Facebook page

Dear friends,

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I have added a facebook community page recently, which I am hoping to also use as a platform to talk about issues regarding self-improvement, practicing self-compassion, dealing with dysfunctional/toxic people and how to stop people pleasing!

If you are on facebook, then I would greatly appreciate if you stop by and say hi! 🙂

Love ♥ Athina

Take control of your own healing

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Every healing journey is unique to each person. No journey should be judged, minimised or discounted.

Whether it is childhood abuse, emotional, sexual or physical abuse, domestic abuse, grief, a single trauma or multiple traumas, nobody has the right to criticize someone else’s journey.

If you have compassion and maybe share what helped you, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will help others in the same way. Having compassion and empathy is so crucial. Listening, without trying to fix is also important.

After you reach a certain point in your healing, you will notice that things get easier. The intensity of certain emotions lessen and your sense of self-protection and boundaries are solid. If you suffer from a mental illness, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will go away. You eventually just learn to accept that it is a part of you and that you can handle it in a self-compassionate way.

What is your experience with healing?

Do you believe you will reach a point in your recovery where things eventually feel better?

Are you persistent in practicing self-care and healing with appropriate professional support?

Don’t forget that healing is a very up and down process. It isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes just as you are starting to feel better, something else comes along which needs processing. It might feel that you are back to square one again but this really isn’t the case.

Changes happen in very small ways sometimes and it depends on whether you have regular support.

Always be kind to yourself and others going through a process of healing ♥

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Thank you for the follows and support!♥

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Sending you all warm wishes for a peaceful and hopeful day. I really appreciate your support of this new page and if there are any topics you would like me to talk about, then let me know in the comments below.

♥ Athina

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

The importance of resilience

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So what is resilience and is it common?

Resilience can be defined as an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity. It is about an individual’s ability to manage difficult emotions that arise in times of difficulty, without supressing them.

Research shows that resilience is actually more common, than uncommon, as life has many ups and downs and people are having to adapt all the time to many difficult situations.

A person’s attitude is the most important element of having resilience. If someone generally has a negative thinking style, this is not helpful to having resilience.

There are a few many important attributes associated with resilience:

  • The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out.
  • A positive and self-accepting view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities.
  • Skills in communication and problem solving.
  • The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses without complaining about any struggles or falling into self-pity when setbacks arise.
  • Adaptability-The ability to act flexibly in changing or challenging circumstances.
  • Asking for support or accepting support from others. Positive, supportive relationships are key to coping in tough times.
  • Having humour- Finding light moments in depressing times can sometimes help lift the mood.
  • Being aware of unhealthy thoughts that may pop up and don’t benefit you in times of adversity.

Now that you are aware of what makes someone resilient, what happens when you need to develop more resilience? What steps could you take?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Take care of yourself and treat yourself with respect, comfort & acceptance.
  • Try and be hopeful for the future no matter what the current circumstances. A positive outlook is very important.
  • Ask for support from friends or family
  • Look for opportunities of self-discovery. Adversity isn’t obviously welcomed but if something negative happens, look at how you handle it and learn something about yourself.
  • Accept that change is part of living
  • Make decisions or take actions when confronted with a difficult situation. Don’t avoid it!
  • Set small goals that are easy for you to reach. It doesn’t matter how small. The more you achieve, the better you will feel
  • If you are spiritual, use your faith to support you.Prayer or meditation can be very helpful
  • Journaling, blogging, art therapy or other therapies can also be useful in developing resilience.

I would love to hear your thoughts on resilience. Is there anything in particular that happened which improved your resilience? Do you think you are resilient or do you think you could develop better resilience?

♥ Athina

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Being assertive

For those of you who struggle with people pleaser syndrome, who are passive, depressed, are experiencing conflict with someone or are having anger issues, assertiveness training can be very beneficial.

When someone is unassertive, this involves violating their own rights by failing to express honest feelings, thoughts or beliefs.It also means that someone might try to express their thoughts and feelings but do it in a very apologetic, modest way and others just disregard them.

Unassertiveness has a lot to do with a lack of self-esteem or due to a threat to one’s self-esteem.

In order to understand what being assertive means, here is a list of some assertive rights. This list was compiled by Palmer & Dryden, (1995).

  • The right to say ‘no’
  • The right to consider my needs important
  • The right to make mistakes
  • The right to express my feelings in an appropriate manner without violating anybody else’s rights
  • The right to take responsibility for my actions
  • The right not to be understood
  • The right to respect myself
  • The right to be me
  • The right to be assertive without feeling guilty
  • The right to set my own priorities

Assertiveness training uses methods such as role-play, modelling and rehearsal before actually trying it out in real life situations.It is something that can be very helpful. Something that is important before the training is for the coach to make sure that the coachee doesn’t have any emotional blocks. If there are emotional blocks then these must be resolved first in coaching and then the coachee can move on to the training.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Self-care chart

my self-care chart - courage coaching

When you are struggling from a mental illness, self-care can sometimes take a back seat.

