Reaching a goal or overcoming a difficult challenge in your life can be tough to handle on your own. Feelings of uncertainty, doubt, and worry can get in the way of your goals and cause you to feel stuck. If you find yourself struggling to make a big decision or simply need advice from an unbiased perspective, investing in a life coach may be a good choice for you.
Differences Between a Life Coach and a Therapist
Life coaches generally focus on the present and future goals of their clients, and they provide specific advice to help them reach these goals. Therapists tend to focus on the client’s past to help them process life events or to understand the factors that may have contributed to a mental illness. Therapists ask open-ended questions and have no set schedule for how long a client should continue seeking therapy. Life coaching sessions on the other hand are more focused. Additionally, life coaches are usually involved in a client’s life for a certain amount of time. Their mission is to help their clients overcome doubt, challenge themselves, and achieve success in a specific area of their life.
When choosing between a life coach and a therapist, there are three key things to keep in mind:
What to Expect from a Life Coaching Session
During the first session with your life coach, it’s important to be open and honest about what you want to achieve and any obstacles that are standing in your way. Once your life coach fully understands your situation, they will help you look at your life objectively and develop a specific process to begin implementing change. A good life coach will be encouraging, give you positive feedback, and challenge you to do your best. They should be a friendly advisor, not an instructor or dictator!
Clients usually have 3-4 sessions per month with their coach to reflect on the changes made since last session, discuss any concerns, and plan for the next 1-2 weeks. Coaches may assign “homework” for their clients such as journaling or keeping track of any negative thoughts they may have. Sessions may last between 30-60 minutes, and life coaches can work with clients over the phone, in person, or through other means of communication.
Benefits of Hiring a Life Coach
If you’re feeling fairly confident that you can achieve your goals on your own, that’s great! Being self-motivated and disciplined both help significantly when you want to make a change in your life. But it can be even more helpful to have a positive influence on your side to offer you advice, encouragement, and a different perspective. Here are a few more of the ways a life coach can help you get the most out of your life:
If you are looking for further guidance but not sure where to begin, try reaching out to the qualified professionals at Oakville Wellness Center.
A great therapist generally won’t be like the stereotypical psychologist character that is often portrayed in movies. Therapy involves much more than venting to a listening ear, and your therapist should offer more feedback than repeatedly asking you, “So, how do you feel about that?” If you’ve been “shopping around” for a therapist or you’re wondering if your current therapist is right for you, first ask yourself two questions:
If you find yourself hesitating to answer yes to either question, it would be best for you to find a different therapist. Even therapists are imperfect, so they may not communicate well with you, your personalities can clash, or you may simply not like them--and that’s OK. However, if you answered yes to both questions, you’re off to a good start! Keep reading to see if your therapist is the perfect fit for you.
Most people would assume that all therapists are naturally good listeners because it’s such a huge part of their job. Sadly, some therapists can be distracted or unfocused when talking to their clients. Some patients have even reported that their therapist fell asleep during an appointment! If your therapist makes phone calls, texts, or eats meals during your session, these are warning signs that they’re not entirely focused on you.
You will know your therapist is a good listener if:
Accepting and Non-judgemental
You should never feel ashamed or afraid of being judged during therapy. Your therapist shouldn’t make you feel like you need to lie about your feelings, or cause you to fear disclosing “too much” during your appointment. If your therapist makes hurtful or judgemental comments that leave you feeling worse, it’s time to find a more compassionate therapist.
A good therapist will help you feel accepted by building trust with you, and approaching sensitive topics carefully. They should display empathy and be able to understand things from your point of view. Once you’re comfortable with opening up more to your therapist, they should ask you non-judgemental questions about the event to fully understand what happened so they have the knowledge they need to help you cope and heal.
