This Book Changed My Life
This Book Can Change Lives!
It Changed Mine! ?
After my diagnosis of #Bipolar disorder I knew I had to make some big changes in my life. ?
My overly active brain was constantly coming up with new plans, ideas, creative #projects, and I’d forget them as quickly as they came to me. ?
I was scattered and I had good #intentions to follow up all the tasks and plans I set for myself but nothing ever got done. ?
This was a great #painpoint for me and for my husband. I never remembered to fill in our online calendar, I kept bits of paper with lists on all over the place and no consistency as to how I #organised my life. ?
Then I read about @Rydercarroll Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal Method online. He had created a method of self organisation which was so simple, all I needed was a #notebook and a pen ?
I set up my first bullet journal that day and vowed to dedicate 5 minutes each and every day to logging the tasks I wanted to achieve that day/week/month and to track the progress of these goals ?
Fast forward 1 year! I had come to the final page of my #bulletjournal and looked back over my year which was all there on paper ?
I had achieved every goal I had set out to #achieve and I felt as though I had done nothing more extraordinary than to dedicate this tiny amount of time to mindfully checking in.
An added bonus was my mental health improved greatly as I had solid data there in my journal as to what moods I had been feeling, alongside factual information to indicate WHY I was feeling like that. ?
If you would like to learn more about how Journaling can change your life DM me about my 6 week online course “MEology” which covers this as one of the topics! #meologylife #mentalhealthrecovery #anxietyrecovery #depressionrecovery #bipolarsurvivor #bookreview #lifechanging
What you Focus on Affects What You See
What you Focus on Affects What you See!⠀
Psychologist Daniel Simons did an experiment (in the form of a Youtube video) where you are asked to watch 2 small teams playing basket ball. One team in red and one team in white. 🏀⠀
You are asked to count the number of times the white team passes the ball. (if you've not seen it check it out here before reading on… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQmdoK_ZfY)⠀
You are then asked if you spotted the Gorilla! 🦍⠀
In this experiment Simmons wanted to prove that when we are focused on a task we use selective attention to filter out things that we don't need to see for the task at hand. ⠀
Don't get me wrong, focus is good but at what cost?⠀
What have you been focused on?⠀
What has THAT FOCUS made you blind to?⠀
I am a trained Opera Singer, and from 2008-2014 I dissapeared down a focus rabbit hole. ⠀
I had spent years in working, not knowing what I wanted from my life, and then the opportunity came along to go for what seemed like "my dream job" and I locked on. 🍀⠀
During that period I went at that aim with such intensity I didn't notice that some of the other important things in my life, which were on the peripheries, had started falling appart. ⚡️⠀
I was so focused on becoming something and forgot about BEING. 😥⠀
I had a vision of who I was supposed to be on the other end of the process but I hadn't taken the time to assess the effect of giving one thing my entire focus. I felt ok with the thought that I could put the rest of my life on hold until I got to the end goal. ⠀
Has anyone ever woken up one day, like I did, and realise they had achieved what they wanted to achieve but found they had lost something of great value on the way. ⠀
A relationship, a lifestyle, physical fitness, your mental health? 😰⠀
So many of us plow straight ahead in life when we see something that sounds like what we might want without actually knowing what we want. We are forced to make career decisions at a younger and younger age. ⠀
How can this be avoided? ⠀
Better education in Self Awareness! We need to realise the importance of learning how to identify our needs, our motivations and our core values.⠀
If we all had the opportunity work out what we REALLY wanted, we might avoid getting lost and aim our focal points more wisely? 🤯⠀
I am running a 6 week online course, based on 6 really effective lessons in self awareness leading to a strong foundation of self knowledge from which to build your future and plan your future goals. ⠀
If anyone is interested please comment or DM me for additional information. ⠀
The course starts next monday (5th November 2018). There are only 10 places left and places are on a first come first serve basis. ⠀
Who Are You?
WHO ARE YOU?
No I don’t mean what is your job title?
No I don’t mean your family/relationship roles (mother, son, wife, cousin)?
No I don’t mean your reputation of being a bit of a party animal or the girl that cries on the stairs at parties (yeah, that one was me). I mean who are you on a much more fundamental level.
