Laughter really is the best medicine.

Hi, Welcome to this weeks blog.
I said a few weeks ago that I handled the current Covid-19 situation with humour. I knew a lot of people were worried and even scared, but I felt that the last thing they needed was for someone to keep reminding them that they were feeling anxious or stressed. I wanted to take their mind off of the situation so each day I posted an original funny picture or a corny gag to make people start their day with a smile. I didn’t take the decision lightly as I knew that people all around the world were suffering or sadly dying. However there was nothing that I could do to stop that, but I could make people smile and take their mind off of the situation, even if only for a short time. Turns out I was right. I continued to study the effects of laughter and I have compiled this list to show you just how much it helps.
They say that laughter is “the best medicine,” and as it turns out, there is some scientific truth to this assertion. Humour-associated laughter has numerous health benefits, so here are 10 reasons you should laugh it up.


LAUGHTER IS A SIGN OF GOODWILL TO ALL OTHERS.


Laughter may be unique to humans. Why do we do it? According to a 2010 study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, laughter and smiling are generally intended as a message of good will. The authors extrapolate that there is a similar function in primates, who use facial expressions with bared teeth to suggest friendliness and sociability. They write, “Because some forms of smiling are voluntary and easily faked, laughter, which requires a more synergetic contraction of the wider musculature, is believed to have evolved in humans to express a secure, safe message to others.”

Day 5 I started going nuts.


LAUGHTER MAY REDUCE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most dangerous side effects of stress, as well as a huge risk factor for heart disease and stroke. However, it’s hard to be stressed when you’re laughing, so researchers have investigated whether laughter can bring blood pressure down. There are more than a few studies that show a reduction of blood pressure after laughter, such as a 2017 study in the Journal of Dental and Medical Research, where 40 patients undergoing hemodialysis listened to CDs of comic shows for 16 30-minute sessions over eight weeks, and saw a decrease in blood pressure.
After three months, the blood pressure readings significantly decreased overall by 5 mmHg among the laughers. People in the comparison group showed no change in blood pressure readings.


LAUGHTER CAN REDUCE ANXIETY AND OTHER NEGATIVE EMOTIONS.

A 1990 study in Psychological Reports looked at the effects of humorous laughter on threat-induced anxiety. Researchers led 53 college students to believe (falsely) that they were going to receive an electric shock after a waiting period.
Subjects in the experiment group listened to a humorous tape while waiting for their shock. The placebo group listened to a non-humorous tape, and the control group did not listen to any tape. The humour group reported that their anxiety decreased during the anticipatory period, and those with the highest self-reported level of sense of humour had the lowest reported anxiety.
Laughter therapy has also been shown to improve anxiety in patients with Parkinson’s disease, reduce anxiety and depression in nursing students, and improve optimism, self-esteem, and depression in menopausal women.
Laughter can act as positive coping mechanisms to help a person get through difficult times.

Day 11 off 100


LAUGHTER IS AN IMMUNE BOOSTER.


At the beginning of cold and flu season, it may be a good idea to practice some laughter therapy, as several studies have shown the immune boosting power of a chuckle. Watching a funny film or listening to a comedy podcast is great for the mind and body.


LAUGHTER MAY ACT AS A NATURAL ANTI-DEPRESSANT.


While nobody would recommend laughter in lieu of other treatment for depression, it has shown promise at lifting depressed moods. Patients in long-term care facilities often suffer from depression and poor sleep, so a 2017 study tested the effects of laughter therapy on 42 residents of two long-term care hospitals. The results were promising.
The laugher therapy, which the subjects undertook over eight sessions, for 40 minutes twice a week, included “singing funny songs, laughing for diversion, stretching, playing with hands and dance routines, laughing exercises, healthy clapping, and laughing aloud.”
The results showed reduced depression and general mood improvement as well as improved sleep in the experiment group compared to the control group.


YOU BREATHE BETTER AFTER LAUGHING.


It turns out that a good bout of deep belly laughter can lead to increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption, which are similar to what happens during exercise. While a 2009 study in the International Journal of Humour Research found that these changes only last as long as the laughter itself, if you can laugh like that for 30 minutes to an hour, maybe you can skip the gym.

Took the Doctors advice.


LAUGHTER IS GOOD FOR YOUR CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM.


