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Anxiety and Me

Anxiety and Me

Recently, I have suffered with a strong bout of anxiety. Due to a couple of events happening that have been accumulating to create the anxiety I experienced. Most people who generally don’t suffer with anxiety or recognise their own anxiety think that anxiety looks like chaos. They think it tends to be when people are acting chaotic, all over the place and up in the air or loud, but this is so often, not the case at all.

There are those who suffer and it shows externally and those who suffer and become withdrawn as a result and hide it internally.

When there’s too much going on

For me, there has been a lot going on recently with family, running a business, working with vulnerable teenagers, being a mum, being a wife and juggling the whole thing. Over the last month, I’ve been up and down from the hospital to see my dad who had major surgery. The journey to the hospital was an hour and then another hour back. My visiting times, a couple of hours at a time two or three times a week. This has been both mentally and physically exhausting. Even though you don’t think about it at the time, you get on with it and do what you’ve got to do.

On top of that, I’ve been trying to keep things as normal as possible. I’ve been doing a huge amount of work on myself and I have been investing in myself and my business heavily since the beginning of this year.

Working with vulnerable teenagers

I’ve been working with vulnerable teenagers since last September and sometimes that can be very challenging, although extremely rewarding. In the last month things have started to really get on top of me. My self-care hasn’t been as good as it should be, because I’ve been working on so many other areas.

Well this week. My dad came out of hospital after a month and the relief, as you can imagine, brought its own anxieties and emotions. Along with that, I made a mistake at the college, which ordinarily in isolation wasn’t that bad, but where everything else has been going on my mind decided to take this mistake, blow it massively out of proportion, get myself in a place where I was in tears. I got really emotional about it and couldn’t see the wood for the trees.

I went into college the next day, and I totally withdrew. I’ve taken time to recognise the fact that I was in this place of anxiety and to recognise how my anxiety affects me and how I deal with it around others. This is the first time I have fully been aware of my behaviour when in a state of anxiety, but as a result I can deal with it better using the techniques and strategies I have in my Coaching and CBT toolbox.

Recognising my own anxiety behaviours

I realised that I totally withdraw. I become very quiet, loud noise is something that I just can’t deal with. I can’t tolerate people talking about other people or bragging about themselves. I get super sensitive and I totally shut down anything external whilst I’m dealing with what’s going on inside my head.

Now this used to last for weeks or months until I worked out my own strategies for dealing with it.  I now use the ‘accept, allow and let go’ strategy.

Firstly, I accept that I’m in this emotion and I have this feeling and this is what’s going on. I don’t try and fight it anymore. I accept it. I then allow myself. 24, hours to have the feeling, be comfortable with the feeling and work out how to separate the facts of what’s happened from the emotions I’m feeling.

After I’ve done that, I then make sure I go and do something for myself, whether it’s going to the gym and going for a run. I find running is great for me It just gets rid of all that negative energy.

Sometimes it’s whilst I’m running and sometimes it’s after, and if there is something particularly going on I will cry for the next few days for what feels like no reason at all, but this is my body’s way of getting rid of all the negative energy that I’ve been storing up.

After that. I’m ready to go again. And by doing that, I am able to let go so much quicker than I used to.

Talking about the taboo

If I’m completely honest, If you’d asked me years ago if I suffered from anxiety I would have told you DEFINITELY NOT. I never would have admitted that I suffered from anything let alone something that people consider a taboo subject.

I truly believe that everybody suffers with anxiety, at some point, in some form, to some level. It’s just whether we recognise that that’s what it is, whether we’re ready to accept it, and whether we’re ready to put the strategies in place in order for us to manage these feelings and be able to deal with them and move forward.

So, with that in mind, please remember that somebody may be suffering right now. Somebody may have withdrawn. Somebody may be very quiet. Somebody may be the complete opposite. Because the opposite to that is that somebody may become louder than usual. They may become more erratic. You may feel like they’re just seeking attention. This is all part of how they’re feeling and how their anxiety may have taken hold. Some people feel a stronger need for control, as they don’t feel in control of their thoughts and emotions, so they project externally on to others.

They may not even recognise that’s what’s happening to them. So be kind. If somebody that you know, somebody you work with, live with, are friends with is showing either of these signs or emotions, just check in with them. Find out if they’re OK. Offer them someone to talk to.

I had somebody at the college this week, who I get along very well with, we understand each other really well and we know when something’s not quite right and she’s been amazing. This week, she’s checked in on me. She’s made sure I’m OK. She’s given me a bit of a talking to. The same talking to the I would give her if she was in the same situation.

We all need support

We all need support and sometimes that support comes from people that you don’t necessarily expect it to straight away.

We all need to look after each other, be more open with our own feelings and what we’re going through, because you will be surprised where that support may come from.

If you feel like you might need help with anxiety, if you need some strategies and techniques to help you manage it, I’m always happy to have a chat.

I offer a 30-minute clarity call where I can give you a strategy straight away to help you begin to manage those more difficult days.

Please don’t suffer in silence.

Book your call here

Is It Really Possible To Think Yourself Happy?

Is It Really Possible To Think Yourself Happy?

