Today is suicide prevention day which is a good way to raise awareness because there is a silence to suicide.
People that feel suicidal or deeply depressed often stay silent about how they are feeling
Each year, over 800,000 people die by suicide and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt. Every single one of the people in these statistics have felt that life is no longer worth living. But many of these people won’t have told anyone how they are feeling. Most people will have family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours but when they spoke to these people they didn’t tell them how unbearable they were finding their lives.
I wonder why it is that people suffering emotionally so deeply feel they can’t share their feelings with anyone. There may be a number of reasons:
They may be embarrassed to tell someone
They may feel guilty for feeling this way
They might not want to burden someone else with their problems
They might think how they are feeling will go away on its own
Could you save a life?
The theme of the 2017 World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Take a minute, change a life.’ This means noticing is someone around you is struggling and checking in with them. You don’t have to have all the answers for them, just let them know you are there and you care. Offering a gentle word of support and listening in a non-judgemental way can make all the difference.
There is no need for silence about suicide. The more open we are in society and communities about it, the more help it will be. .
People who have lived through a suicide attempt have much to teach us about how the words and actions of others are important. They often talk movingly about reaching the point where they could see no alternative but to take their own life, and about the days, hours and minutes leading up to this. They often describe realising that they did not want to die but instead wanted someone to intervene and stop them. Many say that they actively sought someone who would sense their despair and ask them whether they were okay.
Can you imagine saving someone’s life. Just by asking if they are ok? I mean REALLY ok?
You don’t need to be an expert of any kind to help someone. You just need to listen. Often that first opening up to someone is therapeutic to the person feeling suicidal will seek help or be open to seeking help after they have opened up. Its like they are a pressure cooker and they’ve let a bit of the steam out.
The smallest bit of compassion and empathy can be all someone delicate needs to feel that life is worth living.
Suicide affects more than just one life
Obviously it is extremely sad that anyone commits suicide but the pain they leave for those around them can live on forever. A suicide is shocking for all involved. Even if you don’t know someone very well, it can still be shocking and painful.
People left behind often spend years with very raw and painful emotions.
What makes people feel suicidal?
It is often an event like divorce or redundancy that can really bring someone down. Or stress or depression just becomes unbearable. It is so important to look after your mental health and seek support if you feel you need it. Seeking help can make a tremendous difference to how you feel.
The stats around suicide
Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death globally, account for 1.4% of all deaths and
The global suicide rate is 11.4 per 100 000 population
More males 15 in 100,000 are affected than females 8 in 100,000
Suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged 15-24 in many European countries
Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in people who die by suicide
50% of individuals in high income countries who die by suicide have major depressive disorder at their time of death
For every 1 suicide 25 people make a suicide attempt
60 people are affected by each suicide death. This equates to 48 million people bereaved by suicide worldwide every year
This World Suicide Prevention Day and everyday take a minute to reach out to someone – this can change a life
You might choose to Light a Candle near a Window at 8 PM to support World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 to show your support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide.
The Samaritans are an excellent source of support if you need to talk to someone. Their number is 116 123. You do not need to suffer in silence.
Finally, if there is anyone you are concerned about, take a minute to check in with them. It could change their life.
How I got my limiting belief about parking tickets
A few years ago someone told me that if you don’t fit your whole car in a car park space (including the tow bar) that a traffic warden could give you a parking ticket. So for years I have sought big enough parking spaces to make sure I could fit my whole car in them. It only occurred to me today that I had lived by this ‘rule’ without even checking if it’s true!
The point of telling you this is that quite often we make ‘rules’ for ourselves which we then then strictly live by. And most of the time they are complete nonsense but stop us doing so many things that we could or would do. These ‘limiting beliefs’ can seriously alter the course of your life, stop you taking opportunities and stop you fulfilling your potential.
Can you imagine how much time and petrol I have spent finding spaces when I could have parked in the first one I saw. Limiting beliefs do this. They stop us getting things we want or need. They ‘block’ us.
