CBT Bristol for anxiety

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Bristol for anxiety and stress

CBT Bristol to help you overcome anxiety

Most of my clients over the past years have reported difficulties with anxiety, so I thought it might be helpful to share a few Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) tips:

So what is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal, but often, a disagreeable part of life. It can affect us all in various ways and at different times in our lives.

We will all feel anxious at some point and it is very common to feel tense and unsure about a potentially stressful situation, such as, going for an interview, taking an exam or trying something new. However, for some of us, these feelings are very strong and lasting, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed. It is at this point, anxiousness becomes anxiety.

Anxiety is what we feel when we are tense, worried or afraid, often about things that are about to happen or are to happen in the future.

And often about things that we cannot control. Anxiety can make you imagine things are worse than they are and prevent you from carrying out everyday tasks.

There are no clear-cut reasons as to what causes anxiety and why it is worse for some people than others.

There are identifiable factors such as childhood trauma, a divorce, a death, that can be attributed to the onset of a person’s anxiety however, for others there is no obvious identifiable cause, and this can add to the distress and uncertainty that you may be feeling.

CBT Bristol research findings about anxiety symptoms:

Anxiety can affect us through our thought processes, through our feelings and through physical sensations.

We can experience many different ‘signs and symptoms’ of anxiety, but not everybody’s anxiety looks the same.

You may experience or have experienced some of the following:

  • palpitations
  • difficulty in controlling your breathing
  • a need for constant reassurance
  • feeling tense
  • fearing the worst (ie catastrophising)
  • constant worry
  • self-doubt
  • replaying situations in your head over and over and irrational thoughts

Or maybe something different.

So how can CBT Bristol help you to overcome anxiety?

The good news is that anxiety can be managed and reduced. It does not need to control your life. With support you can regain the control. Most importantly, anxiety must not define you as a person.

CBT – focuses on how your thoughts, attitudes and beliefs affect your feelings and behaviour and teaches you coping skills to deal with anxiety.

See more about CBT and CBT Bristol here:

CBT Bristol Tips for anxiety:

 

Step One

When you experience a negative thought, feeling or physical sensation, breathe, pause, step back then ask yourself the following question:

“what do I know?”

“I know that if I allow my negative thoughts to take over it is not healthy for me and leaves me feeling anxious, I also know that though I can’t stop my thoughts, feelings or physical sensations, I can change what happens next, such as, consciously deciding to stop myself from catastrophising or getting too attached to my thoughts.”

“I know that if I say to myself there goes anger, sadness, disappointment, shyness, self consciousness etc rather than saying I am angry, I am sad, I am feeling self conscious, I am disappointed it is more beneficial for my mental and physical health and well being”.

“I know that if I people please or sacrifice my needs to meet other peoples’ needs I will feel more anxious and it more beneficial for my health and well being to not get too attached these thoughts and instead pause step back and imagine that the thoughts are in a bubble floating in the sky, me walking in the woods /beach or that they are passing clouds in the sky . ”

“I know that thoughts aren’t facts”

What’s also important is that I challenge my thoughts, worries, stresses and anxieties by asking myself the question:

What is the evidence/concrete facts to support the believe that I will fail my driving test?”
and: what evidence/concrete facts are there against it?

CBT Bristol tips for anxiety

 

Step Two

If you struggle with anxiety, you are highly likely to have a very loud “inner critic.”

Most of you may already know, however for those of you who are unfamiliar, the inner critic often heightens anxiety, as it is your inner voice or negative chatterbox that often goes something like this:

  • What’s wrong with me?
  • I wish I was as confident as my friends
  • Why can’t I get over this and get a grip?
  • It’s ridiculous feeling so overwhelmed by such a minor event in my life
  • Other people have much bigger problems than me so why am I feeling so low?
  • Why can’t I perform as well as my boss and colleagues at work?
  • I’m a failure in relationships
  • I’m a loser, lazy and selfish blah blah blah…..

Sound familiar? Well you’re not alone in this universal catch-22.

We all have an inner critic, but not all of us let it run riot.

This relentless, negative self talk often expresses criticism, frustration or disapproval about our actions and its frequency, volume or intensity is very different for each us.