Help You Implement Change
Making changes in your thinking habits or daily life can be really challenging, which lots of people might not realize. Therapy isn’t just a weekly appointment to update your therapist on how your week is going! A good therapist will give you the tools you need to start making positive changes in your life. For example, if you’re dealing with a mental illness, your therapist should work with you to identify specific goals you want to reach (i.e. challenge a negative thought daily), and teach you healthy coping skills. Your therapist should give you “homework” to do every week and ask you how it went at the following session.
If a few sessions go by and you haven’t talked about setting goals yet, ask your therapist to help you begin setting reasonable goals for your treatment. But remember: your therapist shouldn’t be telling you what to do, either. They can offer their advice or perspective, but in the end, all goals and decisions should be up to you.
Knowledgeable About Current Research
A good therapist should be up-to-date about the latest breakthroughs in treatments, new terminology, or changes in the DSM. Their sessions should be based upon proven scientific studies that have been shown to help people, such as using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Great therapists usually read books about psychology, attend conferences, or even take more training courses to stay knowledgeable.
The ways a therapist helps you should all be based on facts. Noam Shpancer, Ph.D., writes, “Good therapy does not contradict or ignore sound scientific data, knowledge, or evidence.” So if your therapist promises that the treatment is guaranteed to help you or says they can “change” your personality, it would be wise to look for a new therapist.
Where to Find a Good Therapist
At Oakville Wellness Center, we understand how frustrating it can be when you can’t find the right therapist for your needs, so we made the process easier for you. On our website, you can view the profiles and specialties of qualified therapists before scheduling a session, and you can even book an appointment online.
A good therapist can make a world of difference in a person’s life. They offer valuable advice and feedback, provide a safe environment to talk about negative emotions, and teach individuals healthy ways to cope with their feelings. But just like in any profession, there are good therapists that you’ll benefit from and bad therapists that may discourage you. If you’re worried that your therapist might be doing more harm than good, look out for these signs.
Do You Dread Your Appointments?
It can be nerve-wracking when you first start seeing a therapist, and you may feel uncomfortable during the first session or two, and this is normal. After your therapist gets to know you, you should feel more comfortable with being open and honest, and your session should become a highlight of your week. However, if you dread future appointments because they leave you feeling bored or unmotivated, you would benefit from seeing a different therapist.
Clinical psychologist Christina G. Hibbert, Psy.D, has noticed that many people prematurely decide therapy isn’t right for them after only seeing one therapist, but she encourages others to keep seeking treatment despite the disappointment they might experience at first. She says, “It’s hard enough to get yourself to therapy when you need it, but to have to then ‘shop around’ for the right therapist can make many people either quit or settle for the first one they find, even if it’s not a right fit.”
Is Your Therapist a Good Listener?
You would think that all therapists are good listeners, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. People have told stories of their therapists answering phone calls, texting, or even falling asleep during sessions! Even if your therapist doesn’t seem noticeably distracted during sessions, it might be reasonable to find a new counselor if your therapist doesn’t seem interested or engaged or doesn’t remember major details about you. Ros Johnson, LICSW, says there are a few ways therapy clients can tell if their therapist isn’t listening:
Are You Making Progress?
There are countless reasons why a person might decide to try therapy, whether it’s for a mental illness, addiction, relationship troubles, or a big life change. Your therapist should be helping you to address specific areas of your life where you can begin implementing change. According to Linda Esposito, LCSW, says that, “You cannot fix a problem without having a goal.”
As you discuss your issues with your therapist, you should work together to create goals for yourself. If you feel like each session is the same routine, you don’t have a specific goal, and your therapist doesn’t give you something to “work on” in between sessions, you should express this to them. Explain that you’re at a loss for what to do, and that you’d like help with determining a goal for yourself. If nothing changes, find a different provider.
Do You Feel Judged or Invalidated?
One woman recalled her therapist saying that if she lost weight, her depression would likely get better. This occurred after the woman had opened up about her struggles with body dysmorphic disorder. Needless to say, she left the session feeling defeated, upset, and insecure.
