Despair/Self Care when stuck

‘I Sleep just to die a little
Only to awake in nightmares
Just to fight to stay alive.’

Sometimes there’s no escape
From the exhaustion of your own toxic mind. Being awake feels unsafe, but sleeping reveals unconscious horrors.

All that’s left to do is to make the choice to despair and self sabotage or try your hardest to
accept, distract ,and practice self compassion . You can also make the choice to bounce between the two – and hopefully, with some time and patience, new feelings, thoughts , and clarity will arise in you to come rescue you from your own shadow.
You will make it through this.

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Assertive Rights and Responsibilities

ASSERTIVE RIGHTS:
1. I have the right to put myself first. In fact, my 1st responsibility is to myself. Only when I am meeting my own needs adequately, can I give to others freely, without expectations.
2. I have the right to be treated with respect.
3. I have the right to decide what to do with my own property, body, and time.
4. I have the right to evaluate my own behaviour, thoughts, and emotions, and to take responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon myself.
5. I have the right to make mistakes and be responsible for them.
6. I have the right to make self-evaluations without worrying about what other people think.
7. I have the right to not offer reasons or excuses for justifying my behaviour.
8. I have the right to make my own decisions, to make illogical decisions AND to change my mind. I have the right to change my mind after I’ve said YES.
9. I have the right to say, “I don’t know, ” “I don’t understand,” “I don’t care.” and “I don’t want to be involved.” Without feeling inferior.
10. I have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty or selfish.
11. I have the right to ask for what I want (realizing that the other person has the right to say no).
12. I have the right to have, and express my feelings.
13. I have the right to consider my own needs and to express my needs. I have the right to ask for help.
14. I have the right to judge whether I am responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.
15. I have the right to self fulfillment.
16. I have the right to be independent.
17. I have the right to dignity and self-respect.
18. I have the right to privacy.
19. I have the right to accept, or to refuse, challenges.
20. I have the right to change.
21. I have the right to choose not to assert myself.
ASSERTIVE RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. To assess my true feelings without exaggeration or under-estimating; to express my feeling(s) appropriately without demeaning someone else in the process.
2. To act in a responsible manner as much of the time as possible.
3. To think through my opinions and realize others can disagree with them.
4. To learn from mistakes, rather than punishing myself or others because of mistakes.
5. To reply as soon as possible or as soon as I am able, and without taking unreasonable amount of time.
6. To accept others’ answers respectfully.
7. To respect commitments to others as well as to myself; to allow sufficient time to fulfill commitments.
8. To think through my responses before answering.
9. To not impose my own values on others.
10. To express my needs and, if appropriate, work out a compromise.
11. To avoid “boxing in” myself or others by labelling or making judgement.
12. To acknowledge other’s choices and accomplishments.
13. To feel appropriate anger and sadness and to assert these feelings with the people involved.
14. To recognize anger, sadness, and joy, and see that these feelings do not interfere with others’ rights and responsibilities.

READ THESE ALLOWED TO YOURSELF:
My needs are equal to the needs of others
My needs are different from yours and need to be respected.
My recovery is the most important thing.
I can be assertive without being aggressive.
I’m moving forward in my life despite setbacks
I have the right to my own time.
I am not alone.
I am learning to cope with problems I cannot change/fix.
I am learning who I am and I give myself permission to do that.
I’m okay with nurturing myself.
I am learning to walk away from people and situations that no longer serve me.
I will be kind to myself.

ASSERTIVE STATEMENTS:
I can see you are angry/upset right now/and/or/ I am upset right now.  I need to take a moment away from this conversation.
That is a harmful comment.  That is a hurtful comment.
Will you lower your voice?  If you cannot lower your voice, I will
have to end the conversation.
Please take a  few deep breaths – you may not realize but you’re talking “at” me.
That makes me uncomfortable.
That’s unkind.
That’s not very nice.
I don’t appreciate…
That’s personal.
Wow, that doesn’t make me feel good at all.
That’s too far.

**step down approach – what your body language, and lower your voice, space the words out.**

Remember: It’s not selfless or selfish its self care.

