By Jenny Gould, 19-Jun-2013 03:00:00
British teenage girls struggling to control hormones argue with their mothers 183 times a year. Statistics show they also slam 164 doors, have 257 fights with siblings and fall out with their friends 127 times a year. Figures also stated that the girl only fully appreciates her mother’s efforts when she turns 23.
By Jenny Gould, 18-Jun-2013 09:56:00
Aggression in school-age children may have its origins in children 3 years old and younger who witnessed violence between their mothers and partners, according to a new Case Western Reserve University study.
By Jenny Gould, 14-Jun-2013 10:44:00Read more...
By Jenny Gould, 03-Jun-2013 16:29:00
We all know how it feels don’t we? Breaking up after a serious relationship is painful for both sides, but if you’re the one who has been left it can feel devastating. Everyone around you suddenly seems to be blissfully happy, a constant reminder of your own situation, leaving you feeling isolated and alone.
It’s no wonder then that so many of us stay in unhappy relationships - things feel all wrong and yet we can’t face the pain of leaving. You could call it the comfort of discomfort!
But once it’s happened then we have to deal with it and the only way through it, is through it. Here are my top tips for surviving a ‘broken heart’:
•First of all don’t think in terms of ‘heartbreak’. The language we use, whether it is what we say or what we think is so powerful. So use more realistic, less emotionally charged words to describe what’s happened. The relationship ended – full stop. When you think in highly emotive terms you over-sentimentalise the situation and re-enforce the pain.
•Are you seeing yourself as a victim? However hard we try we can’t control what others do – we can’t change people and we can’t make things how we want them to be. What has happened doesn’t mean that you are ‘less than’ in some way . These things happen to us all, so however hard, accept that it doesn’t mean anything at all about you. It doesn’t make you unlovable, unattractive, boring... or flawed in some way. It’s just life, you’re just human - and perhaps it’s for the best, who knows?
•Learn from what happened. Stand back and ask yourself what happened. If you were an observer, what would you see? Did you ignore the warning signs? Did you communicate your needs and feelings? What was your part in the breakdown of the relationship? It’s almost certainly not black and white, so think about what you could perhaps have done differently that might have helped. Do you try to please others but in doing so not get your own needs met? Is there a pattern in your relationships? Do you go for the same type each time? This your opportunity to take a long hard look at who you really are, what you want and need.
•Learn to forgive – yourself and/or your ex-partner. You’re likely to be feeling a mixture of strong emotions in the beginning. This is part of the grieving process –shock, anger, bitterness, fear, guilt, sadness are all natural and normal, and you will probably find yourself feeling very up and down for a while, but take care not to let negativity eat away at you. The way you think will have a powerful influence on how you feel, so be aware of what messages you’re giving yourself. It may be that you would benefit from some therapy in order to help you make sense of your feelings, to feel more optimistic and find your way forward.
•If your partner has left you for someone else this is especially painful. It has the power to destroy your self-esteem in one clean blow. Initially anger feels justified and can seem to help the pain, however quite quickly it can become an unhealthy habit. So watch what you’re thinking – don’t torture yourself imagining what they’re doing together. Don’t focus your negative feelings on the other person, after all you can’t blame them for what your partner did of his or her own accord. Instead direct your attention to yourself and what you can control.
•Take time for you. Whatever you do don’t rush headlong into a new relationship for fear of being alone. Do new things, go to new places, see people, learn new skills, take up a new hobby or pick up an old one again. Invest time in relationships with your family and friends. It may be that you’ve forgotten how to open up and accept help but support from others really makes a huge difference to how we cope! Very often the end of a relationship, so painful at the time, allows us to mature and grow in confidence, to become more fully ourselves. So work on developing your confidence ‘muscle’ and you will find yourself gaining in strength and feeling more positive.
•If you have children of course this makes the break-up so much more complicated in every way. Emotions, finances, practicalities all need careful navigation. The children must be your prime concern, often very difficult when you are in pain. This is where you will need all the support you can get. So make sure you get it. There are many organisations that can be of help to you. Talk to others who have been through this, join forums, groups, try mediation to help sort out the practicalities regarding the children and finances.
•Remember you are not alone. At the same time as it is happening to you, many others are going through the same difficulties. Right now it might seem a long way off but time heals that much is true. You are stronger than you think and you will come out the other side, stronger and wiser.
By Jenny Gould, 29-Mar-2013 11:48:00Read more...
By Jenny Gould, 22-Jan-2013 12:11:00
YOUR THOUGHTS AFFECT YOUR FEELINGS - so and try to become aware of all the negative 'instructions' you're giving to your subconscious. What are your most regularly played negative thoughts? That's the first step to taking a rational look at them. Distract yourself, move your body (works wonders for changing your mood) and try to stop thinking and analysing so much. It's not easy, but with a little help you can learn this. You can take control!
