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By Joanna Kleovoulou, Clinical Psychologist & Director at PsychMatters Family Therapy Centre

Happy Chinese New Year to all and welcome 2014 – may the year of the strong and graceful horse assist you in galloping towards your goals and desires.

“Create your future from your future, not from your past.” –Weiner Erhard

Many of us find ourselves juggling careers, relationships, family, children and money matters. With the roll-over in to the new year it can leaving us psychologically and physically overwhelmed with the continuation of the last year’s stresses, lacking the motivation and energy to cope with what is, and the uncertainty to know how to make the necessary changes to move forward or to live our full potential.

We all have a life script which is essentially the way in which we perceive our life to be. Concepts such as “who am I?”, “what matters in my life?” and “how do manage my life in order to live fully?” are questions we need to ponder on. We often get stuck in a story which keeps us locked in pain and then react to life with that mind-set.  Is your glass half full or half empty? How do you view your current challenges? Can you see yourself getting through it? How is your general mental and physical well-being? Are you sleep-deprived? Making poor food choices? Not moving sufficiently? Any diseases you struggling with? What is the status of your current relationships? Do you have a sense of meaning and purpose in your life? Do you have any desires and dreams, and have you managed to set specific goals to attain them? Is your lack of motivation getting in your way?

“Watch your thoughts they become words. Watch your words they become actions. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Unknown


  • Moving physically: Exercise is beneficial in reducing anxiety levels and helps you cope mentally, emotionally and physically. When you are nervous, angry, or upset, you can release the build-up of pressure through exercise or physical activity. Exercise burns up adrenaline and produces helpful chemicals and positive feelings. Running, walking, working in your garden, yoga, soccer are just some of the activities you can try.
  • Identify your stresses: It helps to talk to someone such as a trusting friend or family member about your concerns and worries. A psychologist can help you see your problem in a different light and give you insight to cope more effectively.
  • Food choices: When we are stressed we often feel too busy to take lunch breaks and feel too tired in the evening to cook for ourselves. We often then resort to eating ‘convenience’ foods and ‘junk’ foods. Balanced healthy diet is essential. Assess the current diet and identify where improvements should be made and commit to those improvements.
  • Sacred Space: provide a quiet place where you can just be, and be enveloped by the tranquillity. Remember to breathe and to believe.
  • Make space to relax: The best strategy to build an immunity against stress is to learn how to relax.  Learn breathing techniques.
  • Learning to say “no”: If there are things at home or at work that you just cannot do, learn how to say no. Do not commit to new things just because you feel you have to. Do not take on more than you can handle.
  • Notice your Self-Talk: is it negative/filled with limitations or positive/filled with possibilities?
    e.g. “I always get this wrong” versus  “How can I make sure I get this right next time?”
  • Remember to control the things you can and let go of the things you cannot control.
  • Have a vision in your life: your vision will motivate you to make the necessary steps to move towards your dreams.
  • Put work and effort towards your dreams.
  • Know your worth.

At the end of the day you are responsible for your attitudes and feelings. You can choose to be a victim or you can choose to direct your life in a more positive direction. The more positive you are the happier you will be and you will probably live longer. You choose.

To participate in the next empowering workshop: “Strat Session for your life”, contact or 011-4503576 to book your slot with our Clinical Psychologist.

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