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The Stress Vulnerability Model of Psychiatric Disorders

Psychiatric illness tend to fluctuate over time, with their severity increasing and decreasing at different points in time. An episode of an illness (or a relapse) occurs when symptoms are severe and functioning is impaired. Understanding what factors contribute to relapses can help people learn how to manage their illness more effectively, and to prevent relapses or decrease their severity.

Psychiatric illnesses fluctuate over time in their severity

The stress- vulnerability model of psychiatric disorders provides a useful way of understanding how different factors influence the course of mental illness. According to this model, the course of a psychiatrist illness is influenced by several factors: biological vulnerability, stress, medication, drugs and alcohol, coping skills, and social support. Each of these factors is described below, and illustrated in the accompanying diagram.

 

Biological Vulnerability

Each Person has biological vulnerability to different diseases. This vulnerability is determined by a combination of generic and other biological factors. For example, some people have a biological vulnerability to cardiac disease: some people have a vulnerability to specific types of cancer, and some people have a vulnerability to specific psychiatric disorders. Common psychiatric disorders to which people are biologically vulnerable include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression, and anxiety disorders.

Once a person has a biological vulnerability to a mental illness, that mental illness may either develop spontaneously or be triggered by stress. Even among people who have a psychiatric illness, vulnerability may differ from one person to another. On average, people who have a greater biological vulnerability to an illness experience more severe symptoms and difficulties.

Stress

Stress refers to something in the environment that forces the person to adjust in some way. Stress can take the form of specific life events, such as the death of a loved one, a major move, or being a victim of crime. Stress can also be caused by living in difficult conditions, such as living with people who are hostile and critical, living in unpredictable and dangerous environments, or living in poverty.

People who are biologically vulnerable to a psychiatric disorder and who are exposed to stress are more likely to develop that disorder. Once people have a psychiatric disorder, stress can cause relapses and worsen the course of the illness.

Stress can affect biological vulnerability, leading to symptom relapses.

Factors that affect biological vulnerability and Stress.

Although biological vulnerability and stress influence the course of the psychiatric disorder, they can be affected by several factors. Those factors include medication, drugs and alcohol, coping skills, and social support.

Medications

Medications for psychiatric disorders can decrease biological vulnerabiltiy. Medications are effective at both decreasing the severity of symptoms and preventing symptom relapses. People who take medications regularly and do experience relapses tend to have less relapses.

Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and Drugs use can increase biological vulnerability. Some substance can directly increase biological vulnerability, while other substances can decrease the beneficial effects of medications on vulnerability. People with psychiatric disorders who use alcohol and drugs regularly are prone to more frequent relapses of their symptoms.

 

Medications decrease biological vulnerability.

Alcohol and drugs increase biological vulnerability.

 

Factors That Affect Stress

Stress can be deceased by coping skills, social support, and engaging in meaningful activity.

Coping Skills

Coping Skills are strategies that people use to minimize the effects of stress. Examples of coping skills include relaxation, positive self-talk, problem solving, talking out one’s feelings with a friend or support person, exercising, journal writing, and artistic expression. People who have several different coping skills are less susceptible to the negative effects of stress.

 

Coping skills decrease the negative effects of stress.

Social Support

Social Support refers to the help and caring that people feel they can count on from other people. Supportive persons can include family members, friends, members of the treatment team, a clergy member, or anyone else with whom a person has a close relationship. Good social support can decrease the effects of stress. Supportive people can sometimes solve problems with a person and decrease stress. For example, if a man feels criticized by his supervisor at work, a supportive person can help him identify strategies for learning more specifically about his supervisor’s concerns. Supportive people can also help a person deal with the negative effects of stress. For example, if a woman has been a victim of crime, she can talk it over with a supportive person, and benefit from that person’s concern and empathy.

Social support and coping skills can interact with one another. People with good coping skills can obtain more social support by reaching out and engaging with other people. Supportive people can also improve others’ coping skills by helping them develop more effective strategies for dealing with stress. People who have more social support tend to experience fewer and less severe relapses.

 

Social Support decreases the negative effects of stress.