In my moments of crisis a few years back I realised I wasn’t my job title because as a professional singer who was often in between jobs or on the audition trail I only felt that I could identify as that part of the time. I was a wife, but I wasn’t being a very good one as I had become so lost in my depression and anxiety. I had recently lost my father so again part of my identity as “Bill Shorey’s” daughter had gone (not that I will ever stop being his daughter but you get it…). I WAS that girl that often cried at parties for no apparent reason other than alcohol really didn’t agree with me, but who wants to be THAT girl? These were all transient things. Things that couldn’t really define me in any real sense.
In the past few years I’ve been working on writing my first book “Meology” which is all about how to find yourself when you realise you feel lost and foundationless like I was. I have put togther a whole range of tools and questions which helped me put the pieces of the jigsaw together and I can’t wait to share them because of how much they have changed my life.
Starting next month I’m running an online course called Meology - the art of self understanding for personal growth and I’m looking for people who would like to do this 6 week online course. On it I cover 6 topics all of which will give you a deeper understanding of how you think, what you really need and what you are being motivated by alongside your deepest held values systems. I can guarantee you will find things you never knew about yourself.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE COURSE - DM ME, or comment and I will send you a link to some information. It would be great to work with anyone else who feels like they might be feeling lost or stuck.
#identity #whoami #onlinecourse #feelingstuck #lost #stuck #meologylife #whoareyou #jigsaw #depressionrecovery
A Superpower in Disguise
What’s my superpower...
I think i’ve always been a very open person when it comes to my feelings. I grew up in a household where we had no emotional restrictions apart from the restrictions we all should learn in regards to how to behave politely.
When I was diagnosed with depression I didn’t find it a problem to tell people I had been diagnosed and was on medication but this was met by understanding but I was also cautioned that I shouldn’t talk about it too openly online because of the stigma attached to depression in the work place. I didn’t understand this attitude and despite the “warnings” I remained open about the issue. Of course I never started a job interview with
“hey guys I’d really like this job but just so you know, I’m clinically depressed!”
I didn’t do that but I never hid it from my colleagues or bosses. If I was ever struggling, I would just be honest and say, I’m sorry if I’m not quite my usual bubbly self this week but I’m having a bit of a down patch.
I can honestly say I was lucky enough to have mainly positive experiences in the work place. I used to think I was just being overly honest or over sharing but what I was in fact being was vulnerable.
I found that I was completely comfortable in my vulnerability, but I hadn’t always been that way. When I was a teenager I would frequently cry when asking for any academic help. The tears were stress and frustration at my own perceived weakness for maths or science rather than sadness. After the years of suffering with my depression and my personal policy of honesty, I realised I’d been practicing vulnerability for so long that it had become a habit. It has almost become a calling card of mine. I found that in the moments when I shared my struggles, others opened up to me about theirs. That led to some wonderful meaning conversations and moments of connection.
Do you feel comfortable to admit when you are feeling vulnerable?
Vulnerability is perceived as weakness but the way I see it, it’s a massive strength. Human beings are by our very nature vulnerable.
I would go as far as saying it’s my superpower, but I’m not sure marvel will be making a film about in the near future! Hahaha.
If you would like to listen to some amazing words on this topic check out
Brené Brown’s TEDX talk on “The Power of Vulnerability”.
#superpower #strength #courage #vulnerability #connection #depression #mentalhealth #brenebrown #marvel #superhero #whatsyoursuperpower
Stop Asking The Question!
Whenever we decide we want to make a change to our lives, at some point we have a decision to make, and behind that is a question. Are we going to do the thing we want to do. The answer will of course decide if you get what you want or not.
Last year when I decided I had had enough of feeling over weight, my question was...
“shall I go to the gym today!”
The problem was... the answer was always “No!”
I hated the gym. It was a place of pain and discomfort and I was always feeling tired or stressed.
I wanted to get fitter but I didn’t want to do the work.
The fact is I NEEDED to do the work and that seemingly innocent question every day at crunch time was what was holding me back!
What did I do?
I stopped asking the question!!!
I told myself that yes was the only acceptable answer and that I should just carry on and do it.
The more I went the less horrendous the sessions seemed. Soon I was no longer sitting in my car dreading what might take place inside, I just kept going and the results soon started happening.
What question are you asking yourself that you know should be yes but which you are STILL asking!
