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Perfectionism or excellence

Perfectionism or excellence, that is the question….

Perfectionism or excellence is a choice.

While perfectionism can drive you towards fantastic achievements. Perfectionism can help to provide you with the motivation to keep going until you attain your goal:
Giving the perfect presentation
Doing the perfect job
Baking the perfect birthday cake
Perfectionism can really help you sustain the energy levels you need to reach your own personal challenge.

But pressure and anxiety all build when you try to be the perfect person.

Perfectionism is within you and therefore under your control.
Striving for perfectionism within yourself can lead to anxiety as you try to live up to your own expectations or how you perceive others’ expectations of you.
You will always be not quite there, not quite good enough, simply because the perfect person doesn’t exist.

Cakes, jobs and presentations are all measurable, people aren’t.

People make mistakes
People have imperfections

It’s part of what makes us human. Mistakes help us to learn.

Perfectionism, pressure, anxiety can take an enormous toll on you and your life in general.

You fear success because of the fear of maintaining success.
Fearing mistakes can be due to the fear of losing respect from others as well as yourself.
Fear of failure can mean that you never set yourself goals. Or setting goals so high as to be unattainable.
Being constantly aware and reminding yourself of your weaknesses, imperfections and failures.

Be Excellent Instead Of Perfect
Improving yourself can be an enjoyable journey.
Being great at something is an enormous achievement.
Take yourself (and life) a little less seriously, forgive yourself, be gentle with yourself.

Set small, achievable goals.
Reward yourself.
Be aware of the influence of social programming – social media, TV programmes, magazine articles.
Making the effort to change is an achievement in itself.
Just by being born, you literally won the race!

Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying.

The impact of workplace bullying increases stress, anxiety and depression. It can have a major effect on home life and take a toll on relationships too.

Bullying in the workplace and uncomfortable work situations can cause upset and turbulence at home. As a result stress levels rise, sleep is disturbed, symptoms of anxiety and depression increase.

Maybe it’s difficult to discuss work related issues at home because:

  • You may convince yourself that you can hide your feelings from your partner.
  • The bully has made you feel responsible for the situation and you don’t want to share your experiences.
  • You feel that your partner will not be supportive and as a result will probably blame you for bringing the situation on yourself.

It is very likely that increased stress and anxiety from workplace bullying will bring about a noticeable personality change and your partner will realise that something is wrong.

  • Frayed temper due to worry and bottled up feelings may mean that bullying in the workplace causes you to lash out at those around you.
  • There may be financial worries hence making you feel lucky to have a job at all.

Your partner could be incredibly supportive and help fight with you end the bullying. Finding out that a loved one is suffering bullying in the workplace is upsetting, especially if it has been kept secret.

Emotional health and personal relationships may be under enormous strain due to bullying in the workplace increased stress, anxiety and depression.

It’s really important to look after you

  • Keeping a diary will serve as a written account of events and also help you express how you’re feeling.
  • Taking some time off work may help you feel calmer. Don’t feel guilty about doing this; bullying in the workplace is not acceptable.
  • Listen to your body, it is speaking to you. It may be worthwhile booking a check-up with your GP.
  • Exercise is proven to release stress and anxiety and need not be expensive. A swim, walk or bike ride are all great stress relievers
  • Talk to a UKCP therapist (had to slip it in somewhere)

Anxiety Support Bolton

Anxiety Support Bolton is a resource to help understand anxiety from experiences and feedback of clients in Bolton whose anxiety I work with. See other resources here.

Perhaps a sense of interior discomfort or a feeling that their bodies are troubled by physical warning signs, it leads to the same outcome.

In trying to gain control, they can ignore the gut feelings and avoid internal awareness which can mean they hide within and from themselves.

Ignoring these feelings leads as a result to secondary feelings of confusion, and shame. That can mean closing off or panic symptoms because any sensory change makes them feel like a “little boat on a big sea”.

The result can be a fear of fear itself.

Fear comes from a primitive response to a threat where escape is difficult, impossible or embarrassing.

Perhaps we’re stuck on motorways, in planes, in meetings or in crowds.

Relief comes not just from external aids such as drugs, but more helpfully from changing how we feel by how we think, or react subconsciously.

Such fear is no respecter of intelligence, creativity, gender or status.

However it does have common threads.

The sufferer’s field of vision is probably inward not outward.

It can cause people to freeze.

Everything can suddenly seem blurry.

Making decisions, even simple ones is hard.

We can feel self-conscious.

