“Your value is not your current circumstance.”

I went to see my Therapist today. Let me just say, she’s wonderful.

One of the biggest takeaways that came from today’s session was the fact that I’m someone who correlates my value to my present circumstance.

I’m in a shitty place in my life right now. I am. I don’t avoid that fact at all. I’m unemployed, I don’t get along with my parents, my family and most people around me. Not for lack of trying, mostly for the fact that my beliefs and outlook towards the world are vastly different than those which I was raised with.

I know that I’m an intelligent, competent, qualified person. I know that I have a pleasant personality, that I’m loyal and I giving of kindness, compassion and love. I don’t see those things though. I see consistent rejection. I see consistent disappointment. I see myself consistently falling short, whether it’s my fault or not… I always find myself blaming… myself.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think no matter who you are or what your situation is, a lot of people correlate their value to their situation. And a lot of people wind up in bad situations at one time or another in their life. After all, we’re all only human.

It’s something that I struggle with. I need to be better at accepting rejection. Because this is my present situation and even though it’s my present situation, it’s not my value. Even if they reject me, I’m still intelligent, competent, qualified, pleasant, loyal, kind and compassionate. I’m still all of those things. But when I consistently find myself getting rejected, I consistently find myself believing I’m being rejected because I’m flawed. Because I’m a problem, because I’m a loser. Because there’s something wrong with me. There’s always something wrong with me.

I’m not saying that I’m perfect. Because I’m definitely not. But I could be a fucking incredible addition to any office, and all of these rejections do not have anything to do with the value that I bring to this world.

I need to do a better job at talking myself up. I need to do a better job at remembering that if they don’t hire me that’s their loss, not mine.

My therapist, the sweet and wonderful human being that she is, said ‘I think you’re too big for this town. I really do. In the limited time that I’ve known you I’ve come to realize the sheer capacity you have to change people, and to make them better.’ And honestly, hearing it come from her was a huge boost to my self-esteem. Then she went on to say ‘I wish you would take that power you have to change others and use it to instill change within yourself. It’s time you start believing in yourself.’

After I left her office I went to watch my nephew play hockey. There’s no reception in the arena(it’s basically a giant cement cave) so I had a few missed calls when I got out of the arena. One of the voicemails was from my Therapist. She’d gone online and looked up positions pertaining to my skills/experience and called to tell me the positions that she found that she believes I should apply for. How amazing is that? She went looking for potential jobs for me!

I need to do a better job with rejection.

I need to remember my value. In 2019, dealing with this shit storm has made it so easy for me to believe less of myself and diminish my value. I’m not any less of a person than I’ve ever been and I need to start remembering that.

Circumstances don’t define me. It’s just a temporary stop on a journey to where I need to be, where I belong and where I’m happy with what I truly deserve.

Mental health and well-being tips Therapists actually provide to patients.

The goal of therapy is to give yourself the necessary tools to help cope, improve or get through whatever situations you’re dealing with that are causing you to struggle. And truth be told, majority of the work done in therapy takes place outside of the Therapist’s office. This is because a Therapist doesn’t fix you, you fix yourself.

What this means is that you have the real power to enact change in your life. Consider taking small steps every day to help yourself feel better. The following are genuine suggestions provided by a therapist to help improve your present situation, if you’re in need of the boost to your well being.

Love, appreciate and respect yourself. If you’re willing to love, appreciate and respect others in your life, why aren’t you willing to do the same for yourself? Imagine what you could accomplish if you directed those feelings towards yourself.

When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, write down three things that you like about yourself. It could be something so simple as ‘I love that I’m tall’. Reminding yourself of the things you like about yourself will help to boost your self-esteem in times of need whilst also forcing some much needed serotonin to your brain to help your mood.

If you cannot control the situation, try to find a positive in every negative. Take your negative situations and turn them on their head. Even if it’s the smallest of positives, every positive thought will do your brain benefit. Ex: Did you get fired from your job? It sucks, yeah. Remind yourself that you dodged a bullet because you hated that job and the people who worked there. Is someone being a real asshole towards you lately? Remind yourself that their actions are a reflection of who they are and not of you.