Your self-defeating beliefs will limit your ability to deal with difficult times. Try to become aware of your NATS (negative automatic thoughts) when you feel stressed so that we can then challenge them and replace them with more realistic, helpful thoughts. These will help to dissipate those unhelpful irrational beliefs rather than reinforcing them. Start asking yourself ‘How is this thinking helping me’. To be rational a thought must be true, helpful and logical.
Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged. Resilience is about keeping going even when things are difficult or frustrating! If you begin to feel negative, do something to change your mood. Think about what works for you.
Challenging and changing ingrained beliefs and thinking habits requires both thinking and acting differently - if we continue to act and think in the same way nothing will change and we keep repeating the same pattern. It takes time and practice, so don't berate yourself for slipping back when you do. Those old self-defeating thoughts (and goal-defeating ideas) will resurface every now and again - but you will gradually get better at it. Listen out for the gremlin sitting on your shoulder, and try to recognise when your mood is becoming negative. Give yourself a talking to - perhaps use a 'coping statement' which will help you - such as ‘it doesn’t matter’, 'I don't think like that any more', 'I'm fine whatever happens' - anything that works for you. Then give yourself a pat on the back!
CBT model of psychology (ABC) explains that our attitudes and beliefs affect our thoughts, which directly affect our feelings, and so our mood. Challenging our beliefs takes effort but is really worthwhile doing. Basically the more rigid your beliefs and demands about the world, yourself and others, the more stressed you will feel. Look out for the ‘shoulds’ ‘musts’ ‘have to’s’, ’ought to’s’.
When you catch yourself thinking ‘I should’ – ask ‘who said so?’ What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t do this thing. Or do you prefer to do it because it fits into your bigger picture? Replace ‘should’ with something more helpful - more of a preference than a demand, e.g I would prefer not to have to do this report, but if it needs doing then I’d better get on with it. Then it’s your choice. We always have choice. If something is boring – try ‘it’s tedious, but I can handle it.’
Remember we choose our thoughts, and since our thoughts directly affect our feelings, we can choose how we feel
When you find yourself feeling upset or stressed, try ‘tuning in’ to find out what’s really going on. Ask ‘why am I really feeling like this?’. When you have found what appears to be the underlying reason, try to address that rather than reacting to the moment.
Our rigid beliefs and demands tend to lead to LFT, low frustration tolerance. We get annoyed easily, find ourselves being judgemental, finding fault, making generalisations etc etc – all of these can be about the world, other people or OURSELVES. Becoming aware of and challenging your thinking will help with this.
By Jenny Gould, 07-Dec-2012 17:58:00
Your life is a journey not a destination. Everything you do gives you experience and teaches you more about yourself and the world. Perfectionists often spend lots of time trying to make the ‘right’ decision, and sometimes if the anxiety becomes too intense they will avoid making any decisions. Instead they accept the status quo and miss opportunities to make progress in life. Being indecisive, holding onto your options, doubting, avoiding commitment can be expensive – in terms of time, energy spent, lost opportunities. There’s a lot of truth in the old adage “Not to decide is to decide – and often for the worse”.
Keep in mind that whatever you choose doesn’t need to define the rest of your life, and every choice has benefits to offer you. We’ve all heard people say “I’m in a no win situation”. Instead, try to think of each choice in terms of ‘no lose’, after all you never really know what would have happened if you’d taken another path? And to be honest, how often are the consequences of a decision ‘catastrophic’.
Focus on being more accepting and pleased with any positive outcomes from your decisions. As long as you remain overwhelmingly concerned about a negative outcome, you’ll never want to make a decision. On the other hand, if you can be ok with whatever happens, you’ll be much more able to make a decision. What you are actually doing is lowering the amount riding on having the most perfect outcome, and allow yourself to settle for second best sometimes. Approaching things this way allows for complete freedom of choice without thinking in terms of failure.
When it comes to important decisions, of course you will want to consider all the options, but then you need to go with your ‘gut feeling’ and pursue that with all your energy. You may feel apprehensive about change, but if you connect with your most visceral feelings you’ll know what feels right. Here’s one way of knowing if it’s simply apprehension about change or really feels wrong. The former will usually involve lots of mental activity - going over options, worrying about how things will be. The latter is a much more physical feeling, an unpleasant feeling in your ‘gut’. If you’re feeling this, then all the thinking in the world won’t make it feel right.
Whatever you decide, whether a major or minor decision, once you’ve made your decision, swing into action and don’t look back. What makes a decision seem good or bad is largely dependent on what you tell yourself after you’ve made it.
No more sitting on the sidelines ‘waiting’ for the perfect job, relationship, house, business opportunity. Or waiting for the perfect time to begin writing that book, retraining, going for promotion, joining a choir, or starting a family. Go for what you want in life. Take responsibility for your own future – making mistakes along the way no doubt, but at least you went for it!
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