Self-Talk

The messages we give ourselves in thought are the ones that often show up in our attitudes, behaviors, and often result in self-fulfilling prophecy.

I know better than to bombard myself with negative self-talk, yet I find myself lashing out with negative self-talk regularly, and all it does is hamper my overall self-esteem.

Some of the things I tell myself are: I have no willpower, I’m so lazy, I hate myself, I’m overwhelmed by all this, I’m addicted, I’m such a procrastinator, I have AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder).

I also take stock of my good qualities. I’m friendly, have a great sense of humor, am a good listener, have compassion, and other qualities that I like about myself. It is very important that we acknowledge our good qualities and not just dwell on areas that can be improved.

One example of self-fulfilling prophecy is saying that I’m shaped like a watermelon. I’ve been gaining weight ever since and am working on getting that message out of my head. Instead of saying, “I hate my body,” I can say affirmations that are nurturing. I’m thinking about this: I love my body. Every day it is getting thinner. I am taking care of my body by eating healthy food in moderation, drinking plenty of water and exercising. It’s all working inch by inch I see results.

I met a woman online who had a very negative attitude toward herself and couldn’t see her own good qualities. Here was a wonderful opportunity to use some of the training I went through to become a peer support specialist. I asked her to make a list of her qualities. We focused on the positive and I prompted her to recognize some of them by asking questions based on what I knew. When she saw them written down she was better able to acknowledge them. The other list consisted of areas that could be worked on. At this time, several months later, I’ve noticed that she’s doing much better and has made some positive changes in her life, not necessarily because of the list, but a spark of hope was born within her.

My goal is to accept myself in all aspects of my character, for only then can I make effective changes by choice. I choose to not put this off any longer, and take action to get it done. I choose to break down anything that overwhelms me into baby steps. If it’s easy enough, I can accomplish it.

Doing something by choice is very freeing. We don’t “have” to do it and by choosing, we avoid “should.” Telling ourselves we “should” do this or that can result in guilt if we don’t follow through. We do not need guilt. If you’re anything like me, you have enough of that already.

We are works in progress. Joyce Meyer has said, “I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I used to be.” Let’s dwell on the successes we have achieved, not the failures.

I think we are miracles in the making, one day, one small step at a time. One saying in a 12-step group is, “God is in the results department, I’m in the efforts department.” Making changes in our lives takes a lot of diligence. It’s so easy to stay in our comfort zone; it’s familiar. Stepping out can be somewhat daunting. However, as expressed above, we can take baby steps and make progress toward achieving our goals by deliberately making a choice to do so.

My belief is that it all starts in our head with the messages we give ourselves in the self-talk arena. When we stop putting ourselves down, our self-esteem will rise.

All About Mental Health and Illness

Today, mental illness has become far more widespread than physical illness.

According to an old report, in the USA one out of every twenty persons goes to a mental hospital at least once in his or her lifetime. And this number has increased with the passage of time. Social psychologist, Erich Fromm has written a book titled, The SaneSociety. He begins with giving statistics of prevalent crime rate-thefts, murders, rapes etc. – in USA and concludes that the whole society has become insane. He says that we are living not in a mentally healthy or sane society but in an insane society.

The unfortunate thing is that this fact is not generally recognized. Even if others think that a particular person is mentally unhealthy, in most cases the individual concerned would not accept it. How can people get well unless they recognize and accept their disease and approach a doctor?

What do we mean by mental health? We can define mental health this way: ‘A balanced and undisturbed state of mind, not only during favorable conditions but even during mentally stressful conditions.’ Mental stress could be of two types: acute and chronic or sustained. Seeing the two armies arrayed for war, with relatives on both sides, is an example of acute psychological stress, under whose weight he succumbed and showed signs of neurosis symptoms. Banishment into forest for fourteen years is an example of chronic psychological stress, who could bear it commendably without breaking down.

Now, mental illness and mental health can also have various grades. Positive health would mean not to break down under any type of psychological stress, no matter how intense, whether it comes in the form of temptation, threat, pain, fear, or suffering. Most of us cannot fulfill this condition and cannot claim to have positive mental health. We often break down temporarily under sorrow and stress if it is too severe, but soon recover our mental poise. This is the second grade of mental health.

