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Positive Emotional Health & Well-Being, Online 6-part series

This course goes Live in September @ The Sanctuary Wellness, but you can join any time.

The Positive Emotional Health and Well-Being course aims to support you to live a socially, emotionally and mentally healthy life. It covers a range of topics over six videos offering practical and actionable tools and techniques to help you step forward and lead a confident, empowered and balanced life.

1. Free Your Mind

2. Letting go

3. Breaking Free of Negative Thoughts

4. Intuitive Decision-Making: Making choices that are right for you

5. Perfectionism, Success and Failure

6. Combatting Anxiety

Also check out my 6-part online course on Effective Communication.

Effective Communication, Online 6-part series

This course goes Live in September @ The Sanctuary Wellness, but you can join in any time.

The Effective Communication course aims to support you to better and more effectively communicate. The six videos contain a wide range of communication skills and techniques. Some cover self-talk (yes, we all do it) and explore our role, behaviour, language, triggers, thoughts and emotions. Other videos focus on communicating with other people, understanding our body and emotional reactions and how we land in arguments.

1. Understanding Emotions and Arguments.

2. Interconnectedness of Mind and Body

3. Pressure and Guilt Words

4. Reaction v. Response

5. Perfectionism, Success and Failure

6. Breaking Free of Negative Thoughts

Also check out my other 6-part series course on Positive Emotional Health & Well-Being.

‘3-Step Process to Calm Anxiety,’ Thrive Global.

Many of us have felt anxiety at different times in our lives to differing degrees. I think we can all agree it doesn’t feel nice at all. For some it can present as a shortness of breath, a rapid heart beat, a knot in the stomach or nausea, a racing mind, or a feeling of loss of reality and perception. However you may feel it, the great news is there is something you can do to help yourself in these moments. Let’s start by understanding anxiety.

Anxiety put really simply is when our mind runs ahead to imagining the worst-case scenario. We often then believe this worst-case scenario is true (because it feels that way) which can lead to further anxiety or a panic attack. Our mind has become disassociated from our body and from reality.

For example, you may need to resolve a conflict with a friend, family member or your boss. Feeling nervous or having a reasonable amount of fear can be normal. Anxiety is when you let your mind race ahead in to the worst-case scenario where you imagine it escalating to an argument that you feel you can’t come back from resulting in loss of trust, loss of friendship, loss of job or worse. This is an anxiety-driven thought that may also cause you to feel unable to even attempt to resolve the conflict at all.

A more current scenario in our new world of COVID19 could be that you have a fear of going out in public that escalates to an anxiety-driven thought. It can be normal to feel fear right now. An anxiety driven-thought may be that you think if you go on public transport and touch the handrail on a train or bus that you will get infected by the virus and either get sick and potentially die yourself or can cause someone else to. If this escalates you may feel unable to leave the house and develop a fear of public spaces or people. In the weeks or months to come as the situation changes, you also may still hold on to your anxiety and find it difficult to re-enter the world.

Anxiety-driven thoughts can be about anything, from COVID19 related issues to love or family relationships, jobs, shopping, driving and anything else. I want to teach you a 3-step process to help combat anxiety and calm down the escalation from a thought or fear to an anxiety-driven thought.

Many people think that Step 1 is taking deep breaths but if you are feeling anxious or having a panic attack, you are not yet ready or often even able to take a deep breath.

STEP 1: GROUNDING.

We want to bring your mind back from being dissociated or disconnected from reality and your surroundings and get grounded. If you’re sitting put your hands on the ground until you can actually feel it. You can also grab your body­ – your arms or your thighs to help you find your body again.

If you are standing you can say, “My feet are on the ground, my feet are on the ground, my feet are on the ground.” Anything that brings you back to your physical body. Whilst you’re doing this grounding, look around the room or the space that you are in. Name three or four things out loud that you can see. Example: “I can see my kettle, my shoes, my book, my phone. I can see my kettle, my shoes, my book, my phone.” If you are naming the things that are physically in front of you, your mind is no longer disconnected, your mind is back with your body because you’re in reality seeing and feeling what is in front of you.

