Blog Archives

Be happy or die trying challenge

Life is tough at the moment for many of us including myself. I have become very unwell and I’ve been knocking on doors for help from the Community Mental health team who have been unhelpful. Tried to throw myself off a bridge on the 23 September. I have and Eating Disorder and because I have put on weight I stabbed my breast and my thighs.  

I have decided that while I’m still living I am going to try and help myself so this what I have done today. I also have a voice and I won’t be ignored.

 

Your actions make a difference. https://10daysofhappiness.org.
 
What act of kindness will you do today? #Happierworld
 
Have started to read Ruby Wax’s ‘Sane New World again
 
 
It is a fascinating book as she goes into great detail about how she found by getting to know the inner self that we need to know how our brain works. She goes into neuroscience and explains all the parts of the brain and what they are responsible for. She also goes into detail about  what is in your mind and how each part works. She also explains the different chemicals in the brain and what purpose they serve.
 
She believes that we can rewire the brain to find  of some medium Happiness.
 
I have also made a start on restarting my WRAP plan -Wellnes Recovery Action Plan
 

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals.  It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues.

You can download the WRAP app for free -IT explains what how WRAP  can help you. You can make your own WRAP plain and email it to yourself.

What it is and https://mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrapapp/

Follow WRAP on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/WRAPYourWellnessYourWay/

 

An interesting article to read ‘In the worlds ‘Happiest’ countries- the Happiness gap and how it has an effect on your Mental health.

The Nordic countries are meant to be the happiest countries in the world however according to new studies and analysis 12.3 % of the population are still struggling and the article goes in to detail of the the reasons why.

I’ve also started doing the Happify app again. https://www.happify.com/home/

Art helps you recognise your strengths, gives you activies to do help you achieve your goals and it explains the science behind the activities. It has a community forum for support. It gives you daily activities you can do and there are instant games you can play -Guided meditation, Negative Knockout, Acts of kindness. You can keep a track of where you are at and it it activates your Dopamine levels -that are responsible for the reward/pleasure part of your brain & this helps to keep us motivated .

You can find out more about Dopamine at Psychology today https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/dopamine

I’ve also started engaging with the unmasked campaign – it is a leading Suicide prevention charity started in 2019

Unmasked Mental Health provides support to like-minded change seekers in a genuine and personal way. Helping them to feel secure and live life confidently.

Find out more on their website https://unmaskedmentalhealth.co.uk/about-us/

TRIGGERS AND ACTION PLANNING

This is the week everything has started to come together for me and I 100% feel I actually have been doing something that will help me in so many different situations in my life. Yet again I am so grateful to have been given this ‘gift’

Following on from identifying triggers’. Today we looked at a specific example of a trigger and we started looking at how we could get an  Action plan together of how we would deal with this trigger. Remember that triggers can affect anyone/multiple senses- sight, smell, taste, touch, sound. We are all human and flawed.

Time to allow me to be vulnerable to demonstrate the power of our thoughts.

There is a lot of stuff in our world that we can’t control: how other people behave or certain events that may happen. What a person can do is to decide how he/she will respond to the triggers. I say respond because it implies some thought behind it. As humans, we do have the tendency to react to uncomfortable people and situations and events which is more impulsive.

Here is a vast list of triggers that can tip a person into feeling like crap. There is a lot on this list that I would never have thought of as a trigger, so it is worth having a look. Below this list is a brief look at how a person can Action plan. The whole point of an Action plan is to keep you from getting unwell or feeling worse. What’s the saying? ‘Hindsight is a bitch’.  – there’s a few quotes like this. Well, it doesn’t have to be any more because we have got a plan. Okay, so today I ‘dug’ real deep and I exposed a huge fear/trigger for me. Before we get going, one of the group co-facilitators explained a vivid metaphor/analogy of what is likely to happen if we ignore our triggers.

Referring back to the butterfly metaphor I spoke of on my Action planning, Unfortunately, I  couldn’t come across the exact version our group facilitator told us today. However, I am not one to give up so easily and I have found something just as good that explains the concept in the same kind of context- i.e. don’t ignore and hide away from life events and how you respond to them. Respond to them in a way that empowers you!  This is the gem I found;

Imagine two caterpillars looking on As a beautiful butterfly floats on by

One turns saying after it is gone,“Not ever me as a butterfly that high!”Push away Resistance and be open for Change.

