A Guide to Keeping your Cool and Looking after your Mental Health in a tense Office Environment.

(image: Pexels)

\In an ideal world, our offices would be stress-free environments, and we’d get along well with all of our co-workers.

We know that this is rarely the case in reality, though. 

After almost two years of homeworking for some, the return to the office can see us come back to a tense environment as we have face-to-face disagreements for the first time in a long time. But there are ways to manage this and make the office environment comfortable for yourself and your colleagues.

Before you don your smart trousers for work, check out our top tips for keeping your cool.

Set your personal boundaries

People deal with situations differently. Some people don’t mind receiving constructive feedback on an idea in a meeting, while others would prefer this to be delivered privately. Equally, you may find that your team interrupts you frequently throughout the day when you’re working on your business strategy. 

If you’re regularly finding yourself in situations like this that make you uncomfortable, setting boundaries with your colleagues can help. Have a private conversation with the colleague(s) causing you frustration or making you uncomfortable and let them know how you expect to be treated. 

It could be that, when presenting your work in meetings, your colleagues give you feedback via email or Microsoft Teams after the meeting. Equally, you could set certain hours during the day where you expect to not be disturbed in your office. Setting these boundaries will help you to avoid these disruptive situations in the future and allow your colleagues to understand how to interact with you.

Mind your body language

We all bring different skills and viewpoints to our business. This diversity should be celebrated because it means businesses can consider strategy and ideas from multiple angles. But it can also cause disagreements if multiple people have opposing views that they’re equally passionate about. 

When having discussions with your co-workers – even if they don’t feel especially terse to you – be mindful of your body language. While your words may be pleasant, your body language could be making people uncomfortable. Various studies have shown that between 70% and 93% of communication is non-verbal, so it’s essential we get this right.

When having a constructive discussion with a colleague, make sure your body language is open. That means sitting attentively, not crossing your arms or legs, and being aware of your facial expressions – you may be frowning or furrowing your brows without realising. Sometimes, we can convey frustration non-verbally even if we aren’t feeling it, so being aware of your body language will help you to navigate these situations.

Talk privately in a no-pressure environment

If there’s a specific colleague you’re frequently in conflict with, this should be addressed directly but professionally. This colleague might try and put too much work on your plate, disagree with all your ideas, or may not be pulling their weight.

If you and the colleague in question feel comfortable doing so, talking to each other in a more relaxed environment is a good first step. Studies have shown that going for a walk with someone can help you to resolve interpersonal conflict and help you to reconcile your differences. This is because walking beside one another instead of talking while facing each other is less confrontational.

Talking in a relaxed environment outside of work may also be helpful. The colleague you are experiencing difficulties with may be under a lot of pressure and could be unknowingly taking this out on you. Understanding their side of the story is critical to resolving the issue. It’s easy to get frustrated with someone without knowing what they are dealing with personally or professionally, so taking the time to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing will be helpful for you both.

There’s no denying that office environments can sometimes be stressful and tense. This can be especially true if your workforce is returning after a long period of working remotely. These three ways of dealing with tension will leave both you, your team, and your colleagues feeling better.

This blog was written by a freelance writer and contains sources.

How to Spot Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury by Lizzie Weakley

(image: Pexels- Karolina Grabowska)

Suffering a traumatic brain injury can completely change a person’s life. Your brain is the primary organ that controls everything else in your body, and any injury to your brain has the potential to impact almost every other aspect of your body, your health, and your overall wellbeing. While most severe brain injuries can be quickly spotted, more minor or moderate traumatic brain injuries can sometimes go undetected. Although some injuries may heal on their own, others can cause serious issues days, months, or even years down the road. For this reason, it is essential that you understand the possible signs of traumatic brain injuries to ensure you get proper medical help whenever it is needed.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries are categorized in several ways, depending on both the severity and type of injury. They can range from mild to moderate and severe, and this is determined by whether a person loses consciousness as a result of the injury and for how long. Mild brain injuries result in a loss of consciousness or a dazed feeling that lasts less than 30 minutes, while severe injuries are those that result in unconsciousness for more than 24 hours.

Traumatic brain injuries are also categorized based on whether they are open or closed. Closed injuries are the most common type, and this categorisation refers to any injury that affects the brain without penetrating the skull. An open brain injury results when any foreign object penetrates the skull and directly damages the brain tissue.