If the answer was always YES what would the outcome be?
If the answer was always NO, what would the result be?
Choose the one that gets you the best outcome and decide that you no longer need that question anymore.
I’d love to hear your pivotal questions!
#question #yes #no #answer #gym #fitness #fitnessjourney #need #lifecoach #lifecoaching #mindset #gym #weightloss #mentalhealth #selfesteem
You Make Me Feel So....
I learnt a very very important lesson in the last year. Like most of life's most important messages, it's a really simple one but it is a game changer for all of our relationships.
Most people who come to me for coaching tell me they are having relationship problems somewhere in their lives. Whether that be their partner or a family member or work colleague. They tell me that this person is MAKING THEM FEEL x, y or z.
My partner makes me feel so angry.
My colleague makes me feel like I'm inadequate.
My friend makes me feel so jealous.
My son makes me feel sad when he doesn't call me.
Here is the revelation.
Nobody can MAKE YOU FEEL anything.
Someone can do something which triggers a THOUGHT in you and you may get angry, sad, frustrated by that thought, but the other person can not trigger a feeling in you. It's physically impossible.
In fact NOTHING can MAKE YOU FEEL anything other than your thoughts.
Here are some examples:
If you are getting angry when your partner forgets to put their shoes away, think about what thought you are thinking that is causing anger, because in itself it doesn't sound like a big deal.
I can bet you the thought will be something like this...
"He always does this. He knows it upsets me. He must be doing it on purpose just to upset me."
Or how about your friend who has just bought a big new house and is really happy and you start to feel jealous.
What thought will be causing this...
"She has this house and I can't afford it. If only I could afford it I'd be happy too. She makes me so jealous".
Can you see it is the way you tell yourself the story about what the other person is doing that is making you feel how you feel.
We can CHOOSE to think whatever we want about any given scenario.
We could all choose to think happy thoughts whenever we hear bad news if we really wanted to. Of course that serves no good purpose as life isn't like that, but the same applies to you thinking negatively of everyday situations in which you are causing YOURSELF feelings of anger or jealousy or sadness.
If you are jealous of someone, does that feeling you are having affect the other person?
No, it negatively affects YOU!
If you hate someone, does that hate get physically affect the other person?
No, it negatively affects YOU!
With the knowledge that you are 100% in control of what you decide to think. How could you stop feeling how you do about a certain situation?
Consciously change how you decide to THINK about that situation.
Find a thought that gives you a feeling that works better for you.
In our examples how might we change the narative to suit us better and cause us less negative emotion.
Instead of thinking
"He always does this. He knows it upsets me. He must be doing it on purpose just to upset me."
Why not choose to think…
“I can’t believe he forgot this again. He’s so forgetful. I wonder if we can find a way to make it easier to remember…”
Instead of thinking
"She has this house and I can't afford it. If only I could afford it I'd be happy too. She makes me so jealous".
Why not choose to think...
“I feel happy for my friend in her new house. I hope that is something I can look forward to in my future one day”
Can you see i’ve not changed the thoughts so radically. I’ve remembered that the people in question are human with their own feelings and that if I take a less self effacing look at the situations they don’t spark such massive negative reactions.
I hope you can take this away and think how you can apply it to your situations whenever you find yourself saying.. YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO…
IT’S OK NOT TO BE OK BUT IT’S NOT OK TO HAVE TO STAY THAT WAY!
I have bipolar disorder. I suffered with it for over 15 years before I got a diagnosis at age 35. In those 15 years I had some very very low, dark times. I used to self harm. I even attempted suicide.
I had had some counselling at the age of 17 and that counsellor was very empathetic and told me it was ok to not be ok and to feel sad sometimes. I knew that it was understandable and that I wasn’t alone. I was told it would pass. It didn’t pass. At 18 I was put on antidepressants. At 19 my dose was increased. I still attempted to take an overdose which led to me taking time out of university. At 20 they changed my antidepressant to a different kind and put me on a different contraceptive pill. At 21 I was sent to see a psychiatrist who said, keep taking the pills. At 22 I stopped going to the doctors when I felt bad because I was someone with depression. That was my lot in life.
I was Broken. Defective. Faulty.
That is what I BELIEVED!
I was broken and that’s just how it was so i’d better get on with it.