Your lungs aren’t the only organ that benefits from a great guffaw. A 2009 study in Medical Hypotheses found powerful benefits to the heart and cardiovascular system.
Study participants watched either a comedy like Only Fools and Horses or the bleak opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, which is known to increase mental stress. They used a technique called brachial artery reactivity testing (BART), a form of ultrasound that looks at the brachial artery. Participants who watched the stressful movie experienced a 35 percent reduction in flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD, or how blood vessels dilate and contract); sluggish FMD is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. Meanwhile, the group that watched the funny scene saw a 22 percent increase in FMD, comparable to exercise. In short, laughing helped their blood flow better.
The Heart Association recommends laughter for a healthy heart, adding that research has shown laughter promotes reduced artery inflammation and increased production of HDL, or “good” cholesterol.


LAUGHTER CALMS STRESS HORMONES.

Humour, and by extension, laughter, stimulates multiple physiological systems that decrease levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, and increase the activation of the dopamine-dispensing reward system of the brain, according to researchers of a 2017 study in Advances in Physiology Education. A 2003 study in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that viewing a funny film decreased a wide variety of stress hormones.

I had company during isolation.


SOCIAL LAUGHTER CAN RELIEVE PAIN.

Laughter might be as good as some analgesics for pain, something early physicians seemed to understand. In the 14th century, French surgeon Henri de Mondeville used humour to distract patients from the pain of surgery and to help them during recovery.
More modern research has found that participants who watched comedy videos needed less pain medication than those who watched control videos. In a 2011 study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, over the course of six experiments using extreme cold as a pain-tolerance measure, researchers found that social laughter—laughter done in groups in a social context—elevates pain thresholds. The authors suggest, “These results can best be explained by the action of endorphins released by laughter.”


LAUGHING BURNS CALORIES.


As if all of these benefits aren’t a good enough reason to giggle every day, a 2014 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that laughter can burn calories. Researchers broke a group of 45 participants into two groups, half of whom watched film clips intended to evoke laughter for approximately 10 minutes, and half who watched film clips unlikely to stimulate laughter. Both groups were attached to a “calorimeter” that measured energy expenditure and heart rate. They determined that those who laughed during their viewing burned up to 10 calories in 10 minutes, as compared to those who did not laugh and did not burn any calories.
So turns out not only was I making people smile I was helping in all sorts of ways.
I got such positive feedback from Facebook friends and followers that I made a book which is now available from Amazon in Paperback Kindle and direct from me as an Ebook. Come on, you knew there had to be a plug in their somewhere. PS. Half the profits (if there are any, Please buy my book 🙂 ) will go to an NHS charity.

100 Days in isolation. Available NOW!

Over 200 jokes and original pictures, to keep you smiling long after this virus has gone.

Keep smiling
Until next week. Take care and stay safe.

Jon X

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. and online via Zoom

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon.

Find me on You TubeFacebook and Instagram.

Ways to stay calm during isolation.

It’s a weird time for everyone self isolation and social distancing can make it hard to feel normal and can be even tougher on your mental health so here are some 5 tips to help you stay calm

Clear up your social media

you are probably spending a lot more time scrolling through Instagram Facebook and Tik Tok but Have you ever wondered how this can have an effect on your mental health? Try unfollowing accounts that make you anxious, worried or angry. Replace them with some positive, good vibe accounts. Trust me you will thank me later

Plan your day Lola when your normal routine is disrupted it can cause you distress which impacts your mood and your productivity

take some time each day to write down how you want to spend your day. This will give you a sense of order and normality. Decide on your new routine and make sure you build in time to do things that you enjoy.

Practice mindfulness

there are lots of free apps and even Instagram and Facebook lives on practicing mindfulness at home. Whether it’s breathing techniques meditation or yoga there are practices that can be done with the whole family and it will help restore a sense of calm and peace within the house.

Take a break from the news.

With all the constant updates directly to your phone and coverage on TV from morning to night it can be hard to switch off. You might even feel guilty for doing so, So if you notice that this is having a negative effect on your mental health, try limiting how often you check the news.

Read a book or listen to an audio book

taking a break open your screens is so important. Reading or listening to a book can help you escape. Why not we read one of your favourites or take a peek of some mindful minute blogs.

