By Portarlington Psychologist and Operation Transformation Expert Dr Eddie Murphy.
Now is a time for reflection, to become your ‘Real Self ‘. Make this your commitment for 2017.
Often I find people investing time and energy into putting up a front.
It can cause fear, anxiety, depression, anger, trauma.
The therapeutic journey is about facilitating the individual to find and then risk expressing their “real self”. Often this is suppressed by feelings of fear, low self worth, inadequacy, shame. What would you do if you were not afraid?
denying your real self
Do you feel anxious, hiding panic attacks to show that you can cope?
Do you feel sad, tired and lonely and visit your GP for lots of physical ailments but don’t say how you feel because you fear what your GP (or family) might think?
Have you things to say but suppress them, such as an over burdened daughter caring for a parent, a parent afraid to tackle a demanding teenager, or bullying at work or home?
If you often keep the peace, you deny your real self and become unhappy. The challenge is to find your voice.
Imagine a place where you feel hopeful and courageous. Here are some tips.
Make new connections or renew old ones. Good close relationships are important. Help and support from those who care about you and listen to you, makes you more resilient.
Community groups provide social support and can help to reclaim hope. Assisting others in need can also benefit the helper.
Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable. Stressful events will happen, but you can change how you react. Look beyond the present to a better future.
Accept that change is a part of living. Some goals may no longer be attainable. Accepting things that cannot be changed helps to focus on what you can alter.
Set and work on realistic goals, one step at a time.
Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive action, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would go away.
Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often learn something about themselves and grow in some ways after a loss. Many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, greater sense of strength even while feeling vulnerable, increased sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality, and heightened appreciation for life.
Nurture a positive view of yourself. Develop confidence in your ability to solve problems and begin to trust your instincts.
Keep things in perspective. Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.
Maintain optimism. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.
You can manage adversities without resorting to crutches like alcohol, medications, and other people. It’s you that makes your future. I urge you to become your real self. Abandon the front. It sucks the life out of you.