Empowering Thought and Emotion

Real Solutions for Complex Challenges

Changing Self-Esteem

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Anxiety Help | 3 comments

Changing Self-Esteem

Changing Self-Esteem – It’s Not Rocket Science

You feel stuck! You are not living the life you want; you don’t feel comfortable being yourself. You’re capabilities aren’t in alignment with how you want to be. While that sucks, here’s the good news, changing self-esteem is not rocket science. But if you want to change, it will require you to be different from how you want to be and most of us resist being different from what we want. This makes changing self-esteem seem scary. Yet consider this, if your self-esteem is low, are you really being yourself?

Whether you want to change or not is going to be determined by you. This means you have to have an open mind. Most people are fearful of making changes in themself and fears tend to close the mind down. That can make it a bit of a catch-22.

So as you read the list below, the steps you don’t feel apply to you may be the ones most keeping you stuck. How can you be serious about finding for solutions if you immediately dismiss what you don’t like or agree with. Excuses for rejecting new ideas come from those who are fearful of change or have some misunderstanding on the ideas. What you don’t want to do is stay stuck justifying the things you already know and the dismissing what you don’t.

10 Requirements for Changing Self-Esteem

  1. Find the true source of your negativity. How can you work with what’s really keeping you stuck if your pain remains hidden. How can you stand up for yourself if what keeps you down not addressed?
  2. A method of transforming or releasing past pains into experiences you can learn from, ones that help empower you to make supportive decisions. Those who do not have a means of transforming emotional negativity, become subservient to it, a slave to their own helplessness.
  3. Finding a means of honest communications within yourself. You can’t continually beat yourself up or knock yourself down and think your thought processes are rational or normal. Honest and supportive communications require you to be real with yourself, not demeaning
  4. Changing self-esteem requires that you know what you want and that what you want is achievable. The problem with those with low self-esteem is they know what they want to avoid. Satisfying a feeling or seeking an emotional state is not an outcome, its a way of being. How you want to feel and what you want from your life need to be different outcomes. 
  5. Minimize all or nothing thinking. Very little in life is black and white. Changing self-esteem is not about always being happy or confident. Changing self-esteem is about supporting and empowering yourself in more effective ways.
  6. Leaning on your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses. One way to continually feel bad is to lean on your weaknesses and minimize your strengths.
  7. Change your beliefs. Your beliefs about yourself, about your relationships to yourself and the world outside are not really working for you. Supportively changing self-esteem requires you to create a different reality than the one you currently have been stuck under.
  8. You have to be able to process stress effectively. While no one is immune to stress, there are ways of magnifying insignificant events into masses burdens and minimizing big problems into workable solutions.  Those who know how to do the latter tend to feel better because they trust they can work through life situations
  9. Alter the relationship and perceptions of your senstivities. You may be more sensitive than others in some places, but that doesn’t mean these sensitivities get to control your life. 
  10. Transform the focus of being a victim into one of accomplishments. Low self esteem stays low if the pressures of what isn’t working for the person can’t be restructured

Fully consider these each of these steps. There are many ways of achieving them all. If these don’t make sense to you, find a professional who can help you in changing self-esteem. Life is to short to stay stuck in one mindset or one way of perceiving things.







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Is Guilt a Medical Condition?

Posted by on Apr 4, 2013 in Mental Health | 0 comments

Misconceptions of all sorts

Counselors continually hear the misunderstandings people have about relationships and capabilities, about life and  human development. Recently I was asked “Is guilt a medical condition and can guilt be a genetic predisposition that runs in a family?” The woman calling said both she and her sister have constantly experienced guilt throughout their life. Her mom and grandmother were no different.

Can Negative Emotions Actually Be A Medical Condition?

In Chinese Medicine, certain types mind set and emotions are characteristics of energy blockages or deficiencies in the body. The emotions of anger and anxiety can often be diminshed through herbs and acupuncture when the energy flow of the body is restored to its optimal state.

The western medical community primarily views negative emotions as a psychological condition. Medical communities do not conclude guilt a medical condition

Do Genetics Create Negative Emotions?

Science is realizing the old adage of genetics being a stagnant gene structure that is passed from one generation to the next is incorrect. However the life style choices and environmental conditions of past generations not only alters their levels of health, it can impact later generations. That being said, genetics is still not set in stone, it only implies a disposition to certain sensitivities and abnormalities. The rest is learned or influenced by current conditions. Does that make guilt a medical condition?

