When you go to a party do you sit in the corner and not speak to others?
Are you afraid to get into a discussion because others may disagree with you?
Shy individuals are best described as feeling awkwardness or anxious in social situations. This stems from the concern that others may think negatively of them. There may also be physical signs such as a pounding heart, blushing, sweating and stomach problems.
Signs of shyness can include: low-self esteem, passivity, social isolation, being excessively self-conscious and self-critical. Because they avoid social situations shy people may suffer from loneliness and depression. Yet many people who are shy are able to hide it and get by at the workplace and social events. Shyness can have it’s consequences at all ages. As a child there is fear of classroom participation leading others to think they are not intelligent. They may feel alienated during adolescence and avoid dating. Shy individuals are frequently singled out by peers for bullying. In the workplace they are prone to set lower goal expectations for themselves causing inner frustration and conflict. It has been theorized that the causes of shyness are partially genetic, environmental (how the child is raised) and due to life experiences such as trauma or abuse.
If you think your shyness is holding you back from living your life you can get help. For an initial no charge consultation call us at 847--227-8323
A young, pregnant woman repeatedly wakes up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night after dreaming she is being buried in a mountain of diapers that need to be washed every week.
A man in his fifties avoids looking in the mirror because he can’t believe how much he has aged. So he shuns dating.
Could these be signs of life transitions? It is quite normal to go through many transitions in our life-time. Transition simply means change whether it be positive like graduating from college and looking for work or negative like being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Facing these events can be stressful and challenge our ability to cope with them. If we succeed it can leave us feeling confident, more mature and better prepared to take on more difficult life changes. On the other hand, the inability to navigate them can leave us feeling out of control of our lives leading to substance abuse, depression, anxiety and fearful of life itself. Most things in life are not static – they are in perpetual change.
The inability to surmount changes successfully will leave you feeling like you are living on a roller coaster. Learning how to deal with change is a valuable skill. If you are having difficulty facing a life transition please give us a call. For an initial no-charge consultation call us at 847-227-8323.
It’s up to you
Don’t think twice! You can do it. If others have reached their personal goals so can you. It is not as difficult as you think. So stop worrying about how you can do it. Rather sit down and plan your change and then make it happen.
The following are ten methods from scientific research on behavior which have helped people like you reach personal goals:
1. Build on Strengths:
Identify past attempts at change or reaching goals that have worked. Identify what you did that helped you reach your goal. Repeat the steps which were successful and abandon habits that hampered change. Write down the methods that worked and review them regularly (weekly).
2. Realistic Goals:
Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time Limited GOALS. Examples: Save an extra $10.00 per month, Walk around the block three times weekly, Read one new book once a month. As you reach these goals you can gradually increase frequencies of goal related behavior. It is much more satisfying to reach an easy goal then fail at a difficult goal. Success builds on success.
3.Write it Down:
Look at your goal each day. Think of the steps you must take. Avoid procrastination-do it! Reseach has shown you have a 300% greater likelihood of do it if you write down with a date and time!
4. Identify Personal Resistance:
Think carefully about what is making it difficult to reach your goal. Then problem solve by brainstorming ideas to overcome your personal road blocks. That’s how the Wright Brothers got off the ground. If needed, revise goal by making it easier and simpler. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
5. Monitor Thoughts, Behaviors, & Feelings Related to Goal:
Convert negative to positive. Positive thinking, behavior and feelings markedly increase motivation for change. A) Reframe thinking from “this is impossible“ to “this may not be easy, but I know I can work at it and make progress”. B) Make efforts to change behavior, skip Star Bucks today. C) Modify feelings by meditating, relaxing and focusing on the positive sensations related to reaching goal related behaviors.
Have a friend or relative work on the same goal. Communicate and support each other. Share both victories and struggles. Discuss methods that helped you move toward your goal.
7. Slipped-Get Up and Try Again:
Don’t stop as soon as you have a relapse. Enjoy that extra large hot fudge sundae and then get back to work. Tomorrow is a new day offering endless possibilities.
8. Use Knowledge:
Information is power. Stopping smoking, check out the Quitline or losing weight find out about Weight Watchers or related groups.
9. Imagine Success:
Everyday, take a few minutes and actually see yourself reaching your goal. Personal imagery is quite powerful and will result in the imagined behavior. Pro athletes and entertainers regularly employ imagery to reach their desired performance. You can do it too!
10. Brag Loudly:
Celebrate minor and major successes with family, friends and co-workers. Telling others will help you maintain motivation and continuing reaching your goal.
These ten steps can propel you towards your goal and help you continue to formulate and reach future goals. What are you waiting for? Do it!!
Job, money, lover, and just simple personal satisfaction may be tied to personal happiness. For some of us these things may contribute to our happiness. Yet happiness and positive moods are found among a wide range of people having various experiences. It is healthy to be happy. Research has shown that optimist have healthier hearts and live longer. So goes the age old question. “where can I find happiness?”
Sorry, winning the lottery will is not the answer. Studies have shown that having more money than needed for basic needs does not increase personal satisfaction. Lusting to feel good can lead to a hunger for more pleasure which has been called “hedonistic treadmill”. The high of having it all may be elusive and cause more unhappiness then pleasure. The school of Positive Psychology has isolated some attributes which can contribute to happiness.
Consider the following actions to actively engage happiness:
1. Consider simple acts of selfless kindness. Give blood. Visit an ill friend. Be supportive and empathic. Simple acts of random kindness are known to improve mood and feelings of wellbeing.
2. Promote close personal relationships. People with healthy relationships are generally happier and healthier. Acceptance and intimacy go a long way to promote personal well-being in yourself and those close to you. As you make efforts to enhance relationships you are investing in the social glue that brings people together for productive and satisfying interactions. After all, what are friends for?
3. Show gratitude. Express thankfulness to others on a regular basis. Being thankful for minor and important things enhances our appreciation of what we have. It also creates positive bonds with others.
4. Cultivate a rationale to contribute to the general good of society. Doing your work well or joining a civic cause is ways to contribute. Joining and helping a charity can make a difference for you and others. Witness a charity walk. Participants are smiling and having a great time.
5. Be in the moment. Being mindful about interacting with a friend or completing a task will create a sense of well-being. So enjoy daily life by paying attention to what you are doing. Washing dishes or a calm moment in the day can contribute to your wellbeing.
6. Monitor moods. If you are in a positive mood, appreciate it. If your mood is less than happy it is O.K. to accept that mood. By monitoring your moods you will increase awareness of the conditions which promote healthy moods.
7. Exercise. Regular physical exercise has been shown to reduce both anxiety and depression. Any exercise is better than no exercise. Take a walk or simply use the steps rather than elevator.
8. Laugh and be humorous. Laughter reduces stress and will make you and others feel good.
9. Maintain a sense of purpose. Having goals and a belief system enhance personal experiences.
10. Be optimistic. See the glass half full rather than half empty. Search for the good in all situations.
Everyone will apply these approaches to happiness differently. Nevertheless, by making an effort to enhance your personal life experiences by using these techniques can yield satisfying results.
Partially based on “Happiness 101”, by D.T. Max, The New York Times Magazine, January 7, 2007
Want further information: visit: www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/home