Another therapy patient recounts this statement from their therapist: “You seem to be doing fine. I’m not convinced that you really have anxiety.” If your therapist makes a comment that hurts you, you should speak up about it. Notice if other harmful comments are made, or if any of these things occur during your sessions:
Does Your Therapist Break Confidentiality?
There are only three reasons a therapist should break confidentiality: if the patient is a danger to themselves, has a plan to harm others, or if a child is being abused. Other than these, a therapist should never disclose any patient information to others. You should be confident that whatever you tell your therapist will be kept private. Loren Soeiro, Ph.D., writes that if your therapist doesn’t keep your sessions confidential, you can report him or her to the state licensing board for psychology.
Finding a great therapist can be challenging, which is why Oakville Wellness Center allows you to review therapist profiles and find the perfect fit for your needs.
Having relationship tension with your partner is normal after having a child. Sleepless nights, changes in employment, money problems, and several other issues can arise that neither of you would have expected before your baby arrived. A previously happy marriage can seem to take a turn for the worse as you and your spouse disagree over rules for your child, child rearing practices, and other important factors.
Disagreement and frustration is undoubtedly going to occur between you and your partner after having a child, but these difficulties can be overcome. If you fear your marriage has been suffering as you raise children, here’s a few words of advice for common relationship troubles.
Partners to Parents
Some couples may underestimate how much a baby will impact their lifestyle. Couples who enjoy late-night dates or spontaneous trips come to realize that with children, these activities become much rarer. Fun, energetic conversations about dreams, funny stories, or opinions can die out and be replaced by mundane questions about daily life. New parents may also stop doing little things for their spouses that make them smile after having children. It can feel like there’s no romance left in your relationship.
If you feel more like coworkers in raising children than a married couple, try to start bringing romance and spontaneity back in small gestures. Send a quick romantic text to your partner, cook their favorite meal, or simply ask them questions that aren’t about the kids. In order to keep your marriage strong, it’s important to continue making your spouse feel loved and appreciated despite the busyness of life.
Parents can become lonely and overwhelmed if they’re often at home by themselves taking care of the child. One mother says that she “envied her friends’ freedom” during the months she stayed home with her infant son while her husband worked. Even in relationships where both partners continue working after childbirth, women are more likely to cut hours at work in order to spend more time with their baby. After spending a lot of time home, women can start to feel disconnected from coworkers, friends, and family.
To combat the feelings of social isolation, talk to your partner about scheduling time during the week where you can take turns watching the children so the other person can meet up with friends, go shopping, or simply take a walk.
Most men don’t know anything about raising a child or child care until after their partner has a baby. This can be especially frustrating for new mothers, as they feel like they have to supervise their husband to make sure he’s changing or feeding their baby properly. Women may take on the role of the “primary caretaker,” leaving the other partner to feel left out or upset. If this problem continues unresolved, it can lead to power struggles where the husband keeps trying to prove that he knows what to do and he can handle caring for the baby.
The easiest way to combat this problem would be to educate the expecting father about child care before the baby arrives. An expecting father is encouraged to go to prenatal classes and doctor appointments with his wife, and some areas even have “expectant fathers’ classes.” However, if your baby has arrived and your husband seems clueless about caring for a child, he can read up on the basics of child care online.
Raising a baby is expensive, and if one partner needs to take time off work to care for the baby, finances can become even tighter. The spouse who earns money for the family may encounter more stress while being the sole provider, and their partner can feel guilty about staying home. New parents often encounter money problems, but it’s usually the underlying emotions that make these issues worse, such as feelings of shame, stress, or sadness.
One way to combat arguments and negative feelings about money is to find a time to sit down together and go over your budget in detail. Make a list of what the total income is, what essentials your family requires, and look for areas you can cut back spending in.
Of course, there are many more problems parents may encounter as they raise children, and these issues may result in significant stress or depression. Psychology professor Matthew D. Johnson writes that, “The link between psychological and marital problems is strong enough that researchers have found that couples therapy is one of the most effective ways of treating depression and some other mental illnesses.”
