Frustration and anger

Anger – what the hell is it all about?

Frustration and angerI was chatting with Curly headed boy the other day, as he’d been giving us some serious attitude for a few weeks.  He was clearly angry with me, but I couldn’t work out what on earth was the matter.

So I picked one of those evenings – you know the ones when they want to chat lots, and talked him through anger and explained what it is.

The problem with anger, is that most often it comes from us not actually knowing how we are feeling and what has triggered us.  So it often doesn’t achieve what we really need.  By understanding it a bit more, we can make sure that things change.

I thought, maybe the gorgeous Danny Smith would like to chat about it over on Radio Verulam – if you would like to hear us chat about it, then you can listen again for 1 week here (I’m at 5.30-6).

 

So why do we get angry? …

1) Righteous Anger

This is the good anger.  The one you don’t want to suppress.  The one that will protect you and make you stand up for yourself.

This is all about when you know something isn’t right, it’s not fair, or is unjust.

It’s not always the right answer to compromise and keep the peace.  Especially when we are people pleasers!

It’s also a protective anger – this is the one you would see in me if my ‘mother lion’ got triggered.  It’s the the full on, controlled, ‘don’t mess with me’ anger.

 

2) Anger with someone else

Ironically we can often be angry with someone else, but get triggered by someone who isn’t actually anything to do with it.  They do something minor and then get it in the neck because we are so angry with the other person.

Sadly the person that we are angry with are often less intimidating and easier to take our anger out on as well, so we find someone who is less threatening that the real person we are angry with.

This is one of the reasons why it is so important to know why we are angry, because it’s not fair to be angry with the kids just because our boss is causing us trouble.  Or even worse in the case of a divorce, it’s not right to be angry with the kids when it’s got nasty between the parents.

 

3) Overwhelmed anger

This is when there is something else that has stressed you so much, that suddenly you flip at the slightest thing.  Stuff that would normally not bother you, that you can deal with, suddenly is too much.  It’s often nothing to do with the person who we are actually with.

This is something us Mum’s are terribly prone to doing – we get tired, overwhelmed and stressed, and then at the end of a long day find ourselves shouting at the kids and threatening them with something really over the top.

Kids are good at this too – if mine get angry, I will first check to see if they are hungry, thirsty, tired or need fresh air.  Then I look to see if they are over stressed for some reason.  The thing is that they are kids – I can’t expect them to manage their emotions, so if they are in one of these states I am much more cautious with my punishments.

Did you know that teenagers literally have all the wires (technical term!) not work in their heads properly?  They can’t recognise expressions as well as a toddler.  Hence they jump to conclusions and get grumpy at the simplest of things.  I used to find Reiki really helps them – it’s amazing how they can express themselves afterwards.  Anything where they get some relaxing downtime will help them come back to themselves.  (Plus food, drink, sunshine and sleep of course!).

The ideal here is to put our hands up and say ‘sorry’ – after all we all make mistakes and everyone gets tired and grumpy.

 

4) Not saying what we think anger

How often have you been angry with someone because they’ve done or not done something?  But did you tell them?  Or did you let it boil inside?

This encourages us to think that other people are to blame for how we are feeling.  But the question is are they?  Or is it purely our inability to deal with them?  I’m not talking about serious and obviously wrong behaviour that would trigger No1 – I’m talking about us all seeing the world slightly differently.

 

The key to this is to say something in a gentle and factual way (check out my post on teaching people how to treat you) BEFORE it becomes a problem.

This is often really difficult, because we ignore the first signs of small irritation or discomfort, and only take notice when it’s bigger.  So if you’ve waited too long, try to step aside, write down the facts and then have a chat with the person on neutral ground.

 

5) Pretending we aren’t angry

This is technically ‘not angry’, but we are angry, we just pretend we aren’t.

This is when people do those passive aggressive posts on Facebook.  Or make sarcastic digs that are meant to be ‘funny’.

It can also make us into bully’s (check out my posts on bullying – I just got picked as one of the top websites worldwide by an Anti Bullying website).

 

6) Serious anger issues

Then there are times when it’s not that simple, when the anger is too frequent and starts to control us.  When it means that we are aggressive, scary, violent, and it starts to affect our relationships.

If you have this sort of anger, then first check with your Doctor, as you might have a physical problem, that is causing it.  If it’s not physical then they should be able to get you help from someone specialised in anger issues.

It can even have physical effects:

  • Nausea
  • Increased thirst
  • Changes in thought patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Fever
  • Addiction

Depression or Post Traumatic Stress disorder can make us angry instead of seeming down (check out my top books for depression).

 

No emotion is ‘bad’.  The question is ‘Do you let it rule you, or do you use it where it will help you?

 

Stress

Where to go for help with stress: A summary of different therapies

Stress
Stress

So, you are stressed, unhappy, discontented, dis-satisfied, miserable, unhappy, overwhelmed, down, depressed; and it’s been a while.

Your body is now rebelling and you are getting problems with your sleep, stomach, memory, exhaustion and aches and pains.

You’ve read all my stuff about what stress is with some hints and tips on what to do.

You’ve checked out my favourite books for when you feel overwhelmed or depressed, including mine.

But you need some outside help from a professional, so where to go?

I’m going to give a brief introduction to some of the therapies that might help.  They are all my views, based upon my experiences, so some people may disagree!  However, the idea is to have a look and see which ones jump out to you as suiting you.

 

Counselling

Who are you ?
Who are you ?

Available free from NHS if you can wait, or private.

Tends to be pretty cheap e.g. £40 per session.

Face to face.

But takes a long time.

Basically the idea is that you talk about stuff, so that you can dig down to find out ‘why’ you feel the way that you do.  It is really useful if you aren’t sure why, and for some people just understanding can shift the problem.

The downside is that for others, they just get stuck deeper in the story of their lives and become more of a victim.

 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Available free from the NHS if you can wait, or private.

Tends to be pretty cheap e.g. £40 per session.

Face to face or over the phone/skype.

I love CBT, it’s what got me interested in personal development in the first place over 20yrs ago.  It helps you to tackle the thoughts that are running around in your head and look at life a different way.  The idea is that by behaving differently we will get a different outcome from situations.

I think it is quicker, but maybe less deep and therefore if you don’t understand much about your thought processes/past it will be difficult to use it to get over bigger problems.  Plus, behaving differently doesn’t always make people react differently.

 

Coaching

Tends to be private and ranges from cheap to very expensive.

Face to face or over the phone/skype.

A coach is more focussed on the present and giving you goals that you can aim for and less about trauma’s from your past.

