EQ: Emotional Self Awareness

Motivation, Motiva, Mot: ZZZZZzzzz Huh?! Wait What?!?!

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Never Quit

Shout Out to All College Students!

The semester is coming to an end and likely, so to is your motivation to keep on task. Oh how I  remember the semester end so well. I just lost all my drive and energy to conquer the intense feeling of being overwhelmed all the time.

I would go through rapid cycles (and sometimes still do) of “ok, I can do this, no problem, I got this” to “I just want to quit!!!!” I was consumed with thoughts of wanting the relentless pain, and lack of sleep, to end. I just wanted a life without constant negative mental chatter, the mental nagging (“you should, should, should…”) and immense pressure to do well (or at least finish). 

I thought the timing was right to share the various things that have worked for me during these very challenging times. Yes, I still do all of these things at various times in my life, because they work. I am defiantly not one of those people who gives advice that I do not take. I walk the walk. I suck it up and do what it takes. I feel stronger and better for having pushed myself. The more I rise to the challenge, the easier it has been to deal with future challenges.

Your Stronger Than You Know

Take a moment and grow your resilience, lean into your life, roll up your sleeves and move toward strength and resilience. Below are some Tips, Tricks and Hacks that I recommend for getting you through this heinous, painful, overwhelmed moment in your life. Yes, moment…it will not be forever….feels like it…but…feelings are not facts 😉


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I will start with organizing the motivation enhancement hacks into two categories: Mindset and Perseverance.

You can’t get anywhere if your mindset is working against you and your mindset alone in not enough, you actually need to stop thinking about something and just do it.

MINDSET

  • Wise Mind: Foster a Wise Mind. Get your Thinking Mind and Your Emotional Mind to smarten up and be friends and work together toward the wisdom it is going to take to get stuff done.
  • Tweak Your State of Mind:
    • Do things deliberately to change your state of mind. If you are feeling low, do things that elevate your mood. Get Started with the Following Ideas: “22 Ways to Change Your State of Mind“.
    • Use motivational quotes to shift your thinking and offer a wider perspective.
    • Use positive imagery. Imagine yourself at the end of exams. Are you proud of yourself for persevering? Imagine all the times that you wanted to quit and didn’t.
  • Perspective: 
    • This pain is temporary! “This too shall pass” is what I hear when my inner 4 year old starts tantruming and saying “I don’t wanna…whaaaaaa”. I move to “seriously, Heather, you are way to old for this whining, stop this, get it done, you are being a baby”. I would feel way worse, in the long run, if I just quit. I know this because I have quit in the past and regretted it.
    • Opportunity Focus: This is an opportunity to build, grow, become more resilient and to see what you are made of. I believe that we are who we are in the tough times, so work on building your strengths and be awesome in the times where adversity comes along and sucker punches you.
  • Personal Responsibility: Show up in your own life. Be the main character in your story. Work first, play later. Start adulting! Yes, this is not just a message for young people because many of us 40+ year olds fight being an adult too sometimes 😉 Do what you know you need to do, not just what you “feel” like doing. Don’t wait for others to do it for you, or to motivate you. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, do it now.
  • Bolster Your Self-Efficacy: This is about building a positive believe about yourself and your abilities. Carve out a moment in your chaotic life to reflect on what you have done well in the past, examples of where you wanted to give up but you didn’t, take an inventory of what comes easily to you and just take the time to purely notice what is actually going well in your life.

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PERSEVERANCE 

  • Make a Plan: Set goals, big and then smaller steps toward those goals. Take on bite sized pieces, take breaks and reward yourself. If you try to do too much too fast then you will burn yourself out or you will make so much work for yourself that it will be hard to even get started.persevere.jpg
  • Stay Active: When you keep your momentum going by keeping yourself on track, following your plan, you will find that the momentum you have is much easer to maintain….because science says so 😉
    • arrow-10.pngNewton’s first law of motion – sometimes referred to as the law of inertia. An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. BE THE BODY IN MOTION! Avoid the unbalanced force of distraction, doubt and negative thinking. 