Limiting beliefs are those which constrain us in some way. Just by believing them, we make them true for ourselves.
Here are some common limiting beliefs that you may have
The first limiting belief that stops you being confident is ‘I’m not confident’. So I ask you? Were you a confident child? Are you not confident in all situations? If you are not confident in social situations but you are confident in your profession or parenting, then maybe it is not true that you are ‘not confident’. Once you overcome your limiting beliefs about not being confident you will be amazed how much confidence you have!
Two common limiting beliefs I hear people say when they come for Hypnotherapy for weight loss are ‘I have a big appetite’ and ‘I can’t lose weight’. Well if you believe these things your body will believe them too. Especially as your brain and stomach are in constant communication (with the stomach being called the second brain). So all the time you believe these beliefs you are unlikely to lose the weight you want to lose. Your brain also likes negativity! So you need to ditch negative limiting beliefs to achieve your weight loss goals.
Of course depression feels very real and it would be hard to think that you have beliefs around depression. But as this is a subject I specialise in as a therapist, I can say with confidence that you may have beliefs along the lines of ‘I can’t enjoy my life’ or ‘I will never be happy’ or ‘I’m not lucky in life’. These are beliefs that will keep you stuck and they are not always easy to overcome on your own.
When you are put in a situation that clashes with your limiting belief this may make you feel anxious. Imagine your limiting belief is that you can’t talk in front of a group and then you are given a presentation to do at work. This causes a lot of people a lot of anxiety to the extent that many people even have panic attacks. Imagine swapping the belief that you can’t talk in front of people to ‘I can talk about anything to anyone’ What would that be like?
If you believe that you can’t be motivated, that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may let opportunities pass you by, believing you will lack the motivation to do them. You may see other people moving on, doing things you wanted to do. And the truth is they are no different to you but they just don’t hold the same belief around motivation.
If you have lived then you’ve probably loved and maybe been hurt. Quite often this will give you limiting beliefs like ‘I will get hurt’ or ‘no one will love me like I want to be loved’. These are ingrained by your experiences and the pain you felt. With a bit of work on yourself you can overcome these thoughts and feelings.
The limiting beliefs around money are vast! You may have inherited some like ‘it’s wrong to waste money’ or ‘you have to work really hard to make money’ or even some that make you feel guilty about having money. These will hold you back in your career or your business. You need to believe that making money is ok, that you deserve money and that you don’t need to feel guilty about having it or spending it.
Half the job of relaxation is believing that you can! I hear this a lot in my Hypnotherapy practice, people say ‘I can’t relax’ or ‘I can’t meditate’ and so we do some work and then they are soon deeply relaxed. And once that has happened, that belief is soon out the window! My top tip for anything is believe you can and you are halfway there.
Finding your limiting beliefs
Identifying your limiting beliefs can be a big piece of work and NLP can be very useful for identifying them and overcoming them. You can read about NLP here. Basically, we all create our own ‘map of the world’. Our map is what we believe is the way it is, how it should be and how people are and should be. This ‘map’ is created by our own experiences and beliefs we absorb and inherit from others.
If you want to start looking for them then look out for things you think or say that begin with:
I am/am not
We can unknowingly hide behind our limiting beliefs and subconsciously use them as excuses not to push ourselves into uncomfortable situations (which is where we grow the most). We can also use them to protect ourselves from fearful situations. i.e. if your belief is that you don’t ‘fit in’ you will most likely avoid situations where you socialise and therefore avoid your fear of ‘not fitting in’.
Some of the most common limiting beliefs are below. Can you identify with any?
I’m too old, too young, too fat, too out of shape, etc.
I’m not clever enough
I’m not outgoing
I can’t do that.
I don’t have confidence
I don’t have enough skills or talent
I am not motivated
I’m terrible at managing my time, money, etc.
I make too many mistakes
Successful people have more drive than me
I’m a failure
I’m a slow learner
I don’t fit in
I procrastinate too much
I don’t have time
I’m too old to try that
I have too many responsibilities
And of course, the big one that can make or break a life is ‘I’m not good enough’. I just want to tell you now that YOU ARE.
