Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends & Visitors,
I thought I would share a few special people with you today. It has been a while since I have shared about how things have gone with my mental health since starting at a new behavioral center here in Arizona. I also want to introduce a couple of friends that are awesome when it comes to writing and sharing about these topics that touch my life, and the lives of many.
My first is a new Guest Author, Paisley Hansen who has shared a wonderful article she wrote with me about living with mental health, but feeling self-conscious which we know can come from stigma around mental/emotional illness. So lets read how to stay in the positive and leave stigma behind!
Over Coming Self-Consciousness
By: Paisley Hansen
Self-awareness can be a healthy tool. With it, you have an idea how to behave and present yourself. However, when you become obsessed or anxious about how other people perceive you, then it becomes self-consciousness. Not everyone is taking notice of you. In fact, most people give half as much attention you give yourself. Unhealthy self-consciousness feels like everybody is scrutinizing you as if the spotlight is on you. Your attention goes to your body, clothes, face and voice — basically anything you think people would take notice and dislike.
You need to overcome unhealthy self-consciousness to fully express yourself. You need to stop worrying too much about how other people perceive you. Some people are naturally shy; they don’t like to be the center of attention but they enjoy life and can socialize normally. You are self-conscious when you objectify yourself and hijack your ability to perform complex and even simple actions. There are several studies that show the correlation of low self-esteem and drug abuse. No one has to end up in drug rehab centers. How do you overcome self-consciousness naturally?
Ditch Your Negative Thoughts
Your self-esteem is the summary of your personal worth. Confident people can accept criticisms and rejection because deep inside they have a good self-esteem. You are self-conscious because they fear that other people will agree with the negative thoughts you think of yourself. Be aware of how you feel when you’re in situations that trigger your self-consciousness. Take note of your inner self-talk that accompanies the feeling. When you start feeling embarrassed and tense, tell yourself “stop!” Don’t let the negative thoughts grow bigger.
Shift Your Attention
Self-consciousness is a selfish feeling. All you think about is how you appear. You will feel less self-conscious when you shift your attention away from your appearance and actions. When you’re talking to other people, listen closely to what they’re saying. Think of a response. When you’re walking, observe your environment and other people. Relax and imbue a sense of humor to your life. Use your imagination to perhaps think that people around you are colored pink to shift your attention to them. It is when you over think that you end up acting poorly.
Practice Self-Affirmation Techniques
Self-conscious people have negative self-affirmations. They believe the negative thoughts about themselves and expect other people to affirm them. Write at least ten positive self-affirmations and repeat them to yourself in front of the mirror before leaving the house and before sleeping. Whenever you’re feeling self-conscious in the middle of the day, stop what you’re doing and breathe deeply for five seconds and then repeat your positive affirmations to yourself. You can search online for positive affirmation to boost self-confidence and banish self-consciousness or you can formulate your own affirmations.
If you want to be perfect, you’re being too harsh on yourself. Accept that you cannot please anyone, but don’t let healthy self-acceptance hinder you from improving yourself. There is a fine line between trying to win other people’s approval and making you a better person. If you don’t accept yourself, nobody will do it for you. Those who spiral down to drug addiction often suffer low self-esteem because they can’t accept themselves. They found comfort in drugs and soon need drug rehab therapies to be independent from substance abuse.
Watch Your Body Language
Your mind influences your body language and vice versa. When you’re feeling self-conscious, your body language will show it. Avoid crossing your arms, fidgeting with your nails and playing with your hair. Maintain a welcoming body language when you want people to approach you . . . .
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These are all good idea’s to help you gain and keep your self-confidence at a high level. Let’s face it, there are people in the world who just don’t have an open mind when it comes to those who maybe a “little different” than others. I just learned to ignore that. LOL. My next share is a good friend of mine from LinkedIn. His name is Brian Norwood, and he has done me a wonderful favor by reading my book.
And if that wasn’t enough? He also shared his thoughts on a wonderful blog/website he writes for called; Journal For Life” ~ People Helping People. Brian N. of Journal For Life ~ Article So I thought I would share a little of what he wrote and shared there about my book. I think most all of us who live life recovery have some form of journal or diary we write in. Brian happened to read an earlier blog post of mine about, “Why I Write.” And my book became a book thanks to my many journals I have written in over the years in recovery. So here is what Brian shared.
About Brian N. of Journal For Life
It Won’t Happen To Me ~ By: Brian N.
I was probably nine years of age when my dad and I stopped at a small country fair. It was all very exciting, with rides whirling, people jostling this way and that, and with mysterious tents all lined in a row.
My dad positioned me off to the side and told me to wait there. So there I was, just gawking at everything, when suddenly the tallest man I had ever seen appeared almost right in front of me.
He was at least 7 feet tall and was wearing the biggest top hat I had ever seen. He wore long striped trousers with a bright red jacket. He walked up two wooden steps, then stood atop a small wooden platform at the entrance to a tent.
He was mesmerizing to look at, and his voice boomed out over the crowd with a musical rhythm.
“Step right up… Ladies and Gentlemen and change your fortune.”
“For only the cost of one thin dime… One tenth of a dollar… The smallest coin of any real monetary value … you can change your life forever.”
“You Sir, you Madam, try your luck… All you need to do to be a winner is drop your little silver coin in this slot.” he said pointing to some kind of machine I hadn’t noticed before next to the entrance from which he had appeared.
“All you do is pull the lever and watch your good fortune change before your eyes, and remember the taxman will never know what you put in your pocket.”
I remember an odd-looking man in a straw hat walk up to the machine. I couldn’t see him put in anything, but he pulled the lever, and nothing seemed to happen. Then the big man bellowed: “It doesn’t work every time… Put in another dime, Sir.”
The customer inserted another coin and pulled the lever. Suddenly bells rang out, people shouted and the man had to use his straw hat to catch-all the spilling coins. “Inside Ladies and Gentleman; Step inside and try your luck.” bellowed the pitch man and I watched a whole stream of men walk into that tent.
When we were back in our car my I told my dad we could get rich for just a dime. That was the first time my dad told me about gambling.
“They keep a special machine outside the tent” he explained. “It is rigged to pay out one of every three times you pull the handle, so it looks like you are going to win. The machines in the tents are weighted different, they’ll keep all your money son, every last dime.”
So perhaps you can understand why I am so enthralled by the title of Catherine’s book, “Addicted to Dimes.”
Today I wish to introduce you to her personal story about suffering through a Gambling Addiction. With courage and conviction, she strips bare her soul to reveal her pain, her climb back and gives testimony how journaling helped her make the journey.
GAMBLING IN AMERICA
For the most part the 40 Billion dollar a year industry seems harmless enough. It is estimated 85% of all Americans try a little gambling in their life time. No problem, unless you become one of the 6 to 8 million Americans struggling with a gambling addiction every year. Every compulsive gambler cost the economy an average of $16,000 per year.
Gambling usually takes its victims down hard and fast; Much faster than say alcohol. As the gambling victim starts to lose heavy, they double up their bets in a desperate effort to win it back, instead they lose it all.
Fifty percent of those suffering will commit crimes to feed their addiction. Almost 90% will suffer from or develop other addictions such as alcohol, or drug abuse.
Gambling is an equal opportunity disease; It cares not about your race, education, sex, income or age. Many people caught in the clutches of uncontrollable gambling, had prior to their addiction, lived normal productive, even inspiring lives envied by others.
After reading Catherine’s personal story I wouldn’t bet my hard-earned money that the gambling compulsion couldn’t get a hold of you or me. Or that it won’t sneak in the back door via a loved one and destroy your family.
If it can happen to this lady then it can happen to you.