 

  • Hang Around With Motivated People: Study with people who are good for you, that you can learn from, that are feeling overwhelmed like you but work hard to remain in their wise mind and just get work done. These people can become role models who inspire you to push yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of. This is the quintessential story of my life. I am a people watcher (a.k.a vicarious learner) and I have managed to take what I witness and put it into action in my own life.
  • Do The Hardest Thing First: Seriously! It is the thing that you dread the most that is killing your confidence. That BIG chunk of work that is sapping your motivation to get started. Often this is just in your head and how you see this task. Shut off your judgemental and fearful thoughts and get going on this task, in small manageable pieces, step-by-step, until it is done. Just do your best in that situation, with the time that you have. It is better to hand something in rather than nothing.
  • Make It Fun: check out a previous blog post: Pain + Fun = Motivation

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Some of My Favs

Motivational Quotes That Kick My Butt into ActionA Little Progress

“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow” – Unknown Author

“Fall down 7 times, Stand up 8” – Chinese Proverb

“Dont’ stop when you are tired, stop when you are done” – Unknown Author

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” – Unknown Author

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.” —Mark Twain

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“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” —Jim Rohn

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” —Wayne DyerTough Times.jpg

 

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” —Margaret Thatcher

“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or
control the firm resolve of a determined soul.” –Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“There is no traffic jam along the extra mile.” —Roger Staubach


“Adversity can change you for the better, if you let it” 

Known to be said by me, to many of my students. Sometimes they roll their eyes, but sometimes they take the advice and become the main character of their story.


Now get out there, shut off your critical mind, get some momentum, work first and play later and just get ‘er dun!

*Today’s blog post was brought to you by a very under motivated person who used GRITTY strategies to  make it to the finish line 😉

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

 eSuccess-Coach * Counsellor * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca


Resources:

 

 

 

Stressed?!!? Well Let’s Start With ‘Feelings are NOT Facts’

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Drowning in your feelings? Feeling overwhelmed?

I was going to write about study strategies today; however, I have been completely overwhelmed by the emotional pain my students have been experiencing lately. So, I thought that maybe study strategies would be a wee bit too lame of a topic under the circumstances. I have decided to share the perspective, the strategies and the experience of others (you are definitely not alone in this) that happen every day in my counselling office. Why should all this great information stay in a counselling box?!?! …me thinks…

So…Here I go…

Emotions, Emotions, Emotions

Blah, blah, blah…what are these feelings you speak of?!? Well…let’s start here:

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Emotional State

Yes, emotions can be VERY scary. I am not saying that they are not or that you shouldn’t “feel” a certain way. What I am doing is challenging you with the following questions: How do you want to react to the emotions? How do you want to live your life? What emotional house do you want to live in?

Yes, you have a choice.

A choice that requires a bunch of commitment and work. It is not easy, but I assure you the hard and scary change/growth work is well worth the struggle to get there. I do this every day in my own life. It gets so much easer with practice, so much so it has become a habit for me. I get it, it’s hard, but come on! Give it a go. What do you really have to lose? Oh, yeah, you may lose the constant suffering version of yourself. It all seriousness, this can be a hard shift. But still, let’s imagine a different life experience.

Let’s start with a seemingly simple formula that I will base the rest of this post on:

Emotional State + Emotion Regulation =

Pretty Awesome State of Personal Empowermenttemper-tantrum-girl

I love this graphic! This little cutie pretty much says it all.
This is often the look I get when I am talking about the possibility of change with my students.

Yup, Getting PsychNerdy on Y’all Again!

Brain Nerd

Just sharing the “FACTS” about emotion regulation, just to let you know that it is really possible 😉 Science says so!

There is some pretty great recent research looking at a bunch of different findings combined all together in a beautiful Regulatory Flexibility model. Ok, that is psychnerdy speak for taking all the best stuff and mushing it together in a way that people can understand and use easily in research and in their lives.

