HSP-The Highly Sensitive Person

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People who are highly sensitive are born that way; it is not something that is learned.

The scientific term for high sensitivity is “sensory-processing sensitivity” (SPS).

Highly sensitive people have the following traits:

  • They feel more deeply.
  • They’re more emotionally reactive.
  • They’re probably used to hearing “Why are you so sensitive?”
  • Highly sensitive people are introverts but 30% of HSP’s are extroverts.
  • They’re more prone to anxiety or depression
  • That annoying sound is probably significantly more annoying to a highly sensitive person
  • They cry more easily and are deeply empathetic to other people’s emotions.
  • Highly sensitive people have reactions to criticism that are more intense than less sensitive people
  • They’re crushed by bad decisions
  • They take longer to reach decisions
  • They are highly conscientious
  • They tend to be highly intuitive & can tell when someone they care about is upset
  • They are incredibly observant
  • They can be easily overwhelmed by bright lights, too much noise, big crowds, strong smells or uncomfortable clothing.

Do you think you might be a highly sensitive person?

If yes, then the following website may be of use to you!

http://hsperson.com/

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-growth

How do we develop ourselves into better human beings?

What steps can we take to become wiser, more self-aware and more humble?

Self-growth is a topic that I think about a lot and when I am interacting with others in my environment, I feel saddened by the fact that so many people don’t seem to acknowledge their weaknesses, don’t find time to make improvements in their life and just seem to be on a path of complaining & under-valuing their lives.

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Although I acknowledge that in my own journey there are many things that I may not be able to completely change, due to circumstance or mental illness, I definetely aspire to bettering myself on a daily basis.

One of the biggest motivations for most people to make changes for the better, comes from a feeling that something isn’t quite right in their lives. They are either too stressed, too angry or just simply feeling depressed. They may start noticing certain destructive patterns repeating in their life and feel completely stuck in trying to make changes.

This is where coaching can be really useful and for the more complex mental health issues, therapy can also be an invaluable source for self-growth.

Although many people think that they have things under control, it is those same people that actually live chaotic lives and just don’t seem to prioritise their own self-development. They aren’t able to be introspective and they remain in the same state of mind most of their lives. They end up reaching the age of 60 and are still acting in ways that are either unhelpful, harmful to others or self-sabotaging.

So what is the first step to self-growth?

What is the one, most important thing that can motivate us to start making lasting changes?

  1. We must acknowledge our weaknesses- It is helpful to write a list as honestly as possible about the things we really struggle with and want to work on. It is good to spend as much time on this as possible, looking at all areas in our life: relationships, work, spiritual, physical health, mental health etc..It might also be helpful to ask close family or friends for feedback about this. Which areas do they think we struggle in. It might not be easy to hear about our struggles at first, especially if we are not aware of them. In the long-term however, it could be very beneficial to us.

 

  • It is important to set 1 goal at a time in the area we would like to improve in.

 

  • We need to realise that change happens when we break out of bad habits and form new healthier ones. Again this needs to be broken down into smaller goals, by breaking out of 1 bad habit at a time and forming 1 new healthy habit.

 

  • We have to accept full responsibility for all areas in our life. This means that we have to fully accept that we are the only ones who can make changes. We can blame others until we go blue in the face but at the end of the day, it is our job to improve our lives. Accepting responsibility of course, doesn’t mean that we completely ignore certain disabilites we may have or certain traumatic events that we may have experienced. It means that we fully own our journey and embrace the unpleasant things we aren’t able to change by grieving them whilst also trying to have gratitude for the things that we are fortunate to have and are able to do.

 

  • Enrich our world with learning and doing courses in self-development

 

  • Growth comes when we face certain challenges. We have to push ourselves to move out of our comfort zone. Sometimes the things that scare us the most hide the biggest opportunities for self-growth. It is important to face these fears and see how far we can get.

 

What is your experience with self-growth? Have you looked inside yourself to see if something needs to change?

