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There are those who suffer and it shows externally and those who suffer and become withdrawn as a result and hide it internally.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
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.
Unfortunately, there are many times in our lives when stress creeps in and causes great angst. Life is busy and work, kids, school and responsibilities can seem overwhelming at times.
74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
81% of women said this compared to 67 percent of men. 83% of 18-24 year-olds said this compared to 65 percent of people aged 55 and over. (Source: mentalhealth.org.uk)
Do you feel that your stress is getting you down?
Here are some tips to help deal with stress and its after-effects.
Stress has become a major cause of anxiety and panic attacks. If not dealt with, it can have an incapacitating effect on your life. More often than not, most people with A-type personalities are prime candidates for stress induced symptoms. The perfectionism they seek in everything they do never quite measures up to their expectations. This is not a perfect world; and it’s time those who live in it realize they aren’t perfect either, and nor should they be.
Most people deal with stress in different ways; either they ignore the initial problem which caused it; retreat within themselves or fall apart. However, those who recognize the signs nip it in the bud before it completely takes over. Using simple exercises can relieve the onset of stress. For example: While sitting at your desk at work, breathing exercises can bring you back to a calm state. Going outside for some fresh air also helps.
Walking or running for 20 minutes can release endorphins which relieve stress. Listening to classical music lowers the blood pressure and brings calm within.
Sometimes, however, stress reveals itself in other ways. Light headedness, an inability to focus, feelings of pressure and palpitations are all symptoms of stress. Moreover, continued stress can produce anxiety, panic, and the fight or flight syndrome. Here is one such case of how stress can simply overwhelm and, in some cases, debilitate.
A secretary was called into her administrator’s office, which was quite large and comfortable. As she was taking dictation, she suddenly found it hard to breathe; began to lose focus; and a queasy feeling in her stomach emerged. She could no longer concentrate and left the room suddenly.
Unbeknown to her, she had just experienced an anxiety attack brought on by stress. However, while there was nothing stressful going on at the time, she later identified the cause. An unpleasant thought had entered her mind while she was taking dictation, causing fear to take over forcing her to leave the office.
Upon further examination, it was determined the stress in her home life simply became too much, and filtered its way in to her working day.
This happens all too often and vice versa, where work stresses can filter in to your family life causing arguments. health issues and in some cases total disconnection from your loved ones!
If stress is getting you down, examine the cause. Determine the origin and discuss it with a professional or a loved one. Stress, if not acted upon, can cause serious health problems. Avoid it wherever and whenever you can.
You can learn more about reducing stress in our Personal Transformation Mastery self-study course.
If you need any further help reducing stress or creating healthier habits 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 create the success you deserve.
You can also come and join us over on Facebook in The Positivity Hub, where we talk all things, mindset, confidence and positivity.
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.
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.”
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
- Why do I believe this is true?
- Where did these beliefs come from?
- What is it that’s holding me back from achieving success?
- 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.
We humans are creatures of habit. We have evolved over thousands of years to like routine, to like predictability and to become ingrained in a certain series of events.
Most of us therefore have a routine that we pretty much follow every single day. Maybe you start your day by waking up, making breakfast, having a shower, getting dressed and then watching the news for 10 minutes with a cup of coffee before running out the door.
This is no coincidence. This comes down to the entire way we are hardwired. The way our brains work and the way our biology operates. Repeating the same actions or thoughts over and over again essentially means that we are repeatedly using the same neuronal pathways and causing the same connections to light up and fire.
If you repeat one action followed by another often enough, they will become so ingrained as to become automatic and beyond our conscious control. We call this a ‘habit loop’ which consists of 3 phases; The trigger, the behaviour and the reward.
In short, the more we repeat the same behaviour over and over, the harder it is for us to change that behaviour.
If the behaviour in question involves smoking, then this is bad news. But if the behaviour involves going to the gym, then it’s great news. I have done some form of exercise since I was 7 years old. That’s when I took up gymnastics and trained 3 times a week. (I’m 45 this year). That means that I’ve been doing something consistently for 38 years. As you might expect, I now find it almost impossible to not do any form of exercise. I love working out in one way or another, it’s a part of who I am.