People respond to stressful events in different ways, depending on the event and on the regulatory strategies they choose. Coping and emotion regulation theorists have proposed dynamic models in which these two factors, the person and the situation, interact over time to inform adaptation. Source: Regulatory Flexibility: An Individual Differences Perspective on Coping and Emotion Regulation by George A. Bonanno & Charles L. Burton

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Translation of Fig.1: So you have a stressful event in your life, you look at what it will take to work through it and decide if you can handle it, you then start using your coping skills, then decide if the strategy solved your problem or not. The flexibility part comes in as you keep on persevering and/or trying different strategies to cope. This is how you build resilience and adapt beautifully in life.


So now what? You ask!?!

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Here are some coping skills to throw into this Regulatory Flexibility model 🙂


Emotion Regulation Strategiesemotion-surfing

Let’s build some…

Mindfulness Practice

Distress Tolerance Skills

Emotion Regulation Strategies

“We are not responsible for what breaks us, but we can be responsible for what puts us back together again. Naming the hurt is how we begin to repair our broken parts.” – Desmond Tutu, The book of Forgiving


EMOTIONS (What FEELS True) + EVIDENCE (What is ACTUALLY True) =

Balanced Approach to Examining Information

*Don’t rely on how you feel alone. Feelings are great, but on their own, they may not be completely accurate in terms of the message being sent. Just because you feel it does NOT make it true. Look for the evidence.


Recipe for Writing a New Chapter in Your Life Story

Start with taking responsibility for your life.

“If you couldToday.jpg kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”― Theodore Roosevelt


…Then start writing a new story.

“If you own this story you get to write the ending.” ― Brené Brown

Writing prompts…

“I am a person who feels lots of things but they don’t define me. I am a person who takes responsibility for my own life and experience. I am a person who will work hard to create a life I love. I am….”

Here are some tools to get you started on creating a new life story:

Your life is your story. Write it well and edit often!


My Advice On …

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Take a deep breath, and then another one, foster a self-compassionate mindset, examine those feelings and don’t assume they are facts.


Please don’t ever feel that I don’t want to hear your thoughts…I do! Send ’em along 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

Stress Resilience Film Festival: Super Fun & Helpful Escapism!

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Escapism & Stress Management

Apparently they say (who are ‘they’ anyway?!?!), that escapism is bad. So I looked it up, and started fantasizing 😉 ok, I started thinking about cool connections between stress management and escaping reality.

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What I found, yet again, is that escapism is perfectly alright as long as it is done in moderation (like everything in life) and it doesn’t just slip into pure avoidance. Your brain needs a break from school work, from guilt, from, well, thinking heavily at all. So infuse a little healthy escapism into your day and become more stress resilient. My post today will be focused around healthy, learning based, entertainment escapism that gives your brain a shift break.

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Just so I don’t lead you down a path of no return, Patrick Allan of Lifehacker has put together a pretty great list of suggestions to help you to “Snap Back to Reality“if you fall off the motivation wagon.

Before engaging in my Stress Film Festival, just to be safe, consider the following:

  1. Enforce the “Real Life-Right Now” Rule
  2. Redefine What It Means to Escape
  3. Identify What You’re Trying to Avoid (and Why)
  4. Aim for Smaller Doses of Escapism
  5. “Escape” to the World You’re Already In

lets-get-started

64820.pngExploit “Bad” Habits to Your Advantage

*bad is a subjective word, I suggest defining “bad” lightly and compassionately 😉

When stress hits, we tend to procrastinate to avoid feeling overwhelmed and replace with escapism. It could then lead to you feeling crappy about yourself because you defined “avoid” as a bad thing, and then escapism becomes avoidance. Vicious cycle. Sometimes you just need to let your brain rest so that it works bstress-management-modeletter and all the stuff you need to remember when you are studying , will then increasingly be tucked away nicely in your long term memory. Tired brains do not work well (I know! Obvious).

So, since you are escaping, how about participate in my film festival and watch a series curated videos that help you manage your stress by addressing all my suggested FIVE areas of stress resilience building.

Sit down, take a load off, ESCAPE for a while and watch some videos that will help you manage your stress better and start you on the path to being a stress resilient person. Come on, there is no guilt in this escapism, you are learning!

