Self Love and Why it is Important (and no, it’s not *that*!)

Self-love and why it’s important.

Self love is often difficult.

I know. I have been there.

I have beaten myself up, put myself down, thought I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t deserve whatever it was that I wanted, etc. etc. etc.

It was a dismal place. It was exhausting. I was constantly seeking validation from others, and then not accepting it when it did come because I wasn’t good enough and they didn’t know what they were talking about because I already ‘knew’ that I was rubbish. Friends and family thought that I was mad trying to have my own business. They thought that I should stay in the ‘comfort’ of being employed – even though they could see how miserable I was.

I was scared, I was alone and I needed people to support me. But all that I heard was that it would be difficult. It would be lonely. I would not succeed. [Read more…]

Why Goal Setting is my Superpower!

Why goal setting is my Superpower!

Do you set goals? Targets? Objectives? If not, I’d be really interested in knowing why not!

For me goal setting is my superpower!

I worked in the corporate world for many years before setting up my own business. I was used to having objectives set for me. Having targets for projects, having objectives in my annual appraisal. And I worked hard to achieve these.

But then I decided to go my own way and I found myself rebelling against them! I wasn’t working for anyone else so why bother? But I found myself drifting and just getting by and I looked at my business [Read more…]

Have you failed on your resolutions already?

It’s that time of year when most people have failed to keep their resolutions on track in some way or another. Have you failed on your resolutions already?

  • Have you fallen out of love with your goals for this year?
  • Have you already gone back to old habits and behaviours?
  • Are you feeling fed up, despondent and at a loss on how to move things forward?
  • Do you feel like a failure?

I’m seeing a lot of stuff on Facebook about how February is the new January! [Read more…]

Blue Monday?

 

So today is supposed to be Blue Monday. The third Monday of January is supposed to be the day that we have already given up on our new year’s resolutions and are just too depressed or overwhelmed to carry on with the good intentions we set for the new year.  But it is only 3 weeks into the new year!  It is far too early to start giving up yet!

So if you are feeling overwhelmed and if you feel like giving up already here are some ideas for you to think about.

Why do resolutions fail?

Mostly because the resolutions that we set in the heat of the new year celebrations [Read more…]

Understanding Anxiety

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Understanding Anxiety

Most of us feel anxious at some point – we are all familiar with exam nerves, worrying about a big presentation at work etc. Anxiety about new and unfamiliar situations is perfectly natural. However, for some people this becomes a semi-permanent state. The psychotherapist Carl Jung described anxiety as ‘fear spread thinly’, which is a pretty good description!  Understanding anxiety is the first step to overcoming it.  

The symptoms are pretty much the same as for stress, but, unlike stress, anxiety is often not related to any particular situation or circumstance. It can become a way of life for some people.  Anxiety can manifest itself in different ways for different people.  Generally it can feel like a low level feeling of fear, butterflies in the tummy, racing heart, inability to think clearly, insomnia.  Do any of these sound familiar?  Understanding what causes anxiety is the first step to really addressing the problem.

Anxiety is often related to particular thought patterns, where people dwell on the negative and fail to see the positive.  Or where someone always expects the worst to happen and believe that everything in their life is providing further evidence that this is the case. Psychologists call these negative automatic thoughts and I will be posting more on that soon.

Anxiety can also be a learned behaviour – so if someone in your family was overly anxious then there is a chance that you might suffer from anxiety as well.

Anxiety can lead to panic attacks. These can be really frightening and debilitating. Sufferers often describe a panic attack feeling almost like a heart attack – pains in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, and sweating. This is the body responding to a frightening situation in the fight/flight response but, because there is no immediate actual danger, we can confuse it with something else.

The good news is that anxiety is treatable. Many of the stress tips I have posted on my Facebook page will help to provide some relief from anxiety. But there are other treatments which are really effective for treating anxiety conditions, such as cognitive behaviour therapy and hypnotherapy.

What causes stress?

 

What Causes Stress?

What causes stress?  Well that’s different for everyone.

Some of us get stressed by work, deadlines, targets etc. Others get stressed by lack of work life balance.  Some of us get stressed by the people around us.  What causes stressed cannot be defined as a single thing.  It is all about how we deal with it.  And the best place to start is to understand what is going on when we get stressed.

Stress is essentially an evolutionary response.

We have a primal part of our brain – often called the lizard brain, or the chimp (if you have read the Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters (which I really recommend)) – and this part of the brain is responsible for our fight, flight or freeze response. So when we see something new it’s this part of the brain that responds first – assessing whether we need to run away from it, fight it, freeze and hope it goes away, or whether it is safe. The lizard brain releases various hormones which prepare us to respond and these hormones get our heart pumping faster, reduces digestion, sends blood to the muscles and gets our lungs working faster.

When we were dealing with immediate threats that was OK. This was fine when dealing with sabre tooth tigers. But these days are stressors tend to be longer term such as work stresses, family life etc. and we can’t run away or fight these anymore. But our lizard brain is still pumping out these hormones which we aren’t using as they were intended to be used. And this is what causes us problems.

Think about the last time when you were stressed. Did you find yourself feeling a bit cold and clammy? Did you find yourself breathing quickly and in the top of your chest? Did you find your tummy clenching up? All of this is due to the hormones being released and not being used up.

In small bursts this is OK. It can even be helpful. But it can cause some really long term issues if not managed effectively.

If you find yourself getting stressed take a look at my pages and see what you can do to help manage your stress levels.

Let It Go Day

Today is apparently let it go day.  So here is a gratuitous minion picture!

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Body Image, schmody Image!

I was in London recently with my amazing friend Sarah and we were looking for cheap (free!) things to do in London and found a festival at the London City Hall (apparently a.k.a the eyeball!) On the way there from the tube we stumbled across these amazing sculptures by a Chinese artist Hungfei Xu.  I just had to share them here as I love the utter joy, exuberance and inhibition in them! And that they show people that fat people can be beautiful too!

I hope that you enjoy them too!

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I love the skateboarding woman – just because it shows that you can do anything you want whatever your size! [Read more…]

The Controversy of New Year Resolutions!

MLC___Resolution_by_caycowaThis year I have been struck by the number of articles around New Year Resolutions and why they don’t work.  I was actually very happy about this as I have been saying it for years!  So what is the Controversy of New Year Resolutions and how can you achieve your goals successfully?

Have you ever joined a gym in January and then noticed how empty it is in February – if you have actually managed to keep going that long? Or witnessed the pain of people trying to diet in January and either being overly worthy about the whole thing or bemoaning the pain they are suffering? So why don’t we stick to these ‘resolutions’?

The main reason [Read more…]

‘Tis the season of Goodwill. Managing Christmas Stress.

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‘Tis the Season for Goodwill. Or is it?

Yesterday I popped out to collect some parcels and do a bit of shopping and I was struck by just how miserable and stressed some people were. ‘Tis the season of goodwill – or so the plethora of Christmas films on the television would have you believe. So why the long faces and the general feeling of stress and anxiety?

We put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect – the perfect present, the perfect meal, the perfect table, the perfect decorations… In reality who actually notices?

So here are some ideas to help you get through the next few weeks and for managing Christmas stress: [Read more…]