliefs can hold us back  such as ‘I am not good enough’  , ‘I can’t do this’ , ‘This is going to go wrong’ . These beliefs, if we let them, can take over our entire lives. They can often be formed by traumatic events, other people in our lives or even a negative comment from someone you love or someone you barely know. It is important to unpack and question these limiting beliefs because it is only when we learn and grow and move forward, that we will find self confidence.

I know that for me, self confidence has been a battle. However, I am learning how to develop positive thinking and positive affirmations. Affirmations are statements eg ‘ All is well’ or ‘I can conquer the world’ , which set out our positive intentions to the world. Experts recommend we write and read these affirmations daily so that they become part of our subconscious mind. This is something I am aiming to do.

It is incredibly important to be true to who you are, your real authentic self. It is only by showing up and showing our light to the world, who we are, that everything can flow. We feel better when we create and write from a place of who we really are.  Whatever you love, pursue it. Follow your passions. Whatever that passion is. Don’t be afraid to be the person you are and the person you want to be. Act ‘as if’ and it can happen, but make sure too that you look after yourself.

I recommend the following books that have helped me on my self development journey:

Light is the New Black’- Rebecca Campbell

”You are a Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and live your most authentic life’– Jen Sincero

 ‘The Universe has your back’- Gabrielle Bernstein

These books all talk about shining your light and being the wonderful, bright, creative individual you are.  If you are struggling with a crisis in confidence, it can help sometimes to speak to a therapist or supportive family member, who can guide you on your journey to your true self.

How to overcome negativity and manifest positivity in your life

Brighton Mental Health and Wellness Centre

Growing up in America we were taught by my parents to work hard and to play hard. My sister, brother and myself grew up having that mentality especially. No matter what obstacles or challenges we faced, we overcame them with our heads’ held high. We worked hard in school and through out our lives while exploring careers. We established social circles that began developing in primary school, continued through out secondary school, university and so on. We are a very social family who isn’t afraid to push up our sleeves, put our heads down and get to work.

Now, some psychologists would explain the causes to such dexterity as a) environmental causes b) personality and/or c) upbringing. I would like to say in my instance it was a little bit of all three. My mother worked two jobs to be able to send us to a really good private school…

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Are you looking for a life coach or mentor? Let the Brighton Mental Health and Wellness Centre help.

Have you ever wanted to know what a mentor or life coach is supposed to do? There are many people out there that call themselves life coaches and mentors, but how do you know which one suits you and your personality?  Here at The Brighton Mental Health & Wellness Centre we offer fully trained and qualified therapists who can support you.

I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with a background of career counselling, education and teaching, as well as having over 25 years experience having worked in various locations and professions. By applying my educational background, work experience and practical skills I can help support you, coach you and mentor you by coming up with some basic key points that will ensure you that you’re heading on the right path. Often by talking with someone who isn’t involved emotionally or personally with your career or work related issues eases the pressure and often clients automatically come up with their own solutions which is very empowering.

HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOURSELF WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MENTOR AND LIFE COACH IS?

A mentor has a deep personal interest about you and your long term development and a coach develops specific skills for the task, challenges and performance expectations at work. Mentoring is a power free, two-way mutually beneficial relationship.

Do you feel your life is affected by stress and anxiety, low self esteem and a lack of direction? Do you wish you could move forward and feel positive again? If you feel ready to make some changes in your life and need guidance and support, The Brighton Mental Health & Wellness Centre is here for you.

We provide tailor made coaching and mentoring programmes for both individuals and businesses using Life & Business Coaching techniques, Counselling, and practical support and advice. Our private practice specialises in programmes to help with:

  • stress induced anxiety and depression
  • executive stress
  • career advice
  • lack of confidence
  • low self esteem
  • panic attacks
  • work/life balance issues
  • insomnia
  • relationship problems

But, it doesn’t need to be tailor made if you don’t want it to be. Here at The Brighton Mental Health & Wellness Centre we offer flexibility.

HOW DOES IT WORK? 

Our first session will consist of a 60 minute assessment.  We will initially have a chat and try to uncover what a few of the underlying issues are and what can be done to solve those issues. During that assessment we will also come up with some short term goals and long terms goals that will direct you to a more relaxed, more relieved, more comfortable and happy you.