Zoom for Online Sessions

Staying connected

Video calls

Phone calls are amazing, and are a great way to stay connected. But seeing someone’s face really can make a huge difference on a phone call. It can lift your mood and make you feel less lonely. There are lots of free video calling services you can use, and if you can connect to wifi this will help if you’re worried about your data allowance. Don’t be shy about going on camera – your loved ones will really appreciate seeing you, even if you’re in your pyjamas! You could really brighten someone’s day

Find a positive online community

If you do want to stay online, there are lots of positive online communities, where you can make new friends, get inspired and chat about things you care about. You could try searching for groups involved in causes, music or TV shows you are passionate about.

But remember to avoid anything that encourages you to do things which are harmful for your physical or mental health. If you’re worried by things you’re experiencing online, talk to someone you trust.

Reach out

You’re probably not the only person feeling worried, bored or frustrated. It’s a good time for a catch up, so don’t be afraid to make the first move and reach out to someone you haven’t heard from in a while. They’ll probably be very grateful to hear from you. Send them a message and let them know you care.

Feel productive

Make a list of all those things you said you would do but never get round to. It could be sorting out your wardrobe, doing some gardening, fixing things around your living space etc. These tasks can make you feel productive and give you a sense of accomplishment. Tidying your living space can also make you feel calmer and more positive. If you want to take the time off to rest and not be productive, that’s also fine too. Listen to your body.

Dealing with stressful situations at home

Walk away before you do or say something you regret.

Walk away from tense situations if you can

Being cooped up with other people will naturally be frustrating and might create tension between you and those you live with. You can defuse difficult situations by walking away from arguments until everyone starts to feel calmer. If you and those you live with do not have any coronavirus symptoms, you could go outside for a walk.

Create a rota

If you’re in a situation where lots of people are fighting over who gets to decide what you watch on TV, who cooks and cleans, or anything else, you might find it helpful to create a rota. This can help you agree a fair system and help avoid arguments.

Reach out for help

If your living situation is difficult, please don’t struggle in silence. Speak to someone you trust. Call a friend or a helpline. If you’re worried about being overheard, you could try texting or emailing instead. There are lots of helplines which also offer text and online messenger support.

Finally some calming tips for kids.

Play a mindful game

It can be hard to think of ways to keep your children occupied, especially without resorting to screen time. One way to occupy their time during the day, and help them feel calmer at the same time, is to play games that involve the senses. This can help them bring their attention back to the present moment and create a feeling of groundedness.

Here are some quick, simple, mindful games you can get your children involved in, without much preparation time and hassle:

Touch: Put a bunch of mystery items in a paper bag and take turns feeling one object at a time and guess what it is as you describe the texture and shape.

 Sight: Look around the room in silence for one minute, and point out all of the things you never noticed before.

 Sound: Set a timer for one minute and count how many different sounds you can hear with your eyes closed, and then share what you heard with each other.

Make Memories with the kids.

Cooking with a twist

When the children are home all day, there will be more cooking to get through and mouths to feed, which offers the perfect opportunity to get children stuck into some mindful cooking and baking – while learning multiple new skills at the same time!

Encourage your children to help you out with the daily cooking, teaching them small skills and keeping them engaged in the process of turning ingredients into meals. Focusing their attention on tasks such as stirring, mixing and weighing, can be an active, fun way to help them concentrate and keep their minds in the present, allowing stressful thoughts to leave the mind.

To further use the senses, encourage your children to describe the colours of the ingredients, the texture of the food during different parts of the process, and notice the different forms the meal has taken, from start to finish.

Baking in particular can be a fun activity for children to be occupied with, whilst also being a grounding and therapeutic experience. The repetitive actions and gentle rhythms when mixing or kneading can help relax the mind. This is a similar process to concentrating on your breath during guided meditation sessions.

It is also very rewarding; when children have finished baking and can see and eat the end result, it can provide them with a feeling of satisfaction. They can also share the food they made with the rest of the family, with the act of sharing being great for mental wellbeing, as well as bringing the family closer together through the exercise.

One of the best parts of this mindful activity is the delicious aroma of the baked goods filling the house, creating a lovely cosy atmosphere, perfect for the family to unwind in.

I hope you all stay safe and healthy.

Until next week. Make memories and smile.

Jon X

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge.

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon.

Find me on You TubeFacebook and Instagram.

Don’t let your thoughts ruin your Christmas.