How to Spot Signs of a Concussion or Other Brain Injury

Moderate to severe brain injuries and open brain injuries are obviously fairly easy to spot. However, it is often much more difficult to determine if you’ve suffered a mild concussion or less severe brain injury. Still, there are a number of signs you can watch out for. The most obvious sign is losing consciousness, but feeling confused or having problems concentrating or remembering can also be indicators of a brain injury. Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness are also signs you should watch out for.

How it Can Affect Your Mental Health

Soon after a traumatic brain injury, it’s common to have feelings of frustration, loss, and sadness. These feelings tend to appear after the injury, during, or soon after recovery. These emotions can be brought up earlier or later, depending on the person, and how severe the injury is. If these feelings are not recognised early enough, depression can be a long-lasting emotion, which can be detrimental to your mental health.

What to Do If You Suspect You Have a Brain Injury

Even milder or moderate concussions can potentially lead to other issues down the road. Therefore, it is essential that you seek professional medical attention if you suspect you or someone you know has experienced a brain injury. Depending on where the accident or injury occurred, it may also be a good idea to contact an attorney. This is especially true if the injury happened as a result of a car accident or at work. In these cases, an auto injury attorney or a job site accident lawyer can help ensure everything is properly documented and that you don’t do anything that could harm your chances of getting properly compensated for your injury.

Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries are much more common than you might think. Brain injuries can also occur from seemingly minor accidents. Therefore, it is vital that you know what signs to look for, so you can immediately get whatever help you need.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer.

Remaining Mentally and Emotionally Stable Post- Pandemic.

I think we can all agree that the last couple of years were never in our plan. Whether we were at the best or the worst place in our lives by the end of 2019, a wide-spread virus and quarantine put just about everything on hold. Jobs, businesses, and routines all over the world were brought to a sudden halt—and one that has lasted for nearly two years. However, while many of our practical, everyday needs were unable to be met, this two-year pause did help to shine a light on our society’s immediate need for mental health resources. 

Whether you were facing pandemic-induced anxiety or depression, or you were fighting an old battle with any existing diagnoses, many of us had no choice but to ask for help. Luckily, with some time surrounded by loved ones and away from our busy lives we were able to truly care for our health. But now that we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the question is, ‘how do we maintain our mental health post-pandemic?’ Well, here are some tips to help you do just that.

Normalise Your Needs

One of the biggest stigmas we often face when battling with mental health is the misconception that asking for help is considered weak. When in fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Whether your struggle requires therapy, emotional support, or prescription medicine, asking for help and tending to your needs are the strongest things you could ever do for yourself. Specifically after the pandemic, this is the type of mindset we all need to adopt. By normalizing our natural, human need for assistance in times of need we can slowly eliminate this stigma, not only within ourselves but within our society as well. 

We can see how normalising our needs can even impact companies like Gopuff, who recently piloted prescription-based services in Philadelphia to support its consumers’ health throughout the pandemic. Similarly, BetterHelp, an online therapy service has created some buzz during the pandemic because of its on-the-go accessibility that has normalised therapy and integrated it into our daily lives.

Stay Connected

Along the same lines as asking for help, we need to make the point of staying connected post-pandemic as well. Many of our mental illnesses thrive in isolation; making it so important to establish a healthy lifestyle and surround yourself with a support system. 

Not only will a support system help you appreciate the good times, but they can also hold you accountable when you are struggling. And I know what you’re thinking but accountability is actually not as scary as it sounds. It is simply allowing your loved ones to call you out when you are living a life that is less than what you deserve. Luckily, when the accountability is coming from someone you trust, it can be the driving force that makes you want to be better mentally and emotionally and maintain your health for the long haul.

Find Your Passion

Oftentimes we hear that distraction is the best way to keep your mind off of the negatives in life. However, distraction is temporary and will only promote diversion, not growth. Passion however, will encourage you to go after the best things and life and in return, will promote mental wellness stability as well. 

A passion is whatever you deem it to be. It can be as simple as a love for reading or even a full-time job in teaching. In any case, it can allow you to step outside of your struggles and feel your impact on the world. Passions are also much more sustainable than distraction because they are not rooted in a temporary escape but instead, they are based in a love for a particular thing or idea. Exploring your passions can provide you with a sustaining peace that can get you through whatever feelings of uncertainty may arise after the pandemic.

