Humans usually feel fear in response to something that is going to happen. Ie: you might fee frightened the first time you have to drive on the motorway or you may fear in relation to a family member. Fear can be felt in varying degrees but most commonly is manifested through anxiety.
We all have ideas about ourselves. Most of the time these ideas are often magnified parts of ourselves. In one idea you might have all the good bits and in another all the bad bits. The idea that has all the good bits is usually you meeting all your high expectations and the bad idea of yourself is the one where you meet none of your expectations.
Sometimes expectations can be manageable and at other times they are so unrealistic. We are only human but in todays society it is looked down upon to not reach all of your expectations and then some.
Expectations are a cluster of ideas we have about ourselves and people close to us. You may expect your partner to be supportive if you are going through a difficult time. but where do these expectations come from and why do we have them.
Expectations develop over time and often change as we change. At times our expectations can come from our primary care takers whilst growing up. For example the expectation to get good grades or join the family business. Those examples are expectations that have like been adopted. As you go through life you might begin to shed those adopted expectations and create your own.
When most people hear the word trauma, the common response is to think of big events like an environmental disaster, a mugging or attack of some kind. Trauma often gets associated with something psychical that has happened.
What is less common is thinking of relationships as traumatic and that being with your partner has caused you some kind of trauma. It is not until the relationship has ended that a person can see how traumatic the relationship was. It is easier for people to think of relationships as damaging but harder to think that another person has caused you trauma without their being any level of physical abuse. I feel it is really important that people are able to acknowledge that an individual experience of another person can be traumatic.
In the previous post I mentioned a few things that people engage in when they suffer from insomnia. But why? Why does an individual stay up till 3am watching tv just to avoid going to sleep.
In my opinion it is not the sleep that is the problem but the bit in between. Nobody falls asleep straight away when they lay in bed well some lucky people might but most of us don’t. There is a space before we fall asleep and many people who suffer from insomnia find this space unbearable. For some there is a feeling that particular thoughts keep circulating, some of these thoughts may create anxiety.
So what some people do is to fill that space with something in order not to think or feel anxious. Insomnia can be caused by many different things such as PTSD, stress at work or at home, depression etc.
The basic definition of insomnia is the inability to sleep. This can vary, some individuals may not be able to sleep at all whilst others may not be able to sleep until 2 or 3am. This kind of partial insomnia seems very common.
It is not just the inability to sleep that makes up insomnia it is the inability to shut down and relax enough to sleep. Most people who suffer from insomnia to whatever degree will tell how tired they feel. However when it comes time to sleep there seems to be a restlessness that takes over. Whether it is working, engaging in social media or streaming Netflix show these are the things that ultimately stop you from trying to sleep.
As I said previously being able to say no is really important when trying to establish boundaries. Boundaries work to protect yourself from other people and is essentially a form of self care. It links to how you want to be treated by others, what you are willing to accept or not accept.
The difficulty with boundary setting is that it is up to the individual to continuously exert them. People will test your boundaries and push against them but it is up to the individual to maintain them.
Having good boundaries is key to having better balanced relationships which ultimately leads on to more fulfilment.
An individuals boundaries will change over time. A person will not not have the same set of boundaries for every relationship. The type of boundaries you have within yourself towards another person depends on the dynamic of that relationship. For example you can have very clear boundaries with a friend but with another friend you may find it difficult to assert yourself.
Having good boundaries does not mean you are selfish or cold. Being able to say no to someone is an act of setting a boundary. Saying no is really important as it shows that you are able to take your own opinions into consideration.
You find yourself getting over involved in peoples lives.
Other people seem to have more control over your life than you do.
You take advantage of other people or let others take advantage of you.
Identify friendships that are good for you.
Look at what you need support with.
Be honest with yourself.
Don’t be afraid to articulate your feelings to people you trust.
Don’t try and handle everything at once.
Remember its ok to need support and its emotionally healthy to be able to access that.
A common misconception about self worth is that having self worth means being happy, confident and out going. When actually it is not about those things at all.
Self worth means being able to acknowlegde when something is good or bad for you. Self worth is a way of noticing yourself. For example an individual with self worth would be able to walk away form someone who was taking advantage of them. This would still be difficult and painful but they would be able to act on their feelings. Whereas an individual with very little self with could have an awareness that they were being used but they would not have the power to walk away from the situation.
Having self worth is a powerful tool to have. It can prevent an individual from staying in an unhealthy relationship and it helps an individual to know when a relationship is good for them. It is not something that can develop over night and it is not reflective of how good you feel.
