Tag Archives: Self control

A simple 10 minute guide to amazing self-talk

A simple 10 minute guide to amazing self-talk
We each have many thousands of thoughts every day. Many of them come in the form of self-talk. How you talk to yourself is important for your confidence and self-belief but incredibly; it is often overlooked. Self-talk is a soundtrack that’s constantly playing in your head, and its impact is dramatic. The conversations you have with yourself help determine your emotions and actions. Think about it for a minute; if you are consistently beating yourself up, how can you ever expect to feel good about yourself or believe in yourself? And, as the old question goes, if you don’t believe in yourself, why would anybody else?

Discover The Fundamentals of a Positive Mindset

What are the consequences of negative self-talk?
One of the most common problems you will see from those with poor self-talk habits is that they consistently seek the approval of others. They are willing to give on their own wants, needs and desires in order to gain the approval of others. This is an incredibly unhealthy habit which leads to a severe lack of enjoyment and fulfillment along with a great deal of stress, anxiety and worry. And, it often stems from a lack of self-belief and self-esteem; evidenced by negative self-talk.

Dealing with negative self-talk
Do not underestimate the power of negative self-talk. If you are consistently reinforcing low opinions of yourself, you will come to believe them and act as if they are real. You may not even be aware of the full extent of your negative self-talk but when you’re armed with a little knowledge, you can make some really positive changes.
The following points will help you to learn about the different types of self-talk and how to use them to your advantage.

Self-Talk in General
1. Raise your awareness
Self-talk is so natural that you may not even realize what you’ve been saying to yourself all these years. With any change that you wish to make in your life, you need to become aware of the full extent of the problem before you can set about changing it.

The first step is to become conscious of the commentary you create about your life. Whenever you find yourself in a negative mood, pay attention to the things that you are saying to yourself and how they make you feel. You will soon begin to realise the level of damage that you are doing to yourself.

2. Disrupt old patterns
Just because you are saying it to yourself, it does not mean that it must be true. Do not be afraid to dispute your self-talk (yes you can have a little argument with yourself). Challenge any unduly harsh criticism by telling yourself, out loud if possible, that those comments are untrue and you are over reacting.

Self-talk is also a tool for making changes. For example, if you are beating yourself up about a lack of knowledge or skill, you can use this as an opportunity to create a learning plan for yourself and improve your knowledge and skills.
Note: if you are not prepared to tackle the knowledge or skill deficit, then the issue must not be that important for you so, let it go.

A friend of mine regularly beat himself up about not making the most of his schooling. I asked him if he was prepared to go back to education (at night) and he said ‘No’. I then asked him how it served him to keep beating himself up about something which he was not prepared to do anything about. He soon realised the folly of his behavior and he has since made some improvements.

3. Conduct a reality check
Assess how your self-talk measures up to what’s really happening around you. There’s a big difference between burning one slice of toast and being a failure in the kitchen.
Disputation is a powerful tool. Do not just accept what you say in your self-talk. Challenge any negative thoughts until you have developed a more realistic viewpoint. You don’t have to force yourself to be optimistic about everything but you do need to avoid undue negativity.

4. Talk it over
Feedback from others is also valuable. See how your impressions compare to what your coworkers or partner say about you. You must remember that you cannot be truly objective in your own life, thus making it hard to be completely realistic. Friends tend to be more objective (though not always) and will generally be more realistic in their assessments.
Gaining a 360-degree view on yourself, from people whom you can trust to be honest, will help you to be more realistic.

5. Be consistent
If you are negative with your self-talk, it didn’t happen overnight. You will have been telling yourself the same negative messages, over and over again, until you got to a point where you accepted them as true. That is the power of consistency. The good thing is that you can use consistency to your advantage too.
We need to hear a message multiple times before we accept it. So, instead of the negative messages which you have been feeding yourself, choose a kinder, more supportive message which you can give to yourself. Whenever you find yourself been negative, take charge of your self-talk and deliver this message to yourself, repeatedly. Your inner dialogue will grow wiser with practice and your self-talk will gradually become kinder.

6. Regard yourself as a friend
We sometimes speak more harshly to ourselves than we would to anyone else. Instead, talk to yourself as though you were a loving friend. Seek to be truthful and supportive with yourself.