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Stress 101: Stress Knowledge

Stay Calm When You Know You Will Be Stressed

*I love this term “Prospective Hindsight”! It is all about hacking your brain and figuring out your behaviour patterns and making your brain/personality work FOR you. 

Hindsight: Moving forward successfully in your life with lessons from your past behaviour.


Self-Awareness

who-are-youSelf-awareness is one heck of a key component to becoming stress resilient. Know what stresses you out, how it does, why it does and what works for you,is the basis for mindfully deciding how you will go about your life creating the best possible life for yourself.


Receptive Mental State

sleep-is-good

If you don’t get enough sleep, there is no amount of mindfulness, self-awareness and coping strategies that will work because your mind will just go offline and leave you with nothing but an unfocused foggy view.

How to Get to Bed on Time and Stop Losing Sleep

*More information supporting this video: CLICK HERE

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PodCastThe Science Behind Getting Better Sleep


Attitude

Mindset Shift: Seeing Stress Differently…as a BFF!Stress Friends.jpg

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.


Coping Skills

5 Simple Tips to Help You DE-STRESS

*This is a wonderful little reminder of what works in managing stress.

 

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If were left thinking, yeah, great, but what if I have no idea HOW to think positively!!! Well, if  you are wanting to dig in’  a wee bit deeper psychologically…

 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Start With Learning a Bit More About Thought Management

Check out a few of my past posts for more information

on how to apply CBT strategies in your life:

Is Anxiety Stopping You from Getting Stuff Done?

Anxiety, I Just Don’t Have Time For You!


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On your mark, get set, ESCAPE! for stress resilience building 😉

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

Breaking Up With Stress: A Stress Management Series to Help You Dump that $#%? From Your Life!

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Stress Stress Stress

If you are anything like me, and the thousands of other people, you are probably very familiar with stress. You have been dating for a while now. It is a familiar and weirdly comfortable relationship, but it can get a wee bit abusive sometimes. Shall we start with some relationship counselling to get stress to smarten up?

To be completely honest with you…don’t shoot the messenger!!!…stress will always be a part of your life, even if you divorce it 😉 We just need to decide if we are BFF’s, acquaintances or, at least, healthy mature partners. Since stress is a stalker and a creeper, we may as well get friendly with that little devil if it is going to be in our lives.

I started thinking this week about what interventions I do in counselling sessions to help people understand, manage and reduce stress. So, I put this nifty little graphic together  (below) to help conceptualize the facets of stress. The way I see stress management/reduction is in a step-by-step process starting with Stress Knowledge (or at least a process of practice in all 5 areas). It is so important to understand what stress is neurologically and physiologically. Knowing what this horrible feeling is shows you that you are actually very normal and just an over-achiever 😉 The reaction is very functional and helpful in our survival but when we over use it, it becomes a pain in the &$$ in our life. Over the next few weeks I will slowly hand feed you (so I don’t stress you!) with some stress relationship advice and strategies to help you repair your relationship with stress. Each post will have a little bit of Stress Knowledge, some Self-Awareness strategies to help make this process personal to you, some strategies to kick your brain’s butt and develop a stress busting Attitude and a side of some Coping Skills to help you communicate better in your relationship with stress.

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Stress 101: Some Knowledge to Empower You

How Stress Effects Your Brain

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Signs of Stress

Everyone reacts to stress differently. However, some common signs and symptoms of the fight or flight response include:

  • Frequent headaches.
  • Cold or sweaty hands and feet.
  • Frequent heartburn, stomach pain or nausea.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Excessive sleeping, or insomnia.
  • Persistent difficulty concentrating.
  • Obsessive or compulsive behaviors.
  • Social withdrawal or isolation.
  • Constant fatigue.
  • Irritability and angry episodes.
  • Significant weight gain or loss.
  • Consistent feelings of being overwhelmed or overloaded.

