Personal Bill of rights

you_revolution17 jan2015

 

Ever wondered about your personal bill of rights as a Human Being?

Well here goes

 

You have the right to ask for what you want

You have the right to say no to requests or demands you can’t meet

You have the right to express all of your feelings, positive or negative

You have the right to change your mind

You have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect

You have the right to follow your own values and standards

You have the right to say no to anything when you feel you are not ready, it is unsafe, or it violates your values

You have the right to determine your own priorities

You have the right not to be responsible for others’ behaviour, actions, feelings or problems

You have the right to expect honesty from others

You have the right to be angry at someone you love

You have the right to be uniquely yourself

You have the right to feel scared and say “I am afraid”

You have the right to say “I don’t know”

You have the right not to give excuses or reasons for your behaviour

You have the right to make decisions based on your feelings

You have the right to your own needs for personal space and time

You have the right to be playful and frivolous

You have the right to be healthier than those around you

You have the right to be in a non-abusive environment

You have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people

You have the right to change and grow

You have the right to have your needs and wants respected by others

You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect

You have the right to be happy

Blue Monday-Mindfulness tips to beat stress, anxiety and depression

Aren’t Januarys tough sometimes? what with post Christmas blues and cold dark nights?

 

Back by popular demand, this video I created for my coaching business, You Revolution, shows how mindfulness can help you with Blue Monday. Mindfulness can also help you to reduce and overcome anger outbursts, stress, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, negative thinking patterns, high blood pressure, low self esteem and exhaustion.

 

Feeling low or depressed because of dark nights and too much rainfall?

Dreading the arrival of your credit card bill this month?

Want to simply curl up in bed beneath your duvet and hibernate for the whole of January?

Feeling disappointed that your New Year Resolution, detox or weight loss programmes aren’t going as well as you had anticipated?

Then you may have fallen victim to Blue Monday trap. Following extensive research findings, the third Monday of January, supposedly the most depressing day of the year, has been awarded the gloomy title due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills.

Even though I, Karen Deeming, am doing my dream job, Blue Monday is still always tough, however, what helps me cheer myself up and get through the day is my daily mindfulness practice, doing nice things for other people or simply remembering that I have roof over my head, have the pleasure of three good meals a day and I don’t have the misfortune of living in a war zone.

 

Mindfulness is a technique for reducing stress, exhaustion, high blood pressure, panics, anxiety, and negative thinking patterns which has been widely approved by the international medical community. It teaches greater awareness of our thoughts, feelings and sensations through simple techniques like visualization, meditation and gentle movement.

Let me give you a recent, real life example of how mindfulness helps:

 

Despite a prediction of heavy rain in Somerset a few days ago, I decided to take out my rickety vintage bicycle “Flo” for an impromptu cycle ride to the local farm shop. As she had been snuggling up to the lawn mower for most of December it was no easy task to take Flo out of the shed, nonetheless I still proceeded to do so.

The cycle route from Pilton to Pylle is no stranger to me but today it was a strikingly different experience because I had decided to attempt mindful cycling. In other words, I adopted a small steps approach, focusing on the here and now and the journey rather than a speedy arrival at my destination.

How stunning I chuckled to myself as I was greeted by the distant view of Glastonbury Tor. I even encountered the delightful sound of a trickling stream for the first time too. Slightly distracted by these delicious in the moment experiences, I cycled through an unexpected knee deep, muddy puddle resulting in a near trench foot endangerment.

Fortunately, I escaped lightly and though my socks were thoroughly soaked, a brief recollection of a relentless flooded tent experience at the Glastonbury Festival in 1996 encouraged me to soldier on. What also helped me manage this somewhat unattractive incident, were the charming duo of immaculate cocker spaniels grinning at me from the rear window of a delapidated jeep ahead. Ten minutes or so later I noticed a distinct change in the earlier calm blissful atmosphere and it suddenly struck me that I had entered into the realms of a busy, treadmill resembling, A road……

Anyway. The reason I’m writing this blog for you is not just to share the awesomeness of Pilton landscape(though it ‘s definitely a worthwhile visit).

 

It’s also this:

The application of mindfulness together with my conscious intention to zoom in on the abundance of delightful landscape instead of focusing on the scarcity of sunshine resulted in a highly pleasurable experience.