Be careful and thoroughly check their training and experience, as currently there aren’t any laws about who can and can’t call themselves a coach.

Some people use NLP (neurolinguistic programming) in the coaching, to help you.  Simply put they look at how your language affects your mind and therefore your behaviour.  I personally find it a little too orientated towards the mind.  I prefer a more intuitive approach with a more feeling/heart centered objective.  It can feel very manipulative, but it is’t without merit.

 

Hypnotherapy

Normally private.  Starting to get more expensive probably £60 or more.

But quicker.

You MUST get a well trained, well experienced hypnotherapist.  But if you get one, this can be a quick method of going into the past and working out what is causing your pain and then dealing with it.  Make sure that if they ‘remove’ a negative habit that they replace it with a positive alternative.

 

tapping points
Picture from Nick Ortner

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

Private.  But can be cheap and you can learn it yourself.  Probably £60.

I suspect the usefulness of it depends on the experience and intuition of the practitioner and how comfortable you feel with them.

EFT has been around for a while, but I didn’t become interested until recently.  I think that it has settled down now and is a very well established option.  The idea is that by discussing our problems whilst tapping on certain meridian points (energy points in the body), it reduces how upset we are about it, then we will be able to see things differently and find a new way of seeing our life or tackling the problem.  It can be very light e.g. just looking at a headache, or go deeper into why.

The great thing is that you can learn it yourself and therefore also use it at home for smaller issues.  I really recommend Nick Ortner’s book ‘The Tapping Solution’.

 

Kinesiology Based Therapies

Private.  Much more expensive.  But much quicker.

I learned a form of kinesiology 10yrs ago (Resonance Repatterning) which is very quick at dealing with people’s problems (I used to specialise in serious mental health issues).  The body has a muscular on/off reaction which you can use to check what beliefs and problems you have.  It’s great because it bi-passes your opinions and the potential biases of the practitioner, to make sure that you actually get to the ‘real’ truth really quickly.  Then a healing technique will be used to ‘shift’ the problem and replace it with a more positive option.

There are several different options, some more structured than others.  It can be a bit wacky, but very effective.

Nutritionist/Naturopath

Supplements
Supplements

Normally private (dieticians might be free).  Mid-priced around £60

It’s amazing what physical problems and some emotional ones can be resolved with the help of a nutritionist (better than a dietician in my opinion) or naturopath.  The naturopath training is longer and more rigorous, but they are also more likely to suggest bigger changes to your patterns and they can suggestion supplements and herbs to help you out as well.

Never under estimate the power of a simple supplement, mineral, vitamin or herb.  In fact if you start to take a few, I would recommend checking in with a professional to make sure that the combination you are taking is OK.

 

 

Herbalist/Homeopath

Private.  Often after a long initial session, they can help you quickly and you only pay a small amount.

I’m a big fan of homeopathy, but it hasn’t worked well for me so far.  You get a little sugar pill that is meant to redress the balance in the body and can help with emotional, mental or physical problems.

Herbalism has helped me a lot and is of course where modern medicine started.

 

Reiki

Reiki
Reiki

Private.  But normally cheap and you can learn it yourself.  Probably £60.

Reiki is a lovely form of hands on healing where the practitioner gently touches or hovers their hands just above the body.  It can help physical, mental and emotional problems.  I became a ‘Reiki Master’ 13 yrs ago – it’s not that clever actually, it basically means ‘teacher’.  I LOVE Reiki for it’s simplicity.  But be warned, some of the people who do Reiki are mad as a box of frogs (in the nicest way!) and although it has improved, there is no standard teaching, so some people mix in other alternative therapies e.g. crystal healing and all sorts.

Please don’t jump to learn it straight away – take some time out for yourself first.  If you do learn it, remember to focus on just yourself and your family first.  Don’t run off to heal the world!

There are also other forms of healing.  Some people are just ‘natural’ healers, i.e. they are born with or got the ability to give healing to people.  Others are ‘spiritual healers’, which means that they believe they get help from other spiritual beings.

 

Physical therapies

Private.  Can be cheap if you find someone local, but expensive in salons.

E.g. Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu Massage, Bowen Technique, Chiropractor, Osteopath

You could easily get a lovely therapist to give you a massage or reflexology session, talk through your worries and get a lovely relaxing treatment at the same time.  This is a very viable alternative and helps support the body while you are stressed.

 

More

Demartini Method – this was the final therapy that I learned (I’m a senior certified facilitator).  It tends to be more expensive, but very transformative and is based upon the healing power of gratitude.

Meta Medicine – a great method for discovering hidden reasons or potential events that had a hand to play in physical illnesses.

The Work of Byron Katie – A very simple method with just 4 questions, that you can also read about and use in your own life.  I find that one of the questions reduces about 80% of my stress levels.

 

Overall

My advice is that we ALL need OUTSIDE help from time to time and sometimes our friends and family are not the right people to help us.

However, it would be unwise to ALWAYS rely on outside help as that doesn’t help to improve our self-esteem and sense of independence and self-sufficiency.

When picking someone to work with, they need to be strong enough to challenge you a little, otherwise you won’t be able to break out of your patterns.  However, you need to have a good rapport with them and feel very safe and certain of them – that is probably the most important thing.

You are also looking for someone you appears to be pretty sorted, or at least more sorted than you are in the particular area of life that you are struggling with.  It’s fine if they have experienced the problem, it’s just that you want them to be past it!

Another ‘rule’ is not to ‘overwork’ yourself.  So don’t have a massage in the same week as a therapy session etc.  Always leave time for you to adjust after a session.

I hope that this gives you an nice easy introduction to some of the options, therapies and alternative treatments that are available.  You are very welcome to tweet/facebook me for more information or if you hear of a therapy I haven’t mentioned.

Have you used any of these?

Did you find them useful?

 

Back Pain

A Hidden Pain and Silent Fog: Fibromyalgia

Dangers of positive thinking
Good news, Bad news

 

I have some news.

It has good bits and not so good bits, but that’s life heh!

It explains why I’ve been a little quiet (but you may not have noticed).

It explains why I’ve been a bit flakey and unreliable (I hope you haven’t noticed).

It’s also about the next 6 months

 

 

 

 

What’s been going on?

I’ve been struggling with ‘back pain’ since January, which just seemed to get worse and worse.  I’ve tried a very experienced Osteopath and her Physiotherapist, then an Acupuncturist.

I also started looking at potential emotional stressors, as my opinion is that there is always an emotional/mental aspect to an illness, as well as a nutritional/environmental/genetic/physical reason (I’m going to someone who does a form of behavioural kinesiology that I used to be a practitioner of).

