The power to change
Many callers who contact SupportLine are survivors of abuse - emotional, mental, physical and/or sexual and are struggling with low self esteem, lack of confidence and sense of worth. We hope that this section may be of help to anyone who is working towards recovery and healing and also for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, anyone feeling they have no control over their own life and anyone who wants to change their life for the better and live a more peaceful, content and happier life.
The Power to Change
SupportLine tries to empower and encourage callers to be responsible for their own choices, decisions and actions, thereby regaining some control and enabling them to develop or improve their sense of self worth and self esteem and an inner feeling of strength. We aim to help callers develop more positive coping strategies.
Sometimes it is too easy to blame past experiences on our current situation and to stay stuck in a situation we feel unhappy about. Unfortunately nobody can come along and wave a magic wand and make things happen and change or make bad memories and traumas vanish. It takes a lot of hard work from the individual to turn their life around and to change anything which he/she is unhappy about. Life is too short to waste years and years being unhappy and blaming the past for the unhappiness. Yes the past may well be a reason for where you are at now but focusing on the past won't help you to move on with your life.
If you feel you are unable to move on with the past it may well be because you have been blocking off past traumas, ignoring past issues and hoping it will go away. Invariably it means facing up to whatever unhappiness and trauma you experienced in the past, to accept what happened, to accept you may have had no control over what happened, to express in a healthy way and get out all the emotions you have and to let go of them rather than hang onto them. I know this is easier said than done and if you are having difficulty in letting the past go then try and do something about that.
The memories will always be there but don't allow them to control your life. Focus on the solution to the problem rather than the problem itself i.e. what can I do to try and heal from my past and to let go of the feelings I may be holding onto which are keeping me unhappy and preventing me from moving on with my life:-
- Talk to someone you trust who will listen in an empathic and non judgmental way.
- Think about talking to a counsellor and having therapy sessions to help you let go of the past.
- Look at websites written by and for survivors and the whole host of information on the internet which may help you to heal and move on.
- Read books written by survivors to see how they have been able to let go of the past and move on with their lives.
- Just as you devote time to doing the chores, going to work, going out socialising etc. devote time to sorting your life out - that should be the priority and important enough to you to actively spend time on your personal development and healing to help you to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
- If you are unhappy at work - and this is causing you stress and depression - then try to do something about it. Look at changing jobs, even if it means taking a cut in pay it may be worth trying to cut back on expenditure and do a job you feel happier doing and a job with less pressure and less stress.
- If you are out of work and finding it difficult to get a job maybe think about voluntary work - this can help you to try new things and will give you different skills and this will all help in looking for a job as employers will be impressed to see that you have been actively doing something with your time. Voluntary work can help you to build up your confidence and also may give you different ideas about what areas of work you would like to do.
- If you are unhappy with your relationship - again life is too short to stay in an unhappy relationship. Try and sort things out - don't allow this unhappiness to go on and on year after year. Try and work things out together - if you can't, consider couple counselling - and it is better to be happier and healthier on your own than staying in a relationship which is making you unhappy and destroying your health.
- If you are depressed it is not going to help your depression by staying at home day after day watching television. You need to try and do something which will help your depression i.e. regular exercise, fresh air, eat the right foods, keep active, look for a new interest, seek counselling etc. You need to do something to actively help yourself to get out of the depression.
- You need to remember you cannot change other people - you can only change yourself and how you react to other people. If you feel someone is winding you up you have a choice how to react - you can choose to get upset and angry or you can choose to ignore them and walk away.
- You can choose to stay a victim or you can choose to become a survivor.
If you find you constantly worry about things and are anxious try to develop techniques to deal with this and seek out things which will actively help you with your anxiety:-
- Look at information in websites and books.
- Train yourself whenever you start worrying to say 'no, stop, I will worry about that when the time comes, not now' - you can worry yourself sick for days and days about a future event and when the time comes you often find that you coped with it a lot better than you thought and it wasn't nearly as bad as you thought - all the worry in the world is not going to change anything or make it better and all that energy and time you could be devoting to doing something positive.
- If you find that worrying thoughts keep coming into your mind during the day and stop you from getting on with your work or jobs then give yourself a worry hour at a certain time of the day when you allow yourself to sit down and worry about whatever you want to worry about for an hour - so when thoughts come into your mind at other times train yourself to say 'no, stop, I'll worry about that later in my worry hour, now I am going to put it out of my mind and get on with my work'.
- Take time out each day to do relaxation exercises, relax in a warm bath, listen to relaxing music - even twenty minutes a day to unwind, not answer the phone or the door but time for you to empty your mind of worries and thoughts and just chill out.
Learn To Like and Love Yourself
Learn to accept yourself for who you are and to like and love yourself. You accept others with their imperfections and habits you may not like - that doesn't stop you liking and/or loving them - stop being so hard on yourself - nobody is perfect, everyone messes up sometimes, everyone does things they wish they hadn't done, everyone makes mistakes - that is being human'!
Learn from your mistakes and move on. Everyone is unique, you don't have to be like everyone else, you are you, see yourself in a realistic light - don't focus on all the negative things about yourself and all the things you don't like - start trying to focus on all the good points you have and the parts of you that you do like. Learn to congratulate yourself when you do things well, when you cope with things - don't keep putting yourself down and giving yourself negative talk - give yourself positive talk and keep doing it until it becomes natural to talk to yourself in a positive way.
You have the power and strength within you to make changes to your life and any aspect of your life you are unhappy about - you can start by making a list of anything you want to change and work out what you can do to actively make changes in your life. You can choose to stay where you are in your unhappiness or you can choose to try and do something to change your situation for yourself.
By looking through the other pages on this website you can see that there is help out there and people who can be there for you and support you in your journey to healing, recovery and a happier, calmer and more peaceful life.
Positive and Healthy Statements
- See yourself as a Survivor and not a Victim. Victim conjures up weakness, helplessness, not in control - Survivor conjures up strength, in control of your own life.
- Talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend.
- Change a negative thought into a positive thought.
- Habits and behaviour may be bad, - that doesn't make you a bad person - just a person with bad habits or behaviour.
- By loving yourself you are opening up the possibility for others to love you too.
- Focus on the solution to the problem - not the problem itself.
- Refuse to let problems control you or your emotions. Disregard the factors you have no control over and focus on what you can influence.
- Recognise your own value, skills, talents, qualities, see yourself and life in a realistic way.
- Love yourself unconditionally just as you would those closest to you despite their faults.
- Take one step at a time.
- Don't put off until tomorrow what you could do today.
- Use the strength within you in a positive way and not a negative way.
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