Archive | August 2013

The abandonment complex and how to cope with it


I saw taillights last night, in a dream about my old life. Everybody leaves and I would expect as much from you. Gaslight Anthem

According to, abandonment is about loss of love itself, that crucial loss of connectedness. It often involves breakup, betrayal, aloneness. describes it as: an irrational belief that one is imminent danger of being personally rejected, discarded or replaced.

People struggling with abandonment issues include those going through the ending of a relationship as well as searching adoptees, recently widowed, and those suffering the wounds from earlier disconnections.

Many people, men and women, have abandonment issues that may manifest during childhood but surface later in life when the person is on his or her own in the world. Their core belief is that no one likes them and those that love them will leave.

Abandonment issues may particularly flare up if you’re going through a break up, separation or divorce and are entirely alone, either physically or emotionally. This week, Happiness Weekly and Relationship Free look at abandonment and really helps you to understand what it is and how to cope. Read the full article here.


All about toxic relationships and how to let go


Don’t be upset if people prefer another to you, it’s difficult to convince a monkey that strawberries are sweeter than bananas. Anonymous

Are you in a relationship that is making you feel bad about yourself? Are you doubting yourself or finding you’re having paranoid thoughts about your actions and their impact? Do you find yourself acting out in ways that you never have before? Are you constantly distressed and not sure if you’re relationship is coming or going? Are you isolated from your loved ones or has your self-esteem plummeted due to continuing this relationship? I bet you can’t recognise yourself anymore too… DROP IT LIKE IT’S HOT!

We have all encountered toxic people in our life, but for those of us unlucky enough to experience a toxic relationship, you will understand how these feelings and symptoms mentioned above crept subtly into your relationship and started affecting it, and how painful it is to let the person go – particularly because you will generally love them and care for them that little bit extra because they have needed you and dragged you down at the same time. Sometimes we need to love someone from a distance and unfortunately this means the process of detoxing yourself from them. If your partner is putting you down, crushing your spirit or you have found out that they are cheating on you, this blog is for you. This week, Relationship Free looks at how you can release yourself from a toxic relationship and get on with a happier life – even if it means being alone.

Read the full article here.

Why working for a charity will improve your life


No one has ever become poor by giving. Anne Frank

Many people are interested in working for a charity or not for profit organisation that has a good cause – however there’s not a lot of work available in these workplaces as many people stay in their role. Why? Because not only is helping other people satisfying, and particularly if you’re passionate about the cause you are supporting, but there are great benefits!

Today, Monday, 12 August is International Youth Day recognising the positive contribution youth make and this year the theme celebrates Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward. “While migration can often offer valuable opportunities and contribute to the development of communities and society at large, it can also pose risks and lead to unacceptable situations, including discrimination and exploitation,” the United Nations says.

Many organisations have been set up to help youths in that may be in this situation or with complications as a result of migrating (such as mental health problems: anxiety and depression) including the Commonwealth Students Association (empowers and encourages students to have a coordinated voice in decision making in the Commonwealth Education Sector), St Vincent de Paul (helps people in need and combats social injustice across Australia), Headspace (Australia’s National Youth Mental Health foundation – they help young people who are going through a tough time) and BeatBullying (all about young people helping and supporting each other online). Meanwhile, World Vision’s 40-Hour Famine begins this Friday, 16 August and is also one of Australia’s biggest community awareness and youth fundraising events.

This week Happiness Weekly looks at how working for a charity or Not For Profit organisation with a great cause improves your outlook on life.

1. Like volunteering – it’s all about the purpose
There is nothing more rewarding than helping others and giving back to the community. The best thing about working for a charity is you have all the benefits of volunteering (aside from the flexibility of working whatever hours you like) and you get paid while you do it. There’s no doubt it can be hard work at times, but it’s always rewarding – add passion for the cause and you could well find yourself in your dream job!

2. It makes you more self-aware
If you’re working for a cause you’re not familiar with, it will be like becoming a doctor. You’ll learn the symptoms of the problem, hear about the debilitating consequences and complications associated with the cause and you’ll do everything in your power to avoid the problem you’re working to solve for everyone else! On a brighter note, you will be the first to know if you have even the slightest symptoms of developing the problem. While it can make some people paranoid, others just grow with self-awareness.

3. You’ll learn A LOT as you grow and develop
Not only will you grow and develop in your role as you will in any organisation (we hope!), but you will also learn a lot about: the cause, the complications, advocacy and government, the people you are helping, volunteering, education techniques, various payroll benefits… the list goes on. You name it, there is a lot to learn when you enter the world of working for a charity organisation and it’s not just about role development and climbing the corporate ladder. Day one – prepare for information overload!