Hi. Welcome back to my last post of 2019. What a year it’s been. Ups and downs and a few surprises thrown in. However with all that I survived mine and you survived yours if you are reading this. so well done. The good bits hold in your heart the bad bits let them go. if you made mistakes, learn from them. if they weren’t your problem then don’t worry about it and just move on.

For my last blog I want to conclude my posts on  self confidence.

I am a great believer in positive thinking and self belief and daily affirmations have helped me so much. Remember what we say to ourselves we believe, our mind believes so think positive and you will stay positive.

Here are some quotes and affirmations that I would like to share with you for Christmas.

Self-Confidence Quotes

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.

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Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.

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Don’t let others put thoughts into your mind that takes away your self-confidence.
To excel at the highest level – or any level,

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you need to believe in yourself,

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Always be yourself and have faith in yourself.

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Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.

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Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do and, at some point, you will.

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Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.

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Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

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As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

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Confidence is when you believe in yourself and your abilities, arrogance is when you think you are better than others and act accordingly.

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The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence .

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Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?

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To establish true self-esteem we must concentrate on our successes and forget about the failures and the negatives in our lives.

Daily Affirmations

I believe in me.

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I’m getting stronger every day.

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I can do this.

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I am who I want to be

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I know my worth

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I’ve decided I’m good enough.

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I have the strength to change my story.

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I deserve to be happy and loved.

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I accept myself unconditionally.

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I love myself, and I accept myself as I am.

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I am confident.

When you get up in the morning choose an affirmation and smile at yourself in the mirror and say it to yourself. It’s a simple and powerful way to start your day.

Merry Christmas and I sincerely wish you all the very best for 2020.

See you in January. Have a good one.

Jon XX

These last few posts have been taken from my book ‘Can I Change?‘ Available from Amazon .It makes an ideal stocking filler.

 

Self confidence. You can have it.

Hi Welcome to December. I should have done this week but time just got away from me. This week I want to blog about self confidence.

SELF CONFIDENCE /ˌsɛlfˈkɒnfɪd(ə)ns
a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement.
“I feel terribly tired and completely lacking in self-confidence”
synonyms:
morale, confidence, self-assurance, belief in oneself, positiveness, assertiveness, assurance, self-reliance, selfpossession, composure, nerve, poise, presence, aplomb”she took care to build up his self-confidence by involving him in the planning”antonyms:
diffidence, unsureness
Self-confidence is a term that appears in many contexts, from improving mental health to helping people meet business goals and more. Self-confidence is more than a buzz word; it’s a genuine concept linked to mental health, wellbeing, and a positive way of being in the world. Self-confidence includes both feeling and doing.
Self-confidence is not so much a single idea as it is a process that involves how someone thinks about himself and others as well as how he functions despite challenges and uncertainties. Self-confidence applies to someone’s inner, private world and to his outer world around him or her.
The above definition explains what self-confidence is. These examples illustrate what self-confidence can look like. Self-confidence means:
Valuing yourself for who you are regardless of the blunders you make, the type of work you do or don’t do, etc.
Feeling good about yourself; feeling worthy despite imperfections
Being courageous enough to stand up for yourself and be assertive
Knowing that you’re worthy of others’ respect and friendship
Knowing and accepting the whole of you, both your strengths and weaknesses

The Meaning of Self-Confidence: A Quality-Of-Life Issue
How important is it for someone to develop self-confidence? The central issue relates to quality of life. Self-confidence influences the life someone creates for herself.
A lack of self-confidence negatively impacts someone’s quality of life. Having little self-confidence creates feelings of
Self-doubt
Unworthiness
Inferiority to others
Apathy
Loss of enjoyment
Anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges
In contrast, self-confidence creates
An awareness of strengths, limitations, and how to live your life with both
An acceptance of one’s faults; the realization that perfectionism is neither possible nor desirable
A feeling of being complete
A sense of inner peace
An experience of balance between one’s strengths and weaknesses
The ability to create and experience happiness
Self-confidence is experiencing genuinely positive feelings about yourself while accepting your faults and foibles. A definition of self-confidence is acting assertively because you believe in your inherent worth. Self-confidence means that even when you don’t like things about yourself, you love your whole self.

How confident do you seem to others?

