Safety is a basic human need that we must respect at all times. Being self aware as well as of our surroundings is an important responsibility we owe to ourselves. Whether we are inside our home, walking outside or in an unfamiliar environment, whether we are with familiar people or unknown, it's important to feel safe at all times. If at any time or place, you are feeling unsafe, unprotected, vulnerable or harmed please do not hesitate to call for help immediately. Stay safe and strong. If the need is not immediate but you are just beginning to see the signs- whether in an unhappy relationship or in a familiar environment, remain alert and keep someone close informed.
As we are growing up as an adolescent or reaching adulthood, our body is changing and so is our mind. We are going through hormonal changes which often affect our moods and impulses. Sometimes they seem to overpower us and take on the garb of angry, fearful or passionate feelings; sometimes shyness or disappointment sets in. This can also affect how we are thinking in those moments. It is helpful to see this as a natural process and a necessary part of growing up. However if you feel you are finding it difficult to accept such feelings or the thoughts are too sticky and not going away and they are compelling you to be a certain way- do not hesitate to seek help- we are there for you.
We are all human and we all feel different feelings and emotions from time to time. Some feelings are warm and light and make us feel happy and safe while others can be hurtful and strong and difficult to accept or deal with. Sometimes emotions can be difficult to express or control as well- I may be feeling angry with someone and may not know how to express it and may lose my temper and hurt the relationship unintentionally. Sometimes I may be hiding my anger and in turn hurting myself. Knowing how to express, regulate, accept or control our emotions is a skill that can be learnt to our benefit.
I am 16- is this the right age to date? I like someone but don't know how to talk to him? Why did he break up with me? She is not talking to me what do I do? Everyone in my class has a girl friend or boy friend but I don't feel like having one- am I normal? I am not able to focus on my school and studies while I am dating- can I get help? Is it necessary to date? My parents are not allowing me to meet my friends- do I need their permission? I don't really like the person I am going out with anymore- how do I break up without hurting her?- It is normal to have all these questions if you are a teenager or young adult. Make sure you are grounded in yourself and curious and open to knowing while understanding that our parents, teachers or mentors are important people in our lives who have our best in mind and may be able to guide us if we trust them. If you are looking to connect with a counselor for advice, please do not hesitate to call us.
Relationships define an important part of who we are whether it is with our parents, family, friends, teachers and peers or colleagues. We are born with some and build new ones as we grow older. Healthy relationships are those that strengthen our being and help us grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We can work towards building healthy relationships by showing care, understanding and respect for each other's space, opinions and feelings. Communicating effectively is also an important aspect that we can pay attention to. No one can have it all alone- we always work best when we are supported. Given that we can also be hurt easily by those who are closest to us, or the other way around, sometimes we also have to give ourselves the space to heal and let go if they are not working for us.
How we measure or define self worth is an important yardstick for our happiness. Self worth is what we value in ourselves- capability, confidence, success, skill, good looks, values, endurance, commitment, ambition or anything else. Our self worth is also affected by what we do not value in ourselves like- we don't like it when we feel anxious in a social situation or when we come across failure- at those times our self worth may go down. Do we get affected by what is happening to us or around us? How do we handle it? Do we shy away from problems or identify with our failures or do we face them bravely and come out of difficult situations. Can we build self worth or is it given to us? Want to discuss? Feel free to connect with us.
We have to live in a society. Peer pressure can help us understand what the view of our immediate environment is whether it is of our classmates or friends or cousins or others and also get a sense of where we are. We get to see what the current norms of the society are- what is acceptable, what is not, where we need to step up, and where we need to assert ourselves. When we face peer pressure we mature in our judgement about what to do and what no to do. A healthy competition is an example of healthy peer pressure. Sometimes, peer pressure can inhibit and suppress us too much - when we are in that space we can get help and learn how to assert ourselves if needed while exploring our capabilities, strengths, weaknesses and boundaries.
What separates us from others? Are you a "We" person or an "I" person? My friend was saying the other day she feels it is selfish to focus on "I"- "others" are as important as "ourselves". I don't want to have an ego but I don't want others to tell me what to do. Should I be selfless even if I don't want to? What is ego? What should I do if someone invades my privacy? I feel vulnerable and unable to protect myself. Someone is taking advantage of me and I cannot do anything about it.
These questions or thoughts fall into the realm of "ego" and "boundaries"- what it means to be "I" and what separates me from others and knowing when it is important to draw clear boundaries, how it protects ourselves and helps others is an important part of being a strong, successful person.
Shame is understood to be an “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” It's an emotion that affects all of us and profoundly shapes the way we interact in the world. Developing resilience to shame is key to emotional health and wellbeing. Here are four steps recommended by a researcher Brene Brown-
1. Being able to recognize, name and understand our shame triggers.
2. Developing critical awareness about our own shame webs and triggers.
3. Being willing to reach out to others (rather than hide and isolate ourselves).
4. Having the ability to speak about our experiences of shame with those who have earned the right to hear them.
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