I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Depressed? Here are some self-help tips that work.

Depression is a horrible illness that brings pain and loneliness.  It can cause people to withdraw from others and stop taking part in regular activities.  This is self-defeating because it is important to keep busy and get support from other people when you are depressed.  Having struggled with depression all my life, I’ve found ways that can help beat the blues.  Here is a list of some ideas that have worked for me.   Try them and see what works best for you.  There is nothing to lose, but a lot to gain!

  1. Get out of bed at a regular time every morning.  Yes I know it is hard when you feel bad about yourself and the world.  Many times, I’ve just pulled the covers over my head and gone back to sleep which just made me feel worse.  Set your alarm to get up at the same time every day and put it across the room so you can’t just hit the snooze button.Slide15
  2. Make a healthy breakfast.  Eating healthy is good for your body and will help give you energy.
  3. Make a to-do list.  Think about what you want to accomplish that day but don’t just keep thinking and wishing it would happen.   Write it down and you will have a better chance of following through on your thoughts.   Just make sure it is a realistic list.  I made impossible lists and then felt bad because I couldn’t finish everything.
  4. Start with an action that gets your blood moving.  Look at your list and do something.  Even if you have only decided to call a friend, clean your kitchen or take the dog for a walk, this will get you energized.  Then keep working on your list until everything is done.  You will be surprised what you can accomplish and you will feel better!
  5. Compliment yourself.  Every time you accomplish something, no matter how small, tell yourself what a good job you did and encourage yourself to keep going.  It always feels good when someone else gives you an honest compliment but you should also feel good when you give yourself a compliment because you deserve it!
  6. Get support from your loved ones.  Find family or friends who you can trust to support you and encourage you.   Even just one person is a good start.   Set a specific time to talk to someone every day and this will also benefit your loved one because they will feel needed.  Consider family and friends who live far away and have them call, email or write letters to make sure you are keeping on track.
  7. Join a support group.  People who are going through similar challenges can help you navigate your way and become more confident.   You will find support from them and also be able to give them support in return.  However, make sure you test out a group for a time or two and see if the other group members and leaders are being supportive and caring.  Some groups are great, but I’ve attended a few that made me feel play with topsworse than I already did.
  8. Join an interest group, club, church group.  It can be very hard to be sociable with people when you are depressed, but it is very necessary.  Find something that you enjoy doing and give it a try!  Or do something different and have some fun!
  9. Make a nice meal and invite family and friends.  If you already live with someone, they will really appreciate the time you took to make a meal.  If you live alone, they will appreciate being invited.  If you don’t like to cook, it doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal, just make something simple and pick up a dessert or special treat.
  10. Meet a friend for coffee, lunch or a movie.  Call someone who you enjoy spending time with and ask them to meet you.   Be pleasant and enjoy a nice conversation.
  11. Never talk about your depression when socializing.  This is a sure way to drive people away from you.  This is something that I learned from experience.   It’s good therapy to talk about what is bothering you and the more you talk, the easier it gets, but you should be careful who you share your problems with.  Only talk about your depression with your trusted family members and friends, in a support group or with your counsellors.  When you are in a social setting, this is not the time to share your problems.  It also opens yourself up to people who like to gossip and spread your personal issues with other people.
  12. passing stickExercise.  Yes, I know, this is not a word that people like.  However, exercise is good for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self.  It helps you in so many ways and will lift your depression.  Sometimes when I was feeling really depressed, my husband would encourage me to go for a walk or bike ride and after I came home, I was feeling energized and the depression was gone.
  13. Volunteer.  There is nothing that is more rewarding than helping someone else.  Doing acts of kindness not only benefits the receiver but also the giver in many ways.  Every time I have volunteered it has helped me in so many ways.
  14. Surround yourself with positive people, places and things.  Make a habit of being positive as much as possible.  It isn’t easy in a negative world but if you keep working on it, it becomes a good habit.  I used to be negative most of the time, but I keep working very hard on being positive and have eliminated as much negativity from my life as possible, and now I’m positive most of the time.
  15. Make an appointment with a counselor, therapist or pastor.  Some people need professional help to get them started on recovery.  Don’t just sit and wait for help to come.  Go and get the help you need.  I did and it really helped me.