If your marriage is struggling or you think you may be suffering from a mental illness such as postpartum depression, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment online at Oakville Wellness Center today.
Divorce can be a difficult, painful process for you and your partner, but it can be even harder to tell your child about the decision. How can you discuss the situation without upsetting your child? What can you do to make sure they know it isn’t their fault? These, along with several other questions, are likely on your mind, so we did our best to address some common worries and provide advice for approaching the conversation with your child.
Preparing for the Discussion
Research has shown that over 75% of divorcing parents talk to their children about the upcoming shift in their lives for a total of only 10 minutes. That’s not nearly enough time for children to process the situation and ask questions about what will happen in their future! Try to gradually inform your child of the details and make sure you let your child know about the divorce at least a few weeks before the separation is to occur.
Therapist Lisa Herrick, Ph.D., suggests that parents may want to tell their children’s teachers the day before they discuss the news with their children. Ask teachers to keep the information private, but to be sensitive to your child’s feelings the following day. Informing your child’s teachers will also help them understand if your child seems “different” or upset.
Psychotherapist and author Vikki Stark says that for some children, sudden news about their parents’ divorce can actually be traumatic. She writes, “Time slows down, the world feels unreal and their bodies go into shock.” It’s crucial for parents to address the topic carefully, but without sugarcoating the reality of the situation.
Steps for Breaking the News
There is no perfect formula for telling your child the news, and it will depend on several different factors. If you and your partner are able to, plan how you’ll approach the topic together. Plan to tell your children about the upcoming changes in their own routines rather than the reasons behind the divorce to avoid further fights or upset. When you’re ready to have the conversation, be sure to complete the following steps:
How to Help Your Child Cope
Some children may be angry or sad, some may pretend everything is OK to avoid making you feel worse, or some might become more isolated. Each person will react differently, and it’s normal to experience a range of different emotions and behaviors. To help your child start to accept the news, here are some things you can do:
Divorce is hard on anyone. For more guidance through the process or any other relationship troubles, visit us at Oakville Wellness Center.
Over the past few decades, technology has grown exponentially. Parents today probably still remember using big, clunky computers and cell phones with actual buttons. These have been replaced by sleek tablets, laptops, and phones that can do much more than just call others. With this rapid growth, researchers still aren’t sure about all the effects screen time has on children, and it’s one of the most pressing concerns that parents have today.
Consequences of Too Much Screen Time
According to the ADA (American Optometric Association), children today are increasingly learning how to use technology before they can even walk or talk. Screen time for young infants can cause damage to their developing eyes, but as children grow older, screen time may cause even more harm such as:
How to Monitor Your Child’s Screen Time
It’s important to be aware of how you monitor and approach the subject of screen time with your child. Try to calmly explain why you want them to spend less time on their phone or laptop instead of just saying, “Because I said so.” Having access to the internet is often essential for children’s school work, and it will just become more important as your child grows older. Help your child establish good habits now so they don’t experience the negative drawbacks that excessive screen time can cause. Here are a few tips to help you monitor how much time your child is spending in front of a screen:
Benefits of Limited Screen Time
Cardiologist Dr. Tara Narula says that technology, when used for appropriate amounts of time, can have several positive effects on children. Narula says, “It can introduce them to ideas, information, current events, even health education that they may not get normally. It can also connect them socially to people who may live far away geographically, like family and friends, and allow them to be involved in school projects and assignments." When your child becomes a teenager, they’ll also utilize technology to apply for jobs, write research papers, look for colleges, and much more.
The key takeaway here is that screen time isn’t always a passive activity. YouTube videos can teach children how to make simple recipes or learn an instrument. Social media can keep your child up-to-date on the latest news from around the globe. There are plenty more sites dedicated to educating people about every subject known to humanity. Encourage your child to access this wealth of knowledge responsibly and to use their knowledge to help others, learn new skills, and pursue their interests.
For more guidance, visit us at Oakville Wellness Center today.