 

Moreover though it was forecast to train at 11am it didn’t actually rain until 11.10am when I was safely home and dry nestled up to the cat on the kitchen sofa.

 

Over to you

 

The ability to achieve a successful work life balance in order to live more creatively and fully has never been more important than in today’s society. Unless you take more quality time on your own, you will always experience emotional and physical difficulties from the beginning of your working life until the grave. Health, well-being and mindfulness workshops are our passion at You Revolution that’s why we pride ourselves in inspiring people, like you, to find balance in work and play and in your mind and body and to experience being in the flow.

We also provide the ideal playground and tools to empower people, like you, to overcome issues that are bothering you. This includes learning practical skills that you can use in everyday life and learning techniques to identify your triggers and to put a stop to any unhelpful behavioural patterns.

If after reading this blog you are still struggling to motivate yourself on Blue Monday or indeed anytime in 2017, why not take this one small step today by signing up to one of our mindfulness one day or eight week courses where you can meet like minded people and achieve life changing results!!

 

Alternatively, if you don’t feel ready for a course just yet we also offer on line or face to face counselling sessions too.

Make it happen Stop thinking, Start doing !!!

Why not call Karen to have an informal chat or to book an appointment by calling 07950 751352.

Alternatively you can email me on: info@karendeeming.com

Tip Two – How to develop more confidence – Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness tools for employers and for business

you_revolution17-jan2015

 

New Mindset new work opportunities…

Does any of this sound like you?

 

  • I want to reconnect with my creativity, spark and imagination but don’t know how
  • Instead of feeling demotivated and bored at times, I want to feel more focused, passionate and enthusiastic about my work
  • I’d like to achieve even greater success levels in work and relationships
  • I want to become more productive, to procrastinate less, to make smarter use of my time and to consistently meet/exceed my targets
  • Making it to the top of my career is a key priority for me

Continue reading

Tip One – How to achieve more focus at work – Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness tools for employers and for business

you_revolution17-jan2015

 

New Mindset new work opportunities…

Does any of this sound like you?

 

  • I want to reconnect with my creativity, spark and imagination but don’t know how
  • Instead of feeling demotivated and bored at times, I want to feel more focused, passionate and enthusiastic about my work
  • I’d like to achieve even greater success levels in work and relationships
  • I want to become more productive, to procrastinate less, to make smarter use of my time and to consistently meet/exceed my targets
  • Making it to the top of my career is a key priority for me

Continue reading

Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness tools for businesses and employees

you_revolution17-jan2015

New Mindset new work opportunities…

Does any of this sound like you?

 

  • I want to reconnect with my creativity, spark and imagination but don’t know how
  • Instead of feeling demotivated and bored at times, I want to feel more focused, passionate and enthusiastic about my work
  • I’d like to achieve even greater success levels in work and relationships
  • I want to become more productive, to procrastinate less, to make smarter use of my time and to consistently meet/exceed my targets
  • Making it to the top of my career is a key priority for me

Continue reading

Sub personalities – the people inside us

you_revolution17 jan2015 

Identifying and working with subpersonalities to improve your decision making skills:

So what is a subpersonality?

Most of us have had the experience of being ‘taken over’ by a part of ourselves which we didn’t know was there. We say ‘I don’t know what got into me.’

Here are a few short definitions:

1 A semi permanent and semi autonomous region of the personality capable of acting as a person.

2. Subpersonalities are psychological satellites, coexisting as a multitude of lives within the overall medium of our personality. Each subpersonality has a style and a motivation of its own, often strikingly dissimilar from those of the others. Another way of describing it is that subpersonalities are the people inside us and that each of us is a crowd.

Psychologist, Miller Mair offers a more elaborate description:

“Perhaps it is easiest to introduce the idea of ‘self’ as a community of selves’ by referring to the smallest form of community, namely a community of two persons. Most of us have probably, at some time, found ourselves talking or acting as if we were two people rather than one. We talk sometimes of being in ‘two minds’ about something, part of you wanting to do one thing and part wanting to do something else. Quite often we hear people talk of having to ‘battle’ with themselves, as if one aspect of themselves was in conflict with another.”