Back Pain
Photo from NHS website

But it got worse and worse, and then I realised that I had gone from just a general tired lethargy to being properly depressed, isolated, feeling hopeless and miserable, as the pain was excruciating.

So I went to the doctor.  It took me a while because of the receptionists and ridiculous booking policy.  But I got some anti-inflammatories, that helped to turn the pain levels down.

I was so frustrated with myself.  13 years ago when I had a lovely little Reiki practice, I used to be able to turn a bad back (one that needed surgery) around in under 3 months.  I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t fix myself.  Of course this didn’t help!

I was also beginning to worry that I didn’t have a bad back, because my Dad died after 6 months of a bad back from cancer.

Then I decided to try a Pilates studio who did a mixture of Pilates and Osteopathy called Osteolates, which at last seemed to make a dent in the pain.  After I had to go back to the doctor for more pills, the Pilates guy had a talk with me and told me to go back and get more help.

The doctor listened and then said ‘have you heard of Fibromyalgia?’.

And so it is a few weeks later after some tests that I now understand, not just why my back hurts, but also why my tummy has been worse and I needed the probiotics and why I’ve gone from being quite organised, to being so flakey that I can look at my diary and STILL double book something.

 

What’s Fibromalgia?

Fibro fog
Picture from Craig Martin Illustrations

It’s the nerves basically being over sensitive and feeling more pain.  They aren’t sure what causes it.

For me it is pains down both arms, hips, legs, across my shoulders, right hand side of my back, left hand side of my neck, sometimes head, right hand side of my jaw, and a feeling of something trapped behind my left hand shoulder.

It’s really bad in the morning, and I HAVE to have a warm shower to get moving.  It will ease off by mid-afternoon, but is awful in bed at night, so has disturbed my already disturbed sleep.

Others have it a loss less, and it’s more of a tingling or lack of sensation in hands and feet, which is scarily reminiscent of MS.

Some have it a lot more and can hardly work or move with it; I’m very lucky this is not me and I’m focussed on improving my symptoms, so that I don’t end up debilitated by it.  (It’s not however a degenerative or terminal illness luckily).

I also have had a return of my old IBS symptoms and worse sleep (they don’t know if sleep is the cause or bad sleep happens because of Fibromalgia).

Worst of all is the fibre-fog which had me forgetting 2 appointments with a health visitor, and Curly Headed Boy one day telling me off for being so disorganised.

At first I was a bit shell shocked as it seems a much more complicated thing to tackle than just a bad back.  I’m also not very keen on ‘labels’.  But now I’m getting my head around it, I think that Im much better off knowing, as I can now make some changes.  I’m really lucky my doctor was aware of it and open to it, because many aren’t.

 

So my plan?

Time to stop for a whileI’m backing off work big time for the next 6 months:

  • Paid blog posts are too much effort if you do them properly, they also add to the list of ‘To dos’.
  • I’m still on facebook and twitter; but I’ll be around a lot less
  • I have an existing client who I will continue to support as she doesn’t need weekly help, but I wont take any more on.
  • I won’t be publishing the second edition of my book or the paperback.
  • I won’t be finishing my new book ‘Lose Weight the healthy way without diets or bootcamps‘.
  • This also takes the pressure off finding a nursery for Little Dimples (which has been disastrous).

I’m going to play more with the kids and have tea with mates more.

I’ll keep blogging once or twice a week because I love it and doing my monthly Lifestyle feature for Radio Verulam.

The doctor has just started me on some pills to give me better sleep and help with the pain.  They are actually a mild-antidepressant when taken in bigger quantities, so I don’t think I want to stay on for too long.  But a break and a chance for my body to recover seems like a good idea.  Apparently it also confirms the diagnosis, if they work (which after one night I’m pretty sure they do).

The dentist has referred me to the hospital to see if they can help me with the jaw pain.  Apparently my teeth are wonderful, which must be down to the little water-spray gadget I got from Britmums live, as I’ve always been rubbish at flossing!

I’ve improved enough to start going to the Pilates classes at the studio (rather than 1to1’s), so I’ll stick with that to keep my spine moving and get my core stronger.  Non-pounding exercise is meant to help a lot, so I need to gradually add 3 more things per week.

I’m going to start ‘meditating‘ once a week, which is meant to be great for stress (which escalates the pain dramatically); but I’ve found a fun way, which I’ll tell you all about (it’s slightly wacky!).

I’m going to meet with a few other people who also have it to swap stories and ideas on how to tackle it.

I might look at hypnotherapy to improve my sleep as I had it once at 26 and it lasted brilliantly for 10yrs.  I know loads about sleep improvement, because I’ve had so little for so long, but it would be easier to just sleep!  We’ve also moved the beds around in the house and bought me a new bed to make it easier.

The doctor is going to put me down for some CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) which is meant to help loads with dealing with the pain.

I have a huge belief in the power of nutrition, so at some point I’m going to have to face a big change in the way I eat; probably once some of the other bits and pieces are in place.  I have been a big fan of the Food hospital on channel 4 and they definitely had both eating plans for improving neurological issues and also inflammation (which are the main symptoms).

I’ll keep up with the kinesiology to dig up any emotional/mental aspects, which I suspect are from a long time ago.

 

Sooooo …

I’m sorry if I’ve not always been very ‘present’ recently; it’s been because of the pain that I got bored of mentioning and the fog that has clouded me from the world.

If you need me I’m always here at the end of my blog/facebook/twitter and I love to help, so it will ‘help me to help you’ (hows about coming over for a cuppa instead?).  So never feel bad about asking.  However, I’m not going to look for people to help.

If I don’t get involved with your event, charity, project or other thingy, it’s not because I don’t love you, it’s just that I’m taking some time out for me.

I was a bit embarrassed that I’ve gotten myself into such a state, but it’s daft to worry about that right?  At least some of you Mums out there will see what can happen when you keep trying to juggle all the balls, just because you’ve been able to in the past.

Luckily I never pretended I was perfect, and hopefully my blog posts about my improvement (the power of positive thinking and all that), will help other people.

If you know anyone with one of ‘those’ illnesses which are difficult to diagnose like Fibromalgia,  M.E. or CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), then you might want to point them in this direction for a while.  I’d also love to hear of any blogs that you know.

Hopefully at the end of all this I’ll be a lot stronger and ready to take over the world with my books again!

 

Update: I’ve set up a page to record all the useful information and people that I find in my fibromyalgia journey.  I’d love to hear more from fellow sufferers either here or on that page.

