Category: blog

Self-care: 6 ways to take care of yourself

Self-care is highly essential since we all want to look and feel good. Self-care is about taking care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

There are many ways that we can take care of ourselves; the best place to start is by finding positive ways to change our mindset. You cannot control your whole being if you are not in control of your thoughts and emotions.

We all get busy working, taking care of our homes, cars, children, pets or family members, but so often we forget about ourselves. It is always good to help others, but we are not truly helping them if we do not start with ourselves. To give the best to people, we have to start by providing the best to ourselves.

Many people may view this as selfish; however, the more you fill yourself up, the more you will be in a better position to help and support others. One of the best relationships that you can invest in is certainly with yourself – that’s the foundation of building relationships. If you do not understand yourself, it will be difficult to understand others.

It’s essential to learn to trust our emotions, as it helps us to detect if something is right or wrong. Trusting your emotions will save you from a lot of misery; it is also the initial step of beginning a relationship with yourself.

Six ways to take care of yourself

1. Be kinder to yourself

We often want to treat others with love and respect, but often don’t apply the same principle to ourselves. One of the best ways to be kinder to yourself is by treating yourself as your own best friend.

2. Ask yourself what you need

You can begin to treat yourself with extra care by asking yourself what you need on a daily basis. This may include;

  • more sleep
  • a healthier diet
  • exercise
  • rest
  • taking regular breaks at work
  • me-time
  • time with family and friends
  • a holiday
  • losing weight or improving your appearance

One of the best ways to provide what you need is by allowing yourself to be more vulnerable to your emotional needs.

3. Listen to your body

Our bodies are designed to help us to detect signs of illness by analysing any pain that we may feel in our bodies. If your body is telling you to rest or eat, it’s essential to listen to those warning signs, as ignoring symptoms could lead to serious consequences and illness that can be avoided in the initial stages.

4. Be more assertive

When you are always saying yes to commitments or demands, even when you’re tired or you don’t feel like doing what others want you to do, it’s essential to be honest with yourself and others so that you are not doing things to make others happy but are at the same time making you miserable. Learn to say no when necessary.

5. Have some time alone

Spending time alone is a healthy way of relaxing, connecting with yourself and being comfortable with who you are. Whether you are single or not, the relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you can invest in. It helps you to understand and get to know who you are. Self-awareness is a journey, and the more you take time out to enjoy yourself, you will discover deeper things about yourself.

6. Boundaries

Life is all about boundaries and self-control. If you believe that you don’t have boundaries with food, money, or authoritative figures, then it will affect your choices. For instance, if you have committed to going to the gym three times a week, then you need to develop self boundaries so you are committed to the decisions and choices that you make.

7 tips to cope with depression

Depression is a common mental health issue that is becoming increasingly common amongst the Britons. According to the independent newspaper, Britain was seventh place amongst countries with the highest rate of depression in 2017, with 10% of 25 to 64 year old been diagnosed with depression. Studies have found that women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men, at a rate of 29%, compared to 17% of men. As a result of this, one in four women will require treatment for depression, compared to one in ten men.

Many factors may contribute to these findings, such as gender differences, i.e. women’s triggers are more likely linked to hormone-related prognoses such as pregnancy, periods, childbirth and menopause and many more. In addition, women have different roles, whether this is in the home, motherhood, having a work balance while raising children and building a career. They generally invest more in relationships than men. 

Myths about depression 

Some people have a perception that depression is a track matter, which is indeed not the case. Depression is an illness that needs serious medical attention, and an individual shouldn’t be treated as though they need ‘to get over it’ or ‘pull themselves together’. This illness is not a sign of weakness, nor something to be ashamed of. It’s important that you get support and treatment. 

Some people believe that the symptoms of depression are the same for every case. This is a myth; it’s not accurate as everyone is different and although there is a general prognosis in diagnosing patients, which responses to depression in different ways based on many factors such as, medical history, substance abuse, etc.

Signs of depression

  • Having little interests in doing things such as going to work, getting out of bed, isolation, having a bath, social anxiety, being overly pessimistic or inabilities to enjoy hobbies and interest.
  • Suicidal thoughts. Thoughts about dying, being better off dead or attempting suicide.
  • Sleeping problems. Having problems sleeping or sleeping too much, as well as feeling extreme tiredness or having little energy. 
  • Feeling very low, hopeless down and depressed.
  • Feeling very tearful.
  • Finding that you can’t cope with everyday things or using drugs/alcohol to cope with feelings.
  • Trouble concentrating on things such as reading or watching television.
  • Feeling extremely negative about yourself or that you’re a failure or let yourself or your family down.

