How to keep calm when conflict strikes

how-to-keep-calm-when-conflict-strikes

Everyone encounters conflict sometime during the day. It might happen when you’re trying to get out the door by a certain time, and your teenager is adamant they will take their time in the bathroom.

Or perhaps it’s at work, when a colleague questions your decision. You may even encounter it with your spouse or partner on a regular basis.

Conflict is a part of life. And while some people try to avoid it at all costs, there are others who embrace it—perhaps even create it—because they relish in the back-and-forth.

Whether you have a love or hate relationship with conflict, it’s important that you learn how to deal with it healthily. That means not running from it, and not perpetuating it. Rather, it’s about using it as a tool to bring about a better conclusion for everyone involved.

All that to say—it’s not easy navigating conflict; which is why it’s essential you have the tools you need to deal with it.

This infographic by Cashnet USA shows us why our brain and body responds so readily to conflict, and gives us some handy tools to ease the tension when we sense ourselves (or someone else) having a heightened emotional response.

Choosing to take deep breaths, lowering your voice, changing your posture and even choosing to disengage are all helpful strategies when conflict strikes. Not only do they help you to reframe the situation, but they give the person you disagree with an opportunity to calm so you can find a peaceful resolution.

Take a look at the infographic below, and see what you learn about conflict. What step can you take home with you this week?

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Do you run from conflict, or do you instigate it? Do you feel angry and struggle to maintain your composure during conflict? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

Movie review: What If It Works?

what if it works

What If It Works? (MA15+)
Rating: 4 / 5

Depictions of mental illness can be hit or miss on screen, but when it comes to the Australian dramedy What If It Works? we reach a delightful new tier of excellence—one where the complexities of the issue are met with superb characterisation.

This results in not only excellent storytelling, but also a greater understanding of mental illness as well.

Based on the family experience of producer and director Romi Trower, What If It Works? immediately creates rapport by introducing us to Adrian (Luke Ford), a 20-something tech nerd living in metropolitan Melbourne. We learn that he is on a three-month ordered-leave from work to get his obsessive compulsive tendencies under control, and we soon see why.

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Stuck in a cycle of incessant clean­liness, order and ritual, he is unable to truly connect with anyone or anything in the outside world—until he meets Grace (Anna Samson), a young artist with dissociative identity disorder. She has 10 different personalities, stemming from childhood trauma and sexual abuse.

After Grace walks in on Adrian’s psychiatrist appointment as G—her hyper-sexual, unrepressed self, the pair become unlikely friends. This is not without drama, as each learns to understand and navigate life with the other’s symptoms and consider the possibility that maybe healing—and love—is possible for them.

Also starring Brooke Satchwell as Adrian’s ex Melinda, and Wade Briggs as Grace’s manipulative boyfriend Sledgehammer (the name speaks volumes), this is a solid Australian film, complete with a savvy score, a compelling script and witty characterisation.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the film is the portrayal of the lead characters. If anyone else portrayed Adrian and Grace it would be a mess, such is the multi-faceted nature of their characters and illnesses.

Yet Ford’s ability to embody anxiety with an endearing charm is extraordinary, and Samson balances numerous characters with intuition and integrity. You can’t help but barrack for their recovery, and the storyline gracefully leaves room for growth long after the credits finish rolling.

At times this is a confronting film, especially when Grace ‘switches’ to different personalities. Flashbacks to her trauma and the physical way she copes with this may also be triggers for some people.

However, if you’re looking for an inspiring and truthful Aussie film with enough charm to rival The Silver Linings Playbook, you won’t want to miss this—especially considering it’s picked up nods at film festivals in Australia, the US and Canada.

Highlight: Brilliant characterisation
Red flags: Language, sexual references, sex scenes, trauma, racial profiling and references to drugs and alcohol.

This review was originally published in Warcry magazine.