When you are depressed, you can only see the world from a negative perspective.  If you want to enjoy life and find happiness, you have to work hard at becoming positive.  This will help you build confidence and increase your esteem which will overcome your depression.  Pay attention to your moods and start looking after your health.   You are an awesome person and you deserve to be happy!

Check out my website for information on building confidence and increasing esteem.

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Meaningful touches

Studies have shown that human touch provides powerful benefits in many ways.  Touch benefits us physically, emotionally, physiologically and spiritually.  It has the power to calm, reassure and bring control to a difficult situation.  Touch can drive away anger, bitterness and loneliness.  Touch conveys love, peace and comfort.

I’ve read many stories about the amazing benefits of touch and from personal experience, I know that it can raise my spirits if my husband just gives me a hug or a friend shakes my hand.    Combine a meaningful touch with a kind word and you will have wonderful results.   A hug, a kiss, a gentle touch on the arm, a pat on the back and holding hands are all ways that can bring people closer together and keep a relationship strong.

Here are some ideas that can help strengthen your marriage or relationship:

  • When you first see your spouse in the morning, greet them with a smile and a cheery, ‘Good morning’
  • When you are leaving for work or other appointment, give them a hug or kiss
  • When you are talking about something that is serious or upsetting, touch their arm to show them that you are listening and that you care about what they are saying
  • Hold their hand or put your arm around them while you are walking or sitting beside them
  • Give your spouse a back rub (or a foot rub – some people enjoy this)
  • Greet your spouse with a hug or kiss when they come home

Try using meaningful touches every day.   If you show love and kindness to others through touch, it will bring amazing benefits to your life.   What have you got to lose?





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The answer to all the world problems

hands holding worldYou may not think there is an answer to all the world problems, but in all my research and through life experiences, I personally believe that there actually is an answer.  In my opinion, the answer is just one short word – LOVE!   Love with no conditions, love that doesn’t expect anything in return, love that is not selfish or self-seeking, love that thinks of the other person first, love that is pure.

If we could all have love for each other and teach this to our children as they grow, we wouldn’t have a world in chaos.  People would have confidence in themselves.  People would feel loved, wanted and appreciated.  People would be nice to each other, help each other and work together for the common good.

When we love other people, we don’t hurt them physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.  We take care of their needs and ensure that they are healthy.   We comfort and support them during stressful and unhappy times.

Love is a powerful force and one that could really change the world.  Do you show love for others?  What are you teaching your children?  Is your love unconditional?  What are you doing to make a difference in the world?

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Being positive may help beat depression

Depression is a growing problem that causes problems in every area of people’s lives.   The World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 100 million people in the world who suffer with depression and many of these are not receiving the proper treatment, if any at all.

Medications are the most common way to treat depression and in some cases it can be effective.  However, there are many people who don’t respond well to medications and others who don’t want to take anything at all.  Studies show that about one-third of patients will still remain depressed even while on medication.

Cognitive therapy has been known to help some people who are depressed.  This type of therapy helps people to recognize the negative thinking that is fueling their depression and correct their false beliefs through realistic thinking.

Other types of treatment for depression include acupuncture, exercise programs, herbal medicines and relaxation therapy.   These have limited success.

In studies done at the University of California and Duke Riverside Medical Centre, researchers have discovered a new treatment that has the potential to help people who don’t respond to medications.  This treatment is low-cost, less time-consuming, has no stigma, carries no side effects and has proven effective.  The treatment is named PAI for Positive Activity Interventions and it is based on the differences between happy and unhappy people.  It teaches people how to practice optimism, be thankful, meditate on positive feelings and perform acts of kindness.   They are still doing research but the results are very promising.  You can read about the study at the following link….  (sorry clicking on the link doesn’t work but you can copy and paste it)

From my own personal experience, I can say that positive thinking does work.  I was depressed for most of my life and looked at life with a negative perspective.   Medications helped me stay balanced for many years but I was still extremely unhappy.  I never expected anything good to happen in my life and had little hope for the future.  When I started practising positive thinking, I was able to see life from a different perspective and have developed a habit of being positive.  This has built my confidence and increased my esteem and led to the creation of my self-esteem project, I M Confident Niagara Canada.  Now I am able to help others develop their esteem through workshops, Confidence Coaching and written materials.

