How to stress less and find happiness


It’s hard to get through a typical day without experiencing stress, right? From money concerns to worries about work, 7 out of 10 of us feel extremely anxious or stressed each day.

When we’re stressed, we experience physical fatigue and tend to take out our concerns on others. We see it damage relationships and create tension in ordinary situations. So how do we beat stress? The fact 85% of what we’re stressed about never happens is a great stat to comfort us when we’re agitated, but it’s not always easy to let stress ‘roll of our back’.

The great news is that there are some simple ways to reduce stress in our every-day life. Talking to a friend or colleague, seeing a counsellor—even putting a pot plant on your desk can all help to re-establish your own well-being. Add some exercise, meditation or fun activities into your schedule and you’ll also begin to feel less stressed.

Take a look at this infographic by Happify and see what methods you can use to reduce stress in your life. Let us know your favourite relaxation techniques in the comments!


Are you stressed? Would you like to break free of your anxiety and worries? 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.


How the Enneagram leads to self-discovery


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.

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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.

Five signs of healthy community


‘Community’ is a buzz word at the moment, but what does it really mean? Another word for it is ‘connection’—how we connect with other people, and how this connects us with the world. Brené Brown has said, “Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

So while ‘community’ and in essence, connection, is on trend (and could easily be long forgotten if ‘fleek’ makes a come back), it has always been an essential part of our wellbeing because it helps us to formulate our identity.

If you consider every group you have been a part, be it a family, work place, a group of friends or a sports club, you can trace the impact it’s had on your identity. Positive or negative, community gives us meaning and helps us to find direction in life.

From the extrovert who is never alone to the recluse who avoids people at any cost, our behaviour directly relates to our past experiences of community. And after trust is broken or we experience a crisis in our lives, we begin to question the true nature of the community we belong to.

Is it healthy?

Is this community harming me?

Do I even want to belong to this community?

And, can I make my community healthy?

Even though these questions can be confronting, they are vital to nurture your wellbeing. Answering them begins with understanding what a healthy community actually looks like. Here are five signs your community is a nurturing and healthy environment.

  1. It is authentic

If ‘community’ is a buzzword, then ‘authentic’ is it’ cousin. Healthy community doesn’t take place without a group of people committed to being fearlessly authentic and vulnerable. That means there are no hidden agendas, people don’t feel they have to lie or make excuses, people feel free to talk about their ups and downs, and acceptance is shown for one another, whatever a member of that community is going through.

Authentic community is challenging, and even the healthiest will have to continuously work at it. However, a good indicator you’ve found this is when you walk away feeling validated, known and understood.

  1. It is inclusive

Forget these exclusive cliques that are created at high school and roll into adult hood, a thriving community is known for welcoming others in to its fold. So while a community is formed on common interests or relationship, it is built on different personalities, ages, ethnicities, genders, sexual preferences and religions.

Each community group will naturally skew towards a certain type of people depending on where it is located and other environmental factors, but it’s willingness to accept all others is what makes it healthy.

  1. It is outward focused

A healthy community will nurture its members. Often, this occurs through group outings, activities and celebrations. However, those that thrive take this a step further and empower its members to be outward focused.

This means members are so energised by their belonging to the group, they actively invite and inform outsiders about it. Political or religious group are the obvious examples of this—members will often tell other people about their ideals or activities and provide their point-of-view about key societal issues their group has a stance on.

However, this outward focus can also be subtler. A friend might invite you to a party and all their work colleagues are there. Someone just started a great new health program, and they talk about it all the time on social media and encourage you to join. Or they look for opportunities to support other communities to benefit the greater good.

A healthy community digs deep and nurtures one another so it can extend this same bond to the outside world. Find a community that does this, and you’re on to something good.

  1. Members accept one another

Acceptance is different to inclusion, because it involves actively doing life beside people who are different from you. It goes further than inclusion, because through it others are given a home and we invest in each other.

Accepting people in your community is easy when we are like-minded. Many of us will feel a kinship with other members because of a common bond and interest. However, when we disagree about things—be it politics, religion, how to raise children or another member’s actions, things can fall apart very easily.

A healthy community is willing to listen and learn from one another, even when members disagree on things. Instead of taking offence, they respond with empathy and love.