Do something nice for yourself each day. It’s easy to neglect yourself when you’re in a slump. This, in fact, is one of the worst things you can do for yourself. Treat yourself well. Give yourself a reason to relax. Give yourself a reason to smile. You’ll thank yourself for it.

Make a list of ‘your people’. You know the people who you can call or text any time of the day and they’ll respond, be receptive to what you’ve got to say and try their best to help? Put them on your list and consider it cultivation of our inner circle. These are the people who are going to help you when you’re in your low moments and these are the people you need/want to keep around when you’re on top of the world.

Don’t let your inner-voice win. Anyone who’s dealt with mental health issues can agree, your inner-voice is a duplicitous SOB. Not only that, but it can often feel as though your head wins over your heart every time. Don’t let that negativity rear its ugly head without fighting back. When your brain tells you that you suck, say ‘not at all’. When your brain tells you that no one likes you, say ‘you’re lying’. Don’t let that inner-voice win. It seems easier said than done, so in these moments when you need to tell yourself better, imagine the advice you’d give to your best friend. Take that advice and give it to yourself.

Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution and when your main goal should be to fix things and make your life better, you don’t need that negativity in your life.

Exercise. Every day. Just thirty minutes of minimal exercise is the equivalent to a low-dose of Prozac for your brain. If you’re needing your mood brightened then take a walk, go to the gym, climb the stairs, go for a run, play some basketball, play some baseball. Just exercise. However you do it, it will benefit your mental and physical health.

Cut-back on the alcohol. If you find that you drink when you’re stressed, depressed, anxious or down, you’re probably not doing yourself any good. The alcohol may mask your feelings for a few hours, but the monster will rear its ugly head when the buzz wears off. Using alcohol as a coping mechanism is a crutch… one that isn’t doing you any favours.

Have a night-time ritual. It’s a well known fact that a good night’s sleep is integral to your health and well being. When you’re depressed, anxious, stressed or struggling, getting a good night’s sleep can seem like the world’s most difficult task. Train your body that certain activities are winding you down at the end of each day. Doing this when your in a good place will hep you to do this when you’re not in a good place, so to speak.

Remember that you, and only you, have the power to enact real change in your life. Take control of your mental health today and remember that it takes time to see real improvement. There is no quick fix, you need to make a serious and genuine investment in your well being.


Want to read more on the subjects of mental health and self care? CLICK HERE

Practicing mindfulness

I first came across the concept of mindfulness in Yoga. I took a 16 week beginners class to learn the basics of the art in an effort to relieve some stress and, hopefully, make myself a little more flexible. And I truly think it worked. I do remember leaving each of those yoga classes with an inherent sense of calm.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to yoga class. Not for any other reason than that life gets in the way sometimes. But, I’ve come across the practice of mindfulness, one of the key concepts of yoga, in another area of life. It’s true, ‘they’ swear by mindfulness in therapy.

One of the things I’ve been told in therapy is that I could benefit from being a lot more mindful. And honestly, that’s true. The more that I think about it though, the more that I think everyone can benefit from being more mindful.

At times it can come across as a tad hokey. It’s worth the effort, if you’re willing to put forth the time.

*Please keep in mind, I did not write the following. It was a hand-out written by my therapist. I was asked to put it on my wall to remind me to practice mindfulness as I go about each day.


What is mindfulness?

  • Mindfulness is experiencing the present moment in a non-judgmental way. It is paying attention with a welcoming and allowing attitude… noticing whatever we are experiencing in our thoughts, behaviour and feelings.
  • Making changes in our life begins with awareness. Awareness means paying attention to what we are doing, thinking and feeling. We then have the option to either accept things or change them.
  • Practicing mindfulness teaches us to relax and remain alert in the midst of the problems and joys of life. It encourages us to pause in the moment and respond to life with curiosity and a welcoming attitude.

How do you practice mindfulness?