STEP 2: BREATHE.

Now you’re ready for a breath. Now that you’re ‘back’ you can know where your lungs are, where your heart, and where your breath is. Take three to five deep breaths.

STEP 3 – REALITY CHECK

Ask yourself questions. What do I KNOW to be TRUE? What are the FACTS? Facts NOT thoughts. In the example above about wanting to resolve a conflict, what are the facts? Fact: You had a conflict. The conflict is unresolved on your side. The rest are thoughts, fears and anxieties. You do not KNOW how the other person is feeling, what will happen when you meet, whether it will escalate or de-escalate or anything else. Stick to the facts – there was a conflict. That is much less scary than where your anxiety-driven thoughts went.

In example two on our COVID19 related situation, you fear leaving the house. What are the facts? Is it a fact that if you leave the house you will definitely become infected? No. Is it a fact that if you touch a surface in a public space you will definitely become infected? No. Is it a fact that the virus does exist? Yes (depending on your belief system). Does that mean you have it? No. Are there safety precautions you can take? Yes. Again the facts are much less scary than where the anxiety-driven thoughts led you.

Don’t let fears become anxiety-driven thoughts. When we look at the facts, there are usually very, very few facts and the rest are thoughts and fears that lead to anxiety driven thoughts.

For any situation where you feel anxiety rising, whether you are sixteen or sixty, try and remember this 3-Step Process. 1. Grounding. 2. Breathe. 3. Reality Check. This should help calm down your situation so you are able to make decisions that are reasonable for you.

Source: ‘3-Step Process to Calm Anxiety,’/ Thrive Global.

Learning to Breathe

Have you ever stopped to notice your breath before?

When you get a fright, you inhale and hold your breath. When you get anxious, you take short breaths, not quite big enough to actually fill your lungs and body full of oxygen. When you’re in pain you probably exhale hard but don’t really remember to inhale.

Can you see some patterns relating to the breath? Can you see how important the breath is to control and keep us calm? You don’t in fact have to do anything to exhale, to breathe out, that happens naturally. What we need to concentrate on is the inhalation – the breathing in of oxygen because our body (including our brain) needs it. It sounds obvious and you’re probably thinking, “I breathe all day”, but do you really?

Do you take nice long deep breaths that truly reach your belly and truly open your chest and fill your lungs? If you do, then you’ll be feeling completely relaxed all the time.

Let’s stop here and try.

Lie on the floor if you can, or sit up straight. Put your hand on your belly and breathe in through your nose. Breathe into your belly until it is big, until you feel it expand and your hand rise with it (you may have learned this in a yoga class). Exhale gently through your mouth and let out a long sigh. When you exhale you should feel your hand on your belly drop as the air comes out. Breathe all the way out until you literally can’t exhale any more.

This video will help show you to how to take this deep breath.

https://youtu.be/1iVGYfp8Caw

Now that you know how, let’s add colours to the breath. Think of a colour that you like that makes you feel calm and happy.  Next, close your eyes and picture breathing in fresh oxygen and positive thoughts in this calm, beautiful colour full of love and happiness, all the way until your belly is big. When you exhale, breathe out all your negative thoughts, sadness and bad energy in a dirtier colour of brown or grey or whatever colour it is for you. Inhale love and all the beauty in your life and exhale what you don’t want or need. Try this a few more times.

If you are taking long, deep breaths now, can you feel how much space you actually have inside? More than you realised? Now that is a full breath!

It is not always simple and it does not come easily to everyone. I actually ended up having lessons in how to do this, because I felt like I couldn’t. I found it very stressful and scary to think that I didn’t know how to take a full deep breath until I learned and practiced. As with anything, practice is the key. Once you feel comfortable you can start using this type of breath whenever you feel you need it.

If you have had a stressful day, if you come home upset, if you have an exam coming up or have had a fight with someone, then lie down somewhere quiet and breathe. Start with one or two minutes and work your way up to five or more.