You forget or are unable to eat properly. You have trouble sleeping which then results in not having the motivation and energy to do much at all. You can become more isolated when trying to cope and can even forget to ask for support.

This little chart above gives you a little insight into the important things to consider.

The 2 most important areas in my opinion are physical and mental self-care but a balance amongst all 5 of these areas is crucial, as they are interlinked.

If you feel that there are any areas of self-care that you are particularly struggling with, then please let me know in the comments below. I would be happy to help you come up with an easy action plan, that might enable you to move forward.

Love Athina ♥

Fear of negative emotions & being a People pleaser

If you are afraid of experiencing other peoples’ negative responses or emotions, then you will do everything you can to avoid this.This fear will make it hard for you to say NO to someone and you end up doing things you really don’t want to do.You feel compelled to always do as they say and become completely submissive to their needs. This is the core of being a people pleaser.

These fears usually stem from childhood abuse, where you had an overbearing, manipulative parent or parents. If your parents would punish you severely if you didn’t do what they wanted, then you will have been conditioned to be obedient at all times.

Some really important characteristics of being a people pleaser is when you have low self-esteem, are addicted to others’ approval and are always dependent on them for your self-worth and validation. This happens especially when you might have had a narcissistic/psychopathic parent that criticised you negatively all the time and made you feel excessively guilty and shameful when you didn’t do as they said. With extremely self-centered parents, everything is always about their needs and your needs take a back seat. Every time you want to take a step forward and be more independent in your thinking & behaviour, they will always find a way to pull you back and make you feel dependent on them and their way of thinking.(codependent).It is a very strong type of conditioning that happens in abusive homes and as a young child you aren’t able to escape this environment.

Something that is very common when you are people pleaser is always rationalising peoples’ abusive behaviour to the point of always forgiving it. You always make excuses for others’ bad behaviour and say things like ‘Yes my father beat me but at least he provided a roof over my head’ or ‘I know my mother is very manipulative but deep down she has a good heart’.This has a lot to do with ‘toxic bonding’ or stockholm syndrome’, where you are extremely attached to your abuser in a very emotionally damaging way. You aren’t able to accept the reality of how bad something actually is, because it is extremely painful.

Another couple of traits that make someone a people pleaser and also make them more susceptible to emotional abuse is the fact that they may be emotionally immature and have very weak boundaries. They don’t know what is theirs and what is others’. If they grew up in a home with a parent that would constantly go through their things as a teenager, always invade their space whilst at the same time parentifying them and giving them things to do that weren’t their responsibiliy, this has a detrimental effect on how they view others and how they view themselves. They grow up thinking that it is ok for someone to use them, to take advantage of their lack of assertiveness and self-respect.

A very important part of dealing with manipulative or pushy people is developing self- assertiveness. This is something very useful for people that are constantly submissive to others in an unhealthy way. Assertiveness can be taught and this is something I offer in Coaching.

If you think you might need assertiveness training, then please let me know.

Best Wishes

Athina

Surround yourself with supportive people

When you suffer from a mental illness it is very difficult to feel hopeful when you are really struggling.Every day can be a battle and those negative thoughts can be very hard to silence. Sometimes feelings can overcome you at the most inappropriate times and others may think you are overreacting or being a drama queen. Paying close attention to the people in your life can determine how much your overall mood is affected. If you are an empath or highly sensitive person, you suck in other peoples’ emotions like a sponge. For this reason, you need to have the right kind of people around you or limit your time with those who aren’t enriching to your life.

Think about how the people in your life make you feel 80% of the time? Are they supportive & uplifting? Are they encouraging and empathetic? Do they understand your struggles and offer to help?

This is very important when you have a low tolerance for stressful situations due to a history of toxic child abuse. When complex trauma is part of your life, you need to feed your brain with the things you were starved of as a child. You should provide yourself with unconditional love, acceptance, validation and comfort. It is also important to have friends and family that can also provide these things for you.  It might feel unnatural at first and almost feel silly to tell yourself that you are worthy and lovable every day, however this is what your brain needs. It needs a new healthy habit!

Recent studies have shown that victims of childhood abuse and combat veterans actually experience physical changes to the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory, as well as in the handling of stress. The hippocampus also works closely with the medial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that regulates our emotional response to fear and stress. PTSD sufferers often have impairments in one or both of these brain regions. Studies of children have found that these impairments can lead to problems with learning and academic achievement.

We know that psychotherapy can really help survivors of severe trauma and also we know that EMDR is very helpful for reducing nightmares, flashbacks & overwhelming emotions.What you do for yourself however is equally important as you are the person that feels, thinks and reacts to your surroundings 24/7! It has been proven that with a mixture of validating affirmations, manageable goal setting, therapy and loving relationships, people can improve the quality of their life dramatically, especially in regards to their overall outlook.

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Silver Girl

“Your life is in your hands. No matter where you are now, no matter what has happened in your life, you can begin to consciously choose your thoughts, and you can change your life.There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstance of your life can change!” 

~ Rhonda Byrne

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