Home' D Fine Redland Lifestyle Magazine : November 2009 Contents d'fine magazine November 10, 2009 13
Phone 3472 1361
Focussed Psychological Strategies
PO Box 2272, Wellington Point
The power of being present
Emotional intelligence is the degree to which
we perceive, understand and manage
emotions in ourselves and others; helping us
to get along -- and on -- in the world. The first
component of the model by the originators of
Emotional Intelligence, Salovey and Mayer, is
knowing one's emotions (self-awareness). One way
to enhance self-awareness is to develop the skills
of mindfulness: paying attention in a particular
way: with purpose, in the present moment, and
without judgment. By doing so, we begin to
develop awareness of ourselves when alone and
how we are present in our interactions with others.
How often have you been with someone or out
somewhere, only to realise that you have been lost
in your own world of thoughts? These thoughts
may be of events from your recent or distant past
('Oh, this reminds me of a time when...'), or of
events that are yet to happen, things about which
you are worrying ('Ah, I mustn't forget to...'). When
you 'come to' you may respond in a number of
different ways, including attempts to save face, ask
them to recap what they were saying, or even be
Irrespective of how you then pick up the thread of
where you were in the conversation or what you
were doing yourself before your thoughts took you
on a little journey of their own, you missed a
moment of your life; that is, what was actually
happening around you. The more misaligned our
mind is from our body, the greater the level of
distress we experience.
Greater alignment allows for greater awareness
of what is truly happening in any given moment.
From a place of greater awareness, we are less likely
to get caught up in the emotions, and we are better
placed to think clearly (to constructively reflect on
the past and learn from it; or to make plans to
address future events and their contingencies) and
make more effective decisions.
So if it seems like life is passing you by with the
endless journeys of your mind, periodically
throughout the day, ask yourself,"Where am I?"or set
reminders on your mobile phone or computer.If the
answer comes back that your mind is not in sync
with your body, try tuning into something that is
very real, like your breathing or one of your body's
five senses. What is particularly useful with this
approach is that you can do it anywhere!
This helps bring about a present moment focus,
which you can then direct to whatever it is that you
have chosen to do, rather than being taken down
every side alley of the mind's whim.By bringing your
mind and body into alignment, that is being present
to your immediate situation (not your interpretation
of it), you will begin to find that life moves along
more smoothly without the emotional rollercoaster
rides that happen when your mind delves
unfettered into your past or the future.
Although this concept is simple,it is not necessarily
easy. Just as with many things in life, with practice
becoming present becomes easier too. Like every
drop of water, every moment of your life is precious.
Be there for every moment of your life; be present.
Patrea O'Donoghue, M.Psych, is a registered psychologist and
member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). As an active
member ofherprofession,Patrea(rhyme's withtray)is theQldConvenor
and National Committee member for the APS's Interest Group in
Coaching Psychology.Patrea is an experienced change manager (ten
years with two of the 'big five' consulting firms) and private practitioner
based at the Ormiston Medical Centre. Patrea is passionate about
positive psychology and its applications to enhance performance in
health and well-being, education,relationships, sport,and work.Patrea
is available for corporate and individual consultations.
"As well many people, and again children, are not burning up the
kilojoules as footballs and cricket bats have been replaced by PlayStations
and computers,"he said.
Kevin said children, in fact everyone, did not get the exercise they did in
"This can be quite dangerous and everyone should step back and make
healthy living a priority.
"Good food -- fresh vegetables,lean cuts of meat and fruit -- is just as easy
to place on the dinner table as it is to drive down to the takeaway
"Of course it is much healthier.All it takes is a little bit of planning and the
rewards for the family are enormous. "
Kevin is focusing his philosophies on personal training -- one on one,two
on one or other similar programs that people can do at home.
"My focus is on people wanting to lose weight, get fit and eat healthy. I
challenge people to achieve their goals and most of all I want them to
achieve realistic results, and importantly enjoy themselves.
"There is nothing worse that doing programs that are not enjoyable and
people don't see results. They generally give up disenchanted and return
to their old ways.
"I want to change all of that and make healthy living lots of fun -- as it
should be, "he said.
As for his sporting goals . . .Kevin is planning to compete at the Australian
Masters Games, then take on the world's best in the World Masters.
Good food - fresh
vegetables, lean cuts of
meat and fruit - is just as
easy to place on the
dinner table as it is to
drive down to the
takeaway food outlet.
It's party time!
It's party time!
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