Self-Awareness: Personality and StressENFP.jpg

Take This Quiz: CLICK HERE

Check This Out: Stress Tips for Your Personality Temperament


Positive Mental State

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Try a Guided Meditation – 20 Minutes 


Attitude

5 Steps on How to Build Resilience


Coping Skills: Breaking Up with Stress

…or at least repairing the relationship…


Your relationship with stress can change.

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Be patient, lean in, try new strategies and shape the life you want.

#MakeGoodThingsHappen


 

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

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!

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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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SLEEP! Why Have You Abandoned Me?!?!

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Need More Sleep?

Does this Sound Like Your Bedtime Wind Down Routine?

  • I love to replay some of the events of the day in my head.
  • I use the time before bed to mull over all the “what ifs” in my life.
  • I practice all the things I want to say to people.
  • I use this time wisely and plan and plan and plan my next day.
  • I sometimes think of all the people I miss terribly and feel sad.
  • I love to run through all the people in my life that I hate and why I hate them.
  • It is fun to act like a detective and ask a LOT of questions in my head.

Do you then wonder…

“Why am I still awake??!?!”

Hmmm…me thinks that you may be revving up your brain and kicking it into high gear conveniently before you want it to calm down and chill out.


Why Sleep is Important to Your Brain Function

As you slip into the grip of lacking proper sleep, your brain starts to conserve energy and start limiting functions by focusing on the areas that help you not die, like breathing. While breathing is good and all, being a human in the world where you have responsibilities like work, school, family, etc. you need to do more than just survive.

A Wee Brain Lesson

….seriously it will be wee 😉

brain-and-sleepThese are areas of your brain that REALLY need you to sleep.  Seriously, they are begging you…pahleeese SLEEEEP!

Here they are:

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The Neocortex: Now this big fleshy new part of the human brain is the control center for memory and learning in general. Treat it well or you will learn nothing and forget everything 😉

The Frontal Lobe: When this lobe is lumbering your creativity, imagination and general ability to focus takes a nose dive. You can find yourself completely unable to come up with solutions to your problems or even see any alternatives. You don’t even know where to start on assignments and tasks.

The Temporal Lobe: When you stop sleeping your mouth literally stops working. It has no idea what to say. This lovely lobe helps you organize your language and gives you the ability to even say something like “Help! Please help me to learn how to manage my stress and learn strategies to help me sleeping better”.

Parietal Lobe: You need this logical lobe working so that you can solve problems and have higher functioning thought processes. When this lobe is well rested, life seems manageable because your Thinking/Reasonable Mind is blending well with your Emotional Mind and it allows your Wise Mind to shine through.

The Prefrontal Cortex: This is the last area in the human brain to develop, which explains a great deal about why the adolescent and adult understanding of world often seem to be at odds 😉 This is your “voice of reason”, your judgement center, your ability to visualize, select and create plans of action in your life that lead to beneficial outcomes. Treat this area very well if you want to stop making massive mistakes.


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I know this was super PsychNerdy, but I think that it is important to have a basic understanding of how your beautiful brain works. Seriously, all you need to do is just treat it well and you will feel better, function better and do better in everything.


So I feel like I have got your attention! Ready to treat your brain better?!?!


Sleep Strategy

I will distill it down to a simple plan for getting some shuteye. You need a ROUTINE that sends a signal to your brain that you are ready to slip away into dreamland.

Three steps to consider:

  1. Wind Down: Start preparing for sleep a 1/2 hour before you go to bed.
  2. Use Strategies: Try strategies that encourage sleep (see list below)
  3. Manage Your Thoughts: Shut down your thoughts.  Use strategies that help you to manage your anxiety/worry.

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*I have given your my favourite sleep music. It works for me EVERY time, even when my thoughts seem to be out of control. Try it out, but remember that it takes at least 14 days to build a habit, so keep trying 🙂

Liquid Mind VIII: Sleep

Want to buy this? iTunes: Liquid Mind VIII: Sleep


Sleep Hacks

Here are 20 strategies to try that are scientifically proven to get you sleeping and make your brain happy and function well. Please give them a try!

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Stop reading this and get to bed!!!

