Personal Empowerment

Apps, Apps, Apps: Little Tech Wonders That Leave Us Wondering

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Apps!

The Solution to All of Your Problems.Anime Headphone

…ok, maybe, but how do I use them?!?

I am definitely guilty of suggesting apps to people without sending along some tips to make using them effective and easy. I have learned that simply suggesting an app to use is not enough. Teaching people how to integrate the technology into their lives is the key to benefitting from what the app has to offer. Any lasting change needs to become part your daily life and your way of being in the world. My suggestion is to be patient, take small steps, be kind when you forget (or fall right off that wagon!) and know that it is only the direction that you are heading, not how fast you get there, that is important


How to

Squeeze

an App into Your Life

I scoured the web to see if there was any information about how to integrate the use of an App into our lives. I found nuthin’, nil, zero, nil, zilch, zip, nada, diddly-squat…

What I did find was a bunch of brilliant lists of suggestions, which is super exciting, but with no tips on the “how” part. So, once you start using these review/suggestion sites, you can find a plethora (I know! cool word!) of app ideas, the next step is to figure out how to use the app and integrate it into your life so that it can create the benefits that you are looking for.

Tips n’ Suggestions

Goal Setting

You really need to start with a goal. Goals are what help us get through the painful times. When you feel stuck, you need to be clear about WHY you are doing all this yucky stuff, the stuff that you are procrastinating about, the slogging.

Ask yourself the following: What is it that I want to improve? Why is this important to me? How will this help me to get where I am going and create the life that I want? Where will I insert this change strategy in my life (practice times)?

Here are a few goal setting posts of mine to get you started:

Readiness to Change

First and foremost, you need to be ready to change, to grow and take on the sometimes scary task of moving forward with no idea about what the path and outcome will be like. Change is hard; “deciding” to change is the first step.

  • Check out a previous post of mine to help you understand your readiness level: Stages of Change

Self Knowledge

It is important to have an understanding of how YOU work. What your preferences are. There is a personality assessment called the Myers-Brigges Personalty Temperament (MBTI) that is a great place to start on the path to understanding your way of being in this word that is most effective.

Quick explanation of the MBTI…there are 4 scales on the MBTI:

  1. Extroversion (E) – Introversion (I): Favourite World Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?
  2. Sensing (S) – Intuition (N): Information – Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?
  3. Thinking (T) – Feeling (F): Decisions – When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances?
  4. Judging (J) – Perceiving (P): Structure – In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?

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Free! Take a free version of the MBTI online: CLICK HERE

J-P Scale Interpretation for Life Change:

Judging – Perceiving Scale: The best scale to focus on to help you understand what your ideal circumstances needed to change your behaviour; structure vs flexibility.

With Judgers:

When integrating an app into your life…

  • Create a timetable and stick to it.
  • Allow time to prepare and learn about the app, the features, how it works in your life, what your goals are, etc.
  • Select an app that has the option to show your achievements and results. Take time to notice how far you have come, your progress, decisions, self-knowledge and behaviour change reached so far.
  • Set smaller goals that lead to your larger goal. Create milestones.

With Perceivers:

When integrating an app into your life…

  • Allow time for things to flow, not necessarily following your calendar, but still be dedicated to “keep trying”.
  • Try new new ideas to create possibilities.
  • Know that you need time to reflect and be creative.
  • Use this app in a way that encourages personal freedom and choice (use some features and not others).
  • Realize changes in direction are not necessarily impulsiveness

Persistence

It takes time to change! Please don’t just try something once and then abandon it. If you are serious about personal growth, you need to allow time for your brain to change and create the neural pathways needed to build this new habit. It can take anywhere from 21 days, to 40 days to 245 days, depending on the person, the habit and the circumstances needed to have the new behaviour stick around. Source: University College of London

Integration

Integrating the use of the technology into your life is the key to staying power. If you really want to change, you need to make the commitment to fitting in the strategies, the steps and maintaining the stamina.  Yes, my, just now brain brilliance (temporary) approach: 3S’s…SSS! Follow the suggestions above and you will find yourself closer to actually making the app’s wisdom play a positive role in your life.


Mindset

Make a Mash up!mashup-e1326567555756.jpg

mashup is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another, to the extent that such works are “transformative” of original content.

Source: Wikipedia 

Just like your favourite mashup songs, integrate apps into your life with the same philosopical approach. Find the best parts and create something even better that is more personalized to you and your learning goals.


 

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Get Started with This App!

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CLICK HERE for App


Happy App-ing!

Feel free to message me if you would like some suggestions for apps to try around mental health & wellness 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Counsellor * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

 

Hardwiring Happiness: Take the Leap, Really, It’s Worth the Risk

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Today I want to talk about your brain, your wonderful beautiful changeable brain. I am hoping that you will take in what I say today, not with defensiveness or with the notion that I am in anyway blaming you, or people who are suffering, but with the intention of helping you become empowered in your own healing.

I have been working in the mental health field since 1996, in various capacities, with all ages and backgrounds of wonderful humans. What I do know is that people can become incredibly resilient if we get out of the way and let the process take flight. Please do not misunderstand my message in today’s post and think that I am against medication, because I am definitely not. I am just opposed to the notion that medication is all that is needed in the mental wellbeing and healing process. If we want to change/grow, we need to do the work. Period. Full stop. Some of the most inspiring humans that I have met along my own journey are folks who have come from, and through, extreme adversity. Whether that be childhood trauma at the hands of a trusted adult or being born into a country that is in unimaginable crisis, these people found the strength to move through and flourish. I have learned so much from their stories of perseverance, letting go, letting be and growth after the trauma. It seems that if we have to endure adverse circumstances, we can, if we let ourselves face it and grow from it.

