Is sleep as important as they say?

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Our society sends this message that we need to constantly be striving for better at whatever the cost, pushing ourselves nonstop to get that raise, buy that car, pass that exam, get straight A’s, etc. and in order to do so you have to stay up until all hours of the night. It seems that if we were to shift our focus and be more mindful of our sleep quality and the amount, we are getting each night it could potentially increase our quality of life. Not getting enough sleep is linked to some serious health issues but also mental health issues as well. Research shows that sleep is directly linked to poor concentration, fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, and ADHD which are the three most common mental health disorders in the United States. Poor sleep can take a toll and affect our relationships in a negative way. Our energy levels are often impacted which makes it very difficult to stay away all day and complete our tasks. We are exhausting our bodies and our brains. If we are getting enough sleep it would add up to about a third of our lives asleep. Sleep is as important as eating, drinking, and breathing is, it is vital in order to stay happy and healthy. Good sleeping habits help to restore and repair our brains and bodies from the everyday stress we endure. When we are sleeping our brains are still working in a critical and important way. They can be processing information, storing memories, and undergoing maintenance that allows us to function at our best during the day. Children need a significant amount of more sleep that adults, but it is also noted that patterns of sleep shift from childhood to adulthood. Children sleep multiple times throughout the entire day and night, as an adult it shifts and becomes one long amount throughout the night.

So, what could be some ways to increase our quality of sleep?

Creating bedtime habits:

  1. Create a bedtime and wake up time routine.
  2. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning (we are creatures of habit and consistency)
  3. Avoid sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol close to bedtime.
  4. Get a good amount of sunlight exposure during the day.
  5. Exercise regularly, note that it is best to get a workout in at least a few hours before you go to bed because exercise often provides energy and can disrupt sleep.
  6. Meditation or engage in mindfulness. (my favorite app for this is the insight timer, for children you can use: Children’s bedtime meditations for sleep & calm)
  7. Put away devices an hour before bed.
  8. Engage in self-care. (Some of my favorite are lavender essential oils, warm tea, taking a bath, writing in your journal, read a book)
  9. Only use the bed for sleeping, don’t bring work into the bedroom because then this signals to your brain that the bed is not just for sleeping and then your brain doesn’t shut down as quickly and efficiently.
  10. If you are unable to fall asleep get out of bed and move around for a bit, maybe sit on the couch and read a book for a bit until you start to feel tired then go back and lay down.

I came across this chart that has broken down the amount of sleep as a guideline that is efficient for our mental health and bodies based off our age:

  • Birth to 3 months: 14 to 17 hours.
  • 4 to 11 months: 12 to 15 hours.
  • 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours.
  • 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours.
  • 6 to 13 years: 9 to 11 hours.
  • 14 to 17 years: 8 to 10 hours.
  • 18 to 64 years: 7 to 9 hours.
  • 65 years and older: 7 to 8 hours.

Know that this is just a guideline. Everyone’s sleep needs are different, so it is about trying to find what your needs are and where that sweet spot is of feeling rested and restored.

Family Holiday Advent Calendar

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Family Holiday Advent Calendar

We all want holidays to be a time to remember full of love and laughter. Being surrounded by family or friends can often bring closeness, joy, and memories to cherish. For a lot of individuals holidays bring up sadness and grief along with a lot of additional stress and worries. It is hard to miss our loved one’s day to day, but holidays seem to heighten those feelings and emotions. One of the ways we can work through those feelings is to surround ourselves with loved ones. I also understand that for some being around family or friends can add onto that stress so finding that balance here will be important. Finding others that we can connect with, share memories with, laugh with, and purely enjoy each other’s company can provide some healing on the challenging days. I know that from my own experience gathering with family and playing games, sharing stories, listening to music or whatever it is, always brings love and laughter into my heart and soul. So I wanted to create a family holiday event calendar that you can either follow day to day or you can mix it up and choose one that fits for you that day. Remember this event calendar is not supposed to add additional stress, the goal is to relieve some of it. So, making it work for you and your family is what is important. My hope in creating this is to provide a little bit of structure throughout each day of something fun you all can do together that brings connection, love, and support through this holiday month. Enjoy each other’s company, authenticity, and build memories to cherish. Know that it is okay to feel the way that you do there is no right or wrong way. Also, please know that if you are struggling or know of a family member that is struggling this holiday season you do not have to struggle alone, we are here to help at Courage to Connect Counseling.

DECEMBER 2019

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Color a picture 2 Share Christmas wish lists 3 Write letters or notes to loved ones 4 Do a puzzle together 5 Sing together 6 Play a board game 7 Make decorations and hang them
8 Go for a family walk 9 Create cards or gifts 10 Share memories of loved ones 11 Make dinner as a family 12 Take silly pictures together 13 Watch a movie together 14 Play charades
15 Spend time with family friends 16 Go through toys and donate ones that are no longer used 17 Paint rocks 18 Have a dance party 19 Tell stories together 20 Choose an event to attend together 21 Bake together
22 Drive around to see Christmas lights 23 Have a family meal 24 Read a holiday book 25 Enjoy presents and give thanks 26 Make Breakfast together 27 Build a snowman 28 Go sledding
29 Play Games 30 Have a living room picnic 31 Cheers to the New Year        

 

The Busy Season

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During this holiday season you can ask just about anyone how they have been and about ninety percent of people will look at you and say “I have been busy (and may add something like “but good”)!” We find ourselves stretching ourselves to the limit to meet the needs and demands of the holiday seasons. Around every corner we have Christmas parties, family get together, cookie exchanges, holiday plays, presents to buy, decorations to tend to, people to pick up from the airport, cleaning, cooking, baking, the list can go on and on. We never seem to run short on anything but time and money. The two major stressors that can bring out the lowest of lows in people. Many people find themselves at the end of the holiday saying “Thank goodness it is over!!” rather than “I am so grateful for the season!” Some people even have a complex emotion of both.

Taking Care of Yourself This Season

There are so many great articles about how to take care of yourself during the holiday season. One of the big pieces I believe to pay attention to is where is your body at? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you making time for exercise, sleep, family time, good nutrition, and even breathing? Many time during the holidays we sacrifice many of these things to simply make it through the day with people smiling all around us and our bodies are just waiting for the moment to crash. Are you taking care of your basic needs: food, movement, connection?

Things You Can Do To Meet Basic Needs

Cook Healthy Meals: You can attend to nutrition by planning out meals. Using fresh ingredients and finding balance in each meal. It is easy to fall onto fast food and dining out when we get busy. There are alternative options like utilizing crock pots or insta-pots on busy days so when you get home the food is ready.

Have Small Snacks Handy: Sometimes running around can take more time than expected due to crowds. Always having small health snacks in your car or in your purse can keep your blood sugar and your mind in a fresh place.

Small Group Time: Sometimes the large groups can be overwhelming and can create a lot of internal anxiety. Finding ways to make time for smaller groups to refresh and drop back down to your baseline. Sometimes powering through is not always the option we want to take.

Disconnected Family Time: Spending quality uninterrupted family time with one another. Time spent is the most important piece of the holidays.

Exercise: Exercise is a very important piece of the holiday season. All that you really need is 30 minutes of good movement and activity in a day to release small amounts of anxiety that can build up. Exercise allows us keep anxious energy moving throughout the season.

The Important Things

Remember the important things in life. What are some of your favorite holiday memories? Many people do not remember the gifts they got or all of the parties they attended or the things you accomplished. The thing that most people remember are the people they meet and the memories they make. Children remember time spent together, traditions, memories made, and time spent. People talk about the people they met and how they could be a life-long connection. They talk about the adventures that were taken and the people that were involved. The family favorites that were participated in. These are the things to keep at the fore front on your mind. Being too busy or hurrying from one thing to the next doesn’t allow for joy and peace to set in during the holidays.

 

Failure Builds Resilience

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When failure knocks us down the hardest part begins. We have to pick up and fight to move forward. Each circumstance allows for us to come out a different person than we walked in. This is so much easier said than done. I want to look at failure from two sides: how failure is bad and how failure is good.

Failure is Bad
• Emotional toll
• Other’s opinions
• Judgments
• Confidence killer

 Failure is Good
• We are pushing ourselves
• Motivation
• Growth opportunity
• Options to choose

When we look at the bad we can see that there is a lot to deal with internally when it comes to failure, but the same is also true with the good. We are given the opportunity to grow even in the good and bad of failure, because when you look at the bad those are hard things to deal with but they are opportunities for us to grow and prepare for what lies ahead.

Failure is not Fatal

“Success is not final; Failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
Many people see failure as devastating, and yes I believe it definitely feels that way sometimes. Failure is hard on us emotionally and socially, and it makes us feel vulnerable. The key in failure is to remember that we are given special opportunities to learn through failure. We have the choice to make sure that failure does not have to be fatal: we can choose to let it hinder us or we can choose to take it and learn from it.
Failure can be seen as a stepping stool. Without failure or disappointment, we would never be encouraged to move or grow. We would become stuck in a mundane cycle with little purpose, meaning, and zest in life. If we didn’t have failure in our lives we wouldn’t be challenging ourselves enough or taking necessary risks in life that give us meaning and purpose. Failure motivates us to change, grow, and pursue life in a different light. Encountering failure gives us the opportunity to see that we are pushing ourselves and we are striving for excellence in our lives.

Failure is Fantastic

“Fantastic” may be a little over zealous when talking about failure, but the truth is failure is determined by your mindset. If you go into failure with a defeated mindset, failure will take that form. If you walk in positive and with your mindset as an opportunity, then failure will take that form. If we are able to harness the positive power of failure, we can build resilience in a way that will leave us with a different kind of power to overcome what we are going through. If we never fail, we are probably never trying hard enough.
When we start looking at our obstacles as opportunities we set ourselves up for growth and a character of resilience. Instead of letting failure win, we can look back at the choices we made and track how to redirect new choices for a better outcome. With that ability we are able to move forward with new knowledge knowing that we have the power to change our future for the better. This gives us the opportunity to make new choices, and cultivate a greater understanding of how our choices affect our outcome. As we take this idea and move forward from failure we are given this opportunity to take control of the choices that we make therefore putting us in control of our own outcomes and becoming more resilient.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” -Henry Ford

Learn From Failure to Build Resilience

The definition of resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Failure helps us practice our resilience, but how do we build resilience from failure. Resilience is not a skill that is learned over night, resilience is something that must be practiced, nurtured and built upon. Some of the key factors according to Brene Brown are: resourcefulness and problem solving skills, seeking help when needed, a belief that there is something that can be done to manage feelings and to cope, a social support system, connection with family and friends, and spirituality. Each of these keys are vital in growing from failure. We all must learn to problem solve in order to grow from failure and when we learn the art of problem solving we are able to develop other areas of our life that are key in living a fulfilled life.
When we fail, if we are able to learn to problem solve, talk to trusted people about the failure (and what can be done), and lean into our loved ones for the support we need we can cultivate resilience from our failures. We have to let up on ourselves and remember that failure is not who we are, it is a behavior we did. Many of the most famous people failed numerous times: Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, J.K Rowling, and the list could go on. Some would argue that if you want to be great then you are going to fail on your way to becoming great. Each of these people learned to master the art of resilience in a way that led to greatness. They were able to fail, learn, and recover quickly. Accepting that failure is a healthy part of life because it allows us to grow and build upon what we are passionate about and create something greater than we could have imagined.

Relationships and Attachment

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Have you ever noticed yourself struggling with the same thing over and over again in your relationships? As we grow up, we develop a style of relating to people from our experiences and upbringing. These relational styles drive our sense of developing meaningful and fulfilling relationships. The styles we develop from our early experiences and upbringing are called attachment styles. Attachment has been researched for many years and has been proven to play into the context of our lives. There are four dominating attachment styles:

1. Secure Attachment
2. Avoidant/Ambivalent Attachment
3. Anxious Attachment
4. Disorganized Attachment

Each of these styles is unique in what we learned growing up through our everyday encounters with our caregivers. Some of the encounters are at the forefront of our mind while others are buried deep in the back of our mind. Our brain holds the key to our survival, and these attachment styles were developed to protect us in our relationships and our connection with people. Our attachment style has a huge impact on our mind, brain, and relationships. Each attachment style holds patterns and behaviors that are acted out in different ways depending on the individual. A description of the attachment styles are as follows:

Child Attachment Styles

  • Secure Attachment (58% of population)
    •  Developing a secure attachment style typically means that parents were: attentive, caring, nurturing, attuned with child’s needs/emotions, and predictable.
    • The belief that a child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently is “help will come”, “I matter”, and “I can depend on others and myself”.
    • Some traits that are developed with this style are trust/safety, connection, resilience, and empathy.
  • Avoidant Attachment (Insecure) (23% of population)
    • Developing an avoidant attachment style typically means the parents were: dismissive, inattentive, non-nurturing, unavailable, and rejecting for much of the time.
    • The beliefs that a child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently are: “I don’t need you”, “I don’t matter enough to deserve your attention”, and “I am alone in the world”.
    • Some traits that are developed with this style are distrusting, independent, distant, and critical.
  •  Anxious Attachment (Insecure) (19% of population)
    • Developing an anxious attachment style typically means the parents were: inconsistent, intrusive, noncommunicative, over nurturing, and unpredictable most the time.
    • The belief that the child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently are: “I must work consistently to get what I want” and “I must control everything to make it predictable”.
    • Some traits that are developed with this style are clingy, controlling, untrusting, and low self-esteem.
  • Disorganized Attachment (Insecure) (18% of population)
    • Developing a disorganized attachment style typically means the parents were: unpredictable, abusive, noncommunicative, neglectful, and chaotic.
    •  The beliefs the child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently are: “the world is not a safe place” and “the way to survive in this unpredictable world is to be unpredictable”.
    •  Some of the traits developed from this style are aggressive, unaffectionate, extreme, and distrusting.

It is easy to see how attachment can have an impact on our adult relationships. Now you ask, these are all attachment styles that I developed as a child, what does that mean about my adult relationships? Our attachment styles typically carry over into our adult relationships unless there is an intervention. The adult attachment styles and descriptions are as follows:

Adult Attachment Styles

Secure – For most of the time people are: able to regulate themselves in stressful situations, comfortable in relationships, able to seek help from others, resilient, and empathetic.

Dismissing – For most of the time people are: greatly independent, often do not seek out relationships, highly critical, emotionally withdrawn from others, and intolerant of others.

Preoccupied – For most of the time people are: fearful of rejection from partner, desire extreme closeness, controlling and blaming behavior, unable to regulate self (often need others to do it for them), codependent in relationships, and living in extremes.

Unresolved – For most of the time people are: chaotic, insensitive, aggressive, unpredictable, unable to regulate self, abusive, and explosive.

**All listed qualities are not a must in every situation. These are general researched characteristics for each attachment style**

Adult attachment styles are important to understand because it is how we relate to people and the world around us. Whether it be friends, significant others, coworkers, bosses, acquaintances, and other environments we find ourselves in. Our attachment styles also tell us about how we think about ourselves and the relationship we have with ourselves. It impacts our self-esteem, our self-worth, and our self-love. Attachment styles do not have to remain the same forever. It is important to understand and build awareness around our styles because through awareness we can begin to develop a healthier sense of self and connection with people.

Attachment work takes time and effort to work through. Our brain has created these patterns to help keep us safe because when we were young all we had to rely on was what our parents conveyed to us. The one thing we understood was: we had to do what was needed to survive. If you are trying to break these patterns, and you continue to find yourself repeating the same behaviors over and over again, you are not alone. With the help of a therapist who specializes in attachment, these patterns can be replaced with healthier and more secure ways of attaching. Therapists can help you develop and reach emotional regulation goals, relationship goals, “self” goals, parenting goals, and other life goals.

Generational Trauma – Implications and Steps to Healing

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We pass down all kinds of things to our children. We pass down genes, traits, personality types, culture, and behaviors. It is true that children are like sponges and they continually seek outside of themselves to develop their “normal”. Children are constantly learning and observing, they recreate what they see and brain patterns are formed. Children start to build who they are based on the environment they are recreating around them.

As I begin to write about generational trauma I want my firm belief to be known that “everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.” I do not believe that people purposefully try to harm or make other’s lives less than what they are supposed to be. They are typically repeating what they know and based on how they were taught to do it.

What is Generational Trauma?

The definition I will use to define generational trauma is: maladaptive behaviors and patterns that are passed down from parents to children then passed to the children’s children. Many people will have heard the phrase “when the abused becomes the abuser”, as this is not always the case in every situation, there is truth to the phrase. This is an example of generational trauma.  This also related to the idea of attachment, beliefs, behaviors, and relationships.

What Happens in Generational Trauma?

Generational trauma is a accumulation of neural network in the brain that are established by patterns in behavior and hormones. Trauma can be a very difficult thing to heal. The more engrained it becomes in family systems, the harder the chains are to break. When we look at behaviors, beliefs, and patterns we often can begin to see a recurrence in the previous generation. These behaviors become a repetitive part of the system that children learn from and then develop the same neural networks in the brain as the parents.

Within the same neural networks come the same hormones. If a child grows up in a family where domestic violence is prevalent they are constantly learning from the behaviors as well as having stress hormones that are triggered in the body as a protective agent. Elevated levels of stress hormones in children can cause the brain to register that those hormones need to remain elevated for safety. Elevated levels of stress hormones can health effects later on down the road, and they can present current symptoms that can be seen as anxiety, attention deficit hyper activity, oppositional defiance, and depression.

Mirror neurons in the brain are exactly as they sound, when we see something we often do it back. If we see someone smile we often smile back. If we see someone crying, we often feel sad. The same is true for anxiety and anger. If we see someone highly anxious our body tends to increase in anxiety. If children are in a household of high anxiety, they often learn to be anxious. Therefore, anxiety can be generational.

How Can You Heal Generational Trauma?

Many people don’t recognize their behaviors as maladaptive because they simply are taking what they learned and applying it in the best way that they know how. Awareness is the key to change. Without recognizing that there is something happening in your family system there cannot be change.

  • First step is seeing the patterns. Some are more obvious than others: domestic violence, abuse, anxiety, gender roles, among others.
  • Second step is building the awareness around what triggers you to step into these established patterns. Is it yelling, disrespect, feeling devalued, physical aggression, watching people bully others? The list could be endless.
  • Once you are aware of triggers, the fourth step is becoming aware of how you react to the triggers. Do you shut down, become angry, become violent, yell?
  • Fourth step is learning to put road blocks in those patterns. Setting up a trigger word or phrase that helps you recognize when you are going down a pattern. Setting up a support network to be held accountable.
  • Fifth step is give yourself grace. These are patterns that have been engrained for a long period of time. Generational trauma does not heal overnight or over a week. It takes time.

Asking for help from a professional is a great option to supplement these steps. Sometimes the trauma you encountered and be so engrained for protection that extra help may be required. Trauma is stored in the body and stored in the brain.

 

When Life Hands You Lemons

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I think most of us have heard the saying “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. My goodness wouldn’t it be amazing if it were as easy to do as it were to say. When we are handed lemons life gets hard, we struggle for the next step, people to turn to, our next move. Lemons are the struggles that we experience in life, they are the hardships, the breakups, the losses, and the hurt. Lemonade doesn’t come easy from these things. If it were only as easy to do as it were to say, but if you think about it, making fresh squeezed lemonade by hand is no easy task. It takes time, strength, tools, and knowledge of how to do it. Many times we don’t have the time, strength, tools, or knowledge to handle the lemons that life gives us. Sometimes it is all we can do to keep the juice from stinging our wounds. While working with people I have witnessed some common ways that lemons have been dealt with in life and they are as follows:

  1. Throw the lemons to the side(run): this is one of our natural instincts. Run when things get hard and overwhelming and continue to find ways to get around the mounds of lemons in our lives.
  2. Destroy the lemons (fight): this is another natural instinct. When the going gets tough, get tougher and rougher and hard.
  3. Pretend they don’t exist (avoid): this is where we fill our lives with other things to distract us from the mound of lemons even though they are trickling out of the closet.
  4. Live with the lemons (accept): this can go two ways. Accept defeat as is and struggle with the load of lemons with no movement forward OR accept the reality and move in other ways to rid the lemons one by one.

How do you handle the lemons in your life?

What I have found is that each person has their own unique way of dealing with lemons. Lemons are hard to deal with, no matter how we deal with them, and each way of dealing with the problems of life has consequences, both positive and negative. Some ways are easier and allows us an out. Some of the ways can cause us a little more stress and heartache along the road, but ultimately get us to where we want to be.

The goal in dealing with lemons is to get to the place where we make lemonade. Making lemonade is not an easy process; like I stated before, it takes time, strength, tools, and knowledge. When we make lemonade we take time to explore the lemon and understand what is needed in the next step in the process.