During my MA training as a Psychotherapist, I was very fortunate to be taught about subpersonalities by Dr John Rowan who has written extensively about this topic. More recently though, at a one day workshop the Trainer, named Peter, was very brave in naming a few of his own subpersonalities: Peter Pan, Perfect Peter, Promiscuous Peter etc.

Below is a collage of a person’s subpersonalities

 

you_revolution17 jan2015

For example, the angel figure at the bottom of the collage represents their compliant, goody two shoes subpersonality and the headmaster with an accompanying wooden cane at the top of the image symbolizes their inner critic subpersonality.

Do you recall Mr Men, series of children’s books by British author Roger Hargreaves in the 1970s?

The series features characters with names such as Mr Tickle, Mr Happy, Mr Forgetful, Mr Daydream, Mr Uppity, Mr Silly, Mr Messy, Mr Funny, Mr Mean, Mt Chatterbox, Mr Nosey, Mr Greedy, Mr Impossible, Mr Strong, Mr Lazy, Mr Cheerful etc who have personalities and physical attributes based on their names.

Perhaps Hargreaves was referring to his own subpersonalities here?

As Stephanie Foley puts it in her very helpful you tube clip:

Subpersonalities are habits or patterns of behaviour that we have followed since childhood: eg inner child, the very responsible one, the rebel, the organiser, the controller, the adventurer, the saboteur, the aesthete or the worker.

By recognising and working with subpersonalities she argues that the conformist can be transformed into someone more adaptable, a rebel tendency can become innovation or maybe the rebel and the conformist can work together and develop a new sense of leadership.

See the clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbqZKNsl7A8

Often our subpersonalities are battling with one another and so can cloud our judgements or make us appear indecisive especially in the work place.

So as I see it, if we acquaint ourselves with our subpersonalities we can then identify the perfect environment in which they might blossom and thrive (ie create the ideal soil that promotes grow).

Subsequently we can establish a middle ground between those that are in opposition with one another such as the bully at work and the meek mild subpersonality at home. In other words, attempt to harmonize our subpersonalities so that we feel less fragmented and more whole.

By turning down the volume of the bully at work, the gentler side of one’s personality can emerge in order to make more balanced decisions and a more pleasurable and motivating office environment for work colleagues.

As Assagioli, Italian Psychiatrist and pioneer in the fields of Humanistic & Transpersonal Psychology wrote:  “We are not unified; we often feel that we are, because we do not have many bodies and many limbs, and because one hand doesn’t usually hit the other. But, metaphorically, that is exactly what does happen within us. Several subpersonalities are continually scuffling: impulses, desires, principles, aspirations are engaged in an unceasing struggle.”

As Dr John Rowan articulates:

“The questions which seem to have been of most value in making subpersonalities concrete and explicit are the following:

What do you look like?

How old are you?

What situations bring you out?

What is your approach to the world?

What is your basic motive for being there?

What do you want?

What do you need?

What have you got to offer?

What are your blocks to full functioning?

Where did you come from?

When did you first meet (name of person – ie you)? What was going on?

What would happen if you took over permanently?

What helps you to grow?

How do you relate to women/men/children?

How does this relate to my personal story then?

The inner knowledge of my subpersonalities has helped me enormously to make my life work. In the context of this blog though, I’ll focus on the most appropriate examples.

As I explained earlier, two of the hardest life challenges I have needed to face so far was deciding whether or not to:

  1. escape the corporate cage, that is, my well-paid secure job and;
  2. leave behind my hectic London lifestyle and Harley Street Private Practice to live in the idyllic countryside and do my dream job as a successful Psychotherapist, Coach and Mindfulness Teacher at my Bristol and Somerset Practices.

The major conflict here was between my overly cautious risk averse subpersonality ‘Cautious Karen’ and my adventurer and thirst for knowledge and new experiences subpersonality ‘Curious Karen.’

Fortunately, following a number of lengthy debates between the two subpersonalties, Curious Karen managed to persuade Cautious Karen that both decisions would enhance my quality of life and achieve a healthy work life balance.

What can you do about subpersonality inner conflicts?

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you are probably struggling to make decisions as a result of subpersonality internal battles. Naturally, the reason will be different for each person and remember you’re not alone in this very common dilemma…

Take control by making friends with your subpersonalities and encourage them talk to one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relationships are key theme for Mental Health Awareness week 2016

you_revolution17 jan2015

 

With ever increasing pressures at work, home and in personal relationships, there are bound to be occasions when it seems difficult to balance the demands of everyday life. As our economy has often been going from boom to bust, what is becoming increasingly evident in today’s therapy consultation rooms is that so too do many relationships.