  • The practice of mindfulness focuses on four areas: body, emotions, thoughts and inner self/soul.
  • Begin by becoming aware of your breath. Simply notice the sensations of the breath in the nose, throat, lungs or belly. Follow the breath just as it is. The goal is not to change it but to observe it and be mindful of each breath.
  • Once you’ve mastered your breath, mindfulness can extend to noticing: body sensations such as pain, pleasure, heat, cold, tension and relaxation, emotions such as fear, anger, sadness and happiness, thoughts that arise in the mind in the form of sentences, words, fragments and images and your connection with your inner-self and with the universe.
  • The purpose is to fully experience and be aware of whatever might arise within you… calm, security, panic, fear…
  • The practice of mindfulness, when you’ve worked at it enough, will continue you as you move through your day, becoming more and more aware of your reactions as you go about your daily activities. Are you breathing more heavily when you’re scared? Do you breathe more deeply when you’re calm? How do you react in situations? How can you use that knowledge to better deal with situations in future?

It is believed that by staying in the present, being aware of who we are, how we feel and how we react to our day as we go through it, we’ll be less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past.

Because nobody should be worried about the past, and the future should be something to look forward too, not worry about.


Want to read more on the subjects of mental health and self care? CLICK HERE

Common Thinking Errors – A lesson in thought from a Psychiatrist

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from therapy is that the situations we find ourselves in don’t cause our depressed/anxious feelings – our ways of thinking about them do. Everyone goes through struggles and everyone suffers hardship in their lives. How a person responds to those struggles and hardships determines the outcome from them.

If you’re anything like me, it can be incredibly easy to jump to conclusions and imagine the worst case scenario, always. Some of us have brains that are just hard-wired to do so. That may, or may not be any fault of our own. But, if we’re ever going to tackle those feelings, we need to be aware of the errors in thinking in order to make conscious change.

The following are some common, distorted ways of thinking that often increase depression and make it harder to overcome, see past struggles and hardship.

FILTERING – Everyone’s life has some negative things. If you focus on the negative and filter out all positive or neutral things, your life will indeed seem depressing.

EMOTIONAL REASONING – Emotions are based on what we think and often not based on facts. Don’t always believe what you feel. Feelings are not facts.

OVER-INCLUSIVE – You think of one problem, then another and another, until you feel completely overwhelmed. Or you may take on the problems of family members as your own.

BLACK OR WHITE THINKING – You think only in extremes or absolutes, forgetting that most things fall in the middle and are shades of grey.

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS – You predict a negative outcome without adequate supporting evidence.

MIND READING – You believe that others are thinking and feeling badly about you and you react as if that’s true.

PREDICTING THE FUTURE – You think that things may turn out badly and only focus on the bad things that might happen. You convince yourself that a bad outcome is sure to happen.

CATASTROPHIZING – You imagine the worst and make things seem like a bigger deal than they are. This increases your fear and makes it harder to deal with what is really going on.

SHOULD – You make rules for yourself and others about things ‘should be’. You become angry or upset when these rules are not followed.

Thoughts go unnoticed as we automatically go through our day. This often leads to the belief that an event causes a feeling or behaviour. In fact, it is how we think about the event that causes feelings and behaviours.

In order to change your errors in thought, you first must notice these thoughts when they’re happening.

  • Slow down your thinking.
  • Consciously pay attention to your negative thoughts.
  • Don’t judge your thoughts, just observe them.

Once you’re aware of your negative thoughts, the next important step is to begin trying to change them.

  • Collect the negative thoughts in a capsule within your brain. When you’re ready to deal with them, acknowledge them for what they are and tell yourself that you’re ready to move past them.
  • Ask yourself ‘are these helpful’?
  • Replace them with more realistic and helpful thoughts.

It’s not going to be easy. But, instead of looking at something with a negative lens, try to be self-aware and put a new spin on the cycle navigating within your brain.

Personal Example:

One of the things that I struggle immensely with is rejection, it’s something I’ve spoken about in great lengths in therapy. One of the things that was brought to my attention was that, instead of believing that I’m a loser when I get rejected from an employer, instead of believing I’m unqualified, instead of believing that I’m not good enough, something I should consider is that I really have no idea why they didn’t hire me. And since I have no idea, I should stop treating it as a negative reflection of myself.

