I am glad you reached out for support at this time. I am sorry you are struggling in this moment. I would encourage you to start to work with a therapist to help you learn skills to help you overcome your struggles. If we were to meet I would first talk to you about the counseling process through our site and how together we could help you obtain your goals going forward, how I work as a counselor and how I would try to help you through the counseling process. I would also take the first session to get to know you by asking you a few questions to get a better understanding of your struggles, so that I am able to focus on a plan and goals to work on going forward. I want you to know that you are not alone during this time even through you may feel like you are alone at this time. During the therapy process you can have support 100% of the time as you are able to reach out and talk to a therapist 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I am going to send you some skills and tools to help you during this time of struggle you are having. If we were to work together we would be going over these and more tools to help you through our struggles and be able to ask for support from others.
I wanted to send you a reading and skills to help start to build your Self-Esteem.Establishing a strong sense of self and truly loving yourself is a challenging task to master. It's incredibly easy to fall into a rut and become discouraged. With the world constantly criticizing individuals for every little thing and living in a culture that continually praises beauty over substance, it is easy to feel like you are worthless and invaluable. But fear not! Here are some helpful tips that will allow you to learn to love yourself and improve your self-esteem and confidence, and give you the tools to always strive for growth, success, happiness, and self-love. Make a list of the things you love most and why, and prioritize these items on a scale of one to ten, and promise yourself you will engage with these activities every day, week, or month, as appropriate. The key to happiness is to do what you love, and by engaging with some of your favorite activities on a regular basis, you’ll instantly boost your self-confidence.Low self-esteem can keep you from enjoying your life. It can also keep you from socializing and maintaining friendships.Self-esteem is one of those intrinsic qualities that develop slowly over time. If you suffer from low self-esteem, everyone will notice it when you walk into a room. Those with low self-esteem might lack certain social skills, lack assertiveness, or even walk into a room with their shoulders slumped. Body language is a telltale sign as to how much self-esteem you genuinely have. FAST AcronymF – Be FairA – No ApologiesS – Stick to ValuesT – Be TruthfulF stands for being fair to yourself as well as other people. It’s important to learn that your needs are just as important as someone else’s needs. This is also about being assertive and learning to speak your truth.A means no unjustified apologies; in other words, don’t be overly apologetic. Don’t apologize for having an opinion or disagreeing with others.S means stick to your values and don’t compromise or abandon your values trying to please others or conform.Finally, T means being truthful and not making excuses. This requires being honest and not exaggerating or telling little white lies.Quiz For Self-Esteem:This self-esteem Questions is not meant to diagnose any psychological disorder, but it is a good way to gauge how someone feels about themselves. If you score on the low end, that might mean you need to practice more self-love or self-compassion.Answer the following questions with “most of the time,” “some of the time” or “almost never.”1. My feelings get easily hurt.2. I get upset if someone criticizes me, even if they mean well and offer constructive criticism.3. I get angry at myself if I make a small mistake, even if it is an honest one.4. I typically ask other people what they think I should do, instead of making my own decisions.5. I typically go along with the group, even if I don’t necessarily agree.6. I am uncomfortable when accepting compliments.7. I don’t feel like I measure up or feel good enough.8. It’s common for me to self-criticize or say negative things about myself, like telling myself I am stupid or fat or just no good.9. When I look in the mirror, I don’t like what I see, and I don’t feel attractive.10. I find myself apologizing for things all of the time, even for things that aren’t my fault.Five steps to mental wellbeing Below are five things that can really help to boost our mental wellbeing: 1. connect - connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. Spend time developing these relationships. 2. be active - you don't have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. 3. keep learning - learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike? 4. give to others - even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community center, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks. 5. be mindful - be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Practice mindfulness Change your story Don’t compare yourself to others Channel that inner rock star Move your body more Volunteer Practice forgiveness Realize that you are not your circumstances I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.10. Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.11. My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.12. I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions.13. I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today.14. I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.15. A river of compassion washes away my anger and replaces it with love.16. I am guided in my every step by Spirit who leads me towards what I must know and do.17. (If you're married) My marriage is becoming stronger, deeper, and more stable each day.18. I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.19. (For business owners) My business is growing, expanding, and thriving.20. Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas.21. Happiness is a choice. I base my happiness on my own accomplishments and the blessings I've been given.22. My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite.23. (For those who are unemployed) I deserve to be employed and paid well for my time, efforts, and ideas. Each day, I am closer to finding the perfect job for me.24. I am courageous and I stand up for myself.25. My thoughts are filled with positivity and my life is plentiful with prosperity.26. Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones.27. Many people look up to me and recognize my worth; I am admired.28. I am blessed with an incredible family and wonderful friends.29. I acknowledge my own self-worth; my confidence is soaring.30. Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.31. I am a powerhouse; I am indestructible.32. Though these times are difficult, they are only a short phase of life.33. My future is an ideal projection of what I envision now.34. My efforts are being supported by the universe; my dreams manifest into reality before my eyes.35. (For those who are single) The perfect partner for me is coming into my life sooner than I expect.36. I radiate beauty, charm, and grace.37. I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.38. My obstacles are moving out of my way; my path is carved towards greatness.39. I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind. These may be simple things, but they can be powerful things. Being mindful, for example, can help you learn to live in the present moment and not get caught up in worrying about the future or obsessing about the past. Mindfulness also enables you to stop that negative self-talk by helping you be more aware.You can also change your story and start thinking differently. You don’t have to carry the same old sad story around. Taking the time to examine your story can help you understand it and move beyond it.Comparing yourself to others is a recipe for disaster. Comparisons only lead to feeling worse about yourself. When you stop comparing yourself, you begin to realize you are unique.When all else fails, you can channel that inner rock star. Everyone has a strength or talent. No one is good at everything, so taking the time to find your natural talent can help you feel better about yourself.Exercising can also help you feel better about yourself with the release of your body’s natural endorphins or feel-good chemicals. You might be surprised at how good you feel after a brisk walk.Doing things like volunteering and practicing forgiveness can also be helpful. Doing unto others and taking the time to forgive yourself can go a long way to boosting your self-esteem.Last but certainly not least, it’s important to remember that you are not your circumstances. This too, shall pass.Questions for Self-Esteem1. What are some things you can do to strengthen or balance your emotions? What can you stop doing?2. How would you feel three months from now if you stuck to your goal? How would your life be different?3. What is one small thing you can do this week that will help you feel more in control of your life?4. What are some things you are passionate about? What kinds of things excite you, motivate you or interest you? What can you do to feed these passions daily or weekly?5. Think of some times when you felt motivated and confident? What were you doing; who were you with; where were you?6. What kinds of things can you do to start developing a stronger relationship with yourself? What kinds of things do you feel you need to overcome so that you can get closer to self-acceptance and confidence?7. Do you have relationship problems with your family, friends, or coworkers? What are your options to overcome them?8. What kinds of activities excite you? Which ones make you feel happy? How can you integrate more joyful and exciting activities into the next couple of days?9. What habits, if any, do you need to change in order to improve your happiness and confidence this year? What is one habit that you can start to work on in the next couple of days? What would it feel like to do this every day?10. What can you start doing, or stop doing, to deepen your relationships with friends and loved ones?11. Who are the people in your life that are supportive and will help you nurture your dreams and goals? How can you spend more time with them?12. What stands between you and feeling happy? What steps can you take to bridge the gap?13. In terms of money and finances, what kinds of changes could you make to feel more confident financially?14. How can you reduce your expenses this month? How would this make you feel about yourself?15. What would it feel like if you stuck to one healthy habit for the next few months? How could that improve your life?
The power of positivityHow we think plays a significant role in how we feel. The more you focus on the positive things in your life (close friendships, fun plans for the weekend, the things that are going well at school and with your family) the more likely it will be that you will enjoy a sense of well-being. Positive thinking brings positive responses in your body which can boost your mood and diminish stress.What is positivity?Positivity is the ability to meet challenges and situations in life with an “I can do it,” “I’ll figure it out,” “things will work out” attitude. People who use the power of positivity face the same disappointments, challenges and stressors in life that everyone else does – the difference is that they choose to react to these challenges by finding a productive and positive way to cope and respond.Ways to bring positivity to your lifeSurround yourself with positive people; it’s OK to avoid people who bring you down and who don’t bring out the best in you. Find the areas in your life that bring you joy, help you maintain your sense of humor and give you a sense of well-being – keep those things in your life as you go off to school, meet new people, face new stressors. Be familiar with situations or areas in your life that bring out the “negative” in you – when a situation can’t be changed, try to focus on the positive; if a situation can be changed, then do so! Find ways to give to others, help others, be compassionate and kind. Doing things for others is a powerful way to help you create positivity in your own life. Make an effort to keep a mental list (or write down a list) of all the things that are going well in your life, of the things that bring you joy and the things you are grateful for. Focusing on the aspects of your life that are going well for you can promote a positive attitude in the rest of your life.Make an effort to find a positive side in everythingYou can’t control what happens to you, but one thing you can control is how you respond. It’s up to you to look for the right side in everything and react most positively.For example, when you are waiting for your friend and he is late, don’t get angry, rather make it an opportunity to develop your patience level.What positive changes do you want to make in your life?● On a scale of 0-10, how content are you with your life?● Do you regularly set positive goals for your work life, your relationships or health, and relaxation?● What is your attitude about change?● What are these goals?● What keeps happening repeatedly that frustrates you achieving them?Always be gratefulIt is impossible to feel depressed in life if you have so many things to be grateful. No matter how inferior things may turn out, you must realize that we still have things in our lives what most people on earth don’t have. The research found that your brain always focuses on the negative elements of life, like tragedies, failures, worries, etc. That’s why we need to focus more on good things. To do so, you should make a gratitude list and read them whenever you get a chance. It will attract more blessing, and you will feel much better in life.Create a positive environmentIt is vital to have positive people around you who will help you to stay positive in negative situations. Circle yourself with people who will support you and lift you instead of dragging you down.You can also spend time reading positive books, watching motivating movies, or listening to good music.Assess how you feel around people. One useful way to determine if people are toxic is to pay attention to how you feel around them. You can "check in" at certain points while you are around people. Ask yourself the following questions:● Am I feeling drained right now? Does it seem like the person is draining my emotions?● Am I walking on eggshells? Am I afraid to say the wrong thing because they might react negatively?● Am I ignoring my own voice? Is the person making it hard for me to listen to myself and follow my own values?● Do I feel smaller and less important around this person?Express yourself effectively. Since tension is bound to occur in friendships and relationships, it is crucial that you can express your feelings clearly. When you are owning and examining your feelings, you have the opportunity to handle this tension smoothly. And, speaking expressively will open space for other people to express how they feel, and work through these different feelings together.● Start by listening. Make sure to acknowledge what the person is saying before you counter with your own views.● Use "I" statements. A simple way to avoid being too confrontational is to tell people what you're experiencing rather than what they're doing wrong. For example, you can say "When you're late to our coffee dates, I feel like you don't value my time" rather than "You're always late and it's really rude." Speak firmly and assertively. This ties into effective arguing, but speaking assertively is something you can do all the time, whether you're arguing or not. Being an assertive speaker will help improve your communication and relationships.● Try to figure out where you could use some improvement. Maybe you're easily intimidated and people tend to step all over you, especially if they have a toxic personality. Identify the problem area as a first step.● Reflect on tactics for specific situations. Maybe your toxic friend asks you for money and you have a hard time saying no. What can you do in these situations?■ Could you rehearse a simple script for the next time they ask?■ For example, you could say "I care about you, but I'm not able to give you any more money."● Practice responding assertively in your life. You can use techniques like the "broken record," where you simply repeat yourself if they argue about what you've said. Start small if this is difficult for you, such as saying no (when appropriate) to family members or non-toxic friends. Exercise moreExercising daily releases good mood endorphins, which makes your mood better. Exercise has both physical and mental benefits. It will keep you in better shape and boost your self-esteem.Help othersVolunteering or doing charity can boost your spiritual health and give you internal peace. Buying a big house and cars will not increase your overall happiness in the long run. Contributing to the betterment of the people will also make you realize how much fortunate you are than others, this has a significant effect on our happiness. This is because our total focus will be on how you can give or be of service to others and paying less attention to negative people and things around you.Go outdoorsNature always gives us positive energy and helps us think positively. In today’s busy world and working from home or desk-bound jobs, it has become impossible to go out and spend some time with nature. Spending some time outside in good weather will increase your energy, boost your mood and help you work efficiently. If going out isn’t an option, you can always surround your workplace or home with plants. With working from home can you take your computer outside or move your computer to a different location in your house to give yourself the feel of a different work space?MeditationMeditation will improve your focus, attention, clarity and will keep your mind calm. It keeps you from getting stressed out and keeps you happy in the long run. It is beneficial for both the body and mind. Meditation helps you to concentrate and pay attention to the present and accept it without judging. It is useful in forgetting about the past and not worry about the future.Get enough sleepWhen we don’t get enough sleep, negativity takes over our mind. Your body needs to recover from the day before stress. There are tons of natural remedies to help you sleep better. Sleep helps your mind to stay focus, be productive and happier. People who get good sleep tend to feel less anger and stressful.Express your feelingsThere is a lot of things keep happening in our life, which we hold inside ourselves. And when we express those emotions, we feel relief. You should always have someone trustworthy you could talk to and someone who can understand what you are going through. And if you don’t find that right person, you can just write it down.Step by step guide to avoid unnecessary conflict The first thing you should ask yourself is if your response is a reaction to something that happened? If so, why are you triggered? This is important because the way you initiate the communication will be different. If you are reacting to the trigger...you may want to assess your timing of the conversation. Assess your timing○ Trying to communicate something at the wrong time can cause an unnecessary argument.○ How can you respond in a way that is non-aggressive if/when you are triggered Prepare your message ahead of time○ In the example you gave with dumping out the sand. You know now you have something you want to communicate. Prepare the message ahead of time and know what it is you want to say (be assertive)Be assertive (please review the worksheets on assertiveness and communication styles)○ Focus more on the message you are trying to communicate, instead of the response of the person○ Stay away from the words "you" and use "I" Statements○ I'm feeling overwhelmed. Be specific, what do you want "right now" (in the moment)○ What would be helpful in that moment of distress?Improving the communication (practice reflecting, and go to the worksheet on reflections)○ Reflecting listening and providing feedback○ Eye contact, body language○ Do not make assumptions○ Ask questions if you do not understand or if you are unsure○ If you already have a response immediately after the person is done talking, you were not listening? Why? Because you have spent the entire conversation preparing your message, instead of listening to the other person's message.○ It's not about being right or wrong (the war between being right and wrong ruins relationships) (dominance of power roles)○ Apologize if necessary Improving communication● Attentive Listening: If by the time he is done talking, you already have your message, you were not listening. It means the entire time he was talking, you were thinking. Therefore you may not have the full understanding of the message.● Questions: Ask questions to avoid making assumptions about what was said.● Processing: Communicating back to the other person what you heard them say using the specific words they used● Reflecting: It is hearing the message and describing what was said to you back to the person● Assertive Communication: Using :"I" statements to communicate the impact of what was said to you to the other personReduce your worriesWorrying habit about anything is a powerful reason to destroy anyone’s thinking. Most of the thing you fear in your life never happens. They are just like nightmares of your mind. It grows stronger day-by-day and leaves you feeling stressed.Accept and find solutionsMost people are repellent and can’t accept the change in their life. They must learn to accept that change will happen. We continually go through changes, because this is how life is meant to be. You can experience the worst phase of your life, but you should look for the positive aspect and find a solution to your problem. When you train your brain for staying positive in all situations, even tragedy can’t destroy you, this maybe hard to do at first but with practice it is something you can do more often in your life when you are dealing with troubling things in your life.ConclusionIf you think that there are a lot of problems and responsibilities in your life and it’s too impractical to stay positive all the time, think again. It’s never too late to live a positive and happy life. I hope these were helpful for you and that you are able to try and implement them in your daily life.
I hope that these skills have been helpful for you in your struggles you have been facing at this time. I am going to give you my information if you are wanting to start to process through and work on your struggles going forward, please reach out to Betterhelp and ask to be matched with Crystal Westman, or reach out to me through Psychology today for sessions through private practice. If we were to work together we would work on more skills and tools to help you when you are struggling and get back to a positive space. I encourage you to reach out for support at this time to help you get to the best version of yourself.