Feel free to comment or share this blog post.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

High functioning depression

Happy Monday dear friends & followers!

After a wonderful 10 days off work, celebrating my birthday with friends and exploring new places with my husband, I am feeling grateful and refreshed.

Today’s topic is especially important to me, as someone I care about deeply is currently suffering with this type of depression.

Although high functioning depression is a milder form of depression, it is equally as important as other types of depression.

When it comes to depression, many of us envision a person caught in the depths of despair and hopelessness, who wants nothing more than to stay in bed and avoid people and work completely. We envision someone who has lost all interest in the things they love, who may be feeling suicidal and is barely holding it together.

Although the above isn’t inaccurate, it doesn’t portray life as a high functioning depressive.

When someone suffers with mild or high functioning depression, the typical joy and laughter they once felt, is usually replaced by an absence of emotion and a very deep feeling of emptiness.
This is known as anhedonia and it is the loss of interest in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities.

To the outside world they seem like they are coping fine. They are still able to go to work every day and communicate effectively. They are still able to reach goals and get out of bed in the morning.

The most unfortunate part of those with this milder form of depression is that when they talk about their feelings to loved ones and even doctors, they aren’t taken seriously enough.

Unless someone is literally unable to function, they seem to be dismissed as not having anything to worry about. This isn’t good!

When life circumstances change, those experiencing mild depression may be at greater risk for moderate to severe depression if treatment isn’t sought early enough.

This is also discussed in my youtube video, so feel free to share if you think it may help someone you know.

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.

Why & How to stop over-explaining

Following on from my post Are you a chronic over-explainer? , I now want to address why & how to actually stop over-explaining.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, many individuals who suffer from low self-esteem or people-pleasing, have an almost compulsive need to over-explain. Others do it, because they have been misunderstood many times in the past when talking.

Using more words should not be a go-to for clarity. It is better to try and use the right words the first time instead of all the words in a stream-of-consciousness style.

Being nervous of what others think of you, will make it hard for you to make simple statements about things you like or don’t like. For example, a new friend of yours who has cats may ask you if you like cats. Instead of your response being ”I don’t really like them” you end up saying ” I am not too fond of cats because I don’t like that they are selfish, although I am not saying that your cats are selfish, I just mean that I prefer dogs to cats because they are more communicative” etc……

It is important to remember that when you over-explain to others, you may at times make them feel stupid. They might think that you are over-explaining things because you are sure they just ‘dont get it’! Over-explaining also makes you look stressed, because you aren’t able to get to your point simply. This will then end up stressing your listener out. It may also make others think you are confused, which will then create confusion in them and eventually lead to even more over-explaining.

The key to stop over-explaining is to just tell yourself ”It is not that important”. If others think of you in a negative way after you state ‘a dislike’ or a particular way of doing things, then that reflects on them, not you.

Another good way to stop it is to try and be precise in the way you communicate. Try and limit your use of words by practicing beforehand (if for example you need to explain things to an intern at work or to someone you have assigned work to).

Thirdly, try and be mindful about whether you are over-thinking. If you are a worrier or an over-thinker, it will come naturally to you to want to over-explain. If you are thinking ”I hope they get what I am saying. I hope they don’t think I am selfish, cruel, stupid etc”. Try and let go of the worries by telling yourself ”So what if they think I am selfish? or ”so what if they get it wrong?”.

By taking time to try and listen more to what the other person is saying, this also helps you to avoid over-explaining, especially if you see that the other person completely ‘gets’ where you are coming from.

Lastly, ask yourself this when explaining ”Am I explaining or am I talking for my own benefit?” If it is the latter, then you are over-explaining!

Thanks for reading

If you like this post, then please like, comment or share.

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 does having a special needs sibling affect you?

It is important to raise awareness about the challenges a sibling faces when their brother or sister has special needs.

