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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.

You can control the stress in your life

Stress has become a normal way of life for many people and sometimes it can be good for us.  It can provide us with the energy to overcome obstacles but too much stress can cause life-threatening health issues.  Everyday people die from stress-related illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

It isn’t possible to eliminate all stress from our lives, however we can learn how to control it.  We need to determine what is causing the stress in our lives and learn how to minimize or eliminate it.

When you feel stressed, try using the following STRESS method to analyze what is happening.

S – Stop what you are doing.  Don’t allow your emotions to control you.

T – Take note of the situation in your journal or notebook if possible and outline what is causing the stress.  If you aren’t able to write it down, keep a mental picture of the situation and write it down as soon as you can.

R – Review your notes.  Do this later on in the day when you are not so emotional or you won’t see the situation clearly.

E – Evaluate your reaction.  Was it proper, logical, realistic?  Was it necessary?  Did it help or hinder the situation?

S – Situation – can it be changed, minimized or eliminated.   YES___  NO___   HOW? _______________________

S – Set-up a plan of action for the next time this situation comes up.  Write it down to help you remember it.

Every day, write down your stressful situations in your journal or notebook using the STRESS method.   Seeing these situations written down will help you see any patterns and understand where the problem areas are.

Determine what situation causes the most stress in your life, how you normally react and what the outcome is.  Then you can consider ways to make positive changes so you can feel less stressed the next time it happens.

You CAN control the stress in your lives!

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Help your children build esteem

It is so important that we teach our children how to build their confidence and maintain a strong esteem.  Young people struggle today with their body image, feeling insecure and having distorted ideas about their appearance.   Media pressures are extremely powerful and can have disastrous effects on a child who lacks confidence in their abilities and has very little esteem.   They need the support of parents who can be positive role models that demonstrate through example how to feel good about their own self-image.

When your children are small, start helping them build confidence by working alongside them to master their abilities and skills, supporting them when they fail and encouraging them to try again.  When children feel that they are loved and valued, they will become confident and this will build their esteem.    If you are a parent who lacks confidence and has low esteem, work hard to make positive changes in your own life so you can help your children become confident, responsible adults.  Don’t let your children struggle with feelings of insecurity, believing what the media tells them and allowing bullies to have a negative effect on their thinking.   The article below shows the devastating effects that bullies have on insecure teens.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/16/bullied-teenagers-increasingly-want-to-have-cosmetic-surgery-says-survey

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Do you like yourself?

This is a question that many people will respond with a resounding ‘no’.  Society today makes people feel bad about themselves by constantly pointing out their imperfections and flaws.  We are never good enough!  We don’t measure up!  There is always someone who is more attractive, has lots of money and possessions, is smarter, more powerful or just better in some way.   This just causes us to become discouraged, defeated and depressed.  No matter what we try to do, nothing brings happiness or success in our lives.

Nothing is worse than spending time with people you don’t like.  Everyone has a family member, friend or co-worker that they don’t like, but are forced to spend time with.  This can be a person who is very negative, complaining, critical and judgmental.   In these situations, we do have a choice as to whether we remain in their company or try to avoid seeing them.

However, what if the person you don’t like is yourself?  You can’t ever get away from yourself – everywhere you go, there you are.  When you eat a meal, you have to eat with yourself.  When you go to work, you have to go with yourself.  When you go to the bathroom, you are right there!  So it is important that you work hard to become a person that you would like to spend time with.

We are all special in our own way.  Each of us is unique.  There is nobody in this world that is exactly like us and that is what makes us special.  We have our own strengths, abilities and skills and we need to work on building confidence in ourselves so we can feel comfortable spending time with ourselves.  When we have confidence, it shows others that we know our valuable as a person and this makes us look attractive and approachable.

Please visit my website at http://www.imconfident.com  for ways on how to become more confident.

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Doing the right thing

smiling little girlIn this world with all the pressures to be accepted, it is often hard to do the right thing.   When faced with a decision that may cause us to lose more than we will gain, it can be easier to just do whatever is necessary so we can fit in with everyone else.  We are always looking for acceptance and will put this as a priority instead of doing what is right.  If your friends are going somewhere or doing something that you know is wrong, it takes a lot of courage to say ‘no’ and not get involved.  If you are on your way to an important meeting and you see an elderly person fall down on the sidewalk, it takes a lot of courage to stop and help them even though you may miss out on an opportunity.  If you find a wallet full of money and you are really needing money to buy something, it takes a lot of courage to find the person and return their wallet.