Please get in contact to book your initial assessment now. Initial assessment fee is £60 and if you book in three sessions/ Premier Package there is a reduced rate.

Contact me now!

 

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Do I have an unhealthy relationship with my child: Unhealthy attachments and how anxiety and worry won’t help you

If you are someone who is prone to worrying and anxiety then you will understand how stressful it can be when you have children. Do I worry about my children? Sometimes. Do I have anxiety when it comes to my children? Sometimes. But when does it become unhealthy? When does having worry and anxiety mess with the healthy boundaries of you and your child?

Having anxiety is normal. You see, there is good anxiety and then there is bad anxiety. The good anxiety is- how I like to explain it- as a survival skill. If you are a sensitive person and in touch with yourself and other people you will get what I am saying. We as human beings are animals. However, we don’t have the specific form of instinct. We have what is called intuition. And, part of this ‘intuition’ that we as human beings have there lays anxiety. Anxiety can help us stay out of a situation or warn us if there is trouble. Anxiety is part of our make up; everyone has it! However, like anything else there is a spectrum of disorders and a spectrum of personalities that we all endure.

What does anxiety feel like? 

It’s that funny feeling of butterflies in our stomach. It’s that uneasy feeling that something isn’t right. That is how you would describe the good anxiety.

Sometimes when I work with children, I ask them to put a colour on the anxiety that they are feeling. “Where do you feel this funny feeling? What colour is it?” I would ask. This can help children understand what they are actually feeling. And, sometimes…the colour surprises me! I can always relate a colour to a safe feeling or safe object which relieves many children and parents as well.

What is bad anxiety? And, why do I feel bad anxiety?  

The bad anxiety that leads to catastrophic thinking (catastrophising) and unhealthy attachments with our children and our partners, well that is something entirely different. Bad anxiety is an anxiety that gets our knickers in a twist. Bad anxiety stresses us out, makes us shout, increases worry, causes unhealthy attachments with our children and partners, can make us depressed, in some cases make us use drugs and alcohol, can take away concentration in school work and office work and much more.

Bad anxiety or unwanted anxiety (we don’t usually us the word good and bad in a counselling session- it’s usually unhealthy and healthy or desired and undesired behaviour- I am just trying to make a point)- can leave us feeling pretty crappy sometimes. It can leave us feeling isolated and alone. It can also keep you stuck in the house if the anxiety is too overwhelming.

How does anxiety effect unhealthy attachments? 

For those that have anxiety and over-worry it can be quite stressful for the child. Having a parent that over-worries can make the child over think and over-worry, thus not being a risk taker. The child might always question him or herself in everything that they do. They also may manipulate the parent and ‘need’ the parent psychologically when it may not be an age appropriate benchmark. These can then effect future relationships with other people as the child grows and gets older.

You see, attachment starts at the age of 0-2. These years are the most important when it comes to attachment, healthy boundaries and relationships. It’s all connected and quite complex. Loads of psychologists have written and studies about attachment.

The more anxious a parent it the greater risk of having an unhealthy attachment. Do you want to learn more about this fascinating concept? Check out Bowlby’s Attachment Theory!

If you or anyone suffers from anxiety and over-worry and it is effecting your child- The Brighton Wellness Centre in Hove, East Sussex can help. 

This week’s book pick! How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.

Manifesting Love: How to use the law of attraction to get what you want

Have you ever wondered why you always attract the wrong person or people? Have you ever wanted to build a tribe that is kind, loving and like-minded? Well, it’s really quite simple. It starts out using the law of attraction. Manifesting Love is a book about- yes; exactly what it means…manifesting love in your life in a romantic sense. Yes, it does sound gimicky. But, using the law of attraction can and does work. It’s all about trusting the Universe and what it can provide for you.

How can I attract the ‘right’ kind of person? 

It is so easy to say to ourselves- I don’t want this kind of man or I don’t want this kind of woman. I don’t like this in a person and I don’t like this as well.

But, yet we still attract these sort of people in our lives.

Some of you may have read the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. What I am going to say is quite similar.

