All posts by Howard Todd-Collins

About Howard Todd-Collins

Grad.Dip.Couns.HS, M.Couns.HS, Counsellor/Psychotherapist, Consultant MACA Howard is the director and owner of Men and Relationships Counselling. He passionately believes that given the right space and environment, men open up and talk about their lives in a way that empowers them to take steps to change. He has a strong connection to the growth of men, with over 15 years experience in designing individual and group programs for men and fathers as well as facilitating human relations groups. Go to > http://menandrelationships.com.au/about-us/consultants/ and Learn About Our Consultants – What We Do And Why

mind

Just 8 minutes to relax your busy mind!

Does your mind get so loaded up with thoughts, tasks, people, events, or memories that you become overwhelmed and exhausted?

For many of us getting overloaded in such a fast paced busy world is a common experience.

Such a busy mind can be disastrous for your health and wellbeing.

The impact

The most common problems include:

  • Poor sleep
  • Lack of focus
  • High levels of stress
  • Poor decision making
  • Irritable mood
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Relationship conflict

There are too many people, blokes in particular, who exacerbate their overwhelmed mind by attempting to numb or wipe out their thoughts.

Many men get lost in behaviours such as:

  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, including binge drinking
  • Addiction to illicit drugs
  • Over use of prescription medication.

Breaking the cycle

In some meditation philosophies the ‘monkey mind’ is a term used to describe how the mind swings from one thought to another like a monkey swinging from tree to tree.

It’s a powerful metaphor that describes the worst experience of feeling out of control.

Taming the mind with meditation requires lots of patient practice.

Research has shown how regular meditation and mindfulness practice assists mental and physical health.

The Benefits

Mental health benefits of mindfulness include:

  •  Increase connection with yourself, your partner and to others in general
  •  More balance and less emotional volatility
  •  Calm and peace
  •  Self-acceptance and self-compassion
  •  Becoming less judgmental
  •  Manage difficult thoughts and feelings safely
  •  Increase self-awareness
  •  Less reactive to unpleasant experiences

Physical health benefits include:

  • Stress relief
  • Aids in the treatment of heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduction in chronic pain
  • Improved sleep

Do you have 8 minutes?

Allow me to share with you a mindfulness exercise!  It will take just 8 minutes to practice!

I will guide you to clear some space in your head!

This exercise will get you to slow down, find some clarity or just simply press the pause button for a while and maybe even help you to sleep.

The benefits are enormous with regular practice.

I suggest 2 sessions of 8 minutes each per day. 16 minutes per day in total! Give it a go!

The exercise is narrated by my dulcet tones.

Simply press the link below.

Enjoy!

 

Relationship

A Man’s Guide to a Secure Relationship

What does security mean to you in your relationship?

Many couples prioritise financial and domestic issues as measures of security.

However, the degree to which the connection between you and your partner provides a safe port of call in times of need is an essential factor in the longevity of relationships.

How does that sound to you?
Do you turn to your partner for support and comfort in times of distress?

This is a significant question particularly because many blokes tend to be there for their partner but struggle to allow their partner to be there for them.

It’s common for a relationship to feel out of balance when partner’s  expectations and understanding of security are not aligned.

Security changes everything!

An intimate relationship is a deep psychological resource, co-created by both you and your partner.

The benefits include:

  • Expressing positive emotions.
  • Constructive ways of dealing with negative emotions.
  • Developing curiosity and tolerance for conflict and uncertainty.
  • Healthy ways of coping with stress.
  • Improved physical health such as reduced risk of heart disease, improved immune functioning and ability to cope with pain.
  • Sharing life in fulfilling and meaningful ways.
  • Feel stronger, supported and cared for.
  • Increase in self confidence

All these benefits naturally spills over to your relationship with your kids, colleagues, family and community.

Safety

A sense of safety is shaped by your levels of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence impacts how much emotional intimacy exists in your relationship, therefore determining the kind of emotional attachment you and your partner experience.

Attachment is a deep and lasting emotional bond that connects you to your partner.

Your early relationship with your parents and caregivers has determined an attachment style that is evident in the way you may also connect with your partner.

This is why couples counselling can be such a powerful resource because it explores styles of attachment and how it enhances relationship security.

How to create safety?

How you and your partner offer each other support and comfort creates and enhances a sense of safety.

Here are some examples:

Relationship

If you have a moment, ask yourself these questions:

1. How does your partner give you support, comfort and encouragement?

2. How do you offer your partner a safe haven in hard times?

Security

Supporting your partner’s personal growth enhances the security in your relationship.

Below are a few ideas!

Relationship

Consider the following questions to boost your relationship security.

  1. How has your partner encouraged you to grow and develop?
  2. How do you support your partners dreams and aspirations to grow?

Is it hard to find answers?

These questions about creating safety and security appear simple.

However, relationships can be complicated throughout the rough and tumble of life’s transitions, conflicts and stress.

If you’re holding on to past hurts or anger this could be getting in the way.

It may even be stopping you from seeing how your partner is attempting to connect with you!

If this is something you are aware of get some help and unpack some of these blocks to moving forward in your relationship.

Check out our couples page for more info.
(Adapted from An Emotionally Focused Workbook for Couples. Veronica Kallos-Lilly, Jennifer Fitzgerald)
dad

How do you know how to be a good dad?

Fathers usually have immense joy, fun, and adventure accompanied by serious confusion, fatigue and stress as a parent!

The ‘how to be a father’ information juggernaut is out there.

You will find an abundance of websites, blogs, workshops, books, magazine articles, stories, and movies all depicting qualities of fatherhood.

However, to a large extent your personal history shapes you as a father and in many ways this will be your best guide.

Fathers and their beliefs

The philosophies that you believe are important in the way you live and work determine your priorities. They are the measures that determine if your life is turning out the way you want it to.

Your life experience,  expectations, emotional intelligence, communication skills and behaviours make you the unique person and dad you are.

Your kids become the beneficiaries!

For better or worse!

Where did you come from and how did you get here?

Many of your personal values and characteristics will have originated from your upbringing.

You will have been influenced by your father, mother or other guiding adult mentors in life including relatives, teachers, authors, or friends.

For many men memories of their own father evokes thoughts of an emotionally absent, distracted if not physically distant man.

For others they remember their father as actively engaged physically and emotionally.

You may remember something in between, or indeed you may have lost or never known your father.

Who influenced you? 

Here’s a task!

Spend a few moments reflecting on the helpful and unhelpful aspects of your own father, or father figure/mentor, that has influenced you.

Here are some examples of men’s memories of their father and his characteristics, values and behaviours.

Father

Father

Do any of these resonate with you?

Do you do things the same or differently from your own father?

Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you are interested to learn more about your parenting style, check out our sister site below>

www.licensedtoparent.com.au