In other words, harnessing the power of habit can be a powerful tool in helping you to get whatever you want from life:
Often you will read that the best way to create a new habit is to repeat that action for thirty days. If you can do that, then eventually you will have ingrained the behaviour deeply enough that you will be able to keep it up.
This makes it a little easier setting your goals around creating a new habit. If you know that you want to exercise first thing in the morning for thirty days only, then that can be easier to get your head around than thinking you have to do it forever.
A good tip for creating a new habit is to attach it to your old habits and your surroundings. So, if you want to create a habit of flossing your teeth, then the obvious option is to attach this to a habit you already stick to such as brushing your teeth!
Likewise, if you want to get into the habit of ironing your shirts, pick a specific point in the day for it to come after – such as making your morning tea.
This works because it connects the new behaviour to old ones inside your brain. You have a network of neurons that fire whenever you make your morning tea. Now, when that network of neurons fire, they should also cause the new network – the ironing shirts network to light up. The two are now connected.
This also works on a practical level: you need to find a convenient time for your new habit to take place and you need to find a convenient time and place in which to do it. You need to know that said time and place is always going to be convenient.
I wanted to take up meditation a while back for example as a regular part of my routine. I struggled at first because there always seemed to be more important things to be doing and I could never find the right time. So, what I did was to attach my meditation session to my morning routine. I started setting my alarm for half hour earlier (I used to need a few snoozes) and after a while I was able to get up and fit my meditation in before I did anything else. It’s now ingrained and part of my day.
One action is a habit but if you string these together, then you have a routine.
Looking at the practical aspect of stringing habits together and knowing where you will be and what time it will be when you do that thing is incredibly important for accomplishing goals. If you can build a routine for yourself that contains multiple good habits, then you’ll find that you massively enhance your likelihood of success in all areas.
Creating a routine is a powerful way to accomplish your goals.
You can learn more about creating more powerful habits in our Personal Transformation Mastery self-study course.
If you need any help creating better, healthier habits 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.
Have you ever spoken unkindly to someone? Did the words profoundly affect that person? Words are powerful; and when they are used to hurt someone, they can be devastating. The words you speak and the things you say do have a huge affect not only on yourself, but others as well. What you say really does matter.
Have you ever called yourself stupid, dumb, idiot? Have you berated yourself in front of the mirror because you feel fat or ugly? Do you realise that every word you say is being processed by your subconscious mind and buries itself there? It then begins to seep into your conscious self and your feelings of self-worth begin to disappear.
What you say ultimately translates into your personal belief. If you say to yourself, “I’m not very good at tennis,” you will never succeed in that sport. You are setting up a defeatist attitude even before you begin. When you begin a thought or a sentence with a negative word, your expectations can never be realised.
So too, you may call someone an idiot. While you may apologise, the word has already been spoken; you can’t take it back. The person on the receiving end of the insult may take it to heart, and can be changed forever. We live in a world where words are used to attack, cajole, embrace, nurture, disengage, provoke and inspire. We not only hurt ourselves, we hurt others as well. Anger, frustration, and disappointment contribute to the misuse of words. Even though the aftermath of unkind words are realised, we still do it. Perhaps the old adage is true, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.”
It is important to realise the affect that words have on us. Whether we mean to say them or not, said often enough they can transform the very essence of who we are. Children are especially vulnerable to words. Yet, we continue to use unkind and often insensitive words as a disciplinary measure. Eventually, they grow up with low self-esteem, or painfully shy, or feel they’re not worth anything at all.
The next time you speak, think about the words you are about to use. Choose them wisely when speaking to your peers, and cautiously when speaking to children. Understand that one word can positively or negatively affect someone’s life; even your own.
I talk a lot about this subject in my business and with ALL my clients. How you communicate with others and yourself is vital to creating a successful life and business. If you’d like to find out more please email me.