Many years ago, when I came across a book writen by a woman who grew up with a special needs sister and the struggles she and so many others like her faced, I felt validated for the first time in my life.

For this reason, I wanted to create a video about this important but mostly neglected topic.

If you have experience with this, then please feel comfortable enough to comment. If you think this video might help others in similar situations, then please re-blog.

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

 

Acknowledging our weaknesses

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How many of you find it easy to admit to your weaknesses? How often do you struggle with admitting a weakness to a friend or partner or even to yourself?

Do you ever feel a sting when a close person in your life points out a weakness that you weren’t aware you had? Or maybe it is just that person’s opinion but not your own? It’s tough knowing sometimes, whether we actually have that weakness that this person is pointing out to us..Is the sting we feel trying to tell us that maybe it is actually true?!

What one person considers a weakness doesn’t mean that the other person thinks so too..

For example, I may think that it is a weakness for someone to expect me to be perfect, when I am actually completely comfortable being less than perfect. It is not my problem this other person needs perfection from those around him, including me. I personally find the need to be perfect exhausting, therefore I am more happy to give everything my best shot and even if it doesn’t turn out amazingly, at least I tried.

Another point worth mentioning, is the difficulty some of us may have when it comes to admitting fault or weakness, because we actually fear what others think of us. If we are actually perfectionists by nature and set ourselves high standards all the time, then to admit that we have actually failed at something is out of the question. It is in this very case, I believe, that we need to work more on ourselves. Our own thoughts and the way we see the world, can either make our life more fulfilling or severely limiting. Some of us also may find criticism excruciatinly painful, because deep down we know we are flawed, wrong or not good enough. This may be because of negative programming in our childhood or from pressure to always show our best and most socially acceptable side.

Accepting and embracing our weaknesses, increases our awareness of where we might be limiting ourselves.

If someone has harmed us and this has impacted us in a destructive way, then this is slightly different. We have a right to be angry and put the blame where it belongs (in the case of murder,domestic abuse, child abuse etc). Working through grief about the unfotunate things that happen to us in life, is necessary for healing. Despite this though, we are still in charge of how we deal with whatever life has dealt us. It is always up to us to work hard at making changes in the areas we suffer with the most.We can either be a victim and sit back and point fingers at everyone else or we can take responsibility and take small steps to creating opportunities from our challenges.

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.

To all my wonderful subscribers..

Happy Sunday lovely people,

I just wanted to write a quick post today to let you know that although I haven’t been interacting much with a lot of my subscribers and the people I myself follow, I aim to do this over the next few days, as every single one of you is important to me.

WordPress unfortunately doesn’t show everyone’s posts in my reader and I also don’t get everyone’s posts in my email, although have subscribed to them.

I aim to go through every single one of your blogs and catch up on reading your content.

I also want to thank all the recent people who have subscribed to my blog and will look forward to getting to know you.

I will leave you with this inspirational photo.

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Enjoy the last day of your weekend.

Love Athina ♥

Our child within

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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.

The importance of feeling our feelings

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If we were able to count how many times we avoided our own suffering, I think we would fail miserably..

We have all at some point avoided emotions that are uncomfortable, by distracting ourselves, by numbing ourselves and by completely ignoring what is really going on..

This makes complete sense..Humans don’t like suffering..

By avoiding pain, we are temporarily soothing ourselves so we can better cope with what is bubbling under the surface. We might drink alcohol, do drugs, eat too much food, watch too much tv or spend too much time on the internet. We might develop addictions to numerous things and not even realise it.This is how we cope and in society at the moment, a huge percentage of us are addicted to the internet. If we are feeling down, we go online to search for clues as to what might make us feel better.If we are lonely, we announce it to the world on social media to get attention, instead of just reaching out to a caring friend. If we are happy, we also go online and share it with the world, instead of just enjoying the moment.

Since the focus of this post is on uncomfortable feelings, we need to acknowledge how often we avoid them..How will we ever grow and better ourselves if we constantly hide behind our suffering?

