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Mindfulness Meditation, Sanctuary Wellness Podcast

Bonus: Mindfulness Meditation with Romi Grossberg

Sanctuary Wellness Podcast, Feb 2021.

Calm your mind and body with this 10 minute mindfulness meditation led by holistic counsellor, Romi Grossberg.

PLAY 10-minute Mindfulness Meditation

 

Every second week host Faith Hill posts a short meditation.

Every other second week host Faith Hill interviews a different therapist or healer. Listen out for our interview to be aired in March.

‘3 Ways to Step into 2021, Without the Weight of 2020,’ Thrive Global.

2020 felt like a pretty horrible year to most people no doubt. Understandably, we just want to walk (or run!) away from it.

As much as we would like to switch off the memories, we can’t. Carrying the feelings, fear or anxiety of the past year into 2021 won’t benefit us as individuals, or as a collective.

So how can we prepare for 2021?

The reality of the world right now is that many of us will be spending what is normally a huge celebration – New Years Eve, alone or in small groups. Here are 3 things we can do on our own, with a friend or with a family member on new years eve itself, or during this week.

Grab a pen and 3 pieces of paper and let’s begin.

1. Saying Goodbye to 2020

Write down what you would like to shed. Think about your emotions, thoughts and feelings. We can’t get rid of what actually happened, the loss or the pandemic, but we can shed the anger, frustration, sadness or despair. Layer by layer, a little at a time, we can let go of the feelings associated. Write them down, find your words, express, process, let go.

With 2020’s pandemic spilling in to 2021, all we can control right now is us. Our thoughts, feelings, actions, reactions, behaviour and style of communication. Whatever did not serve you in 2020, now is the time to make peace with it. 2020 is over and it is time to let go.

Burn that letter as you release it from your mind, body and soul.

2. Find your Silver Linings.

Write down any silver linings you found this year. It may be hard for some people, particularly if you lost a loved one, a job or a home. But please try.

Did you learn something positive about yourself? Did you have more time to reflect? Find space to grow within? Time to start a new hobby? Become closer (even over phone/video) with a family member? Rekindle an old friendship? Have more time to spend with your children? Meet your neighbours? Realise you are more resilient than you thought? Or it could be just watching on tv as different cities publicly applauded the front line workers or sang from balconies to share love and compassion with each other.

I have clients who lost a family member but rekindled other family relationships in the grieving process, clients who were isolated and scared and found strength they didn’t know they had, and clients who through tragedy found clarity, as their sense of perspective shifted.

You can burn this one or choose to keep it.

3. Find Gratitude

Write a gratitude list. When the world seems dark and the days long, it is good to ask yourself What am I grateful for? and write your answer.

Let’s start 2021 on a positive note.

Why not stick this on your fridge, on your mirror or in your bag?

Let’s shed the negativity of 2020, find the moments that warmed our heart and remember what we are grateful for as we move into 2021 with an open heart and mind.

 

by Romi Grossberg.

Photo by Anthony R Turner, Art of Love Photography.

 

MASTERCLASS: ‘The Art of Saying No.’

MASTERCLASS video here: ‘The Art of Saying No.’

Practical information and things we can do in Setting Boundaries.

Empath’s find it particularly difficult to not only set boundaries, but to keep their boundaries. In this workshop learn to understand why we all need boundaries. Learn how to say no without guilt and stress. Boundaries are empowering and keep us safe. Whilst many put a negative connotation on the word, boundaries is not a dirty word.

I was fortunate to have been contacted recently by the lovely Cassandra Michael, a Positive Psychology & Mindset Coach for empaths and highly sensitives. After a Zoom meeting and some emails back and forth she has invited me as a Guest Presenter on her online course. I will be facilitating a workshop on boundaries.

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.

‘Moving Forward in Uncertain Times’ – FB LIVE @Sanctuary Thailand

“Listen to resident counsellor Romi speak about our mental health and emotional well being in these uncertain times and how we can still move forward.” – Sanctuary Thailand.

It is very normal to be feeling pressure, stress, worry, grief or confusion at the moment. Here I talk about how we can move forward. Despite the loss of freedoms: loss of jobs, financial stability, mental health stability, physical contact, loss of routine, how we can still find peace, calm and balance.