7 tips to cope with depression

1. Seek help
Don’t feel ashamed or alone; speak to your GP so that they can support you with the right treatment and support (such as therapy or medical treatment).

2. Avoid isolation
Try and keep in touch with loved ones/friends that you trust. Talking to someone that you trust can very helpful as it prevents over thinking and so you don’t have to face your issues alone.

3. Don’t be hard on your self
Avoid trying to be hard on you, if you have a difficult or bad day. Postpone important decisions until you are feeling better.

4. Keep active
Having fresh air and being physically active helps you to feel better.

5. Peer/support group
There are many support groups within the borough; you could join a group that could help you with advice and experiences with those going similar experiences.

6. Set realistic goals
Having small and realistic goals can help you feel good and boost your self-confidence. This may include getting dressed or having healthy meals each day and having a routine. 

7. Avoid too much alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol only masks the problems and it could make you more depressed, try cutting down on your alcohol consumption when feeling depressed.

Fear of being alone

We are created to be loved, as love is based on the foundation of human existence, so be encouraged and assured that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship. Being in a relationship is exciting and enjoyable when you are with the right person. However, problems arise when you are afraid of being on your own, to the extent that you jump from one relationship to another to prevent having a relationship with yourself.

There are many reasons which may influence you to desire a relationship. Here are some of the key factors that create fear of being alone.

Age

You feel that you’re getting older and you are afraid that the chances of having a baby are decreasing, which creates an intense fear of your biological clock ticking.

Peer pressure

Most of your friends are in a relationship/getting married with children. You are worrying that you’re becoming the odd one out, or even fearing that there is something wrong with you that leads you to have failed relationships.

Family dynamics

If your parents are separated and one or both parents have not moved on from the past, this may trigger a fear to avoid being like them, as you can imagine spending the rest of your life alone.

Cultural and parental pressure

Within certain cultures, women are particularly expected to get married and have children before they reach 40 years of age. When a woman reaches her mid-30s, she starts to panic about being alone for the rest of her life due to cultural beliefs that she should be married with a child by her mid to late 30s.

Regardless of your reasons for not wanting to be on your own, it’s essential to like and enjoy your own company irrespective of your circumstances.

Simple ways to get rid of the fear of being single forever

  • Learn to be at peace with yourself

Self-acceptance is the beginning of building true intimacy and accepting everything about who you are as a person. Begin to self-evaluate by being honest about the type of relationship that you have with yourself. For instance, do you often criticise yourself, thinking that you are ugly, too old, too fat, not good enough and not worthy of being loved? Your emotional well-being and confidence will be hindered if you talk or think of yourself in this manner. It will lead to low self-esteem, fear and insecurities. Feeling good about yourself begins with your thoughts, so the aim is to “think good, feel good”. Bad thoughts influence you to feel bad. We all have inner power which helps to build our esteem, so avoid giving your power away by been stuck in a negative place. We all feel negative from time to time, but it’s highly essential that you don’t get stuck there.

  • Feel good about yourself

If you have had negative experiences which could hinder the way that you feel about yourself, then it’s essential that you try your utmost to deal with it. Speaking to people that you trust can help you tremendously. Don’t bottle this up; instead learn to talk about it, as expressing your emotions can help to overcome depression, contribute to feeling positive, build your confidence and self-esteem. Remember – positive people attract positive people, and negative people always attract negative people. Unfortunately, if you don’t believe in yourself, other people will not do this either. It’s like selling something that you don’t like or value, but want others to. It’s very conflicting. The more you believe and love yourself, the more convinced and positive you will feel about finding the right partner for you.

  • Change your mindset about being single

Being single is a period to be embraced. It is time to get to know and understand who you are as a person before you pursue your potential spouse. This is a period in your life where you can set personal goals and work towards fulfilling your true destiny. When you are living the life that you want and enjoying yourself, there is no time wasted, as the best mindset to adopt is living your life to the fullest and still preparing yourself for a life partner. You are likely to get the right partner when you have taken time to love, accept, develop, know and understand yourself, as these are some key principles required from a relationship. So rather than being afraid of being alone, embrace it and prepare for your life partner by aiming to be your best self. Remember – you meet people based on where you are on an emotional level.