 

 

 

Radio show about stress

Are you a stress junkie or got your stress habit under control?

Radio show about stressSo last months LifeStyle feature with Radio Verulam and the lovely Dapper Danny Smith on his Drive Time show was all about stress.

Sorry for the delay in posting it, my life has been a bit stressful!!

The big question is, when should you do something about being stressed and when is it just normal every day stress that goes away?

Hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

(You can either read it, or listen to the audio at the bottom if you prefer to listen to my dulcet tones!).

 

What is Stress

Life is always going to have it’s ups and downs, and we’ll be disappointed if we think that it’s possible to remove stress or difficulties from our lives.

But what we talked about on the show was the fact that some stress can be healthy and in a weird way enjoyable, whereas long term stress can start to have a detrimental affect on us.

So how can we tell?

It’s when it gets out of hand, and you are either constantly in fight/flight with constant adrenalin or totally shut down.  

It’s an inbetween place between a difficult day and more complex problems of mental/physical health.  So from that perspective it’s a good place; because it’s like a warning sign and opportunity to put things right in your life.

I was a massive stress junkie when I worked 13hrs a day, 6 days a week in IT and could easily smoke, drink coffee, nibble my nails, eat chocolate all at the same time; which is why they sent me on a pile of personal development courses and I ended up with my fascination for it.  People think I’m pretty calm nowadays, but I do get stressed, maybe I just know more about dealing with it, or getting rid of it, that’s all (or I’m a good faker!).

So what causes stress?

Finances: at the moment is obvious!  Being out of control, sticking your head in the sand and feeling powerless with long term financial problems which will take time to resolve is very difficult.  Check out my posts about saving/managing your money, especially the last two I did for Radio Verulam on budgeting.

Physical pain or problems: This I’ve had lots of experience with for the last 6 months or so and started to understand how very stressful it can be.  Especially constant pain for older people or some physical challenge that is stopping you from doing things.  Check out my posts on Fibromyalgia for more info.  Update: Your body can also come under stress due to allergies, intolerances, over exercise i.e. anything that put’s pressure on it and makes it feel concern for it’s safety or that it is under attack.

Work: some people love the stress of work; I love the excitement or nerves of being on radio and used to find it really helpful when I was a trainer in IT.  However, you can end up overworking, or underworking or doing a job you don’t enjoy which can be constantly stressful.  It does depend on the person though; if I’m bored I’m very stressed, whereas other people would love a job that was less challenging.

People: People get everywhere don’t they and they don’t half cause a lot of trouble!  Friends, workmates, partners and kids are all potential creators of stress.  Holding onto things that have caused you pain/trauma, that will sit in your body and eat at you.  Remember, it’s worth letting go because it’s not about them, it’s about the price you pay for still being hurt or upset about something.  Doing what other people think you ‘should’ do, can make you very stressed.

The good news is that we can’t always change the world around us, but we can change how we see it; so we don’t have to stay stressed.

 

How you know whether you are stressed?

Exhausted Mums

People often ignore stress, and that can be wise if short term; I’m not recommending that you become worried about stress as it can be really healthy.  After all it’s the stress that raises our adrenalin levels that got us running away from those dinosaurs all those years ago, and now keeps me on the ball when I’m doing something scary like a radio show!

But one sign that it needs looking at is when it is long term with no let up (i.e. more than a few weeks or months).

There will be also be an obvious hint because your family/friends/body will tell you.  They’ll either be getting grumpy with you or if you’re lucky they’ll sit you down with a cuppa/glass of wine and ‘give you a good talking to’.  Your Body will either keep getting sick or ill or give you stomach cramps.  It will keep giving you warnings and when you don’t listen it keeps upping the ante so that you listen to it.  (It’s trying to be helpful, even if we don’t see it that way when we have a headache!).

As the stress kicks in we become more worried, have memory problems, become indecisive, our thoughts start to control us, we have less rest, our brain going constantly, we get moody, isolated and start to feel helpless.

So don’t ignore stress as ‘just one of those things’.  

It’s not ‘one of those things’.  

It’s a sign that a change of some sort is needed, or at least a plan for a change.

Look after yourself when you are stressed, and don’t let it turn into a full blown illness or depression.  I’m a good example of ‘cobblers shoes’; I’ve been pushing myself just a little too far, for just a little too long, because I’ve always been able to cope.  But I didn’t make the time to go to Pilates or rest and my body is well and truly telling me off about it.

When we don’t reduce the stress it becomes a cycle where we eat worse, drink more alcohol/caffiene, eat more chocolate, go to bed later, and then pull away from friends who would be able to help us and become isolated.  So we get more stressed!

 

What to do about it?

Body:

This is the great place to start because if your body is happy, your emotions will be steadier and you’ll have more energy.  From there you will be able to tackle your problems more easily.

Exercise 3 times per week even just for a brisk walk, get some fresh air, get a little out of breath even if it’s just 15 mins per day.  This isn’t about becoming a Triathlete, this is about having some fun and rejuvenation.

Eating healthily (there’s loads of information on my blog about healthy eating, even if you are a rubbish cook like me!) has an AMAZING affect on us; never underestimate the power of nutrition to make a change in our lives.

Supplements are a great way to support your body; probiotics for your digestion, Omega oils for concentration,  Vitamin D if you miss the sunshine.

Drink water, have a habit like drinking a glass whenever you brush your teeth or come back in the house. Remember your body is like a car which won’t work without oil; we don’t work without water.

Sleep; start following a regular repeatable sleep pattern and stick to it!

 

Head:

Is it possible to have romance and kids?Now it’s time to calm those brains down.  (We’ll come back to ways of letting go of your problems, pains and hurts another time when we have more time).

Each night Count 3 blessings a night; it’s a great way to go to sleep and I promise you that you will have 3, even if it’s just a good cup of coffee or a sunny day.

Go on a complaining diet and stop talking about the stuff you don’t want or like in your life.  Seriously, no talking about the horrid stuff, no thinking about it, you are totally banned unless you are sitting down with someone to make a plan to change it.

Write down your problem; either just once to find a solution to your issue or every morning as recommended by Julia Cameron in her book ‘The Artists Way’.

Check out my favourite books that can help when you are overwhelmed or depressed.

 

Fancy Listening to me say all this with the added bonus of Danny?  Check out the audio here:

 

There are so many more things that you can do to reduce the stress, that we are going to have to come back to this subject at some point in time!  But I hope that this gives you a good starting point.

If you’re a Mum (or Dad) then you might like to check out my Kindle book (you don’t need a kindle to read it) for just 99p as well.