 

Meaningful Activities

Meaningful Activities are tasks that provide a strong sense of purpose and gratification to a person. Being invovled in meaningful activities helps people to structure their time and gives them somethign to look forward to every day. Examples of meaningful activities include work, going to school, parenting a child, doing volunteer work, caring for someone else, and being a regular participant at a peer support program. Having meaningful activities to engage in reduces suseptibility to stress, because people are actively pursuing their goals and are less focused on stress.

 

Engaging in meaningful activities decreases the negative effects of stress. V

 

Treatment Implications of The Stress Vulnerability Model

The stress- vulnerability model points to five ways with psychiatric illness (and their families) can improve the course of their illness and reduce relapses and rehospitalisation:

1. Take psychiatric medications as prescribed.

2. Avoid alcohol and drug use.

3. Increase coping skills.

4. Increase social support.

5. Engage in meaningful activities, such as work, school, and parenting.

Taking these steps can help reduce relapses or lessen the severity of relapses, and therefore can help people make progress toward their personal goals.

 

vulmodel

 

Reference: Unknown. Brochure

 

 

Getting Better Sleep

Are you a Lark or an Owl? or maybe you’re both and live on little sleep and caffeine.

Larks: Someone who wakes up early

Owls: Someone who stays up late (Starts projects at 10pm)

To get good sleep, try these:

Get plenty of physical exercise during the day. This helps to lower your stress level and make you sleep better.

Try to make your day meaningful and pleasant by giving yourself a sense of accomplishment, either through doing a task or sharing some time with another person.

Refrain from drinking coffee, colas, or chocolate, all of which contain caffeine which can disturb sleep if ingested within 2 to 6 hours of bedtime, depending on the individual response.

Large snacks or drinking excessively before bed cam cause indigestion and other problems.

Avoid taking naps during the day. This can upset the patterns of associating your bed with nighttime sleep.

Try to relax within two hours of bedtime. Reading a light novel or watching a relaxing television program will provide the body and mind with a “cool down” period before you sleep. Try not to solve your problems or plan your next day’s activities just before bedtime.

The traditional glass of warm milk and cinnamon has been shown to be a sleep inducer.

Smoking before bed can disrupt sleep because nicotine has a stimulating effect.

“Counting Sheep” can sometimes be helpful to lull you into sleep.

Fresh air in your room is important. Shut windows when there is a draft or the weather may be too cold.

If in a new environment, accustom yourself to the new room before it is time to sleep to help you feel more comfortable.

Make sure there are no lights shinning in your eyes.

Add or delete/remove linen for required warmth. Being too hot or too cold can keep you from sleeping.

Indigestion or pain such as a headache can keep you from sleeping.

If taking medication and you are still not sleeping well, inform your doctor.

A positive attitude about sleep is important. If you think you can’t sleep, you will likely have more difficulty in settling. Associate you’re going to bed with the thought that you will sleep well.

Use a comfortable mattress and pillow.

Form a habit of going to the bathroom before bed if you find that you are awakened by the need to empty your bladder.

If you do wake up in the middle of the night, don’t become upset. Often, it may only require a change of position or use of rhe bathroom and then you will settle again to sleep.

Establish a regular but flexible sleep schedule. With habit, sleep becomes more regulated.

If you still can’t sleep after trying to remedy the problem, inform your doctor.

A natural sleep makes you feel refreshed when you wake in the morning.

Below is a list of Sleep Disruptions:

Stress/racing thoughts

Mental psychosis/mania

Nightmares

Anxiety

Animals

Outside noise

Environment (new place, or too hot/cold)

Illness of self or partner (coughing, sneezing, clogged nose, pain, etc )

Caffeine

Sleep apnea

Self-consciousness thoughts with partner (will I snore, be an ugly sleeper, move too much, etc)

Hormones

Sleep attire

Fluid and food intake

Disruptions of routine

Medications

Varying sleep times

Napping during the day

Technology (Light from screen wakes the brain up)

 

Ideas for Better Sleep ZzZzZz

If you nap, try to slowly decrease your nap times. If you normally nap for 1.5 hours, set your alarm and try to sleep for 1 hour, etc.

Research study shows that making your bed helps people sleep better and makes you more productive overall.

Keep the room dark, get light- blocking curtains.