If you are feeling depressed, work hard at becoming more positive.   Visit my website for more information






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Successful relationships

What is the key to a happy and success relationship or marriage?  The answer is simple, but not always easy to manage.  All it takes is a total commitment to meeting the other person’s needs while maintaining your own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

couple - not communicatingThe world focuses on commitment to self and trying to make ourselves happy, but this leaves us empty and continually searching for something that is missing from our lives.  If we focus on helping other people and making them happy, we will feel fulfilled  and happiness will just come to us.couple - communicating

This does not mean that we have to be another person’s doormat and cater to their every needs, especially if we are allowing them to hurt us in any way.  We have to always make sure we are doing the right thing both for them and ourselves.

Any successful relationship depends on how much love and respect is shown by both sides.  Sometimes this is not always in balance but if we continue to be loving and set a good example, it often affects the other person in a positive way.

We are all different and sometimes we are annoying and irritating to each other so it is important that we don’t allow these differences to destroy our relationships.

What do you focus on?  Yourself or others?  Your answer will tell you what kind of relationships you have.



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Helping your children manage anger

2 kids arguingDo not teach your children never to be angry; teach them HOW to be angry. ~Lyman Abbott

Anger is a normal emotion that tells us something is wrong.   There is nothing wrong with feeling angry.  However, there is something wrong when we can’t control our anger in an appropriate way.

When some people get angry, they blow up immediately hurting everyone around them.  Others hide their anger inside until they get to a point where they explode, sometimes over a minor incident.   Neither way is very effective.

Many adults do not know how to control their own emotions and are not a good role model for their children.  When their children are reacting in anger, often a parent will respond with anger themselves, which doesn’t teach the child a good lesson.   I remember times when my children were asked to clean their rooms and when I went to check on them, nothing had been done.  To me, they were being disobedient and disrespectful.  I started telling them how lazy they were and how tired I was cleaning up their messes.   When they just sat there and looked at me without moving to do anything, I got angry and started yelling.   Then I would pick up their toys and put them in garbage bags, threatening to throw them away.  After I had my own little temper tantrum, I would go to my room and lay down exhausted.  I didn’t realize that I was acting very childish and all I had accomplished was to show an example of poor parenting.  What did this teach my children?  That is was okay to react in anger and that they were lazy and worthless.

It is important that we teach our children that it is okay to feel anger, but also how to deal with their anger.   How can we do this?

  • talk to them calmly
  • be firm
  • set a good example
  • help them recognize that they are feeling angry
  • help the understand why they are feeling angry
  • help them deal with the anger in a positive way

Here are some positive ways to deal with anger:

  • talk about it with someone who will listen
  • write it down or draw a picture
  • go for a walk or do some exercise
  • deep breathing
  • get up and dance
  • do some work (cleaning works good for me)
  • cry about it (this doesn’t mean you are weak)
  • read an anger management book
  • read the Bible
  • pray

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. ~Author Unknown

Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath. ~Eckhart Tolle

No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched. ~George Jean Nathan



What are your strengths?

I am a great cook!

I am a great cook!

Do you know what your strengths are?  Many of us spend so much time thinking about our weaknesses that we forget we even have any strengths.  It seems to be a lot easier to think about what is wrong with ourselves than what is right with ourselves.  We focus on our weaknesses and our failures instead of our strengths and successes.

It is important that we realize what our strengths are and focus on them so we can feel good about ourselves.  This will help us become more confident and help increase our esteem.  We also have to realize that we have weaknesses and learn to accept them.   We should try to work on improving our weak areas but we should never put ourselves down because we can’t be strong in everything.

Take some time today to actually think about your strengths.  Make a list so you can remind yourself every day.   Add any new strengths to the list when you become aware of them.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • I am very organized
  • I am always on time
  • I can fix cars
  • I am very understanding
  • I am a good listener
  • I am a good teacher
  • I can sew/knit/cook/clean
  • I can sing/dance/swim/play soccer
  • I am a terrific grandparent

Many people aren’t even aware of their strengths.  If you have any trouble making a list, ask a family member or friend to help you.  Sometimes other people see things in us that we don’t see.