Maybe it comes from the need to please others or conform. Perhaps fatigue, repressed emotions, setting the bar too high or too much responsibility.

Some of the feelings can include shame, self-blame, or frustration at being trapped in a repeating cycle.

In all the years, we haven’t made enough progress to break this negative mind/body link.

Psychology can explain  but those primitive parts of the brain don’t switch off so easily.

By being over-vigilant and reacting to inappropriate or misunderstood danger signals, we see danger where there isn’t any.

We become overwhelmed and therefore we dread.

We don’t feel fully alive, our senses work overtime but feel dulled, the body keeps a score.

Language, and the Talking-Cure of therapy is our solution in Anxiety Support Bolton.

By communicating, learning to move back into our inner selves and finding meaning, we can make some sense

In conclusion, We can find our peace.

Anxiety Help Bolton

Anxiety Help Bolton.

I’ve heard a lot about anxiety and panic attacks. I’ve heard anxious people say “I feel like I’m going mad, like I’m going to die, I feel out of control, I worry about everything”.

It can be constant and therefore they become exhausted.

They also worry that someone will find out.

It can strike out of the blue.

It can prevent travelling.

It can cling on to them.

They feel dread.

Alone.

I know a lot about anxiety and panic attacks because it’s my main focus of work.

Most of all, I know it’s treatable.

I know that Psychiatrists believe up to 30% of the population suffer with anxiety at any one time, that it costs the economy £80 million every year. That it can commonly be found alongside depression.

I also know it isn’t new, but maybe what triggers it is new.

Often the future is where the problem begins. Sometimes it’s society because if we compare ourselves with others and come off worst in social media, it can feel like a competition.

Perhaps it’s a build-up of things that finally reaches a tipping point. Maybe a single life event that maybe brings it on.

Whatever the cause, Anxiety Help Bolton therapy first of all gives you tools to rationalise, a strategy.

Because you’re not alone.

You don’t have to feel the dread.

You can challenge those negative thoughts.

You can learn to recognise patterns in the negative voices

No one should have to spend their days being afraid of being afraid.

Use integrative therapy, drawing from hypnotherapy, counselling, analysis or behavioural methods (such as CBT) to help.

I know that you can learn the coping skills and methods that can bring you back from that exhausting hamster wheel of worry and panic to embrace the life that is waiting for you.

I know as an Anxiety UK therapist that psychotherapy and hypnotherapy can help.

I know this because it happened to me.

For help first of all contact me below.

 

 

Therapy Art & Science

Therapy art & science information for you.

It was both an honour and a pleasure to have been invited to speak at the 8th Annual International Hypno-Psychotherapy Conference in Leicester this last weekend. Many thanks to Shaun and Fiona from NCHP&M for asking me, and to all the delegates, students and my fellow speakers who included Pat Hunt from the UKCP and Professor Windy Dryden.

In the forthcoming blogs, my lecture ‘The Holism Grail – The Science Behind the Art of Therapy” is going to be serialized as a resource for Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists alike as well as anyone who wants to understand a little more about linking Psychology and Psychotherapy in the clinical setting.

So if you weren’t there, you don’t miss out. This resource is aimed at casting some light on the science of  hypnotherapy and how that can help clients to achieve lasting change. It is designed to also be interesting to clients, patients and psychologists as well as psychotherapists and anyone remotely interested in the mind and the brain. Topics include anxiety, self-esteem, stress, depression, panic, worry, habits, PTSD, OCD, addiction and many more.

The aim was to provide a useful resource on therapy art & science to therapists and sufferers alike about why talking therapies help as well as just how. The content is drawn from my UKCP and CNHC practice working with private clients in my specialist areas of anxiety and self-esteem,  and from The University of Liverpool MSc in mental health psychology.

By understanding the reasons that treatment works we can make it more effective and save time and money in the treatment room. A belief in giving back to the therapy community and spreading knowledge and experience as an open resource are what encouraged me to release this material free of charge.

I hope you enjoy it and please don’t hesitate to contact me here if you wish to comment or ask anything at all.

Stay tuned for the first part of the content in the next blog, and thanks for reading.

Stuart Cale

Learn about anxiety

No learn about anxiety resources would be complete without looking at emotional resilience. The word comes from ‘resili’ – the Latin word for ‘spring back’ – it’s the process of adapting in the face of adversity.

Think of anxiety a bit like a see-saw with ‘perceived’ ability to cope on one end and demands on the other. When demands are lower that ability to cope, we are OK, when the demands are bigger than our perceived ability to cope, we have a problem, we can learn to be less anxious.