Even a stable economy does not guarantee a stable relationship. But now, as we worry about an unpredictable future our connection to our partners becomes progressively fraught.

So what is preventing most of us from going home tonight and engaging in some good old-fashioned sex? Research indicates that there are a range of reasons for this but those most common are:

 

  • Lack of libido due to exhaustion and working excessive hours
  • Lack of work life balance
  • Feeling ashamed of your body image because of over indulgence in diversionary activities such as excessive food and alcohol intake to cope with work-related stress
  • Shame following loss of financial status such as men struggling to deal with the loss of their “breadwinner” role and women becoming increasingly frustrated if they are the only income earner in the household
  • Dependency fears
  • Unpleasant performance-related memories emerging from negative programming from family and parents
  • Worries about an uncertain future Sound familiar?

Some of us were already stuck in a sex rut before the credit crunch/recession, and thousands more are now vulnerable as a result of it. Stress, depression and anxiety are key inhibitors of libido. Furthermore when you’re stuck in a rut, or feeling sexually disconnected from your partner, it leaves you more prone to cheating, porn abuse, or just a general sense of detachment.

Sex is less expensive than the tv, more stress-relieving than most activities and better for your well-being than antidepressants.

Having said this, sex doesn’t offer miracle solutions, reshape the world or make your problems vanish. Nonetheless it often leaves you feeling revitalized, rejuvenated and more solid and united as a team to face the future. Sex helps people to develop and maintain a good foundation of love, intimacy and connection. Want to recession-proof your relationship?

Then consider these simple tips:

  • Honest “face to face” communication of your feelings with your partner can often prevent a breakdown in the relationship. If a crisis such a decrease in earnings, redundancy or harassment at work occurs choose an appropriate moment to discuss this. Ideally in a quiet environment and avoiding where possible occasions when one of you is tired, hungry or has drank an excessive amount of alcohol.
  • Avoid the use of email, skype and mobile text messaging as they can often lead to misinterpretations and misunderstandings
  • Spend quality time together at weekends or at the end of the evening by turning off the television and your computer. Don’t obsess about the future and your next work achievement – connect in the present!!!
  • If you feel too exhausted and are suffering form a loss of libido, engage in unplanned acts of intimacy such as holding hands, kissing, giving your partner a long hug or massage or taking a candle lit shower or bath together
  • Demonstrating higher rates of appreciation for each other is also absolutely key adopting simple gestures such as saying thank you following meals and for your support.
  • Accept that you cannot change what happens in the world but can change what happens in your home life.

Still struggling with relationship issues after reading this blog? Then you may benefit from relationship counselling.

Everyone struggles in their relationship at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem, Sharing your issues in a safe, supportive, confidential environment with a Counsellor or Psychotherapist often helps.

Most commonly we think about relationship problems developing in intimate relationships with a partner, but there may also be problems with family members; children; and friends and work colleagues too.

Benefits of Relationship Counselling

  • Relationship Counselling can often bring clarity, peace of mind and the answers to the problems that you are struggling with
  • Exploring your thoughts with a professional, non-judgmental Counsellor or Psychotherapist can make you feel less alone and more able to sort out your thoughts in a productive way
  • When your thoughts are muddled, decision making can be tough.  Counselling is a collaborative relationship, which can help you to develop realistic plans to feel less stuck and to move forwards
  • Relationship Counselling can give you a greater degree of self-awareness and understanding of yourself and others, can help you to improve your self-esteem, and become more reflective in your personal relationships
  • Your life can suddenly begin to feel more enjoyable and fun
  • Relationship Counselling sessions can provide you with more direction and confidence, and with strategies how to handle conflict, develop to your full potential and to achieve goals
  • Relationship Counselling can help you to understand why arguments escalate and learn how to set healthier personal boundaries
  • Instead of going round in the same old circles, Relationship Counselling can show you how to have different conversations with the person you are struggling to communicate with

How to stop comparing, improve low self esteem and increase your self confidence

you_revolution17 jan2015

For those of you who are unfamiliar, social comparison theory is how we determine our own social and personal worth based on how we stand up against others. It is a process whereby people, like you and I, evaluate ourselves, to a certain degree, by examining their own qualities and abilities with those of others.