How do I spin it? Perhaps it was the wrong timing. Perhaps they had equal candidates and they flipped a coin. Perhaps they just didn’t like the tone of my voice. Whatever it is, I cannot change it. What I can do is, instead of thinking that I’m a loser, I can use the jobs I did not get as lessons learned of how to act next time, and how to know when the right opportunity has come along. I can think if it as though I’m gaining experience, not earning rejection.

How you think about something affects E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G in your life. Whether your brain is hard-wired one way or not, what are the steps that you can take to correct, or improve errors in thinking?


I’ve been seeing a Psychiatrist in an effort to help control the massive amounts of anxiety I’ve been suffering from in 2019. My Psychiatrist provides a lot of homework for me to use as tools for self improvement. As I work on myself, I’m sharing the resources provided to me. Why? Spread the wealth, spread the health.

Your mental health and well being are the most important gifts that you can give to yourself. To anyone reading this, I encourage you to please look after yourself. Take from this post what you like and leave what you don’t.

Want to see more on the subjects of mental health and self care? CLICK HERE

Self-esteem is a work in progress.

Lately I’ve been feeling as though my anxiety is a lot like an injury that tends to flare up when I don’t take care of myself. It’s a reminder to take consistent care of myself and to get the right kind of rest. Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to put my metaphorical feet on the metaphorical couch.

Something that I struggle immensely with is low self-esteem. It’s something that I’ve always struggled with. For a lot of my life, I’ve put blame for that on other’s, but I’m learning through working with a therapist that I should be doing the work inside of myself to make myself feel better. It’s easy to feel anxious when you do not believe your worth is much.

Characteristics of low self-esteem:

  • Neglect to personal appearance
  • Poor eye contact
  • Dull eyes
  • Flat facial expressions
  • Drooped shoulders
  • Rare laughter or smiles
  • Neglect to personal health
  • Increased illness
  • Increased fatigue
  • Tendency to focus on others and wanting to fix them rather than their own self
  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased ambition
  • Decreased happiness
  • Decreased ability to cop with problems
  • Increased chance of addictive behaviours
  • Tendency to become involved in destructive relationships
  • Decreased ability to make and achieve goals
  • Decreased ability to stand up for yourself
  • Allows others to choose for you
  • Blaming others for problems

I don’t know about you, but I read and resonated with many of the things listed above.

The following questions are a part of the ‘Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale’. After reading the above characteristics, answer the following statements (strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree) with respect to yourself in relation to self-esteem:

  1. On a whole, I am satisfied with myself.
  2. At times, I think I am no good at all.
  3. I feel that I have a number of good qualities.
  4. I am able to do things as well as most other people.
  5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of.
  6. I certainly feel useless at times.
  7. I feel that I am a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others.
  8. I wish I could have more respect for myself.
  9. All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure.
  10. I take a positive attitude towards myself.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll notice that you can answer some of these in a positive light to your character whilst still believing very negatively of yourself.

Take one question from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and answer the following questions with respect to that one response:

Where did you form this belief of yourself?

__________________________________________________________

How long has this belief been with you?

__________________________________________________________

When do you notice this belief affects you most?

__________________________________________________________

Have you had experiences that challenge this belief?

__________________________________________________________

What is one thing you could do (one small step that you could take) towards changing this belief?

__________________________________________________________

Like all things in life, there is no quick fix. As much as I would like to snap my fingers and believe in myself wholeheartedly and fully, it’s going to take time. I know where my flaws lie, and I know that I need to value myself for. I don’t think I’m alone in that though. I think we could all value ourselves a little more.


I’ve been seeing a Psychiatrist in an effort to help control the massive amounts of anxiety I’ve been suffering from in 2019. My Psychiatrist provides a lot of homework for me to use as tools for self improvement. As I work on myself, I’m sharing the resources provided to me. Why? Spread the wealth, spread the health.

Your mental health and well being are the most important gifts that you can give to yourself. To anyone reading this, I encourage you to please look after yourself. Take from this post what you like and leave what you don’t.

Want to see more on mental health and self care? CLICK HERE