Tag Archives: support

Support Yourself

By Dr. Nancy Buck (originally posted December 4, 2014)

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Good relationships are built on many things, including accepting, encouraging, supporting and trusting one another. But a good relationship with others alone is not enough. Strong mental health that leads to happiness must include a good relationship with YOU. That means we each must consistently accept, encourage, support and trust ourselves most of all. For many  this practice feels like a stretch.

Research suggests that most people have an easier time giving and supporting others with compassion than we do turning that inward. And studies link self-compassion to lower anxiety and depression. Another benefit is increased optimism, better relationships and greater overall satisfaction in life. This practice will improve your physical as well as mental health.

Here’s how to get started:

• Notice when you give or receive acceptance, encouragement, support or trust to or from another.

• Notice when you start discounting, discrediting, blaming or beating yourself up.

• As soon as you notice any of the above moments that lack self-compassion, immediately change to a kinder or gentler thought or statement.

• Continue to practice noticing how you give and receive these kindnesses to your family, friends and loved ones

• Continue to practice noticing and changing all moments of disrespect and lack of self-compassion

You are what you think

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Do you pay attention to the food you eat? Are you choosing foods and drinks that refresh, nourish and support your body and optimal health? These days there is more information than ever about what good and healthy choices actually mean. Sometimes this information and advice can actually be more confusing than helpful. The need to become informed, thoughtful and an educated consumer is not only true for your own individual needs, but also for your family.

If you drive a car, do you pay attention to your safe driving habits? Are you cautious and conscious when driving in a school zone, on mountain pass or through inclement weather? Before you take a long road trip you probably conscientiously have your mechanic give your car the tending and overhaul necessary to ensure a safe and hazard-free trip.

How would you rate your dental and oral hygiene routine? On a scale of one to ten with one being neglectful and careless and ten indicating that you follow your dentist’s and hygienist’s recommendations regularly, what is your score?

You are what you eat.
You are what you do.
You are what you think. 

Louise Hay, self-help guru and mother of the modern-day positive affirmation movement has been preaching the idea that you become what you think for years. Your thoughts either support, heal and help you, or they harm, hurt and damage you.

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Consistent with Glasser’s notion that all behavior is total comprised of the four simultaneously occurring components of: acting, thinking, feeling, and physiology (ing), a thought is not simply a thought. There is simultaneously accompanying acting, feeling and physiology(ing) with every thought. When you think happy, optimistic, affirmative thoughts your concurrent acting, feeling and physiology is optimistic and affirmative. When you think negative, hurtful or angry thoughts, your concurrent acting, feeling and physiology is negative, hurtful or angry.

Is it time you started considering your verbal and thought diet? When you start self-evaluating and taking a similar inventory about your private thoughts, as well as your oral and written statements as you did with your food, driving and oral hygiene habits, how are you doing?

If you aren’t really sure, let today be the day you start being conscious of your private thoughts. Start listening to what you say to others and yourself.

Is it time for you to alter your thinking and verbal diet to improve your Mental Health & Happiness? You are what you think. Since there are so many wonderful thoughts to choose from, start choosing delightful, loving and kind thoughts today. Try this:

Today I choose to be Mentally Healthy & Happy

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.

Can you make a difference? You already have.

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

In 1990 there was interest and research in understanding why some children raised in challenged circumstances were able to rise above these hardships while others did not. Was there something about these children that made them more resilient and able to overcome the incredible odds against them? 

What emerged from this inquiry boiled down to one significant and important factor. The children who had a strong positive relationship with one responsible and caring adult had greater resilience, perseverance and grit. This special adult might be a parent, a teacher, a coach, a scout leader, some other relative, family friend, or a relationship that developed with someone who started out as a complete stranger. Who the person is  is not nearly as important as that there is a person. Isn’t that amazing?

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Were you lucky enough to have that kind of strong, supportive and encouraging relationship with someone in your life? This was the person you could count on always being happy to see you, who believed in you during those times you had trouble believing in yourself. Perhaps this person showed you kindness when no one else did. Or maybe they were the person who got strong and tough with you giving you that kick in the rear that got you moving again. Were you lucky enough to have that kind of a champion on your side?

Anyone who thinks they are too small to make a difference has never been to bed with a mosquito   Gandhi                                

Take a moment now and realize that you are that person for someone else!  The relationship may not have been for a long time or long term. Perhaps it was only during one school term or coaching season. Maybe it was even more brief. You were the person who smiled at the stranger you past in the street. But the chances are good that you have been the one positive and responsible caring adult who showed support, encouragement and kindness to another person when they needed it. You provided that moment to help with their need for some resilience and grit. Take a moment to consider the impact you are having on the people who share the planet with you?

Today, choose to be that person. You may already have a person in mind that you believe could use a little extra attention, support and encouragement. If not, set your intention to be a kind, supportive and encouraging person today. Be open to whoever the universe puts in your path.

One of the quickest strategies to improved Mental Health & Happiness is reach out and help another person. You already have in ways you may not even be aware of. And today you can make a conscious choice to once more touch another someone.

Amazing Resources

by Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Do you ever wish for some help, advice, and good old common sense that doesn’t seem to be as common as it use to be? No surprise that the chances are your answer is no. In fact, many people are loath to listen to and receive unsolicited advice.

But if you’ve ever spent time with someone older than you by a generation or more, you’ve probably discovered that they are ready, willing and eager to give you help, advice and a story or two whether you’re interested in hearing it or not.