FB LIVE talk @ The Sanctuary Thailand, June 2020.

Making Mental Health a Priority During Uncertain Times – Podcast interview on The Big Turtle, U.S.

“A fascinating conversation with Freedom Cole, Dr Patty Hlava and Romi Grossberg on the crucial topic of Mental Health – integrated approaches to healing, how different cultures approach mental health, the use and misuse of medication, and how best to navigate these troubling times with a modicum of sanity.” The Big Turtle Podcast.

A shaky start to the video podcast interview across the UK, U.S. and Asia with a little freeze and a little pause but well worth the watch.

Making Mental Health a Priority During Uncertain Times – Podcast interview on The Big Turtle Podcast, June 2020.

Hosted by: Vikram Zutshi and Lea Horvatic.

Guests: Romi Grossberg, Patty Hlava, Ph.D., and Freedom Cole.

 

The Key Is Self-Awareness  – Podcast interview on Fit for Joy, U.S.

In May I was interviewed by Valeria Teles, a Well-Being Coach, Author and Podcaster in the U.S. She wanted to talk to me about my book and course ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ and together we discussed the mental health and emotional well-being of adolescence with a focus on understanding oneself and one’s friendships.

 

In this episode, Valeria Teles interviews Romi Grossberg.

Teenagers are introduced to the ideas of emotional intelligence, self-awareness and self-understanding: To learning greater life skills and coping strategies to not merely survive school and home life but to thrive socially, emotionally and mentally.

Your E.Q. (emotional intelligence) is based on self-awareness. It is understanding your emotions and why you react to people or situations the way you do.

Increasing your awareness is important for the very simple reason that it ultimately makes life easier! It is difficult to notice the good or acknowledge the ‘not so good’ in life if you aren’t aware in the first place. Understanding and increasing your awareness and learning some of the tools in this book can help you deal with pressure, anxiety, school life, friendships, relationships, arguments, family life and growing up.” She writes in her opening chapter.

‘The Key’ is a guidebook addressing mental, social, and emotional health. Romi believes that in today’s current climate of an elevating mental health crisis amongst adolescence worldwide, it is vital young people are adequately equipped to handle their thoughts and emotions as they move through this developmental stage of identity.

Teens can learn that even seemingly complex issues or problems can be taught and dealt with in very real terms with practical guidance, learning, activities, videos, and discussion.

Romi’s book ‘The Key’ is broken into three sections: 1. My Friendships, 2. Me and 3. My Family. She begins with friendships because friendship is the most important thing during adolescence and so the best way to engage. “It’s not exactly a lie when we say what we know other people want to hear, but it’s not always the truth either. It is us trying to fit in, not stand out, be cool. We all do it. But wouldn’t it be cooler if we didn’t have to always concentrate or try so hard? If we could be honest with ourselves and our friends and know that everything would just be okay?” – writes Romi Grossberg.

‘The Key’ includes over twenty topics including negative thought patterns, unconditional love, bullying, effective communication, anxiety, trusting yourself, and many more.

Source: The Key Is Self-Awareness  — Fit for Joy

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

On 13th December I had the pleasure of being invited to teach roughly 200 students at PanyaDee British International School in Koh Samui Thailand. No, not all at once! I taught in groups of age and year levels. Having multiple cultures, nationalities and languages certainly kept me on my toes. I absolutely love teaching from my book and course The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens. Mostly I teach one year level or  work with teachers but on this day I got to teach every year level and then meet some of the parents.

My book and course The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens covers over twenty topics offering coping strategies and practical life skills in mental, emotional and social health including exercises and videos. Below is a summary of the topics taught at particular year levels at PanyaDee School.

Year 7. Age 11-12: ‘What I can control v.’s what I cannot control’

I had planned to do a session on ‘Choices’ and ‘How to Think for ourselves’ with this group but when they walked in and I saw how much younger they looked I immediately changed my mind. In Australia Year 7’s are 12-13 years old and at this young age, even a year or two younger makes a big difference. In the moments of them walking in and sitting down I made a whole new lesson plan and wrote up on the board two columns: What I Can Control and What I Cannot Control to begin a discussion on the way we think, behave, learn, act and react, our goals and how we make decisions. It is important to understand at this young age that we cannot control things such as if somebody else likes us or is kind to us but we can control how we react and behave. We don’t want to be getting upset over things we cannot control including others’ thoughts and behaviours, or the way we look, colour of our skin and our height. However we can control the way we want to feel about these things. What we do in response and how we react is our choice.