Take a Break

Lastly, don’t forget to take a breather! Given the lax lifestyle that the pandemic brought on, many of us may rush back into the busy and overwhelming lives we once lived. However, we often underestimate the power of mental and emotional strain. We think that since we’ve had so much downtime these last couple of years, we no longer need a break. However, whether you are working a job or working on yourself, your mind is constantly going and is still in need of a break. 

Pandemic or not, don’t forget to prioritize yourself. Meet your own needs, stay connected with those you love, explore your passions, and as always, take a break and you’ll be sure to find some stability in your life. 

How Private Patient Transport helps Anxious Travellers by EMA Patient Transport

(image: EMA Patient Transport)

Travelling is stressful, especially when it’s to and from medical appointments; for people with anxiety issues, the stress levels during this time can be heightened even further. Private transport providers offer patients a comfortable transport experience; the journey can be as stress-free as possible thanks to their state of the art, bespoke ambulances and friendly, qualified team! Mental health patient transport services can provide a sense of comfort and trust compared to your average ambulance service. 

Not only does patient transport provide the benefit of a relaxed journey compared to your average patient transport- but for people who require additional support, these bespoke ambulances are accessible and filled with medical equipment.

Here are some of the ways private patient transport helps anxious travellers:

There’s No Waiting Time 

Private patient transport providers deliver a transport service you can rely on! No more waiting around worrying you’ll be late for your appointment. Due to the NHS being under severe pressure, their transport service is not always running on time. With private patient transport, you can rest assured you will be picked up & dropped off on time. 

The effects of long waiting times could be detrimental to anybody with anxious feelings, but you can avoid this stress and anxiety with private transport. With private ambulance services, there are no waiting times. 

Private Transport Is Bespoke 

A fantastic benefit of private ambulance services is that the focus is always on the patient. This means that when you choose a trusted, reputable provider, the provider will tailor each vehicle to meet the patient’s specific needs. This can help out anxious travellers, as they know the vehicle meets their requirements. Some vehicles even have sensory lights and TV’s, which are welcome distractions for many anxious patients. As well as these fancy extras, private patient transport always contains vital medical equipment such as oxygen and defibrillators. 

The Vehicles Are Accompanied By A Friendly & Qualified Team 

When travelling in a private patient transport vehicle, the staff on board are always experienced and friendly. This means they are qualified to deal with medical emergencies and have a welcoming personality to make travellers feel at ease. 

Whenever you choose a trusted, reputable patient transport provider, you can rest assured that their caring team has appropriate experience and training to support patients with various needs. Private ambulance providers will meet every patient with respect, dignity, and kindness. 

The Journey Will Be As Comfortable As Possible 

Thanks to state of the art, bespoke vehicles and friendly teams, the journey will always be more comfortable than your standard ambulance transport service. No matter the patient’s unique needs, there will be a bespoke ambulance to suit. 

Do you think you or a family member would benefit from using private patient transport? Get in touch with EMA Patient Transport to find out more. 

Whether you require transport to and from a medical appointment or any other type of journey- give them a call today on 0800 634 1478 or send an e-mail over to enquiries@emapatienttransport.co.uk. Open 24 hours a day; their friendly team are always at the other end of the phone, ready to help.

This article was written and sponsored by EMA Patient transport.

Tsunami of Mental Health Problems have manifested during the Pandemic: by WebDoctor.ie Online Doctor

(image: WebDoctor.ie)

Online Doctor Service WebDoctor.ie, based in Ireland, saw a 240% increase in the number of mental health related consultations from January 2020 to August 2021.

The Online Doctor Service has also seen a 210% increase in the overall number of consultations from the same dates.

This increase reflects a ‘Tsunami’ of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, which have manifested during the pandemic,” explains WebDoctor’s Clinical Director Sylvester Mooney. Mental health issues such as reactive depression and anxiety affected all ages and demographic groups.

Anxiety Surrounding the Reopening of Society

There has been a 76% increase in anxiety levels among Irish people, according to WebDoctor.ie. There are significant mental health concerns regarding the reopening of society as colleges, workplaces and schools get back to normal.

Aware, who provide free support and education services to those impacted by depression, anxiety and mood related disorders saw an 80% increase in the number of helpline calls they received in April, May and June of 2020 compared to the same months in the previous year.

The organisation are currently seeing concerns arise over the anxiety surrounding the reopening of society. “People are anxious to return to the workplace and return to in-person social settings, explains Stephen McBride, Director of Services at Aware.

Young Women and Eating Disorders

WebDoctor.ie have also observed a doubling of reported depression from 9% to 19%, and rates of eating disorder in young women have also increased by a very significant 41%.