  • Enjoy yourself

Create time to enjoy yourself by engaging in enjoyable activities with friends and family. Feeling empty and negative will not motivate or empower you. Create a happy list to enjoy things that you love and have fun. When you are not satisfied with who you are and become desperate to be in a relationship, it could contribute to meeting the wrong people that may mistreat you and take advantage of your vulnerabilities. People want to be around positive and happy people.

  • Don’t be jealous of other people’s relationships

No relationship is perfect, and some people may choose to edit negative experiences about their relationships when discussing their relationship with you, so you will never really understand the full dynamics of another person’s relationship.

When you are happy for other happy couples, it minimises any bitterness, and you know in your heart that your time will come. Never compare yourself to others and understand that everyone has their journey. Your time will come too.

Anxiety: Facts, symptoms and ways to overcome it

Feeling anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, nervous, on edge, or afraid about things that may happen now or in the future. People usually experience feelings of worry or fear before confronting challenging situations such as sitting an exam or interview, and these feelings are perfectly normal. It can be experienced through your feelings, in your thoughts or physically. Research shows that anxiety is the root cause of fear.

The causes of anxiety can range from environmental factors, lifestyle to genetics and are commonly triggered by high levels of stress.  

If you have experienced a traumatic event from your past or childhood, this could be a key factor and the cause of your anxiety, these experiences may include: being bullied, abused, neglected or due to the death of a loved one. In addition, the relationships that you are in may be creating stress whether it be a personal, professional relationship, friendship, marriage or divorce. Problems arising in these relationships can be causing you mental distress leading to anxiety or even depression.

General Anxiety disorder (GAD) is becoming increasingly more common and can be very difficult to manage if you are not aware of your triggers. This disorder can become problematic if you find it difficult to control thing s that worry you. Hence, it very important to continuously be aware of the stressor, which could lead to anxiety if not managed

Your environmental situation at work or at home can make you feel stressed and pressurised, resulting in you wanting to avoid the situations that you are in. You may be working long hours or feeling lonely and isolated from the world which can create the feeling of unease and fear. You may find that the issues in your life are affecting your mental state such as financial and housing problems or not being able to find work.

The environment that you are in can have an impact on your stress levels and the pressure that you are feeling. This may be due to a situation at home or in your job such as when working long hours. As a result, you may feel lonely or isolated from your surroundings which can create a feeling of unease and fear. Issues in your life which can range from financial problems to unemployment can also affect your mental health which may be a cause of your anxiety or stress.

It may be out of your control as a family history of anxiety can also increase the chances of someone developing and suffering from anxiety disorders. However, it can also be a result of biochemical imbalances which affect the control and regulation of your mood.

Anxiety can also be a side effect of taking medication or from drug and alcohol consumption.

Facts

  • Variations of anxiety can include GAD, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Anxiety can be hereditary, where you are approximately five times more likely to develop GAD if you have a close relative with the condition.
  • GAD is a common condition which is estimated to affect up to 5% of the UK population where 3 million people are affected by an anxiety disorder.
  • Women tend to be more affected than men and it is more common in people who are aged 35 to 59.
  • 615 million people suffered from anxiety or depression in 2013.
  • Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders that people experience in the UK and is the most common form of mental illness in the United States.

The symptoms:

Being able to recognise the symptoms of anxiety enables you to find the best solution to overcome it. It can be identified by physical and psychological symptoms where it can vary for everyone. Some of the symptoms that characterise anxiety include:

List of physical symptoms:

  • tension /not being able to relax
  • irritable
  • headaches/migraines
  • hot flushes
  • nausea/lightheaded
  • constantly feeling on edge
  • increased heart rate
  • increase muscle tension
  • dizziness
  • difficulty in breathing
  • heart palpitations
  • insomnia
  • shortness of breath
  • shaking or trembling
  • sweating
  • lack of concentration

Psychological symptoms:

  • feeling detached to people and your environment
  • feeling on edge and alert
  • avoidance
  • difficulties in concentrating

Ways to overcome anxiety:

  • It is important to remember that there are always ways to overcome anxiety and should you feel that it is impacting a large part of your life, to seek help. Seeing your GP can be useful in finding the best form of treatment for you.
  • You can also help yourself by talking about your thoughts and feelings to someone you trust or trainee professional such as a counsellor which can help to relieve your worries and feelings of loneliness.
  • Relaxation/breathing exercises can also help in making you feel more in control, calmer and relaxed.
  • Self-help courses, group counselling, CBT are available to help you to cope with your anxiety.
  • Adding in exercise to your daily routine may help where a simple walk can alleviate the tension and stress built up from your environment. You may find that you will be able to sleep better helping to put you in a better mood.
  • Making changes in your daily habits such as reducing your caffeine or alcohol intake can also contribute to helping you to overcome these feelings.