Ego strengthening and emotional resilience are about improving ability to cope. We all use scales of 1 to 10, if our ability is say a grade 4 and a grade 6 problem comes up, we can struggle, if the ability is a 9, then the grade 6 problem is easily handled.

This resilience can be cultivated. The more we learn about anxiety, the more tools we have to cope.

The first step is Realism, being realistic about a situation, for example one of the difficulties with depression is that people often attach inappropriate meaning to events. If a depressed person telephones a friend and they don’t ring back, they might think ’my friend doesn’t like me’ when the actual reason may be that they didn’t even get the message.

Next we look at establishing a goal that we can work towards, a favourable outcome. Now here hypnosis can really help with what we call ‘future pacing’. We all know that hypnosis can help us look back at past problems by regressing. The other side of that coin is looking forward which is equally (if not more) powerful.

Self-discipline is important, abandoning those ‘crutch activities’ that feel safe and familiar. It might be drink or drugs or avoidance. Ego strengthening techniques can really help with this process.

Cultivating wider interests helps because it gives us different versions of ourselves. Think of all the energy an anxious person uses just being anxious, once they are less anxious they have a surplus or energy and time to spend, space to ‘grow into’.

Re-framing is seeing something through a different frame and really important if you want to learn about anxiety. Say you suffer an ankle injury; you may well be focusing on how it stops you doing what you want to do. If you’re a soldier on the front line of a war zone, a simple ankle injury might mean rest and relaxation away from stress and danger.

Here’s a great re-frame that goes directly to the next in our list – Identity. It’s easy to concentrate on all our difficulties and things that have gone wrong. Look though at the old saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. That’s re-framing from victim to survivor, think of all the strengths you’ve built up in those hard times!

Flexibility is also key, changing change, making change into opportunity rather than threat.  Flexibility is vital for surviving life’s storms, if you bend with the storm winds, you don’t break.

Hypnosis, mindfulness and meditation can all help to moderate outbursts and reinforce neural pathways. Think of your mind like a cornfield for this one. The old outdated negative patterns of thought are like well-trodden paths in the corn, easy to tread again and again. By treading down new paths of positive neural pathways in the corn, like the old ones, they get flatter and flatter, and easier to tread.

A strong social network is good for emotional resilience; reach out in times of difficulty. Today, we live more and more isolated lives, often secure in the belief that Facebook friends mean we’re well supported. Look for support in times of difficulty; seek out therapy if you need to.

For control, look to Victor Frankl, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Moving your locus of control internally rather than externally can make a big difference.

Finally, test the changes, keep a journal and monitor your progress, learn about anxiety with free resources posted on this blog,  after all this isn’t work, it’s your life’s work!

 

Social Media problems

Addiction to social media, internet addiction and self-esteem are sometimes closely linked

Addiction to social media, internet addiction and self-esteem are sometimes closely linked

Social media problems examined. Social media has changed our world in many ways; it has brought pleasure, connection, re-united people and re-ignited old friendships. Recent research commissioned by Unilever however (in which a thousand women were surveyed and compared to a similar sample from 2004)  found some less than savoury effects of Facebook, Twitter and the like. In the findings, more than half of the participants reported that seeing photos of friends made them feel worse about their own bodies.

Another very surprising result was that ten years ago, 75% of the women surveyed reported that the media set ‘unrealistic’ standards of beauty, but that figure has now dropped to only 66%. So what’s going on, and why is it a concern? Is there resigned acceptance of the unrealistic standards, or is the pressure that society and the media places on us to look a certain way having a potentially damaging effect over time?

Low self-esteem is a very real problem for many of us, and the sometimes debilitating effects of low self-esteem are at the forefront of those issues that many people tolerate unnecessarily, and which reduce their quality of life on a daily basis.

It’s a changing and ever more competitive world in which we live and one where it seems that our friends have the highest influence over our idea of beauty. That pressure can cause anxiety, jealousy or any of a number of emotional or thought issues. This is why here at Talking-Cure we take the influence of social media in our lives very seriously, and we see ever-increasing levels of the effects that internet exposure can have on our clients. In our view, although the end results of these pressures are often the same, the causes are changing with each generation and as therapists we need to rise to meet these challenges.

So, if you find yourself struggling with any of the issues above, or any other problem which may be related to exposure to social media or the use of the internet generally, then please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and speak to us here at Talking-Cure.