In the morning, open up the curtains to allow the light in

Natural supplement: Melatonin pills (talk to doc first)

Keeping a routine

Calming tea (chamomile)

Aromatherapy (lavender)

Calm music

Fresh air (crack windows a bit)

Turning your clock so you can’t see the time.

Meditation: Triangle/Diamond hands -place hands on your belly in a diamond shape and breathe

Meditation: Beam of Light- trace finger or imagine a beam of light travelling along your face in circles, relaxing each part of your face as you go along. From the nose up and over your eyebrow and around and under your eye, up to your forehead and down to your other eye and around and up to your eyebrow then down and circle around that same cheek then travel down to your chin and up over the other side and circle your other cheek, then over your lip and down around your chin again.

Meditation: Counting Down/Heavy Eye lids- Close your eyes. Say the number 10 to yourself, breath in nice and slow and deep, breath out slowly and open your eyes slowly and softly, then close your eyes and say number 9 to yourself, breath in and take a big breath then while breathing out open your eyes gently, then close your eyes and imagine the number 8, etc.

Count sheep 🙂  1 sheep, 2sheep, 3 sheep, 4. 5 Sheep.6 Sheep. 7 Sheep. Snore! Zz

 

 

 

Reference for this post is from OMTH, Oakville. 4th Floor.

 

Grounding Techniques

Grounding Techniques are designed to help you deal with painful, overwhelming feelings. Grounding can be done anytime anyplace, anywhere. You can practice the skills privately and no one has to know or you can ask for support. Do not focus on past or the future stay in the present. Do not judge things as bad or good, stay neutral. Do not journal or think negative thoughts.

Ways to Ground yourself

Find a special place in your home where you have placed safe, soothing objects.

Play a category game with yourself, ie think of types of dogs, bands from the 80s, 90s, types of cars, etc.

Describe an everyday activity in detail to yourself or to someone else.

Say an affirmation.

Read something positive saying each word to yourself.

Think of something funny.

Count to 10 or say the alphabet S l o w l y

Run cool or warm water or your hands.

Hold ice cubes in your hands.

Carry a safety object with you.

Connect your body with the environment, ie I feel my feet making contact with the floor.

Eat, Walk mindfully– noticing the subtleties of the activity.

Focus on your breathing and accompany a positive, pleasant word with each inhalation and exhalation.

Say kind statements to your self.

Think of all your favourites, ie colour, food, animals, season, TV show.

Say a positive coping statement ie, this will pass, I can handle this.

Think of positive things that you are looking forward to in the future, ie social outing with a friend.

Make an index card or upload your most effective grounding techniques.

Think about people and animals you care about. Look at photographs of them.

List 5 things you see

List 4 things that you can touch

List 2 things that you can smell

Take one breath.

 

 

Reference: OTMH, Oakville

Relationship Needs

Emotional needs

Things to think about.

How do you and your partner/friend/parent/child etc, show respect for each other? How do you not?

In what ways do you and this person show appreciation for one another? How do you not?

How do you and this person meet each other’s emotional needs?

How could you and this person meet each other’s emotional needs?

In what ways do you and this person show trust for one another?

In what ways do you and this person not trust each other?

Sense-of-security Needs

How do you and this person support each other?

How can you and this person support each other better?

How do you and this person help each other feel secure in the relationship?

What else can either one of you do to help the other feel more secure?

How do you and this person show loyalty and commitment to each other?

What else can either one of you do to show loyalty and commitment to each other?

Financial Needs (if applicable)

What kind of financial goals do you and this person share?

What money issues do you disagree about most?

How do you manage the daily money issues? (paying bills, etc?) with this person?

How does that work for both of you?

How are your spending habits the same? Different?

How are your saving habits the same? Different?

 

Sharing Needs

Describe how you and this person share household and or other types of responsibilities?

In an ideal world, how could you and this person be more responsible?

How do you meet this person’s sharing needs?

How could you better meet this person’s sharing needs?

How does this person meet your needs?

How could this person meet your sharing needs?

 

Social Needs

What types of social situations do you and this person share?

What types of social occasions do you and this person enjoy and have fun?