STOP and be more than just a caterpillar, ho-hum. Start by envisioning ideas beyond your range gain The Answer to what you can become.

As with the Caterpillar, it could be a gooey mess But you’ll improve and gain self-esteem, for sure Change is about letting go, trusting the process

Of becoming more than you are with things you were. The caterpillar was quite resistant and content; Causing him to ignore what the change involved. He thought his answer would stop the event–His Mother is a moth—his problem was solved!

Can we all learn from this? What can we try? Fight it as we might, Change will come our wayThe caterpillar’s colours are in and on the butterflyWe, too, can transform with our colours still in play

Source: Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly – A poem about a Work in Progress | Performance Management Company Blog

ADDITIONAL TRIGGERS LIST

  • TO IMPRESS A PARTNER
  • SITUATION WITH A ‘FRIEND’ WHO HAS A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON ME
  • BEING STEREOTYPED/ PUT IN A ‘BOX’
  • BEING JUDGED AND HOW A PERSON RESPONDS. I TEND TO CATASTROPHIZE.
  • SAYING NO
  • CAR RAGE/ISSUES –SOMEONE PARKING IN A DISABLED SPACE AND WHO IS NOT DISABLED
  • PARTNERS MOOD SWINGS
  • ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
  • INTIMACY WITH A PARTNER
  • BEING OVER-TIRED
  • TRAUMATIC NEWS-HIGH EXPRESSED EMOTION– POSSIBLY FROM FAMILY MEMBERS
  • TRAVELLING TO AN UNFAMILIAR PLACE/ABROAD/DELAYS
  • EX-WIFE/HUSBAND CONFRONTATION IN RELATION TO CHILDREN
  • PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PAIN
  • FAMILY DYNAMICS INCLUDING THOSE WITH CHILDREN INVOLVED
  • TRYING
  • SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ALONE
  • FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
  • BENEFITS /SOCIAL SECURITY BEING QUESTIONED OR DENIED

so once you have identified all your triggers, we need to do something positive with it, right? What you need is a plan to stop your triggers having too much power over you and your feelings. It is about stripping these triggers down-  some of you who have come across CBT and DBT will be familiar with this way of action planning but this is the more awesome way of doing it. TRUST ME!

This is my moment. Here is where I make myself vulnerable to demonstrate that this plan can work for you if you put in the work.  From  the above list, the trigger that holds so much power over me is:

BEING JUDGED AND HOW I  RESPOND. I TEND TO CATASTROPHIZE EVERYTHING RELATED TO MY TEETH.

What is going on in my head? what am I thinking? PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT MY TEETH, IAM GOING TO FAIL, I AM GOING TO BLOW MY ONE CHANCE TO SUCCEED. I CAN’T COPE. I’m SCARED MY THOUGHTS WILL STOP AND I WILL FORGET WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. I NEED TO GET AWAY FROM THIS PERSON/SITUATION.

I can see that this is all negative chatter. I want it to stop so I need to think really hard about how I am going to deal with these thoughts when they arise. It was a really tough thing for me to do. Brainstorm ways that I can help myself? What? Never!  But I forced my self to think. I went back all the way to week two. I have a wellness toolbox- link. The problem with this specific trigger is that it catches me off guard when I’m already in the thick of it. Part of my plan needs to address this and I do. 

Before I can do this I need to find a way to get into a zone of thinking that quietens down the negative thoughts. 