In the meantime remember that ‘this too shall pass’.

 

 

Great books for mums

Books That Can Help When You Feel Overwhelmed Or Are Depressed

Great books for mums dealing with depressionCan a book help you if you are stressed or overwhelmed or depressed?

Yes, it totally can.  BUT it’s always sensible to mix being self-reliant with a bit of involvement from other people; so reading a great book doesn’t mean that sometimes we might need someone else’s help as well; wether that’s a chat with a mate, or a session with a professional.

There are some amazing books out there based on both solid theory and practical testing, which really work when dealing with emotional or mental health.

There are also some shockingly awful ones, that might sound impressive, but should be avoided with a barge pole.

 

What to avoid

Anything that mentions the word ‘Happy‘ – it’s not possible to be happy all the time, you will drive yourself crazy.

Anything that mentions becoming more ‘Positive‘ – although balancing ‘negative’ thinking with some ‘positive’ is wise, you can’t be positive all the time

Anyone offering world peace – yep, that’s not going to happen either.  Philosophically speaking, true spirituality/religion will match science; and we will always have a duality in this world of ours.

Anyone mentioning the ‘Law of Attraction‘ – at least 90% of these people don’t understand the full law and think that by focussing on what you want you will only attract those positive things into your life.

Anyone suggesting they can quickly or completely fix you and that you’ll never have to do anything about it again – yep, that’s just not the way the world works; they are probably actually very well meaning, but naive.

Books that really helped me

I have a HUGE bookshelf full of books on health, personal development, therapy and spirituality even after several massive culls.  However, a small number of books have been crucial to my life.  I’m listing them in order of reading, rather than priority:

Dr Phil Mcgraw

Life Strategies – He might not suit everyone, but this short, pragmatic, straight talking book was a real help to me a long time ago and I think his ‘rules’ help us ‘romantics’ to get a firmer grip on reality and how life actually is.

Byron Katie

‘Loving What Is’ – Byron created a method called ‘The Work’ which is 4 simple questions and brilliant at dealing with some of the stresses about how people behave in our lives.  I find it particularly useful from a Mum’s perspective and having only read the book (I haven’t had sessions from practitioners of ‘The work’) I can apply what she calls the ‘turn around’ to probably 80% of irritations.

Dr John F Demartini

Many books – this guy is my mentor, and I’ve studied with him for 10yrs now.  He has studied more than anyone else in this field and created a great methodology for resolving stress and trauma.  The most important part of his philosophy is the power of gratitude.  The only problem with his work practically speaking is that if you are a busy mum juggling many things, his books might be a little too complex and challenging to start off with.  They are definitely a good place to end up though.  If you are into what makes people tick, then I would go for ‘The Heart of Love’.  For an introduction into gratitude ‘The Gratitude Effect’ is great.  For a full on introduction to his methodology go for ‘The Breakthrough Experience’ (but expect to find it challenging).

Rhonda Byrne

The Secret – I watched the DVD, which I think is better than the book.  I would add a HUGE health warning to it as it has loads of all the things that I said you should avoid.  However, it was a brilliant pick-me-up at a time when I really needed one, and being a DVD it really gets the message across that there is a lot we can control about how we think about life.

William Whitecloud

The Magicians Way – I love the simplicity of this book and the way that it is woven into a story, which makes it subtle and recommended to re-read.

Julia Cameron

The Artists Way – I’ve only just started doing this, but one aspect that she recommends I’d funnily enough also recommended in my book (she calls it the ‘morning pages’, whereas I had a section about writing our problems down).  It’s a 3 month course you do yourself and is both therapeutic and also great for anyone who wants to improve the creativity in their lives.  Personally I would do it in a group or with a mate and not on your own.  A friend of mine who studied counselling for years said that she got more from this course than everything she had done previously, which is a huge testimonial.

 

Can Depression Really Go Away?

When I say ‘help’, what do I mean?  Do I mean, ‘improve’, ‘change’ or ‘fix’?

I was involved in an interesting talk about this on a Facebook group the other day (which inspired me to at last write this post).  It’s an interesting quandary; to give depression enough importance for it to be tackled and dealt with effectively, without giving it too much power and suggesting that it has to rule our lives forever.  Remember that the stats suggest that 1 in 4 of us will at some point struggle with our emotional and mental health, but there is a huge range a difference in the types.

The difficultly is that the symptoms of depression make it tough for sufferers to have the energy to get help.  Then they have to find enough energy to get the right kind of help.  It does often feel like a lottery as to who does and doesn’t get good help and can be a hard slog.  It can be a lot quicker to get help privately than via the NHS, but it can be a minefield to find a good therapist privately and understand all the different options.

So can depression ever really go away?  Or is that only possible if you have a lighter form of it?

From my experience both personally in my life and having specialised for a many years with helping people with serious mental health issues I would say the answer is neither ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

For some people the depression might be a fleeting thing caused by life events, which once they have received some help, will recede probably never to return.

For others of us who succumb more frequently due to habits in the way that we think and see life, we might have to have considerable help in the beginning, but over the years become more and more capable of managing ourselves and the blips; therefore only having to touch in with external help every now and again.  So it’s more that we learn to make sure we stay above the red line and know the warning signs of trouble coming so can get help more quickly.

For those were it extends to chemical imbalances, it is still possible to get it under control, but practically speaking there is more work to be done, and I’m not sure that standard treatment for mental health will really get people as far as some alternative therapies, which of course have the downside of being private.

So yes, I think at the very least it can be managed and improved, it might even appear to ‘go away’.  But I for me it doesn’t feel as though I could now go off and forget to drink water, eat healthily, exercise, and manage my life and thoughts carefully.  I don’t mind having to do those things as they have other benefits to the quality of my life, but I couldn’t stop.  Maybe in another 10yrs it will be different; I hardly ever remember that I smoked for 10yrs having been ‘clean’ for over 15yrs now.  Perhaps I will gain greater trust in my system to maintain itself as the years go by.

Whatever your particular situation, just remember that you are not alone, there’s nothing to feel guilty for, look after yourself physically as much as you can, get some help and don’t put up with sub-standard help or prejudiced attitudes.

If you have a favourite book that has helped you, I’d love it if you would post it below, or a blog post about books that you enjoyed.

Or if you try any of these books, please do let me know and if you have any questions about them I’m always here.

 

 

Exhausted Mums

Does it help to know I struggle too?

Exhausted MumsDoes it help you when you are shattered to know that there are days or big periods of time when I struggle too?