They were a well-behaved and well-mannered group of students who were keen to get involved, put their hands up and participate throughout the one-hour session.

Below is the group brainstorm we did on the board.

Year 8. Age 12-13 & Year 9. Age 13-14: ‘Choices’

12- 14 years old can be a difficult age group. Being cool and fitting in starts to become more important than doing the right thing, listening to your parents or even listening to yourself. Peer group pressure and even bullying can become intolerable and standing up for yourself increasingly difficult. It is also the age (depending on culture and country) where alcohol, drugs and sex become a factor. For these two year levels I chose the topic of ‘Choices.’

 

After a lengthy discussion around what choices are, how we create good options, make good decisions that are right for us, how to listen to ourselves and deal with peer pressure we also looked at where and how we actually make decisions. Do we listen to our head? Our thinking place of  logic, rationale and common sense but also questioning, criticising and uncertainty. Do we listen to our heart? What we feel, desire, want, love, hurt and pain. Or do we listen to our gut? Sub-conscious space of knowing, trust and intuition. How do we know?

With that in mind I posed a scenario to the group based on my knowledge of this age group and of the local expat lifestyle in this area. The scenario was: You are at a house party with all of your friends from your school and other schools and someone finds a bottle of vodka. All your friends start doing shots. You don’t want to. How do you come to the decision to say no and what might be the repercussions of making this decision?

We looked at the possible positive and negative outcomes on the physical self and the possible positive and negative outcomes on the emotional self. The large group was split into smaller groups to discuss and the results of all the groups were put on the whiteboard.  As you can see from the photo below there can be many contributing factors to the thought process. The idea is not to look at which column has the most/least amount of answers as the ‘correct’ decision to make but to look at what is actually in these columns and listen to your gut instinct to know for yourself what the right thing to do is. What you value (ie:wanting your parents to feel proud or needing to feel cool) will help dictate how you make your decisions. As you can imagine many more topics and questions around what is important and why, how you feel about these things and why etc then enter in to this type of discussion.

The year 9’s handled it well and participated fully whilst the year 8’s, being a little younger were easily embarrassed, giggling, teasing each other and it was clear to me it was ‘not cool’ to participate in this type of conversation. That does not mean it is not relevant. Maybe they didn’t have the maturity yet, maybe I hit a topic to close too home, maybe there is some underlying bullying or teasing within this group but my aim is always the same – 1. That if one student feels more confident to listen to themselves and stand up for themselves then I have done my job. 2. That this conversation may be remembered a few months down the track if they find themselves in a tricky situation.

 

 

Year 10. Age 14-15 & Year 11. Age 16-17: ‘Who Am I?’

Adolescence is the developmental stage of identity where the biggest questions (consciously or subconsciously) are who am I? And where do I fit in the world? Although adolescence is considered 12-18 years I believe these identity questions become more prominent in the later years. 14-18 years old is a great age to be delving in to the topic of identity and trying to understand who we are. It is a big question and can feel hugely overwhelming and confusing so I have developed a way of teaching this that helps create understanding and less stress.

After a discussion around the topic I set the task of answering some questions that are listed in my book The Key (listed below). They answered alone before sharing with the person next to them and then back to the larger group. Asking questions in this way allows young people to learn self enquiry skills and objectively look at themselves in the the different aspects of their life, to look at and understand the similarities and differences of the different ‘versions’ of themself.

Some of the students found the questions easy to answer and some more difficult. They seemed to enjoy the partner sharing part too, learning more about each other and themselves. The conversation moved also in to topics around calming ourselves after arguments or before exams including topics such as meditation, negative thought patterns, positive self talk and the concepts of success and failure and how we understand them.

 

Meeting the Parents

So after an inspiring, exhilarating (and exhausting) day, I had a ‘meet & greet’ with the parents after the school’s day ended. A group of parents from different year levels attended to hear about what their teens had encountered with me. I went through The Key’s topics and then specifically what topics were addressed in each year level. A lengthy Q & A followed.

 

Click here for more information or to purchase your copy of The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens.

 

 

 

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