Category Archives: Self-Esteem

The Creative Mind (Part 2)

by Michael Rice, LISAC, CTRTC

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Many people have learned to use their creative thoughts and behavior to resolve any frustration or unhappiness that comes their way.  They use their creativity to overcome their sadness and depression, anxiety, anger, and to deal with important people in their lives that matter to them.  There are also those who use their creativity to resolve conflict with others in ways that may only slightly ease their unhappiness and frustration but cause other problems in doing so.  We see these behaviors manifested in such ways that are being called, Obsessive Compulsive, relying and becoming addicted to drugs/alcohol, anxiety attacks, mood swings (Bipolar), and other behaviors that seem unusual or “crazy” to anyone who witnesses these behaviors.   Others don’t often see what another person is facing with their frustration and unhappiness.  Nor do they understand that the person’s odd or unusual behavior is serving the purpose of easing that frustration and unhappiness, even if it is only slightly, and created as a result of their “Creativity.”  You can hammer a nail with just about any other hard object if you don’t have a hammer.  Using something other than a hammer is a person’s creativity to get a desired result.  Unusual behaviors are creative behaviors utilized by those who haven’t created a more effective tool to ease their frustration.

Our creative abilities allow for our general happiness.  Some create effectively and others create maladaptive behaviors because it’s all they created at the time.  Our creativity can get us out of many unhappy situations without the need for counseling or therapy or prescription drugs.   Those who have created ineffective behaviors to resolve their unhappiness are diagnosed and judged as someone needing psychiatric help in the form of “brain meds.”  These types of medications inhibit a person’s natural ability to be creative and to be able to create ways to resolve their unhappiness.

When you have weird or strange dreams at night or even dreams that make sense . . . that is your brain being creative.  So if you have dreams that don’t make any sense, does that mean you’re mentally ill?  If your brain is capable of creating when you are asleep, it is also capable of creating when you are awake.

CREATIVITY . . . it’s behind most of our choices of behavior . . . logical and illogical.

The Mirror… Friend or Foe?

Contributed by Denise Daub

weightlossWhen you view yourself in a full length mirror, what do you see?   Do you embrace your body with all your perceived flaws or do you look at yourself with disgust?  Do you take that image of what you see in the mirror with you and let it influence  your choices, your day or your life?  Do you judge who you are by what you see in the mirror?

Maybe you need a judgment-free zone, maybe you need to get rid of the mirror?

Read more…

http://www.refinery29.com/mirrors-self-esteem?utm_source=huffpostlifestyle&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=blog

 

The Voice In Your Head

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

“What an idiot,” I complained out loud to myself while cooking for my family. “Luckily I am also charming, loving and willing to experiment with a new dish.”

All of this came out of my mouth automatically. I was not interested in having anyone else hear this monologue but me. You see, I have been attempting to change an old habit, an organized behavior. There is a voice in my head that admonishes, criticizes and belittles me when I make a mistake. Too often I listen to this voice that is putting me down and practicing one of the deadly habits that destroys relationships. The plan I’m not trying to cultivate instead has me shifting to my own out loud voice that encourages my efforts, complimenting me no matter the results!

sadwomanDo you know whose voice is in your head? You know the one I mean, the one that tells you “Be careful!” or “How selfish” or “That won’t work out.” This isn’t the voice that might be categorized as a hallucination. No, this is the voice that Eric Berne, founder of Transactional Analysis, described as critical parent. Berne stated that we maintained different ego states, including critical parent. (TA is a type of therapy that has lost favor in the current psychological circles Berne’s work was an updated and more modern version of Freudian theory of ego states.)

The voice and words that you hear in your head are most likely the statements you heard as a child spoken by your parents, older siblings, teachers, coaches and other carers. Your parents may not have said or meant what the voice in your head is saying and meaning. But remember, you absorbed and incorporated these statements as a child, with a child’s comprehension and understanding. And that is what still sticks as the cautionary, criticizing, or admonishing voice in your head.

Yet, these are only thoughts and stories that you tell yourself. This is GREAT NEWS! You have the ability and chance to change these thoughts and stories! You have the power to switch the voice from critical, scolding, or belittling to supportive, encouraging and loving.