What does happen is we learn by example how to cope with different situations. The moment our nervous system develops, the body starts interpreting what feels good and what doesn’t. In the first few years our emotional response patterns develop. Our reasoning skills begin to form during the ages of 4 to 7.  Family learnings tend to be molded with certain generalizations and they may be inadaquate to help someone cope with everyday experiences or extreme situations

I have two friends. One speaks of Catholic guilt and the other Jewish guilt. Both have mothers and siblings who feel guilty. It seems like it runs in the family. But it is just as silly to assume religious groups are all from the same gene pool. Guilt requires certain belief systems to be in place and all beliefs are learned. Beliefs most certainly can be passed on from one generation to the next.

Not only is everyone in the family impacted by how the parents collectively see the world; how they process certain stresess and adversity is also shared with the next generation. If things are made personal, if there are beliefs limiting options or choice, if someone does not know how to forgive or let go of emotional discomfort, then they are stuck.

What is Guilt?

Guilt is feeling of blame for a particular outcome or experience. It requires some sense of having violated a percieved value. Since values are an internal constructions each of us holds in our own unique way, they are not universal; they are made up. Many people are trouble by defining guilt in this way, believing their morals are dependant on having a strong dose of guilt to keep them in check. That is a mispreception, as many people live health, productive and moral lives without any guilt at all.

Can the Process of Guilt be Changed?

Luckily how we process thought and emotions can be changed. Luckily, beliefs and values can be changed or modified to be more supportive of living a healthy life. So is guilt a medical condition?

There is an old saying “The apple doesn’t roll far from the tree.” It means children are like their parents, not because of the seeds, but because the are in close proximity to each other.

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Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Anxiety Help | 2 comments

Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Finding Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Medication versus Therapy

When seeking treatment for anxiety disorders such as OCD, GAD, or Social Anxiety, making sense of the overwhelming options available can be stressful. What is the best way to treat emotional or mental distress depends on personal preference, how one defines their disorder, what type of change they expect, social stigmas and financial concerns. These and other reasons will keep the majority of those suffering from anxiety disorders from ever seeking help. A high percentage of those getting treatment for Anxiety Disorders will not receive adequate help or finish their treatment.

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Meditation for OCD

Posted by on Mar 25, 2012 in OCD | 1 comment

Can Meditation Help Combat OCD

Why would someone want to try meditation for OCD? After all, meditation has a bad rap. It’s often associated with new age mumbo jumbo and mysticism. It’s used by people who eat granola bars and drink wheat grass juice. The practice of meditation even conflicts with certain Christian beliefs.

This is unfortunate, since meditation is a legitimate form of relaxing the mind and body. It is a discipline of focused breath and slowing thoughts down. That makes meditation for OCD sufferers an appealing discipline to explore. While many are put off by anything categorized as alternative healing, it can be a helpful tool to achieve useful states of mind for those dealing with OCD and anxiety. And if there is one thing a racing mind or anxious body can use is extra relaxation.

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Prescription Medications for OCD

Posted by on Mar 15, 2012 in OCD | 5 comments

Prescription medications for OCD include Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, BuSpar, Ativan and Zoloft

Use with caution

For treatment of anxiety disorders, including OCD, numerous antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications offer a broad-spectrum of choices and effectiveness.

The first specifically approved prescription medication for OCD treatment was the tricyclic antidepressant Anafranil. Since that time the SSRIs Prozac, Luvox,  PaxilZoloft have been approved. Click here to check side effects of these medications

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Maximizing Emotional Well Being

Posted by on Mar 7, 2012 in Mental Health | 0 comments

What Needs to Change So You Can Change

It’s no surprise the study of mental health is highly subjective. How to define or measure it has become a highly contested subject. The broad spectrum of symptoms have been referenced to as illnesses, disorders, genetic predispositions, unresolved traumatic events, inadequate coping skills, chemical imbalances, nutritional deficiencies and others. Diagnosis is often inaccurate or incomplete and the labels given for mental and emotional reactions often pigeon hole those affected into unsatisfying boxes.

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FDA Warnings For Antidepressant Medications

Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 in Medication | 1 comment

“Black Box” FDA Warnings for Antidepressant Medications

Despite perceived safety and popularity of SSRIs and other antidepressants, studies suggest usage can bring dangerous and understated side effects, especially for adolescents and young adults. In 2004, after a thorough review of data, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adopted a “black box” warning label on all antidepressant medications to alert the public for potential risks of increased suicidal thoughts in children and adolescents taking antidepressants.

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