Tag Archive for self-esteem tips

Got 5 Minutes? Get Happier

Emily Roberts MA, LPC

If you are anything like me, you procrastinate, not a personality trait I’m proud of, but it is part of who I am. Perhaps for you it’s the to-do list you never actually “do”, your bills, laundry, cleaning, anything that is put off, and wind up stressing about later. I have noticed that these mundane tasks can actually cause more anxiety for me and many of my clients. Normal lists may not do the trick anymore because they get written and then never completed, thus more anxiety. So, rather than making myself feel bad for putting off yet another thing, I take five minute action breaks and start getting things done, my sense of satisfaction boosts and so does my level of happiness.

Here’s How it Works

You have five minutes, I know you do (get off Facebook or Instagram for a little while and you will find the time) and set out an area of your life you need to tackle. You can do this at work, at home, or even while your commuting. Today, I chose my desk. 

Set a timer.  Use your phone, the microwave, or your oven, whatever will ding to let you know time is up.

Get to work.  Make it a game, see how much you can accomplish; chances are you may even go longer than the time you set. I organized my files, grabbed a bottle of Windex, took out the trash, vacuumed, and put away anything that looked out of order. By the time I was done I had a few seconds left, and was smiling!  That was something I was dreading for weeks, and only took me about 4 minutes! I do this with many irritating tasks, responding to or organizing emails, paying my bills, sometimes I set it for longer, but when I keep the time frames small I feel accomplished and motivated to move forward with my day. You can do this multiple times throughout the day.

Use rewards.  Maybe you reward yourself by checking Twitter or having a piece of chocolate, or doing something fun.  Don’t go overboard here but, if its something you have really had a difficult time completing why not?  it will signal the reward center of your brain making you more likely feel better about finishing the task next time.

Many of my clients who have ADD/ADHD or who find that they procrastinate and then feel guilty have found this technique effective. Telling yourself or a child “the whole room needs to be clean” is a daunting task, and often times we get so overwhelmed by the big picture, we don’t see how easy it is to break it down into manageable assignments. Start with 5 minutes on a corner or a drawer, when your done find your inner cheerleader and give yourself a pat on the back.

So take 5, 10, or 15 minutes and start getting happier, and more control of your life, you have the time somewhere in your schedule, just make it happen. Have a tip that works for you? Please share! (3308)

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Eliminate Negative Self Talk: 5 Steps

 By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Mistaken beliefs often keep you from achieving your important goals in life, they come from the negative thoughts we have about ourselves.  These thoughts can come from others, negative scripts we have told ourselves, and the mixed messages you hear from the media.  Mistaken believes set limits on your self-esteem and self-worth.  Many times I hear clients say ” I should be _______”, when you focus more on the should’s, ought’s, and could’ves you are selling yourself short and not looking at what you have done and are capable of doing.  Negative thinking and mistaken beliefs need to be challenged to reduce anxiety, decrease depression, and increase well-being.

Try this exercise to help rid yourself of a of a negative believe you have.

ex) People don’t like me

1.  What is the evidence for this belief?  Looking objectively at all your life experience, what is the evidence that this belief is true?   Evidence- in the past others rejected my friendship.  BUT I also have made and maintained many friendships over the years.  My friends and family love me for who I am. 

 2.  Does this belief always hold true for you?  If not, when has it been proven false? This belief only looks at a few circumstances when I was not accepted by others; this has only happened a few times. I also just made a new friend at work.

3.  Does this belief look at the whole picture?  Does it take into account both positive and negative ramifications? If I think this way I wont get hurt by people, but if I think this way I also will be lonely and not make new friendships or form new relationships.

 4.  Does this belief promote your well-being and/or peace of mind?This belief makes me more anxious and does not promote well being.  When I feel this way I am less confident, making it harder to make new friends and be myself. It DOES NOT benefit me.

 5.  Did you choose this belief on your own or did it develop out of your experience of growing up in your family? Experience with a bully in high school and a few failed relationships in my twenties made me feel like others don’t like me.  However, these people were not positive, and were aggressive personalities, perhaps they are not the best judge of my character. Family and long term friends do not feel this way.

Try this exercise when you notice you have an overwhelming negative thought, one that is causing you distress or a perpetuating beleif that is not benefiting you.  Long lasting change and elimination of the negitive self-talk takes time and practice, be patient and determined.

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