Before you can make the switch though, you first need to hear this voice and these statements. You may be attempting to avoid the pain of criticism by pushing the voice down, pretending to yourself that you don’t hear it. However, if this is a strategy you’re using you know you still hear the scolding even though you’re trying very hard to ignore it.

For your Mental Health & Happiness try a different, more effective strategy. As soon as you hear that cautioning or belittling voice say out loud, “I may be clumsy AND I’m beautiful and courageous as I step out into the world.” Obviously this particular statement won’t fit every situation. But take that voice out of your head, say the words out loud, then say other encouraging words that offer love, encouragement and support!

The more you practice, the more successful you will become. Amazingly what you may discover is that the voice in your head speaks less and less frequently. The loving, encouraging, praising voice begins to take over.

You have the ability to eliminate the deadly habits that are interfering with the relationship you have with yourself. Begin consistently practicing the connecting habits improving your self-esteem and self-love.

I Give Up!

By Nancy S Buck,PhD, RN

Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better Samuel Beckett

How many times have you started the New Year with an enthusiastic resolution to improve your life? How many New Year’s resolutions closely resemble the one you made last year and the year before that? Some of us may go years, decades even, making the same resolution over and over again. Your desire and resolve for change often represents the same hope, dream and goal.

Are you insane, the definition that doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results means you are insane? Or are you just hopeful, refusing to give up?

What’s going on? Could it be that when you make your resolve and make a plan to move you toward what want you are also moving further away from something else you want equally as much?

For instance, when deciding your New Year’s diet it may mean you’re depriving yourself of foods you enjoy. Before you are able to reach your ideal weight your deprivation from the delicious foods you enjoy leads you astray. You decide to just give up!woman_diet

Of perhaps your resolve to increase your exercise leads you to plan early rising with vigorous walking or jogging several days a week. Days, weeks and maybe even a month or two pass with great success as you follow your plan. But then one day you wake up to a deep snow storm or torrential rain storm, or freezing cold or heat wave temperatures or a pulled muscle. Staying snuggled deep in your bed for an extra 45 minutes of sleep drives you to simply give up. And too often this one day leads to another and another so you find yourself facing another January 1 still wanting what you wanted last January 1.

The best laid plans for change or even incremental improvement too often end with you throwing in the towel and giving up! After all, how many of you are still following the New Year’s resolution you made last January? How many of you have made the resolution to never make another resolution because you’re tired of feeling like a failure each time you give up?

There is nothing wrong with giving up. It is a perfectly good alternative. However, sooner or later the quality world picture of what you want and still don’t have returns. Giving up feels good initially. But unfortunately, giving up is a short term successful, long tern unsuccessful plan. And giving up interferes with your Mental Health & Happiness.

Here are a couple of adjustments you can make that you might find helpful.

First, instead of giving up, why not take a time out? The resulting actions may be the same, but when you take time out, you are telling yourself you will get back to your plan and program. You could even set a certain period of time for time out. You know you’re not giving up all together, waiting for the next New Year to start again. You are simply taking a time out and will resume again on Monday the 3rd.

Or you could discover your conflicting pictures and needs that pull you in two different directions. With this knowledge you can make a plan where getting one does not mean depriving yourself of the other. Your New Year’s diet will include all foods except sugar. Once a week, with the week being Sunday to Saturday, you will also allow yourself one Hershey’s chocolate kiss. Or, Your new exercise program means jogging 4 days a week, when possible outside. But when not possible inside. If an injury benches you, yoga and stretching will replace your exercise of choice. Each week you will decide the days you get to sleep in, and the days you will get up early to exercise. 

Give these suggestions a try. You may find the success you seek. Imagine January 2015, you will be making a brand new, never dreamed of before New Year’s Resolution aiming for another wish and dream!

Self Reliance: Too Much, Too Little, or Just Right?

by Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

There once was a boy whose loving and proud mother proclaimed of him, “Jonny can do anything!” Sadly he grew into a man who felt he must do everything, on his own and well.

There once was a girl whose loving and over-protective father proclaimed of her, “Jill could use some help and assistance with this task and that chore. She might get hurt.” Sadly she grew into a needy, whining woman with no confidence, relying on the good will of others to step in and help poor, helpless her.

father-son

There once was a boy and a girl who courageously attempted tasks and projects just beyond their abilities. With a mother and father providing freedom for independent exploration they were  also at the ready to step in and help when assistance was asked for. This pair grew into a man and woman with confidence and goodself-evaluation skills. They each were self-reliant. And they each were aware of their own limitations. They each knew when to ask for help. Generously, they were also more than ready to offer help and assistance to those who needed it.