Do you lie to yourself?

confident man in suit3Let’s face it.  We are all liars.  Some people are worse than others, but during our lifetime, everyone has told at least a few lies or twisted the truth.   If we develop strong moral values, lying will become difficult and we will always try hard to be open and honest.

Did you know that many people lie to themselves every day?  We tell ourselves lies about who we are, the way we look, what we can do and how good we are.  Have you ever told yourself these lies:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m worthless
  • I don’t measure up
  • I can’t do anything right
  • Nobody likes me

Where did you hear these lies?  Many of us grew up in environments where we were continuously put down, criticized and belittled by other family members,  friends or teachers.  Some of us were bullied.  Some got into abusive relationships.  Others got too involved in the media, watching TV and reading materials that pointed out our flaws and imperfections.

No matter how it happened, we heard these lies, believed them and kept repeating them to ourselves over and over again.  Our minds developed a habit of negative thinking and we got stuck in a pattern of living those lies and hurting ourselves repeatedly.

It’s time to stop lying to ourselves.   We have to start taking control of our negative thinking and start telling ourselves the truth.   What people told us years ago may not even be true and it certainly does not define who we are today.  Any past mistakes are gone and done with and we need to focus on who we are today.

Take some time and write down the lies that you believe about yourself.   Are they really true?  Probably not at all.   Now replace these lies with a truth about yourself and develop a habit of positive thinking.  This may be difficult at first, but keep trying it until you totally forget about those horrible lies.

Here are some suggestions:

  • LIE – I am worthless.  REPLACE WITH THE TRUTH – I am valuable.
  • LIE – I am stupid.  REPLACE WITH THE TRUTH – I am creative.
  • LIE – Nobody likes me.  REPLACE WITH THE TRUTH  – I have good friends.
  • LIE – I can’t do anything right.  REPLACE WITH THE TRUTH – I always try my best

If you want to learn more about positive thinking and building esteem, visit my website at




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Do you have loving relationships?

Women Celebrating BirthdayEvery day we interact with other people, mainly our families, friends and co-workers.   How often do you stop and consider how well these relationships are going?   Are they loving and caring or are they difficult or challenging?

Many people would probably have trouble defining what a good, loving relationship means because they have never been in a good relationship and they wouldn’t know what to expect.  Here are some ways that you can determine if your relationship is loving or not:

  • unconditional love through all the good and bad situations
  • trust for each other, knowing that neither will take advantage or for granted
  • a mutual caring for each other’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health
  • acceptance of the other person’s imperfections and weaknesses
  • honesty and openness, able to be transparent and vulnerable
  • able to express feelings without fear of being rejected
  • good communication, able to listen and share
  • appreciation of each other’s qualities and abilities
  • learn and grow together
  • share interests and spend time together
  • being sensitive to each other’s needs
  • challenge each other
  • show respect for each other

Do you have loving relationships?  If you are not treating others with love and respect, try to change the way you treat people.  When you show love and kindness to others, it makes you a nicer person and people will want to be in a relationship with you.  If you are not being treated with love and respect, you have to determine if the other person(s) really needs to be in your life and make any necessary changes.  Treating another person with kindness is important but if they are not treating you back with respect, then you probably need to distance yourself from them.  Remember that you are valuable.  Always treat yourself with love and kindness and don’t allow anyone else to treat you any differently.


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What are you wearing today?

lady looking in mirrorThe way we look can have a profound effect on how others see us and also how we see ourselves.  Before going out in the world, ask yourself what kind of image you want others to see.  Remember the statement, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words”.  What kind of picture are you showing to the public by the way you dress?  We should always try to look our best so we show others that we respect ourselves and have confidence.

However, looking our best should not just apply to our outer attire.   How we appear to others includes far more than our clothing, hairstyle and accessories.   We can have outer beauty and look good on the outside but neglect to wear any inner beauty.

When you go out, do you put on a good attitude, a caring manner and a pleasant smile?  Do you show love, compassion and understanding?  Are your words full of kindness and your actions full of respect?   Are you wearing your inner beauty?

We spend so much time worrying about how we look on the outside and trying to impress other people that we often ignore what is going on inside.  We need to work hard at creating a beautiful personality so that our inner beauty will shine through and we can be a good example to others.  This will bring happiness and success to our lives.

What are you wearing today?

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