  1. It supports members and keeps them accountable

Seeing a family member on the holidays is well and good, but what happens when they come to you with no place to live? What do you say to your friend at the gym when their marriage has just broken down, and how do you respond when a friend wrongs another friend, seemingly against the principles your whole community is built on?

Healthy community isn’t easy, and we see this when its members make mistakes or are in crisis. When one person falls, a healthy community will do all they can to pick that member up, be it through a coffee, a frozen meal or a roof over their head.

This is complicated when a member has actively broken your trust—for instance, by cheating on their partner, using all their money to fund an addiction or manipulating a friend. There is no one solution to this scenario. Some communities try to reconcile its members, others separate and many will ostracise that member until it’s clear they no longer ‘belong’.

A healthy community will do all it can to understand and empathise with the member who has ‘failed’ and help them to recover without compromising their values. However, they will also protect and support the people the member has directly affected.

Ideally, a healthy community will see the warning signs that a member is struggling or beginning to compromise their principles, and help that person get back on track before anything major happens. This is why accountability is essential to a healthy community—it not only helps members to reach their goals, it also keeps them from falling.

Do you want to find a healthy community? Would you like to learn how to better connect with other people? 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.

4 Steps to Manage Conflict



People either embrace conflict or run from it. How we deal with it shapes our relationships and wellbeing, and if an issue is left unresolved, it can damage our couple relationship, the family unit, friendships and our work environment.

If conflict is avoided, left unresolved or approached unhealthily, it can cause people to become hurt and angry. It adds to confusion and can keep us from taking advantage of new opportunities.

However, it does have advantages. Conflict is a natural part of life, and provokes things to change. Some life lessons can only be learned through conflict, and these scenarios can also give us a greater capacity to become flexible, patient and understanding people.

Next time conflict arises, follow these steps and make it a positive experience.

Step 1: Treat the person with respect
Whether you have a problem with your spouse or a stranger, remember that the person isn’t the issue—their behaviour is. Avoid using language that insinuates they are ‘bad,’ ‘wrong,’ or ‘stupid,’ and instead use inclusive words, which allow you to empathise with them.

Step 2: Listen until you experience the other side
When you enter conflict, remove the mindset that you must ‘win’ or prove that you are ‘right’. Instead, make it your goal to understand the other person’s thoughts and ideas. Actively listen to what they are saying, and appreciate what their words mean to them. Put yourself in their shoes by asking yourself how they are feeling and what prompted their actions.

Step 3: State your feelings, needs and views briefly
It is important that you express your point of view and concerns, but do so with empathy. Avoid loaded questions that will startle them or put them on the offensive, and be honest about your feelings. Take ownership of the fact that while their behaviour impacts you; you choose to feel a certain way. Don’t skirt around the edges, insinuating what you mean. Speak honestly and mean what you say.

Step 4: Move on to problem solving if needed

If your conflict requires an active solution, rather than just a mutual respect of each other’s opinions, begin problem solving together. Depending on the quality of your relationship, you may need a mediator or counsellor to help you through this process. Problem solving will help you to define the problem, identify possible solutions and evaluate the possibilities that come from these. Once you have decided on a solution together, begin to initiate it.

This blog was put together using information from the Victorian Youth Mental Health Alliance, the Gippsland Mentoring Alliance and the book ‘People Skills: How to assert yourself, listen to others and resolve conflicts’ by R Bolton (1986).

Do you struggle with conflict? Would you like a mediator to help you manage this in your couple, family or work-related relationships? Contact us on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10 minute discussion or go to BOOK ONLINE NOW and follow the prompts to make an appointment.

101 Best Personal Development bloggers

101 Best Personal Development bloggers

We are thrilled to announce that Guided Mind has named WatersedgeCounselling as one of the 101 Best Personal Development and Self Help bloggers of 2016!

As part of their Best and Most Inspiring Personal Blog Awards for the year, we have been named alongside New York Times best selling author Michael Hyatt, as well as Marie Forleo, a personal and professional development writer chosen by Oprah as a thought leader for a new generation.

Guided Mind ColleenListed at #96, Watersedge is described as a ‘blog to [help] you stay mentally healthy, addiction free, happy, good in relationships and stress relieved.’

