How to be Thick-Skinned

The following tips can help you be more thick-skinned:

1. Don’t take criticism personally. Instead, realize that criticism says more about them than it does about you.

2. Distinguish between facts and subjectivity. Most criticisms are just personal opinions. They are not objective and they don’t reflect the truth.

3. Look at the beliefs you hold about yourself. Do you feel defensive and under attack because you don’t believe in yourself?

4. Learn what you can from any comments that are made – and discard the rest as being useless information.

5. Decide not to ruminate on barbs or criticisms – as that will reinforce the message in your brain.

6. Choose to spend more time with people who’re affirming – and minimise the time spent with those who put you down.

7. Look for a role model who can handle criticism – and try to copy them, so you become more thick skinned, too.

Mental Health Tips

The following tips can help your mental health:

  • Daydream – Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a dream location. Breathe slowly and deeply. Whether it’s a beach, a mountaintop, a hushed forest or a favourite room from your past, let the comforting environment wrap you in a sensation of peace and tranquility.
  • “Collect” positive emotional moments – Make it a point to recall times when you have experienced pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence, or other positive emotions.
  • Learn ways to cope with negative thoughts – Negative thoughts can be insistent and loud. Learn to interrupt them. Don’t try to block them (that never works), but don’t let them take over. Try distracting yourself or comforting yourself, if you can’t solve the problem right away.
  • Do one thing at a time – For example, when you are out for a walk or spending time with friends, turn off your cell phone and stop making that mental “to do” list. Take in all the sights, sounds and smells you encounter.
  • Exercise – Regular physical activity improves psychological well-being and can reduce depression and anxiety. Joining an exercise group or a gym can also reduce loneliness, since it connects you with a new set of people sharing a common goal.
  • Enjoy hobbies – Taking up a hobby brings balance to your life by allowing you to do something you enjoy because you want to do it, free of the pressure of everyday tasks. It also keeps your brain active.
  • Set personal goals – Goals don’t have to be ambitious. You might decide to finish that book you started three years ago; to take a walk around the block every day; to learn to knit or play bridge; to call your friends instead of waiting for the phone to ring. Whatever goal you set, reaching it will build confidence and a sense of satisfaction.
  • Keep a journal (or even talk to the wall!) – Expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you gain perspective, release tension and even boost your body’s resistance to illness.
  • Share humour – Life often gets too serious, so when you hear or see something that makes you smile or laugh, share it with someone you know. A little humour can go a long way to keeping us mentally fit!
  • Volunteer – Volunteering is called the “win-win” activity because helping others makes us feel good about ourselves. At the same time, it widens our social network, provides us with new learning experiences and can bring balance to our lives.
  • Treat yourself well – Cook yourself a good meal. Have a bubble bath. See a movie. Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in ages. Sit on a park bench and breathe in the fragrance of flowers and grass. Whatever it is, do it just for you.

Source: http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/mental-fitness-tips/#.ULGTHvXNk4w

It all Counts

Progress. Just make progress. It’s OK to have setbacks … It’s OK to draw a line in the sand and start over and over, again and again. Just make sure you’re moving the line forward … Take baby steps, but at least take steps that stop you from being stuck. Then change will come. And it will be good.” Lysa TerKeurst

It all counts.

Every small step in the right direction makes a difference, even if it’s small.

Even if you don’t notice change at the time.

Even if it feels it is pointless at the time

It all adds up.

You will get there in the end.

Quote of the Day

Don’t believe every anxious thought you have. Anxious thoughts are notoriously inaccurate.”

We all know this, don’t we.

It’s helpful advice that we’ve heard before.

But it’s also advice that is easy to forget.

And it can be hard to implement.

But it’s worth the investment of time and energy.

It’s really does reduce our anxiety

It can really makes a difference if you challenge faulty thinking

And sift out what’s a lie from reality.