Does that make you feel better about it, and normalise it?

Or does it make it seem hopeless?

Practially speaking, the only reason I can write the tips I write, and the whole inspiration behind my book ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You and Enjoying Being A Mum‘ was the fact that I have experienced the struggles that Mums have.

But I’m not sure that you want to know that I still have bad days? Or that sometimes I literally have to make myself read my own stuff to sort myself out?  Or that this means that there is no ‘permanent fix’ out there?  Is it more helpful to see a constantly positive image like Annabel Karmel gives?

 

So I’m having a ‘bad period’ at the moment.

Looking at the list below, it’s nothing major, it’s more the quantity.  If I write down everything that has happened it makes total sense that I’m knackered, shattered, overwhelmed, and not sure which way to turn.

 

1) Constant side of back, shoulder and jaw pain – improving, but had it for a couple of months, and haven’t been as often to the Osteopath as I needed to go because family life ‘got in the way’ (that old excuse).  So can’t run and get the escape I used to get and it’s affecting what little sleep I get.

2) Unreliable childcare – the lovely Nanny bets was ill, so the big northern one offered to cover my client sessions, then he couldn’t do it either.  I’ve literally stopped booking client sessions until I can be sure of my availability, and I’m frustrated by not having had enough time to publish V2 of my book with a paperback version and get on with my new book.

3) Unreliable cleaner – it was only a couple of hours a week, but it meant that I had 2hrs that I could play with Little Dimples or not do 1/4 of the weekend doing chores.  Don’t know what it is about me and cleaners, but I must have been through nearly 10 in the last 7yrs.

4) The journey to find a nursery – I must have been to every single one locally now, confusingly ranging from £14-£37 per morning.  I was hoping for a cheap option in order to reduce the worry about paying for nursery, but ended up in tears just before the Jubillee after a rubbish settle; they didn’t introduce themselves to Little Dimples and only spoke to her for 5mins.  When I asked how come they thought she would stay with them next time they just looked bemused.  I’ve found a great one, but it’s in the expensive list and I still have the settles to do.

5) I’ve missed my mum; I’ve pretty much sorted my grief i.e. I remember her without pain, but it’s the best times and worst times that I miss having a Mum most.  I’ve also not been chatting to my mates enough on the phone because I used to phone them on the way back from the school run.  Last week I found my Mums favourite cousin had died; he was 88 and I saw him last year and knew I probably wouldn’t see him again; but I’m still very sad about it.

6) Of course I’ve been worried about Curly Headed Boy changing from private to state school, and there have been times when the nerves and excitement meant he’s had a few massive meltdowns.  Little Dimples has not adapted to the new school run at all and I regularly have a screaming child on one of the trips.

7) I got a stomach bug, which left me exhausted and feeling nauseous just before the half-term.

8) I’m finding it weird adjusting to the northern one being a contractor as it means not taking a monthly salary and I worry that we’ll over spend.  Ironically he doesn’t appreciate the fact that I don’t want to spend too much, so it’s not a popular thing to be worried about at home.

9) I just don’t seem to have the time to get all the work, family and to do’s done and it feels like walking through thick mud trying to get anything done.  For example, we’re trying to work out what we need for our first camping trip, but the time it takes is ages (I’m making some Pinterest boards so that if you guys need help I can make it quicker for you).  We’re worried that we picked the wrong tent and went to see another one at the weekend, but the horror of the ugliness of them all literally had me in tears ….. yep that’s the other problem, I’m like a walking waterworks at the moment.  Plus I’m behind on all my health stuff – I need to see a dentist, reckon I need glasses and the old smear test reminder came through the other day.  Just looking at my diary to see where I can fit them in is stressful.

10) Little Dimples dislocated her elbow poor little mite which meant that there’s been very little sleep for a week

 

Oh and I forgot to say that a squirrel bit me! Evil squirrel!

 

So it’s nothing major really.  I’m just whining really, because there’s been good things or are good things to look forward to as well –

1) I have a small group of really great mates, and felt loads better after speaking to one of them last night.

2) I was really chuffed to be nominated as a finalist in the BiBs and the MADs 

3) I’ve been really lucky with treats for me and the kids from my blog, from a wooden trike, to visit to whipsnade, and outfit from Joe Browns for Britmums, an invite to both the Penn Festival and Just So Festival and a weeks holiday in Siblu france.

4) The big hairy northern one’s contract seems to be going well at the moment and there are possibilities that it will be much longer than thought.

5) I really enjoyed being interviewed by Danny Smith over at Radio Verulam and have got an exciting new project coming up with them in the next couple of months.

6) Curly Headed Boy has just taken up Tap and Street Dance, so there will be lots more time for me to get some writing done on my book before the summer holidays.  Plus, although it’s taking a while to settle in with the kids he’s loving the school and it’s making a big difference for him (more about that soon).

7) The nursery I’ve eventually found for Little Dimples looks really good and will take her straight through to school, with great gardens and lots of space.

8) I’ve loved the Jubilee parties, it was all great fun and felt very community orientated.

9) I’ve got a new pillow which has really helped and a new mattress arriving tomorrow.

10) I’m really looking forward to the discussion den I’m helping with about online negativity next week at Britmums live.  Getting together with a pile of bloggers is bound to pick me up.

 

I’ve done all the tips that I wrote up on how to get energy quickly and then got hit by little dimples getting hurt.  So I’ve also cried, as that’s good for us too.  I probably just need some sleep and some sunshine.

It’s just going to be a matter of writing a list following my Dump/Delegate/Do/Delay motto and slowly working my way through all the things and accepting that I can’t click my fingers and make it better tomorrow.

But I’m going to make sure it’s better in time for the summer holidays so that I can have a lovely few weeks with the kids – that gives me 5 weeks to get through the list.

 

 

Commit To Turning Your Life Around and Reducing The Overwhelm

Are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or on the brink?

Have you already fallen over the brink into depression or other mental health problems?

I’ve got a plan to get you back on the first step of enjoying being a mum more and turning your life around.  It’s a bit of an experiment, but worth a shot heh?

The idea is to get you to

  1. Work out your Top 3 Priorities
  2. Commit to them
  3. Share them with a group

So that you can get an idea of what other people prioritise in their lives.  It’ll show you how different we are and also give you ideas.

First step is to get you focussed on what you do want, which I call my ‘Life Priorities’.  These are mine ….

Then use that to work out your most important To Do’s.  These are mine …

The reason this works is because then you can use those to have more time, get more energy, make your house more comfortable and save money.  Hence working on things within your control and reducing your stress.  I’ve explained more about it here in my post about the Top 6 Steps to reducing the stress and overwhelm.