Ok, there it is, my point of view (which is shared by many incredible research psychologists and counsellors/therapists/mental health interveners). So, if you are in for the most amazing ride of your life, and feeling close to taking on the challenge of change, let’s start with a framing mindset for today.

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MINDSET for Today:

I am jumping in with everything have,

whether I sink or swim,

at least I took that leap of faith.

what-if-i-fall-oh-my-darling-what-if-you-fly

*This statement inspires me and calms my soul.

I would love to have a very wise woman, like Dr. Maya Angelou say this to me when I am going through hell or a crisis of confidence in my life. It is her voice I hear.

 


PsychNerd Time!

Brain NerdI am calling in the big guns so that you believe little ol’ me when I say that you CAN actually change your brain. I want to share with you some tidbits from a book I recently read, by the oneHardwiring-Happiness and only, incredible neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hansen, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence (2013). I know, I know, you’re probably thinking that this is, yet another self-help book telling you that the answer to all your troubles is to just “think positive!”…and how do I do that again, you ask?!?! Well, this book presents the latest neuroscience research behind happiness and explains how you can reprogram your brain to focus on the good, rather than obsessing over the bad.


Quick Video Snack

….to Help You Get to Know this Amazing Researcher, Psychologist and Human…


Highlights from the Book….

I want to give you one quick tip from this book to get you started. If you are ready to change, and in the mindset for taking on the hard work of leaping toward what your life could be like, then I highly suggest you buy this book (I am not receiving any kickbacks from this, just think this is a great resource). The most important reason to spend your money on this life guide is that Rick Hansen talks about the importance of “taking in the good”, how this practice can change your brain and how to do this.

  • Take in the Good: This is a deliberate practice of making positive experiences stick around a little longer and linger in our implicit memory (part of our long term memory). He has created four steps to help you take in the good, which are easy to remember with the helpful acronym, HEAL.

Have a positive experience.
Enrich it.
Absorb it.
Link positive and negative material.

*Check out chapter 3, page 60, to learn how to do this.


My Advice for Today

Stop focusing on what could go wrong, and start focusing on what could go right.

Negative is not “more true” than than positive.

ALSO…

According to this Happiness Study: 52% of your life destiny is up to you and what you do to enhance it, despite your genetic background.

ASK YOURSELF…

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Believe me from my professional experience and my personal journey

…the risk is definitely worth it!

Read Hardwiring Happiness…and live your best life.


Leave a comment, question or feedback…share your experience 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

RESOURCES

Make Good Things Happen

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Ok, today is the day that I am going to ask you to do some thing RADICAL!

be-radical

Fun Right?!?!

Well, yes and no, but a super important topic for anyone who wants to grow, heal and move forward in their life.

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE

Wait what?!?! yes, let’s focus on one of the most fundamental parts of emotion regulation, personal empowerment, self compassion and overall life balance.

“acceptance of life as it is, not as it is supposed to be; and the need to change, despite that reality and because of it” – Dr. Marsha Linehan

There are three parts to radical acceptance.

  1. The first part is accepting that reality is what it is.
  2. The second part is accepting that the event or situation causing you pain has a cause.
  3. The third part is accepting life can be worth living even with painful events in it.

Radical Acceptance is a part of a therapeutic approach called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) designed by the amazing psychologist, Dr. Marsha Linehan. This therapeutic approach was invented to help people, who were suffering terribly, learn to regulate their emotions and live a life worth living. Even though you may not be suffering, most people find themselves, at some point, in a state of wanting a life that is different that they are currently experiencing. Sometimes it is this wanting or wishing that lowers our self esteem and increases sadness or life dissatisfaction. The first step on the path to living a life that you want, is accepting the life that you currently have and then deciding what you are willing to work hard on to change.


I am not saying that this is easy. It is actually a very difficult practice, but from experience I can tell you that the result of your effort is astounding emotional freedom and personal empowerment.


Want to Get Started Radically Accepting?

Start with asking yourself the following questions about a recent difficult situation in your life:

Radical Acceptance: “So that happened…”

  1. What events led up to the distressing situation?Acceptance.jpg
  2. What role did you play in creating this situation?
  3. What role did other people / another person play in creating this situation?
  4. What did you have control of in this situation?
  5. What didn’t you have control of in this situation?
  6. What was your response to this situation?
  7. How did your response affect your own thoughts and feelings?
  8. How did your response affect the thoughts and feelings of other people?
  9. How could you have changed your response to this situation to lead to less suffering for yourself and others?
  10. How could this situation have occurred differently if you had decided to radically accept the situation?

Source: For more information about how to explore these questions: CLICK HEREill-be-fineSo when your not so fine, start working on some mindfulness and self compassion…

 


To live the best version of a life we first have to accept our life as it is and get out of the rut of wishing it was different, especially with things that are out of our control. Once you accept and acknowledge, we can then decide what WE want to do about it.

#MakeGoodThingsHappen

Take the time to work hard and design the best possible life for yourself. Be the main character in your story.


 

I would love to hear the good things that you are making happen in your life. Tweet me @SuccessMohawk and use #MakeGoodThingsHappen. Let’s share and learn from each other 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

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