I can help you break through your limiting beliefs and living the life you really want
If you want to explore your limiting beliefs or indeed yourself, please do drop me a text or email and let’s have a chat about introducing you to you 🙂
Sign up for the free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge
I’ve seen enough ‘frazzled’ clients to understand that prevention is always better than cure when it comes to mental health.
You might want to sign up for my free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge which is an easy to follow plan for busy people. Just sign up here
Your mental health – How much do you honestly think your employer cares about it?
Do you feel that they care more about business results than the mental health of the people they manage?
I was motivated to think about this question and write this post as a result of another blog post I saw. A woman that sent an email to her boss to say she needed to take a mental health sick day got a really cool response. You can read about it here
What do you think your boss would say if you sent an email saying you were having a mental health sick day? Would they respond kindly or would they respond asking for an update on your work! In many cases bosses lack empathy towards employees.
Is mental health in your workplace taken as seriously as physical health?
It might be slightly different of course with an obvious physical illness. You know the sort of thing, leg in cast, swollen eye, streaming cold or sporting injury. Or even an operation where you are actually in hospital and completely unable to work ,so the boss can be satisfied you are no good to them whatsoever for a while.
Most people have sympathy towards physical illness don’t they? ‘Awwww, that looks sore’ or ‘you poor thing, hope you are feeling better soon’. But is there the same level of sympathy towards mental health or is there still a bit of a stigma? Many people are not keen to openly talk about depression although mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis and 4-10% of people in England experiencing depression in their lifetime.
Is there still a mental health stigma?
Why is there any stigma or lack of support for mental health issues in the workplace? Luckily, high profile people like Price Harry are really helping matters by talking about it. He has openly said how the death of his mother, Princess Diana affected his mental health and wellbeing.
You might not think there is a stigma as you may be lucky to be in a workplace that is supportive of mental health issues like Laing O’Rourke. But there clearly is a huge problem 49% of people saying they would be unlikely to tell their boss about problems such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. Only 35% said they’d be happy to tell colleagues.
They say people leave companies because of bad bosses….
Some workplaces are almost archaic in their support of mental health issues. Managers that are so wrapped up in their own careers and living and breathing ‘work’ that they forget the people that work for them are PEOPLE. It makes a real difference when your manager bothers to get to know you as a person. Asks after your family, makes you feel like a human.
And when you have a mental health issue and you manager is supportive, wow! That can really make or break your happiness at work. Maybe they support you be making changes to your hours, or your workload or support appointments for you to get professional help.
Or maybe they simply respect that not every day you are able to put in your most amazing performance or effort. It doesn’t make you a less committed or able employee. Businesses are obsessed with number of hours worked when actually you can be just as efficient and if not more in less hours if you are happy and supported.
It’s time for employers to wake up and smell the bachs remedy
It is so shortsighted for employers not to consider the mental health of it’s employees part of its strategy and company ethos.
In business speak, the costs of not doing so are massive with mixed anxiety and depression estimated to cause one fifth of days lost from work in Britain.
Things that don’t help mental health at work are:
Unsupportive company ethos
Systems and processes that cause stress
Lack of ‘Wellbeing at work’ initiatives
Lack of support from managers and HR
Lack of appropriate training
Unrealistic targets and timescales
The things on this list cause stress and anxiety in abundance. Both of which can lead to depression and absence from work.
Some companies are wellbeing aware
Luckily 500 smart companies have signed up for the Time to Change Pledge to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination across England.
In a really great guide from Mentalhealth.org.uk they explain that good mental health practices have to start with managers. They advise looking out for these things in employees:
Sensitive to criticism
Loss of confidence or humour
Making more mistakes
Lack of concentration
Not taking breaks
Becoming introverted or extroverted
Lack of motivation
Prevention will pay dividends
There is also a great deal that can be done at prevention level which starts with having an open approach to mental health. Talking about it in the company and being supportive of people working their contracted hours and not regularly expecting more. Have realistic job descriptions and treat people like people.