Distractions are good sometimes, don’t get me wrong..and also connecting with people online, blogging, watching videos etc..The important thing to remember is however, that we still need to be aware of what we still need to improve or change in our lives and actually do it!

For those of us who suffer with a mental illness, it is even more challenging to not run from suffering..Especially if it is a constant part of our lives to feel really low, anxious, terrified, lonely etc..If we have a history of trauma, no matter how much we try to ‘numb ourselves’, this will eventually start seeping out..

If we have been made to feel small, unimportant or ashamed in our childhood, then this will be incredibly tough to run from or avoid..We will feel it in the depth of our being..It will reveal itself in every step forward we may try to take..No matter what we do in our life, we will never feel good enough, lovable enough, deserving enough..It is a tough reality to bare..

Avoiding our feelings gives us temporary relief but with a whole life ahead of us, this isn’t enough..

If you are suffering at the moment, then face the pain..cry…ask for a hug..have human contact..Talk to someone who will genuinely listen..Don’t bury your suffering inside a tv or by reading about how you can make it better on numerous sites….This can also become addictive..gathering information about a certain area constantly but without actually taking any actions to improve that area of our suffering, is also avoiding pain..

Yes, of course we need validation for our suffering but make sure that you are making progress..If you want to deal with your anxiety, then take active steps to improve this..Talk to a qualified Coach or Therapist..Practice daily positive affirmations..Take ACTUAL STEPS to accept and manage your feelings..ACCEPTANCE is very important but ACTION is too!

If you want to change jobs but feel too scared, then face your discomfort head on and start applying for new ones..Attend interviews..Keep trying..

If you are scared of heights but would love to go trekking, then find a way to face your fear..

The list goes on..and applies to many areas of our lives..

No matter what uncomfortable feelings you are avoiding, face them..The longer you avoid them, the longer they will remain..

We have to face discomfort..

We have to face reality..

We have to face our fears..

This is how we will grow..heal..get better

This is how we will improve our confidence, reduce our suffering and release our fears..

and lastly, if a situation is unchangeable due to our lack of control over it,  learn to ACCEPT it for what it is..

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.

Be an inspiration

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Dear friends,

I am back from my brief holiday in Athens and feel happy to get back into blogging, YouTubing & Coaching. I have a 2nd follow up session with a coachee tomorrow and I am hoping she has managed to make some progress and feels a little better about things.

I hope I haven’t missed out on too much in the world of blogging but I definetely aim to catch up on your blog posts and interact with some of you lovely people.This holiday was a little mixed with being ill and dealing with a low mood because of this, but otherwise it felt good to have a change of scenery.

I thought it would be good to start the new week with an uplifting post. How often do you try to be an inspiration to others? How often do you strive to be an overall, good human?!

Some people are just naturally good at spreading positivity, love & and support but others do this less. Does this mean they are bad people? Not necessarily. It might be that they are suffering or overwhelmed by life’s challenges and just have nothing left to give at times..Just because someone isn’t supportive or understanding some of the time, this doesn’t mean that they are bad. On the other hand however, If someone is disrespectful, is always negative, is underminding towards others and generally goes around trying to ruin other peoples’ joy, then you want to stay clear of these people.

There is nothing wrong with having a bad day or feeling a little negative but if you purposely set out to bring others down with you, then this isn’t good.

In my day to day life, I hope to try and bring joy to others, even in the tiniest way. Even if I am struggling emotionally, I find that by spreading positivity in the smallest way, can make such a difference to my mood. This could be anything from leaving a positive comment on a great post, holding the door open for someone or smiling at the cashier in the supermarket.I am not superhuman obviously and neither are you, so we are all allowed days where we are less than perfect. As long as we are not hurting anybody, then it doesn’t really matter what we get up to.

If you had a choice to choose 2 of the 12 things listed in the above photo, which would you choose and why?

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.