Clearing Out the Clutter in your Life: Be the Change you Want to be.

Making changes is not easy.  It’s not easy to stop habits such as eating or drinking too much, smoking or doing anything in utter excess.  But, how can we stop the ups and downs of the addiction see-saw?

When I was younger and at university, our professors taught us that the only way to kick a bad habit was to quit it ‘cold turkey.’  This method works, but you need to have willpower and discipline.  I have this…if I set my mind to do something- I will do it! (That’s self-affirmation by the way!) You need to be willing to work through the fear and like Nike’s slogan boasts – just do it!

helpmechangemylifeHowever, I am sitting here drinking my second cup of coffee wondering if I poured myself a third cup would I be classified in the DSM-V as having ‘three out of five symptoms’ of having a coffee addiction.  I think that sometimes quitting cold turkey isn’t always easy as it sounds.

If cutting an excessive habit ‘cold turkey’ were easy, everyone would do it.  And, if obtaining balance of eating and drinking were easy there would be no diets, no Facebook quotes on how to obtain a balanced diet, and I wouldn’t be sitting here reflecting on how to obtain balance in the crazy world of eating, drinking and partying.

But how do we obtain balance in our life?  How do we kick the bad habits, move forward, and become healthier, stronger, and happier?

Start by de-cluttering your life. De-clutter your mind, your room, your house, your friends, and/or whatever it is you think you need to de-clutter in order to take the next step of moving forward with your life.

You’ve read about toxic people – get rid of them.  You are a hoarder and you have too much dusty ornaments- clear it out – take that bric-a-brac to your local charity.  Just do it! You want to quit smoking – clear out everything in the house that reminds you of smoking.  You think you drink too much – don’t have booze in the house.  Crisps are your Achilles tendon – don’t buy them.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7975tw0EJA]

You will be amazed at how de-cluttering will help you make those life changes you want to make.

If these tasks seem too simple, then you need to take it to the next level…finding out what makes you have these addictions.  Are you filling a void in your life?  Are you depressed?  Are you lonely?  Did you have a difficult childhood?  Do you suffer from anxiety?  Are you stuck in the cycle of addiction?  Do you have a rubber arm (my friends say this about me)? Whatever your ‘baggage’ is, there is a solution.  Every cycle can be broken.  It is up to you to start the process.

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! www.brightonwellnesscentre.co.uk
SKYPE: JESSVALENTINE
@getwellbrighton

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.