Do you relate to the characters of Adrian or Grace? Do you experience Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder? Are you in a relationship with someone who experiences a mental illness? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

#MeToo: 5 useful responses to the world-wide movement

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Over the past week, you may have noticed the phrase #MeToo coming up all over your social media. The phrase picked up momentum when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted this in response to the Harvey Weinstein allegations coming to light in Hollywood:

“Me too. Suggested by a friend: “if all women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”

It should be noted that this movement is not new. 10 years ago Tarana Burke coined the phrase and she is credited for creating the campaign that lets women, specifically women of colour, know they are not alone when they have experienced sexual assault.

After Milano tweeted the phrase, women, female-bodied, feminie identifying people and men responded en masse to the call out—many boldly sharing their stories of sexual harassment and assault for the first time.

It has signalled a shift in our culture, creating awareness around the prevalence of sexual assault (physically, verbally and emotionally) that many men were in the dark about for so long.

Why? Well, that’s a difficult question to answer. The people who have responded to #MeToo experience this injustice as a regular occurrence. And in Australia, one in four females have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. To say this is widespread is an understatement.

While the global response of #MeToo has been gigantic, it still doesn’t reveal the full extent of this global inequality. Many people have chosen not to share their #MeToo and others have disengaged to protect their health due to the trauma of their own experiences.

So where does that leave us? Or, more pointedly—where does that leave you?

The Watersedge team could write our own response to #MeToo. Each of us have experienced or heard about the reality of sexual violence and assault in different contexts: as ministers, celebrants, therapists and counsellors, social workers, friends, husband and wife, daughter, son, friend, mentor and as a victim.

Due to this, we know that every women, female-bodied or feminine identifying person has their own #MeToo (not to the exclusion of some males).

So instead of sharing our own stories with you, we want to share some of the important responses to the movement. We hope that you will read these and gain a fuller understanding of the movement.

#MeToo: See Beyond The Hashtag by Prof. Susan Thistlethwaite, Huffington Post

After #MeToo Campaign Goes Viral, Men Are Saying #ItWasMe by Samantha Brodsky, Good House Keeping 

The Problem with the #MeToo Campaign by Megan Nolan, Vice

An Open Letter to My Brothers in light of #MeToo by Mike Morrell

#MeToo: How to respond to a friend sharing their story of sexual abuse by Hack

If you can say “me too,” we hope you know you are not alone. We believe you. We see you.

If you have chosen not to share your story, you don’t owe this experience to anyone. Take care of your health and know that we believe you.

If you are a man who has realised they are a perpetrator—intentionally or due to cultural norms that have influenced your values or behaviour, this is your time to stand up, change your behaviour and say #ItWasMe.

And if you are a man who is outraged and saddened by the existence of even one #MeToo story and call yourself a feminist or someone who values equality, then you must speak up. Silence makes us complicit, even when we don’t take part.

Do you have your own #MeToo story? Have you realised #ItWasMe and need support to change your behaviour? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW

How to bounce back from life’s curve balls

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Resilience is essential to our health, happiness and wellbeing. However, it can be eroded when we become overwhelmed by the unpredictable events that intrude into our lives. So how do we survive the events that are beyond our control?

The answer lies in our daily determination to be intentional about cultivating a positive, and therefore more resilient, state of mind. Here are six strategies that, when practised consistently, will help you to build resilience.

Limit your use of social media and news

Social media and other news outlets are often an unrelenting source of bad news, yet we find them addictive. We have a constant need to know what is happening next, and find ourselves going back to the next source for more information.

Our fascination and curiosity makes us a prisoner to the latest news, which can elevate our anxiety. Setting a time limit on how long to use social media and read the news will diminish the impact this has on our resilience.

Stretch each day

Anxiety and stress are stored in our body—tightening muscles, headaches, nausea, stomach-aches, diarrhoea, constipation and indigestion can all be side effects of this.

Whether you choose to do yoga, Pilates or your own set of stretches, the important thing is to keep stretching daily to prevent stress shutting down your body.