What social happenings do you like that this person does not?

What social happenings does this person like that you do not?

How do you and this peson meet your social needs?

How could you and this person better meet your social needs?

 

Spiritual Needs

How are your spiritual needs and those of this person’s the same ? Different ?

What types of spiritual activities do you like to do together? (church, meditate, nature walks)

In what ways do spirituality and spiritual issues interfere with your relationship?

What spiritual values do you share?

What values do you each have that the other does not?

 

Dealing Effectively with Needs Problems

A simple process that can help you and this person more effectively with differences in your needs-sets include the following steps which can help you to understand each other’s needs and learn to accept and embrace your differences.

1) Understand your own Needs.

Partners who fight often fight over the same issues repeatedly. It is important to first understand what your needs are. Now that you have completed the assessment/reflections, what would you say are your greatest needs in your relationship?

2) Permit Yourself to Express Your Needs to the Person.

My needs:

Ex: I need him to WANT to know my feelings.

How can I express this need to my partner?

Ex: Since he doesn’t always listen to me, I’ll write him a note explaining how I prefer sharing my feelings with him more than anyone else.

3) Understand The Other Person’s Needs.

It is also important to understand what the other person’s needs are. Look back at the assessment you completed. What would you say are the person’s greatest needs in your relationship?

4) Listen To What The Other Person Needs.

Think about things that this person says that should give you insights into your partner’s needs.

My partner’s needs:

Ex: To spend an occasional evening with friends.

How My Partner Tries to Express This Need:

Ex: Makes excuses about why his friend’s need him to come over.

 

 

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive Distortions =  Unhealthy Thinking Habits

Do not/Try not to become overwhelmed by the many Cognitive Distortions that exist.

Pick 1 or 2 to work on. That’s IT! Pick easy ones to work on.

These are organized in a way to facilitate memory

 

The Common Ones

All or Nothing

Black and White Thinking

Exaggerating

Mindreading

Fortune Telling

Catastrophe Thinking

Feelings are Facts

 

Twins

Filtering (to ignore)

Magnification

Minimization

 

The Really Harmful ones (To self-esteem- to others)

Discounting the Positives

Labeling

Should Statements

Personalization

Blame

Unfavourable Comparisons

 

 

 

The Common Ones

All or Nothing/ Black-White Thinking

You see things or people in absolute, black or white categories. If a situation falls short of perfect, you see it as a total failure.

You define yourself or others in absolute terms such as good or bad, smart or stupid, introverted or extroverted, fat or thin, attractive or ugly, and so on.

Moreover, you may categorize your behaviour as being either completely acceptable or absolutely unacceptable, without acknowledging the many possibilities that lie between these two extremes.

More often, we exit somewhere in the middle of a spectrum versus on one side only. Much of this comes from perfectionist personality types where we have to be perfect or we’re a failure – there is no middle ground.

Example: I’m a failure. Example: I’m right

 

Exaggerating

To overgeneralize things. You often make a broad conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens only once, it is expected to happen over and over again.

For example: You see a single negative event, such as a romantic rejection or a career reversal, as a never-ending pattern of defeat and will conclude that things will always happen that way.

You find yourself using words such as “always” or “never.”

Thus, you generalize one instance in the present to ALL other instances.

Pick out the overgeneralizations in this sentence:

“Everything always goes wrong for me.”

 

Exaggerating Hint Words

Words like:

Always, Never, Everyone, All the time, All woman/men, all “race”

Instead of:

Once in a while, sometimes, that individual, that specific incident, today

 

 

Mindreading

Inferring a person’s possible (usually negative) thoughts from their behaviour and nonverbal communication.

Taking precautions against the worst reasonably suspected case or some other preliminary conclusion, without asking the person.

Making negtive assumptions about what other people are feeling, thinking, and why they act the way they do, in particular, what they are thinking about YOU. Thus, you interpret things negatively when there are no facts to support your conclusion.

Although it is true that people make negative judgements about others; chances are this occurs much less often, and what you’re assuming is far more negative than reality.

Examples:

They probably think I’m incompetent.

They noticed by hand shaking. They know I’m anxious. They think I’m pathetic.

