Sound familiar? These are common statements that I often hear my clients say. Often clients judge themselves on how popular they are or they will spend a lot of time worrying what people think of them or if they like them. The need to be liked by everyone only creates worry, anxiety and often loneliness. I find with my clients that it is common for them to worry more about people they do not know well. They spend lots of energy trying to please people who are not important to them.
Being Assertive does not mean you have to change your personality and become aggressive, passive or manipulative. Assertiveness is about learning how to be you and expressing yourself in a confident manner. To be able to do this you have to increase your self-awareness by getting to know yourself, learn how to like yourself and to be in charge of the ‘real’ you.
Assertiveness is about effective communication. It is not only about using the right words but ensuring your body language gives the right message. The focal part of assertiveness is positive thinking. Assertive people, who believe in themselves, use positive language, look for positive outcomes and are positive in their respect for other people’s view. Continue reading →
Anxiety often leads us to start thinking negatively. We react without thinking and before we know it we are more anxious and the negative thoughts start to flow through our mind. This can then affect our feelings, behaviour and body reactions. In our anxious state our thoughts tend to be exaggerated and contain some distortion. It is important when we have the feelings of anxiety that we turn these negative thoughts into positive self-talk. This will help relieve the anxiety as well stop us saying anything that we might regret at a later date. Continue reading →
Words can hurt…
Remember the saying ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones but calling names won’t hurt me?’ If only it was true. Words can hurt us. The way people deal with us can make us feel bad about ourselves and can upset us. Continue reading →
During the last two weeks we have seen two amazing women – who have shown how forgiveness can enrich our lives. Both Malala and Maureen Greaves both had reason to despise their attackers who turned their world upside down. Both of them had been involved in events that were brutal and mentally damaging. Yet both of them have publicly announced that they forgive their perpetrators. This shows immense strength and are true role models for our children.
Forgiveness sets us free
Often when we have conflict with someone, we can distance ourselves, but often the resentment remains with us. Bitterness prevents us from moving on and inhibits the creation of real connections with ourselves.
We become vulnerable. Our attitude becomes a barrier for our everyday life. The anger and resentment overtakes and you will always be the victim. It’s important that we learn how to forgive. The journey might be tough (and does not necessarily prevent the memories), but forgiveness brings inner peace.
Learning to forgive
Forgiveness releases you from the pain of the past. Forgiveness is not about ‘giving in’, but learning how to let go of all the hurt and negative feelings. It is not letting the other person off the hook, but getting yourself off the hook. You are not seeking permission for forgiveness or a need to earn it. Choosing to forgive can create a sense of power within you.
When we resent someone we are full of negative thoughts and feelings. It would be beneficial to talk through with a close friend or counsellor to help identify your negative feelings. This will help you to bring out all of your anger, sadness and resentment and let you begin to make sense of what has happened. This is not an easy step to take but being aware of the emotions is important. You will find that you slowly stop being emotionally tied to the person who has hurt you.
Reconciliation with the person may be a way of helping you learn to forgive. However, confrontation is not always necessary. You can do forgiveness on your own. You need to dig deeper into your heart and reconcile with yourself. This will stop you mentally fighting with that person. You might start seeing things through a different lens, gaining new perspective, understanding and learning.
Forgiveness is not about forgetting but being able to remember wisely. It’s a mistake to assume that forgiving means we have to forget. We cannot forget hurt, nor should we. Such experiences provide us with the wisdom to avoid similar situations in the future.
Do you hold resentment for anyone? What steps will you take to forgive them?
“Forgiveness means the freedom again to be at peace inside their own skins” Fredrick Buechner
Self-esteem is your self-image and how you feel about yourself. Your self-esteem is made up of thoughts and feeling you have about yourself. The more positive feeling you have about yourself, the higher your self-esteem and the more negative feelings you have about yourself, the lower your self-esteem. Self-esteem is important as it affects the way you live. It affects how you think, act and feel about yourself and others and how successful you are in achieving the things you want in life. High self-esteem can make you feel capable, productive, lovable and self-confident. Whereas low self-esteem can make you feel worthless, incompetent and unloved. Continue reading →
Today many of the pressure of life demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure which in turn can lead you feeling you are unable to cope. We all have different ways of reacting to stress. When you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands, or can even affect everything you do. Common signs of stress include sleeping problems, loss or increase of appetite and difficulty concentrating.
The Supposedly Helpful Crutch
People deal with stress by often drinking more, smoking more, acting unreasonably and losing their temper. However, drowning your frustration in alcohol, eating junk foods, self-medicating with drugs such as nicotine is not the answer. If anything they add to your problem. It is important to take positive action when faced with stress as, if experienced over a period of time; it can seriously impair your mental and physical health. You need to find coping strategies than can really help you reduce this effects of any stress in your life.
Six Stress Coping Strategies for Individuals
The following list is first steps to take that can really help you reduce the stress in your life.
Be aware of your own warning signs of feeling run down. This maybe could be a sudden feeling of anxiety, extreme tiredness, feeling very tearful, catching every cough and cold.
Review what is really causing you negative stress for you? You could be surprised! Think about what action you could perhaps take to change things. How much of your negative stress by you? For example, are you expectations of yourself and others realistic?
Instead of using alcohol, not eating properly and smoking more as a crutch try eating a balanced diet, cut out sugar, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, drink plenty of water and keep caffeine to the minimum.
Do not feel guilty about including a period of relaxation every day. We all need to turn off from time to time. Do something you enjoy and fits into your life. This could, for example, be reading, listening to music, doing yoga or meditating, enjoying a warm bath. It does not have to take long or be considered time wasting. It is a vital part of life.
Make sure exercise is part of your life. Exercise which is suitable for you. If you have any doubts as to the correct sort for you ask your Doctor.
Do you often find yourself saying ‘yes’ when in fact you mean ‘no’? Are you always late for things? Learn how to be more assertive and manage your time properly. Many of us waste so much time, often making excuses for things we have not done
There are times when we all need the help and confidential support of other people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It can be so useful.