Effective Communication

How you communicate is closely related to how you feel and your self-esteem.

When I am not communicating effectively it’s because I am not feeling confident that what I have to say has value or is important or that it will not be met with a conflicting point of view.

Continuing to communicate with people who have different communicating styles isn’t always your choice, such as family or a work situation.

When you don’t have a choice you can try not to change the way other people communicate but change the way you communicate and accept that you have said what needs to be said.

This is the difference between having healthy communications and dysfunctional communication.

Being compassionate when you are addressing someone, being assertive but keeping in mind their communication style.

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Remember most of the stress you have in life comes from the way you respond, not the way life is. Communicate effectively and all that extra stress is gone.

Forms of communication

Assertiveness: This is the ideal form of communication and the healthiest way to communicate to have effective conversations.

  • Friendly eye contact
  • Open body language
  • Appropriateness
  • Congruence with speech and emotion
  • Calmness
  • Confidence
  • Non-judgemental
  • Polite and respectful
  • Neutral
  • Appropriate tone and volume

Passive

  • Soft spoken
  • Pushover
  • Avoiding conflict
  • Lack of self esteem
  • Seemingly in experienced

Passive Aggressive

  • Sarcastic
  • Dismissive
  • Minimizing efforts
  • Abrupt
  • Eye Rolling
  • Glib
  • Seemingly unappreciative
  • Inconsistency

Aggressive

  • Loud Tones
  • Aggressive Stance
  • Belittling
  • Tense
  • Physically, Verbally Abusive
  • Yelling
  • Angry
  • Selfish
  • Blunt

When I have healthy conversations and am assertive with what I am trying to communicate, I feel empowered.

Assertive communication does not mean that the other person has to agree with what you are saying it just means you have communicated it effectively and were able to say what you wanted to say and felt heard.

When I am feeling low, my self esteem and confidence are affected. This can make it difficult for me to respond effectively.

Communicating in a healthy way can raise my confidence.

It can be frustrating when I am unable to communicate what I think and feel.

My thoughts and feelings are important and deserve to be heard and so are yours!

Hopefully these communication styles can help identify how you are communicating and how to effectively be heard.

What kind of communicator are you?

How does that work for you in your life?

I’d love to hear any tips you have and what works for you.

~Live Like a Butterfly

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Excercise. How Do I Get Started?

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I find it hard to get motivated to exercise at the best of times. When I feel depressed, anxious or stressed it is even harder to find the motivation to get started. Knowing that excercise will help to improve my depressive symptoms but not having the motivation or the energy to get started because of my depression can feel like a never ending cycle. Social anxiety can stop me from going to the gym, an excercise class or at its worst I feel anxious running out my front door. So what can I do? I have compiled a list of tips to help me. Hopefully you find them helpful too.

Start Small

A symptom that I feel when depressed and anxious is extreme fatigue and lack of energy. Knowing this I haven’t started with a goal of running a marathon or commiting to a 12 week Bootcamp. Setting large goals can make me feel like I have failed, adding to my depressive symptoms. I set a small goal of increased heart rate for thirty minutes a day. Even if I jump up and down in one spot for thirty minutes my heart rate increases.

Variety of Activities

I say activities because some of the movement I do isn’t considered excercise. For example, dancing in my kitchen while I do dishes. This isn’t traditionally seen as excercise but it increases my heart rate and feels good so to me it counts.

Other activities that I do when I have less energy than normal:

Healing Yoga; this type of yoga is not as intense as other types of yoga I have tried.

Cardio in my living room; I have ten pound weights and tension bands that I use sometimes. I don’t have to leave my house and can do it at a slower pace than if I was to go to a cardio class.

Walk/Run on the spot; I do enjoy getting out and going for a walk and when I am feeling ambitous a run. But when I have anxiety and low energy, I don’t like to leave my house. Walking and running on the spot helps elevate my heart rate and I don’t have to leave my house.