Motivational Self-Talk
1. Build up your strength
Motivational self-talk tends to work best in situations that require endurance and confidence. A pep talk can boost your confidence and make you believe in your worth and abilities.
Don’t expect it to happen overnight. Remember that before you truly believe a message, you must receive that message repeatedly. Every time that you are in a position which requires some motivational self-talk, take the opportunity to deliver your positive message. With every use, you will believe it that little bit more.

2. Find your hot buttons
Not every message will work for every person. Certain words resonate better with some than others. To find the right message, you may need to do a little experimenting. Have some fun to find the message that resonates best with you.
Choose words that invigorate you. You may want to call yourself a superhero or remind yourself that you’re awesome.

3. Keep it brief
Don’t try to deliver a rousing speech like Mel Gibson in ‘Braveheart’. It’s a bit like saying ‘No’ to someone. If you provide too much information, you give them something to argue with and pick holes in so, you are better off just saying ‘No’.

When giving yourself a motivational pep talk, don’t give yourself anything to argue with. Using single words and short phrases helps you stay on track. You’ll be more likely to focus on your assets without getting distracted by nagging doubts.

Instructional Self-Talk
1. Start early
New projects provide an ideal opportunity for instructional self-talk. Coach yourself during the important beginning stages. Be kind, gentle and supportive; just as you would be if you were coaching somebody else.
This provides a great opportunity to be proactive with your self-talk. Because you are being proactive and positive, you will drown out much of the negative self-talk which you may have become accustomed to. Instead of 100% negative self-talk, you will dilute it down with every positive piece of self-talk that you deliver.

2. Be precise
Break tasks down into specific steps. If you’re working on your public speaking, urge yourself to make eye contact, talk at an appropriate pace, and sound enthusiastic during your speech.
It is best to just focus on one or two of these habits with each speech. You will soon find that you do them without thinking about them and you can then focus on a different new habit for the next speech.

3. Visualize success
Picture yourself getting the results you want. Self-talk doesn’t always take the form of words. The images you present yourself with will also deliver either a positive or negative message. When you focus on a positive imagery i.e. achieving your goals, you are reminding yourself that you can do it; that you have the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary to be a success.

Positive visualization is one of the most powerful self-talk habits that you can practice. They say that a picture paints 1,000 words so make sure that you are focusing on positive, empowering imagery.

Reassuring Self-Talk
1. Acknowledge your feelings
Soothing self-talk can help you manage tense moments with more comfort and skill. For best results, accept your emotions instead of trying to suppress them. You can act courageously even if you feel afraid.

2. Create distance
A recent study found that calling yourself by name or substituting the word “you” instead of “I” enabled people to perform better under stress. It’s one way to restore objectivity when you’re feeling pressured.

3. Look on the bright side
Self-talk won’t make life’s challenges disappear. Bad things happen and if you want to continue to grow and thrive, you need to take on bigger and bigger challenges. There will be times when you have doubts and difficulties but these are opportunities to advance yourself.

So how can self-talk help? It can help you respond more constructively. Instead of criticising yourself for a past misstep, concentrate on what you can do better in the future.? It enables you to realise that you are a fallible human being. You understand that just as you have the ability to You don’t have to live with negative self-talk. It doesn’t have to be something which just happens. If you leave your negative self-talk unchallenged, the consequences will continue to get worse, to the point where they cripple your self-belief and self-esteem.

Instead, you can channel your self-talk and start moving in a positive direction. Get in touch with the thoughts that automatically run through your head, and turn them into a steady stream of encouragement. You’ll reduce stress, enhance your self-confidence, and enjoy more success in life.

Advertisements

BEING THE BEST YOU POSSIBLE…..

DDDDDDDDDD

Success and happiness in life is all about being the best ‘You’ that you can be.

Authenticity is often overlooked component of happiness.

Many people give in to their need for the approval of others. They are happy to change their behavior and act against their values and beliefs in order to gain the approval of others.

However, you can never be truly happy by seeking approval because in gaining the approval, you are rejecting yourself.

Instead, it is best to stay true to yourself and to give yourself permission to follow your own path.

The following tips will show you how you can become the best you possible.

Tip One:
Give yourself permission to have dreams and goals in your life, regardless of what your family and friends may say or think. If you want to learn how to climb a mountain, go skydiving one day, or spend hours painting just go for it.

Tip Two:
Remember that you own your life and that you have only one life. Life is too short to keep putting things off until next week or next year. Start making plans that will help you fulfill your dreams.

Tip Three:
Write out your dreams and desires on paper. This will help them feel more real to you. Then go through your list and place them in order. Have the one you want to do first on top.