Pay attention to nature

Nature is a natural stress reducer, so take the time to absorb colour, pattern, movement and whatever catches your eye. If you live and work in a concrete jungle, look at the sky and observe cloud formations, or an isolated tree or plant. Take the time to breathe in its life-giving energy and recognise how it makes you feel.

Repeat a positive affirmation

By choosing a positive affirmation like “I am worthy” or “I will have a good day” and repeating this to yourself through the day, your mind will begin to believe it. You may not be convinced of the truth of the affirmation immediately, but after a while it will become second nature to you.

Smile

Have you noticed how you feel when someone smiles at you? We feel warmer, less fearful and anxious, and welcomed. On the other hand, a frown sends the message that we are intrusive, irritating or unwelcome. We feel lighter when we smile and also extend this happiness to others by inviting them to smile back. 

Make a grateful journal

At the end of each day write what you are grateful for in a journal, and your resilience will increase. Grateful people are happier and easier to be around. By expressing your gratitude, you focus on what is good and positive in your life. This will only take a couple of minutes each day, and it will reduce your stress and create a positive mindset.

Do you struggle to ‘bounce back’ when life gets tough? Would you like to develop strategies to build your resilience? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary. 

Thanks to Warcry Magazine for publishing this article.

17 ways to become more successful

 

Success. We all want it, but how do we get it? Most people measure success in money and status—but success is about a lot more than this. It is about being physically, mentally and emotionally healthy, establishing good relationships, and living with a sense of fulfilment.

If you want success in life, this terrific infographic by entrepreneur MaryEllen Tribby gives some great hints on where to start: for instance, did you know that that by exercising a sense of gratitude, you will achieve more in life?  In the same way, people who are constantly critical and have a sense of entitlement will struggle to gain much traction in the work place—and their personal relationships won’t be very healthy either.

Professional supervision and mentoring is a great way to uncover your strengths and weaknesses so you can learn how to best harness them in life. Whether you want success in business, relationships or health, a solid supervisor will show you how to set achievable goals, observe your your life holistically and encourage you to embrace these tips.

Take a look at Mary Ellen’s 17 indicators of successful people below, and then browse through the traits of people who are unsuccessful. Where do you fall on the scale?


Do you want a mentor or supervisor so you can take another step towards success? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

 

10 Amazing Self-Care Charts You Need to See

We always talk about self-care—after all, how are you meant to live a full and meaningful life if you don’t take care of yourself? But we know understanding self-care can be a bit overwhelming. Add to that, when you search the term on line, thousands of lists, inspirational quotes and ideas come back to you, suggesting you practice it a certain way.

The most important part of self-care is understanding how it best works for you. Some people may find journaling therapeutic, while others would prefer to sweat it out at the gym—and that’s okay.

We’ve found some of our favourite self-care charts from the Internet and curated them for you below. Take a look and see what strategies and ideas work for you, then give yourself permission to rest. Self-care is important, and this is your invitation to practice it today and everyday.

1.

Credit: Fiorenza Rossini

2.

Credit: Michelle Lynn Studies

3. 

Credit: Sacred Self Love

4. 

Credit: Pure Wow

5.

Credit: Brianna Fae

6. 

Credit: My Naked Ego and Viva La Me

7. 

Credit Blessing Manifesting

8.

Credit: Blonde and Ambitious

9.

Credit: The Truth Practice

10.

Credit: The Truth Practice

Do you want to slow down and take care of yourself? Would you like to learn more about self-care? Here’s what you need to do: Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

Ask yourself these questions before you post online

15 years ago, we didn’t know Facebook from Twitter (in fact, Twitter wasn’t even ‘born’ yet), and the concept of sharing every detail of our lives with strangers seemed a bit…weird. Yet today, 1.94 billion of us are on Facebook, and between this and our profiles on Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram, the world knows a lot about us—what we had for dinner, the name of our pet, and how we felt the moment our best friend got married.

