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My Blog

September 2013

Have you been feeling worried and anxious for a long while?

We can all feel worried and anxious from time to time, but for some people anxiety begins to rule their lives.
So how do I know if I am a "worrier" or have anxiety? Think about how you've been over the last 2 weeks.
Maybe this might help you decide:
Do you feel nervous, anxious and on edge most or nearly all of the last 2 weeks?
Not being able to stop or control your worrying?
Do you worry about a lot of things?
Do you have trouble relaxing and sitting still?
Do you get irritable and annoyed easily?
Are you worried that something awful might happen?
If you have answered Yes to all of these questions and felt anxious most or nearly all of the time over the last 2 weeks or longer then you may well have anxiety. If this has started to affect and impact severely on your life and enjoyment then it's time to get some help. Perhaps those close to you have suggested this to you as well?
You may have tried helpful techniques such as relaxation, meditation, distracting yourself, taking exercise, taking herbal remedies, massage, talking to family or friends or seen your own doctor and been given medication. These strategies may be helping you from a little to a lot.
I guess if you are reading this blog article then you have had enough of feeling this way and are actively considering approaching a counsellor to get to the bottom of why you have been feeling this way for so long?
Counselling and psychotherapy can offer you a safe, supportive and professional way to explore your anxiety and work with you to help alleviate your distress.
Spitzer,RL, Kroenke,K,Williams, JBW, Lowe, B. (2006) A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder.Arch Inern Med. Vol 166 pages 1092-1097

Confidence and Self Esteem Course

**Confidence and Self-Esteem Workshop Course**
Are you wanting to build your confidence and self-esteem and banish the negative inner critic?
Join the workshops today!
Small group of participants to ensure maximum support

 Contact Carol on: 07824700980
or email:
£20 per session (concessionary rate available)
  ** Please circulate this post to others who would benefit**

The first, 6 weeks of the course would be teaching the group about Transactional Analysis (TA) as the basis for the course so participants had an understanding of how we communicate with one another, how our personality is formed and how the past influences the present and how patterns in our relationships and lifestyles.
If you would like to know about TA and the format of the first 6 weeks I have a useful guide available on request.
I plan to have a small group of no more than 5 to ensure people will feel comfortable.
The second 6 weeks will be about putting into practice the learning from the TA and the interaction between peers and some sharing of experiences (if people feel able to do this) but key is the support, feeling that we are not alone or the only one who feels this way.
I am hoping by the end of the first 6 weeks people will have started to understand themselves a little better and develop compassion for themselves and feel comfortable to begin to work within the group. With this knowledge, increased self awareness and insight the participants will experience improved self esteem and confidence.
If you would like the course content please email me
If you want to talk with me about your queries or questions please phone me on 07824700980

Crying: What's that all about?

Do you find why, when and what we cry about intriguing?
I do.
Crying is our earliest way to communicate our needs, from the first moment of our lives we cry, probably surprised at moving from the world in utero to the huge expanse of life that awaits us.
Of course the 1st few wails and the breaths that accompany the first few moments after we are born form a vital biological function in closing the hole in the septum of the heart, opening the lungs and establishing the bodies circulation. Our heartbeat and breathing are therefore linked, forever together until we die.
Before we can verbalise our needs and until we are around 2 years old we communicate our needs through crying. We cry if we are hot or cold, hungry or thirsty, over stimulated or lonely, frightened, scared, in pain or need to be comforted. Our cry is pitched at such a level that makes it difficult for the adults who care for us to resist responding to what we need.
If we are fortunate we have parents who are patient and tune into our cries and the pattern of our life rhythms and remain calm and accept our distress and learn ways to soothe us. They accept the crying, try to find out what's bothering us, and address our needs. If we are fortunate our parents don't see our crying as being a judgement on their abilities or evoke their anger when the crying goes on all night.
Infants crying does evoke many emotions in their parents. Those with children know something of a continuously crying baby, awake all night, nothing sees to help and eventually taking them into bed where they settle.
 As we grow through infancy, childhood, teenage and adulthood we cry less and less as we have other ways to get our needs met, we can ask or get what we need for ourselves. As we get older crying becomes less and less socially acceptable, well meaning parents start to tell us to stop crying, don't make a fuss, "You're a big girl/boy, and big girls/boys don't cry".
We can become self-conscious about crying in public "what will people think of me?" and suppress our need to cry and judge ourselves as weak and become ashamed of "being emotional".
We deny ourselves the healing power of crying which connects us back to childhood. We can express such different emotions when we cry of course sadness and loss, but also joy and happiness and sometimes these emotions join and mingle together. Crying can feel bittersweet at times.
When was the last time you cried? Why and what did you cry about?

How can kindness help me feel better?

Maybe it's me but I have recently spent a little time reflecting on the word "kindness".
My initial thoughts are around the word kindness as being nebulous, vague and an apology for politeness.
Am I alone in thinking this?
Interestingly the word keeps pricking my mind now and then asking me to pay more attention to understanding what does kindness actually mean?
When I am uncertain over meanings I go to the Oxford Dictionary to get a definition:
"noun [mass noun]
  • the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate: he thanked them for their kindness and support
  • [count noun] a kind act: it would be a kindness on your part to invite her"
Margot Silk Forrest (2003) shifts from definitions and pins down "kindness":
"Kindness is the wise use of the heart. A purely heartfelt action won't necessary be a kind one -- it could be misguided or uninformed. It takes wisdom and heart to notice when someone needs our help and to see what kind of help they need. That word "use" is important, too. Kindness isn't kindness if it is not put to use. Action is required. Thinking kind thoughts is all well and good. It will calm and purify your mind stream. But at some point, we have to get up and act on our kind intentions."
So kindness is not just about sentiment, wishing someone well or merely feeling emotionally impacted on. There is an observational aspect, to notice when someone needs our help and not just to see what help they need, but to take action. Firstly to ask how they are and the use of empathy to feel what it might be like to experience their situation. To then act upon, not just to offer but to actually do something to help and support the other. Kindness may be a practical act such as helping them with a lift, a meal, childcare, or a visit. There is also a warmth in an act of kindness, a reaching out to another, a generosity of time, company and friendship.
There is also consideration of how your kindness may impact on the other person, there's a balance here not to overwhelm or "rescue" by doing what they can do for themselves.
So how can kindness help the giver?
Being kind to someone else may be seen as an act of love which when given benefits not only the recipient but the giver as well.
Being kind has a great "feel good" factor, and when we feel good we flood our brain with dopamine, the feel good hormone which lifts our mood.
Kindness is not just about a one to one activity, we can offer kindness to our community when we volunteer our time and skills for free to benefit others, some of whom may be known and unknown to us. So kindness has an altruistic component.
Imagine if everyone offered and delivered an act of kindness to someone who needed this badly, what impact do you think this would have at an individual, family, community, locality, country and worldwide level?
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