It is important to always do the right thing, no matter what it will cost you.   It may cost you some time.  It may result in the loss of some popularity or friends.  It may be very difficult at times but there is far more value in doing the right thing than doing the wrong thing.  Doing the wrong thing may seem like a good idea at the time but it will eventually result in problems down the road, both for you and other people.

When you are faced with a decision, think about what the consequences will be, not just right now, but later on your life.   Ask yourself:

  • How do I feel about this right now, deep down in my soul?
  • Is this the right thing or the wrong thing to do?
  • If I do this now, will it hurt or help anyone, including myself?
  • If I do this now, is it fair or unfair to everyone involved?
  • How would I feel if someone I loved was doing this?
  • Does this follow the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you)?

We all have a conscience that helps us make good decisions, if we keep our minds open.   Making the right decision will:

  • stop us from having a lot of regrets in the future
  • help add value to our lives and the lives of others
  • have many rewards and paybacks
  • increase our self-esteem and help us feel good about ourselves

Don’t let society pressure you into believing that it is okay to compromise and do something wrong just because other people are doing it.  Don’t be fooled into believing that you can do the wrong thing and find happiness.  We all want to be accepted and loved but allowing ourselves to do the wrong thing will never help us find long-term happiness and success in life.  Be a person of integrity!  Stand up for what is right by showing love to everyone around you!

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~Flora Whittemore

Decisions become easier when your will to please God outweighs your will to please the world. ~Anso Coetzer

Life is the sum of all your choices. ~Albert Camus

 It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. ~Roy Disney

 

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What does confidence mean?

Having confidence is important if you want to be happy and successful in life.  Having confidence means that you are:

C – COMFORTABLE with the way you look

O – OPEN-MINDED about learning new things

N – NAVIGATING through life with a positive perspective

F – FOSTERING goodwill

I – INFLUENCING others with your positive example

D – DEDICATED to helping others

E – ENCOURAGING others to make positive changes

N – NEVER willing to give up on yourself

C – CHOOSING to do the right thing

E – EXPECTING to reach your goals in life

Do you have confidence?  No matter how difficult your life has been or what age you are, it is never too late to start building confidence.  Do some research.  Read some books.  Join a support group.  Get active!  You CAN become confident.  If you need some help, check out my website for more information and get started today!

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What is a habit?

A habit is a behaviour that you do repeatedly until it becomes automatic.  Once you have done the same thing over and over again for a period of time, you don’t even think about it anymore.  We develop good habits and we develop bad habits.  The good habits push us forward so we can enjoy a happy and successful life.  The bad habits are the ones that hold us back and cause problems in our lives.

If you want to stop your bad habits, you need to:

  • clearly define your bad, negative habits
    • make a list
    • number them in priority sequence starting with the one you would like to change the most
  • determine what new, positive habits you can develop to overcome your bad habits
    • stopping a bad habit is hard unless you have something to replace it with
    • thinking about new habits will fill up your time with positive energy
  • create an action plan
    • decide which new habit you are going to work on first and the steps you need to take
    • write down the steps in a journal, daybook or calendar for 21 consecutive days (research shows it takes about 21-30 days to develop a new habit)
    • each day, follow these steps until you feel confident your habit is well established
    • if you slip backwards or miss a day, keep going and don’t give up
    • at the end of 21 days if you haven’t reached your goal, continue for another 21 days until the habit is set
  • celebrate your successes
    • at certain points (weekly, biweekly, monthly) reward yourself with a small treat or special event as a motivation to yourself

Do you know what your bad habits are?   Maybe some of these sound familiar?

  • being late for work, school, appointments, meetings
  • hitting the snooze button more than once before getting up in the morning
  • procrastinating on paying bills, filing taxes, keeping house clean, working on projects
  • talking instead of listening
  • not spending time with family, friends
  • forgetting important dates and occasions
  • not returning phone calls and emails
  • not eating proper meals
  • avoiding regular exercise
  • not keeping promises
  • answering cell phones and texts continuously
  • surfing the internet, playing video games
  • trying to control everyone around you
  • biting nails, tapping fingers

Changing a bad habit can be very difficult but also very possible with commitment.  Developing new, positive habits can transform your life.   Replacing bad habits with good habits will improve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self.   Having good habits will increase self-esteem and help you overcome:

  • feelings of worthlessness
  • fears and insecurities
  • addictions
  • poor behaviours
  • pressures and stresses
  • depression and anxiety

 

 

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How do you start your day?