There are no nationally dedicated adult in-patient public beds for people with eating disorders. Instead, eating disorder in-patients are treated in general or psychiatric hospitals. Given that the most recent CSO figures also show that suicide was, and remains, the biggest cause of death among Ireland’s young adults under 24 with men particularly at risk, it’s clear that a major post-Covid mental health crisis is well under way.

Dr Sylvester Mooney, WebDoctor’s Clinical Director stated that “many younger people who are presenting to our GP’s have been seriously impacted over the last 18 months. They’ve had significant disruptions to their college education, lost opportunities for important social interaction, their career prospects have been damaged. For a lot of patients we see, they’re very anxious and nervous about what the future may hold.”

Mental Health Support and Funding

With HSE levels of mental health funding at only 5%, which is very low by international standards (the UK is at 13%), it seems apparent that the mental health sector needs much greater levels of funding support.

When asked about the level of funding for mental health services in Ireland due to this significant increase in pandemic-inflicted anxiety levels, neither the HSE nor Minister of Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler responded to our request to comment.

Dr Sylvester Mooney believes that we are only now starting to see the fallout from the Covid pandemic on mental health.

This is a sponsored blog from Webdoctor.ie using research in Ireland from August 2021.

The First all-in-one Stress and Mild Anxiety Formula has launched: by Nu Mind Wellness Ltd.

(image: Nu Mind Wellness Ltd)

Nu Mind Wellness Ltd officially launched on October 25th 2021. The Nu Mind Stress & Mild Anxiety Support Formula (30 days) offers consumers 23 scientifically backed ingredients packed in 5 daily capsules to help alleviate symptoms of stressors on the mind and body. This all-in-one Stress & Mild Anxiety Support Formula is the first of its kind and is the most comprehensive supplement programme in the UK market for mental health.

Nu Mind Wellness Ltd will is offering free educational courses to its consumers on how to improve their mental health and overall wellness. Specifically, on how to improve nutrition, how to exercise correctly and how to improve one’s mental health. Each course has been written by experts in their respective fields.

A strong social mission is at the core of Nu Mind’s vision. Nu Mind Wellness Ltd has also partnered with 1% For The Planet. Nu Mind have pledged to donate 1% of their annual revenue to grass-root non-profits. In the first year these funds will be donated to One Tree Planted where they will be planting trees in vulnerable areas across the globe. As well as this, Nu Mind’s products are all 100% recyclable.

“We wanted to create the very best formula to help those busy individuals living a stressful life. Which is why we included 23 science backed ingredients to help you manage stress and recover from symptoms of anxiety”

  • Shona Wilkinson, RN, mBANT, CNHC

Shona is a registered nutritionist, specialising in the formulation and development of supplements. Shona is a member of the Professional Associations BANT (British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine) and CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council) as well as the Royal Society for Medicine

Features and benefits of the Nu Mind Stress & Mild Anxiety Support Formula include:

  • The first all-in-one stress supplement programme, packaged into 30 daily sachets
  • 23 scientifically backed ingredients, based on current scientific research
  • Free educational courses on how to improve mental health and wellness 
  • Charity partnership with a clear social mission
  • 100% recyclable packaging 
  • Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free, No Allergens
  • 50% cheaper than current alternative

The Nu Mind Stress & Mild Anxiety Support Formula (30 daily sachets) will be available from 25th October at £44.99. For more information, visit www.numindwellness.com. 


About Nu Mind Wellness Ltd

Let’s begin with our story. We are two brothers who have suffered from anxiety. From panic attacks, deliberately avoiding social situations and sleepless nights. For years we searched for ways to feel ‘normal’, only to find the internet’s answers unsatisfactory.

Given our personal experience and understanding of the battles of anxiety, we set out to give back and support those with similar struggles. Working alongside professionals, we have created the first all-in-one stress & mild anxiety support formula.

We aim to provide the first all-in-one stress and anxiety service; providing a supplement, educational wellness content and a like-minded community. This is the essence of Nu Mind.

Links to learn more:

This is a sponsored blog post from Nu Mind Wellness Ltd.

How are our Lifestyles linked to our Mental Health? by Anna Witcherley, Founder of Head Hacks

(image: Pexels)

Our health and wellbeing aren’t solely dependent on how our brains and bodies work; they’re also influenced by how we live. Making healthy lifestyle choices is key in supporting our mental health; influencing our self-esteem, confidence, energy, motivation, mood, and even our ability to sleep.