(If you have a treadmill that can work too😛)

Schedule my excercise for the time of the day that I have the most energy

I am already lacking energy and motivation to start so it makes sense that I wouldn’t schedule my workout for times of the day when I have less energy, even on the best of days. My ideal time is between ten and eleven in the morning. If I can’t do it at that time, I may take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk for longer distances to make up for it. I know once I start and get going the natural benefit it increased energy. I stay flexible, this ensures I don’t set myself up for failure.

Reward myself

Giving myself a reward after I have completed gives me something to work towards. A bubble bath, a movie, or a smoothie, any reward to reward the effort I have given helps me to finish. Just doing it gives me the reward of the happy chemicals that are released but having an additional reward can motivate me when I am especially unmotivated.

Make excercise a social activity

I am careful with this. I know myself enough to know that if I schedule a walk or workout with someone I will feel horrible if I cancel. This can be a tool to hold myself accountable but when I am especially anxious I don’t want to be around people. Walking or going to a class with someone who will understand if you cancel can help. It can be beneficial to workout or walk with someone. Get me out of the house, provide social activity on top of the benefits of the excercise alone.

I know the proven benefits that excercise can have on my body, my mind and my mood. Starting can be difficult when I am not well but these tips will help me to keep it simple. Hopefully you find these tips helpful too!

Put down your shields

Feeling more than; to the detriment of others

Forgetting that they are sisters, brothers and mothers

Put down your shields; be unprotected

Give a voice; so that it may be projected

A testament that can’t be unheard

The lines we cross are heavily blurred

Hide that fear, that tear, that emotion

Hiding becomes the maladapted solution

No one can see you; if you hide in the dark

This will be a journey; should you choose to embark

Is There a Purpose for Emotions?

Each time I try not to feel emotions, numb emotions, forget that emotions have a purpose I give more power to them. All feelings and emotions are not only healthy but they serve a purpose.  If I repeatedly use substances such as drugs or alcohol, to not feel emotions I am giving more power to them. There will come a time when I will have to feel emotions. Using marijuana to avoid having feelings of any kind gives power to my addiction. Not using, feeling, and processing all of it will allow me to take the power back. Knowing that emotions have a purpose and are present to help me analyze, change, or alert me to something. People who use substances such as drugs and alcohol to not feel emotions don't intend on becoming addicted. We may become addicted to not feeling. Using any mind altering substance is being powerless to my addiction and powerless to my emotions. As tempting as it is to sometimes numb my emotions. Feeling alerts me to the fact that I am alive. I am grateful to be alive to feel emotions and to know the purpose that they may serve me in my journey to be fully alive.

The purpose of anger is to alert me that something is wrong. A goal or something I have tried to acheive has been blocked. This causes me to get angry. A healthy reaction to anger would be to resolve or seek justice. Anger can indicate that I must confront, defend or stand up for myself. Anger is vital to being emotionally healthy. Being angry, seeking justice, getting defensive constantly is unhealthy. As is avoiding anger and its purposes.

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The purpose of fear is to alert me to danger and protect myself. It alerts me that I must flee or freeze. Fleeing from danger and freezing to prevent alerting danger, keeps me safe. Feeling fear is to alert me to danger and to keep me safe and protected.

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The purpose of sadness is to inform me of losses and to protect me from wasted efforts and further losses.When I am sad I isolate, cry, give up and need extra comfort. Love and connection can be fulfilled with sadness. Feeling sad is necessary to avoid further losses and inform me of the losses I have suffered. Loss can have many meanings; loss as in death, loss of job, loss of relationship, loss of opportunity etc.

The purpose of guilt is to let me know I have done something wrong. That I have made a mistake. Guilt alerts me to make amends and repair the damage that my mistake may have caused. Guilt is necessary to modify my behavior, for forgiveness and cooperation and to ensure that a mistake is not made again.

The purpose of shame is to process guilt, mistakes and to feel bad about myself. Shame says I am a mistake versus guilt which is I have made a mistake. Shame is usually formed when I have high expectations of myself and have not met them. When feeling ashamed I isolate, hide and disappear. I need shame to radically accept my circumstances and mistakes. To be compassionate with myself and recognize that I am not a mistake. It informs me that I have work to do within myself.

