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5 Ways to deal with inner conflict

Is inner conflict holding you hostage? Often when we are in conflict it’s hard to make a decision without feeling you are settling in some way. Inner conflict often makes us doubt ourselves and makes us feel sluggish. It occurs when our emotions, thoughts and personal values are out of alignment. Or, looking at it another way, when our head, heart and spirituality are misaligned.


Sometimes we choose to behave in a different way to our natural ability in order to succeed and over time we become misaligned. A client recently remarked how he thought he had learned to become an introvert because of his career. However, as he was maturing, he felt he identified more with being extrovert. Needless to say this awareness led colleagues to become concerned about his welfare as he had started to demonstrate more extroverted behaviours in the office. To them he was ‘acting out of character’. Interesting choice of words!


There are many different types of inner...

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Is mouth breathing making you sick?

breathe energy sleep May 29, 2021

For many of us breathing is an automatic activity, one that we don’t have to think too much about. "Thank goodness", I can hear you saying, because you have enough on your plate!


However, breathing is fundamental to your ongoing health and work performance. If you are eating well, hydrating your body and allowing enough time to sleep but still struggling to feel fully awake, mouth breathing could be the culprit. Some signs you’re mouth breathing includes dry mouth, bad breath, teeth grinding, night waking, snoring and dark circles under the eyes.


"Mouth breathing occurs if you breathe with your mouth open or with parted lips."


What mouth breathing does:

1. Reduces your energy: even though mouth breathing allows up to 6 times the amount of oxygen into your respiratory system, it doesn’t get to go where it needs to and as a result has to come back out again. For oxygen to be transported in our blood it needs carbon-dioxide, so having...

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What I've learned about indifference

After many hours of sitting in my chair, listening to clients report how they feel, I have realized how indifference is a sneaky companion to depression.


As part of my offering, I work with EAP clients many of whom work in well-known organisations. You probably even use their services. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a sensitive young man who had been sent by his manager. His manager had noticed a change in his behaviour and had suggested that a few sessions through EAP may help him, and so here he was.


I am so glad his manager suggested it for him. While the client hasn’t yet recognized it, the way he is feeling is a strong indicator that if left alone it could develop into depression. He is a strong performer, technical specialist and works largely alone. He is well regarded at work and his introversion hasn’t been an obstacle to him building enviable career in his field. However, he has few relationships outside of work and his support network is...

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Acceptance unlocks energy

acceptance emotions energy May 15, 2021

If you are constantly feeling depleted yet eating and exercising, it may be time to consider self-acceptance as an energy management strategy.


Our energy comes from four domains: physical; emotional, mental and spiritual and there are specific activities that fuel each domain. In some instances, there are particular activities that span across more than one domain and acceptance is one of them.


Acceptance is the opposite of resistance. To practice acceptance means to acknowledge how you are experiencing the myriad of experiences that make up your day/life and to be okay with the emotions you are feeling.


1. Acceptance does not mean liking, wanting, choosing, or supporting. When we get upset, we can choose to accept the situation, or we can ‘stew on it’ and wish it was better. By stewing on it, we allow that upset-ness (sadness anger, frustration) to control us and lock up energy that we could otherwise be deploying elsewhere more productively.


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Street marijuana is not a sleep aid

cannabis insomnia sleep May 09, 2021

As smart, highly independent people we tend to find our own answers for problems. Rather than asking for help, we tend go looking for it and sometimes in the wrong places. Some of my clients who have been struggling to sleep have resorted to smoking marijuana to help them enjoy a better night’s sleep. They are not using medicinal cannabis which is available on prescription.  


Their inability to sleep or insomnia has been triggered by a variety of situations; a long-term relationship break-up, need for increased stress management techniques or high anxiety due to changes related to COVID to name a few; and the solution they have settled on is a bong of marijuana. Only to find their life unravel more.


Cannabis is a plant that we commonly call marijuana, ganja in herbal form or hashish in resinous form. It’s use became prevalent in the 20th century when cannabis was used for religious, spiritual, medicinal and even recreational purposes. To date, the use...