  • First the time and knowledge: I lumped these two together because it takes time to explore and fully understand the lemon for what it is, how it is operating in your life, and the purpose behind the lemon. Knowledge comes not only from education, but also from awareness of yourself and your experiences. Every experience we have is built into our make-up of who we are and where we are going. Lemonade typically has more ingredients depending on the type of lemonade you want. In this arena, we take the time to write our story, and find a way to create a new ending.
  • Second is strength: It takes both inner and outer strength to make lemonade. It is not easy to face the lemons in our life, it is really hard and it can be draining mentally and physically. One thing I know is if you use one of the four escapes listed above you are experiencing the same physical and mental exhaustion, just without moving forward in a purposeful way.
  • Third is tools: Most of us are not physically strong enough to rip a lemon apart and squeeze all of its juice into a pitcher. Typically we need knives, strainer, juicer, cups, and pitchers. This is just the same for the lemons of life, only slightly different tools. We need skills that can lead to effective communication and relationship building with others, healthy ways of dealing with and sorting through the lemons of life, ways to develop a stronger sense of self, skills that lead to emotional stability, among other things in life.

If life has handed you a bunch of lemons and you are struggling sorting through and managing the lemons and the emotions that go along with them please contact me. Life’s struggles can be hard sometimes and you don’t have to go through it alone. Sometimes another perspective and a little guidance and encouragement is what we need to sort through what we are dealing with. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you courageous because you are taking a stand and fighting these battles on the inside and out.

Grow Your Confidence Through Self-Respect

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Confidence and Self-Respect

In order to maintain confidence we must be able to grow and nurture self-respect. When we learn to lean into our own self-respect we can maintain our confidence in a whole new light. Some of the things that get in the way of self-respect are: people-pleasing, negative people, hurt/anger, careless situations, not knowing yourself or the people around you, and not hold yourself or others to appropriate standards.

Self-respect is based on what you do. When you do or allow those things listed above to be in your life you are taking a toll on your self-respect. When we do well and surround ourselves with positive things our self-respect goes up, and when we feel good and surround ourselves with positive things our confidence goes up as well. There is a correlation between self-respect and confidence, often times if we have one we have the other. If we increase our self-respect and the things we need to have self-respect, we are able to increase our confidence as well. There are key ideas that can help us create a greater amount of self-respect, but the three that I want to focus on are: boundaries, gratefulness/positivity, and our support system.

Boundaries

Boundaries are a very hot topic, and for a good reason. One of my favorite authors, Brene Brown, simplifies boundaries as “what’s ok, and what’s not ok.” Simple yet profound. Many of us have a hard time establishing what is ok and what is not ok. We struggle finding that balance of helping others and still maintaining ourselves. We either help everyone and give too much or we withhold from others because we are afraid of giving too much or resentful because we already have.

When we hold tight to our boundaries we give ourselves the opportunity to harness compassion, love, and understanding with ourselves and with others. Having these qualities in our field because we are boundaried gives us the ability to increase our self-respect and confidence because we feel stronger about the way we interact with others and we maintain what is important and key in our lives and relationships.

Gratefulness & Positivity

When we develop a sense of gratitude in all that we do we start to view the world and our life from a different lens that increases our confidence. Science shows that when we take time to notice the good we are able to create positive pathways in our brain that begin to create a more positive outlook on life. When there are positive things happening in our lives we have the ability to increase our confidence because we feel better about who we are and what is happening around us. When we become intentional about noticing the good in our life we are more likely to have a positive outlook on life and various situations and people. If you take 10-30 seconds and focus on the good and write down one positive thing that happens for 30 days you will start to see a difference in your outlook on life and on yourself.

We are able to build more respect around who we are and what we do when we start identifying the positive things that are happening in our lives. The less positive we see the less respect we accumulate. When it comes to being intentional about the positive things in our lives we have to take an honest look at the things that bring us down: negative beliefs, family members, boyfriends/girlfriends, work, our own pattern of thinking etc. We have to find ways to take these areas in our life an cut away the bad, add more positive, and maintain the things that are good now.

Support System

Knowing who the important people are in our lives are so important in regard to our self-respect. When we have a healthy and functional support system, we give ourselves ample opportunity to be grateful, maintain boundaries, and maintain our self-respect. There is the idea that when we are in negative company we ourselves become negative, but when we surround ourselves with positive company we ourselves become more positive. When we have positive influences and positive people in our lives then we increase our respect for ourselves and for our confidence.

Moving Forward

When we start to align things in our lives and put in place necessary actions to increase our self-respect then we have the ability to naturally increase your confidence. Some of these areas in our lives are not always easy to maintain or change. If you need help to navigate some of these or all of these areas contact me. Going through this alone is hard work and having someone to walk through some of the challenges with can help you find the deeper respect and deeper confidence that you desire.