The media told me more and more people were being put on medication for depression and anxiety and that mental health problems were increasing. I guessed I was just one of those statistics.
Then in 2014 I hit yet another down period and my life seemed to be crumbling around me. I just wasn’t able to deal with my emotions. It was affecting my home life (my marriage was suffering due to my inability to deal with conflict), my work was suffering and physically i was on my knees after years of inactivity due to lack of motivation to care for myself. Looking broken seemed to suit the feeling broken vibe. I’d even had to start wearing wigs everyday because I was tearing my hair out. I was a mess.
It was in one of my moments of strength and clarity that I realised I needed to go to the doctors and fight for some sort of a plan going forward because the future was starting to look very bleak. I knew I was likely to just burst into tears and play down how I felt so I took my mum with me. I told him that I didn’t want to be broken anymore and that antidepressants were not helping, and that I had had no psychological support and that I wanted answers. My mum backed me up and could help explain how I might have looked functional but I was falling apart behind the scenes. I was given a psych referral and that led to me having a 1 hour consultation which ended in a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a prescription for another drug, but this time it was one which was life changing for me. I had no clue I was bipolar and that diagnosis made me see my life for the last 12 years in a very different light. Things made sense finally.
MY REASON FOR THIS POST IS TO SAY:
IT IS OK TO ADMIT YOU ARE NOT OK!
BUT it is NOT OK to have to settle for that for the rest of your life!
1- You might feel broken right now, but YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY BROKEN!
2 - Depression and anxiety are emotional states that we CAN shift with the right help, be that medical or psychological.
3 - There are dozens of different approaches to dealing with these things and if you’ve tried one and it didn’t work TRY ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER. AND ANOTHER until you find what works for you. One size does not fit all.
4- You have to fight for that appointment with a specialist, or that counselling session or that medication review if things aren’t moving. If you don’t have the strength to fight, TAKE SOMEONE WITH YOU WHO HAS!
5 - YOU CAN GET BETTER. You deserve help. You deserve support. You have to believe that.
After I got what I needed my life turned a corner. I realised I could overcome my problems.
I have learnt to control my depression and moods through behaviour and habit change.
I have bipolar disorder but i not longer SUFFER from it.
I have learnt that these things can be managed, you just need to get the right help.
PLEASE GET THE HELP YOU DESERVE!
Don’t wait for Motivation, Just Start
Did you know that you can actually do all sorts of things without Motivation!?! ⠀
Let’s face it we all have chores and parts of our jobs that we don’t particularly enjoy but we just do because we have to. ⠀
Then why do most of us sit around saying, I want to get fit or lose weight but I don’t have any Motivation right now!⠀
What if you NEVER find the motivation to do it? Then what? ⠀
I made the huge discovery last year that I might never feel like going to the gym. ⠀
I might never feel motivated to plan out my food for the week so I don’t make bad choices.⠀
The same goes for #Inspiration⠀
I might never find the inspiration I felt I needed to start that business I had dreamt about.⠀
What are you using lack of #motivation or inspiration for as an excuse!?! ⠀
What is stopping you starting anyway?⠀
#DoItAnyway #JustStart #Fitness #Healthy #mentalhealth #fitnessjourney #bipolar #Weightloss #Meologylife @helengregory #JustDoIt #Selfhelp #Selfcare #mindset #goaldiggers⠀
What I Learnt about myself and others after a year of wearing wigs!
In 2017 I wore a wig almost everyday!
Because I suffer from a condition called Trichotillomania which means I compulsively pull my own hair out, and this leaves my natural hair in a bad way.
In 2016/2017 I had done a lot of hard work on my mental health as I had only been diagnosed with bipolar in 2013 and the realities of managing this condition took some time. I had been living very dysfunctionally for such a long time I had decades of bad habits to address.
Though I had been doing all this mental work, physically I had gone to wrack and ruin! I had pulled a lot of hair and felt so low when I saw myself in the mirror. The only way I was going to be able to look respectable enough (in my eyes) to even leave the house was to wear a wig. Something I’d done a few times in my life though mainly on stage as an opera singer.
Though I felt more confident with a wig on, once I was out of the house I then had to deal with other people’s reactions.
I had to deal with colleagues asking questions...