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Are you losing sleep due to sugar?

hangover sleep sugar May 03, 2021

It wasn’t long ago that we were being advised to cut back on salt. Then, we were told to cut back on sugar because researchers linked it to obesity, type-2 diabetes and a raft of other health problems.


Since 2016, the general advice has been to drop sugar from your diet altogether. This is, of course, not easy as so many of us have a ‘sweet tooth’, thanks to diets that are rich in sugary tastiness. Unfortunately, the more sugar we have eaten over the years, the more our body craves it now.


In Australia around 74% of foods available in the grocery stores or supermarkets contain added sugar (1), and it’s estimated that the average Australian consumes 18 teaspoons of sugar a day. This is higher than the recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) who suggests the recommended maximum daily sugar intake is 12 teaspoons a day, which is also on the high side.


If you’re thinking, I’m ok because I use sweeteners,...

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Is dehydration waking you up at night?

Did you know that if you do not drink more fluids than what you lose during the day, you could wake up during the night? Well, it’s true.


Dehydration can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. It can happen when you don’t drink enough, through heavy sweating, heat, exercise, airplane travel, or the occasional hangover. Mild to moderate dehydration isn’t dangerous and can be corrected by drinking more fluids.


How does it affect your sleep?

Dehydration is in its most basic form is a lack of water in your body. A lack of water in your body is a result of your body losing more fluid than it is receiving. When you are asleep, you have no way of drinking or obtaining fluids. Therefore, it is natural for your body to lose more water than it receives during sleep.


Interestingly research shows adults who sleep only six hours per night have a higher chance of being dehydrated, compared with those who sleep 8hrs.


When you are...

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Saying 'sorry' doesn't have to be hard

A sincere apology does a world of good for both the giver and the receiver. It shows you regret the hurt or pain you caused, whether that’s inadvertently or on purpose, and it signals your desire to restore the relationship to a healthy balance.

Without apologizing, authenticity cannot be achieved because authenticity requires you to appropriately express your feelings and needs.  

Why apologizing is good for you and others

1. Provides a constructive outlet for remorse. Extending an apology helps you take responsibility for your actions and hold yourself accountable for them. This is especially true if you back up your words with positive actions to prevent it happening again. Holding on to remorse can lead to internalized anger which over time can impact your sense of self-worth.  


2. Improves your future conduct. By reflecting on your actions and sharing your experience with another person, you create an experience which encompasses your...

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Grief visits all of us: Nobody has to die

grief loss self-soothe Apr 12, 2021

When you experience any type of loss, the normal response is a period of mourning, also known as “grief.” Grief isn’t specific to human death, on the contrary it often establishes after a significant loss, for example a redundancy, divorce or breakup, a recently diagnosed illness, or financial troubles.


Grief usually comes in five stages: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The only way to process grief is to go through the stages of grief. By acknowledging your grief and allowing yourself the opportunity to grieve, you’re more able to address your grief as it arises and return to your normal everyday life much sooner.


At the same time, not acknowledging or addressing your grief has the potential to set you back emotionally and mentally in both the short and long-term. Here are some ways that you may be blocking your ability to process your grief.



No matter what type of loss you’ve experienced, there are...

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10 Savvy ways to develop self-awareness

“Self-knowledge is the first step to maturity” Jane Austen.


You come into the world alone and you spend every minute with yourself until you depart the world, yet you may not know yourself as well as you think you do.


Unfortunately, if you don’t know yourself, it’s hard to make progress. It’s like driving a car that doesn’t run well, but you refuse to look under the hood to optimize the engine. Unfortunately, those issues won’t repair themselves. They may well get worse and stop your car from running.

When I think of self-awareness I’m always reminded of the Johari Window developed by  psychologists Joseph Luft (1916-2014) and Harrington Ingham (1916-1995), which is a tool used to demonstrate four levels of self-awareness:


  1. I know what I know about myself and you know it too (Known)
  2. I don’t know that about me but you know it about me (Blind Spot)
  3. We don’t know what we don’t know about me...
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