Many people believe intimacy to mean sex but it is not. Some couples who are unable to feel close or vulnerable to one another may feel they need to be physical to feel close to one another. However that only creates a temporary feeling of closeness. Prolonged closeness between two people comes from emotional intimacy which is a feeling of being able to be open and vulnerable.
A lack of intimacy between two people often feels like there is a great distance between the two people. Lack of intimacy can result in boredom, being defensive, arguments, frustration and a general lack of communication.
You want other people to be emotionally available but you have great difficulty with it yourself.
You want to get close to other people but don’t let others get close to you.
You feel someone else is to blame for you being unable to be emotionally intimate.
Intimacy issues are often associated with relationships. Many individuals feel concerned that there is a lack of intimacy in their relationship. But what is intimacy and what does it mean to be intimate. The simplest way to describe intimacy is too feel close. So when a person complains of lack of intimacy with their partner what they are really saying is that they do not feel close to their partner.
Being able to feel emotionally close to your parter, family member or friend is really important. It is trough that closeness that you are able to build on a mutual understanding which therefor leads to an emotional fulfilment.
Every individual has perspective which is their own way of looking at the world. Perspective gets developed over time which is why someone cannot change their perspective overnight. It gets developed through interactions and experiences with significant people in your life. Such as parents, extended family and friends.
Early experiences with the wold begin to shape how you see the world and what you expect or do not expect from the world. Whatever your individual perspective is, it often informs how you relate to the world and other people.
Being a minority myself I know all too well the stigma and pressures that minorities face when dealing with mental health or trying to access help. Going to therapy has been associated with white middle class people whilst everyone else just has to get on with it. But this simply is not true.
Everyone can benefit from therapy no matter race or class. So why do so few minorities access therapy? Within certain cultures suffering from psychological distress is not accepted. You have to be strong and get on with things otherwise you won’t have the same chances as everybody else.
This idea of being strong and tough makes many people feel as though they are failing somehow if they admit they need help. The whole ‘get on with it’ attitude has been passed down through generations and then becomes engrained especially in male minorities. More recently certain footballers such as Danny Rose and Rio Ferdinand have gone public with their own battle with mental health which I feel does increase awareness.
Sometimes people can come to therapy with the view to change their relationships. When an individual enters therapy it is themselves that change. It is not possible to change another person but what does happen is that you begin to change.
As you begin to develop emotionally you may begin to see your relationships around you in a different perspective. You may start wanting things from the relationship that you did not realise you wanted. Other people around you will not change but they may very well have opinions and feelings towards these changes. So it is not therapy that changes your relationships it you who begins to change and alter relationships if you want to.
Identifying bulling in the workplace can be extremely difficult as there are many hierarchal dynamics that exist. Bullying can take place between co-workers and managers. The drive to want to be good at ones job and to get promoted or recognised for their hardwork can deter someone from taking action against bullying.
Some people are scared they will be seen as weak or a troublemaker. This results in an overwhelming amount of people suffering in silence because they believe it is part of being an employee. Bullying happens in many different disguises. Humiliation is very common in the work place because it uses humour to cover an insult. For example a employee often gets jokes made about their attire. Other employees laugh at the jokes and the employee also feels that they have to laugh when in reality it actually hurts them.
Most people have experienced bullying on some level. Typically bullying is associated with school. We think of name calling, trolling, being picked on for being different or just not fitting in.
When your an adult bullying can be harder to recognise. There might be bullying in work place, amongst friends, socially and in the family. Being picked on when your an adult can feel shameful and is often not talked about. There is a pressure amongst adults to be strong capable individuals that can overcome and handle any situation. This is not the case.
Step 1: Try to sit down. If you are having a panic attack and your breathing becomes rapid and shallow you may begin to feel light headed so try and sit down. If there is no seat near you and you are in a public place try and alert a member of staff. They may be able to offer you a stool.
Step 2: Try to focus on your breath, this will help your breathing to slow down. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. For example: Breathe in for 3 counts and breathe out for 3 counts . Repeat this until your breath has returned to normal. 3 counts is good because it is easy to manage.
Step 3: Take your time. If you have just experienced a panic attack try not to rush around too soon. If you have obligations like work, school run or class. The best thing is to ring them and say your running a little late. It will take time for your heart rate to return back to normal if you rush back into something you could have another panic attack that may feel even worse.
Step 4: Have some juice. The sugar in juice will help your body to recover. Having a panic attack is a tiny trauma for your body. The sugar will help your body with replacing some energy in a short amount of time.