Z for Less ZZZ

How to get more energy and silence the negative voice in your head? Less ZZZs.

I was thinking about you as a parent, as a human being and me and what we feel a lot of at the moment and so I came up with Z for tired because talking to a lot of parents at the moment, a lot of them are tired. 

And they are tired physically, they are doing a whole load of stuff. So, one lady, one mum I spoke to earlier in the week. She did her own job description and included everything that you can think of but obviously at the moment with kids being off school, a lot of kids been off school, you know, the teacher, bottle washer, all the stuff and that she had to do. And I said, oh well, if I look at my job description, it's got a lot less than it in you. And so I feel for you and your physical tiredness from having to do so much and especially you know, here in the UK, we’re having hot days and it is physically too tiring to do stuff in the heat. And then there's other sorts of tired, you know, that kind of like emotionally tired. 

So people talk about being, you know, physically and emotionally drained and physically exhausted. Physically and emotionally exhausted, you know, when they’ve been through a lot. And there's a lot of people that have been through a lot with COVID and, and people that are still going through a lot. So, I wanted to give you- I wanted to raise your spirits. 

And the thing that popped into my head is that, you know, so often we think that tiredness is a physical thing when it's actually an emotional thing. And I was on a course last year, the year before, and it was a Saturday and Sunday. We had a big night on that Saturday night, was a late night, had quite a few beers. And I didn't sleep very well and was obviously not in my own bed on this particular course, it was down in Northampton. And I felt like death when I woke up in the morning. I really felt really tired. And then once I got into the second day of the course - and the course was about the stuff that I talked about here, about positivity, emotional intelligence, consciousness, practical spirituality, you know, different people call it different things. But at its heart, I think it's about our energy. And I forgot how tired I was.

And then I remembered. So, I got to the point where I thought, you know, tiredness is a feeling. By feeling I mean, both emotionally, mentally and physically, all those three things are thoughts in our heads, and the feelings in our hearts and the physicality of our physical feeling. It's about energy. And so it's not actually about what's going on out there. Or in this instance, it wasn't about my lack of sleep and my throbbing head from overdoing it on beer. It wasn't about my lack of sleep, it didn't matter to me anymore when I was in the energy of this room and the energy that I was feeling inside me. And that was incredibly freeing for me because- I talked the other day about worrying about worrying. 

And the other thing that have and I still do sometimes worry about is worrying about having enough energy to do what I need to get done in the day. So I've got a big dream. I want to change the world and I want to help parents help their kids be happier. It's a big dream and even though it feels like it needs a lot of energy and sometimes it gets to me, that I feel well if I'm not getting my eight hour sleep or whatever we're supposed to get, I'm not going to be able to make that dream come true. But in that moment I had that lift in my energy. You know, you feel that lift in the energy field, when you need the energy, that you feel when you go into a room, that comes from you. The energy that you feel when you're, you know, seeing The Killers at a concert - last week, but obviously it's cancelled - that energy I feel at The Killers concert or the energy that I feel at rugby match, you know, I love to watch rugby matches. 

That energy that we actually feel is always coming from us. You know, when we feel that – I’m leaning in - we don't feel tired anymore. And little things I get tired about, and the other thing I hear about people getting tired, they're tired of the voice in their head telling them that no, they're no good. So constantly, that voice in our heads tells us that we’re no good, tells us that we're failing. And the one I've heard, particularly from mums this week, two mums I've spoken to, and I spoke to a dad on Friday but a couple of mums this week. They said that they feel they're failing their child. They've got something called parent guilt. 

And I'm thinking ah, that must be draining. That must be draining, too draining to feel like that. But where are the moments when we don't feel like that?? So if I've had a busy day, and I often get this feeling just before I go to bed, so just before I go to sleep, there's a, you know, my shoulders loosen and there's an ah, there's a settling down, and then I'll go to sleep. The voice in my head shut up. He’s going to sleep as well for the next 8 hours, but he doesn't go to sleep. He wakes me up at 4 o'clock in the morning. 

What are you going to do today, Simon? How are you going to help more parents help their kids? What is it? You're not helping? You're not helping enough kids. You've helped 1600 kids, you've helped all these parents as well. But it's not enough. It's not enough. It's never enough. It's never enough. No, never, no. You see, the only time that voice in our heads is sleep often is when we're asleep. So what's the solution? We can try and fight with the voice in our head at that, that's what my friend Richard Wilkins calls, you know, the Civil War in our head. That fight never ceases. The only way through the through the fight or to end the fight is a ceasefire because the two voices in our head, the good cop and bad cop. They need each other, so the good guy and the bad guy. I'm thinking Jack Reacher, you know the good guy in the novels. The good guy needs the bad guy. The good guy needs the bad guy to keep the keep the story going and keep the fight going. 

So, the only way I've seen to end the fight is a ceasefire, where we just ignore the voice. And we realise that it is an opinion is longer valid as my friend Richard says, when we realise that it is rubbish. It's all rubbish. 99% of the stuff that goes through my head is rubbish. You've got all those mind-set people, you probably expect me to be a mind-set person. Yes, yes, fight the negative demons, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. That's just continuing the fight. And that fight is draining, that fight is exhausting. And that fight is tiring. So let's give up on that. What if your child could learn to do that too? But of course, we can only teach what we already know ourselves. So that's why I keep learning. That's why I keep listening to stuff, why I keep going on courses. Because I want to get better at ignoring that negative voice in my head, so I can help you ignore the negative voice in your head and you can help your kids ignore the negative voice. And that feels like a fantastic place to end the A to Z of happiness. 

Simon Benn Children's Happiness Expert

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