Questions for Knowing Yourself Better

It’s really important to be self-aware; and it can also be fun to get to know yourself better. The following questions can help you with this:

1. If you could change one aspect of your life or personality, what would it be?

2. Are you ‘your own person’ or are you defined, and pushed around, by others?

3. Is there any area of your life where you feel out of control?

4. Do you feel more comfortable in an organized or chaotic environment?

5. How comfortable are you with spontaneous ideas, or a last minute change in plans?

6. Do you feel renewed by being around others, or is it crucial for you to have time on your own?

7. Are you motivated, or undermined, by competition?

8. Do you work well under pressure, or do you tend to fall apart?

9. Are you better at praising and complimenting others, or at consciously affirming and building yourself up?

10. Are you a morning or an evening person?

11. Do you persevere, or do you give up easily?

12. Do you like to go with the flow, or take control of your own life?

13. Are you more of a thinker or a feeler?

14. What are your passions and goals?

15. What would your perfect day look like?

Quote of the Day

Life advice:

Always be the best person you can be.

Be kind even when you’re tired. Be understanding even when you’re angry.

Do more than you’re asked, and don’t ask for anything in return. Don’t silently expect anything either.

Listen when someone talks, and really listen too, stop just thinking of how you’ll reply.

Tell people that you love them and that you appreciate them.

Go out of your way to do things for people. Be the greatest person you can possibly be and when you mess up, make up for it in the next moment or minute or day.

One thing you should never do? Never spend your time trying to prove to anybody that you’re great. Your actions will speak for themselves and we only have limited time on this earth, don’t waste it.

If someone doesn’t see your light, don’t worry. Like moths, good people are attracted to flame and to light, and they will come.”

– Unknown

How to Cope with Feeling Jealous

1. Understand what jealousy is. It’s a mixture of fear and anger – usually the fear of losing someone who’s important to you, and anger at the person who is taking something from you.

2. Try to figure out why you’re feeling jealous. Is it related to something in the past that is hampering your ability to trust? Are you feeling anxious and insecure? Do you suffer from low self-esteem, or the fear of abandonment?

3. Be honest with yourself about how your jealousy affects other people. Do friends or partners always have to justify their actions and thoughts, or always report on where they were, or who they were with? That kind of pressure can be destructive, and put a strain on relationships.

4. Find the courage to tackle your feelings. Decide to question your jealousy every time it surfaces. That will enable you to take positive steps to manage your feelings in a healthier and more constructive way. Some possible questionsto ask yourself include: “Why am I jealous about this?”; “What exactly is making me feel jealous?”; “What or who am I afraid of losing?”; “Why do I feel so threatened?”

5. Work on changing any false beliefs that might be fueling your jealousy. Start this process by identifying the underlying belief, for example “If X leaves me, then I won’t have any friends”; “If Y doesn’t love me then no-one will ever want or love me”. Understand, that beliefs are often false – and if you change your belief, you can change the way you feel.

6. Learn from your jealousy. Jealousy can help understand ourselves better. It can teach us important lessons. For example, it’s natural to feel frightened when a relationship is new, and you don’t yet feel secure. This is normal. Also, not everyone’s trustworthy, or will be committed. Better to know now, than to find out later on.

7. Work on accepting and trusting yourself. That makes it easier to trust others, too, and lessens our tendency to feel threatened or jealous.

How to help a friend or family member with depression

Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to a loved one about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries he or she will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.

If you don’t know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. Encourage the depressed person to talk about his or her feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment. And don’t expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.

Ways to start the conversation:

1. I have been feeling concerned about you lately.

2. Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.

3. I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.

Questions you can ask:

• When did you begin feeling like this?

• Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?

• How can I best support you right now?

• Do you ever feel so bad that you don’t want to be anymore?

• Have you thought about getting help?

Remember, being supportive involves offering encouragement and hope. Very often, this is a matter of talking to the person in language that he or she will understand and respond to while in a depressed mind frame.

What you can say that helps:

• You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.

• You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.

• I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.

• When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold of for just one more day, hour, minute — whatever you can manage.

• You are important to me. Your life is important to me.

• Tell me what I can do now to help you.

Avoid saying:

• It’s all in your head.

• We all go through times like this.

• Look on the bright side.

• Just snap out of it.

• What’s wrong with you?

• Shouldn’t you be better by now?