Using this breath when you are upset, angry or confused will help you calm down and bring focus and clarity. To take it one step further, here is another little trick. Before you lay down to practice your breathing, grab a pen and paper and write down whatever is on your mind. Write without trying to understand it all yet, just write all your thoughts or frustrations. This will help clear the chaos of the mind. Then breathe. Practice the breath you just learnt. This combination really helps clear the mind and bring calm.

Step 1:

Write

Step 2:

Breathe.

If nothing else then every night when you jump into bed, take at least three of these deep full breaths. You will feel more calm, and ready for sleep. I still do this every night.

* This breathing technique is part of my book The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens and is taught in class rooms as well as individually. 

‘Are You a Procrastinator?’ Huffington Post

2016-05-04-1462336842-5663326-1378219790_procrastination.jpg
People often ask me what they can do about procrastination.

The good news is there is something you can do. Let me share my secrets with you. It might not address your underlying issues for avoiding particular tasks but it will help you achieve your today’s task.

We only really use the term procrastination in a negative way when we are scolding, “Stop procrastinating” or annoyed with ourselves for wasting precious time: “I am such a procrastinator.”

The mere word can bring up feelings of anxiety or guilt for not getting to the task at hand. We instantly feel bad. It doesn’t need to be this way. Why constantly feel frustrated when we can instead use it in a positive way?

Here I will share with you my secrets on:

1. How to make procrastination your friend
2. How to move passed procrastination using The 5-Minute Rule

1. Making Procrastination Your Friend.

First let’s change the way we look at the word. Procrastination literally means “deferment,” “postponement” or “stalling.” We don’t need to feelbad. Let’s take back the control we often give over to the power of procrastination as if it actually holds some power.

It doesn’t, we do. Let’s use it to our advantage.

As soon as you notice yourself avoiding your task at hand and leaning toward doing anything but, stop and recognise it. Awareness is key. It may sound obvious but how many times have you wasted half a day watching television or on Facebook when you just meant to have a quick glance?

Recognize that moment. It is not a bad thing. Nothing to get frustrated over, just notice it. Rather than waste time (which is ultimately what we are doing), use this time in a positive way.

CHOOSE how you want to use this moment of procrastination. TAKE BACK CONTROL. Here is how:

1. Do something that will only take a short time frame (not a few hours).
2. Make it something with your hands; some physical and not mental activity.
3. Make sure the activity provides some level of satisfaction no matter how miniscule.
4. Use this time to clear your mind and start to focus on the task you are avoiding, so by the time you are ready — you are actually ready!
5. Mentally prepare to get to your task by using The 5-Minute Rule (we will get to that shortly).

As an author, my favorite form of procrastination is hand washing and I use it often. I might turn on my laptop to write and find myself looking at Facebook. So instead of “procrastinating” and wasting my morning, I immediately close my computer and grab my washing basket. The washing is a mindless task but allows my brain time to switch on and clear my thoughts.

Using my hands wakes my body up and brings me to an alert state. It may take me ten or twenty minutes but by the end I am feeling good that my clothes are clean and hanging to dry, my body feels awake and my mind alert. I also start to switch my mind to my task, what I want to accomplish in my book today. Clothes clean, laptop back on and ready to go.

So what did I do? I recognized I was about to waste my morning and hand my power away to procrastination and stopped it immediately. I CHOSE how to procrastinate. I made it my friend.

2. “The 5-Minute Rule”

So you have used procrastination wisely and prepared yourself for your task… but maybe you still don’t want to do it. Don’t find another form of procrastination — try using The 5-Minute Rule.

Maybe it is to start doing some exercise, replying to your long list of unread emails or writing in your journal. It doesn’t matter what it is, it is a mental game not a time management one.

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So let me ask you a question, in a 24-hour day would you have 5 minutes spare? If I asked you to attend to your task for 5 minutes, do you think you could do it? Just 5 minutes.

Now you can begin moving through procrastination using The 5-Minute Rule.

“I am going to start at the top and go through my emails for the next 5 minutes.”
“I am going to go for a run for just 5 minutes.”
“I am going to write in my journal for the next 5 minutes.”

If I asked you to spend the next hour replying to your emails, chances are you wouldn’t even begin. But if I ask you to sit for just 5 minutes, you are much more likely to. You can always go for longer, in fact often you will but The 5-Minute Rule helps to get you there (I mean it is only 5 minutes after-all) whilst providing a level of satisfaction for achieving exactly what you set out for.