Affirmations
Your level of self-confidence can show in many ways: your behaviour, your body language, how you speak, what you say, and so on. Look at the following comparisons of common confident behaviour with behaviour associated with low self-confidence. Which thoughts or actions do you recognize in yourself and people around you?
Doing what you believe to be right, even if others mock or criticize you for it.
Or
Governing your behaviour based on what other people think.
Being willing to take risks and go the extra mile to achieve better things.
Or
Staying in your comfort zone, fearing failure, and so avoid taking risks.
Admitting your mistakes, and learning from them.
Or
Working hard to cover up mistakes and hoping that you can fix the problem before anyone notices.
Accepting compliments graciously. “Thanks, I really worked hard on that prospectus. I’m pleased you recognize my efforts.”
Or
Dismissing compliments offhandedly. “Oh that prospectus was nothing really, anyone could have done it.”

As you can see from those examples, low self-confidence can be self-destructive, and it often manifests itself as negativity. Confident people are generally more positive – they believe in themselves and their abilities, and they also believe in living life to the full.

What Is Self-Confidence?

Two main things contribute to self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem.
We gain a sense of self-efficacy when we see ourselves (and others similar to ourselves) mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in those skill areas. This is the confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we’ll succeed; and it’s this type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks.
This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem , which is a more general sense that we can cope with what’s going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy. Partly, this comes from a feeling that the people around us approve of us, which we may or may not be able to control. However, it also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, that we’re competent at what we do, and that we can compete successfully when we put our minds to it.
Some people believe that self-confidence can be built with affirmations and positive thinking. I believe that there’s some truth in this, but that it’s just as important to build self-confidence by setting and achieving goals – thereby building competence. Without this underlying competence, you don’t have self-confidence: you have shallow over-confidence, with all of the issues, upset and failure that this brings.

Building Self-Confidence

So how do you build this sense of balanced self-confidence, founded on a firm appreciation of reality?
The bad news is that there’s no quick fix, or five-minute solution.
The good news is that becoming more confident is readily achievable, just as long as you have the focus and determination to carry things through. And what’s even better is that the things you’ll do to build your self-confidence will also build success – after all, your confidence will come from real, solid achievement. No-one can take this away from you!
So here are my eight steps to self-confidence,

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.” — Maxwell Maltz

1. Visualize yourself as you want to be.
“What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill
Visualization is the technique of seeing an image of yourself that you are proud of, in your own mind. When we struggle with low self-confidence, we have a poor perception of ourselves that is often inaccurate. Practice visualizing a fantastic version of yourself, achieving your goals.

2. Affirm yourself.
“Affirmations are a powerful tool to deliberately install desired beliefs about yourself.” – Nikki Carnevale
We tend to behave in accordance with our own self-image. The trick to making lasting change is to change how you view yourself.
Affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that we say to ourselves. These are normally more effective if said out loud so that you can hear yourself say it. We tend to believe whatever we tell ourselves constantly. For example, if you hate your own physical appearance, practice saying something that you appreciate or like about yourself when you next look in the mirror.

talkingtoself

To get your brain to accept your positive statements more quickly, phrase your affirmations as questions like, “Why am I so good in making deals?” instead of “I am so good at making deals.” Our brains are biologically wired to seek answers to questions, without analysing whether the question is valid or not.

3. Do one thing that scares you every day.
“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” — T. Harv Eker
The best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. By doing something that scares you every day and gaining confidence from every experience, you will see your self-confidence soar. So, get out of your comfort zone and face your fears!

4. Question your inner critic.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise L. Hay
Some of the harshest comments that we get come from ourselves, via the “voice of the inner critic.” If you struggle with low self-confidence, there is a possibility that your inner critic has become overactive and inaccurate. Strategies like cognitive behavioural therapy help you to question your inner critic, and look for evidence to support or deny the things that your inner critic is saying to you. For example, if you think that you are a failure, ask yourself, “What evidence is there to support the thought that I am a failure?” and “What evidence is there that doesn’t support the thought that I am a failure?”
Find opportunities to congratulate, compliment and reward yourself, even for the smallest successes.

As Mark Twain said, “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

5. Help someone else.
Helping someone else often enables us to forget about ourselves and to feel grateful for what we have. It also feels good when you are able to make a difference for someone else.
Instead of focusing on your own weaknesses, volunteer to mentor, practically assist or teach another, and you’ll see your self-confidence grow automatically in the process.