Of course people want to do a good job and be successful, it’s good for self-esteem and motivation. But they also want lives and energy to enjoy themselves!
Some companies cottoned onto the benefits of having a workforce who nurture their mental health a while ago. Some of the best are mentioned here
If you know a company that are good at caring about the mental health of their employees, please give them a shout out in the comments of this blog. They deserve it 🙂
There is a very simple sum too which sums up why employers should care about mental health.
Happy staff = staff that want to make customers happy = happy business = attracts high quality employees that want to work there = happy business etc
In short, caring about your brain is a no brainer 🙂
A quick word for the self employed
As you are your own boss, you are responsible for your own mental health. Self employed people can be so enthusiastic about their businesses that they let their self-care slip. Don’t let this be you! If you are in business you will know that you need to play both the short game and the long game and this applies to your physical and mental health too.
Schedule days off and holidays. Make sure your customers and clients know your working hours so your ‘free time’ does not become ‘work time’.
So many people leave Corporate life to enjoy the benefits of being self employed and actually ending working harder and longer. Nothing wrong with passion for your business, but if you burn out you won’t be able to do very much at all.
You have personal responsilbity for your own mental health too
Of course, work is not the only cause of mental health issues. Problems can arise after a life changing event, illness or for no reason at all unfortunately. There is loads you can do to take care of your own wellbeing and keep mental health issues at bay. Then you can enjoy your work and the rest of your life to the best of your ability.
Sign up for the free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge
I’ve seen enough ‘frazzled’ clients to understand that prevention is always better than cure when it comes to mental health.
You might want to sign up for my free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge which is an easy to follow plan for busy people. Just sign up via the pop up here on my website.
People will go to great lengths to ‘hide’ their issues.
A lot of people are secret eating. Hiding food in their homes, desk at work and car. Eating it when there is no one around, knowing they don’t want to be doing that but they say they are unable to stop themselves.
Then there are people suffering from depression and ‘putting a brave face on it’. Laughing and joking in company of others, but thoroughly miserable deep down.
There are people so stressed they can’t sleep properly, can’t ‘switch off’ and have virtually no relaxation time. But they continue to take on more and more, pretending everything is ok and that keeping up high ‘expected’ standards of work, parenting, relationships, appearance and home, even though it is exhausting them.
But how might you hide symptoms of anxiety?
Despite anxiety making it very difficult for some people to do things that they need or want to do in their everyday life, they employ ‘strategies’ to get through life with anxiety. Some of these strategies might be:
Accepting invites to social occasions and then coming up with an excuse at the time of the event so they don’t have to go
Not accepting invitations to anything
Wearing clothing to hide sweat, rashes and other physical symptoms
Not putting themselves in situation where they are ‘visible’, such as presentations at work
Not making close physical contact with people in case anyone notices their sweaty palms or body
Not engaging in conversations in case they let it slip that they have anxiety
Avoiding enclosed spaces
Knowing where toilets are and planning around toilets
Not being your true self is tiring
But living in a way where you are hiding your true self is tiring. You may find it exhausting. It’s almost like an anxiety about the anxiety!
When you are always thinking ahead ‘just in case’ you are also missing out on living in the present moment. Something that increases relaxation, happiness and quality of life. Can you see how anxiety and hiding your symptoms of anxiety are both placed in the future and it uses your energy thinking about things that haven’t yet and might never happen? That uses energy you don’t need to use! Energy you could use to enjoy your life now.
It’s completely understandable why you might want to hide your anxiety symptoms, but there really is no shame in anxiety. It can happen to ANYONE at ANYTIME and it is completely treatable.
Luckily mental health is being talked about more and more and public figures like Prince Harry are really helping. Let’s keep talking about it and moving towards a society where it is easy to get help and talk about things.
It’s not as simple as just saying don’t be anxious….
Anxiety feels very real ,but it’s actually your brain creating it. As a Hypnotherapist who helps a lot of people overcome anxiety for good, I can assure you that you can overcome your anxiety in just 1 or 2 sessions with me.