Telling stories is one of the longest lasting traditions of mankind. Even before written words were invented, stories were passed down from generation to generation and have mesmerized children for centuries. Kids today still love hearing stories and being read to, especially from their parents. While tucking your child into bed and reading to them can be a calming night-time routine, research has proven that reading to kids can have several other benefits, too. Read on to learn more about why you should read to your children regularly.
Behavior and Attention
It’s believed that when children are read to, they learn how to empathize with the characters and learn how to describe new feelings. Instead of acting out, children are able to identify their emotions and learn how to handle difficult feelings, such as anger or sadness. Parents who tend not to read to their kids raise the chances that their toddler may have attention difficulties or increased levels of aggression. These issues may persist throughout childhood and could lead to issues with concentrating at school.
One study that focused on children from just a few months old through 5 years old showed that reading to children can help them develop better self-control and decrease hyperactivity. Children need to stay still and quiet so they can enjoy the story, which can be hard for kids to do in other circumstances. Dr. Mendelsohn, one of the leaders of this study, stated that, “The key take-home message to me is that when parents read and play with their children when their children are very young...it has really large impacts on their children’s behavior.”
Interest in Books
Reading to your child, even while they’re just a year old, can encourage “pre-literacy” and help them develop an interest in reading. Toddlers enjoy looking at the pictures, hearing about the heroes of the story, and turning the pages of the books. Toddlers often like to ask questions while being read to, and this should be encouraged! Answering their questions will help them increase their vocabulary while learning more about their world.
Children aged 3-5 usually become motivated to learn how to read if they were read to often during their earlier years. If they enjoyed a certain story their parent had read to them before, they may pick it up on their own and try to read it themselves. For preschoolers, having the intrinsic motivation to read will help them immensely when they enter kindergarten.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) discovered that young children who are read to at home are more likely to be able to write their own names, count to 20, and recognize all the letters of the alphabet before other children. Kids who have been read to often have larger vocabularies and better language skills when they begin going to school, or they may already be reading independently.
As your child grows older and continues to read on their own, their reading comprehension and writing skills are likely to improve as they subconsciously notice sentence structures and other key elements of writing. It’s also shown that children who read more often typically score better in all kinds of subjects, not just English!
Reading a variety of different books to your child can cause them to become fascinated by a certain topic. They may ask questions about a specific place or job or want to read more about the subject. Having the desire for more knowledge at a young age can help invoke a natural curiosity about their world and lead to a love of learning. When a child enters school, they will be more excited and motivated to work than other classmates who aren’t thirsty for knowledge.
Parents should encourage their child’s interests and find books that appeal to them. This also gives parents the opportunity to explain different topics to their kids and answer any questions they may have. Learning about several different aspects of the world helps to foster compassion, imagination, and motivation for young children, and these benefits may all come simply from nightly bedtime stories. One study conducted in 2004 followed a group of 4-5 year old children who were read to by their parents and found that by the time they were 10-11, they were more likely to enjoy reading than other children.
Have Quality Time
The quality of reading is much more important than the quantity of books you read to your child. Try to not rush through books! Instead, take your time showing your child the pictures, explaining different words, or asking questions about the story. Making sure your child is engaged is the most important part of spending quality time with them. To help your child focus, ask questions about the pictures, or ask them how the main character might be feeling. The key is to spark curiosity and imagination, and your child’s interests and motivation will grow from there.
Looking for more parenting help? Visit our blog at Oakville Wellness Center.
Everyone experiences negative thoughts from time to time. Looking on the bright side might seem unrealistic or futile, especially during stressful situations. People can easily slip into negative mindsets and start developing a more pessimistic outlook when they feel discouraged, but this only causes more stress and anxiety. To avoid falling into a negative cycle, the first step is to recognize which thoughts are harmful or untrue.
Automatic Negative Thoughts
Many people have such habitual cycles of negative thoughts that they don’t even question the validity of their thoughts anymore. Automatic negative thoughts (ANTs), also called cognitive distortions, come to a person’s mind instantly and leave them feeling discouraged and defeated. But these thoughts are usually far from the truth!
