Friday, 25 January 2013

Dealing with the suicide of someone close to you

It is estimated that 5% of people attempt suicide at least once in their lives, and 1 million people succeed every year, that’s more than from war and murder combined. If one of these people is someone you know and love, it is a very hard thing to deal with. The emotions are often different from other types of bereavement and can cause feelings on top of the usual grieving process. Many people feel a strong sense of abandonment and guilt, but you have to let these feelings go or they will consume you. Following these guidelines should be the first step to accepting the death of your loved one. 

  • Record you emotions in writing. This can help you process what your feelings and help you let go of any of the anger and guilt. 
  • Set time to grieve. Don’t try and carry on as normal, you must deal with your emotions. 
  • Look after yourself, eat well and exercise. This will help you feel better and make it easier to sleep. 
  • Don’t feel guilty. Talking to someone with a realistic perspective can help you rationalise. 
  • Constantly thinking “What if I’d done something differently” will not help grief. Once someone has decided to take their life, they will go to great lengths to do so- no matter what you did. 
  • Avoid making major decisions straight after the death. 
  • Ask for help in arranging the funeral and sorting out the affairs of the deceased. 
  • Anger is a natural response to death, resulting from a sense of helplessness. Don’t direct this anger towards the deceased or others. No-one could have prevented this. 
  • Suicide is rarely from a single cause so blame should not be placed on anyone. 
  • If you found the body, you may suffer from reoccurring and disturbing images. Talking to someone, perhaps a professional, can make these images less painful. 
  • Birthdays and anniversaries of the death can be difficult. Arrange in advance with other family members/ loved one how to spend the day. Celebrate their life rather than mourn it. 
It is unlikely that you will ever fully get over the death of a loved one, but following these steps can make it easier to deal with. Have faith that it will get easier and work through the grief.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Stuck in relationship cycles

At this time of year when we tend to look to the future and the shops are suddenly brimming with Valentine's gifts, it may be hard to face the fact that a relationship has ended badly.

When you are not well matched a relationship is likely to end badly. However, if you keep picking the wrong partners it can leave you feeling helpless and alone.

Firstly, ask yourself these questions to see whether you keep dating the wrong people.

  • Do the same problems keep arising in each of your relationships? 
  • Do you attract partners that need your help in some way? Are you trying to fix them? 
  • Are you unable to be yourself in your relationships? 
  • Do you spend a lot of time trying to please your partner at the expense of your own happiness? 
  • Do you always behave in the same negative ways? (I.e. become jealous, over critical) 
  • Make a list of characteristics of the people you have dated. Are these really the types of people you wish to end up with? 
If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be stuck in a relationship cycle, where different relationships always end with the same problems. Follow these guidelines in order to break this pattern and finally find happiness.

  • Do you understand what a healthy relationship looks like? If you don’t then it is hard to create one. Think long and hard about this before you get involved in a new relationship. 
  • Make a list of unacceptable traits from past relationships, and avoid partners that hold these. 
  • Look for someone you feel safe with. Being comfortable with your partner means you can express yourself openly without fear of being judged. 
  • Don’t put too much emphasis on looks when searching for a partner. Look for common values and friendship over superficial traits. 
  • Think carefully about what kind of person could break your relationship cycle. Most people don’t analyse what they really want in a relationship but doing this will stop you from rushing into something that isn’t right. 
  • Try dating people you would never normally consider. You don’t know if you don’t try! 
  • Understand what you both want from the relationship before getting deeply involved, this will stop hurt later on. 
Relationships aren’t easy, but when you find the right person it is worth it. However, if you think there are deeper reasons to why you keep choosing the wrong person consider speaking to professional counsellor or psychologist. They could help you get to the bottom of your poor choices and give you help and support to find the right person for you.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Social networking: how to portray yourself positively

It’s the beginning of a New Year and we all want 2013 to bring us something exciting. Whether you wish to get in touch with old friends, look for a new job or are looking for love, social networking is a good first step.

Fortunately modern technology means you can now do this from your sofa! According to recent statistics, 59% of us are now using some form of social networking. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn, social networking is a powerful tool to help you manage and expand both your personal and professional life. It is therefore crucial to portray yourself in a positive way. Here are some hints and tips to becoming social networking savvy.

  • Unfortunately, it is impossible to separate your professional and personal life on the Internet. One simple Google search and your boss could see photos of you dancing on the desk at last year's Christmas party… so be very careful what you upload. 
  • Show off your personality. There is no point trying to portray somebody you are not. Post photos of yourself doing the things that you enjoy with the people you love, rather than staged photos of you doing something you think others would find impressive. 
  • Be careful with sarcastic or jokey comments. They often don’t translate in writing and people could get offended. 
  • If you're feeling emotional, social media is probably not the best place to blow off steam. Your outburst will remain on the Internet long after you calm down and can portray you as a negative person. Call a friend to rant instead. 
  • Know who you are and portray yourself consistently. Potential employees or dates will see straight through someone who changes their profile constantly. 
  • Use an up to date profile photo. You want people to be able to recognise you in the real world. 
  • If you are using social networking for dating it gives you the opportunity to have a good snoop before your commit to a date. Search through lots of profiles, read their interests and look through their photos, you can be picky later on. 
  • Studies have shown that people like someone better if they have seen their face before, even just briefly. So get yours out there! Join conversations and debates and add value to them. After all social networking is about engaging with other people. 
  • Be active on your profile. Try to strike a balance so people don’t forget about you but don't annoy others with constant and irrelevant comments. 
  • The best rule of thumb for social networking is to use the same policies that you implement in your face-to-face conversations and interactions. That way you are unlikely to offend others. 
Ultimately your profile is about you. It is your online persona that the world can see, so be smart with it and you can use this powerful tool to enhance your social, profession and romantic life…while watching Coronation Street!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Keeping your New Year’s resolutions

So you’ve set your 2013 resolutions, but now for the hardest part… keeping them. Evidence has shown that 40% of us give up our resolutions by the end of January. but if you follow this simple advice you can make 2013 a year for real change.

  • Put your resolutions in writing. Studies have shown that writing down your intentions improves your chances of sticking to them. 
  • Have a role model.  Find someone who has achieved what you want to achieve. Whether they are a celebrity or a friend, knowing that someone else has done it can give you the confidence to do it too. 
  • Pinpoint potential obstacles. Figure out a plan beforehand so you are prepared to tackle the situation. For example if you are going for dinner but are trying to diet, have a healthy snack beforehand so you aren’t so tempted to have a huge meal. 
  • Believe in yourself! As long as you have set yourself manageable goals you are more than capable of achieving them. 
  • Do it with a friend. Going through this together will give you someone who truly understands what you are facing. You can motivate and confide in each other. 
  • Don’t let the fear of failure stop you. Just imagine the feeling when you have achieved your goals to keep you determined. 
  • Try not to think of your resolutions as challenges, but rather as new habits. If you're in a routine, you are much more likely to stick it out. 
  • If you think there are deeper reasons why you cant achieve your goals. Consider speaking to an experienced psychologist who can help you get to the root cause of them problem. 
Good Luck and Happy New Year!