Believe it or not, it is within your power to create positive thoughts allowing you to accomplish anything you set out to do.

Can you really think yourself happy?

The answer is a qualified YES. Here are the ways in which positive thoughts can help you accomplish so many things in life.

Positive thoughts give positive results. We can either accept our situation, or we can change it. We can be negative about an event or we can be positive. President Lincoln once said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

If you really want to think yourself happy, then make up your mind to do so. It may be difficult to think happy in a world filled with hatred,violence, stresses and anxieties. But it’s definitely not impossible. One person, one idea, one positive thought can change everything.

How, then, can we make ourselves happy?

By being a constant reminder to others that there is goodness in the world!

Here are 12 examples of way we can create our own happiness;

* Seek out positive people to associate ourselves with.
* Expose yourself to all the wonderful books, music and movies available.
* Find the one important thing in your life that’s important, and pursue it.
* Show kindness and respect towards others.
* Live life as if every day is your last.
* Use positive reinforcement wherever and whenever you can.
* Use visualization methods to view the positive aspects of life.
* Speak in a positive tone.
* Gain control over your negative thinking patterns.
* Let your expectations reflect your positive attitude.
* Allow peace of mind to engulf you.
* Become your own best friend.

Your happiness is not the responsibility of your parents, friends, partners or children. Your happiness is your responsibility. You are the creator of your own life.

IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU!

If you need any help creating better, healthier thoughts, behaviours or emotions to move yourself towards success you book your FREE Discovery Call or take a look at the services we offer here. Using the FLOAT system we take our clients from Chaos to Calm in both life and business and help you to create the success you deserve.

Here’s How You Can Break Free From Negative Thoughts.

Here’s How You Can Break Free From Negative Thoughts.

Have you ever had a negative thought? Of course you have, we all have negative thoughts. We have between 50-70,000 thoughts each and every day. Have you ever uttered it out loud, even in jest?  Of course you have.  Negative thinking can be damaging not only to our self-esteem, but can begin a cycle of thought and behaviour which negatively impacts our own perception of events in our lives.

For example:

Perhaps you’ve been assigned a special project at work. You’re confident in taking it on, but upon completion you notice one tiny error. You begin to berate the way in which you handled the project, even though the error was not significant. While your boss is telling you what a great job you’ve done, you begin to make excuses for it. Your negativity has belittled the entire project, and magnified one area of it.

What steps can you take to avoid this pattern?  Take a step back and look at the project objectively.  Not only did you complete it in an efficient manner, but it will become the template for future projects. Forget about the mistake; think about what you’ve achieved.  Focus on what went right, not what went wrong.

The holidays are approaching, and you need to begin cleaning the whole house ready.  You look around and decide it’s just too much; you can’t do it; why bother.  Stop! Take a deep breath and consider dividing up the tasks. Get your family involved to help by giving each one a specific job.  Once you begin the process of prioritising, you will feel better and it will get done.

You’ve started a diet before your holiday.  One day, you have a craving for a particular dessert.  You quickly decide your diet is over, and it wasn’t worth the effort.  You walk over to the mirror and utter to yourself, “I’m fat, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Wrong! 

Setting yourself up for failure by thinking negatively about the way you look does not solve the immediate problem.  Instead, admit to cheating; promise you’ll try harder, and allow positive thoughts to guide you through.

Improving your self-talk and re-framing your beliefs relating to it can help you think your way to a better you.

Once you discover the belief that is holding you back you can start to challenge and re-frame it.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to challenge that belief

  1. Why do I believe this is true?
  2. Where did these beliefs come from?
  3. What is it that’s holding me back from achieving success?
  4. What can I do to change it?

Re-framing your thoughts in to positive ones is incredibly powerful and once you’ve cracked the habit of doing it, it becomes easier to catch those daily negative thoughts, stop them and give yourself a more positive thought in its place.

You can learn more about creating more positive thoughts in our Personal Transformation Mastery self-study course.

If you need any help creating better, healthier thoughts to move you towards success you can email me or take a look at the services we offer here. Using the FLOAT system we take our clients from Chaos to Calm in both life and business and help you to create the success you deserve.

Managing Your Anxieties, Self Esteem, And Self Confidence

Managing Your Anxieties, Self Esteem, And Self Confidence

Some people have a difficult time in managing their anxieties and fears. In addition, a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence can also suffer. As a result, here is a list of techniques a person can use to help manage their anxieties, fears, and self-esteem.

Remember that practice makes perfect. Whenever it comes to dealing with your anxieties or any other task; practice, patience, and persistence is the name of the game. If you don’t get the desired results the first time around, then keep trying until you do. Through practice, you will become better at the task at hand and your self-confidence will increase. This also applies to managing your anxieties.

In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of anxiety and you decide to take a walk to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety the next time around.

Sometimes, we can get anxious over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualise yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that you’re playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualisation is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation and increase your self-confidence.

Don’t forget to ask for help when needed. A person can only do so much. Asking for help can give us additional resources to help manage our fears and self-confidence. It is not always easy, however as humans, we thrive on being asked to help others and if you ask the right people it will lighten the load. Remember the old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.