Despite our constant use of social media, it snuck up on many of us who signed up believing we’d only use it ‘sometimes’. That means we don’t have a rulebook or guide on what to do—and what not to do, in cyber space. Often, this results in awkward status updates, over-sharing and sometimes, ruined relationships over miscommunication because we used the wrong emoji.

Do these consequences sound familiar to you? By asking yourself these questions before you post online, you will save yourself a lot of heartache and pain.

  1. Would I say this to someone in real life?

If you’re sharing something online that you’d never broach with a close friend, your spouse or a colleague, don’t post it. When you do so, you not only allow the world to invade your privacy, but you’re inadvertently telling the people you love that they are not worthy of your time or trust. If you need to discuss something but fear doing so, talk to a counsellor about developing strategies to do this.

  1. Will this hurt anyone?

Another great phrase for this one is, “Am I being passive-aggressive or ignorant with my post?” Anything that indirectly (or directly) points the finger at someone you know, contains prejudiced language or images, or uses triggering words needs to be edited or not posted at all. You may not set out to hurt anyone, but by simply posting in the public sphere you have great influence over people’s emotions. Be smart and post with clarity and a clear head.

  1. Am I doing this to feel important?

Are you posting selfies everyday? Do you receive a boost when people like your post or gives you a thumbs up? I know I do, which I why I have to constantly ask myself WHY I’m posting content online.

If you’re looking for affirmation and feel deflated when you don’t receive the response you were hoping for, consider stepping back from social media for a while. This habit can also be a symptom for feelings of deep inadequacy, so consider seeing a counsellor or talking about it with people you trust to begin healing.

  1. Does anyone care?

This isn’t an excuse to avoid activism (that’s an entirely different topic); rather it’s about the significance of your content. Do people online really care what you ate for dinner? Do they want to know you went for a walk, worked out or that you had a falling-out with a colleague?

There’s room for superfluous posts—a snap of dinner every once in a while or a work out isn’t going to do any harm, and sharing details is useful if you are actively looking for support and want to keep friends up-to-date. But posting stuff simply to keep yourself busy isn’t healthy. Join a community or catch up with a friend instead. Doing life together (mundane details and all) is much more meaningful in real life.

  1. Am I being too honest?

Social media and blogging are brilliant, because they allow people to be honest about their stories. Countless people have been inspired by what they’ve read on the Internet, and people find healing by telling their story. But there is a fine line between sharing and over-sharing.

Over-sharing often happens when we feel disconnected, afraid and unheard. Sometimes we’re angry, and occasionally we want pity or praise.

When you’re tempted to post something from this negative headspace, write it down on paper instead and show it to a close friend or your counsellor. Alternatively, you could type it out. But instead of posting it immediately, save it to your phone or computer, and re-read it again in 24 hours. Give yourself the chance to reconsider why you’re sharing it. You deserve to be heard and validated, but this doesn’t happen on the Internet, it happens in relationship, so tread carefully.

  1. Does this leave myself, or anyone I know, vulnerable to attack?

Another consequence of over-sharing is the risk of being hurt by people’s responses. If you are in a fragile emotional space or know that you or the people you love may be trolled or harmed due to what you’ve posted, seriously consider why you’re posting it.

We can’t take responsibility for the actions of other people, but we can prepare ourselves for this and even avoid it. Whether it’s a tweet, a blog post or a photo, if you know posting it could unintentionally hurt anyone, talk about it with someone first. Weigh up the pros and cons, and if you post, make sure you have people surrounding you to help with any fall out.

Do you feel anxious or stressed about your online relationships? Would you like to develop strategies to create healthier relationships and care for yourself? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

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How the Enneagram leads to self-discovery

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We’re big fans of the personality theory of the Enneagram at Watersedge and are always on the look out for new resources to learn more. This week we discovered a podcast and book we can’t wait to share with you.

In episode 4 of the Shauna Niequist podcast, Shauna interviews priest and author Ian Cron about the Ennagram’s ability to aid in self-discovery.