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change. Change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.

T aken from ~ A Letter to My Daughter ~ Maya Angelou

Words That Help To Heal ~ Mindfulness & Non Striving

“Things that excite you. They are not random. They are connected to your purpose. Follow them. Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can” ~Unknown

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Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a skill that requires practice. Just like any other skill mindfulness will (with practice) become an automatic response in everyday living. Responding to life and not reacting to life is mindfulness.

If you think of your day as a percentage of 100% of a full day. Being mindful that you would ideally like to live in the moment but that thinking of the past and the future is bound to happen. Live your day ten percent in the past to make things easier for yourself.

Living in the past is living with regrets and should haves. Re-traumatizing yourself and makes it very hard to do anything in the present.

This inability to make decisions now can create co dependency. Co-dependency is being reliant on others to make decisions for myself. Not having confidence in my decision making creates co dependency on others and the cycle begins.

Thinking and feeling only ten percent in the past and ten percent in the future ensures that eighty percent of my thoughts and feelings are in the present moment. Making it much easier to be mindful and notice the greatness that is happening right in front of me.

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Non Striving

Non striving is the opposite of striving. Non striving is being okay with what I have now and being grateful for what I have now.

Non striving is not seeking perfectionism in anything I do but enjoyment in everything I do. Non striving is accepting that each day will be different and being okay with it.

Living with mental health is a rollercoaster of emotions and feelings that I can make less turbulent by being mindful. When I have a purpose for everything I do I can get more done.

Multi -tasking is striving to get more done and ending up with nothing done. I want to work on a task at hand and get it done with a purpose for doing it and then move on to the next enjoying what I am doing at any given moment.

The more aware I am in each moment will let me bring that awareness to the  moment and how I am feeling without judging that feeling. Cultivating with mindfulness and awareness for a quality life.

Not having an agenda to over strive or a full agenda is healing and restorative.

~Live Like a Butterfly

Ten Reasons Why People Fail

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“Everything is hard. Before it is easy.”

  1. Taking Action Without Planning. When it comes to my goals and future, impulsiveness is the mother of regret. Considerable thought must be given to the ends as well as the means of my strategy.
  2. Planning without taking action. Endless preparation is worse than action without planning. Accept that things will never be perfect. Questions will forever exist. Plan well and launch.
  3. Unrealistic timeframes and Expectations. Life is a process, not an event. Nothing great was ever built easily. Excerise wisdom and learn to be patient. Unfortunately most things in life take longer and cost more than the best laid out plans anticipate.
  4.  Reasons “Why” are unclear. Why you want to achieve a goal is more important than the goal itself. Before taking action on anything it is imperative that you ask yourself the key question. “Why do I want to achieve this goal?”
  5. Denial of Reality. It is far easier denying reality than it is to accept it. And far too many people take what seems like the easy way out. Success is information dependant, when we deny reality for whatever reason, we devalue the integrity of our information, thus ensuring failure.
  6.  Conflicting Values. When we have not clarified our reasons why or defined what success means to us personally, we operate on someone else’s definition. When that occurs values are sure to be in conflict and progress is short circuited.
  7. Diffusion of Energy. Attempting to do too much is a recipe for mediocrity. Rather than doing an excellent job at a few chosen goals we spread our energies over vast terrain and diffuse what matters most, time and energy.
  8.  Lack of Focus. Success demand focus. It is the hallmark of truly great people. Your ability to get and remain focused or lack there of is perhaps the key determinant of your success.
  9. Trying to do it All Alone. Nobody goes through life alone, we all need the cooperation and assistance of others. Put your pride aside and learn how to ask for help when you need it. Learn to leverage and share knowledge for your own well being as well as others who are dependant on your cooperation.
  10.  Fear of Failure. Fear of failure is the “Grand Daddy” of them all. Far too many dreams have suffocated and died because of it. Fear resides where knowledge does not exist, the more you know about anything the less intimidated that you feel. Replace your fears with knowledge and watch your performance leap.

DBT Handouts/Worksheets Marsha Lineham

~Live Like a Butterfly