The third grade would be when a person remains anxious or depressed, and continues to feel inner disturbance, but it does not express in his or her behavior and day-to-day activity. Most people fall into this category. There are those who require regular use of tranquillizers and anti-depressants to keep up their inner and outer poise. And, finally, there are those whose behavior pattern is altered so much that they need to be hospitalized in a mental institution.

We have emotions and sentiments, desires and drives; we have our will as well as the intellect. All these mental faculties of thinking, feeling, and willing must be harmonized together; otherwise we will ‘think’ something and ‘will do’ something else. This is our nature and if we do it overboard, our mental health suffers.

Escape from NetCare

What do you think would happen to you if you went to someone for help and those people forced you to realize your worst fear? Now what if, in doing so, they also cut you off from your spiritual ties? For each person the answer is likely to be at least slightly different. For the person who  is about to tell her story, it has caused her whole life to change.

As you probably already know, I have been dealing with Fibromyalgea, as well as being Bi-Polar. What you may not have known is, I have not been reacting well to the medication, Lyrica. I don’t know if it was the combination of medications, but I can trace with certainty strange thoughts and behaviors to the time period in which I took the Lyrica.

Unfortunately the pain specialist who put me on the Lyrica, didn’t seem to care as much as I did, that the Lyrica was affecting me in ways in which I was not comfortable. His solution: decrease the Lyrica and work up to tripling it at your discretion and I’ll see you in 6 months.

Fortunately I hadn’t yet reached the point where I had the impulse to act on my thoughts, but I did have the impulse to get more help, so I called my general practitioner. I’m sure the doc felt the same way you did when he heard about the “pain specialist”, which is why we decided we would discontinue not only the Lyrica, but the “specialists” involvement in my care.

Unfortunately, I don’t have insurance and was still dealing with unacceptable and uncontrollable thoughts. The doc and I both knew that it would take time for the Lyrica to leave my system and, not feeling safe alone until it did, I made arrangements for my own personal keeper. Life, being what it is, continued to place obstacles in my path, until I broke down to seek the counsel of a therapist.

At this point, all of us, the doc, the therapist, and the people who know and love me best all agree with me that, though I need counseling and even a babysitter, being in an institutionalized setting would be detrimental. Not only do I fear being “locked up”, I have a great need to be able to access fresh air at the very least. Being a highly spiritual person who gets their greatest divine comfort from the natural world, I have the need to be able to be out of doors.

Imagine my therapist’s shock when, instead of a confident forward-thinking woman in need of a little help that he had seen less than a week previously, he met a quivering bundle of fear on our next visit. Whereas, previously, we had agreed that going to NetCare should put me in contact with financially suitable resources to aid me through a medication change, we were both surprised by the reality of what occurred.

I understand that places who receive their funds through the government are not going to be the highest quality. I also understand that there are policies and procedures in place that are there for a reason. I also understand leading someone to believe that they can sign themselves out when that is not at all true, is misleading at the least. I understand they can’t take an inmate’s (though they call them “client”) word for it that being confined in any way is detrimental, when their family confirms this, and their doctors-plural: doctors-also agree with the inmate, one would think that at the very least a phone call might have been made to at least one of the doctors to find out if this is, indeed true.

 

Especially when, even though other inmates are screaming and yelling, I am trying to talk to one of their counselors through my trembling, so bad the bed is shaking. Obviously I have self-control. Apparently I was not in need of any of my medications, that I had told three different people I needed for anxiety. In fact, I seemed to not even need my medication when, after misleading me into thinking I would be able to leave with my husband, I got little crazy about being held against my will.

What can you do when an institution holds you captive against your will, and against the wishes of your family? What can you do when that same institution, not only refuses to give you your proscribed medications, but also refuses to assist you in getting help for other issues caused by the situations that have put you in? If you have a stress related illness like-Fibromyalgea or Migraines, don’t count on getting any aid if you are institutionalized.

Of course I am generalizing based on one’s experience. One experience that now has me completely unable to interact with other people without experiencing an anxiety attack. One experience that has me in a panic to even think about leaving my house. One experience that makes me afraid to answer the phone. One experience that makes me ill just to get a hug from my best friend.