Good Mental Health & Happiness comes from being self-reliant no matter what others have said about you. Good Mental Health & Happiness comes from knowing when to ask for help and when to offer help to others.

Finding the right balance in your self-reliance contributes to your Mental Health & Happiness. Where do you stand with your self-reliance? Too little? Too much? or Just right?

Overcoming depression, anxiety, suicide ideation and more

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Want to develop, improve and maintain your Mental Health & Happiness? Then you need to effectively follow your psychological instructions every day.

Want to feel less stress, anxiety, sadness, depression, alienation and powerlessness? Then you need to more effectively follow your psychological instructions every day.

Want to stop continually  obsessing over one thought, loss, sadness or failure? Want to stop your never ending internal argument of whether or not to ingest that forbidden substance, whether it be food, drink, or drug? Then you need to more effectively and consistently follow your psychological instructions every day.

sadwomanAre you feeling a complete lack of hope, feeling so despondent that you have been considering ending your life? Maybe you are feeling this right now. Then you need to effectively and consistently follow your psychological instructions right now, especially your instruction to connect in a meaningful and authentic way with one other person.

These are your psychological instructions: the urge to feel safe & secure, to be loving with a sense of belonging and connectedness, to be powerful, to be playful, and to be able to make choices with freedom.

Ask yourself these questions:

Who do you feel closest to in the whole world? Who do you share your hopes, dreams, wishes and sorrows with? If you don’t have at least one person in your life that fits these requirements,  start cultivating that kind of a relationship NOW! Your answer could be a pet, or God, or some other similar answer. That’s okay. However, if you can add a real person that would be even better.

Where do you feel important? What are you doing that you know makes a difference in the world, including just your own immediate world? If you can’t give an answer to this question start doing meaningful work, whether volunteer, paid or family work. We all need to feel as though we are making a difference. Make a contribution and know that your presence adds value not just to your own life but the lives of others.

Where do you feel like you have choices and options? Can’t answer that question? Then start  paying better attention to your world and your life now. You have lots of options and choices, including the choice of reading this blog to the end or doing something different. You have more freedom and choices than you realize. You just need to start noticing and giving thanks for all this freedom and choices. (If Viktor Frankl had choices then so do you.)

When was the last time you laughed so hard your cheeks hurt, tears streamed down your face and your belly got tired? Can’t remember? You my friend are in dire need of more fun and learning in your life. Start doing something, anything to be more playful and joyful. This can include going to a funny movie and watching and hearing others laugh, Laughter is contagious. Find a laughing yoga class near you and attend. Search on YouTube for videos of others laughing and watch long enough until you get tickled too.

Where do you feel safest in your world? This is the place where you seek shelter and comfort when you’re frightened. Don’t have that place? Then create it! If you have to, close your eyes and visualize being in a place from your past or your imaginations where you felt held, comforted and safely in a nest. We all need our own personal refuge.

Now that you have completed this brief needs assessment evaluation, do you have any ideas of what you can do to help develop, improve and maintain your Mental Health & Happiness? Let today be the day you get started.

For better results and greater effectiveness, connect with an accountability buddy. You help your buddy succeed in an area of his choosing, and ask for the help and support you need to succeed in improving your Mental Health & Happiness.

Love’s Whisper

By Dr. Nancy Buck

It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life; it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power —    Robert T. Kiosaki

Want to build good self-esteem in your child and yourself?  Here’s how:

Every day ask yourself:  What’s good about me today?

Are you willing to self-evaluate and identify something in yourself that you like?  Remember, it is easier for our brain to identify what is wrong than what is right. Challenge yourself by asking this question.

See if you can answer on all dimensions: What is good about me physically? What is good about me emotionally? What is good about me intellectually? What is good about me spiritually?

Now how about asking the same question of your child? You might be surprised to find out he or she answers with some things that you hadn’t noticed or considered.

When a child lives with parents who have the ability to find their own personal treasures leading to good self-esteem children will follow this example. This is how you build your own personal self-esteem every day. This is the way you help your child do the same.