Taking on others’ emotions-Having weak boundaries

When you have grown up in a dysfunctional narcissistic home, taking on others’ emotions becomes the norm. Narcissistic parents teach their children to cater to their feelings & moods and the child learns to ignore their own emotions.

A great book which can help you understand whether you have weak emotional boundaries, is by Charles Whitfield: Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self. 

The following statements from his book, can help you identify whether you struggle with taking on others’ emotions and neglecting your own.

Answer with “never,” “seldom,” “occasionally,” “often,” or “usually.”

  • I feel as if my happiness depends on other people.
  • I would rather attend to others than attend to myself.
  • I spend my time and energy helping others so much that I neglect my own wants and needs.
  • I tend to take on the moods of people close to me.
  • I am overly sensitive to criticism.
  • I tend to get “caught up” in other people’s problems.
  • I feel responsible for other people’s feelings.

If you reply mostly with ”often” or ”usually”, then this is something you should consider getting support for. This means that you are extremely affected by the emotions & moods of those around you and aren’t able to focus on your own needs first.

If this is something you relate to and need support for, then please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading

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.

How to live with gratitude

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Gratitude is a very important tool that most of us don’t use as often as we could.

To be grateful for all that we have in our life can bring a certain sense of contentment and peace.

Studies have been done, which show that gratitude improves both mental and physical health. Gratitude can reduce feelings of hopelessness and can greatly improve our relationships with others.

Doing a daily gratitude list just before bed, has been found to not only improve sleep quality but can also help with reducing depressive symptoms in people who are suffering.

”Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” – Melody Beattie

The key to really benefiting from the practice of gratitude, is to write 5 or more things that you are grateful for on each day.The more specific the things you write about, the more beneficial the effects.

One example for this may be ”My friend suprised me with a ‘Thank you’ card today” or ”I enjoyed playing with my cousin’s puppies”.

Another way of practicing gratitude, is to have a little jar and pop daily gratitude notes in it..At the end of the month or after a particularly bad day, it can be useful to return to your gratitude jar and read all the little gratitude notes you put in it.

Do you practice gratitude and if yes, is there something specific you do?

Thanks for reading

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.

How to survive over-thinking

Over-thinking an issue or event is a very common coping mechanism for dealing with stress. When there are unresolved issues or stressful situations with more than one possible solution, this is usually what leads to never-ending ruminating.

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Unfortunately, over-thinking is usually linked to depression & anxiety. People that already suffer from a mental illness, are usually big over-thinkers. However, someone can also become mentally ill by starting to think destructively. All it takes is one single stressful life event to trigger unhelpful ruminating.

The best way to cope with your possible over-thinking, is to look at the way you think and to analyse the different thinking errors (otherwise known as cognitive distortions) you may be indulging in.

If you don’t know much about the different types of cognitive distortions, then click below:

Cognitive distortions

Secondly, it is important to challenge any unhelpful thinking patterns by looking honestly at the evidence that supports those thoughts. Sometimes over-thinking can really spiral out of control and what may have started off as a minor problem, might have escalated into a catastrophe. Thinking isn’t always based on actual facts.

Thirdly, it is important to replace any unhelpful or overly dramatic thoughts with more grounded and sensible thoughts. If you are overly critical of yourself or others, then maybe try to tone it down a little. If you are worried that something bad is going to happen, then ask yourself ‘What are the chances of this really happening’? and ‘Is this really as bad as I think?Give yourself more constructive, positive thoughts and even write them down on paper if it helps!

Lastly, try and distract yourself when you are lost in endless over-thinking. Do something you enjoy, which will stop your mind from going into an uncomfortable state of hyperarousal.

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.

 

 

 

Recovery is not a destination

I wanted to write a quick post on the topic of recovery. I have embraced and accepted my own journey of recovery but not without many difficult years of wanting to see big changes, too soon..

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I know there are a lot of you battling with the struggles of mental health daily and wishing that you could achieve more.

I also know how disheartened you must feel when you don’t seem to reach your destination of being ”recovered”…This is where the problem lies..Recovery isn’t a destination..it is an ongoing, changing process with ups and downs..

Recovery doesn’t mean you will reach a day where you are recovered completely.What it DOES mean is that you will reach a point in your life where every struggle is much smaller and you will be able to feel better on more days than usual. If you suffered child abuse or neglect, you will most likely have ongoing mental health issues but this doesn’t mean you will suffer in the same way, as you grieve and progress in your healing. If you are a recovering alcoholic or drug addict, you will also know how much of a challenge it is to stop yourself from returning to the one thing that was able to numb you in the past..You are aware that your recovery from the drug of your choice will always be a constant in your life.

Before you are too harsh on yourself and have huge expectations on where you think you should be in your recovery, just remind yourself that everything is unfolding exactly as it should..that there are many small positive shifts happening in your mental health and that no matter how awful the tears, flashbacks, triggers, depression and anxiety are, that there are better days to come..Remind yourself of this when you are particularly low!

If you are recovering from any mental health issues, then this post is for you.

Be self-compassionate, give yourself a pat on the back and keep moving forward in your journey of recovery..Keep looking for resources that may help you along  your journey, seek out a therapist or coach who is experienced and validating and keep all abusive & toxic people away from your life.

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.

 

Youtubes videos are on hold..

Hello, how are you doing? I hope you are looking after yourselves wherever you are in the world ♥

The reason I am writing this post, is because I have had a couple of my followers & subscribers request an improvement in the sound quality of my videos. I was aware that it wasn’t very loud, but had no idea the sound got so bad.It seemed to get worse after I tried removing the background noise. The editing software I used seemed to dull the sound quality for some reason so I wanted to apologise for this and let you know that I am currently dealing with it.

