My Favorite Therapy Skills

The first one is self as context. This means that you are not truly one thing. You don’t have to mold yourself into what you believe you are or have to be. It makes labels not make sense. Sometimes I am shy, sometimes I am outgoing. I cannot label myself as either one because every moment and every experience calls for something different. (This skill took me awhile to understand, so if I am wrong on this skill, feel free to correct me).

Then I love mindfulness. This one started as boring for me and then turned into something I use almost everyday. This is where you make sure you are aware of your surroundings. This helps immensely with anxiety. You occupy your mind while you tell yourself to look for certain colors around the room. Or you just sit outside looking at nature and make sure you notice and feel every single wonderful thing.

Building mastery. This is when you learn new things in order to gain self-esteem or a sense of accomplishment. This one is obviously self explanatory and if you are learning something new, you are already using this skill. However, this is something you need to keep in mind if you are in a rut and feel you need something to get yourself out.

I talk about changing your perspective all the time in this blog so it’s only appropriate    that I share it here. This skill is when you take something you dislike about yourself and then you change it into something positive. This is what I try to do with this blog. Share the wonderfulness that I see in every aspect of all everyone can be. Tall or short? You can love yourself if you are either. It makes sense. Two people who are completely the opposite physically or mentally both have the option to love themselves; both have the capacity to be confident. You cannot look at someone and say with fact, “That person has got to be confident.” Just like you cannot look at someone and also say with fact, “That person has got to be insecure.” There is no universal type of person who is the epitome of confidence. That is saved for someone who is just actually incredibly confident no matter who they are. Every single person on this planet has the power inside of them for self-love. Which means your insecurities are not true. If confidence about some aspect of yourself is not inside of you but is inside of someone else just like you, you can find it too. And every category of person has many people who are confident in that aspect of themselves.

And then there is opposite to emotion. I use this a lot when I cross the street oddly enough. I hate crossing the street at cross walks if there are cars. “What if they wave me on but I can’t see them through the glare in their window and I just stand there awkwardly?” “What if I think they let me go first but then they begin to drive as I start crossing and I have to jump back with embarrassment?” “I’m almost to a cross walk and there’s a car coming. Maybe I should stop and look at my phone and act like I’m too busy to cross the street until that car is gone.” … “No, I better just be strong and cross the street with that car. I’ll feel so much stronger when it’s over.” So yes, I often do cross the street especially when I don’t want to. It’s an incredible feeling, even crossing the street, to defy your fears.

Mom Shaming

This is obviously very off topic and new for me considering I am not a mother, but I wanted to talk about this. The only time I have actually witnessed mom shaming has been on the internet. I have never seen or heard anyone shaming a mother in public. I know this probably happens, and I know it makes me lucky that I have never had to witness such things. The only mom shaming I have actually witnessed with my own eyes is the occasional doubt of my own mother’s mothering skills. What I mean by this is that in my life, I have heard my mom upset at her parenting skills. Not very often, maybe three times in my whole life, but it’s upsetting. It’s upsetting to see your parents upset for one, but it’s also upsetting to see them upset at their parenting skills. I mean, we are the children and we love our parents. We don’t want them upset. So I see mom shaming on the internet. Specially I have seen Pink being mom shamed on Instagram recently. I am not a mother and I don’t know what really is dangerous for a child. What I do know is that I am the child and I am upset when my mother mom shames herself. How would I feel if I actually heard someone insult her mothering? I would probably be heart broken. Mom shaming is something moms do to other moms when they don’t believe their parents skills are up to par. What is the point of this? I always thought it was because they were worried for the child or cared for this other child. That may be exactly what it is. However, I believe mom shaming to be counter productive and does the exact opposite. If someone were to insult my mothers parenting skills when I was a child, those words would not help me…they would hurt me because they would hurt my mom. Mom shaming is there to try and guilt a mother into changing her ways for the better of the child. It does the opposite. It makes the child sad for the adult that loves and cares for them. So lets stop this mother shaming.

Beauty in my major

When I was getting ready to go to college I was depressed and didn’t care at all about my future. Now I am so excited for my future that I got depressed about having a major I don’t like, but have channeled my excitement and turned my excitement on my major and found the beauty in it. My major is marketing and I always wanted to do things with animals. I wanted to be a marine biologist and I was going to go to college for that but I ended up being so depressed I literally just clicked a major and went on with my life. I knew nothing of marketing. I didn’t care that I wasn’t interested, because I wasn’t interested in anything. So instead of sulking about my major I decided to channel it. Here are the reasons why I found marketing to be a great major. If you have chosen something you regret, you can find a way to love it.

  1. The potential to have a job in a “the office” type setting-Being so close to others and being able to have strange work relationships like from the show the office. (Yes this show is actually possible-I have these kinds of relationships at my current job but I’d like it to stay that way in a new job. Plus, in an office setting I’ll be able to enjoy it more because the job I have now is very physically demanding and it makes me too tired to care as much as I could about how funny my co-workers are)
  2. Being an artist/scientist-I need to be creative to grab people’s attention while finding out what will grab their attention.
  3. Honestly, I see so much beauty in the business type. Dressing in business clothes, being strong and getting things done. The problem for me is that I’m not the business type. I can only pretend to be the business-type but then I’ll feel like a fraud next to these amazing people. If you are a businessman or woman, you can love yourself so much because of how impressive you are. Going to interviews and working your way up and giving presentations is incredibly hard. Yesterday I almost didn’t apply for a job because they said you need to be ok with presentations. That has always been my worst fear. Well, I thought to myself, “If I want to be as amazing as I view actual business people, I need to apply to this job and fight through my fear of presentations.”
  4. I also like the idea of a cute little cubicle.

Weddings alone

In two days I go to a wedding alone. My self esteem isn’t doing all too well at the moment and I desperately need a way to be okay with going alone. It’s a friend who has friends that are all confident and in relationships. Then there’s me. In my head, I’ll be the only one alone, which most likely will not be true. Before I would just say to myself, “I have to go. But this is going to be horrible. I cannot wait until it is over.” But now I can say, “I am going to go. But I need to make the most out of it by digging deep into the situation and finding the good.” I already knew it would make me stronger. However, this one didn’t seem so appealing this time. I’ll be strong going alone. That’s great! But not enough this time. I even had to google it because these blueprints to finding the good in every situation isn’t working with my brain right at this moment. I at least found that it’s not strange to go alone. I learned that other people go alone as well as I. It’s an experience. Not everyone can say they went to a wedding alone. It’s an accomplishment especially when you have low self-esteem. Writing that right there made me more confident but I still feel my nerves all over my body. Lets turn this moment into a bucket list task. “I want to survive a wedding alone.” Now, this will be my second wedding of my life. The only other one was when I was twelve. So, when will my next wedding be? Another ten years? I have found that this is an experience that is tough to deal with. A situation that would be awesome to survive. So, why not put it on my bucket list if I’ll feel accomplished when it’s all over? I can’t skip out now. I won’t be able to check this off for another ten years. What fun would it be to live on the safe side all the time? Any time you are about to do something you think you will hate, just think about how strong you will feel and grab your bucket list and write, “I want to get through [insert experience here] and come out stronger.” Be careful though. Don’t say to yourself, “I have to go.” Maybe find a perfect way out of the situation and then just throw it aside. In the end you may not believe you’re strong enough because you really didn’t have a way out. You “had” to go. Your brain might tell you, “You’re actually weak because you couldn’t even say no.” Well, now you can fight back your negative thoughts with that excuse you never used. “I could have stayed home, but I went anyway.” Now that’s being a warrior.

A new type of bucket list

We all spend so much time taking pictures. Whether that be for instagram or something of the sort. I recently got back from a trip in which I practiced this new type of bucket list I thought of. I call it, “The present bucket list.” What this means is to go into a situation that is either on your bucket list or just a situation you find yourself enjoying, and then take one picture of it, but just one. I mean, we all know that in good situations these days, most of  us, including myself, want to take a picture of it. This isn’t a bad thing in any way at all. Pictures are memories but it gets us into trouble if we only see what’s in front of us from behind a camera. What I did this week on vacation, doing things on my bucket list and looking at the scenery is take a picture, and then be sure that I am mindful. Mindfulness should take up most of the time spent on this. Not taking pictures or videos. Make sure if you are in a situation where you are ready to check something off your bucket list, make sure you really look at it. Act as though, for a few moments, that the different view of a camera never existed. Act as though your hand physically cannot move to place a checkmark next to this experience until you have practiced mindfulness in this situation and really looked and felt everyhing.

Difference between being brave and confident, and being brave and insecure

I used to face my fears a lot as a child but not because I wanted to nor did I do it joyfully. I was afraid to tell someone that I didn’t want to do it, so I went ahead and did it. My fear of telling people no was an avoidance in itself obviously. I used to play in volleyball games when I was too nervous to. I used to give presentations when I would have rather done anything else. We all hear that facing our fears makes everything easier right? Well, that’s not what happened in my case, when I was insecure. When I finished facing my other fears, such as being the center of attention in the volleyball games or doing presentations anyway, the fear made me feel worse. I never thought of the fact that it was amazing for me to be facing this fear. Even if I am afraid to tell someone my fear, either way I am facing something. When I was done facing my fear, I only felt empowered if I didn’t feel fear during it. If I felt horrible during it, like the time I almost vomited during a presentation at school, I felt weak, because I felt weak. I didn’t feel strong because I got through it. Now I realize that even if I get through something and still shake through it and feel fear throughout the whole thing, that makes me even stronger. The fear stayed with me, because of my negative attitude. “I did horrible. I never want to do that again. I’ll always be afraid.” Now my attitude is, “I am strong for fighting through my fear. Lets try again next time.” I have shown you in my last post about the beauty I see in confidence. I faced my fears as a child but I never looked like that girl in the picture of my last post. The girl who is getting her hair cut and looking up with her eyes closed with confidence and ferocity. I faced my fear then got up with negativity filling my mind and walked off insecure…off to being scared in the future of the same exact thing. A lack of fear was the only road to confidence for me. But that mindset made me scared. I hated fear…so I had a lot of it. Now I’m okay with fear, and while I still have it, I am a lot happier. So face your fears, and let yourself shake or let yourself be steady, but when you are done, make eye contact with others, and walk off like you have just conquered the world.

The moral of this story that I needed to hear: Fear, failure…none of that matters. All that matters in life is that you try.

Importance of broken record

There is a therapy skill called broken record and it basically says that if you tell yourself or someone else something over and over, you or they will eventually understand. I have heard it being used for things like when someone doesn’t listen. Just tell them over and over until they understand. But I have noticed that the other way works wonders. This way is telling yourself something until you understand it…until it saves you. So in therapy I have spent a lot of time listening to professionals telling me that nothing is bad or good. We all have different opinions. I know I have been talking about that a bunch in my blog about how we are all different and beauty is the eye of the beholder, but I thought I’d share with you how I got that attitude. I thank broken records for that one. So basically, if you read a book you think is bad, it’s not “bad.” Some people think it’s good and some think it’s bad. Dr. Suess was rejected 27 times before he got published. They thought he was bad,   I think he is good. Not only is it helpful, but it makes sense too! I’ll give you an example or two on how it has affected my life. I was told by someone that something I did was bad. (Vague, I know, but it wasn’t meant in a malicious way and I don’t want it to seem that this person was trying to hurt me, so I don’t want to go into details.) Instead of thinking, “Oh my gosh I did something so wrong!” My brain was too occupied with the thought, “Wait, you used the word bad. That’s not a word anymore. I wonder why she is saying that when that word doesn’t make sense.” It even works for good things as well. I volunteer sometimes and our team leader said thank you to me and said I’m a good volunteer. It was a nice compliment, but again I was confused, as the words good and bad don’t make sense. We are taught to use the word effective. “With the volunteer work I am doing, I am doing everything I am supposed to do in an efficient and effective manner.” And with the person who said I didn’t do something correctly, it could have been said, “I do not like it this way, please do it this way from now on.” This is really helpful because it gets me distracted from negative things being said to me, and it makes sense that nothing is actually good or bad. Now, thinking that things aren’t good is a hard thing to make yourself grasp. I understand that this one might be hard to pull into a loop over and over again in your head. But taking away the word bad doesn’t work unless you take away the word good. Saying I was a good volunteer made me feel good, despite thinking that the word good makes no sense. I knew what she meant and I was still happy.

Now let me break the records for you.

“Good and bad do not exist.”

“Good and bad do not exist.”

“Good and bad do not exist.”