So to get involved …

1) Add a comment to this blog post with your email address so that I can invite you to Pinterest if you aren’t already there.

2) Then a comment with your Pinterest username, so that I can add you to the board.

3) I’ve added links to all the posts that will tell you how to

        • Pick your top 3 priorities
        • Use that to pick your top to do’s
        • How I survived my mental health problems
        • This post
        • My top priorities
        • My top to dos
        • A link to my book
        • A link to a video about my book
        • How to read a kindle book without a kindle (they are cheaper books)
        • A BLANK picture of a yellow sticky for you

4) Then you can either add your own pin with your top priorities and top to do’s to show your commitment or use the blank one and add a comment to it

5) Check out what everyone else adds, because it will help you to see how different we are, or maybe fine tune yours

 

Are you on board?  Here’s a blank one ready for you ….. Let’s go!

 

 

Top Tips For Reducing The Stress And Overwhelm

Survive a Mummy Breakdown

Here are my promised 6 Top Tips for beginning to turn your life around and reduce the stress and overwhelm in your life.

When Nick coffer (My Daddy Cooks) asked me to summarise my book of over 100 pages into 6 simple tips on his radio show it made my brain ache.  But this is what I came up with, because without these steps the others in my book wouldn’t have worked.

In last weeks post on surviving my mental health problems I explained how come I know so much about this and why I know that the MOST important thing is to take care of your basic physical and emotional health.

Other things have helped, but this is the first step.

Life is difficult, but before you try to change everyone else and your circumstances, you can make a massive difference by just looking after yourself.

There’s no ‘one’ immediate click of the fingers answer, but this will help to get you back ‘on the right track’ and reduce the stress and discomfort.  From there you can decide how far you want to change things.

So the steps are:

1) Pick your top 3 life priorities and focus on them, reminding yourself every morning what they are.

2) Use them to sort out your To Do list and save you time.

3) Connect them to looking after you health, nutrition and fitness so that you have more energy.

4) With that energy you can then declutter your house and make it flow or work better for you and the family.

5) And know what the priority for potentially limited funds are.

6) Thereby getting some sparkle and self-love back into your life.

I also know that it’s not always easy to do something, without someone helping you.  So I came up with an idea to help you COMMIT to a change of focus and SHARE IDEAS.

Are you up for it?!  Then come here and commit to getting involved.  It won’t be a big thing you have to do, but it will start to make a big difference.

 

Remember, don’t ever feel guilty about being stressed, overwhelmed or having some kind of mental health problem.
Don’t let your past affect your future.
There are tonnes of people out there who have also struggled, just check out these amazing lists of blogs from similar mums:
Once this idea is off the ground, I’ll do some more blogs on the next steps.  But first things first.
Got a question about it?  Ask me anywhere, Facebook or  twitter
Mental Health

Surviving Mental Health for #DoSomethingYummy

Mental Health

This post is being written as part of the blog prompt for #DoSomethingYummy  from Typecast which is the campaign for CLIC Sargent Charity for children with cancer.  I’ve picked the prompt ‘Something I’ve survived‘.  

Yummy Mummy Week is 10th-18th March, so if you haven’t had a chance to add your own post, you still have time. OR just donate a few quid.

I do hope that you will think about donating even a little bit to CLIC when you think about what those children and parents are surviving and dealing with.  This is a great practical charity, that does loads of things to help the families and help them survive the awful stress of a sick child.

 

I’m going to talk about how over my life I ‘survived’ a ‘nervous breakdown’, ‘suicidal tendencies’ and more recently some kind of ‘Identity/Midlife Crisis’ or ‘Mummy Breakdown’.

I’m really nervous of writing this post.  I don’t know why, as the stats show that at least 1 in 4 of us will have some sort of mental illness in our life.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had a few experiences of it that bothers me?  Makes me sound a bit ‘unstable’.  I didn’t even know I was worried about it, until I tried to write about it.  Plus I’ve been very ‘lucky’ with the help around me and knowledge I had, so I think that I feel a little guilty.

The other thing is what on earth to call it?  Because I’ve been in the alternative healing or therapy world for 12 yrs, I never had to go the medical route, so I was never labelled.  I don’t want to upset anyone who has had a label and get it wrong; there are so many different types of problems with mental health.

I’m not sure that it matters what I call it though, does it?  It was definitely something I survived; just.

My first experience was more like a sudden ‘nervous breakdown’, probably on the verge of a full ‘mental breakdown’.  It felt like I was teetering on the edge of a black hole.  I was pulled back from the edge by fellow therapists in a Kinesiology based therapy.  So I just experienced the shut down of my body for about 6 months.

In my second experience I just didn’t want to be in this world any more and grew an unhealthy fascination with trains; i.e. suicide.  (I know that makes no logical sense, and also I should have thought of the train driver; but I wasn’t ‘thinking straight’).  This time I was even luckier, as I was trained in a much deeper form of therapy and my mentor was in the UK.  After 2 very tough hours he got me back to life and able to work through the baggage.

What ’caused’ these two situations you might ask?  Why does someone, as we often see in the media these days, just crack?

I suspect the stresses of the previous 30yrs had taken their toll.

I was very up and down in nature at the time.

My very unhealthy belief in something that was impossible was a huge part of it.

Ironically learning all those therapies can make people less stable for a short while.

Plus I wasn’t taking care of myself well; always pushing too hard.

And I didn’t have a wide spread of interests.

It’s proved to be true that someone who has a wide spread of interests is more likely to survive the vagaries of life, because although one area of life might have the rug pulled from under it, the other areas will be able to keep them stable.  I had given up a well paid job, moved house and lost a lot of my ‘identity’ or ‘personal power’ in the process.  So since then I’ve very carefully watched my beliefs, and got rid of most of my ‘baggage’ and tried to keep a broad range of interests.

But it happened one last time, because I missed on important part of the equation; my basic foundations, which is pretty typical for a Mum.

It kicked in a little a few months after Little Dimples was born, I’d had a health scare and things weren’t going well at home.  I became the most pathetic version of pathetic that you can imagine.  A friend politely described it as ‘losing my mojo’; you know when a mum goes ‘grey’ and starts to disappear.  That’s where I was and I was TERRIFIED; sorry for the capital letters, but it seems such a silly thing to be scared of, and yet it felt like a life or death situation.  I was scared that if I didn’t do something I was going to soon end up a half-dead shell of a Mum, who cooked, cleaned, did all the basics, but that was all.  It could be considered a ‘mid-life crisis’ because I was just over 40.  It wasn’t the fog of depression.  It felt paralysing, so maybe it was some sort of long panic attack or ‘Identity crisis’?  Maybe I’ll call it a ‘Mummy Breakdown’; i.e. something to do with being a Mum, not PND, and not life/coping threatening?