Are you a morning person or do you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning?  Mornings are tough for many of us because we just don’t want to face the responsibilities of the day ahead.   Negative thoughts are already floating around in our heads and it makes us feel tired, sick and often stressed-out before we even start our day.

What do you think about when you wake up in the morning?  Are you worrying about something, stressing about all the things you don’t want to do, thinking about how awful the day is going to be?

Before your feet even hit the floor, your negative thinking has already ruined your day and left you feeling tired and miserable.

Try saying some positive affirmations first things in the morning.  When you wake up, greet the day with a rousing, “Hello world.  What an awesome day this is going to be!”  Even if you don’t feel well or it is raining outside, try to bring some sunshine into your life with positive words.

Morning is the best time to set your mood for the rest of the day and if you start by saying something positive, it will give you a much better chance of having a good day.  As the day goes on, keep focusing on positive thoughts and it will start to make an impact on your mood.  Fill up your brain with positive power and you will feel more energetic.  A positive attitude will soon develop and this will become a good habit.

Think of some positive statements that you can practice.  Here are some suggestions:

  • This is going to be a great day
  • I enjoy my job
  • I have good friends
  • I am a generous person
  • I am a great mother/daughter/parent
  • I am not perfect but I am trying to be the best imperfect person I can be

It takes 3 -4 weeks to develop a new habit, so practice your affirmations daily over and over again until you begin to feel positive.

If we try to see something positive in everything we do, life won’t necessarily become easier but it becomes more valuable. ~Author Unknown

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Robin Williams dead at 63

When I read this headline this morning, I was shocked.  I knew that Robin Williams struggled with depression but he seemed to be so full of life.  He was an amazing actor who could play almost any part and do a great job.  It didn’t matter if it was comedy, drama or even a cartoon character, everything he did was thoroughly entertaining.  Here is an article about his passing….. http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/robin-williams-dead-in-apparent-suicide-at-63-1.2733770

If you struggle with depression, please take steps to help yourself.   According to many specialists, depression can be treated effectively and in many cases can be managed to a point where it almost disappears.   Here are some tips:

  • SEEK MEDICAL HELP – Find out what is causing your depression and discuss treatment options.
  • RESEARCH – Learn as much as you can about depression and how it can be helped.  Read stories about people who have overcome depression and how they managed to do so.
  • THERAPY – Find a counsellor, therapist, social worker or pastor who is understanding of your situation and easy to talk to.
  • FAMILY & FRIENDS – Connect with trusted family and friends who can encourage and support you.  Talking to someone every day will keep you focused on recovery.
  • SUPPORT GROUP – Groups can be very supportive.  Make sure they are helping you move forward and not keeping you stuck in your depression.   Check with local organizations and churches.
  • MEDICATION – medications can relieve depression but should never be relied on for an extended period of time unless the depression is very severe.   If you use medication, make sure you also work on developing a healthy lifestyle.
  • EXERCISE – Exercise has been proved to lessen depression.  Take a walk.  Ride a bike.  Join a fitness club.  Engage in a sports activity.
  • KEEP ACTIVE – Keeping your brain and your body active will keep your mind off your problems and you will not feel depressed.  Just make sure you allow time for relaxation so you don’t become worn out from too much activity.
  • BECOME POSITIVE – Work hard to rid yourself of negative thinking as it will keep you focused on being depressed.  Positive thinking is very powerful.  It helps you build confidence in yourself and it will change your life totally.

Everyone feels depressed at one time or another but some people struggle almost every day.   Stats very, but approximately 10% of the world’s population struggles with depression every day.  Sadly, this terrible illness has become a way of life that is slowly destroying them and many don’t even realize that they can make positive changes to their lives.  Don’t let depression rob you of life!  I allowed it to control my life for numerous years and thankfully I finally discovered that I could control my depression.  Now I can enjoy life and I rarely feel depressed.

If you want to learn more about building confidence and becoming more positive, visit my website at http://www.imconfident.com

 

 

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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 http://www.imconfident.com for information on building confidence and increasing esteem.

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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…. http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/08/01/positive-activities-help-to-relieve-depression/28223.html  (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  http://www.imconfident.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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