It manifests as an inner voice or negative chatterbox that often goes something like this:
• I wish I could stop comparing myself to other people
• If only I could overcome these jealousy and envy feelings because they hold me back
• Why can’t I just accept myself for who I am?
• Why do I talk myself out of doing incredible things because I am afraid to discover if I’ve got what it takes?
• Why haven’t I got as many facebook likes or twitter followers as my friends or business competitors?
• Why am I less attractive then my best friend?
• I wish I could afford a nice house and expensive car like my boss at work

Not surprisingly, in today’s quick fix, target-driven, celebrity, facebook, twitter, botox obsessed society, this increasingly common epidemic “social comparison” is sweeping the world, an extreme envious, keeping up with the Joneses and it’s causing burn out, anxiety, depression, addiction, low self esteem, envy, procrastination to name a few.

 

It’s about comparing status, comparing facebook likes and twitter retweets, comparing wrinkles, comparing schools, comparing bra and pec sizes, comparing gadgets, comparing academic ability the list goes on and it’s spreading fast!!! It’s tempting to think that this is a 21st century virus but it’s been with us since the beginning of time.

As a result, we are constantly making self and other evaluations across a variety of perimeters such as: attractiveness, wealth, intelligence, and success.

For most of us, the virus will continue from the cradle until the grave.

Let me give you an example. Though you want to experience more adventure, happiness and purpose in your life you compare yourself to gurus and talk yourself out of doing incredible things because you are afraid to discover if you’ve got what it takes.

Don’t get me wrong comparing yourself to other people from time to time can be healthy as it can set a benchmark for excellence and sometimes provide us with the inspiration we need. However it’s when it becomes obsessive and a regular negative thinking pattern that infects personal relationships with our partners and children and paralyses us to attempt anything new that it becomes a problem.

I, Karen Deeming, am now doing my dream job as a successful Consultant, Psychotherapist and Mindfulness Teacher advising film Directors, such as Mike Leigh, on the authenticity of film narratives involving psychotherapy. But it wasn’t always like that, I too was often crippled by the comparing virus in my well-paid secure corporate job until one day I stopped comparing and started daring:

I dared to take risks, I dared to leave my well paid corporate job and do a MA in Psychotherapy, I dared to leave Yorkshire for London and I dared to fulfill my dreams and passions. Most significantly though, I dared to drop my mask and accept myself for who I.

It may seem a mammoth task and a huge mountain to climb right now, however, here are some tips to help you overcome comparing yourself to other people:

Firstly acknowledge that comparing yourself to others is a bad habit.

 

The media and Society often portray people with flawless skin, pure white teeth, slim bodies, huge houses and expensive cars as being the happiest and most successful people on the planet. I can, however, assure you that in my work as a Therapist and in my life before counselling and coaching this has often proved not to be the case. If it were true that these characteristics guarantee a passport to living a happy, fulfilling and healthy life, why did Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, L’Wren Scott a beautiful and highly successful fashion designer commit suicide then?

Society similarly projects men with flawless skin, six packs, and designer clothes with lots of women, as badges which promise men a lifetime of achievement and contentedness. If this is the case then again why did Michael Hutchence and Kurt Cobain kill themselves?

Lots of wealthy people and celebrities also adopt unhealthy behaviours such as excessive drinking, cocaine use and eating disorders and though they appear confident are often experiencing low self esteem so why’s that then?

 

Society is remarkably effective at brainwashing people into believing they should look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain someone, when in reality every single one of us is different. Society pigeonholes people and wants you to believe that you have fewer rights to be happy because you do not fit an idealistic lifestyle. I believe this happens ‘toxic pigeonholing’ happens because it keeps the consumer tread mill in business, continually filling up the pockets of plastic surgeons, BMW and Mercedes, banks, estate agents and pharmaceutical companies who prescribe so called “happy pills”.

As activist Satish Kumar put it: “Society is obsessed with “BIG” big nation, big business, big schools but with bigness you lose humanity.”

Remember that it is only following the industrial revolution that we became materially focused and it clearly doesn’t seem to be working for the majority.