Research shows that smoking increases anxiety and tension and those who smoke are more likely to develop anxiety disorders. Try to get some support to quit smoking and you may discover an improvement in your mood and concentration.

Being able to acknowledge that you have anxiety can help drive you to find ways in which you can overcome that feeling of unease and stop letting it affect the way you live. There are many people in this world who are feeling the same way and it is important to remember that you are not alone.

If you are finding it difficult to overcome anxiety alone, it may be effective to seek help from experts. Psychological therapy can be useful in helping you to figure out what the root of your anxiety is and ways in which you can treat it. Psychotherapists are professionals who are trained to listen to your problems and help you with your struggles. You can also get counselling or go for group therapy. Speaking to someone is a great way to understand your problems and to know that you are not alone.

Is procrastination affecting your life?

The dictionary describes procrastination as “the action of delaying or postponing something”.

Often procrastination is the cause of fear; there could be many factors associated with this including:

Fear of failure – starting things and often not completing them because you believe you will fail, so you do not complete the task to avoid defeat.

Fear of success – you want to be successful, but you are afraid of your inability to handle fame or fortune, perhaps you are scared of hard work or even become someone else.

Excessive perfectionism – is another common cause of procrastination. This excessive perfectionism causes procrastination by always putting off tasks until you think you can do it perfectly. In many ways, this is similar to the “fear of failure” concept outlined above, except that instead of believing you cannot succeed at all, you worry that you cannot meet your high standards.

Low energy levels – when you are always feeling tired due to lack of sleep or rest, unhealthy lifestyle or diet, it can also contribute to you putting things off or feeling like you can’t do much.

Lack of focus – you may lack vision and purpose in your life. Unfortunately, when you don’t have a purpose, there is no motivation to set goals or even pursue them.

Regardless of which fear you mostly relate to, both of these are associated with low self-esteem. Fear is an emotion that prevents us from fulfilling our destiny and often paralyses you so you feel stuck and unable to move forward.

There are also countless negative coping responses such as:

  • Avoidance
  • Denial or trivialisation
  • Distractions.

Procrastination has been linked to some emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, low and self-esteem.

They are so many people who are not living their life to the fullest, as a result of procrastination due to fear.

How to overcome procrastination:

Self-awareness and acceptance

The only way you can change any problem in life is to accept that you have the problem. This is the first step to recovery. We all wear a mask at times and present a false impression to others. We can surely not fool ourselves; if we do this, we are living in denial. This is a very negative emotional prison, as others can see your problem but you refuse to look at it and convince yourself that you don’t have a problem. Self-acceptance empowers you and gives you the freedom to change.

Understanding the root cause

When it comes to breaking any negative habit, it’s essential to understand the cause. Often, most learnt behaviour stems from early childhood experiences. Thinking as far back as possible to your life experience of when you started procrastinating will help you tremendously. Once you know the root cause you can change it.

Facing the fear

Unfortunately we all experience fear from time to time but living your life in constant fear is equal to an emotional prison. There is only one way to deal with fear – feel the fear and do it anyway. There are many types of fears, so it’s crucial to identify the fear and begin to embrace it by doing your research and developing a strategic plan to overcome it. If you are feeling stuck, then you can get help from various professionals including a therapist or coach who will be able to help you.

Discover your purpose in life

Life without direction is empty and can be very unfulfilling. Take time to find out your purpose by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I enjoy doing with my time?
  • What would be a fulfilling career or business?
  • What are my key strengths?
  • What do I want to be remembered for in my life?
  • What hobbies or interests could I begin to implement?
  • What lifestyle can I create?
  • How do I see my best self?
  • Am I creating a life that allows me to have financial freedom?
  • How much do I want to earn and how am I going to make that?
  • What do I want from life?
  • Am I living my life to the fullest, if not why and what can I begin to do now?

