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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.

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11 Behavioural symptoms of stress

Like most problems; the sooner you spot stress the easier it is to manage. It pays to be familiar with the many different symptoms of stress. The symptoms of stress fall into many different categories e.g. behavioural, physical, emotional, psychological etc. Over the coming weeks I shall be discussing each of these, however, this week I shall begin with the behavioural symptoms of stress.

Stress can affect behaviour in many different ways but the following tend to be the most common behavioural symptoms of stress.

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Behavioural symptoms of stress

1. Sleeping difficulties

behavioural symptoms of stress insomnia

Sufferers of stress often find it difficult to switch off. With no activity to distract them, negative thinking, anxieties and worries take over the mind. Fear of having forgotten something and negative expectations of forthcoming events (e.g. interview, presentation) limits the ability to relax sufficiently to fall asleep. Sleep shortage and insomnia are often tell-tale signs of stress.

 2. Lack of punctuality

behavioural symptoms of stress poor punctuality

Timekeeping is one of the first things to suffer when an individual becomes stressed. They may take too many tasks on; try to avoid tasks and thus leave them until the last minute or they may be so overcome with worry/anxiety that they become forgetful. In order to remedy the situation, they must first identify why their punctuality is so poor.

 3. Absenteeism

behavioural symptoms of stress absenteeism

Stressed individuals tend to regularly miss work. They may be trying to avoid a difficult situation or they may be suffering the consequences of one of their coping mechanisms e.g. alcohol.

 4. Withdrawal

behavioural symptoms of stress withdrawal

Withdrawal is a common behavioural symptom of stress. The individual’s self-esteem and confidence may have taken a hit and as a consequence, they may no longer feel capable of coping with social situations. In order to protect their fragile confidence, they may choose to avoid all such situations.

 5. Exhaustion

behavioural symptoms of stress exhaustion

If we are to maximise our energy, one of the most important things for us to do is to balance our physical energy. There will be times when we are required to work at our maximum output for sustained periods. In order to do this we must implement periods of deep rest which enables both our body and mind to recover. Failure to do so can eventually result in burnout and chronic fatigue. The stressed individual may feel like they are constantly running from one emergency to another and thus fail to take the time to rest and recuperate. Constant fatigue is often a sign that someone is overwhelmed and experiencing stress.

 6. Addictive/excessive behaviour

behavioural symptoms of stress addictive behaviour

Those experiencing stress often don’t realise that it is stress which they are experiencing. Where they do realise this, they often have no idea how to deal with stress.  This can result in short term solutions which, though they have a temporary impact, have damaging long-term consequences. One of the most common coping mechanisms for dealing with difficulty is alcohol. While alcohol can have temporary benefit, it can be highly addictive and it fails to resolve the situation. Other coping mechanisms include smoking, illegal and prescription drugs.

 7. Unhealthy eating habits

behavioural symptoms of stress unhealthy eating

Comfort food is often sought as a solution to stressful situations. Indulging in convenience foods can make you feel better temporarily and saves time, however, these foods are rich in salt, sugar and fat which can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and heart related illnesses.

While we associate comfort eating with stress, some people have the opposite response to stressful situation i.e. they avoid eating. They may be experiencing a suppressed appetite, they may have developed a negative self image or they may have developed negative associations with food. Whatever the reason, the consequences of food avoidance can be every bit as devastating as the consequences of food indulgence.

 8. Risk-taking behaviour

behavioural symptoms of stress risk

A sudden development of risk taking behaviour can be a clear sign of stress. Individuals may be experiencing a low sense of self-worth or a lack of excitement in their lives.  They need a ‘buzz’ in their life and are willing to take bigger risks in order to get that buzz. Unfortunately, they level of risk they need to take to get the ‘buzz’ may increase steadily over time. They fail to see that as the risk gets bigger, so too do the potential consequences. Gambling is a common behavioural symptom of stress, which falls within this category.  Certain extreme sports and reckless driving are some of the other symptoms of stress which may fall under risk-taking behaviour.

 9. Accidents

behavioural symptoms of stress accident

Concentration tends to suffer greatly when one experiences stress.  In certain work places (generally more manual industries) this may result in a high number of accidents both fatal and non-fatal. Along with reduced concentration, the individual may also be overworked, poorly trained, displaying risk-taking behaviour or denied sufficient rest periods; all of which may be contributory factors in the stress.

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 10. High turnover in the workplace

behavioural symptoms of stress high turnover

Stressed employees are generally unhappy in their work situation. Sadly, many workplaces have not put the necessary training and procedures in place which would allow the employee to discuss their experience with their manager so that they may work together to find a solution. Rather than raise the issue, many stressed employees will choose to seek employment elsewhere.

 11. Suicidal talk or behaviour

behavioural symptoms of stress suicidal

Stress can diminish an individual’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth to the point where they feel that they cannot go on. In many such cases we do not get the opportunity to help the individual but in some cases they do drop subtle hints of their intentions. There are courses, such as ASIST, which can help to improve your chances of spotting these signs and intervening.

If you feel that you may be experiencing stress, check out Stress Free Living.

Many people feel too embarrassed or ashamed to openly discuss their experiences with stress. It is, therefore, essential that we familiarise ourselves with the behavioural symptoms of stress so that we may be able to identify what they are going through and remind them that the channels of communication are open and that we were willing to help them, or help them find more suitable help. You may in fact be experiencing stress yourself. It may be helpful to regularly remind yourself of the behavioural symptoms of stress so that you can identify it early and take appropriate action.

TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS

To secure ourselves against defeats lies in our own hands but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself…. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat…
 
Security Against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive….. He who cannot conquer takes the defensive…
💪💪💪💪💪
 
STOP BEING DEFENSIVE, MANEUVER DIRECT AND INDIRECT TO WITHSTAND THE BRUNT OF THE ENEMY’S ATTACK AND REMAIN UNSHAKEN…
 
GOOD NIGHT GOOD PEOPLE…🤔🤔

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……….

LETTING GO

Letting Go

By Anonymous

To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring;
It means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off…
It’s the realization that I can’t control another…

11709839_1015621243437j7355_8111524924143509671_nTo let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try and change or blame another,
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.

To let go is not to be protective,
It is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.