This week I am posting daily videos on my Facebook page so come on over and watch the videos! And please like my Facebook page while you are there so you can be the first to know of all manner of things 🙂
On some of the days I will give you tips to manage your anxiety which could help you. Let me know how you get on!
Get in touch if you need help with anxiety
If you want 121 help, please do just in touch. I would love to explain how the blend of therapies that I use (Hypnotherapy, NLP Master level and PSY-Tap) remove anxiety forever and change our life. You DO NOT need to live with panic, worry, dread or fear anymore. Or hide it 🙂
Of course the added benefit of Hypnotherapy is that it is deeply relaxing and relaxation is the complete opposite of anxiety. Once you have relaxation in your life you will want it to stay there.
I will need to exercise some self-control in writing this blog, or we could end up with a very long blog! I learnt a long time ago to be less judgemental because working with people I know that not everything is as it seems.
A large part of my work is helping people become more confident, increase their self-esteem and cover what I call ‘work of the self’. This is helping people to understand themselves better through uncovering their values and finding their identity so they can be ‘comfortable in their own skin’. The benefits of this are that they can be more confident in and live their life in a way that feels good for them.
It’s much easier to make the right decisions when you know yourself and the world can see the real you. Everything changes.
What happens when we judge others?
So back to judging others… When we judge others it does two things.
1 – It holds that person up against our own values and beliefs. It has nothing to do with who they are! I’m going to give you some scenarios and I want you to just see what enters your head as I say these things.
2 – It puts bad thoughts in your mind which will make you feel bad
Think about how you might judge these people
A married couple that live apart
Someone that loves to socialise to the point where they spend all their money on it
Someone that is very prudent and rarely ‘splashes out’
Someone that works a lot and is often away from home
Some that does not work
Someone that wears revealing clothes
The thing is you don’t know anything about these people. They might be pure of heart or not, you don’t know. They might be generous or kind, you don’t know. They might be gentle, rich, poor, stressed, depressed, worried…..
Don’t hate the rice!
Judging others does is puts thoughts in your mind which damage your self-esteem. I don’t know if you have ever seen the Rice Consciousness experiment, inspired by Dr Masaru Emoto but it’s fascinating.
By labelling one jar ‘hate’ and the other ‘love’, the rice in the hate jar rots away while the rice in the love jar stays fresh. And this isn’t the only time this has been done. It has been done numerous times with different substances.
So if you think bad thoughts, you will probably feel bad inside (even though you might not consciously connect this). If you think good thoughts, you will feel better. Simples.
And when you judge others less, you will feel less judged yourself. Because if you haven’t having those thoughts about other people why would they be having them about you?
Find the gold
Here are my top tips for not judging others:
Listen to what other people say. Don’t judge them on their clothes, hair, car job. Listen and see them for who they are
Be open minded about new people. They might not look like your ‘type’ of person but they might be the best thing since sliced bread
Don’t go on first impressions. I know they are said to be important but they are just a snapshot of someone at one particular time. Everyone is multi faceted and different situations make people behave differently. If someone is suffering from anxiety or depression, you won’t see the best of them at that time.
Don’t let someone else’s opinion of someone get in the way of you forming your own
Look for things you like about someone rather than something you don’t
Find the gold in someone. What makes their eyes light up? A loved one, a hobbie, holidays? Whatever it is, when you see them talk about it watch them shine and see the best of them
Check your words before they come out of your mouth.Just like you would check an email before sending it. Try and be kind.
Here’s the plan:
Be less judgemental and see if it makes a difference to how you feel and your map of the world
Do you need help?
If you feel judged yourself, that is an indication of low confidence and self-esteem so please get in touch for a free consultation to see how I can help you.
The highest rising demand for my services is with teenage girls. I’m finding they really worry about being judged in terms of are they cool enough, pretty enough, thin enough. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest really feeds these insecurities and affects their self-esteem. I work with them to help them like themselves and become more resilient.