Set goals

Goal setting gives you direction in life. Begin by setting clear and measurable goals known as “SMART” goals which mean:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

When setting goals, it’s vital to ensure that you write goals somewhere that is visible so you can see it on a daily basis and set a reminder to do one thing each day towards your goals.

Don’t ever give up

You can acquire all the knowledge in the world, but knowledge without action is useless. Avoid things that may distract you so you can be more disciplined. The only way you will achieve the results you desire is by action, action and more action. You must keep trying no matter what. Life is about trying and trying again until you succeed, so never give up.

Fear of abandonment

Having a fear of abandonment is a common pattern within unhealthy relationships. This could stem from childhood loss, a traumatic event such as a loss of a parent through death, divorce/separation, emotionally unavailable parents, or the physical absence of one or both parent/s.

A child’s early years are highly significant since this is a period when children learn patterns of behaviour that could shape their adulthood. As result, a child that has experienced some form of loss in their early years is likely to have the following attachment when choosing their spouse:

  • Avoidant attachment.
  • Ambivalent attachment.
  • Disorganised attachment.

When a person has lost a loved one, they are always in fear of being abandoned, while no evidence confirms their suspicions.

Although fear of abandonment is very common, it is also difficult to recognise since the learnt behaviour is subconscious, so you may be unaware of it until it becomes out control.

Often, people who suffer from fear of abandonment experience anxiety, they become so afraid that their partner will leave them. This creates significant trust issues within relationships because you find yourself over-thinking or analysing what your partner says or does – to the extent that you can’t stop thinking whether he or she is cheating, speaking to other people outside the relationship or exploring their whereabouts. This level of insecurity can be very unsettling and addictive, even when there is nothing to worry about you, look for signs or things to worry about.

Stop trying to control your partner

When you feel highly insecure in a relationship, you often have a strong tendency to control your partner as you are so afraid of losing them. Consequently, you do everything to please them, secretly hoping that they will not leave you. As a result of this, you give too much and over compromise. Though it seems that you have the power to control your partner. The truth is that it would make you powerless within the relationship, as you cannot control anyone. The only person that you can control is yourself. It is highly essential to comprise within a relationship, however, over-comprising and doing things to keep another person will never work. This will only make you a doormat and deflate your self-esteem.

Rather than trying to control your partner, learn help to manage your insecurities. There many support groups and counsellors for most emotional issues.

Identity where the trust issues stem from

Although you may feel insecure within your relationship, it’s essential to identify how and when these emotions manifested. For instance, did something happen during your early years which led you not trusting people? It’s essential to begin to trust yourself. After all, how can you trust anyone if you don’t trust yourself? Begin to develop a relationship within yourself. By engaging in more activities with friends and family so you’re not fixated on your spouse.

Avoid searching through your spouse’s phone

When two individuals are within a relationship, each individual has to respect one’s privacy. Searching through your spouse phone or trying to track him/her will only cause you to feel more insecure and create further trust issues, so it’s imperative to stop this behaviour because it’s not going to help you.

Unfortunately, if a person wants to cheat on you there is nothing that you can do to stop it. So it’s best to use your energy to make yourself happy instead of making yourself miserable. Even God has given us free will. Accusing or continually assuming your spouse is cheating can also be emotionally draining for them and could push them away (mainly if there is evidence to support your negative assumptions), instead try and enjoy the relationship as best as you can.

Stop acting out

Often, people with a fear of abandonment create unnecessary negative drama by creating situations that could cause them to want to end the relationship with no valid reason. They fear that their partner could leave them, so they want to hurt or leave their spouse before they leave. This is a form of self-sabotaging behaviour and could cause you to look silly as you always say you will leave but don’t. It would make your partner not take you seriously when say you want to end the relationship.

Identity behaviours that could push others away.

Calling or texting your partner too much or asking them to spend their free time with you because you are afraid, only creates further anxiety and could make people not want to spend time with you.

Examine the types of relationship you attract.

People with issues of fear of abandonment habitually attract spouses that are emotionally unavailable or emotionally unbalanced. Begin to seek partners that are emotionally available to enable you to break the cycle of the anxiety of abandonment.

Have you lost your self identity?

Did you know that there are so many people who lack self-identity, particularly in this day and age where so many individuals are so consumed with being liked by other people? People even use Facebook and Instagram to seek validation. These individuals are so busy comparing themselves to others through their friendship circles or social media. The truth is, you will never be fulfilled when you compare yourself to others. This pattern of behaviour only creates indecisiveness, self-doubt, trust issues and low esteem. When you are unaware of your real identity, when you consciously or subconsciously look for constant validation from others, you will feel unfilled and insecure.