HERE IS MY ACTION PLAN
  1. I CAN TAKE ‘MY THOUGHTS TO COURT’ –  The link for this is at the end of my list.
  2. I CAN SIT WITH THE FEELINGS UNTIL THEY PASS- A TOUGH ONE FOR ME TO DO
  3. I CAN MAKE A PROS AND CONS LIST OF ALL THE THINGS I WILL GET OUT OF ME NOT OVERTHINKING AND JUDGING MY APPEARANCE OR WHAT I THINK ALL PEOPLE ARE THINKING. I’m NOT A MIND READER BUT I TEND TO THINK I AM IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION
  4. I CAN USE WISE MIND/ PRACTICE MINDFULNESS – SORRY ABOUT ALL THE JARGON -IF YOU WANT TO EXPLORE DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES THEN DO. IF YOU DON’T -THEN DON’T  –  LINK – the link can be found at the end of this list.
  5. MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE ONE IS WHEN I AM ALREADY IN THAT SITUATION WITH A PERSON AND THE THOUGHT TAKES OVER MY MIND I FEEL COMFORTABLE ENOUGH SAYING: SORRY, IF I APPEAR TO BE ACTING STRANGELY ( SOMETIMES I’M NOT BOTHERED BY MY TEETH) I HAVE A FEW ISSUES WITH MY TEETH’.  I BELIEVE THIS IS SUCH A POWERFUL TECHNIQUE AND A BRAVE ONE BECAUSE I LAY IT OUT AND I VERBALISE IT AND THEN THE THOUGHT IS OUT OF MY MIND. I HAVE MADE THE PERSON AWARE OF WHAT IS MAKING ME NOT ENGAGE LIKE I USUALLY DO AND THE POWER COMES BACK TO ME. I HAVE MORE SPACE TO THINK AND TALK ABOUT WHATEVER IT IS THAT I WANT TO REALLY TALK ABOUT. 

TAKE MY THOUGHTS TO COURT LINK -If you would like me to do an example please let me know. It can be one of your triggers or one on the lists.

IF YOU ARE RUSHED FOR TIME THIS YOUTUBE CLICK IS PRETTY COOL. IT IS AN ORIGINAL TAKE ON EXPLAIN WISE-MIND- you can access it anywhere- in your car wherever and listen to it. I love it! 

CLICK ON THIS WISE-MIND LINK– I like it because I find it helps me understand the wise mind – I find a mix of images and dialogue easier to understand.

Mindfulness links

Mindfulness has exploded onto the scene in our society on a massive scale. I’ve had professional mindfulness sessions ie. I’m a crackpot and needed to be psychoanalyzed at one point or several points in my life. Some  Professionals claim that mindfulness is for ‘Ever body’.
I don’t know about your views on Mindfulness but, I had an image of trying sitting for 10 minutes ‘watching’ my breath go in and out.
Just ‘notice’ my thoughts (no clinging on) It sounds like too much effort.
I’ve found one solution?
What is important to me is how can this practice benefit me. How can I be sold this concept?  and when can I get results?  Okay. I have this idea that mindfulness is a bit like exercising patience. If you have a child (I do) then you will understand what I mean when I say that I see mindfulness as an ‘evolved form of patience.’
I read a story to my daughter every night and sometimes I try to rush it and I don’t give my daughter my full attention to her in the moment. So,  one night I decided to try and be mindful during storytelling time. We read a classic ‘the Gruffalo’ . I noticed the different font sizes on the page and how I varied my tone of voice in certain parts of the story, I notice my daughter repeating after me, I noticed her eyes twinkling with excitement at the scary parts and hearing her infectious laughter when I put on my great acting voices for the various characters. For those 10 15 minutes, I was in it. The moment.
I didn’t have to sit cross-legged in a dark room being mindful (although a person could do that if they wanted to) . I now have this amazing moment inscribed in my memory box. Yes, of course, there were odd thoughts about doing the dishes and a bunch of other stuff. I decided that if I can’t be mindful all the time. I decided to pick an area in my life and a moment that I was going to be mindful of. All I needed to do was find a way to make it relevant and unique too me and I now have lovely memories of moments with my daughter and our story telling time.
“Making time for formal practice every day is like feeding yourself every day. It is that important.”  Jon Kabat -Zinn – a pioneer of mindfulness.
For links to more information on mindfulness and different ways you can apply mindfulness to something relevant and beneficial to your life go to
http://www.everyday-mindfulness.org/
http://www.freemindfulness.org/
This is a great site for the science behind the mindful practice
http://www.mindfulnet.org/
This is a helpful non-bullshit website with simple and short mindfulness exercises.

16 Simple Mindfulness Excercises