Start your own praise chart

When we’re children most parents, family members and teachers are enthusiastic in their praise for every small achievement, which builds up a self image of a success, capable, worthwhile person. Unfortunately if you failed to have that experience then it can lead to long term feelings of inadequacies. In which case telling yourself that your great is not enough, you need to train yourself to believe it.
A praise chart is exactly the same as the ones used for children, except with different goals and rewards. The idea is to motivate behaviours that you want to cultivate and to give yourself visible proof that you are successful, which in turn raises your self esteem.
* use a diary or draw up a weekly chart. Put it somewhere that you will look at it.
* decide how many goals per day you’re going to set yourself. I would recommend starting at one or two if you have very low self esteem.
* chose a daily reward. This can be anything, favorite snack, drink, watching a program, pampering session.
* chose a weekly reward. If you manage all seven days goals give yourself a bigger treat and celebrate your success.
*stay on the same number of goals until they feel easy and then challenge yourself by adding a few more.
We all need that acknowledgment of success to feel value and pride, but there’s nowhere in the rule book says you can only get it from someone else. Be your own biggest supporter.

Loving yourself, isn’t that easy

All over the internet and media are self help quotes advising you to love yourself. I have to be honest and admit I have given people that advice too, on numerous occasions, but in all honesty it’s much harder to achieve than it sounds.
For most of us, our self impression is formed by the opinions of others throughout our lives. We tend to be more critical of ourselves and often take the blame for things that are not our responsibility.
So for anyone struggling this is my list of tips for getting a few steps nearer to loving yourself.
* Always be honest about the behaviour of yourself and others. Try and develop a detached analytical approach when you are viewing a situation. What was your role? What was theirs?
*Give the blame to the person who deserves it. Once you have considered the situation, honestly aportion blame. Take responsibility for what you did, but do not take responsibility for the other person.
*Be honest with yourself. If your OK with your behaviour, don’t be swayed by the opinions of others. Loving yourself is about learning to like who you are.
*Recognise your own qualities. It’s easy to get an impression of yourself based on what someone else says, especially if they say it a lot. But look inside yourself, is what they say actually true? Parents, friends, even loved ones all have their own agenda, which they subconsciously push on to you.
*Recognise your own worth. People treat you in the way that you expect, so expect to be respected, loved and valued.
Loving yourself is a long term goal, but if you can honestly like yourself, your well on your way to achieving success.

Brain impairments – simple ways to help

Since many of us at some point in our lives may have to care for loved ones who are suffering from brain impairments I want to share a few simple therapies that I have personally witnessed being beneficial. Before we begin its important to remember that whilst the individual may appear to be different and unable to express themselves in the same way, it doesn’t mean that their memories no longer exist. The pathways may be broken but that rarely means that there is no hope of some repairs.
* play background music for as many hours of the day as you can stand. It wants to be loud enough for them to hear but quiet enough that it doesn’t interfere with what they want to do. Classical or any type of music that involves multiple instruments causes the most brain stimulation.
* art in any form. This can be used in three ways, first hand and eye co ordination stimulates brain activity, as does the feel of different textures and materials. Second it allows the individual to express themselves in a way they may be unable to verbalise. Thirdly you can use it as a way of triggering memories. For example make a collage together using pictures of people or places you know and casually reminisce about them.
* toys can be used in the same way. For example cars that are in some way similar to one they have owned. You can chat about places you went together in the car.
*encourage them to talk about anything. Whilst they are talking they are building up a store of words and ideas that will hopefully begin to stimulate existing knowledge.
* make sure they get at least eight hours sleep, including naps. The brain does its most processing and healing when the individual is inactive.
* this one I can’t 100% vouch for but diets including oily fish, full fat milk and fresh vegetables are believed to be beneficial, where as wheat products and high starch should be avoided.
The most important thing is to never give up. They still have the same heart and they still love you, even if their ability to express it is impaired. Each and every day is a blessing and they are happy to be sharing it with you.

Self belief is the key to success.

Other than love, self belief is the most important gift you can give your child. It’s also one of the most valuable skills you can learn as an adult. It allows you to believe in yourself and to take on the challenges that are thrust upon you.
Self belief is the corner stone of your personal identity. If you can’t believe in yourself and your value as a person, then it’s impossible to love yourself or see your own worth.
Also if you don’t believe in your own abilities then how will others? What we feel about ourselves we subconsciously project to others. It’s in our demeanour, our speach, the lifestyle we choose, even our choice of friends and loved ones.
It’s the one major factor in changing anything about ourselves, since its impossible to change without the belief you can.
We all have skills and ideas. Some are measurable by conventional tests, others are not, but that doesn’t make them less valid or important. The ability to make someone smile is far more important in my opinion than a knowledge of the times table. Happiness is a priceless gift. So it’s time to start recognising your own gifts and to start believing in your ability to use them.
* look at your self in the mirror every day and tell yourself you are worth it. Your opinions and ideas are important and you believe in yourself.
* take pride in your accomplishments, no matter how big or small.
* whatever you want to achieve in life, believe you can and don’t let the doubters sway you from your chosen path.
* remember the measure of success is a happy life. Money, status and possessions are nice, but they are a lot easier to achieve than true happiness and contentment.
*acknowledged that there will always be people who want you to be insecure and unsuccessful due to their own inadequacies. Recognise their behaviour for what it is and believe that you know what is right for you.
Even if your own belief is shaky right now, I believe that each and everyone of you is a unique, valuable individual, who can take on the trial of life and win, if you give yourself the chance. People believe in impossible things every day, it shouldn’t be impossible to believe in the one person you can always rely on, Yourself!

Feeling lethargic

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Sometimes the whole world seems to be speeding by, everyone is doing something and I’d rather not join in. I have an overwhelming desire to hide my head under the covers and just stay in bed. I feel disconnected and too tired to engage with the world.
But staying in bed and hiding away is not an option. Life is for living and you owe it to yourself to make the most of every minute.
So how can you recharge the batteries without becoming a hermit?
1. Yoga is a brilliant form of mental and physical exercise.
2. Listen to soothing music for a peaceful interlude before cranking up the volume for something loud and lively that gets you moving again.
3. Take up an art inspired hobby. Creativity is good for allowing your own self expression to flow.
4. Long walks in the countryside or on the beach.
5.gardening, getting back to nature is the best way to feel reconnected.
6. Healthy eating
7. No alcohol
8. A good nights sleep
9. Read a book
10. Spend time with friends and family.
I’m sure many of you can list even more. My personal favourites are to go riding or walk my dogs. Whatever works for you is OK, just get out of that bed, get dressed and get out there. It’s your day.

Willpower for sale

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could buy willpower in a handy jar in the supermarket and just take a dose every time you need to.
Unfortunately you can’t but you already have inside you everything you need to have an abundance of willpower.
Willpower is just a form of self control, that allows you to achieve goals that you have set for yourself. It is a skill you can develop, so even if you feel you have very little now, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
1. Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
2. Understand why you want to achieve it. Vague ideas like I’d like to loose some weight are very difficult to stick to.
3. Make a plan. What steps are needed to achieve your goal? For example if you wanted to loose weight you’d need to follow a diet plan, (pick one) take up more exercise (what type and when).
4. Set realistic time parameters. You are not going to loose 3st in a month.
5. Give your self smaller targets and reward each one you achieve.
6. If you miss a target, don’t give up, try again.
Everyone has will power you just need to practice using it. Start small and build up.

Loneliness part 2- get a pet

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There are many advantages to pet ownership for improving your emotional health and wellbeing. The type of pet you have will obviously depend on your own preferences, accommodation, time and finances, but even a goldfish can help combat loneliness.
1. Pets provide companionship. They are there in your home, they become your family and are always there to welcome you back.
2. They provide routine and structure to your day.
3. You can tell them all your problems and they’re always willing to listen.
4. They offer unconditional love.
5. The repetitive action of stroking an animal reduces stress.
6. Dogs are great for encouraging you to be more active and dog owners tend to be very sociable so you will soon get to know the regulars on your walk areas.
7. Pet training is a challenging and engaging occupation.
There are thousands of rescue animals living in centres across the world who are lonely too. All waiting for that one person who is willing to give them a chance. Why not stop your own loneliness and theirs by finding your self a life long friend.