This pattern of behaviour can become almost addictive if it’s not managed. You will never really be sure of who you are if you consistently want others to confirm that for you. I am conscious that it may seem odd to know who you are, but how can someone truly love or like or treat you the way you deserved to be addressed if you don’t know yourself? How can you live life to your full potential if you lack self-identity or awareness? Try not defining yourself by who people think you are. Individuals who lack self-identity often identify themselves by their past, status, career or self-image.

Here are some simple ways to reclaim your identity if you believe that you have lost it.

When did you lose your identity?

It’s compulsory to identify when you lost a sense of yourself. This process will enable you to know how to reclaim your identity. For instance, if you grow up in an environment where you were not allowed to feel your emotions or no one spoke about their feelings, then it’s hard to connect with your inner child. It means that you may have a wounded child that is still playing up within the adult. It means you may have learnt not to be in tune with your emotions and often find ways or things to distract yourself, as feeling your emotions may be too painful, confusing or even uncomfortable. When you have identified the cause, then you can begin to start the journey of understanding who you are. In addition to accepting who you are (the good, bad and ugly) after all, no one is perfect.

Journal writing

Keeping a journal account of your emotions and awareness of yourself will help you to understand your thoughts and learnt behaviour that may be preventing you from your personal best such as, low self-esteem or self-sabotaging behaviour. For instance, if you believe that you are not good enough based on childhood experiences or past experiences, then you could transfer this learnt behaviour into all areas of your life, including work and personal relationships. Consequently, having people-pleasing tendencies or continually looking for validation prevents you from your inner power and you end up giving it away to others. Understanding yourself will contribute to a higher esteem, and you will became less emotionally dependent on others to make you happy, like or love you.

Understanding your personal qualities

It’s important to take time to understand, appreciate and value who you are, since you certainly can’t expect someone to understand or value you if you don’t. Conduct a self-assessment by creating a list of your natural gifts and talents to gain a deeper awareness of yourself. Ensure that you carry this exercise completely on your own instead of asking others, as the whole concept of this exercise is for you to understand yourself as opposed to what others think of you.

Breaking the negative cycle

When you are indecisive, it causes self-doubts. Self-doubt creates distrust, and this could contribute to low self-esteem. The more you understand yourself, the happier you will be and have less self-conflicting thoughts. When it comes to developing yourself, you are the only person that is responsible for your development. Any word that begins with “self” means that you’re accountable for that area of work, so getting others to build your esteem or identity would always be non-effective. So no matter how challenging this could be, you have to recognise that the results will be highly rewarding and it will help your decision making and help you take more control of your life.

Learn to enjoy your own company

If you don’t like or appreciate your company, how do you expect other people to like or enjoy your company? Start off by writing a list of things that you enjoy doing. Creating a list of hobbies will help you to be more fulfilled and enjoy your company. Having time with family and friends is highly essential and useful for your emotional wellbeing. However, it’s equally important to create time alone and enjoy your hobbies. You will never really appreciate how much you enjoy an activity on your own unless you try.

Avoid distractions

Too much distraction can be a hindrance to yourself, since continuously distracting yourself blinds you from developing areas such as your awareness and esteem, as you may be consciously or subconsciously avoiding having a relationship with yourself or numbing your emotions by:

  • Using drugs and alcohol.
  • Being overly busy, engaging in non-productive activities.
  • Working long hours.
  • Being too sexually active with multiple partners.
  • Overeating.
  • Oversleeping.
  • Choosing partners that are emotionally damaged so you can fix them.
  • Continuously having one relationship after another, and not having time to pause.

Learn to be emotionally available to yourself so that you understand and identify your emotions by frequently understanding the reasons why you feel the way you are feeling, such as “why do I feel sad, why do I feel vulnerable?”

What causes anxiety

Anxiety is when you feel afraid or overly worried, tensed that something is going to happen in the future.

Most people who suffer from anxiety have been anxious during the earlier part of their childhood. This could stem from living in an environment where one or both of the parents do not talk about their feelings or express their emotions, particularly negative emotions, and often deal with them in a negative way. In addition, early years of anxiety could be a result of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect, drug addiction or alcoholism, parents that suffer from mental health issues and school-related issues like exams or bullying.