This time no one else seemed available to help me, and I wasn’t in a space to use all the techniques I’ve learnt.  So what to do?  Run away?; I tried that, it didn’t help.  Give up?; However pathetic, there is something a bit bloody minded about me.  At last listen to the cliches and practical stuff I’d been spouting off about about looking after myself and the basics of life; Bingo!

After nearly a year, on the 11/11/2011 I woke up and thought ‘F*** this for a game of laughs’ and started to sort my ‘Sh*t’ out and blogged as I went.

The cliches were surprisingly true:

Change Yourself To Change Your Life

I was stunned by how really simple things could make me feel a thousand times better, within just a few months without changing anyone else or any of my circumstances.  I didn’t even ‘do therapy’ stuff as I would normally have done.

All I did was change me and look after my health.

I sorted myself by focussing on the things that I did have control over, rather than the things that I was missing or had no effect on, and by looking after myself and my body; And so was born my book ‘The Mummy Whisperer’s Six Steps To A Sparkling You And Enjoying Being A Mum’, which maybe should have been called ‘How To Survive A Mummy Breakdown’.  I decided that the things I did have control over where my thoughts, how I managed my time, my nutrition and fitness, how my house was laid out, some of the finances of the house, and getting a bit of sparkle back into my life.

I wouldn’t say that my ‘journey’ is over; I’m half way through finishing writing ‘Losing Weight for busy mums without diets or bootcamps’ and there are a good 3 more books to come after that I suspect.  But I love to write, so maybe that is the ‘silver lining’ from all of this?

In the next couple of days I’m going to write up a simple set of tips to help anyone get started who is feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

If you are currently suffering from a mental illness it will help you too, but it depends on the depth of it as to how much you’ll be able to do without a external help from someone else; I’m not in anyway underestimating how difficult it can be to pull yourself out of it on your own.  Maybe the stars where just aligned well for me that day to give me a kick start?  So I’ve got an idea for that too for how I could give you a little kick start and pick me up, so come back next week to check it out.

Most of all I hope that any Mums who don’t take basic care of themselves will now understand how potentially harmful it can be.  You need healthy food, a bit of exercise and sleep to manage as a Mum.  Running around like a headless chicken, in a house that stresses you out, and not getting your budget under control can lead to so much stress that you will one day not be able to deal with it.

Think of your kids and start to think more about yourself.

I’d really love to know what you think of my post as it’s the most honest I’ve ever been about these three times in my life, so feel free to add lots of comment love!

 

** The picture at the top comes from an amazing australian artist called Craig Martin www.craigmartinillustrations.com


Is the family the key to how we turn out ‘good’ or ‘evil’, and not genetics?

Last week I watch a fascinating program (if you are a nosey people watcher like me) about whether scientists could find scientific signs of ‘good’ or ‘evil’.  If you haven’t seen it check out the BBC iPlayer for Horizon on BBC2.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it for a bit, because some bits surprised me, and some bits proved what I’ve always thought.  I’m not really into labelling things ‘good’ or ‘evil’.  I understand the concepts and why they would be labelled like that.  But I also know that if you go to the opposite side of the world they will turn the labels around.  So it’s kind of arbitrary.  But a psychopath is a very different thing, as it gives a nervous feeling as though they lost their humanity.

First of all they talked about how they proved that it’s not just in families that bonding occurs and creates a hormonal shift.  They showed a team warming up and how the occitocine increased in all of them as they bonded.  So this is the ‘selfless’ chemical which makes us all want to work together as a team.  However, because they were in sports, they also got a burst of ‘testosterone’, which is the ‘selfish’ chemical that makes us have the burning desire to grab the ball and win.  I loved this section because it proved that we need to be both selfish and selfless to be really successful.

Then they talked about soldiers and how stressed they became after taking lives when they got back to their own lives.  Originally the american army (and I bet many others), used the good old encouragement of hate to get their soldiers to kill, because it dehumanises the people on the other end of the gun.  But apparently it often backfires massively when the soldiers get home because they can then find it difficult to get back to normal or struggle with guilt.  The top army guy truly believed that men were not made to kill other people; I’m not 100% sure about that.  However, they found that by practicing over and over and over again, so that it is more muscle memory that makes the kill than anger, that it had a much less detrimental affect on the psychological health of the soldier.  This makes lots of sense, because the soldiers are in a more centred balanced place, rather than the huge chemical surge of anger, which is bound to have a downer.

But what was most disturbing was when they then started to look at psychopaths.  Because these guys have a totally different brain pattern, basically big bits missing in parts of the brain that I don’t remember the long words for.  I do understand the ramifications though.  The psychopath needs to have more and more and more thrills, and they need to be more extreme to get through to them.  Plus, guilt is basically missing.  This I was really surprised at; I assumed there would be guilt, but they kind of got over it.  We are all guilty somewhere, so it must be there, but it’s not there for the serial killings.  Also they found that there is a gene that is in all the psychopaths, hence it can be passed down in families.

I wonder wether this is how come seemingly ‘normal’ people suddenly got involved in the London riots and stole stuff?

They reckoned that a large number of top business executives are actually not really good at their jobs, but successful because they are psychopathic; they love thrills and risk taking, will do what needs to be done to succeed, and are amazingly good at manipulation and charisma.  Which was a bit scary.

Ironically, one of the psychologists then found out that he had a family history and checked himself to discover that he had the genes and the missing bits in the brain.  He was shocked when his family weren’t that surprised because they felt that something had always ‘been a bit off with him’.  So why hadn’t he killed a pile of people and become a serial killer?

His answer is obvious.  But is it so obvious, because we often take it for granted.

He had a lovely childhood, full of joy and love.  There are tonnes of photos showing it.  I’ve always believed that families are tremendously important, especially the mum (or the person that does that role) as the heart of the family.  I’m not trying to add to the pressure of being a Mum.  What I’m saying is not to underestimate yourself, because as a Mum your role is crucial to our society.

I’ve got some plans to help to get Mums back in a strong position in this world, but the first step for you is to look after yourself.  If you feel a little overwhelmed, check out my blogs under the ‘sparkling you’ tab, and keep an eye out for my book coming in October ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You: get more Time, Energy, Space and Money and beat the overwhelm and greyness’.