6. Care for yourself.
“Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” — Parker Palmer
Self-confidence depends on a combination of good physical health, emotional health and social health. It is hard to feel good about yourself if you hate your physique or constantly have low energy. Make time to cultivate great exercise, eating and sleep habits. In addition, dress the way you want to feel. You have heard the saying that “clothes make the woman.” Build your self-confidence by making the effort to look after your own needs

7. Create personal boundaries.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”– Harvey Fierstein
Learn to say no. Teach others to respect your personal space. The more control and say that you have over your own life, the greater will be your self-confidence.
8. Shift to an equality mentality.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” — Marilyn Monroe
People with low self-confidence see others as better or more deserving than themselves. Instead of carrying this perception, see yourself as being equal to everyone. They are no better or more deserving than you. Make a mental shift to an equality mentality and you will automatically see an improvement in your self-confidence.

I hope you enjoyed this blog on Self confidence.

Next week I will be offering some tips to help you with self confidence.

This blog is using extracts from my book ‘Can I Change?’ available from Amazon in Paperback or Kindle. It makes a nice stocking filler.

Until next week. Be safe and be happy

Jon X

 

Night Night.

Hi. Hope you are having a good week. This week I’m concluding my night time anxiety blog.

Has anyone found any of the tips or advice that I’ve offered helpful? If you have let me know.

So What else can you do to ease the night time anxiety? Theis is a strange one.

Make your worries real

Write down what’s on your mind at least an hour before bed. By committing thoughts to paper, you control them – they no longer control you and live on paper instead of in your head. Mentally, you can tick them off. Dr Guy Meadows suggests giving each worry a nickname, too, such as The Nag. ‘We can’t help these thoughts coming in, but they’re only a problem when they start to consume us,’ he says. ‘By giving them names, you speed up the process of defusion, so when unpleasant thoughts crop up, you can just acknowledge them – oh, there’s The Nag again – and go back to what you’re doing.’

Get moving earlier

Strenuous exercise in the evening may cause your nervous system to be too wired to sleep, says meditation teacher Will Williams. So either restructure your day to exercise in the morning, or use meditation after exercise to calm everything down and bring you back into balance.

Set clear goals

Have a clear plan for the next day, says psychologist Susanna Halonen. ‘If you know what priority number one and two are, you’ll spend less time worrying because you know those are the first two things you’ll get done. The more you turn this into a habit, the more you realise that if you plan ahead and prioritise effectively, the more easily you can get the important things done. This will lower your anxiety and help you sleep better.’

Woman-on-phone-in-bed

Curb your cyberenthusiasm

If we’re going to feel worry-free at night, it’s crucially important to have a mental switch-off, says Neil Shah of The Stress Management Society. ‘So have a digital blackout for an hour before bed, unplugging all devices that could stimulate the mind.’ browsing the latest headlines online may feel like light relief, but it actually keeps your brain stimulated. He says, ‘If checking your phone is part of your end-of-day routine, do this at least half an hour before you turn the lights out so you give your eyes and brain a break. Put any electronics out of reach or on airplane mode so you won’t be tempted to pick them up in the night – or if you can, turn them off completely.’
LCD screens emit blue light, which is the same sort as sunlight, so plays havoc with our sleep hormones. ‘Checking Facebook last thing at night is like shining a miniature sun into your eyes,’ says Dr Guy Meadows of The Sleep School. ‘Our body clock gets confused and starts thinking it’s daytime again, so it inhibits the sleep hormone melatonin and releases the waking hormone cortisol.’

Leave the room

If you simply can’t get back to sleep because your head is buzzing with worry, don’t look at the clock – you’ll fret even more. ‘Just get out of bed and go into another room for 10 minutes,’ says Dr Ramlakhan. ‘Leaving the environment you feel uncomfortable in breaks the association with worries. But don’t start checking your phone or scrolling through Facebook.
Go into the living room and under a dim light read a few pages of a light-hearted book, or yesterday’s newspaper. When you feel calm, return to your bed and begin some deep breathing again.’ He adds, ‘Turn your pillow over when you get back into bed. It will feel cooler on your face and creates a separation from the last time you were lying there.’

Anxiety quick tips.

Start Deep-Breathing
If you’re not focused on how to calm your body through slow, intentional belly-breathing, you’re missing out. Belly-breathing is free, location independent, and easy to implement.