When you’re overly anxious it can affect any area of your life such as:

  • Work – you begin to lack concentration and you’re often not present as your mind is busy racing and thinking about other things.
  • Intimate relationships – you may begin to find it hard to be emotionally connected with your spouse as you feel anxious about the status or the future of the relationship.
  • Friendships – it’s important to socialise and have hobbies, but unfortunately, when an individual is highly anxious it affects their ability to be sociable, as they are often worried about different things which could begin to make them feel paranoid. As a result, they suffer from social anxiety.

Everyone can feel anxiety from time to time, however, anxiety is a mental health problem: if it affects your ability to live as fully as you would like to.

Do you often feel like this? Do you feel anxious very often with the feelings being very severe and lasting for a prolonged time? Do you worry constantly or are afraid that you feel out of control regards to a situation?

  • You avoid situations which might cause you to be anxious and your worrying makes you feel very distressed.
  • You experience panic attacks.
  • You find it hard to enjoy the day to day things. Anxiety could affect the way in which you look after yourself, work, enjoy leisure time, and form and develop relationships.

Self-care for anxiety

Time to pause

Avoid extreme build-up of stress by taking time to pause, relax and recharge yourself. It’s important to avoid over-working by doing long hours without breaks.

Control your breathing

Severe anxiety is often linked to poor breathing habits. It’s important to implement slow breathing techniques by breathing in slowly and gently through your nose for about 5-7 seconds.

Exercise

Exercise is good for your general health, including your mood, mental health and wellbeing. Engage in a regular weekly exercise which will help release the ‘happy hormones’ called endorphins. It will also help you relax and sleep well and it is a very healthy distraction.

Eat a well-balanced diet

Having a balanced diet will provide the right nutrients that your body needs, which will contribute to positive emotional wellbeing. 

Limit alcohol and caffeine

Both alcohol and caffeine can aggravate anxiety. 

Get enough sleep

Improved sleeping patterns enable you to recharge yourself. Common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can often underpin sleep problems. Sleep helps you to feel better and boost your moods.

Acceptance

It’s essential to accept that you can’t control everything and it’s important to avoid being overly controlling. It’s important to have a vision or dreams and aspirations, but you can’t spend too much focus or time worrying about the future.

Know your triggers

Having an understanding of what triggers your anxiety will help you look for the patterns and keep your anxiety levels under control.

Talk about your issues 

Talking about issues that make you anxious will help you to think less and reduce over thinking which contributes to worrying and anxiety.

How to not lose yourself in your relationships

Being in love feels good, but always avoid losing yourself in another person. No one wants to be hurt within a relationship but every relationship we pursue is a risk, as you can never control another person’s behaviour or actions.

What is self-discovery? Most people would think that this is a strange question, as generally, people are more interested in learning about the behaviour of others rather than themselves. Unfortunately, many people lack self-identity and often build their esteem in their relationships, careers, financial status, or their appearance. Some of these individuals spend the majority or part of their lives looking for answers or acceptance but take very little time to understand themselves.

Learn to be more self-contained by following the tips below. Knowledge is power but always remember, knowledge without action is useless. Are you treating yourself in the same negative ways that your parents treated you when you were little? Are you punishing yourself the same way your parents did? If this is the case then it’s time to end the negative cycle. You are now the adult in your life so learn to comfort yourself, even if your parents didn’t know how to.

The past has no power over you and there is more power in the present moment.

How to rediscover your true self

Make a happy list

Make a list of things that you enjoy doing that makes you happy. It is essential to ensure that you participate in these hobbies on a regular basis. For instance, if you enjoy going to the gym, try and set aside regular days to go on a weekly basis to establish a regular routine.

Be honest with yourself

Write a list of all the different areas of your life including work, family, friends, hobbies, and relationships. Rate the amount of time that you invest in each area, from a scale of 0% to 100%. 100% is the most you could invest in each area and 0% is the least. Once you have established how much time you invest in each area, write down how much time you invest in your relationship with yourself. If you discover that the score is higher in other areas, then this is an indication that you have been giving very little to yourself. The main incentive is to ensure that you give the very best to yourself in order to give the best to others. For instance, it’s no point committing 100% to your job and committing just 10% to your self.