After exhausting all my options in regards to devices I already have ( laptop, ipad, nikon photo camera etc), I have now found a very good webcam which has a great microphone, good quality HD video and also reduces background noise. It has very good reviews on amazon and was also recommended through a few youtubers as well.

This is the link if you are interested: http://www.logitech.com/en-roeu/product/hd-pro-webcam-c920

I always post videos on a Monday because it makes it easier for my subscribers to know when to check in but because I am currently waiting for my webcam to arrive, I will not being doing a youtube video this coming Monday.

I might be able to create another text video for those of you who don’t mind them, so if there is a topic you would like me to cover then please let me know 🙂

Lastly, I wanted to thank summerstartstoshine for nominating me for The sunshine blogger award, which I will write about in a separate post.She is a very kind & courageous blogger, so if you haven’t checked out her blog already then please pop by her page.

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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.

 

Poor sleep-One of many side effects of CPTSD, anxiety & depression

Are you somebody who struggles to sleep well and ends up waking up exhausted in the morning rather than refreshed? Do you find that you often have vivid stress dreams which can at times disrupt your sleep in the middle of the night?

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If you are someone who also struggles with depression, anxiety or (C)PTSD, then this will no doubt have an impact on your quality of sleep.

Both anxiety & depression, involve a thinking style known as ruminating. Ruminating means that we go over the same thoughts over and over again,without any resolution. These thoughts are usually negative and if they aren’t resolved with some sort of action, they will then possibly play out in our dreams at night.

Apparently is has been stated that a memory is composed of a situation or thought, the emotions experienced from that situation or thought and then the actions taken. If something happened during the day for example, that was upsetting but you weren’t able to resolve the situation in some way, then this will most likely linger until you go to bed. Since ruminating means that our thoughts and emotions are stuck in a repetitive loop, we will then most likely have an anxiety dream, in which we will try and find a resolution to our initial problem. Our mind just isn’t able to switch off properly until our problem has been solved.

So basically, if you have had a stressful day and there is still stuff that needs to be resolved, you will then most likely be doing this in your sleep as well. Since stress and anxiety can be exhausting during the day, then it is pretty similar at night too.If the brain doesn’t get a chance to ‘switch off’ or relax at night, then you can understand why the quality of your sleep is compromised.

This causes a vicious cycle which looks a bit like this :

Worrying/Rumination → Poor sleep quality → Increase in stress during the day & trouble coping → Worrying/Rumination → Poor quality sleep  .. etc

Too much ruminating can lead to feeling helpless. If you are too focused on the problem you are ruminating about, you tend to get stuck and this affects your actual problem solving skills.

A few tips to calming your worrying mind at night:

  • Try and resolve the problem before going to bed (if this is possible).
  • Talk to a friend or family member about your worries (A different point of view might do wonders)
  • Write down your troublesome thought/s on a piece of paper or type up a document on the computer..This might help you find a solution, by seeing your thoughts clearly written in front of you..
  • Another thing you can do is write a priority list (if your worries are work related). By organising your time and managing your tasks into more urgent, less urgent etc..this might help you relax more.
  • Think about what is in your control and what isn’t..If it isn’t in your control, then try to ‘let it go’..
  • If you are still not able to sleep, use lavender oil on your pillow and find some self-hypnosis tracks you can listen to while lying in bed..

 

What are your thoughts on this? Are you someone who suffers with ruminating and poor quality sleep?  Do you also suffer with a mental illness? How often would you say you have anxiety dreams on average? Twice a week or more?

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.

 

Blogger recognition award-I am humbled!

 

This blog post today is to officially accept my nomination for the ‘Blogger recognition award‘ by the lovely https://perceptionschange.wordpress.com

I am very humbled by the nomination, especially as this blogger is a mental health blogger. She writes about her own experience with depression & anxiety, offers tips on what helped her and this is very useful for others who also struggle and might find some solace in her writings.

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Rules for participating in the Blogger Recognition Award

Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Write a post to show your award.

Attach the award to the post.

Give a brief story on how your blog started.

Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.

Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

Comment on each blog and let them know you nominated them

TIPS FOR NEW BLOGGERS

If you have the time to interact with your followers, then do so.

If you are able to keep an open mind and be encouraging and positive, then do so.

Make sure you write an  ABOUT ME section on your blog, as it gives the reader a little background on who you are and why you write. I find this very important when checking out new blogs as I feel better connected to the content when I know a little about the writer.

WHAT IS THIS BLOG ABOUT & WHY DID I START IT

This blog is all about sharing free information to help those of you affected by mental illness, abuse from dysfunctional relationships and for those of you who are also interested in personal coaching. This blog is a result of my recent qualification as a life coach and I would be humbled to reach many more people that might need coaching to make changes in their lives. My particular focus is promoting self-care, self-compassion, changing negative thinking patterns & assisting anyone who is struggling with dysfunctional relationships and needs to break free. I create videos on YouTube which are also aimed at providing free advice on many different topics and I hope to help people in the same way I was helped over the years by mental health professionals & other empathetic people

NOMINATIONS

The 15 bloggers I will nominate are inspiring & courageous! Check them out!

https://runrabbitrunptsd.wordpress.com/

www.therichnessofasimplelife.wordpress.com

https://recoverytowellness.wordpress.com/

https://bethanykays.com/

https://atribeuntangled.com/

https://brokenfingernails.com/

https://piecesofbipolar.wordpress.com/

https://frombehindglass.wordpress.com/

https://hannahbolly.wordpress.com/

https://theroamingmind.com/

https://emergingfromthedarknight.wordpress.com/

https://thejourneytowardhealing.wordpress.com/

https://charsgirl.wordpress.com/

https://brokenyetcherished.com/

https://illyspeaks.wordpress.com/