They think I’m a “know-it-all.”

They are looking at me funny. They must think I look weird.

 

Mindreading Hint Words

He/She/They, Them, My boss thinks..

 

Fortune Telling, “Little What If Thinking.”

Also known as: Probability Overstimations

A probability overestimation is a prediction that a person believes is likely to come true, even though the actual likelihood is relatively low. Moreover, the prediction is that things will turn out badly. Said another way, an inaccruately high probability of danger is estimated. Example: A car weaves slightly in the lane next to you and you thnk, “That guy is going to hit me!Trying to kill me!

Hint: Did your self-talk start with “What if..”?

 

Catastrophe Thinking, “Extreme What If Thinking.”

The worst possible outcomes are predicted. Imagining that basic needs (safety, self-esteem, sustenance, etc.) are threatened.

Thinking that a situation is unbearable or impossible when it is really just umcomfortable. Most of the statements will overestimate a particular negative outcome and underestimate your ability to cope.

Example: A first year student began to get extemely anxious once she learned that she could not take all her courses. Her thoughts rose from an undesirable schedule to not being able to graduate and being jobless and homeless.

Furhter, you assume that if a negative event were to occur, it would be absolutely terrible and unmanageable. Below are more general examples:

Example: I won’t be able to handle it. Everyone will think I’m an idiot, I’m going to look stupid in front of the whole class, and no one will talk to me. I’ll be a social outcast.

 

Feelings are Facts:

Refers to the tendency to judge or evaluate something illogically, totally on the basis of your feelings. You believe, “if it feels likely, it IS likely. If it feels dangerous, it IS dangerous.” You assume that your negative emotions reflect the way things really are or will be.

Example: I feel terrified about going on airplanes. It must be very dangerous to fly.

I feel guilty. I must be a rotten person. It was my fault.

I feel angry. This proves I’m being treated unfairly.

I feel so inferior. This means I’m a second-rate person.

I feel hopeless. I must really be hopeless.

I feel anxiety. Something bad is goign to happen.

I feel ugly, so I am ugly.

Because I feel inadequate, I am inadequate.

I will never get well.

 

 

The Twins

Filtering (Selective Attention):

Focusing entirely on negative elements of a situation, to the exclusion of the positive. This is where you pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively, so that your vision of all of reality becomes darkened.

Example: You receive many positive comments about your presentation to a group of associates at work, but one of them says something mildy critical. You obsess about their reaction for days and ignore all the positive feedback.

Magnification (Minimization/ Mazimization)

Giving proportionally greater weight to a preceived failure, weakness or threat, or lesser weight to a preceieved success or opportunity, so the weight differs from that assigned to the event or thing by others.

Therefore, you blow things way out of proportion or shrink their importance. This is also called the binocular trick. When you look through one end of the binoculars, all your shortcomings seem as huge as Mt. Fuji. When you look through the other end, all your strenghts and positives qualities seem to shrink to nothing.

Hence, you exaggerate the importance of your problems and shortcomings, and/or you minimize the importance of your desirable qualities.

Example: Focusing on a personal flaw

focusing on another’s achievement and ignoring your own contributions

Focusing on someone else’s desirable qualities while comparing your own imperfections.

 

The Really Harmful Ones (To Self-Esteem and to Others)

Discounting The Positive:

You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count.” Discounting the positives takes the joy out of life and makes you feel inadequate and unrewarded.

Example: If you do a good job, you may tell yourself that it wasn’t good enough or that anyone could have done better.

When you disbelieve a compliment or positive appraisal.

When you give away or deny good things that come your way, such as gifts or compliments.

 

Labelling:

Labelling is an extreme form of all-or-nothing thinking. Instead of saying, “I made a mistake,” you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser,” “a fool,” “a failure.” or “a jerk.” Labelling is irrational simply because you are important as a person. You are not only worthwhile by what you do. Only humans exist, losers, fools, jerks do not. These labels can lead to anger, anxiety, frustration, and low self-esteem.

You may also label others. When someone does something that bothers you, you may lebel that person, “she’s a nag” “He’s a freak”. In that moment, you see them as totally bad. This makes you feel hostile and hopeless about improving things and leaves little room for constructive communication.