Try The 5-Minute Rule to get you to the starting block for any new activity or to attend things you just never feel you want to. The hardest part of anything is starting.

So start. Turn up. Open the first page. Stretch your hamstrings, do some sit-ups, open your emails. Whatever it is, start now. It is only 5-minutes.

Disclaimer: I didn’t hand wash in the writing of this article, however I did sweep the floor.

 

Romi Grossberg is a writing therapist, counsellor, facilitator of ‘Writing from The Source’ workshops and author. The theme of procrastination is part of her upcoming new book, titled ‘The 5-Minute Guide to Emotional Intelligence’ to be released in May 2016. For more information, go towww.romigrossberg.com

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform.

Source: Are You a Procrastinator? | HuffPost Life

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Blog

Teaching ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ to 200 students!

Teaching 200 students 'The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens' - a guidebook on mental health, emotional health and social health.
20 January 2020/by Romi Grossberg

The Recovery Village, US

Sharing information from other organisations and networks about teen mental health. This one is from The Recovery Village, US.
14 December 2019/by Romi Grossberg

‘Teen Mental Health,’ Medium

In psychology terms, adolescence is the developmental stage of identity. Who am I? It is a powerful thing to begin to answer that question as a teen. How many adults can truly answer it?
26 September 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Cultures of Thinking Conference 2019 (& radio podcast interview)

This week I presented at The 7th Annual Cultures of Thinking Conference by way of a 90-minute workshop.
23 August 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Workshopping with teens in Romania

I was invited by my Romanian friend and colleague Ema to run…
1 July 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Is Perfectionism getting in the way?

If perfectionism gets in the way of you completing tasks, whether it be a project, sending off a manuscript, finishing a piece or art work or anything else, then check out my take on perfectionism... and rainbows.
3 April 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Asia Pacific Writers Conference, Indonesia.

I was on a panel as part of the 3-day Asia Pacific Writers and Translators 10th anniversary conference.
30 October 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Holistic Counselling

Holistic Counselling looks at all of you. It recognises that people are not one-dimensional and that all the different parts that make up a person need to be factored in, to be able to fully understand the person. Holistic Counselling looks at mind, body and spirit.
29 September 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Tips for Journalling

A short four video series to help you journal. For those who have never journalled, have stopped somewhere along your life journey, or are just curious to hear more.
29 September 2017/by Romi Grossberg

THE KEY: Hear what the students had to say

Teaching TEENAGERS about EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is no easy task, but I was up for the challenge.
17 August 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Bitter Sweet

I finally made it to the Maccabiah Games in Israel but it feels bitter sweet.
16 July 2017/by Romi Grossberg

What’s Your Dream?

Do you have a dream? Have you told someone about it?
24 April 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Learning to Breathe

Have you ever stopped to notice your breath before?
When…
31 March 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Tears in Phnom Penh

I never know when the tears will come but I know they are there.
14 January 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Asia Pacific Writers Conference, Manila.

‘APWT is the largest, longest running, functioning literary network I know of in South East Asia and the Pacific’.
30 October 2016/by Romi Grossberg

“One day I just let go…“

I love what I do!
Last month I held my 'Writing from The…
14 October 2016/by Romi Grossberg

I am a Writer not a Hooper

I often thought if I had I joined in years ago at our weekly hoopjam instead of watching, drinking coffee, juggling, socialising and dancing, maybe I could be good too.
9 September 2016/by Romi Grossberg

Australia – you amaze me!