Why I was wearing a wig when I had hair (I hid the patches well).
Why did I keep changing my look?
Constantly having people doing double takes when they saw me.
Some people definitely thought I was attention seeking?
The answer was absolutely not.
I had become good an confidently laughing off the comments but inside I was crying with shame for having to hide the damage I had been causing myself. I was sad that this was something I had done to myself.
Mentally it was a tough time. Looking in the mirror, even though it was more bearable, was tough. I felt like a fake person. Wigs are really decent quality nowadays but I was acutely aware that everyone could tell it wasn’t natural.
What did I learn?
- I learnt that people judge others very easily. That it’s easy to think that someone is attention seeking because they look different. Always consider that that person may be just doing what they need to to keep going. Many people have body image issues or hidden disorders. I have learnt to judge less and feel more empathy.
- I learnt that I had to have confidence in my decisions. If I had worn the wigs apologetically (even though I felt that way inside) I would not have been able to wear them and give my hair the rest it needed from a constant barrage of pulling. I was willing to live with the questions and attention it seemed to draw just so I could do the right thing for my health.
- I learnt to make sure I didn’t skirt around the real issue when people asked. I got used to smiling and telling people it was a wig because I had a hair condition. This disarmed people and the vulnerability helped me get the message out there that people don’t always look different by choice!
- I learnt that I was strong and proud of what I was doing and that I wanted to give others with similar issues the confidence to wear whatever made them feel better about themselves because we have to live with that person in the mirror!
A lot of women and men struggle with self image issues because of hair loss problems! More than you think!
#confidence #hairloss #trichotillomania #trich #wig #mentalhealth #bipolar #youdoyou #meologylife #selfcare #fun #love #followfriday
Why we should be talking about what GOOD MENTAL HEALTH is!
If I were to ask people if they had Mental Health issues most people would say no.
They would say no because our society gives out the message that if you are not mentally ILL (with a recognised problem such as depression, anxiety, bipolar etc), then you are mentally healthy.
But the truth is, it's just not true.
Would you say that someone was physically healthy just because they didn't have an illness or disease?
Probably not, because it's more obvious that physical health exists on a scale. Some people are much fitter than others, for example.
We've recently realised our society is hurtling towards massive physical health problems because of obesity and inactivity. We are now, quite rightly, bombarded with education
about how we should all be moving more and eating less.
If you go to the doctor for a general checkup it is fairly normal for them to tell you you need to work on your physical health but when was the last time you went to the doctor and they told you you needed to work on your mental health?
An absence of mental illness is NOT the same as mental healthiness.
We all know how good physical health should basically present itself; A stable healthy weight, regular physical exercise, good diet etc.
But do you know what excellent mental health looks like?
Does anyone teach that?
If I were to ask you to describe a mentally healthy person, what would you say?
Social media seems to say a mentally healthy person is HAPPY! All the time.
Negative emotions are as much part of the human experience as positive ones.
A sign of a mentally healthy person is someone who can deal with negative emotions. It's unhealthy to be telling people that if they aren't Happy then there must be something wrong with them.
Here are the things I personally think constitute a state of EXCELLENT MENTAL HEALTH.
1. Emotional Balance
The ability to be willing and able to process positive and negative emotions and being able to take responsibility for how we feel.
2. Appropriate Internal Control
The absence of externally controlling behaviour towards yourself or others. You can’t control others. You can ask others to change but you can’t force it so trying to is not healthy. You also shouldn’t try to control situations which are out of your control, it just leads to mental anxiety. This can have knock on effects on your physical as well as mental health.
3. The Absence of Avoidant Behaviours
Not choosing to indulge in behaviours that help us avoid feeling negative emotion. We might over eat, binge drink, get addicted to drugs or sex or gambling. These are temporary distractions and false pleasures which ultimately lead to problems. You need to deal with the causes of the negative emotions.
4. Your State of Mental Health Should NOT be Dependent on External Sources.
If you feel you are mentally healthy because you have a great job or a fantastic family / relationship, what would you do if that great job or loving relationship was no longer there? You need to be able to generate your own feelings of self worth/value, confidence, self esteem and love. That way you will be more emotionally resilient when one of life's inevitable storms hit.
5. Future Planning
People with future plans and goals to work towards are proven to have better mental health.