My therapist was amazed that I made it to my appointment with him. Fortunately I do have a strong will and I know that this is an irrational fear. Oh, wait-it is not irrational: I went to professionals for help and, not only did they force me to encounter a nightmarish reality, they made me worse. That is a fact. I guess I should be thankful that the trauma I experienced at NetCare taught me that I apparently still had subconscious residue left from the difficulties I faced as a youth. Then again, without renewed trauma I might have never known I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I think I would have been OK with that.

If you know me at all, you know I prefer to look at the positive side of situation – at least with my conscious mind. This experience has taught me that I not only have a lot more self-control than I thought, but that I’m not nearly as crazy as I thought I was. (Well, I wasn’t anyway.) I can also be thankful for this experience because It has given me unquestionable direction for my life. Someday I will have a Serenity House where people like me can go to retreat from the world long enough to heal but without having to be locked away from the great creation.

It has also taught me to be grateful for the things that I have: a home in which I can feel safe; a husband who provides emotional security; family, friends and associates who are accepting even if they don’t understand; and the Internet. Yes, I said the Internet. Physical visits make me anxious to the point of nausea. Phone conversations make me shake and teary. Even texting has me trembling. For some reason, and maybe it’s because I have the passionate spirit of a writer, typing this only makes me more determined to reach my goals. To make sure no one else has to be traumatized like this. Maybe it’s because there was no Internet during my youth when the initial trauma took place, but at least I need not be isolated.

And I could. You should know that. My new perfect world has me here at home never needing to interact with anyone but my husband ever again. Not healthy, I know. And there are people on the outside I would worry about even if I never heard anything of them again, because I love them rather they are here or there. So I will force myself to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I’ll use this medium to stay in contact with the outside world, and I will get better again. Eventually.

Dealing with Fear Based Emotions

Fear is a powerful emotion which dominates the mind. Dealing with this destructive emotion can be a never-ending battle. Anytime the self image is threatened, fear enters the mind and the ego goes to work. Although the ego is a tool needed for our self esteem, it’s also responsible for creating most of our thoughts of fear.

Webster’s dictionary defines fear as: “to be afraid or anxious or apprehensive about a possible situation or event.” This possible situation is the ego telling your mind what may or may not happen. With these endless thoughts of fear, the ego kicks in and the mind begins to rationalize into infinity.

Mental Stress

Each day the ego works hard to keep the mind aware of: self esteem, self preservation, mental inadequacies, looking foolish, and fears of failure at any given moment. All of these fear based emotions are manipulated by the egotistical mind. Now you’re lost in the mind’s maze of never-ending thoughts. Just as one thought leaves the mind a dozen more thoughts enter.

There are many states of fear such as: frightened, dread, fright, horror, alarm, afraid, and also trepidation. Living in fear is when the ego has taken over control the mind because the mental perception of reality has collapsed. Now the only way the mind can exist is to live from one moment to the next awaiting what “might” happen next.

Fear Based Emotions

Dread is a strong sense of fear, especially when the feeling of powerlessness enters the mind. Now you’ve lost the “mental” foot race even before it began, because your mind has already told you of your failures over and over again. So you learn to dwell in the feeling of hopelessness.

Panic is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as: “to be overcome by sudden fears; an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety.” Panic is an emotional fear which is sometimes groundless, and can also be brought on by the endless emotion of dread. Most of these inner thoughts of fear can be purged from the mind, but first you have to learn to be mentally conscious of your thoughts.

When you live in fear you soon become archaic (to feel fear within) and now it’s beginning to affect your body also. Now, the ego has you just where it wants you; totality dependent, and worrying about anything which threatens your image of self.

Now, that you’ve learned where the emotion of fear comes from, you’re ready to learn how to effectively deal with fear and nip it in the bud before it begins to grow. Here are a few steps you can practice to help eliminate “most” of the fears in you mind. Although no one can ever live totally without fear, you can learn to put fear just where it belongs; in the back of your mind.

Mental Awareness

Listen to the thoughts which enter your mind, and throw out the regrets from the past and endless worries of the future. These are useless thoughts which usually turn into thoughts of fear when you tend to dwell on them. The mind likes to reply old thoughts of past failures and worries of the future, so be mentally conscious and don’t even go there; this is the ego kicking up its heels again. Throw out these useless worries and regrets and start all over again.

Anytime a thought enters your mind which you have no control of, immediately toss it out of your mind. Don’t give these thoughts time to grow, this is the first mistake. Once you’ve let the ego take over, the mind and the ego then goes to work doing what they both do best, which is to keep you problem solving (in your mind) for the rest of eternity.