4. It’s family-friendly and flexible
The general consensus looking at people who work for charity organisations is that they are family-friendly and flexible. It’s almost like working for a family business … but with more people! Everyone generally leaves on-time and there are usually part-time and flexi-time (or time in lieu) options to ensure employees maintain a healthy work/life balance. So if you’re chasing balance and want to work somewhere that appreciates you’re human not robot, working for a charity may be the best option for you! A work/life balance means more time for you and the things and people you love.

5. People appreciate you
Not just the people at work, but the people you are helping and the volunteers who can see the work you do will always appreciate you. Each day there’s generally someone in your building who will say or do something lovely that will inspire you and keep you motivated to continue working to the cause. Work becomes a great place to make friends! Why? It’s stereotypical, but the people who work in these kinds of organisations are generally very supportive, nurturing and caring.

6. You’ll be inspired
Sometimes it’s the people who haven’t got things, have less of things, or are missing something who are happier and have a more positive outlook than other people. Speaking to some of the volunteers and even employees with the illness at the charity I have been working for has been extremely inspiring, and I must say it has motivated me to work to my full potential every day.

Want to know more about what it’s like working for a charity? Read this fantastic interview by, with Fundraising Development Manager Eve Robinson from the Epilespy Society.

How to get to sleep quickly


I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know? Ernest Hemingway

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have this amazing ability to fall asleep within seconds every night. Seconds! It’s almost like I’m hypnotised … someone can go “Go to sleep” – and that’ll be it, I’ll be asleep. How do I do it? Through my journey of becoming more self-aware, I discovered that stress has the opposite effect – I can go from sleeping really easily, to not sleeping at all. Anxiety has been known to keep me up all night. And, unfortunately, I’m one of these people who can’t function very well off less than eight hours of sleep a night – especially during winter! Did you see my post about the benefits of receiving sleep? You can read that here.

These are my tips for how to fall asleep quickly:

Step one – know your blocks … and avoid them!
If something is keeping you up at night or wakes you in the middle of the night, it’s important to know what it is that is disturbing you. Ask yourself some questions: Is it your body clock that naturally keeps you awake? If so, how can you work with that? Is it stress? Is it noisy neighbours? Perhaps it’s that you woke late in the day and your body doesn’t need that much rest? Have you stopped being as active as you usually are? Take a look at your lifestyle and any changes that may have caused you not to be able to sleep easily at night, and don’t be afraid to head to the pharmacist and collect a set of ear plugs and eye mask if that will help!

Step two – watch what you eat
Don’t eat so much in the evening that you’re completely bloated. Don’t go to bed on a full stomach – it won’t be comfortable or easy to sleep and it’s also harder for the food to break down. Avoid stimulants in the evening at all costs. No coke, don’t drink too much alcohol or eat too many sugary foods. Avoid carbs where you can – fish and vegetables, steak and salad … a protein and some leafy vegetables or salads is the best way to go!

Step three –get as comfortable as you can
I find that if I go to sleep with my partner, then I’ll sleep all night – perhaps I subconsciously think of him as my protector. But if I’m sleeping on my own, I will wake during the night, generally to a noise. The trick to sleeping all night is to get as comfortable as you can with your surroundings. I try to use a pillow to act as his body-double when he is not around, to trick myself into noticing it less. I have noticed in the morning the pillow often ends up on the ground … fortunately my partner does not! I also notice that when I’m sleeping alone that I wake more easily to noise and disturbances and I find it hard to get back to sleep after that. In this scenario I try to do some meditation – and I keep a second lock on the door to ensure that there are no unexpected visitors during the night. If I’m really concerned, I’ll get up to check the door is locked before returning back to bed – once I know the door is locked, I can rest more easily.

Step four – don’t watch the clock
I notice that a lot of the time when people wake during the night they immediately check the clock, and their mind instantly does the maths “Oh – two hours to go… what if I can’t get to sleep in that two hours? But it’s only four in the morning… I’m going to get bored…” and so their mind wonders and worries and it will keep you up. Checking the clock just gives you another reason for your mind to wander onto something that will only disturb you. The light from looking at your clock will also wake you more than you would otherwise feel if you don’t look at the clock. Learn to trust your alarm clock. Set your alarm and tell yourself you won’t look at your clock, or your phone, unless you are disabling the alarm in the morning.

Step five – keep a worry pad
When stress has me awake in the night, I do my best work! I keep a worry pad next to my bed, I will come up with an action plan and write it all down. Once I’m satisfied that everything is on paper and I won’t forget it the next day, I generally find I’m able to return to sleep more easily. Worst case scenario, I will start working but get a much earlier night the following evening.

Step six – make the room as dark as possible
Make the room as dark as possible, and as soon as you shut your eyes, tell yourself that you won’t open them until morning. Once I’ve set my mind that it’s bed time, I just won’t let myself wake up. Lights out is lights out. The darker the room is, the easier it is to sleep. Use an eye mask if you need to.

Sweet dreams!

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