Meditate instead of Medicate
Calm is an inside job. Give yourself the gift of serenity and start the day with ten minutes of solitude and positive energy. Think calm, measured and open-minded, and your daily activities will correspond.

Practice Self-Care
Get a massage, a mani-pedi, or a haircut. Nothing says polished and well-maintained like a sexy, healthy glow.

Eliminate fizzy drinks
That morning cup of jcoffee can jumpstart your day and provide warmth and comfort, but anything with high fructose corn syrup and 177 other ingredients will not.

Trim the Fat from Your Budget
Debt will keep you up at night and contribute to feelings of low self-worth and hopelessness. Take charge of your finances and stop spending on non-essentials. Track your daily expenses for a week or two and decide where you can cut back. Notice the items you accumulate mindlessly.

Plan a Day Trip
When you spend time in nature, you give your mind and body a much needed break from the hustle and bustle which causes you to Google things like “How to get rid of anxiety” in the first place. Chances are no matter where you live, there’s a serene, interesting and charming place within a couple hours.

Go to Bed Early
This may sound impossible if you’re accustomed to staying up late to catch up on the To-Do list. But this one’s a MUST. Sleep deprivation is a huge anxiety culprit. Inadequate shuteye can amplify the brain’s anticipatory reactions, upping overall anxiety levels, according to research

Wake up 15 Minutes Early
Like most anxious people, you’re probably rushing around in the morning and yelling at everyone in your wake, “Hurry up! We’re going to be late!” Go slowly, and set yourself up for a relaxed day ahead. If you start to worry about the To-Do list, take a deep breath and think, There is enough time.

Get Your Lavender On!
Lavender oil has many healing properties and can be used as a natural remedy to reduce anxiety and other nervous conditions. There are many ways to incorporate lavender into your calm tool kit:

Reduce Caffeine, Sugar and Processed Foods From Your Diet
Caffeine can cause heart palpitations if you ingest too much. Caffeine also can trigger panic or anxiety attacks, especially if you have an anxiety disorder. Hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, can also cause palpitations.

Know that Feelings Are Not Facts
One of the hardest jobs of a hypnotherapist is to convince your anxious client that the feelings of low self-worth, guilt and shame are not accurate. Negative thoughts cause negative feelings.

Challenge Negative Core Beliefs
Remember that thoughts precede feelings. Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions, which lead to negative behaviours.

Get Some Accountability
If you’re BFF with Nervous Nellie or Anxious Allen, put your keyed-up energy to good use. Vow to work on healthier ways to cope when feeling stressed together.
Attend a Social Gathering (Even If You Don’t Want To)
If you’re prone to social anxiety, it’s important to make time for socialization. It’s cool to be an introvert, but know that we live in a universe that revolves around connecting with others.

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
Exercise is nature’s anti-anxiety remedy. Besides clearing the mind, firing up the endorphins, and helping you sleep soundly at night, researchers have found that individuals who exercise vigorously and regularly were 25 percent less likely to develop an anxiety disorder within five years.

Accept Your Anxiety
Whether you inherited the “anxiety gene” from your parents, or your lifestyle, or both, accept your anxiety rather than fight it. It’s not about rolling over and giving up. Understand you have to work hard every day to bring calm to your environment. Remember there’s always options in life, and worse fates exist than being anxiety-sensitive. After all, when push comes to shove, at the end of the (stressed out) day, anxious people get the job done!

Schedule a Visit with a Therapist
Nobody deserves to feel bad. A qualified mental health professional is your best bet if your anxiety is unbearable.
PS. I know a good one. 🙂

www.jonadkin.com His brilliant

andre-hunter-5otlbgWJlLs-unsplash

These anxiety quotes not only provide inspiration,

but they give you a look into what it’s like living with anxiety and panic.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

“Even when things are wonderful.

I’m always waiting for something horrible to happen.”

“Even the simplest task can be overwhelming at time.”

“I say “sorry” a lot, mostly because I feel everything is my fault.”

“Today I will not stress over things I can’t control.”

“I’m terrified that even if I try my hardest, I still won’t be good enough.”

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

“You are strong for getting out of bed in the morning when it feels like hell.

Book Cover

I hope you enjoyed this Blog. Please let me know if you use any of these tips. More detailed advice can be found in my book ‘Can I Change‘ available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle versions.

Until Next time

Have a great week. Best wishes

Jon X

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