Thought Patterns

The mind is the strongest muscle we have, and yes it loves to be used. The ego feeds the mind, but your conscious self can also feed the mind. When your mental consciousness is lacking, the ego jumps in and starts the race. Here’s how to beat the ego to the punch.

Keep your mind busy (if it has to be) with productive ways of thought such as: creativity, helping others, a hobby or activity, or reading; anything which interests your mind. Nootropic drugs in this scenario can be of great help, keeping your mind at its busiest state – aiming to become productive in that sense, it is definitely helpful. When your mind reverts back to the old ways of thought (fear) immediately change your thought patterns to a positive one.

Always understand when fear enters the mind, usually it’s not a life threatening situation, and there’s nothing that you can do about it at this moment in time. Don’t let the mind take you over and over the same thoughts of fear. Break the pattern of thought!

After awhile the mind will begin to adapt to your new way of thought and the ego will be diminished a little. Although, we can never totally get rid of the ego, we can help change the hyper active ego to a healthier one.

Learn to Meditate

This is an action which should be practiced daily just as you would brush your teeth. Meditation is a way to rid the mind of the excess mental chatter. Practiced meditation can take your mind to the quiet spot which lies inside of us all; this I believe is the God part of us.

Visualization is a good type of meditation which can help to focus the mind, and also remove some of the fears which exist within. Focusing on your breathing is also an excellent way of stopping the mental chatter. When you concentrate on your breathing, your mind is focused in another area: your inner body, and the feeling or sense of body.

Meditation can be done with instructional tapes or just peaceful music. If it’s possible, join a spiritual study group in your area where meditation can be taught. There are literally thousands of books on the market or the Internet where meditation information can be had. Find a type of meditation which you’re comfortable with, and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Living in a world of mental fear is a hideous thing to conceive. But you can stop this fear if you really have the desire. The desire to overcome fear starts with mental awareness of the mind. You have to truly believe in yourself, and know that fear is “not” an option!

Don’t throw away the most precious gift you have just because you’re afraid to start. Remember this is the ego again, not the true you. Your mental outlook lies in the balance of this decision. What happens next is just a mental step away.

Emotional Health Help: Living with Chronic Anxiety Sufferers

Chronic anxiety differs from panic attacks. Panic attacks are acute reactions to certain stimuli. Chronic anxiety manifest itself as undifferentiated worry, fear and sometimes anger. Do you interact with someone who suffers from chronic anxiety? Is there someone in your life who, although he is a capable, caring person, seems constantly worried? Do you live who while being a loving, generous person, is also reactionary and irrationally explosive? Those are warning signs of chronic anxiety.

Chronic or pathological anxiety in a constant, while panic attacks are sudden, swift and generally short-lived. The anxiety is ‘free-floating’ or generalized, rather than specific. Typically the anxiety has been festering since childhood. The chronically anxious person has always acted nervous, withdrawn and worrisome; chronic anxiety doesn’t suddenly develop. If an otherwise calm, positive person begins to act chronically anxious, something has happened to cause this issue. Situational Anxiety may stem financial, health, interpersonal issues, but if the anxiety is out of character for the person, it is not chronic anxiety. Sadly, a chronically anxious person becomes more deep-seated and pervasive as time goes by.

Can you be in a relationship of some kind with a chronically anxious person and do anything to help? Yes, in two very important ways. First, do not personalize or let yourself be dominated by a chronically anxious person. Chronic anxiety, by its very nature is a black hole. No amount of comfort or reassurance can help because the anxiety is ‘gone systemic’. There is an old saying, ‘poor planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part’. Tweak that for the chronically anxious person; ‘chronic anxiety on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part’.

Next, you can encourage the chronically anxious person to seek medical and psychological help. Why medical help? Because it is just possible that a health examination may turn up a health issue that exacerbates the anxiety. And certainly anxiety has an effect on many medical conditions. Be supportive and encouraging. Let your loved ones know that you do not think that he is crazy. You simply care for him and want to see him feel peace. Fortunately, people with chronic anxiety typically respond very well to cognitive or reality therapy, once they make the choice to seek help.