Comparing yourself to others, especially celebrities and top academics, is a fine way to throw your self-esteem down the drain as there will always be those who are ‘better’ than you, and those who are ‘worse’ than you.

 

So give yourself a break!!

Stop comparing and begin to celebrate your own unique talents and what makes you special. By constantly watching and focusing on what other people are doing and how they are looking, it takes away your own inspiration, style and creativity and you end up becoming a clone, a follower of fashion or a people pleaser. Is this how you really want to run your life? Me, I’d much rather be a pioneer than a late adopter or carbon copy of other people it’s much more liberating and fun.

Fear of failure is a huge block for developing to your full potential and can often result in regular bouts of putting things off and procrastination. Since I began to welcome mistakes and to tell myself there are no mistakes and that everything is a learning opportunity, my life and work outputs have significantly improved. When a child learns to walk stands up and falls down is that a mistake?

Learn how to accept yourself warts and all, focusing on your stengths and weaknesses rather than constantly striving to improve yourself.

If you recognise any of the issues highlighted in this blog you are not alone in this very common dilemma.

Face to face or on line counselling or a personal development or mindfulness course can help you to overcome going around in circles and to stop comparing yourself to other people.

 

So, if you need a bit of extra support and encouragement and a few counselling or mindfulness sessions why not contact me Karen Deeming to arrange an appointment or for a short free introductory chat on 07950 751352 or by emailing us on info@karendeeming.com

Cats and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

I’ve recently taken up a more research based role, so am currently reading through some CBT course notes.

Guess what my daily CBT mood diary revealed from a few years ago? That one of my most enjoyable daily activities was arriving home from work to be greeted by my cat Poppy and subsequently snuggling up on the sofa together.

The image attached to this blog is one that my partner Liam painted for me of our delightful cat Poppy sitting in my “shrink chair” as Liam calls it. Poppy, our adorable Celia Hammond rescue cat, from East London is now approaching the dear old age of 14 bless her and has given us both years of pleasure. She is such a Jekyll and Hyde character too: elegant, a Hyacinth Bucket type princess during the daytime and a pub hard case after 8pm.

Cats, Pets and Counselling Research

This then led me to question, with my shrink hat on, why is spending time in Poppy’s company so uplifting no matter how hectic and stressful my day has been.

One of the reasons why most pets are therapeutic is because they fulfill the basic human need to touch. People need touch to survive as well. Children who are touch-deprived don’t grow emotionally, physically and cognitively. Director of The Touch Research Institute, Dr Tiffany Field, cites a television show on Romanian orphans who are stick thin and unable to walk until aided by massage therapy and proper nutrition. Dr Field comments, “A child’s first emotional bonds are built from physical contact, laying the foundation for further emotional and intellectual development.”

Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with pets, Stroking, holding, cuddling, or otherwise touching a loving animal can often quickly calm and soothe us when we are feeling stressed. Pet companionship can also help overcome loneliness.

According to the American Heart Association, the ownership of pets has reduced risk for heart disease and greater longevity. There is also research indicating that playing with or snuggling up to these delightful furry friends has several physical and mental health benefits. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond.

Studies have also found that:

• Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
• People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
• Playing with a pet can heighten levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
• Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.

In other words, like counselling, therapy and mindfulness, pets, though to a lesser degree, can also help us to self-regulate. Having said that, pets are a huge commitment and so are not for everyone. If you are one of those people who either dislike or have no desire to own a pet, then perhaps you may want to consider other ways of self regulating, reducing stress and blood pressure levels such as counselling and mindfulness.

Over to you

If after reading this blog you realise that stroking your cat or pet is not enough to help you overcome low moods, anxiety, stress and feeling overwhelmed with distractions and negative thoughts you are not alone in this very common dilemma. So don’t panic or give up just yet.

On line counselling or a personal development or mindfulness course can help you. So, if you need a bit of extra support and encouragement and a few on line counselling sessions why not contact me to arrange an appointment or for a short free introductory chat on 07950 751352 or by emailing me on info@karendeeming.com.

 

How to improve low self esteem

you_revolution17 jan2015

Some people think that self-esteem means confidence – and confidence comes into it – but it’s rather more than that.

There are any number of apparently confident people who can do marvellous things but who have poor self-esteem.

 

Many people in the public eye fall into this category. Actors, comedians and singers in particular can glow with assurance on stage, yet off-stage feel desperately insecure.

Think of the late Princess of Wales or Marilyn Monroe and you’ll see that public adulation is no guarantee of self-belief.

The word ‘esteem’ comes from a Latin word that means ‘to estimate’. Self-esteem is how you estimate yourself.

To know how you estimate your self esteem, you need to ask yourself certain questions.

 

  • Do I like myself? Do I think I’m a good human being? Am I someone deserving of love? Do I deserve happiness? Do I feel deep down that I’m an okay person? People with low self-esteem find it hard to answer yes to these questions. Perhaps you are one of them. If so, what can you do?
  • How can you improve your self-esteem? You can begin by accepting that you are certainly not alone. Masses of people have this problem. Secondly, take on board the fact you are a wonderful, special person – and there is no one quite like you.
  • Not only are your fingerprints and DNA different from everyone else’s (unless you have an identical twin), but your mind and how it thinks and operates is totally your own. This means that out of six billion people in the world, you are a one-off. So if nature has bothered to make you unique, don’t you feel you should accept that you’re important, and that you have as much right as anyone else to be on this planet?

You have other rights, too. One of them is the right to make mistakes. Don’t forget that ‘to err is human’ and most of us learn through getting things wrong before we get them right.

 

Furthermore, we have the right to respect ourselves – and to be respected. Finally, and perhaps most important of all, we have the right to say yes or no for ourselves.

Put your behaviour in perspective

 

It’s not healthy to condemn ourselves because of one aspect of our behaviour. Sometimes we feel we are ‘no good’ because we have failed an exam or lost a job, or we have been unkind or because we are having an affair.

All of us have many aspects to our personalities, and our current behaviour is just one of those aspects.

Try not to believe that the whole of you is hopeless, unkind or a failure, when really it is just one part of your behaviour that may – or may not – be these things.

Halt destructive thoughts

Many people with poor self-esteem think they’re not very important and their views carry no weight. Is this you?

 

If so, try to stop these destructive thoughts because if you go around believing them, you’ll encourage other people to believe them too. Instead, start thinking of yourself as someone who has rights, opinions and ideas that are just as valid as anyone else’s. This will help you to improve your self-esteem.

Techniques to improve self-esteem

 

  • Low self esteem feeds on negative thoughts so Don’t indulge in self criticism. Why are you waging war against yourself? Get to know your negative self talk and silence your inner judge/inner critic.
  • You can choose to please yourself It is good to you care about other’s feelings but aren’t your needs just as important? Don’t neglect yourself!
  • Don’t try to be like someone else. This leads to lack of self worth and confidence. You are unique and you cannot be someone else. Strive to improve but don’t criticise yourself for not being as successful, beautiful, slim or as popular as someone else.
  • Take life and yourself less seriously. Failure just means you are not successful YET.
  • Everybody fails before succeeding, don’t look on it as failure but as a means to learning. Perhaps you just need a change of direction. Problems make you stronger if you strive to overcome them.
  • Self worth, confidence and assuredness increase when you Focus on your needs and desires. You deserve to live life as you want. This is not selfishness as what you want doesn’t hurt others or prevent them from living life on their terms.
  • Focus on your successes. Lack of confidence feeds on your feelings of failure and inadequacy. Remember the truly successful things you have done in your life. Reward yourself when you do succeed
  • Use visualisation to help you achieve your dreams and increase your self esteem!
  • Focus on your strengths. Use them. You will succeed if you are true to yourself.
  • Work at achieving your goals. If you do this your confidence will increase and you will feel positive.

Accept yourself for who you are

 

Learn to accept the things that you cannot change and focus on the positive things about yourself. If you have a mental or physical disability, learn to accept the fact that you cannot change it, and focus on the positive aspects of yourself such as your personality, your ability to be a good friend, and your ability to love and care for others. Associate with people who are positive and supportive. If you surround yourself with negative people, your feeling will tend to be negative. Positive, supportive friends can help to raise your self-esteem by providing a nurturing environment for you.

Focus on your positive qualities – honesty, creativeness, unselfishness, helpfulness, communication skills, and your ability to care for the welfare of others.

Learn to forgive yourself when you do not accomplish all that you set out to. Everyone falls short sometimes, but rather than focusing on the negative aspects, learn to readjust your goals so that you have a better chance of meeting them. Almost any negative experience can be turned into a positive experience with the right attitude.

10-minute technique People with poor self-esteem often fail to give themselves enough time and space. So find 10 minutes every day to be alone, and to just sit and do nothing.

 

Some people find it helpful to close their eyes and imagine a country scene or the sight and sound of waves gently lapping against the shore.

During this 10 minutes, allow yourself to feel peaceful and happy. Enjoy this time. It is yours – and yours alone.

Accentuate the positive Often we make ourselves unhappy because we go over and over mistakes we have made. But we can improve our self-esteem if we re-think the things we believe we have done wrong or badly.

A low self esteem case study

 

For example, one of my clients has to give presentations at work. He used to mentally beat himself up after every one and stew over tiny errors. Now he writes an account of each presentation shortly after he’s given it. He writes about all the things that went well. He doesn’t need to write about the bad things – they will stick in his memory and he will try hard not to repeat them – but he will forget the good things unless he writes them down.

So when you have a bad day, or something goes wrong in your relationship or at work, write an account of what went right with that episode, not what went wrong.

The results will surprise you – and improve how you see yourself. List 50 things you like about yourself If you’re seriously lacking in self-esteem this could take weeks, but persevere.

You can write down your characteristics.

You can include things about your looks.

You can even write about the things you do. For example, you may buy a copy of The Big Issue on a day when you’re short of money, or you may help an elderly woman in the supermarket when you’re rushing to get your own shopping done.

When you have reached your 50 good things, keep the list somewhere you can see it all the time. Next comes the harder part. Try to record one more new thing you like about yourself every day for the rest of your life.

Receiving and giving criticism

 

One of the areas that people with low self-esteem have greatest difficulty with is criticism – giving as well as receiving it. Both can be extraordinarily difficult. Some individuals are demolished by criticism, but it’s something we can’t avoid.

Criticism is often unfair, and when it is we need to counter it by calmly putting our own case across. But some criticism is justified, and when we’re sensible we can learn from it. How to deal with criticism

Often when we’re criticised, we’re so hurt that we start excusing ourselves and rebutting what’s being said without really listening to it.

Listen to criticism without interrupting. If there are aspects to the criticism that are valid, begin by agreeing with those points.

If parts are unclear, ask for clarification.

If you realise you were wrong, say so and apologise.

If criticism is wrong or unfair, smile and say: ‘I’m afraid I don’t agree with you.’ It takes a lot of practice to feel and act this way.

How to give criticism People with poor-self esteem find it hard to dish out criticism.

 

Many avoid promotion because they can’t face the prospect of being in authority and having to criticise others. So how can you learn to criticise when you have to? Keep calm. Make your criticism at an appropriate time. Don’t wait until you’re so fed up, you’re furious – you’re bound to make a mess of it.

Take some deep breaths, then try a technique called the ‘criticism sandwich’. This means you say something nice, then insert the criticism, then end with another positive. Make sure you only criticise the behaviour, not the person.

An example would be: ‘Your work is usually great, but it’s not quite right today. I’ll have to ask you to re-do that report. I know it’s unlike you to get things wrong, so don’t worry.’

Say I not you

You might notice that people who are fair when they criticise tend to use the word ‘I’ rather than the word ‘you.’ This is because the word I shows you’re in control and that you’ve thought about what you’re saying.

All too frequently we don’t say anything initially, which is when we should address the problem. Instead, we bottle it up until we explode. Then we use the words ‘you’, ‘you’re’ and ‘your’ all the time.

We say: ‘You’re incompetent; you’ve missed the point; your work isn’t up to scratch.’ These phrases sound angry and accusatory. They also show that we’re not in control. And after uttering them, we generally feel worse about ourselves and our self-esteem plummets.

How to say no

 

These tips are just as handy when it comes to standing up for yourself. They’re useful when you want to say no without feeling guilty. Just keep calm and use the word I. Say: ‘I won’t be coming to that party with you.’ Or: ‘I’m afraid I can’t make it to tea on Saturday because I need to go shopping.’ Or: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t work late tonight, but if you need me to, I can stay tomorrow.’

People with poor self-esteem are always getting talked into doing things they don’t want to do. It must stop if you want to value yourself more.