Don’t be too quick to jump to irritation and annoyance when their wisdom starts flowing. Research suggest that adults in their 60s are more sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. Perhaps the person who can give you the best comfort is the person you are too quick to dismiss.

Not only that, but folks in the 60s or older tend to be better at seeing the upside of a stressful or negative situations. This means they are more emotionally intelligent and better able to understand what you’re feeling as well as having the ability to see the positive gift, lesson and opportunity in any stressful of negative experience. They might actually be better able to advise and help guide you while emotionally supporting you than your contemporary. 

If, dear reader, you are one of those sexagenarians or older, imagine more young people in your life asking for your help and willing to listen to your life learned lessons as a guide post for their own life decisions. Wouldn’t that be great! Wanting and feeling the desire to tell your story when no one wants to listen can feel very lonely and isolating. You can increase the chances that young people will turn to you as their wise counsel if you wait to be asked.

We each have the ability to help improve the Mental Health & Happiness of another when we ask for and receive help, support and advice from someone in a different generation than our own. Amazing resources are closer than you think if you take another look for who just might be your best helper.

Crisis: Danger and Opportunity Combined

By:  Maria E Trujillo alias Manual DeVie

Suddenly normal events took on pain, awkwardness and new meaning.

I ran into someone I hadn’t seen for awhile and she asked, “How are your kids?”

I shared that my son is now incarcerated for four years.

This is followed by a brief and awkward pause from us both. She then said, “That’s too bad” and we quickly disconnect.

So often these awkward moments equaled disconnection.

crisisWhen I first heard my son was going away to prison and for how long I was speechless, overwhelmed and frightened. Only I couldn’t just walk away and disconnect from this new reality, this crisis. My mental health and happiness suddenly vanished.

I now realize that this has been a blessing and opportunity in disguise. Resources and prevention programs for a prescription pill epidemic are lagging behind the need. Our journey had actually begun twelve years before the incarceration. Being locked up was the best chance my son had of getting the drugs out of his system.

If I had turned my thoughts or concerns about what others thought, fearing their judgment of me as a mother, my worry, upset and concern about my son and his present situation would have been compounded. It could have become a downward spiral. I might I have turned to a doctor asking for pills to help me sleep? I can easily imagine that I might have fallen into a similar trap as my son, relying on medication to help me with my mental and emotional anguish.

Luckily I am so grateful for the training I had in choice theory psychology. Knowing ways I could improve my own mental health and happiness helped me manage myself. I also learned tangible actions to help my son.

Choice theory psychology was everything I wished I had known when I was a kid. It was everything I wanted my children to learn. For me “necessity was the mother of my invention!” I created Manual DeVie to teach our youth choice theory psychology. I was able to use my hindsight into foresight for our kids.

I learned one last surprise from this crisis. Now when people hear my son is incarcerated I am able to use this opportunity to share.

I AM SO PROUD OF MY SON!

 

 

Supporting

By Kim Olver

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Supporting is the second healthy relationship habit. When I talk about supporting, I like to use a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “The true measure of a man (and I add or a woman) is not where [they] stand in times of comfort and convenience but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy.” This means it’s easy to support people when they are doing what you want. It’s not as easy to support people when they are choosing things that cause you difficulty or pain.

I remember the day my youngest son, Kyle, came to me asking me to sign him into the US Army because he wanted to go fight the war in Iraq. The last thing in the world I wanted was to support this request! I had spent the last almost 18 years of his life keeping him safe (and he didn’t exactly make that easy), and now he was telling me he wanted to go where people would be shooting at him and trying to blow him up! No way!

However, because I valued our relationship, I knew I needed to look at how to support this decision. Kyle enlisting in the Army and going to war would cause a lot of worry and concern on my part. That is my problem, not his. I needed to support his decision and then look at what I was going to need to be all right during the time he would be defending our country.

I chose a couple of things. The first thing I did was turn off the television. I didn’t want to hear about every skirmish occurring in Iraq. The next thing I did was develop some new self-talk for myself. I told myself that even if the worst thing happens and Kyle is killed, at least I will know he died doing something he really wanted to do. I also told myself I had the opportunity to make the decisions for my life and now was the time for Kyle to make his. I stayed in close contact with his girlfriend. This helped me remember I wasn’t alone in my love for Kyle and supporting her helped me forget some of my own pain.

To date, this was the most difficult thing I have had to support but I am so glad I did. My son and I have a great relationship and he knows I know how to take care of myself regardless of the things he chooses to do.

What are some decisions you are supporting that challenge you?

A Pat on the Back

By Dr. Nancy Buck

Good relationships are built on many things, including accepting, encouraging, supporting and trusting one another. But a good relationship with others alone is not enough. Strong mental health that leads to happiness must include a good relationship with YOU. That means we each must consistently accept, encourage, support and trust ourselves most of all. For many  this practice feels like a stretch.

Research suggests that most people have an easier time giving and supporting others with compassion than we do turning that inward. And studies link self-compassion to lower anxiety and depression. Another benefit is increased optimism, better relationships and greater overall satisfaction in life. This practice will improve your physical as well as mental health.

Here’s how to get started:
• Notice when you give or receive acceptance, encouragement, support or trust to or from another.

• Notice when you start discounting, discrediting, blaming or beating yourself up.

• As soon as you notice any of the above moments that lack self-compassion, immediately change to a kinder or gentler thought or statement.

• Continue to practice noticing how you give and receive these kindnesses to your family, friends and loved ones

• Continue to practice noticing and changing all moments of disrespect and lack of self-compassion