CBT Bristol has summarised below, how the inner critic might cause anxiety:

Inner critic dialogue is anxiety-provoking and shaming and so paralyses your sense of motivation and get up and go. It can result in unhealthy behaviours such as avoidance and procrastination, in order to reduce anxiety and stay safe when it is largely not necessary to do so.

In other words, because you are frightened or anxious about a particular situation, you adopt self protection mechanisms and put on your breaks too soon, often depriving yourself of adventure, enjoyment, pleasure and spontaneity.

So anxiety can be very unhealthy for you if you struggle to develop coping mechanisms
It may seem a mammoth task and a huge mountain to climb right now, however, here’s how to turn down the volume of your inner critic and, as I like to call it, my inner DJ’s sound system:

CBT Bristol tips to prevent the inner critic and anxiety taking over:

Awareness is the first step to recognising and letting go of your inner critic. Many of you won’t have even realised its presence until now.

Acknowledge and make friends with your inner critic instead of continually arguing and battling with it.

Using the more playful side of your character and sense of humour, invent a nickname like I did such as DJ, Zippy, Chimp or Top Dog.

If you notice your inner critic or anxiety taking over:

Imagine it is a record turn table so that you can turn the volume down or that it’s a tape, play or film that you can rewind. Slow down. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and gently say no.

It may help to visualize a strong and wise part of yourself gently removing your critic from its stage or soapbox.

Over to you:

If after reading this blog you are still struggling to tame your inner critic, DJ or Zippy and are feeling overwhelmed with distractions and negative thoughts don’t panic or give up just yet.

CBT Bristol anxiety sessions can help you.

So, if you need a bit of extra support and encouragement and a few on line, telephone or face to face CBT sessions why not contact Karen Deeming to arrange an appointment or for a short free introductory chat on 07950 751352 or send an email to: karen@karendeeming.com

CBT Bristol for anxiety other treatment recommendations:

As well as CBT, there are other options available to support you with managing your anxiety:

Counselling – a talking therapy. Can bring clarity, peace of mind and the answers to the problems that you are struggling with. See more about Counselling here: web link.

Mindfulness – enhances mental and physical wellbeing. Provides exercises and Meditation techniques to enable you to recognise triggers and reduce anxiety. See more about Mindfulness here: web link.

Medication: There are medications available that can help manage some symptoms of anxiety. You will need to speak with your Doctor for further advice around this.

References:

www.mind.org.uk
www.anxietyuk.org.uk
www.counselling-directory.org.uk
Bourne, Edmund J (2015) Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 6th Edition. California: New Harbinger

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

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

Tip four for people with hectic lifestyles who want to make positive life or career changes

icons for campaign monitor_6

Do you have a hectic lifestyle and want to make positive life changes but precious little time to make them?

 

Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing with you the mindfulness, self help and personal development techniques and tips that helped me to:

 

• escape the corporate cage, that is, my well-paid secure job and hectic lifestyle in London

• move from London to live in the idyllic countryside and do my dream job as a successful Psychotherapist, Coach and Mindfulness Teacher helping 1000s of clients at my Liverpool Street and Harley Street Practices and nowadays at my online, Bristol and Somerset Practices sometimes advising film Directors, such as Mike Leigh, on the authenticity of film narratives.

Though I am now doing my dream job, living in a delightful Somerset village and have many tools at my disposal, life is occasionally still tough so I’ll also send you some tips to help you remain motivated, and focused when you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, lost or you are falling victim to ”l’m too busy and don’t have enough time” and procrastination trap.

For those of you who didn’t get the opportunity to read tips one and two of my blog for people with hectic lifestyles who want to make positive life or career changes see:

 

http://www.karendeeming.com/index.php/2015/06/19/tip-three-for-people-with-hectic-lifestyles-who-want-to-make-positive-life-or-career-changes/

Tip for week four, stop comparing yourself to other people

 

Before I became a Psychotherapist, I was often plagued by my inner critical voice or my negative chatterbox that often went 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 than some of my friends?

Sound familiar?

 

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, You Revolution Founder am now doing my dream job as a successful Consultant, Psychotherapist and Lecturer 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 am.

How can you stop comparing yourself to other people?

 

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 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.