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

Boo! Scared? #LeanIn

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Yes, we are entering the Halloween season and being scared is part of the fun, but being scared or overwhelmed the remainder of the 364 days in the year can really interfere with your life.

Are You Tired of Being Scared?

Do you feel that lack of confidence has hindered you in your life?

I recently read a fantastic book by a person who is really inspirational, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and bestselling author of the book “Lean In”.  In this book she encourages women to focus on what they can do in the workplace rather than what they can’t. After reading this book, I starting thinking that her incredible message reaches further than just workplace leadership. The concept of “leaning in” is a wonderful metaphor for responding to most things in life that scare or overwhelm us. If you have an important wish or goal in your life, but you are finding that fear, or a lack of confidence, may be stopping you, this is the time to decide your next steps. If your goal or wish is important to you, then you have the following two choices: Approach or Avoid. I would suggest that if this is an important life goal then choose to “Approach” it and make a plan, break down the steps and Lean In.do one thing that scares you.jpg


Aanxiety-girl.jpgnxiety

Yes, let’s go there…

Anxiety is a thing. Anxiety is actually your body doing exactly what it is supposed to do to keep you safe. If you about to be hit by a car or find a grizzly bear on your hiking path, you are supposed to be sent into a “fight or flight” state to keep you safe. The problem arises when that bear is in your head (your thoughts) and you can’t seem to escape it. Anxiety then becomes a problem because the bear follows you around takes over your life and stops you from living your life fully.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic approach designed to help people train their brain to respond differently to that bear, to get to know the bear (thought patterns), challenge the bear (new ways of thinking) and understanding where that bear comes from (core beliefs). So since this is an approach that focuses on LEARNING and retraining your brain, and humans are learning beings…you CAN do this!
oneYou first need to calm your Amygdala, this is a tiny part of your brain that is responsible for the huge and important response, the “fight or flight” response. You want to learn to calm Amy, tell her that everything it is okay and to “shut up!” because you need to think.

Try this to calm Amy…

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or listen to this…

Scientists have discovered the most relaxing tune ever!

The most relaxing tune, Weightless by founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy , was crafted by using specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener. A continuous rhythm of 60 BPM causes the brainwaves and heart rate to synchronise with the rhythm: a process known as ‘entrainment’. Low underlying bass tones relax the listener and a low whooshing sound with a trance-like quality takes the listener into an even deeper state of calm. Read more!

If you liked that tune, check out the full top 10 most relaxing songs!

1. Marconi Union and Lyz Cooper – Weightless

2. Airstream – Electra

3. DJ Shah – Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)

4. Enya – Watermark

5. Coldplay – Strawberry Swing

6. Barcelona – Please Don’t Go

7. All Saints – Pure Shores

8. Adele – Someone Like You

9. Mozart – Canzonetta Sull’aria

10. Cafe Del Mar – We Can Fly

two Once your brain is calm, you can now think (using your Prefrontal Cortex…I know TMI! but this PsychNerdy gurl couldn’t help it!). Helpful thinking means many things in this process such as, understanding your thought patterns, challenging problematic patterns or widening the lens you use when viewing your your life, just to mention a few ways. Get started on changing your thinking with the following resources:

  1. CBT Resource Sheet
  2. Widening Your Lens “The Wolf That You Feed” – Read by me! Listen below.

wolf

Choose to focus on what is going well in your life. Look at your life as a learning process and take on challenges as learning opportunities. You are not broken or defective, you just haven’t learned something…YET!


Want to be Inspired?

Watch Sheryl Sandberg share her experience in two wonderful TedTalks 🙂


 

fearIf you are ever overwhelmed, fearful or anxious, please know that you are definitely not crazy. You brain and body are doing EXACTLY what they are designed to do. Sometimes we just learn too much in a direction that is not helpful, we develop a habit, and all we need to do is start learning in a different direction. It is just LEARNING and if fear is getting in the way of your life, then you just haven’t learned how to tune up  the brain that you got…YET. I wish our brains came with a personal manual 😉 Keep on learning; keep on figuring out how your brain works.


I leave you with the thought…

What would you do if you were not afraid?

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca