Category Archives: Basic & General

How to deal with pop-up thought?

“How do I stop thinking?”

“I have so much thought! I can’t stay focus!”

“How do I control my mind? I feel like I’m losing it.”

“I can’t sleep. There are so many thoughts, I can’t help it”

Just as the heart is designed to pump, the brain is designed to think, and it throws you with thoughts every 1 or 2 seconds, you can’t really control those thoughts or stop them from popping up, what can you do about them? How can you stay focused better? How can you direct attention to the here and now, to the present moment, to the things you want to do?

The answer is pretty simple… We all hear it every now and then… You might even have tried or practiced it before…

 

 

 

 

“Mindfulness”

Yes, being mindful, noticing your thought, accepting them (no judging), then bringing your attention to the present moment. How can you achieve that?

“Practice”

Yes, you need to practice, keep doing it, whenever you remember, it doesn’t just happen overnight. You can start with some simple meditation, you may learn the Benson’s relaxation method (read this). Or you can try the Leaves on the Stream here (with recordings).

冥想 VS 正念

“如何区分正念与冥想?”

这是一个我被问过几次的问题,下面的解答是基于我的实践和理解。

从广义上讲,冥想有两种类型。一是集中注意力。例如,当你专注于你的呼吸,一个单词,一个咒语,一个烛光,你放开任何引起你注意的事物,并将你的注意力集中在这一个事物上。(这种类型的一个例子:本森放松法

另一种冥想,是广泛的注意力(意识)。这就像你处于没有在进行比赛的体育馆里。你看着这整个空间。你可以像观察者一样观察整个体验,不评判,不反应。你允许事物来去自如。

第二种冥想,就是一种正念练习!正念的定义通常包括处于当下、带着觉察、不批判和接受(不过度反应)。当你在进行河流上的飘叶时,你注意并观察着你脑海中正在发生的事情。你当然可以将它概括到你的日常生活中,注意到你在哪里,你在干嘛,觉察你的想法/感受等等。

你可以随时随地练习正念。带着正念地吃,喝,工作,打字,开车,锻炼,运动,行走(即处在当下,觉察,并接受)。但是,你不能冥想着进行这一切。

有些人在走路,跑步或游泳时可能会冥想。这可以是第一类型的冥想(集中、狭隘注意力)或第二类冥想(扩大注意力)。第一类,你可能会在心里重复“一,二,一,二,一,二……”,或把注意力放在你的呼吸。第二类,你观察你的整个经历,比如你的肌肉如何运动,你看到,听到什么,觉察你的感受等等。

我会说两者都是冥想,但只有第二类是正念。希望我有把我的理解厘清吧… 欢迎分享你的看法!

How do I get more clients for my practice?

Here is a list of results brainstormed by a group of 25 students in China. They were trying to find out as many solutions possible to get more clients for their practice (psychotherapy). It is part of the Problem Solving Therapy Exercise (step 2). It is a process of getting as many solutions as possible without assessing how good or practical they are (quantity > quality).

  • Set up personal website
  • Use of social media like facebook, instagram, wechat
  • Share of information online
  • Giving talk in hospital, schools
  • Advertisement
  • Organising workshop
  • Collaborate with government organisation
  • Collaborate with corporates, company
  • Collaborate with schools
  • Collaborate with celebrities
  • Collaborate with hospitals
  • Collaborate with other private practices
  • Collaborate with the community groups or organisations
  • Collaborate with specialist clinics (e.g. post cancer treatment, irritable bowel syndrome, skin problems)
  • Leaflet
  • Business card
  • Summer camp
  • Use of search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu
  • Radio station (share of information, ads)
  • Words of mouth
  • Talk for parents (through schools)
  • Group experiential workshop in the schools
  • Charity events
  • Visiting schools, giving talks to teachers, managements, students, parents
  • Rise your fee per session (to increase your income…)
  • Treating celebrities and make them your spokeperson
  • Running workshop series
  • Set up association
  • Make short videos
  • Personal development, learn more approaches
  • Ads on bus, bus stop
  • Set up good name for your business/practice
  • More flexibility, provide online sessions
  • Raise fund from corporates
  • Be very specialised in certain areas
  • Be interviewed in radio or tv programmes
  • Stage hypnosis or demonstration
  • Target students, teenagers, parents
  • Target women general wellbeing
  • Target insomnia
  • Wellbeing / Healthcare centre
  • Package, e.g. free one session every 5 sessions
  • Pre-wedding package (weight loss, smoking cessation, general confidence)
  • Funerals
  • Target bad habits
  • Target pregnancy (e.g. post-partum anxiety/depression, weight loss, general wellbeing)
  • Therapy during a day-out together

What else can you come up with?

Mindfulness VS Meditation

“What’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation?”

One of the questions I was asked a few times, and this answer below is based on my practice and understanding.

There are two types of meditation, broadly speaking. One is with focused attention. So for example, when you focus on your breathing, a word, a prayer, the candle light, you let go of anything that comes into your attention, and keep redirecting your attention to the thing that you are focusing on. (One example of this type of meditation here).

Another type of meditation, is with widen attention (awareness). It’s like you are in a stadium when no game is being played. You watch the whole space. You watch your whole experience, like an observer, or like a third party, non-judging, and not reacting. You allow things to come and go.

This second type of meditation, is a mindfulness practice! The definition(s) of mindfulness generally includes being present, being aware, non-judgemental, and acceptance (not overly reactive). When you practice Leaves on the Stream, you are mindful of what’s going on in your mind. You can of course generalise this to your daily life, and be mindful of where you are, what you do, what you think/feel etc.

You can practice mindfulness anytime anywhere. Eating, drinking, working, typing, driving, exercising, walking mindfully (i.e. staying present, being aware of what you do, and being accepting). You can’t do all that while you meditate though.

Some people might meditate while they walk, run or swim. This can be with either first (focused, narrow attention) OR second type of meditation (broaden attention). With first, you might be saying “one, two, one, two, one, two…” in your mind, or noticing your breathing in and out. With second, you will be observing your whole experience, how your muscle move, what you see, hear, sense, how you feel etc.

I’d say both are meditation, but only the second one is being mindful. I hope I’ve made it clear?! Feel free to share your views!

Stop it!!

A (very short) “counselling session” by the American stand up comedian and actor Bob Newhart. Do watch it!

I came across this video while learning thought stopping techniques. Seriously, sometimes I think this is simply and exactly what some people need.

Notice the thought and stop the thought, accept whatever you are feeling, focus on the present, use your sensation, pay attention to the external environment (as opposed to the internal), and do what you want to do!

Remember, only present exists! Everything else is only in your mind.

Also remember, you can’t stop the thoughts from popping up, but you can decide how you react to them!

Simple Breathing Relaxation 简单呼吸放松

Here is a 5-minute recording of tension release breathing, just follow the instruction (breath in – hold your breath & notice the tension – breath out and release the tension). Hold your breath for as long as you are comfortable, and try to exhale slowly and gently. You can do this anytime anywhere, with eyes open or close.

5 mins breathing relaxation - Recording


这是个简单的五分钟紧张释放呼吸录音,只需要跟着指示(吸气 – 屏气并注意肌肉紧绷感 – 呼气)。只要不造成不适,屏气时间尽可能长;而呼气的时候尽可能缓慢轻柔。在任何时候任何地方都可以做,不闭眼也可以。

五分钟呼吸放松 – 录音