Health

Learning To Swim

Eight weeks ago I finally got around to taking swimming lessons. It's something that I had been planning to do ever since moving to live near the beach 18 months ago. There are a number of reasons for this: firstly, I don't feel safe in the ocean when I'm out of my depth. Deep down I know that I'm not a confident swimmer and whenever I'm in deep water my body responds with a lot of anxiety. I figured that if I knew I could swim confidently I wouldn't get so anxious about not being able to touch the bottom.I go body boarding a lot and I feel relatively safe with the board strapped to my arm. But I get caught in rips all the time and I know that if the strap was to break or I lost the board somehow, I'd be in real trouble. Plus I think swimming is a great exercise for overcoming deep-seated anxiety. The full immersion in the water gives gentle stimulation to our nervous system, and it's also a relatively low impact exercise. So long as you don't drown, that is. [caption id="attachment_2733" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Swimming: How hard can it be? Swimming: How hard can it be?[/caption] The arm movement involved in swimming could also be particularly beneficial. We generally use our arms to move things in our environment: to take action; and I believe that taking action is the antidote to the anxiety that we feel when we think was are powerless. I also suspect that the migraine headaches I sometimes get are related to muscle tension in the back of my neck and shoulders. Getting some motion on my shoulders and neck should help release that tension and give me the feeling that I'm moving forward under my own power. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Mindset

Everyone Else Is Afraid Of You

Here is an idea that's a little bit zen, a bit out there. It's the concept that:

Everyone else is afraid of you.

Now, you know that feeling that you get when you go to approach a group of strangers or a stranger and you want to start talking to them and you immediately feel this reaction of uncomfortable, anxious, approach anxiety, whatever you want to call it? It doesn't feel good. Well, here's the funny thing: the funny thing is that everybody else in the world feels exactly the same thing about you. http://youtu.be/8T9ie9ExYQg (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

How Your Emotions Work

Hi, I'm Graham. I had 18 years of formal education - that's 12 years of primary and high school, and then another six years at university studying engineering - and during that time, I learnt a lot about how to think but very little about how to feel or how my emotions worked. In fact, I can't remember in that entire time a single class where I sat down and had a teacher teach me how my emotions work. Now, possibly maybe in art classes or in music classes or maybe even in English they might've come close, but really nothing all that direct and concrete. And that's a shame because, fundamentally as humans, we're all driven by our emotions. All our behavior is an attempt to either move towards pleasure or move away from pain. So emotions are absolutely key to getting what we want in life. They're also the key to a successful relationship, especially with women. So in the rest of this article, I'm going to give you a quick introduction into how your emotions work. https://youtu.be/sgPUXEQnA2Y (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Basic Emotions

HappinessMany of us guys lack a basic emotional literacy; we have physical sensations when we're feeling something, but we often don't know how to identify what we're feeling, nor are we able to recognise emotions in other people. Being able to identify emotions is the basis of empathy, which is a core communication skill. In short, most of us don't understand how our emotions work. Simply learning to identify and express the following basic emotions will improve your relationships dramatically: (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Communication

How To Be Present

Spiritual teachers such as Eckhart Tolle often talk about presence as the key to accessing a relaxed state of true inner confidence in all situations. Well that's great in theory, but how do you do it in practice? Moose MillerIn this insightful interview with Transformation Coach Moose Miller from MeetEveryMoment.com, you'll learn the key techniques for dealing with difficult emotions and thought patterns that stop us from being confidently present in our interactions with other people. Practicing these techniques consistently over time leads to a sense of relaxed confidence that men and women alike find tremendously appealing. Here's what you'll learn: (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Women

Are You Afraid of Missing Out with Women?

Hey dude, I have some tough questions for you, but I think you're up to the task. So let's be straight with each other: How's your relationship going? How's it really going? Are you in a relationship with the girl of your dreams? Married? Engaged? Dating? Are you still single after all these years? Or worse, have you settled for a relationship with a woman who deep down, you know really isn't the girl of your dreams simply because you're afraid of missing out with women? [caption id="attachment_3210" align="alignright" width="300"] Don't Miss Out On Meeting Your Dream Woman[/caption] This is so painful for many guys to face that they settle for what they think they can get in a woman, instead of going after what they really want. And the problem with settling is that deep down, you'll know that you deserved better. Eventually she'll sense it too. Either you'll live out the rest of your life in denial and unhappiness, or you'll end up breaking up. It never goes well in the end. All because you were afraid of missing out on what you really wanted. But there's a valuable message in that fear for you: It's telling you that you're missing a key ingredient that every man needs in order to be successful with the women of his dreams. No doubt you've heard it before, and it may be painful to acknowledge that what you're missing can be summed up in one word:

(more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Seven Simple Steps To Overcome Anxiety

[caption id="attachment_1667" align="alignright" width="200"]Anxious Man Anxious Man (photo courtesy PhotoXpress)[/caption] Life can be a bitch when you're feeling anxious. Anxiety can undermine your confidence like nothing else. When feelings of fear take a serious foothold in your life, you can lose your whole sense of self as your self-confidence quickly heads south. So here are seven simple steps to overcome anxiety:

1. Ask Yourself What You Haven't Accepted Yet

Anxiety is a clue that you're confused about reality and the way things should be. The problem boils down to distorted thinking which leads to confusion about the nature of reality. You're telling yourself that things should be different to how they are, and that's distressing. Once you learn to accept that things are the way they are, your anxiety will dissipate. Perhaps you already know what it is that you can't accept about reality, or perhaps you're not sure. Often emotions arise in our subconscious and then our conscious mind attempts to come up with a rational explanation. But we don't always get it right; so maybe the thing you're confused about isn't what you think it is. There are many processes for inquiring more deeply into reality. One of my favourites is The Work of Byron Katie described in her book Loving What Is. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Relationships

Do Women Really Want Men To Be Vulnerable?

I'm a big fan of Brené Brown's TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability. I keep coming back to watch it again every few months, and it never fails to move me each time I do. It reminds me that authenticity, connection and vulnerability are the keys to freedom while guilt, fear, shame and disconnection are the bars of the jail cell in which I've lived so much of my life. If you haven't watched it yet, I highly recommend you watch it now.

And then watch this awesome follow-up titled Listening To Shame where Brené talks about the impact on her life of having the first talk go viral. After telling the conference of her research-induced breakdown (a.k.a. spiritual enlightenment), the video went viral with four million hits on the Internet. She went into a meltdown and didn't leave the house for three days because of a vulnerability hangover. That's the feeling that we get when we reveal something we're ashamed of in front of other people. It's the reason we avoid revealing our true selves to others: we know there's likely to be an unpleasant emotional reaction within us at the thought of other people knowing the parts of us and our story that we don't like.… Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Do You Avoid Love For Fear Of Getting Hurt?

Everything we do is motivated by one of two things: seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. It's not entirely black and white since sometimes it's a mix of both, but usually one or the other is the dominant factor. Some of us tend to be more motivated by pleasure and others more motivated by pain.

Our actions are always motivated by how we expect to feel, and this basically comes down to pleasure versus pain. Yet the two go hand-in-hand: many of the most pleasurable experiences in life involve the risk of pain.

Another way of looking at this is love versus fear. We're either acting out of love, or we're acting out of fear. Perhaps it's a combination of the two. Often we're not even aware of the underlying motivation but if we look closely we can see that it's usually one or the other.

Acting out of love means being vulnerable and since this exposes us to the risk of painful rejection we often don't want to risk it. It seems easier and feels safer to be defensive and act out of fear. But when we do this we miss out on loving and being loved. Our willingness to risk being vulnerable determines how much love we get.… Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Emotional Healing

Traumatic or emotionally painful events in our past can leave us with emotionally charged memories that get triggered whenever we find ourselves in similar circumstances later in life. This will undermine your confidence in these situations, as the powerful emotions triggered quickly become overwhelming even though there's no real threat present.

There are a myriad of different life experiences that can cause trauma and emotional pain. Perhaps your parents were emotionally unsupportive, only loved you conditionally when you were good, or didn't approve of your friends, hobbies, interests or career plans. Maybe they argued and left you feeling unsafe in your own home. Perhaps there was abuse and violence in your family. Or your parent's divorced or separated, leaving you wondering if you were to blame. Perhaps your brothers and sisters, or other kids at school didn't accept you, or you were bullied, or the girls didn't want to play with you. Maybe your childhood sweetheart broke up with you, left you for another guy, or just didn't want to be around you in the first place. And then they went on to become a media star, reminding you of the pain every time you saw them on TV even years later.… Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago