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1 week ago · · 0 comments

What happens if I experience breastfeeding problems?

Breastfeeding Problems – the biggest stressor for many new mums today

counselling for new mumsAs a new mother, you make certain assumptions. One of these assumptions is that you will be able to breastfeed naturally. You assume breastfeeding comes easily to most mothers and subsequently, it should come easily to you too. Unfortunately, breastfeeding is one of the biggest causes of stress for many new mothers. The main reasons for this are:

a) it does not always come easily to all mums

b) babies can reject the breast

c) there is a method behind getting it right so babies latch correctly

d) there can be issues with milk supply

All these issues can result in problems breastfeeding when your new baby arrives.

 

‘But.. Isn’t Breast the best?’

There is little talk about the issues many mums face when attempting to breastfeeding. The facts are that approximately 5% of women are physically unable to produce enough milk to feed their babies and further. The Centre For Diseasde Control and Prevention in the United States notes, by the time a baby is 1 year of age only 33% of mothers are still breastfeeding. This is despite the fact that currently, the World Health Organisation recommends exclusively breastfeeding your baby until 6 months of age and then combining breastmilk with solids until the age of 2 or beyond. So you can understand why new mothers feel such intense pressure to breastfeed and why they berate themselves and feel so stressed and depressed when breastfeeding does not go according to plan.

Why is breastfeeding claimed to be so great?

There are many benefits to breastfeeding. According to The World Health Organisation :

Colostrum, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced at the end of pregnancy, is recommended by WHO as the perfect food for the newborn, and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth.

The Word Health Organisation also notes the following:

  1. Breastmilk contains antibodies that protect a baby against diarrhoea and pneumonia – the two most common causes of infant death world-wide
  2. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer
  3. Breastfeeding reduces the chance of your child becoming obese or overweight later in life
  4. Mothers often require assistance in how to breastfeed correctly
  5. Formula milk does not contain the antibodies of breastmilk

In addition, research research has shown that breastmilk also influences your baby’s gut microbiota which protects your baby from skin conditions such as eczema and can having a healthy gut helps protect against chronic illness’s later in life. You may like to read the book ‘Clean Gut‘ for a details explanation of the importance of good gut health.

So, the message is clear – if you can breastfeed – it’s the best source of nutrients for your baby.

But what if you need to top up with/or exclusively feed with Formula?

bringing baby homeThere is an underlying assumption in the wider community that women stop breastfeeding because they want to make their lives easier. This is rarely the case. Most mothers (in the Western world at least) are very intent on breastfeeding and go through a very traumatic emotional turmoil when they come to the realisation that they HAVE to formula feed their baby – for the baby’s health’s sake.

Whilst breastfeeding should come naturally to most mothers – it doesn’t always come easily and often takes a bit of practice and guidance to get it right. In fact, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to enter motherhood quite unsure about how to breastfeed their baby.

 

Anecdotally, mothers often report having issues during the breastfeeding days, such as:

  • cracked nipples
  • sore nipples
  • enlarged breasts
  • decrease in milk supply
  • tongue-tie
  • vasospasm
  • babies gaining insufficient weight
  • babies with wind pain after breastfeeding

just to mention a few….

Therefore, in order to feel calm and relaxed during the breastfeeding process, new mums should consider the following:

  1. Be aware that it’s not uncommon for breastfeeding to take time to get the hang of
  2. When/if things do go wrong there are things you can do to ease the issues
  3. All you can do is try your best and if all else fails, you can still look after your baby’s health well using the right formula

There are a number of things you can do if you are experiencing trouble breastfeeding

  • Speak to a lactation consultant (start with a call to your midwife, or the Australian Breastfeeding Association Helpline on 1800 686 268)
  • If you have engorged/swollen breast, try to gently hand express some milk, or place your baby solely on this side of the breast to initiate the flow of milk – this will hurt a bit, but it should only last until the milk has flowed through the breast
  • Place a cold pack on the breast when swollen, or a heat pack to ease the pain
  • Speak to a health expert about natural herbs to increase milk supply (we can recommend Herbario in Melbourne)

If all else fails and you need to switch to formula milk, it’s very important to not feel like a failure and to trust the most important thing is that you and your baby are healthy and happy. If you are increasingly getting stressed and your baby is also stressed – this is NOT good for your baby’s health. If your baby is losing weight due to poor milk supply, this is also no good for your baby’s health. So, in this case, it is a good idea to do some research into the best brands of formula. There are many formulas that are very close to the make-up of breastmilk. These brands are the best to use to ensure your baby is getting the best nutrients possible.

There are a huge range of formulas to choose from. However, one formula brand which is recommended by Naturopath Kate Dalgleish, containing  a good source of nutrients for your baby is the Bellamy’s organic brand. Kate also recommends adding DHA and probiotics to the formula, which you can read about in her downloadable guide.

The take-home message

In the ideal world every mother would breastfeed easily and without any issues down the track. However, this simply is not the case for many mothers. Personally, I was able to fully breastfeed my first child with the help of some lactation teas from Herbario. I struggled with the pain of engorged breasts from time to time, but was able to treat myself and continue breastfeeding. However, despite being confident everything would be the same for my second child, I did not have sufficient milk for her. I persisted, expressed milk and tried natural therapies, but nothing changed my milk supply. I didn’t want to lose the intimate connection I had soothing my baby with breastmilk, so I finally gave in to ‘formula top up feeding’. I continued to breastfeed my second child until 2 years of age and just topped up her feeds with formula milk and solids (after 6 months of age). I was warned that my daughter would reject the breast, but she never did. Perhaps this was because she had started the first 3 months with exclusive breastfeeding. Perhaps it was because she would soothe to sleep on the breast and found this very comforting. I’m not 100% sure. However, the main thing for me was knowing I was doing my best for the health and wellbeing of my child. She soon began to regain weight on formula milk and we still had our comfort feeding with breastmilk, so it was a win-win in the end.

As a new mother all you can do is try your best and ensure you have your own and your child’s best interests at heart. With this mindset you can handle anything that comes your way.

 

lizzie o'halloran

 

3 weeks ago · · 0 comments

Reducing stress and depression comes first from taking control

Stress is all around us – but reducing stress is within your control

self confidence at work and reducing stressWe live in a very stressful world. Reducing stress is not always easy. Recently I was speaking to an environmentalist. He made an interesting observation. He said “how can psychology really work, when you are telling people to be happy in a world that is full of stress, fear and catastrophe and in an ever increasing state of global climate crisis”. I had to really ponder on this question. To answer it, I had to look back in time. I thought back to Victor Frankl, who in his famous book Man’s Search for Meaning recounts how he survived the Holocaust by finding personal meaning amongst the struggle and how that gave him the will to live. Throughout history there has always been struggle and this struggle persists today. However, alongside this struggle has been major positive change. There has never been so much love, kindness and support for those who are struggling. As a I write this, the movement to listen to those who have been abused, to stand up for those who have been persecuted for being women and to stop mass shootings by pushing for stricter gun control in America are underway. These movements all have the same internal belief – that taking control can make a difference.

This is where my personal psychological physilophy ensues. I know that when you gain a sense of personal control you can make huge positive changes in your life. When you trust in your heart that you can change your personal circumstances, you can do anything. When it comes to counselling and psychotherapy, this is the primary goal. To help you to believe and to feel empowered that you can change your physiology, your mental state and your internal health – which in turn will improve your overall life circumstances. Being educated to trust that your voice matters and that you have the power to effect change, is essential.

Reducing stress through more positive news

The news about how terrible things in our world have become is not helping our cause to reduce stress. Particularly when you think that depression arises out of a combination of feeling helpless, hopeless and pessimistic. We need to be informed and educated correctly, not through fear and stress inducing media that leave us feeling as though we have no control and are unable to change our current circumstances. Real news helps to inform us and to empower us to stand up for what is right and ‘just’ and empowers us in ways that we can make a change. When we hear sensationalised news it leads to feeling disheartened, because you can start to wonder if there is anything you can really do to make a change. If you do the reverse and start looking into things you can personally do to make a change, you will feel that you can help, you will feel that there is hope that things you do will make a difference and you will feel more optimistic about the present and future as a result.

So, my environmentalist friend was not correct in stating there is no point in using psychology to help people feel happier when there is suffering all around. This is actually the time when people need the most hope, the most meaning and the greatest sense of control in their lives. To feel empowered, is to feel happier. Once you know the true facts and you are empowered to know what you CAN do to effect change, then you can live in hope amongst the stress and strain of the world around you. You can start to believe that change IS possible and you can NEVER give up on yourself, your life, those you love and the world around you. When you are in the midst of personal tragedy, psychology is the greatest help. It provides you with support and guidance to see your way through the pain and loss. It provides you with structure and a personal control and it gives you hope and optimism in the present and future.

What we need more of are stories about what people ARE doing and what IS making a change in people’s lives. For instance, there are organisations like the Climate Action Network Australia  who are dedicated to support its members and allies to take action to protect people from climate change, to safeguard the environment and build a clearer environment for Australians. Here at Help For Mums we are starting a free weekly newsletter detailing the top 10 good news stories of the week. Our aim is to give our readers hope and control in their future. You can sign up to our newsletter at www.helpformums.com

Lizzie O’Halloran, Founder of Help For Mums and Author of Perfect Mum

1 month ago · · 0 comments

Improving self esteem unlocks the key to happiness

Why Improving self esteem is vital to your health and happiness

career mother returning to work and improving self esteemWhen you do not feel happy about yourself at your very core, life is so much harder. Low self esteem has a profound impact on all aspects of your life. Feelings of insecurity, self doubt and lack of self confidence are all intrinsically linked to low self esteem. Yet, improving self esteem is often at the bottom of people’s to-do list. People spend copious amounts of money on external things in a hope this will boost their happiness levels; like going on shopping sprees, going on expensive holidays, having regular day spa treatments, cosmetic surgery and going into millions of dollars in debt to purchase a bigger home. Whilst these things are lovely and will give you an instant buzz.

If your self esteem is low, the good feeling you achieved from these external purchases will only last temporarily. If you are regularly making these purchases (& they are not causing you further financial stress), the feeling you gain from these experiences will be long lasting and treasured. For instance, when you save for a holiday and really enjoy the experience, that positive feeling stays with you for life. On the flip side, if you took that holiday as an escape from your current life, you will return to the same problems and your ‘holiday buzz’ will soon dissipate.

Self esteem and relationships

We often measure ourselves by how people are treating us. We often feel happy when our family, work colleagues partner or friends are nice to us and can feel devastated when we are treated poorly. To have a healthy and strong self esteem it’s necessary to have strong resilience. This means that when things happen you are entitled to have a reaction to them (e.g. to feel upset). However, it’s important to deal with the issue at hand and not take the next step and assume you are a bad person as a result of someone else’s behaviour or their beliefs.

When you can accept criticism as separate to you, your self esteem is kept intact. You can also deal much more productively with issues that arise in relationships over time. Instead of crumbling every time someone points out a criticism, you can look at the criticism objectively, separate if from how much you value YOU as a person and deal with the criticism is isolation.

The next time someone upsets you, put it in perspective. Separate yourself from the other person and deal with what just happened – as soon as possible – so you don’t internalise it and assume you must have done something to create their behaviour.

Self esteem and exercise

There is a strong connection between being active and feeling good. Just try to go to the gym and do a workout and NOT feel good afterwards. Unless you overtrain or give yourself an injury it’s pretty hard not to feel great from exercise. One of the reasons you may not be exercising is that you don’t remember that good feeling, or you feel too tired now to get up and take part in the exercise.

However, how would you feel if you knew that being physically fit and healthy actually leads to improvements in all areas of your life, including your energy levels? Think about how much more confident you feel when you’re healthy. What about the fact that you are less snappy at other people because you’re in a better mood? What about the fact that you have a lot more tolerance, can think clearer and have more energy to do all the things you’ve been putting off?

best weight loss tips - gymSo, the first step is pushing yourself to just get started. In the Refresh Your Life program we just start with 10 minutes of walking – that’s it. WHY? Because 10 minutes is achievable for most people. Also, once you see how easy it was to do 10 minutes, you can slowly increase the time exercising to gain even more mental and physical health benefits.

Making a start is all you need to start boosting your energy and positively impact your self esteem too.

 

 

Self esteem and past pain

It can be very difficult to let go of past pain when you’ve suffered rejection. This is a big one for many people, particularly when it is associated with a bad break up or rejection from within ones own family.

It’s never easy to deal with this rejection. Sometime we just have to learn to accept that everyone lives in their own world of experience and being the rejected person does NOT mean there is something wrong with you. It does not mean you’re not worthy of that person’s love. It simply means that the other person does not have the capacity to be strong enough to maintain the close relationship or at least verbally explain why he/she is no longer able to be close to you.

Learning how to deal with rejection is a key aspect of re-building self esteem.

Feeling insecure is a core element of low self esteem

Insecurity is often associated with low self esteem. When you feel unsure about yourself you can spend a lot of time double guessing whether you said the right thing to someone, whether you indirectly upset someone, or whether or not somelike likes/diskiles you.

Many of your self doubts can be based on interpretations of behaviour, rather than on actual facts. For instance, many women spend a long time asking their partners “are you OK?” simply because the partner doesn’t feel like talking, isn’t smiling at that moment in time, or is just too tired to pay as much attention as usual.

It’s really easy to assume someone is upset with you when you read into facial and body expressions – particularly when you’re feeling insecure about yourself. The easiest way to get around this is to ASK questions. Seek reassurance in a kind tone – without it seeming like an interrogation. For example, there is a difference between saying “You seem a bit quiet tonight, are you tired” and “what’s wrong with you, am I boring you”. Ask questions to open communication and keep those insecure emotions in check and take the time to rebuild your self esteem to reduce feelings of insecurity too.

Improving your self esteem is vital to your health and happiness. Make yourself a priority and do this first. Then everything else in life will be SO much easier. Start by downloading our free ebook on the ‘5 Everyday Ways to Add Serious Self-confidence to Your Life

Lizzie O’Halloran, Founder of Help For Mums

1 month ago · · 0 comments

Is Your Sugar Intake Making You Look Even More Like A Tired Parent?

Tired Parent: Could Sugar causing you to look even more over tired?

tired parent
Many health professionals state that sugar changes the appearance of your skin. In fact, experts now believe a lifetime of overeating sugar can make skin dull and wrinkled. Too much sugar can cause damage to the collagen and elastin in your skin. These are the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. So, if you are looking more tired, drawn out and ‘blotchy’ than normal, it may be that you have too much sugar in your diet. When you’re a tired parent, it’s easy to assume this lack of elasticity or dullness in just due to the tiredness caused by bringing home a newborn baby.

Sugar is often hidden in foods you think are healthy

Regardless of how healthy you think your diet may be, if your skin is not as fresh and bright as it used to be, start paying attention to the processed foods in your diet to see what effect they might be having. Most nutritionists will tell you that sugar is one of the negative foods in your diet. It’s an ingredient that is very difficult to avoid if you’re not paying attention. Foods such as pasta sauce, yoghurt, spreads, crackers and chewing gum are laden with sugar to enhance taste.

Of course sugar is not the whole answer to your tiredness when you’re a new mum – that waking baby has a pretty big impact! However, when you feel extremely tired it is very tempting to resort to sugar laden foods to wake you up. This has become a habit and before you know it you have developed an addiction to sugar. When you consume sugar, it also gives you an instant ‘high’, so for that moment and a few moments afterwards, you feel happy and energetic. Unfortunately, this positive feeling does not last. Your body gets a quick burst of sugar, but because it happens so quickly, it depletes your body and causes you to feel more tired that you were to begin with.The effects of sugar are not so easy to detect, because they happen so gradually. Being a tired parent can also mask the effects of sugar. You may assume your skin tone is solely the result of becoming a new parent, when in fact sugar may be playing an important part.

Do you have a sweet tooth?

weight loss recipesThe go-to food for many people when you’re feeling tired, emotional or overwhelmed is chocolates and sweets. You don’t have to give them up completely, however, you will find the moment you reduce your sugar intake, your cravings for sugar will reduce also. If you have a sweet tooth, there are loads of sugar free treats you can introduce into your lifestyle so you don’t feel you are missing out.  Try our free recipe for chocolate almond protein balls here. When you have your next sugar craving, sink your teeth into one of these instead. You will feel satisfied and you’ll begin to swap processed sugar for healthier sweet alternatives.

 

The good news about sugar

The exciting thing is the effects of sugar on your health are irreversible. You’ll start to see results very quickly. If you are looking for a way to get back into your healthy lifestyle, take a look at Refresh Your Life: motivational weight loss program. This program makes it easy to eat low sugary foods, in a balanced way.
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1 month ago · · Comments Off on Eysenck’s Personality Inventory (EPI) (Extroversion/Introversion)

Eysenck’s Personality Inventory (EPI) (Extroversion/Introversion)

The Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) measures two pervasive, independent dimensions of personality, Extraversion-Introversion and Neuroticism-Stability, which account for most of the variance in the personality domain. Each form contains 57 “Yes-No” items with no repetition of items. The inclusion of a falsification scale provides for the detection of response distortion. The traits measured are Extraversion-Introversion and Neuroticism.

1 month ago · · 0 comments

Depression After Baby: What can you do to reduce this?

Depression After Baby

happiness in motherhoodWhat do you do if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or exhausted after having a baby? Do you ignore your feelings, or think about getting support? There is a misconception that parenting should come easy. With all the pressures that befall mothers today, it’s very common to feel out of control as a new mum, to ignore these feelings and then to allow these feelings to seep into depression after having your baby.

There has never been more depression and anxiety in motherhood. However, both anxiety and depression after baby are not very well recognised by mothers. In fact recent research highlights that many mothers experience symptoms of postnatal depression, such as feeling overwhelmed, stressed, overly emotional. Mothers often do not recognise these feelings as potential signs of depression or anxiety after having a baby, or do not believe their symptoms are ‘bad enough’ to warrant help. If you are a mum reading this, can you relate to this?

As a mother, how much do you expect yourself to be PERFECT?

How does trying to be the perfect mum impact on mothers today?

Just today a friend was telling me about three different mothers she knows who have not been coping very well since becoming mothers.  The first one has begun to lash out at her child physically, the second one has begun crying uncontrollably and the third mum has squashed her emotions and is finding it difficult to enjoy being a new mother as a result. All three mothers have battled with feelings of sadness, stress, pressure and low self-confidence for many years (even before having children), yet not one of these mums has sought professional help.

Why are these mothers waiting until things get so bad to even admit to having problems? Why are they so ashamed to ask for professional help – even when it’s impacting so significantly on their personal lives? There are a range of reasons for this. Fear of judgement, fear of appearing weak, not wanting to let other people down or not wanting to be stigmatised as a failure are common reasons. The factor that most mothers do not consider are:

  1. seeking help significantly improved a mothers health and happiness
  2. seeking help makes coping with parenting much easier
  3. seeking help is private and no-one needs to know
  4. seeking help creates a positive influence for children and
  5. seeking help reducing negative responses in mothers such as snappiness

Being the Perfect Mum is not the Goal of Parenting – The Goal is to Be The Best Mum YOU Can Be For YOUR Child

Every parent and expert thinks they have the answer to parenting, but this could not be further from the truth. We have research and theories on parenting that work for some and not for others. Children are unique. You are unique. No two families are the same, so we cannot place our values and beliefs on others, because we are not walking in their shoes. All we can do is observe the outcome of parenting on a whole family. If things are not looking right (e.g. people are not healthy, happy, safe, or secure) then something needs to be changed. This ‘something’ though is up for debate and discussion. There is no single one way to parent. As a parent your sole responsibility is to be the BEST VERSION OF YOU possible. Then you adjust your parenting style to meet the needs of your child/ren. You will adjust things as you go along. You can take on board the opinions and beliefs of experts and well-meaning others, but the only thing you need to consider, is how well your child/ren are doing. That’s all that matters.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, depressed or emotional don’t wait until you feel out of control, or until things start to go wrong in your personal life. Send an email, or pick up the phone and seek help. You can start by sending us and email at info@helpformums.com or contact the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE). You owe it to yourself to make yourself a priority too.

Lizzie O’Halloran, Founder of Help For Mums & Author of Perfect Mum and Refresh Your Life

 

 

Having a New Baby: Getting Your Mindset Right In Pregnancy

2 months ago · · 0 comments

Having a New Baby: Getting Your Mindset Right In Pregnancy

Your New Baby

counselling for new mums having a new babyWhen you’re pregnant all you can think about is how wonderful life is going to be when you’re new baby arrives. Of course there are the usual anxieties about how things might change and how you’re going to cope with sleep deprivation and so on. However, no-one really talks about the expectations of parenting and that life cannot possibly stay the same – that it’s essential to make your child, yourself and your relationships a priority otherwise stress, depression and anxiety can easily set in.

We have a strange misconception about parenting that it should be easy. That mothers should be able to seamlessly work full time or part time, run the household, look after their health and happiness, be on top of their finances, maintain healthy relationships and just be calm, happy, fun, energetic and consistent parents all the time. But this is not the reality that befalls 99.9% of mothers in this world. Due to the fact the expectations do not meet reality, motherhood is often a shock for many new mums. Mothers can easily become confused about why it seems so tiring, difficult or not as seamless as expected and therefore can be left asking themselves regularly “why can’t I cope as well as I expected I would???”

But what if mothers were able to alter expectations and become more prepared for motherhood as a result?

Having the right expectations

The first thing that needs to be altered in pregnancy is expectations. Specifically, the expectation that a child will just fit into your lifestlye, will always behave and will always give you time to yourself. The expectation should be that you have a child that needs you to make her your first priority, but not at the expense of yourself. You still need to look after your health and happiness but it’s important to understand that there will be times when you plan to do things a certain way and your child decides she needs you right now. These instances are prime targets for high levels of stress. For instance, let’s say you have to pay some bills. You have been putting this off and now finally have a minute to pay the bills whilst your child sleeps. But, your child wakes up after 20 minutes and won’t settle down – she needs you right then. You start to feel resentful and angry that you can’t get a minute to yourself. However if instead of letting this resentment build up you took a breath and remembered your child has to be priority no 1, you would be able to think clearly for a minute to work out your best course of action to look after her needs and your own. You might put your baby in her sling and rock her to sleep and then sit on the computer to complete your bills.

Making your new baby a priority does not mean neglecting your own needs

One of the things that many mothers neglect is how to look after their own needs. They push through exhaustion, neglect to maintain a healthy diet, emotionally eat or drink to soothe negative feelings, worry about whether or not they are meeting the expectations of friends, family members, or the wider community, spend money they don’t really have in order to appear to be coping/or have the best dressed child and so on… When mothers neglect their own physical and mental health, it is very easy to feel insecure and allow self-doubt to impact confidence in parenting. Feeling insecure often leads to snappiness and fighting within relationships too. So, the key to maintaining a happy home and to achieve the goal of positive and consistent parenting – is to look after yourself as a mother so that you feel calm in the face of stress (e.g. when your baby won’t go to sleep or is having a tantrum in public), or to feel energetic when your child wants you to get down to his level and play. So, your health and happiness is paramount to the health and happiness of your child.

Motherhood is not meant to be perfect

You are going to make mistakes. This is part of being a human being. So, it’s really important to trust that being a Perfect Mum is not the goal of parenting. The goal is being the best mum you can be for your child. When you make mistakes, don’t criticism yourself. Just think through the situation and ask yourself “is there anything I can change that would make things easier or better?” That’s all you can ask of yourself.

Prioritise time for fun with your child

This is really important. Often mums feel guilty about all the tasks they ‘should’ be doing when they are playing with their child. Then they  feel guilty when they are undertaking these tasks – thinking they ‘should’ be playing with their child at that time. So they do not allow themselves to really enjoy the opportunities to have fun together and they never feel as though they are being ‘present” with their child. If you can relate to this, take a few minutes to schedule you day so that you can take opportunities to have fun with your child (for example going to the play centre or park together) and then feel relaxed and happy about having ‘you time’ or spending time on work or tasks during other times in the day. That way you create a balance and you and your child create special moments together that will last for every in your memory.

The key take-away

Always remind yourself why you had children. What was the reason you wanted to have a child and how can you alter your mindset to create more realistic and calming expectations of parenting. Being a mother is very taxing because children crave your attention. However, when you become mindful and set time together to have fun and relax, when you look after both your needs and the needs of your child and when you feel OK that things will not always go to plan, your live becomes easier and much less stressful. Plus, you can cope so much better when things don’t go the way your way.

Lizzie o'halloranLizzie O’Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac

Founder of Help For Mums and Author of Perfect Mum & Refresh Your Life

 

 

2 months ago · · 0 comments

How you can stop your fear of rejection

Fear of rejection can be very debilitating

low self esteemPut a stop to fear of rejection

Fear – It’s a very debilitating emotion. A simple way to reduce fear of rejection is by paying close attention to your perception of the world around you. Fear of being rejected often leads to second guessing what people around you might be thinking or feeling about you.

For instance, when you have a heightened fear of rejection and you say “no” to someone who asks you to do a favour and you don’t hear from them for a while. Your mind starts to panic and you start to berate yourself for saying “no”. You assume that this person hates you now and this leads to you thinking you’re a bad person. You don’t calm down until you hear from the person and find out that everything is OK.

All the anxiety in this situation is ‘self-driven’. The anxiety is driven from a belief that if you say “no’ to people they won’t like you any more and as a result you conclude that you ‘must’ be a bad person if when you say “no” you are not reinforced immediately for doing so.

Step 1: Becoming aware of your fear of rejection patterns

The first step in combating this unhelpful thinking style is to start to pay attention to all the times in your day when your mind starts racing to fill in the gaps.

  • Do you assume something is wrong with you, if people look at you a certain way?

  • Do you worry about what you’re going to wear, just case people see a potential flaw in your body, or think you might not be cool enough?

  • Do you avoid people who you think might ask a favour of you, out of fear of saying “no”?

  • Do you say “no” to your child, only to give in later out of guilt for saying “no”?

  • Do you worry if others are going to like you if you have not heard from them in a while?

When you start paying attention to your emotional reactions, you will begin to see a pattern. In doing so you can pinpoint exactly what is going on. For example, do you have an underlying negative belief that is causing you to feel potential rejection? If so, there are many things you can do to eradicate this negative belief. For example, NLP therapy, which we use in our counselling sessions, is very useful to tap into your unconscious beliefs. Negative beliefs and replace them with more acceptable and reasonable and accurate beliefs.

Make a commitment to yourself to not engage is this destructive thinking style any more.

It will take time, because it’s a long ingrained bad habits. However, the more you practice the better you’ll become and the happier you will be!

Step 2: Challenging your fear of rejection

Have you ever been scared of what someone might say if you stood up for yourself? This fear is a very common one and stems from a fear of being rejected by the other person. When you find yourself in this position ask yourself – ‘what am I afraid of here?’.

For instance, let’s say you have a friend who is quite insecure. You love her, but you don’t want her to take on her negative baggage out on you all the time. Every time she says something that insinuates you’re not putting her first, or that you don’t have a right to feel the way you’d like you, you feel anxious and just give in to her demands.

Let’s say she’s been calling you for a few days and you’re avoiding returning the call because you don’t want the stress associated with talking to her. At this point, ask yourself that question. ‘What am I afraid of?’ In essence you are scared of her making another negative comment. But… what if you decided not to be scared any more. After all, she’s made these comments many times before and nothing bad happened. You’re avoiding her anyway. So why not tell yourself that she can feel however she wants. You’re not giving in to her demands and she is not someone warranted of fear. Words can only hurt if you allow them to.

Now if when you call she goes down the same track, you simply do not give ANY fuel to her comments. This is easier when you have been calm BEFORE making the return phone call. You have to retrain the friend to understand that you’re not going to pander to her insecurities any longer.

The fear of rejection you are feeling in this scenario is usually caused by a desire to make sure everyone likes you, because if someone does not like you – you incorrectly believe you MUST be a bad person. However, this could not be further from the truth, because people’s reactions to things are a reflection of how THEY feel about THEMSELVES and often people project their insecurities on to others.

The key to reducing fear of rejection is to ask yourself whether your response is reasonable. In the about example, it is reasonable for you to ask your friend to stop using you as a emotional punching bag. Your friend is not going to like it at first because she has become accustomed to you taking her punches. However, if you value the friendship, the best thing you can do is calmly (in the moment of being spoken to negatively in an unfair manner) state that this is NOT the way you deserve to be treated and you are more than happy to support your friend when she can speak to you in a respectful manner.

If you highlight that you’re not going anywhere, but there have to be boundaries in the friendship, then you have a much higher chance of coming to a peaceful and respectful outcome, which will only enhance the relationship into the future and will stop you feeding your potential fear of rejection.

Take home message

Fear of being rejected is a very common fear that often stops you from living a happy and fulfilling life. You owe it yourself to become aware of when this fear is impacting on your life and then challenging this fear to stop it from impacting on the decisions you make day to day. If you’re suffering from low self esteem you can download our free self esteem building guide at Help For Mums. This will give you a great place to start, because fear of rejection is often coupled with insecurity and self-doubt. So make yourself a priority today.

Lizzie o'halloranLizzie O’Halloran, Founder of Help For Mums and Author of Perfect Mum – How to Survive the Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood and Refresh Your Life – The revolutionary motivational weight loss program

2 months ago · · 0 comments

How to be happy in life

How to be happy

The key to being happy is to view the pursuit of happiness as part of your life. Just like you brush your teeth, eat lunch, get dressed and have a shower every day, it’s important to do one small things every day to ensure your happiness lasts. By looking after your body, mind and spirit on a continual basis and building your self-esteem, you life will improve beyond your dreams.

build self confidenceYou may think you don’t have time to work on improving your happiness, but what are you living for if it’s not to feel your best? Isn’t that really the pursuit of all your goals? Everything you strive for has an underlying desire to please you. For example, you search for the perfect partner to make you feel happy. You strive for a career you love so that you can feel excited every day going to work. You exercise so you can have more energy and feel healthier and happier. Being happy is an underlying goal whether you are conscious of it or not. Even things you do that are not good for you are undertaken in the pursuit of happiness. For instance, if you eat chocolate when you are feeling down, you are doing so to boost your mood and to feel happier. If you avoid doing exercise today, it’s because you believe you will feel better staying home. If you drink too much at a party, you do so thinking you will have a better time drunk. These underlying goals are often subconscious, but nevertheless they are still very powerful.

 

By changing the way you think about living a happy life, you will ensure that it’s a part of your very core!

This diagram below ‘Never Sick Again’ highlights certain foods that can help manage some health issues you may be experiencing. Of course, it is always best to seek professional help if you suffer from physical or mental ailments, but this diagram gives you an idea of some things you can take control of in your life to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

foods and health

 

Source: juwitablog0.blogspot.com

 

 

Lizzie O’Halloran, Founder of Help For Mums and Author of Perfect Mum & Refresh Your Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 months ago · · 0 comments

Getting Your Child To Sleep: Surviving Toddler Sleep Issues

Dealing with toddler sleep issues: What can you do if your child fights to go to sleep?

parental loveAs a parent of two young girls and a professional therapist myself, I have been challenged both personally and professionally over the past 8 years with this exact issue. Both my girls are night owls and will do anything to stay awake. They love being part of the action at night and could just play well into the night. However, this would be fine if it had no impact on their mental, physical or emotional health. But of course it does. The result is grumpiness, over emotional responses and complete over tiredness which becomes a sleep debt as the week progresses. So I know first hand how to deal with this issue! I have tried several methods, which at various stages have worked and then failed. However, there are a few key elements to getting the night owl to lie down and get to sleep that really improve the situation.

 Step 1: get to know your child’s temperament 

Firstly, it’s important to get to know your child’s temperament. This is vital, because if your child has a temperament where a lot of soothing and feelings of security are required, trying to force this child to sleep on his own at the start of the night is going to prove very challenging. Both my girls have a slow to warm up temperament. This means they need soothing to go to sleep and lots of comfort so they are not afraid. Once they allow their bodies to relax and their heads hit the pillow, they go straight to bed.

Step 2: learn how your child is motivated

As children and then as adults, we have preferences for being encouraged to behave in particular ways. For instance, some children are motivated by receiving rewards, others by punishment (taking away something desired), whilst others are motivated by external or internal praise and a sense of achievement. If you want to guide your child to behave in a particular manner, it’s imperative that you observe which style of motivation seems to get the best response. If your child is motivated by praise, you may set up a reward chart system with a prize at the end for 5 nights in a row of good bedtime routine behaviour.

Step 3: Structure your dinner time

Ensure dinner is eaten 2 hours before bedtime. Eating too close to dinner can lead to feeling very uncomfortable in bed and make settling much harder. It can also cause ad dreams – leading to further waking during the night.

Step 4: Herbal remedies

Talk to a herbal professional such as Herbario in Chapel St in Melbourne about calming drops you can give your child to help with physical overexcitable behaviour before bedtime. These can really help to calm things down.

Step 5: Talk to your child about the process

Once it’s time for lights out, talk to your child about what’s happening next. Ensure there is no burning issues that need to be discussed once the lights go out. Then continue to remind your child if she wants to begin conversing again in an attempt to avoid going to sleep.

Other methods

There are several other methods you can employ, like sticking to a routine, having a warm bath before bedtime and telling stories before going to bed. Whilst we engage in all of these in my home, unfortunately they make the girls tired, but they still fight to stay awake. So, the steps above have been the answer to us moving from taking 2-3 hours to get the girls to sleep, to taking 20-30 minutes. The latter is much more enjoyable and much less exhausting for all of us.

Give these a go in your home if you’re struggling to get your child to sleep. It could make the world of difference to your lifestyle too. 

 

Lizzie O’Halloran, Founder of Help For Mums and Author of Perfect Mum and Refresh Your Life

Positive Parenting Blog

Positive Parenting Blog