Tip Four:
Start planning out how you will achieve your dream. Do you need to learn a new skill? Take certain lessons? Or you may have to save up the cash for it.

Tip Five:
Create a plan of action of things that you can do immediately that will help you reach your dream. It can often help to break down larger goals into much smaller ones. This way they become more manageable and easier to attain.

Tip Six:
Stay motivated and on track with reaching your goal. Don’t let others dissuade you from your dream.

Tip Seven:
Stay realistic with your dream. Ensure that your end goal is something that you can actually achieve. There is no point in dreaming of climbing a mountain if you are terrified of heights!

Tip Eight:
Be authentic to those who try to stop you in your tracks. Listen to their objections and then counter them with an action plan. If you map out your steps to reach your goal and can clearly show this to others, objections will become fewer as time goes on.

Tip Nine:
While reaching your dreams will help fulfill your life, you don’t want to lose your friends and family over it. Take time to discuss your plans with anyone who is concerned. After all they do have your best interests at heart.

Tip Ten:
Ensure that your goal is something you really want. Don’t do anything out of spite just to prove a point to someone. Open up your heart and your feelings and let those tugs pull you in the right direction.
The very first step in goal setting is to clearly define your purpose i.e. who you really are and what you are trying to achieve with your life.

Each goal should help you be congruent with your purpose and help you to live your purpose.

The key to pushing through the tough times…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I am currently implementing the plan which governs the remainder of this year and all of next year.

The stage of the plan which I am working on right now involves a lot of the following activities:

  • Article writing
  • Product and Service delivery
  • Training and reading educational material
  • Research
  • Financial Accounts

While I do enjoy each of these activities, they are also very tiring activities which require a great deal of concentration.

The sheer quantity of these activities at present is very tiring. Despite this, I find myself jumping out of bed each morning to get cracking on the work for the day. The reason I do this is that the vision I have for my business and work is so inspiring to me.  And, the reason it is so inspiring is because the vision itself is inspired by my purpose.

In fact, it is bringing my purpose to life. That is how you get motivated to push through the difficult activities, days and weeks.  You take the time to identify and define your purpose. You create a vision for your life/business/work which will serve that purpose and bring it to life.

Then, you create the goals which will enable you to realize that vision. It all starts with a clear and defined purpose i.e. who you are and the reason you want to do what you want to do. It is only when you are clear on your purpose that you start to feel the real joy, enthusiasm and motivation for life.

So, take the time to get clear on your purpose. I promise you that it is worth the effort.

Avoiding conflict while dealing with difficult people

Avoiding conflict while dealing with difficult people

1234455​There will always be people in your life who make things difficult for you. In most cases, they won’t be deliberately making your life more difficult but in some cases, they may do so. Either way, you need to take action to make sure these people stop having a negative impact on your life. If you sit quietly and do nothing, these difficult situations will continue; maybe even get worse. If you do decide to deal with the issue, you run the risk of the situation escalating into a conflict. Avoiding conflict is important for your sense of peace and happiness but you can’t put up with poor treatment just so you can avoid conflict. The good news is that dealing with difficult situations and avoiding conflict can go hand in hand. You just need the right strategies and a little forward thinking.

There will always be people in your life who make things difficult for you. In most cases, they won’t be deliberately making your life more difficult but in some cases, they may do so. Either way, you need to take action to make sure these people stop having a negative impact on your life. If you sit quiet and do nothing, these difficult situations will continue; maybe even get worse. If you do decide to deal with the issue, you run the risk of the situation escalating into a conflict. Avoiding conflict is important for your sense of peace and happiness but you can’t put with poor treatments just so you can avoid conflict. The good news is that dealing situations and avoiding conflict can go hand in hand. You just need the right strategies and a little forward thinking.

Note

There is no such thing as a difficult person. It is just a repeated pattern of difficult behavior which that person chooses to use. However, for illustrative purposes, people find it clearer when we use the term ‘difficult people/person’ so I will use that term. Just make sure that when you find yourself in a difficult situation, you focus on the behavior rather than the person as that will get you the best results.

You can improve your communication and relationship skills with my FREE Checklist – Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with Difficult People.

Get Your FREE Copy!

​4 Powerful Strategies for avoiding conflict 

4 Powerful Strategies for avoiding conflict

​The following are four strategies which you can employ to deal with difficult situations while still making avoiding conflict a key aim:

The following are four strategies which you can employ to deal with difficult situations while still making avoiding conflict a key aim:

​1. Set boundaries

were

  1. Set boundaries

​There are certain behaviors which will never be acceptable to you. You may get angry when somebody behaves in that way but do you have the right to? Have you communicated the fact that you won’t tolerate that behavior? That is what setting boundaries is all about. If other people are clear about what you will and will not accept, you will find that most people will happily avoid the unacceptable behaviors and thus avoid the conflict that may come with them.

Boundaries are really one of the best tools for avoiding conflict. Unfortunately, many people feel as though they have effectively set boundaries when they have not. They stop at the point where they have determined what is and is not acceptable. In doing so, they fail to make it clear to others.

If the people who interact with you regularly are not clear about your boundaries then you have not set the boundaries properly. When communicating, you must remember that the meaning of your message is the meaning received by the other person. For example, ignoring somebody​des not constitute communicating that you are unhappy with something they have said or done. You have only communicated that message when you have explicitly informed them that they said or did something wrong and you have made sure that they understand.

When setting boundaries, you may need to give the message more than once but once you have done so, avoiding conflict becomes easier because people know the consequence of the unacceptable behavior and are more motivated to avoid that consequence.

If you have trouble setting boundaries, check out My Life; My Rules

There are certain behavior which will never be acceptable to you. You may get angry when somebody behaves in that way but do you have the right to? Have you communicated the fact that you won’t tolerate that behavior? That is what setting boundaries is all about. If other people are clear about what you will and will not accept, you will find that most people will happily avoid the behavior and thus avoid the conflict that may come with it.

Boundaries are really one of the best tools for avoiding conflict. Unfortunately, many people feel as though they have effectively set boundaries when they have not. They stop at the point where they have determined what is and is not acceptable. In doing so, they fail to make it clear to others.

If the people who interact with you regularly are not clear about your boundaries then you have not set the boundaries properly. When communicating, you must remember that the meaning of your message is the meaning received by the other person. For example, ignoring somebody is not communicating that you are unhappy with something they have said or done. You have only communicated that message when you have explicitly informed them that they said or did something wrong and you have made sure that they understand.

When setting boundaries, you may need to give the message more than once but once you have done so, avoiding conflict becomes easier because people know the consequence of the unacceptable behavior and more motivated to avoid that consequence.

If you have trouble setting boundaries, check out My Life; My Rules

​2. Don’t blame

wqwww

  1. Don’t blame

​Eliminating blame is one of the most powerful steps you can take towards avoiding conflict. Blame puts people on the defensive. They feel like they are being attacked and nobody wants to feel that way. Blaming somebody else when things go wrong can lead to them lashing out at you or others. Alternatively, it can lead to them withdrawing back into their shell which doesn’t serve anyone either. The same goes for when you blame yourself.

Blame implies that somebody did wrong deliberately. It assumes that they were acting with negative intentions. Life is far better and conflict is rarer when we assume that other people always act with positive intentions the better approach is to encourage everybody to accept responsibility and demonstrate the same yourself.

Accepting responsibility is one of the most powerful things you can do. You are saying that something you did contributed to the negative results. This means that if you change that behavior and choose a better option, you are going to get a better outcome next time.  The important thing to note here is that you are focusing on the behaviors/actions which contributed to the unwanted outcome; you are not blaming the individual. Your aim is to work together to find the best way forward; a way that will allow everybody to enjoy a win.

Related article
: Accepting responsibility

Eliminating blame is one of the most powerful steps you can take towards avoiding conflict. Blame puts people on the defensive. They feel like they are being attacked and nobody wants to feel that way. Blaming somebody else when things go wrong can lead to them lashing out at you or others. Alternatively, if can lead to them withdrawing back into their shell which doesn’t serve anyone either. The same goes for when you blame yourself.

Blame implies that somebody did wrong deliberately. It assumes that they were acting with negative intentions. Life is far better and conflict is rarer when we assume that other people always act with positive intentions the better approach is to encourage everybody to accept responsibility and demonstrate the same yourself.

Accepting responsibility is one of the most powerful things you can do. You are saying that somethings you did contributed to the negative results. This means that if you change that behavior and choose a better option, you are going to get a better outcome next time.  The important thing to note here is that you are focusing on the behaviors/actions which contributed to the unwanted outcome; you are not blaming the individual. Your aim is to work together to find the best way forward; a way that will allow everybody to enjoy a win.

Related article: Accepting responsibility

​You can deal with difficult situations and avoid conflict at the same time

Click to Tweet

​3. Choose your words wisely

rtyyyyy

  1. Choose your words wisely

​It is very easy to blame others or assign responsibility to them when you are feeling bad e.g. you say that they made you angry. They didn’t make you angry. They behaved whatever way they behaved and you chose your response. You may not realise you chose it as it may have been a subconscious decision but the choice of response was definitely yours.

To realise this, you only have to notice how 2 different people can respond differently to the same situation. If two people react differently to the same situation then it can’t be the situation which determines the response. It must be the individual who chooses their own response.  So nobody else made you angry, jealous, disappointed etc. You chose that response yourself.

Remember that blame causes others to go on the defensive so, even a subtle switch from blame to responsibility can have a massive role in avoiding conflict. For example, rather than say ‘You made me angry’ you could say ‘I feel angry when you do…’ It may not seem like a lot but you are no longer blaming the other person; you are taking ownership of your own feelings.

Related article: 5 Tips to harness the power of words

It is very easy to blame others or assign responsibility to them when you are feeling bad e.g. you say that they made you angry. They didn’t make you angry. They behaved whatever way they behaved and you chose your response. You may not realize you chose it as it may have been a subconscious decision but the choice of response was definitely yours.

To realize this, you only have to notice how 2 different people can respond differently to the same situation. If two people react differently to the same situation then it can’t be the situation which determines the response. It must be the individual who chooses their own response.  So nobody else made you angry, jealous, disappointed etc. You chose that response yourself.

Remember that blame causes others to go on the defensive so, even a subtle switch from blame to responsibility can have a massive role in avoiding conflict. For example, rather than say ‘You made me angry’ you could say ‘I feel angry when you do…’ It may not seem like a lot but you are no longer blaming the other person; you are taking ownership of your own feelings.

Related article: 5 Tips to harness the power of words

You can improve your communication and relationship skills with my FREE Checklist – Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with Difficult People.

Get Your FREE Copy!

​4. Have predetermined calming measures

sdf

  1. Have predetermined calming measures

​I have always done some weight training throughout my life. When you are lifting weights lighter than you can manage, you can lift safely on your own; though safety measures should always be taken. As the weights increase, it is best to have somebody ‘spot’ you. This means that they are there in case you are struggling with the weight so that they can intervene to help you avoid injury.  Effectively, you are planning your way out before you begin.

Avoiding conflict can be approached in much the same way i.e. have a plan for calming things down before the conversation begins. This is especially important if you think there is a reasonable chance that the situation might escalate into an argument or; where you are interacting with the other person regularly and you know how they behave during a difficult conversation.

Some strategies you could use include:

I have always done some weight training throughout my life. When you are lifting weights lighter than you can manage, you can lift safely on your own; thought safety measures should always be taken. As the weights increase, it is best to have somebody ‘spot’ you. This means that they are there in case you are struggling with the weight so that they can intervene to help you avoid injury.  Effectively, you are planning your way out before you begin.

Avoiding conflict can be approached in much the same way i.e. have a plan for calming things down before the conversation begins. This is especially important if you think there is a reasonable chance that the situation might escalate into an argument or; where you are interacting with the other person regularly and you know how they behave during a difficult conversation.

Some strategies you could use include:

Use a specific technique e.g. the constructive feedback model

  • ​Agree that both sides will get to have their say and then you will both take 24 hours to think about how you would like to respond i.e. a cool off period

Agree that both sides will get to have their say and then you will both take 24 hours to think about how you would like to respond i.e. a cool off period

  • Set a time limit for the discussion

​Having a strategy for calming things down helps with avoiding conflict and helps both parties to focus on resolving the issue before it escalates into a conflict.

If you are having to deal with difficult people and you want to start avoiding conflict, the Deal with Difficult People Handbook will help you get on the right track.

Having a strategy for calming things down helps with avoiding conflict and helps both parties to focus on resolving the issue before it escalates into a conflict.
If you are having to deal with difficult people and you want to start avoiding conflict, the Deal with Difficult People Handbook will help you get on the right track.

​Conclusion

​Avoiding conflict is one of the most important things that  ​you can do if  ​you want to live a peaceful, loving and happy life. That doesn’t mean  ​you should avoid dealing with issues which need to be dealt with. In fact, if you don’t deal with those important issues, you will experience conflict anyway because other people won’t change their behavior or attitude unless you tell them that you won’t tolerate it anymore. However, most difficult situations can be dealt with successfully while still avoiding conflict. If you take the time to implement the four strategies, above, your attempts at avoiding conflict will become much easier and you will still be able to deal with any issues which may arise.

 

Teach people how to treat you

Some people can cause us a lot of problems in our daily lives:

  • They treat us badly
  • They speak badly to us
  • They try to dump work on us
  • They delay us by not getting their work done on time
  • They interrupt us repeatedly


And a whole lot more.

It is easy to blame the other person for these problems but there is a simple truth we are ignoring – we teach people how to treat us.

Today’s article explains this in greater detail.

Check it out here

If you enjoy the article, please share to your social media.

Have a fantastic weekend…

TAME SOCIAL MEDIA AND FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT STUFF [Part 1]

Tame social media and focus on the important stuff

If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to eliminate distractions. You live in a busy world where there are so many things competing for your attention. If you don’t learn to control these potential distractions, you end up jumping from one thing to another without ever really finishing anything. 2 things above all else have made distractions worse than ever – the smart phone and social media. These things have meant that we don’t ever have to be out of touch. We can always be contacted. But just because we always can be contacted it doesn’t mean that we should always allow ourselves to be contacted. I will tackle smart phones in a later article but today I want to focus on taming social media.

Why taming social media is important

Taming social media is important because social media is highly addictive but adds little or no real value to your life. I am a firm believer in the 80/20 principle whereby very few of the things which you do daily, produce the majority of the positive outcomes in your life. In other words, the majority of the things we do daily, add little or no value. I invite you to take a proper look at your social media usage to determine the time you spend on it versus the value you receive from it.

If you are honest with yourself, you will find that:

  • You spend more time on social media than you had realized, and;
  • You get far less value from social media than you had thought

The social media zombie

During your typical day, how many people do you see who are glued to their smart phone. Their head is down; they have no idea what is going on around them and they probably have a cramp in their thumb from scrolling through their Facebook or Twitter feed. We are creating a generation of people who lack the social skills to survive in the real world. They are more concerned with the lives of their imaginary online friends than they are concerned with the lives of their real-world friends.

I have become more concerned in recent times by the frequency with which I walk into businesses and receive poor service because the staff are focused their social media accounts rather than the customers who pay their wages….

TO BE CONTINUED………

For this and more visit  LIFE COACH

LOOK FOR THE GOOD

Look For The Good

In the New Year, let’s resolve
to get less stressed, upset, anxious
about things over which we have no control.
Lets have a narrower focus on our lives,
loving and helping our family and friends,
making our community a better place to live,
to create peace and contentment.

In the New Year, let’s resolve
to pay less attention to depressing stories
on TV, in magazines and newspapers,
and to stop focusing on what we want
that we haven’t got,
instead of appreciating
the many blessings we do have.

In the New Year, let’s look for the good.
We may have to search
through a mass of negative media,
but the good is there,
all around us.

I wish for you a New Year filled with good, engulfed in serenity and happiness!

KHAT-MIRAA/MUGUKA (FINAL PART)

Khat and the law
On 24 June 2014 khat becomes a Class C drug which means it is illegal to have or to supply khat.
It is also be an offense to bring khat into the country, so if you’ve been abroad to a country where khat is legal you cannot bring it back to the UK with you.

Khat fact sheets are available in Amharic, Arabic, English, Somali and Swahili for information on the reasons for the ban, penalties for possession, and where to go for advice and support.  They can be used  by individuals and local, voluntary or other organizations working in health, prevention, social care and law enforcement. 

What if you’re caught?

If the Police catch you with khat, they’ll always take some action. This could include a penalty notice, a formal caution, or arrest and possible conviction.
If you are caught with khat (called possession) you could be arrested and face up to two years in prison and/or get an unlimited fine. If you are caught dealing or supplying (and that could just mean giving some to your mates) you could get up to 14 years in jail and/or get an unlimited fine. 

A conviction for a drug-related offense could have a serious impact. It could make it harder, even impossible, to visit certain countries – for example the United States – and limit the types of jobs you can apply for.

Similar Synthetic Drugs

The two intoxicants in the plant are cathinone and cathine. They are similar to but milder than amphetamine. In the last several years, synthetic forms of this drug have become popular and dangerous. Synthetic cathinones are very often the types of drugs found in “bath salts.” They are far stronger in their synthetic forms. Mephedrone, methylone, methcathinone and MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) are all illicit synthetic drugs in this class.

Addiction Doesn’t Always Involve an Illegal Drug

There are plenty of people who are addicted to substances that can be purchased legally. Alcohol, for example, is legal for an adult to purchase. A person abusing inhalants can become addicted to common household chemicals. And in other cases, it takes time for a drug to be outlawed in a state or country, once its dangerous properties are recognized. Therefore, khat use 

Did you know?

  • Like drinking and driving, driving while under the influence of drugs is illegal – with some drugs you can still be unfit to drive the day after using. You can get a heavy fine, be disqualified from driving or even go to prison.
  • Allowing other people to supply drugs in your house or any other premises is illegal. If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a club they can potentially  prosecute the landlord, club owner or any person concerned in the management of the premises.

Discussion

Our qualitative study identified that khat is commonly used by members of the Australian Somali community, particularly men, and that participants’ views about the links between khat use and personal health varied regarding its benefits and harms. Use is linked to community networks and cultural traditions, and may also be associated with existing high levels of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder) among displaced refugee communities.

Large quantities of khat need to be consumed in order to achieve a “high”. The fresh leaves preferred by khat users contain a higher ratio of cathinone to the less psychoactive cathine, and are usually sourced from local trees. Dried khat is usually imported into Australia from Kenya or Ethiopia. The effects that were seen as positive (increased energy, elevated mood, reduced appetite) and the adverse effects (sleep and mood disorders, poor appetite, constipation) commonly reported by participants were consistent with the weak psychostimulant properties of the active components of khat. Some participants also identified a negative impact on psychosocial functioning and relationships, although more severe drug-induced psychosis or violence were reported to be uncommon. Participants suggested that when it occurs it is not a direct effect of the drug; we suggest that such behaviour may be due to the effects (or discontinuation effects) of khat.

The concurrent consumption of large volumes of sugary drinks and sweets to counteract the bitter taste of khat, coupled with reduced appetite and poor nutrition, is likely to contribute to poor oral health.

Overwhelmingly, participants in this study incorrectly believed that khat was harmless or possibly beneficial for a range of medical complaints. There were a number of instances where perceived effects contradicted the evidence — for example, reports that khat was useful in treating diabetes. Such reports may arise from the appetite suppressant effects of khat, yet are in contrast to the limited evidence suggesting that khat may increase blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The concurrent consumption of sweet food and drink may also contribute to the development of diabetes. Further, the belief that khat use increases libido and fertility contradicts the limited evidence that long-term use of khat may reduce sperm count, volume and motility.

Difficulties in detecting and responding to health problems associated with khat use may be compounded by poor health literacy and poor utilisation of health services by people who use khat, different cultural understandings of the role of khat as a drug, stigma regarding disclosure of khat use to health care providers, and low awareness among health practitioners of khat use, its effects, and the health issues affecting refugees.

Those experiencing adverse effects are most likely to access general health services complaining of specific symptoms (eg, sleep or mood problems, constipation) and may not report their khat use because of concerns regarding stigma, illegality or genuine belief that khat use is not linked to any health problems. Khat users may also present (or be referred) to drug and alcohol treatment services with dependence issues, although there are no specific services available for khat users in Australia. Multicultural drug and alcohol health services are available in some states and may be able to offer more culturally specific assistance to patients.

Health professionals have a role to play in educating users about potential harms arising from khat use, promoting responsible use of the drug in order to minimise the negative health effects for the individual and for the community, and informing community members who experience problems about the services available to them. Health information resources regarding khat use are available through websites, such as the Australian Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo site (http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/). Importantly, many users reported not disclosing their khat use to health professionals, and we therefore recommend that health professionals should routinely enquire about khat use and related health problems with patients of Somalian or other East African background, incorporated into enquiries regarding lifestyle factors such as use of tobacco, alcohol and other substances.

STAY DRUG FREE……….

KHAT – MIRAA/MUGUKA (PART THREE)

Similar Synthetic Drugs

The two intoxicants in the plant are cathinone and cathine. They are similar to but milder than amphetamine. In the last several years, synthetic forms of this drug have become popular and dangerous. Synthetic cathinones are very often the types of drugs found in “bath salts.” They are far stronger in their synthetic forms. Mephedrone, methylone, methcathinone and MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) are all illicit synthetic drugs in this class.

Addiction Doesn’t Always Involve an Illegal Drug

There are plenty of people who are addicted to substances that can be purchased legally. Alcohol, for example, is legal for an adult to purchase. A person abusing inhalants can become addicted to common household chemicals. And in other cases, it takes time for a drug to be outlawed in a state or country, once its dangerous properties are recognized. Therefore, khat use in a country in which it is not illegal can still be damaging to the individual who can’t stop using it despite harm being done to his life, relationships or future.

Even if khat is used in accepted social situations, if a person stops being able to be successful in life, if he neglects goals that are important to him or stops caring for responsibilities that he once held dear, such as his career or family, then the chances are very good that this person needs help to leave khat abuse behind.

The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program can help a person addicted to khat, just like it helps an alcohol or heroin addict. The drug does not matter, because the pattern of addiction is very similar from one person to the next. The generally eight to ten week Narconon rehab program has an excellent record of helping those addicted to any substances find lasting sobriety and a return of interest in those things that really matter to him or her.

KHAT Dosing

The appropriate dose of khat depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for khat. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Psychoactive and mental health effects

The increased energy level and enhanced mood from khat use led some users to suggest that khat is a useful treatment for depression: “We use it for remedy and it doesn’t cost the government” (Somali woman, Melbourne). Conversely, commonly identified psychological health problems such as disrupted sleep patterns, low mood and irritability were reported to occur after the effects of khat had worn off.

A minority of participants identified a link between heavy khat use and more severe mental health problems:

It’s a very major source of madness, of craziness. People are alright if they stop it, they can come back alright . . . but when you overuse it, and overuse it, that’s when you come to this situation. (Somali man, Perth.)

The general view of participants in to a proven survey was that people do not become more violent upon using khat, although some participants reported domestic violence linked to khat use. Many participants

TO BE CONTINUED……….

KHAT-Miraa/Muguka (Part ONE)

KHAT (Miraa/Muguka)

Other Names:

Abyssinian Tea, Arabian-Tea, Catha edulis, Celastrus edulis, Chaat, Gat, Kat, Kathine, Kus es Salahin, Miraa, Qat, Qut, Tchaad, Thé Abyssin, Thé Arabe, Thé Somalien, Tohai, Tohat, Tschut.

What is khat? 

Khat is a leafy green plant containing two main stimulant drugs which speed up your mind and body. Their main effects are similar to, but less powerful than, amphetamine (Speed).  Khat is used mostly in North East Africa, and the Arabian Peninsual and by expatriate communities from these regions

Khat is a plant that grows and mostly used in Yemen, Ethiopia and Somalia — the “Horn of Africa.” It can also be found in South Africa, Sudan, Kenya, Afghanistan and Madagascar. Khat is also used mostly in North East Africa, and the Arabian Peninsual and by expatriate communities from these regions Just a few years ago, the only people in the Western Hemisphere who had heard of khat were some immigrants from Eastern Africa. A major reason for this limited distribution is that khat loses some of its potency within 48 hours.

But in the last few years, transportation methods have improved in the source countries, and shippers package the plant material carefully to keep it moist, reducing some of the loss of potency. It has since become available to more locations and now is much better known around the world.imagesd

Shipments of khat often leave Eastern Africa and arrive in the UK, with a portion of the shipment destined for North America. Seizures have sometimes been made of crates of khat on their way to large North American cities with substantial Eastern Africa immigrant populations, such as Toronto, Washington DC and San Diego.

In source countries Ethiopia and Somalia and neighboring country Djibouti, the drug is legal and in accepted use in social situations. These populations tend to bring the use of the drug with them when they emigrate to countries where it is not legal or where it becomes illegal after increasing amounts of the drug are sold and consumed. Khat is illegal in the US and most of Europe.

Khat was only made illegal in the UK in July 2013. When it became illegal, there were 3,000 tons of the drug passing through the country’s airports each year.

Khat is a plant. The leaf and stem are used as a recreational drug and as medicine.

As a recreational drug, the leaves and stem are chewed by people in East Africa and the Arabian countries to elevate mood (as a euphoriant).

As a medicine, khat leaf is used for depression, fatigue, obesity, stomach ulcers, and male infertility. It is also used to lower the need for food and sleep, decrease sexual desires, and increase aggression.

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists khat asimagesf a drug that creates “dependence” in people, meaning it produces a continuing desire to keep using it. In Somalia, civilian and military use of khat has been blamed for fueling civil war, draining the nation’s economy, and undermining international relief efforts.

TO BE CONTINUED…………..