You can see the complete list of Guided Mind 101 best personal development and self help bloggers here. The list is ordered randomly, and as Guided Mind say ‘some of the best bloggers can be found at near the very bottom of the list,’ so take your time browsing.

Do you want to learn how to take better care of your mental health? Would you like to discuss your own personal development?  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.

Finding Your Confidence

Finding Your Confidence Banner

Are you constantly apologising for everything and anything?  Low self-confidence is often an attribute of depression and anxiety, and it can be difficult to break the lie that we aren’t good enough.

We all struggle with confidence at some point in our lives. While we can’t change the way we feel about ourselves over-night, we can take small steps to boost our self-esteem each day.

This infographic by Health Central gives us 10 ways to boost confidence. From the simple acts of volunteering and sharing a smile, to changing your mindset so you assume people like you, using these strategies can dramatically alter your life.

Choose a couple of these tips and try to implement them this week. See how your confidence builds, and then try a few more. You’ll be amazed at how your self-worth develops, and with it your overall happiness and wellbeing.

Finding Your Confidence

Do you have low self-confidence? Would you like to boost your self-esteem?  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.

Five Steps to Prepare For a Job interview


With a New Year, we often feel the need to ‘shake up’ our lives a little bit. Are you unhappy with your current job? Have you resolutely decided that in 2016 you’ll find employment? I know that the job hunt can be difficult and tiring –in fact I’ve just come out of it. Often the most challenging part comes when you step into the interview room and are grilled about your qualifications, personal attributes and ability to work with an already established team.

So how can you prepare for a job interview? Now that I’ve been through the process, I have some idea of the strategies you can put in place to impress your perspective employer and manage your own stress. Here are five steps to help you prepare for a job interview.

  1. Know the workplace inside out

There is a plethora of information about your future workplace right at your fingertips and your interviewers want you to know it. Read back through the advertisement, taking note of the skills, expectations and attributes needed for the job.

Browse the company website, making sure you have a sound knowledge of their mission and values. Even brush up on the history of the workplace and get an idea of their unique voice and how their message is portrayed. You need to embody this message, so allow your knowledge to inform how you answer questions.

  1. Dress for success

I know it’s cliché, but dressing in business attire really does make all the difference on a job interview. Trim you beard, style your hair and shower. Select clothing that is suitable like dress pants, a nice skirt or a tie. Clothing doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact you probably have something in the cupboard you can pull out and dust off. If you do need some nice shoes or a dress shirt, retail stores like Kmart or Target have some inexpensive options that will show your future employers you mean business.

  1. Practice your questions and answers

One of the reasons people struggle with interviews is because they are full of unknowns. We have no idea what the panel will ask or what they expect of us. The best way to overcome anxiety about this is to consider potential questions they may ask you and write down any questions you want to ask them. Think about the work environment and job description to formulate rough answers to questions.

Chances are they will ask:

-What you know about the company,

-For an example of when you worked through conflict,

-To discuss your strengths and weaknesses,

-and what specific skills you have for the position.

  1. Calm yourself

Interviews are stressful and if you struggle with anxiety the process can become even harder. The morning of your interview give your self plenty of time to prepare. Have your clothes ironed and set out the night before and check how long it will take you to travel to the workplace. Little details like having enough petrol to drive there and knowing the bus schedule will make all the difference.

Set yourself about 15 minutes before you leave to simply sit and practice your deep breathing. Recite a mantra to yourself such as “I am enough” and then arrive at the destination with time to spare. By doing this, you remain in control of the situation and are calm and centred when you enter the interview room.

  1. Fake it ‘till you make it

Let’s be clear, it is never a good idea to lie about your qualifications or experience on a job interview! There comes a time though, when you need to put your game face on and show your prospective employers you are the ideal candidate for the position. You will feel nervous and shaky, but speak with a confidence and ease that shows them you are competent.

Be genuine and keep eye contact with them through the process, shaking their hands confidently when you enter and leave. Pretend to be assured, because when you do this they will see the positive qualities you will bring to the job.

Do you need support as you look for a job? Duncan is a business coach and mentor who will help you define your goals. Contact him on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment with Duncan, click the icon BOOK ONLINE NOW and you will be taken to his online appointment calendar, and follow the prompts.