Ian just released a new book titled The Road Back to You: An Enneagram journey to self-discovery, and he chats to Shauna about the basic elements of each type, how they influence culture and people across the world, and why knowing ours can enhance our spirituality.

Whether you’re a newcomer to the Enneagram or a long-time follower, have a listen and find out some new and interesting things about the fascinating theory and what it means in your own journey to self-discovery.

Insert link/audio: https://relevantmagazine.com/podcast/s01-episode-04-ian-cron/ 

You can purchase The Road Back to You: An Enneagram journey to self-discovery by Ian Cron now.

For more details on The Enneagram, head to our Enneagram page for free downloads on each personality type. You can also see our blog on the basics on the Enneagram in relationships here.

Do you want to know more about the Enneagram? Would you like to better understand yourself and the people around you? Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

12 Songs to Motivate You in the Morning

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Now that winter is well and truly in the air, chances are you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning. We know the feeling all too well, and while there’s no one solution to changing up your morning routine, we think having an epic playlist is a good first step.

Whether you need some tunes to wake up to, some catchy (but not annoyingly perky) songs to play over breakfast, or motivational tracks that will get you through a morning yoga session or run, this is for you.

Have a listen to our new playlist on Spotify here .Who knows, maybe the early bird really does catch the worm (or, in this case, a good song). Let us know what motivates you to get up in the morning below!

12-songs-to-motivate-you-in-the-morning

Are you lacking motivation in the morning? Do you need some help to change up your morning routine? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW and you will be able to access Watersedgecounselling’s online appointment diary

The five types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The-five-types-of-Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder

When we think of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) we tend to imagine what we have seen on TV: a Niles Crane-esque character who cleans every table he sits at with a wet wipe, or a suburban mum who can’t get out of the house because her door is blocked with miscellaneous items she’s hoarding.

The truth is that these all show extreme facets of OCD, but over time we’ve distorted it to cliché caricatures of the actual illness. So while we may say to someone who likes a tidy home, ‘You’re OCD’, that’s not necessarily true (they might just like a clean house), and the same goes for a person who loves to write lists. They’re not necessarily experiencing OCD, but are naturally organised.

So if the TV is misrepresenting OCD, what does it actually look like?

OCD is an anxiety disorder will affect 3 in every 100 people during their lifetime.  It shows up in numerous ways, but can be identified by re-occurring and unwanted intrusive thoughts, images or impulses (obsessions) and repetitive behaviour and mental rituals (compulsions). * It’s important you know that OCD isn’t rationale. Often a person struggling with the illness won’t want to participate in the activity or thought they are consistently having, they just feel incapable of stopping it.

While television shows us extreme caricatures of what OCD looks like (often centred around an extreme fear of germs or hoarding), it can also appear more subtly: you may feel the incessant need to check every door in the house before you go to bed. A thought may pop up and no matter how many times you try to resolve it, it keeps coming back, or you may keep a few too many keepsakes in the house and the idea of binning any of them overwhelms you.

The infographic below by Therapy Tribe lists the five types of OCD people can experience. While each can occur individually, some people will show symptoms of a few if not all of these in different ways. Each can lead to exhaustion and distress, and when untreated may intrude on day-to-day activities and relationships. *

When treated, someone who experiences OCD can live a healthy and balanced life. Therapy, medication and support groups are all options, and for less severe cases it might simply be a case of talking the compulsion out with a friend until it passes.

Ultimately, the severity of symptoms will change for each individual, and even these can alter depending on their circumstances, stress levels and over all health. So if you or a loved one are experiencing OCD, it’s ok to ask for help and find a strategy that best benefits you.

types-of-ocd

If you are struggling with OCD, or have concerns for a friend displaying obsessive compulsive symptoms, call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW and you will be able to access Watersedgecounselling’s online appointment diary.

*Information gathered from Sane Australia, 2017.