 

Should Statements:

We have a list if rules about how we and others should behave. People who break the rules make us angry, and we feel guilty when we violate these rules. A person may believe they are trying to motivate themselves with should and shouldn’ts, and yet the outcome of using “shoulds” is the complete opposite. For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” “Musts,” “oughts” and “have tos” are similar offenders. Should statements, which are hidden perfectionist expectations, are incorrect or exaggerated assumptions about how things should occur. The emotional consequence is guilt. Lastly, when a person directs should statements to others, they often feel anger, frustration and resentment.

Example: He shouldn’t be so stubborn and argumentative.

Example: After playing a difficult piece on piano, a gifted pianist told herself, ‘I shouldn’t have made so many mistakes.” This made her feel so disgusted that she quit practicing for several days.

Example: I shouldn’t eat that doughnut.

Example: I should visit my family every Sunday.

This usually doesn’t work because all these shoulds and musts make you feel rebellious and you get the urge to do just the opposite.

Should Hint Words

Words like:

Should

Have to

Ought to

Need to

Must

Shouldn’t

 

Replace with:

I choose to

I hope to

I want to

I plan on

I am

(get into action )

 

Personalization

Personalization is the tendency to take things personally and make things about you when they are not about you. You may do this automatically without fact finding first.

To define further,

Personalization occurs when you hold yourself responsible for an event that isn’t entirely under your control. You may take on all the responsibility rather than acknowledge the different factors that may have contributed to the situation.

Personalization also happens when you frequently compare yourself to what you are hearing and seeing, “That happens to me too”, “I have that”, “Wait,I have that”. “I’ve been there.” Essentially, making it about you.

Personalization also occurs when you think or believe what people saying or doing (e.g. laughing down the hallway, have a grumpy look on their face) is in direct reaction or relation to YOU.

If this is a habit for you, you are likely to find yourself overreacting to interpersonal interactions. That is because personalization confuses understanding and boundaries in relationships, especially around dependency and co-dependency issues.

It increases social anxiety.

It’s no wonder that Personalization leads to guilt, shame, and feelings of inadequacy!

Rule: Don’t personalize other people’s inappropriate behaviour.

Example: When a woman received a note that her child was having difficulties at school, she told herself, “This shows what a bad mom I am,” instead of trying to pinpoint the actual cause of the problem.

Example: When another woman’s husband yelled at her, she told herself. “If only I were a better wife, he wouldn’t yell at me.”

Example: My boss is in a bad mood today; he must be angry with me.

 

BLAME

When we hold other people responsible for our own pain, or take the other track and blame ourselves for every problem, we are doing a great injustice to ourselves and to others. instead of pinpointing the cause of a problem, you assign blame. This distortion robs you of appropriate responsibility, and prevents growth. Blame usually doesn’t work very well and will just get tossed back and forth without result or movement.

SELF BLAME: You blame yourself for something you weren’t responsible for or beat up on yourself relentlessly whenever you make a mistake.

OTHER BLAME: Some people do the opposite. They blame other people or their circumstances for their problem, and they overlook ways that they might be contributing to the problem.

Example: The reason my marriage is so lousy is because my spouse is totally unreasonable.

Example: I’m a terrible mother.

Example: I’m a lousy friend.

Example: Stop making me feel bad about myself!

Nobody can “Make” use feel any particular way- only we have control over our own emotions and emotional reactions (Byron Katie does a lot of this sort of talk). Only if we believe a persons negative perception of us do we hurt (ourselves).

 

Unfavourable Comparisons:

Unfavourably comparing yourself is like having a special magnifying glass that magnifies some things (your negatives, other people’s positives) and shrinks others ( your positives, other people’s negatives.) Try recognizing everyone (including yourself) as having unique strengths and weaknesses. If you have to compare, try to compare evenly – include both favourable and unfavourable comparisons.

Example: “She’s thinner, so she’s prettier and smarter; who cares if I have nice hair?”

Example: “He is more interesting and intelligent because he owns his own business; who cares if I make more?”

 

 

 

Reference: This material is from OTMH, Third Line,Oakville ON