5 Steps to Turn Your Failure Into a Success


A relationship has broken down; you’ve received yet another rejection letter, or someone has said your revolutionary idea sucks. We all experience failure in our lives, and for many of us our fear of it rules how we live. But what if we could pick ourselves up from our failure and no longer allowed it to dictate our lives? The phrase, “Success is defined by how well you rise after falling,” is used so frequently it has become a cliché, but ask any successful business person, healthy and happy parent or esteemed individual and they will tell you it is 100 per cent true. Every success starts with the stepping stone of failure. Follow these 5 steps and make your failures the successes you have been dreaming of.

  1. Refuse to let failure define you

While your feelings, circumstances and people may be labelling you a failure, you must decide that this will not define you or your life. Your innate worth and potential have not changed, and you still have the ability to make something good and be a success. Pick yourself up and believe that you are more than this set back. Live in the truth that you are responsible for writing your own story and step into this boldly.

  1. Honestly assess the situation

Let’s be real: Something went wrong to cause this so called failure, so take a look at what these factors were. Ask yourself why this relationship, goal or opportunity fell short and observe the steps you took to get here. You may need to humble yourself and acknowledge you need more experience or need to develop your craft. It could mean you need to alter your interpersonal skills, your goals, or your priorities in life. Whatever the case, acknowledgement is the first step towards change and future success.

  1. Salvage the good

This all started with a dream, a great ambition, a drive, or a desire to better yourself or other people. Pick up the good parts of what you dropped in the failure and start again. Polish off and refine them so you can rebuild a healthier, more stable and more sustainable goal, business or relationship. Passion and drive are the roots of success, so keep these while you alter how to work towards your goals.

  1. Change your behaviour

It’s well and good to say, “I should have done that differently,” or to play the blame game, but you are never going to create a success if you don’t change your behaviour. Once you are honest about the factors that brought you here, you can seek out ways to change them. Educate yourself more, seek out a mentor, see a professional to talk about your ongoing issues, and improve yourself and your product. Don’t be too proud or stuck in your ways to change your habits and in doing so alter the outcome for the better.

  1. Be brave enough to try again

Don’t let a fear of failure keep you from trying again. Learn from this failure and use it as a stepping stone to success. Forgive yourself, make amends, step up to the plate and submit that application again. If this is something you believe in, refuse to give up after tripping on the journey. Get up and keep taking the little steps to reach your goals. Never, ever give up.

Are you struggling to succeed? Do you need a supervisor or mentor? Contact Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment with Duncan, click the icon BOOK ONLINE NOW and you will be taken to his online appointment calendar, and follow the prompts.

5 Ways an Extrovert Can Thrive

5 Ways an Extrovert Can Thrive

Extroverts often get a hard wrap. They are exuberant and outgoing, and when this is not managed it can leave other people (especially introverts!) feeling bulldozed and drained off all their energy. That being said, extroverts are movers and shakers; the life of the party and the welcoming arm to the new person who just walked through the door. As much as introverts don’t like to admit it (myself included), we need you. We need you to fill in the gaps of awkward conversation and to ask questions. We need you to invite us along to social events, so we have the opportunity to do life with other people. And we need you as friends, because as awesome as introverts are, we can’t manage other extroverts on our own.

When an extrovert is healthy, they are some of the truest and most honest friends you’ll come across. But unlike the introvert, their unhealthy tendencies can be harder to spot. Struggles, depleted energy and overwhelming emotion will be covered by their trademark exuberance, and unlike the introvert who will get lost in the thought process of the situation, an extrovert will become consumed in the rollercoaster of behaviour and noise that leads them to burn out.

As an extrovert it’s essential you take care of yourself. Here are 5 tips that will help you thrive.

  1. Have boundaries

When you’re the life of the party, people often assume that you’ll always be available and willing to help out. They will expect you to attend events or ask you to step into a leadership position because they know you can get the job done. True as that may be, it’s essential you know when to say “no.” While an extrovert gets their energy from being with people, they can still become exhausted, so prioritise the activities most important to you.

  1. Practice self awareness

Extroverts can leave a bad taste in the mouth of others when they lack self awareness. In this, they will over step the boundaries of conversation, volume (that’s a big one!), physical interaction and tone of voice. Remember, you don’t always come off the way you mean too, so observe people’s body language as you talk to them. Notice if they shut down and stop talking, if they shy away from touch, or if they make a quick exit. You don’t have to change your natural demeanour, but to cultivate healthy relationships you do need to practice a respect and awareness for the people around you.