Make positive friends

It’s mandatory to have friends but more importantly, it’s more effective when your friends are positive friends. Positive people motivate, support and encourage you, particularly when you need emotional support or encouragement the most. On the other hand, negative people often celebrate the downfall of others. Consequently, they could project their negativity into you, which could make you feel worse about yourself or others. In addition, there are health benefits in relation to being positive or positive thinking; it could lower rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. The truth is, you attract people who are most like you. So the key is, if you want positive friends then you have to begin to be more positive yourself.

Become more self-reliant

It’s important to have a good support network of people in your life. However, it is also very important to draw strength from within and acknowledge your own personal power.

Here are 7 basic ways to become more self-reliant:

  • Accept responsibility for your own life choices
  • Make your own decisions – whether they’re good or bad. Indecisiveness is the root cause of low self-esteem
  • Learn more practical skills – the more practical skills you acquire, the more fulfilling your life would be
  • Look after your body
  • Recognise and accept your feelings
  • Find healthier ways to express negative emotions
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.

Get professional help when needed

Ensure that you get professional help if you have underlying issues that could be getting in the way of your best self. It is healthy to get help and support to deal with any negative issues with a professional, in a confidential and private space as opposed to trying to be emotionally dependent on someone to fix or save you. The only person that can help you be the best you can be is yourself, period.

 

 

Unforgiveness and your health

Unforgiveness is when you are unwilling or unable to forgive someone for hurting, betraying, breaking your trust or causing you intense emotional pain. Forgiving is highly recommended, as there are various researches that have been carried out which shows that unforgiveness causes health issues including:

  • Cancer – 61% of cancer patients have forgiveness issues
  • Suppressed anger – people often get angry for any reason have issues associated with forgiveness
  • Low self-esteem – lack of self-love stem from not forgiving your self or self-acceptance
  • Bitterness – increases the risk of depression
  • Constant worrying increases of the risk sleep deprivation and anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease

When someone has hurt or disappointed you, the logical response would be to think that you’re hurting them by not forgiving them and holding a grudge. The harsh truth is that you’re actually causing yourself more pain by holding on to the anger, and the person that you wish not to forgive has the subconscious power to control you. However, you can get disconnected from the power of control when you forgive.

How to learn to forgive

Decide

When you feel that you have been hurt intensely by someone close to you, it’s very hard to even begin to consider forgiving them, as you want them to feel the pain. However, the first step is to release the emotional pain by making a conscious decision to forgive and let go. This process may take time, due to different emotions that you have to process.

Letting go of the baggage

True forgiveness is when you forgive and forget. However, we are imperfect human beings and although we may forgive we may not always forget as there may be incidents where we are triggered or remaindered of past events. Even if it is a struggle to forget, it’s very important to forgive by letting go of the emotional pain that has been caused.

Take responsibility for that part that you played

You can never control anyone, the only person that you can control is yourself. Taking responsibility for how you allowed someone to hurt you, enables you to set boundaries so you don’t put yourself in the same situation again.

Forgive yourself

It’s easier to forgive others when you learn to forgive yourself. No one can truly hurt you deeply unless you allow them. Sometimes it’s easier to blame others for causing you pain. However, the depth of the pain depends on the boundaries that you set within all your relationships. Forgive yourself for allowing others to treat you with disrespect or emotional pain

Awareness

Be aware of the negative emotions that you feel towards the other person including anger, bitterness, hurt, hatred, and jealousy. Awareness will help you to acknowledge the need to forgive. Holding on to the negative emotions is highly toxic and not good for your health.

Acceptance

You don’t need to make excuses for the person that hurt you. Even if you don’t want them back in your life, it’s essential to accept how you feel and the fact that you can’t change the past.

Learn from the experience

Sometimes we have to go through negative and painful experiences to learn some life lessons, which helps to develop ourselves. In every negative experience, it’s very important to ask yourself, what lessons you have learnt? This will enable you to avoid repeating the same thing over and over again. If you keep doing the same thing and don’t learn from the painful experiences then you will experience the same thing (pain) in your life. Life is like a classroom and people are teachers, and they come into our lives to teach certain things about ourselves. So take the time to learn the lessons regardless of how painful it may be.

Talk about it

When you feel ready to forgive, make arrangements to contact the person that has hurt you and express yourself. Talking things over helps you to let go.

Closure

If you have decided that you no longer want to have the person that has hurt you back in your life, then that is fine. You can write a letter to that person and bin or burn the letter. Writing helps to get rid of any negative suppressed emotions.