Want to know more about what you can do to support your health and wellbeing? Here are 5 key areas to get you started!

Get active

We know exercise is beneficial for our health and wellbeing; even being active for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week can positively impact our mood, creativity, thinking and sleep. If going for a run or to the gym isn’t your thing there are so many other ways to get moving; including going for walks, climbing, cycling, dancing, surfing and table tennis (to name just a few). 

Check out Head Hacks, a new directory website, run by a qualified Occupational Therapist, where you can search for fun things to do, locally and online, to help you get active in a way that suits you!

Sleep

If you find yourself struggling to switch off at night, or you feel you’re not getting the quality of sleep you need to feel rested there are a number of things you can do to help yourself. These include:

  • Avoiding screens for at least 30 minutes before going to bed
  • Increasing physical activity and exposure to natural light during the day
  • Avoiding drinking caffeine for at least 6 hours before going to bed
  • Avoiding smoking for at least 2 hours before going to bed
  • Maintaining a general bedtime routine, for 30 minutes before going to bed (by doing things in roughly the same order around the same time each evening).

Mindfulness

When talking about mindfulness a lot of people may link it with meditation and yoga; however mindfulness comes in many different forms. If meditation or yoga aren’t your thing why not try ‘mindful doing’? The aim is to keep your mind present while doing an activity you enjoy or that fits into your routine, (like going for a walk, cooking, eating a meal, doing the washing up etc). Try to minimise distractions and instead focus on your current thoughts and feelings, and what you’re doing (using all your senses). 

Having purpose

Having a sense of ‘purpose’ is the feeling your life has some meaning or direction; without this we can feel anxious, low, bored and unmotivated. If this is something you feel you’re lacking here are some ideas to help you find more purpose in your life:

  • Voluntary work
  • Learn a new skill
  • Develop a sense of community by connecting with others over a shared interest e.g. joining a local activity group
  • Spend time thinking about what is important to you and form one or two goals around this (remember to break these down into manageable steps!)
  • Read (research has linked reading with feelings of purpose)

Connecting with others

Positive and meaningful relationships are vital to our health and wellbeing; providing us with a sense of belonging, self-esteem, and emotional support.  However you prefer to spend time with people, find a way to connect with others in a way that suits you; some of us prefer having one or two close friends, for others it’s family, and some prefer socialising in larger groups. 

To sum up

Research shows us that how we live; our relationships, how we spend our time, our sense of purpose and belonging, all vitally contribute to our health and wellbeing. Now that Coronavirus restrictions are easing, there are increasing opportunities, both in our local areas and online, to get involved in activities that are important to us, and that will help support our health and wellbeing.

Head Hacks is a new online directory, setup by a qualified Occupational Therapist, which aims to link people up with these activities and groups, as well as sharing useful information about managing health and wellbeing. Check it out to find fun things to do near you! Anna Witcherley is the founder of Head Hacks and wrote this article.

How to Feel Confident Going Back to the Office

(image: Pexels)

Going back to the office is becoming a common conversation for many companies. After spending more than a year and a half working from home, returning to the office seems like entering a whole new world. For those preparing to go back to the office, here are some tips for feeling confident and successful when going back to your desk. 

Manage your stress and anxiety

There can be a lot of anxiety around returning to the office. Whether it’s meeting new coworkers for the first time, realigning yourself with office culture, or even just getting used to being away from home, these changes can lead to major feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Creating some self-soothing and self-care habits that you can bring to the office can help you navigate being back in the office with ease. Consider using a fidget of sorts to help get out any nervous energy you may have as they are a great tool for calming. Journalling before the day starts or journaling at the end of the day as a way to reflect can also help you release any stress or anxiety you may have. 

If you struggle with creating self-soothing habits that work for you or your lifestyle, seeking out guidance from a mental health counselor can help you start the process. Putting an emphasis on your mental health is vital to any success you have personally, professionally, or otherwise. When you are in a good headspace, that often translates to the work you do. Making sure you take care of your mental health while returning to the workplace is a great way to set yourself up for success and will empower you to continue to always put yourself first. 