  1. Have life giving relationships

As an extrovert, you have the tendency to give until there’s no energy left in the tank. In order to gain energy from other people, you need to make sure your relationships are life giving. Spend quality time with people who you can relax with, who understand you and who leave you feeling empowered. Some people drain us and others leave us feeling like we’re on top of the world, focus on the latter.

  1. Make time to switch off

While ‘quiet time’ can be pegged as an introverted activity, it is still essential for the wellbeing of an extrovert. Granted, you won’t need this as much as an introvert, but there are times when you will just need to be alone. Sit, write down your thoughts and make sense of what is going on around you, go for a jog or watch a movie. Don’t be afraid of the quiet, embrace it. After all, you can always go and spend time with friends after, right?

  1. Love yourself

An extrovert will often find their self-worth in the praise of others. People’s responses to you, their willingness to invite you to social events and even the level of attention they give you can all play a role in your self-esteem. Remember that while you crave time with people, they don’t dictate your self-worth. You can’t be “too extroverted” and you can’t be too quiet. You are just you, and as you take care of yourself you will find that the important people will be naturally drawn to you for who you are, not for what you can give to them.

Are you an extrovert? Do you want to thrive? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

10 Keys to Happiness


Do you every stop and think, “If only I had this…” or, “Once this happens, I’ll be happy”? A lot of us live in a state of discontent, always thinking about what could be, and what needs to happen in order for us to truly be happy. While it is heathy to have goals and aspirations, things can go off kilter when we become so lost in the future that we fail to enjoy the present. Wherever you are and whatever you are experiencing, you have the potential for happiness. That’s right, in your job, as you’re preparing dinner for the kids, even as you walk through deep emotional issues, you have the capacity to live a happier and healthier life. Being happier won’t solve all your problems, but it will help you through the present moment, and you will find the journey to your hopes and aspirations far more enjoyable.

Here are 10 keys to happiness which you can implement in your life to benefit your own wellbeing.

  1. Foster your own personal growth
    Begin to question anything negative you say to yourself. By investing in your own growth through ‘me time,’ meditation, personal development and counselling, you will uncover beautiful and unchartered territory in your own life.
  1. Rest your ego
    Instead of comparing yourself to colleagues, other parents, siblings or your spouse, remind yourself what you have to offer. Next time you think “I should be a better _____ “and compare yourself to some else, put your ego aside and remind yourself that who you are is enough.
  1. Be present
    Worrying about the future won’t change its outcome, so instead make the conscious decision to enjoy the moment. Bring your thoughts back to your present circumstance, your family and what you are thankful for.
  1. Help others
    You’ll be amazed at how fulfilling it is to help someone else. When you’re able, give a helping hand. Ask a friend how they are going, smile, or buy the person behind you a cup of coffee.
  1. Focus on authenticity and integrity
    When you focus on authenticity and integrity, you know that all your actions are for the best and can remain at rest knowing you have played your part.
  1. Be ambitious enough to fail
    When we try new things, we always risk the possibility of failure. Yet if we never fail, we will never change. Be brave enough to try new things and expand your horizons.
  1. Spend time with those who inspire you
    Have people around who invest in you and inspire you to be better. When we have life giving relationships, we are nourished and are far happier.
  1. Turn your daily goals into habits
    Make the decision to turn your goals into habits. Start small, and work habits like healthy eating, exercise, spending more time with family or practicing Mindfulness into your schedule a few days a week. As you grow in confidence, implement more habits and reward yourself for your victories!
  1. Choose to push forward
    Life can be difficult, and we all go through seasons that seem to have no end. In these times, decide to push on. Believe that these moments will pass and keep going.
  1. Let go of worries and wounds
    The hurts of the past and worries of the future will drag you down. Begin to recognise these unnecessary weights and begin healing from them. Speak about them to a friend or see a counsellor and experience healing.

Look at this infographic by Calm Down Now for more details on the Keys to Happiness.


Do you want to unlock the keys to happiness? Are you looking for a way to turn survival into a life that thrives? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.