I have had many clients who come in and talk to me about co-dependency and unhealthy relationships. And, I have said similar stuff to them about how to project what they are actually looking for.  You can actually use this technique for many things in life.

  1. Write down everything that you want out of a person or relationship.  You can use a vision board, a list, a notebook or whatever you need visually.
  2. Project or manifest positive qualities, things that you need in your life and things that you want in your life.
  3. Next, focus on those positive qualities. Focus on what you WANT, not what you don’t want.

Using this among other techniques your life will gradually develop into the loving relationship or loving relationships that you are looking for. By using the law of attraction to manifest love, you will ensure that you will no longer have those unwanted, unhealthy relationships that you are tired and sick of.

Relationships will be easier. Relationships won’t be as difficult. Your relationships will be healthy. You not only can manifest love, but also manifest other things that you want or need in your life.

Would you like to learn more about manifesting love or a better career in your life? Then please get in touch with me. I work with people, both men and women on how they can manifest better relationships, a more relaxed work place and a more balanced life. It may take a few sessions to get you on track, but once you do- there is no turning back!

If you are a woman and want to join our Empowering Women’s Network than please click here.  Our Facebook Group is a place where women can big each other up, give advice to others as well as my advice & worksheets/homework once a week.  It’s fun! Come check it out! It’s a place where we as women support each other! There is no jealousy, pettiness or trash talking here- only encouragement, growth and development. 🙂 

How to overcome negativity and manifest positivity in your life

Growing up in America we were taught by my parents to work hard and to play hard. My sister, brother and myself grew up having that mentality especially. No matter what obstacles or challenges we faced, we overcame them with our heads’ held high. We worked hard in school and through out our lives while exploring careers. We established social circles that began developing in primary school, continued through out secondary school, university and so on. We are a very social family who isn’t afraid to push up our sleeves, put our heads down and get to work.

Now, some psychologists would explain the causes to such dexterity as a) environmental causes b) personality and/or c) upbringing. I would like to say in my instance it was a little bit of all three. My mother worked two jobs to be able to send us to a really good private school where I met mates that I am still friends with today. Even though I found understanding my emotions difficult while I was growing up and felt isolated from who I was as a person unable to be my authentic self, my personality was strong and stubborn.  My mother once said to me that I had a solid, strong backbone. I remember that compliment bringing tears to my eyes.

Being surrounded by like-minded people, being taught a strong work ethic and having the specific DNA or innate personality has made me who I am today. I am someone who has (no matter what) always been positive and react gracefully when difficulty arises. Now, I am not saying I am perfect. I am only human. I have my ups and my downs as well. However, my innate personality has always been one that of a positive person.

That is why I am going to share with you ways that I have over come challenges and negative thinking and turned them into positive thoughts. I am going to teach you how to overcome negative thoughts and manifest them into positive thoughts in your life.

  • Do you find yourself carrying a dark cloud over your head?
  • Do you get angry and frustrated easily?
  • Do you always look at the glass half empty?

I am going to give you 5 tips on how to flip that thinking and manifest positive thoughts in your head. Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and easy worksheets you can change your negative thinking and manifest positive thoughts that will not only change your life, but increase happiness which will bring much more pleasure to your life.

I will give you one tip right now. 

If you find yourself thinking a negative thought take that thought and finish it with a positive statement.  I will give you an example.

  • I can’t speak in front of my colleagues because I might make a mistake when giving my presentation.

You change it like this…

  • I can’t speak in front of my colleagues because I might make a mistake when giving my presentation. However, if I do make a mistake I will correct myself.

or

  • I can’t speak in front of my colleagues because I might make a mistake when giving my presentation. However, if I do make a mistake I will correct myself and jokingly say that I am nervous when I give presentations.

After all, everyone is nervous when having to stand up in front of people talking.

By taking a negative thought and changing it into a positive one can enable you to manifest more positive thoughts giving you one personal solution so that you can live better.

Follow The Brighton Wellness Centre on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more about how you can overcome negativity and manifest positivity in your life.

Sign up to Empowering Women’s Network to learn more or get in touch with The Brighton Wellness Centre.

It’s never too late to turn your life around!

www.brightonwellnesscentre.co.uk

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