Upgrade your style

While working from home over the past year or so, you’ve been able to incorporate comfort into your work wardrobe. Wearing a top suitable for a zoom call while also wearing sweatpants has been a staple outfit for many work-from-home employees. Thinking about all the clothes that are sitting in your closet waiting for you to return to work can have you worrying that the clothes you have are a bit outdated, or they just don’t match the style you’ve adopted during the pandemic.  Refreshing your wardrobe for the office can help you return to your workplace with confidence and comfort on your side. Upgrading your staple items and adding some statement pieces that reflect your style and personality can help boost your excitement about going back to the office to see coworkers and friends.  

Returning to the office can make you feel like a kid going back to school, seeing old friends, excited to make new ones, and you want to make a good impression. Your style is more than just the clothes you have, it’s the hairstyle you choose, the accessories you wear, the makeup you put on, etc. Getting a haircut or dying your hair that color you’ve always wanted can have you feeling fresh and new. With your new hair, you may even consider ditching the glasses you’ve been wearing your whole life and wearing a pair of comfortable contacts to switch up your style. When you let go of your glasses, you can stop worrying about smudged lenses, crooked frames, or foundation buildup at the bridge of your nose. Making your style match you and your personality will make you feel confident during any staff meeting or water cooler conversation. 

Embrace wins big and small

Being back in the office is a big step in and of itself. Returning to the land of office politics can feel overwhelming fairly quickly. Listening to the drama of interdepartmental squabbles or feeling frustrated with how quickly the communal copier runs out of ink are all things that were distant memories while working from home and are now part of your day to day life again. With these frustrations, it is important to find the silver linings each day as they will help you feel motivated and successful even on days that don’t feel like they are. 

Finding ways to feel victorious even over small things throughout the day helps create a positive environment and empowers you to feel more confident in the work you are doing. Claiming a win each day, big or small, will help you feel accomplished and happy about something that happened at the office that day. Maybe that is going out to lunch with coworkers you haven’t seen in months or acing the presentation you had with your boss, whatever it is, that bright spot you find is important!

For some, working from home was and still is a comfortable thing to do. For others, they missed the office environment entirely. To those that thrived working from home, returning to the office gives you the opportunity to maintain the work ethic and confidence you built while working from home and even an opportunity to master it a step further. Just because you are back at your cubicle, or your office on the third floor, doesn’t mean you have to lose what makes you-you. Be sure to bring your confidence with you when you walk through those doors. 

This article was written by a freelance writer.

How to Identify and Deal with Imposter Syndrome.

(image: Pexels)

Do you ever sit down at your desk in the morning and think to yourself,

‘What am I doing here? I don’t belong in this job. Am I a fraud?’?

Well, if you do, you’ll be glad to know that you’re not alone. 

62% of UK adults experience what is more commonly known as ‘imposter syndrome’. But what is it? 

A feeling that your accomplishments have occurred due to luck or good fortune, as opposed to your natural talent and ability, imposter syndrome is a theory that was first identified back in 1978. 

Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Innes detailed in a psychology paper that imposter syndrome was something uniquely experienced within women. However, since then, further researched has noted that this is something felt in men too — as the previous value suggests. 

Different individuals experience imposter syndrome in different ways, purely dependent on the person and the circumstance which they find themselves in. 

In this article, we look at the different types of personalities which develop the aforementioned syndrome and go on to delve into five different ways it can be combatted, helping you don your black suit trousers with pride and confidence in the morning.

The ‘super’ person

These are people who continually push themselves to breaking point in an attempt to prove that they aren’t imposters. Success is the only measurement they know, and they begin to get stressed when they aren’t experiencing it. 

The ‘go-it-alone’ person

These people feel as if they have to do everything on their own as asking for helping is a sign of weakness, acceptance of defeat, and ultimately, admittance that they are a fraud. 

The ‘genius’

These people are accustomed to taking things in their stride. When they find something too difficult or struggle to complete a task, they automatically assume that they aren’t good enough.

The ‘expert’

They want to know everything and without it they are afraid to suggest their opinion or take otherwise calculated risks. They will refrain from putting themselves forward with task that sits beyond their level of guaranteed expertise in fear of looking stupid.

The ‘perfectionist’ 

With this group, it’s 100 per cent or nothing at all. There could be one suggested amendment to a 200-page document, and they would take this as a failed project, feeling unaccomplished. 

But, what causes these feelings of inadequacy? 

  • 38% assign impostor syndrome to self-doubt 
  • 23% assign it to criticism 
  • 20% assign it to asking for help 
  • 16% assign it to comparing themselves to colleagues 
  • 15% assign it to a lack of understanding in regard to what is expected 

How to combat these feelings of discontent?