I planned a 3 week trip to Melbourne as an International guest…
18 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

My Book Launch

The week after I landed back in Thailand, the Tea Temple threw me the most beautiful book launch party.
3 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

My amazing trip to Samui

Once again I was invited by the amazing Anna Sugarman to host my 'Writing From The Source' workshop at her yoga teacher training in Bo Phut.
1 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

Melbourne events in May

I have finally landed in sunny Melbourne (yes the sun is actually…
16 May 2016/by Romi Grossberg

The Bliss Festival

If there is a better way to end the year than the Bliss…
1 January 2016/by Romi Grossberg

‘Stand Up’ Workshop

When the amazing International spoken word artist Fleassy Malay…
8 September 2015/by Romi Grossberg

‘Climbing the Walls,’ Griffith Review

Last year there was a call for submissions for the best new writers in Asia under 40.
11 August 2015/by Romi Grossberg
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About

Author, Counsellor, Writing Therapist & Public Speaker.



Counselling sessions for adults and teenagers.

On-line and in-person.

Workshops, courses and curriculums. 

Mentor of writers and want-to-be writers.

Public Speaking.


I love what I do.


I have been called a gypsy, a nomad, a hippy, a fairy, a bookworm, a rebel, sporty-spice, crossword junkie and the ‘grass-is-greener’ girl.



Maybe I was all of these things.

I

have been a sports teacher, a photographer, a social worker, a mental health specialist, a drug and alcohol counsellor, a public speaker and a traveller. I was one of those people who was always searching, though I never knew what I was looking for… until now. Living in South East Asia since March 2010, I feel that I have found… well, that I am found. 

Today I practice Holistic Counselling – because ‘holistic’ includes the ‘all of you’ and as unique individuals we need to recognise that our cultural, family, religious, spiritual and societal upbringing influences different aspects of us: the way we think, react, respond, feel and understand the world. My counselling sessions are forward thinking, looking at where are you now? Where are you trying to get to? What is in the way? And how can we make the path clear and easy? 

In sessions I may incorporate talk therapy with writing therapy and breath work and always promise to give you practical and grounded guidance with real life tools and techniques to take away. I work with mental health, emotional health, decision-making and trust, career advice, relationship advice, communication skills, societal issues and more, helping you find your voice and trust yourself.

Writing Mentorship: A journal writer since 1984, I write with ease and flow and teach others how to do the same. I teach self-expression, journaling and flow writing in both group and private sessions. I teach people how to get out of their head, connect with their body, get in touch with their source – their gut, the centre of all emotions. I even invented a word for it in 2015 – gutism.

I work with authors, writers and want-to-be writers at any stage of writing from the brainstorming stage right through – I give advice, tips, tools and techniques (not editing) of books, scripts or writing therapy and journalling. Writing for me is about understanding the process between the head, heart and gut. Writers block is when those three are in conflict.



I have been a volunteer worker since before I probably knew what it meant. It just seemed natural to want to help those less fortunate.

I have volunteered in Israel, Vietnam, India, Cambodia and Australia. I have been a carer in disability homes, an art teacher, a sports manager, a teacher at isolated schools for migrant children, a life skills coach for street kids and a community development worker for the World Health Organization (W.H.O.).

In 2010 I became the Manager of Tiny Toones Cambodia and my whole world changed. My heart got broken in to a thousand pieces and put back together over and over by the slum’s most precious street kids. I sat by their side through drug addiction, family violence, pain, recovery, relapse, slavery, corruption and poverty. They, ‘my kids’ taught me about unconditional love, respect, honour, determination and friendship. They taught me about family when they chose me as their mum, aunty and big sister.

“You should be a writer,” I kept hearing from friends and colleagues. I was a story-teller, definitely. I loved public speaking and have travelled on stages across Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Singapore and even the first ever Tedx Phnom Penh in 2011 and interviewed in newspapers, radio and television including the highly-regarded ABC Australia Network with journalist Kate Arnott.

In November 2012 I went to Laos for my first writers retreat purely because it felt right – even though I was broke and terrified. I don’t remember making any decisions since. Things just happened. Do what you love and the rest will come. I met incredible authors who became mentors and I fell madly in love with the pen. Eventually, I tore myself away from my beloved Cambodian family and moved to a small island in southern Thailand to focus on writing. This is when I truly felt I could call myself an author.

Now I sit in my office (by that I mean on my balcony) looking out in to the jungle, writing and editing. Going to work as a counsellor is only a hop, skip and jump over the hill. Life is beautiful.

Do you what you love …

and the rest will come.

Now, back to my office….


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