Write down on a list everything that you are thankful for. Do not take anything for granted. The next time you feel down, take out your list and review everything that you have listed. This is a great way to remind us of what we have when we lose sight of the good things.

It can be difficult to manage our anxieties and self-esteem. If you are having trouble despite asking for help from friends and family etc. then talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears, anxieties and self-esteem. They will be able to provide you with additional advice, techniques, tools and insights on how to deal with your current problem. In the meantime, remember to take it one day at a time.

You can book a FREE 30 minute clarity call with me to see how I may be able to help

Love Yourself Like Your Neighbour: Turn Self-Criticism into Self-Confidence

Love Yourself Like Your Neighbour: Turn Self-Criticism into Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is important to all of us. In the stress literature, it’s one of the characteristics of the hardy professional, the professional that remains healthy in the face of the high stress of constant change. It’s important, but how do you build and maintain a viable and realistic self-confidence?

One way to look at self-worth is to see it as an inference from what you say to yourself privately about yourself. It’s estimated that you make between 300 to 400 self-evaluations per day. Unfortunately, for the majority of us, those evaluations are far from kind. Most major in self-criticism. Research suggests that for the average person 80% of their self evaluations are negative; only 20 percent are positive.

A good mistake can often be worth 45 minutes of self-whipping-“That was stupid. I can’t believe I said that. And they were all watching me. They’re probably going home tonight and talking about me!” If that’s not bad enough, we have an old file clerk in the back of our brain that responds to our attack and goes back to check the evidence-“Just a minute, boss. Let me check the ‘stupid’ file here. Why yes, you are stupid! In fact, you’re getting worse. This reminds me of the time you…” Most of us are good at making ourselves feel worse, not better.

Even when you do give yourself the luxury of feeling good about something you did, it seldom lasts long. We discount our successes-“I was lucky!” “It’s about time; I should’ve done this weeks ago!” “They could’ve done better!” When was the last time you lost sleep over a good day? Never!

Even though self-critical, we put our best foot forward publicly. We present ourselves as being 95% effective and admit making an occasional mistake to be human. You may fool others, but you don’t fool yourself. When you compare what you know about yourself with everyone else’s public image, you lose badly. When you major in the self-critical, you end up searching for loved ones, parents, friends, and bosses who will affirm you and make up for your own lack of self-esteem. Unfortunately, when you have to have the support of others, they control your confidence. By withholding approval they can leave you feeling less effective, less confident and more dependent.

You would not talk to others the way you talk to yourself! “You did that? You’re stupid! Did anyone see you? They saw you! Do they know I know you? I mean it reminds me of the time you….” Who needs friends like that! If a manager talked to an employee the way you talk to yourself, he could file a grievance and win. You deserve the same if not better treatment than what you would give a friend. Learn to make room for your mistakes as learning experiences.

Since mistakes are a part of life in the fast lane, we need to find ways to be self-critical without majoring in self-whipping. Start by looking at criticism as course-correction data that helps us get back on track in our journey to success. The goal is not conviction or blaming; it’s providing future-focused feedback that allows you to be more effective tomorrow!

Scott Adams, the Dilbert Cartoonist, put these insights into practice in dealing with a novice tennis partner: “Once at a tennis tournament, I was paired with a woman who had just learned how to play. Every time she missed a shot, she immediately turned to me, expecting that I would be disappointed or frustrated. Instead, I talked to her about our strategy for the next point. By doing so, I sent a very important message: The past doesn’t matter. I didn’t encourage her with empty praise-that rarely works. But I know that if she dwelled on a mistake, she was more likely to repeat it, and that if she focused on how we were going to win the next point, she was more likely to help us do just that. Over several days, her abilities improved dramatically and we ended up winning the tournament.”

Treat yourself the same way. Life is like a moving vehicle with no brakes. If you spend too much time in the rear-view mirror, you will hit a tree out the front window. In fact, that is why your rear-view mirror is smaller than your front window. Get out of your rear-view mirror and start focusing on driving to a desired future. Try letting go of the general self-attacks; use specific feedback. What did you do that you did not handle well?

Remember, it is easier to admit you made a mistake than to admit you are one. I’m not rude, but I’ve had moments of road rage that I’m not proud of. I know it wasn’t appreciated either; the other driver didn’t even wave with all his fingers!!

After identifying a specific mistake, focus on the future by asking two key questions: First, what can you do to rectify the problem? If any constructive action or apology could help rectify the problem, do just that. Secondly, and most importantly, how would you handle the same situation if it were to occur again? If you have a valued colleague or friend, use them as a sounding board. If not, write down your thoughts or use these questions to help focus your self-criticism. When you’ve learned from the past and focused on a new strategy, get back into the game of life.

Self-confidence begins when you can learn from errors, and then move beyond them to consistently improve. Welcome to the challenge of turning your mistakes into stepping stones to making change work for you. To really make a difference add the habit of ending the day by catching yourself being effective; use a journal to record at least 3 things you’re grateful for and 1 success. You may be winning and not know it if you’re not keeping score!

To find out more about how you can build your own self-confidence go to our website or find us on Facebook