Talk it through

The first thing you need to do is talk about how you feel. As we’ve previously noted, more than 60 per cent of the UK population experience the same feelings. A problem shared is a problem halved after all. 

Acceptance 

There is no denying that every once in a while, we get out of our depth — we’re only human at the end of the day. Realistically, you wouldn’t be able to learn if you didn’t have to, once in a while, step beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. Accept that sometimes you will have to hold your hands up and say, ‘I’m stuck’, and things will get a whole lot easier. 

Learn to appreciate success

Sometimes, for someone with imposter syndrome, the difficulty is not being able to appreciate success and recognise when they have performed well. This is particularly true for those who fall into the ‘perfectionist’ category. In order to overcome this dissatisfaction, you need to take a step back every now and again, realise your achievement, and pat yourself on the back.

Create an image in your head of success  

Think of a changing room before a cup final. Beyond the 90 minutes, if we choose to focus our attention on football for example, the image in the mind of the players is one of glory. Visualise lifting the hypothetical trophy and don’t fixate on being branded as a ‘fraud’ along the way.

Ask for help

Do you think that the great leaders and winners of yesteryear, whether it be in business or politics, succeeded alone?

No, is the answer. Winston Churchill was backed by the support of a nation, while Bill Gates was aided by the creativity and innovation of a strong organisation. Asking for help is by no means an acceptance of defeat. On the contrary, asking for help is an identification within that means you understand you have more scope to learn. 

Professor Sir Cary Cooper is a psychologist on organisational and workplace psychology, and he points to the fact that imposter syndrome can have a particularly adverse effect on performance. 

Cooper proposes: “Imposter syndrome can inhibit productivity and seriously impact an individual’s career progression”. However, he follows up with: “By regularly reminding yourself of your achievements and recent wins, you can put your feelings of self-doubt into context.”

You will almost never find a situation where potluck is the sole reason behind your current position. 

Believe in yourself.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

On my Therapy Journey to Being Free: I Choose Life. By Eleanor

Image: notsalmon.com

I started back in therapy consistently (weekly), 2 months ago in August after reoccurrence of panic attacks. I have been working with a really brilliant therapist for the past two years who is a specialist in trauma and EMDR therapy. EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy and is a way to help you process and confront traumatic memories, with the aim of reducing their impact on your life. Its a very good therapy for people struggling from PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder). Although I do not have the full disorder, I do have some PTSD symptoms according to a therapy questionnaire, from being sectioned and in hospital in 2014 and other traumas that occurred around the same time.

My PTSD symptoms include:

– Panic attacks (palpitations, sweating, negative thoughts, fight or flight adrenaline and needing to cancel feared event) triggered by certain situations which remind me of the past traumatic events. This includes fear of medical appointments now including going to hospitals for myself or the drs surgery.

– Social anxiety- what will they think of me?

-Other fears over traumatic events – i can get triggered and feel flooded with panic.

So, as you can see, a lot to deal with and unpack in therapy. And figuring out my identity as a 33 year old woman with bipolar disorder (thankfully stable) and what the future could hold.

I have to say that finding an excellent therapist has been a lifesaver. I look back to where I was 2 months ago and generally (without jinxing it) my nervous system has calmed down a lot, I have been anxious but able to enter certain situations I couldn’t have done 8 weeks ago. My medications keep my mind stable and my husband and family are a wonderful support too. I love my work and can do it from home. I am really lucky in so many ways.

It is still a major work in progress for me, getting back to the person I once was. I prefer to work from home and I also am unable to go out as much alone as I would want. However, I am starting to go out more with others and I will keep working to find freedom from fear for myself.

If you’re feeling stuck or alone or fearful, reach for help. I have been very lucky to have help with funding my therapy sessions (shout out to my incredible parents) but they are so needed. I know not everyone has this.. the waiting lists for the NHS are so long and I was on them for years without support. My local borough also does not fund trauma therapy which was frustrating at the time.

Thanks for reading the update, feel free to share your therapy experiences with me,

i feel quite emotional writing and sharing this with you! And remember- to keep reaching, growing, and above all healing. Healing is so important for our mental health if you can access it,

Eleanor x

PS- while writing this blog. I was listening to the Sugababes originals Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan (MKS) sing No regrets which has the lyrics.. ‘I choose life’ . Listen here to this live version (not an ad, genuine love): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfdYE7BkEsw