Positive Thinking Yields Positive Results

Thinking positively is extremely beneficial to a person and can change their life significantly. By using your mind to think positively, you will find that your ideas will materialize into happiness and well-being. The law of attraction states that positive thoughts yield positive results while negative thoughts result in bad outcomes.

Imagine you’re applying for a job and you go into the interview with a bad attitude about said job. Even worse, you go in with a bad attitude about yourself and have malicious expectations. Your shirt is wrinkled and your hair looks a mess since you didn’t have time to iron or comb your hair (probably since you spent all morning fretting over the interview you would later have). If your potential employer picks up on this you will most likely not get the job you want. However, if you were to walk into that job with a smile and great confidence in yourself and your abilities, you will get that job. Instead of seeing a non confident potential employee, they see someone who can walk into work every day with a smile and get the job done. Though most people think it’s the nice outfit and the handshake that seal the deal, it’s really the attitude you have going into the interview to begin with.

The best thing about positive thinking is the chain reaction, it starts just by one person feeling good about life. Whether we know it or not we affect those around us in many ways. We’ve all been the driver on the road who beeps and screams at the person in front of us who can’t seem to go any faster than 20 miles per hour. Your anger and frustration is sending negative energy out, causing other people stress and repeating the cycle over and over. It doesn’t only work negatively though. What if while you’re behind that slow person you notice some children playing in a park across the street? You would not have seen them if you have had been traveling at your normal speed. From the simple smile you get from seeing children, the positive energy spreads. Now you can get to work with a smile and maybe your smile will make someone else smile. It’s an endless cycle of being happy.

Maybe now you can see that positive thinking isn’t just something to help eliminate stress, but a way of life. Just remember: Positive thoughts give positive results, while negative – well, don’t worry about the negative.

We are Back w/ a New Layout

We are proud to announce that PDX Hypnosis Center has a brand new location with a brand new layout! We have completely redesigned our office in order to make it a better environment for our customers. Late last year, we consulted with a medical office space planning company (source) about creating a new office space that would best fit our client’s needs. After months of planning and working round the clock to make this possible, we now have a fresh new office design!

The Layout

The new layout is designed with our customers in mind. We developed this with the sole purpose of providing a better experience for all of our clients. As part of this process, we enlarged the waiting area and made it more spacious and comfortable. We added more comfortable seats and added 2 HD television sets to allow for a better wait time. Additionally, we made room to create an extra “office” for hypnosis sessions, allowing us to treat multiple patients at the same time. This will allow us to increase efficiency and get you in faster with lower wait times.

The Design

PDX Hypnosis Center was designed with calming colors and a better environment. We designed the office to give our patients a calm feeling before they go into their session. There will be soft, relaxing music playing while you wait to help relax you. Additionally, the lighting has been adjusted to be less bright. We did away with the fluorescent lighting and got more dim, relaxing lights that don’t give you a headache.

Please Come Check us Out

We would love for you to be a part of our hypnosis center. Please visit us to see our new digs!

PDX Hypnosis Center Welcomes You

Shirley Black, M.S., CHT and
Richard Northman, CHT
Certified Hypnotherapists

Are you looking for a way to move past the obstacles and challenges that have stood in the way of success, happiness, and a more fulfilling life?  If so, we are here to help you find and utilize lasting solutions. It is our honor to offer you effective, practical, useful methods to foster changes in automated habits and addictions, to support medical treatments, improve overall health and achieve personal growth.

Why PDX Hypnotherapy?

The PDX Hypnotherapy Clinic has the experience and expertise to help you stop smoking, lose weight, overcome stage fright and test anxiety, plus much more.

One of Atlanta’s leading providers of hypnosis services, Shirley Black has over 28 years of experience and has successfully helped thousands of people achieve their goals.

If you’ve tried everything else, now try Hypnotherapy.

SERVICES

Hypnosis is a natural experience. All of us go in and out of many levels of trance each day. Therapeutic hypnotic trance is utilized with our clients in order to manage stress, cope with anxiety, improve self esteem, build confidence, get rid of the trap of addictions, and support weight management thereby enhancing aliveness, vitality… [read more]

 

OUR APPROACH

Private, individual sessions are offered in the comfortable and quiet setting of our Hollywood District office in Atlanta, Georgia and on the phone or via Skype. We work with adults, seniors, and adolescents. We offer at no extra charge a CD created during the session which can later be used to reinforce the goals of… [read more]