Before you can start challenging or replacing your negative thoughts, you need to become more aware of your thought processes and be willing to understand that they’re unrealistic. To help you start recognizing the damaging thoughts, here are nine of the most common ANTs people experience:
How to Set ANT Traps and Practice Positivity
Once you recognize your negative thoughts, then you can work towards stopping them and replacing them with positive thoughts. Dr. Daniel G. Amen writes,” If you can catch them at the moment they occur and correct them, you take away the power they have over you.” Dr. Amen and other researchers suggest the following steps to begin changing your thoughts:
Why Positivity Matters
Mark George, M.D., researched the brain activity in women during three different moods: happy, neutral, and sad. He noticed that the deep limbic system became much more active when the women were sad, but it calmed down significantly when they thought positively. The study proved that thoughts create physical reactions throughout your brain and body. Sadness can cause muscle tension, increased sweating, and a faster heart rate, while positive thoughts help relax and calm people.
Positivity combined with eliminating negative self-talk has been shown to have excellent health benefits. Researchers claim that positive thinkers typically have:
If negative thoughts are holding you back from fully enjoying your life, therapy may be a great option for you. View our therapist profiles or schedule an appointment today.
I do not ask a wounded person how he feels,
I myself become the wounded person,
My heart turns livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe.
Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Empathy and sympathy are two words we hear a lot, particularly in the context of one person reacting or relating to the difficult circumstances or challenging situation of another.
What’s the difference, exactly?
Empathy is About Sharing Feelings
In her charming video about the subject, University of Houston researcher Brené Brown says that empathy involves sharing feelings or being able to feel with someone.
Sympathy, though it also involves recognizing another person’s emotions, often leads to a response that tries to minimize the intensity of the other person’s experience, the offer of a solution or way to ‘fix the problem.’
An empathetic reaction recognizes that there isn’t necessarily a response that can make things better. “Connection makes things better,” Brown says.
The Four Qualities of Empathy
Theresa Wiseman, a nursing scholar, describes four qualities of empathy. These include:
Sharing is Caring
What should you say when someone comes to you upset and struggling with overwhelming emotions? Brené Brown suggests that sometimes the best thing to say is, “I don’t know what to say, but I am really glad you told me.” Fostering a sense of caring and acceptance is often more helpful than trying to come up with a solution to a problem.
Walk a Mile in My Shoes
An empathetic reaction is only possible when you are able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, to recognize in yourself the same emotional reaction to a similar experience.
Sympathy Recognizes Emotional Experience
Sympathy, on the other hand, involves a recognition or acknowledgement of the other person’s emotional experience without necessarily also sharing a personal understanding of the experience. Comforting the other person and providing reassurance are kind and thoughtful responses to another person’s emotional pain even when it’s not possible to directly relate through shared experience.
Though a sympathetic response may be much appreciated when someone is suffering, an empathetic response can lead to a deep connection between people who feel they have a special bond as a result of a strong shared emotional experience.
In both empathy and sympathy, kindness and compassion underlie the desire (and ability) to recognize the experiences of others.
Too Much (Or Too Little) Empathy Can be Problematic
For someone who is naturally empathetic and feels the emotional pain of others often and deeply, it’s possible to feel overwhelmed. For natural empaths, it’s important to maintain boundaries and practice self care so as not to take on too much of another’s emotional pain.
The opposite is the case when someone is unable to share the emotional experiences of others. A sociopath is someone who has trouble empathizing with others while a psychopath lacks this ability completely.
Children Can Learn to Be Empathetic
Developing empathetic skills requires practice and that practice can start in early childhood. Teaching our children to talk about their own emotions and to recognize and identify the emotions experienced by others lays the foundation needed to become empathetic adults.
Expressing Sympathy is Also Rooted in Kindness
Given that we all have different life experiences and emotional reactions, it’s impossible to always have a deeply empathetic reaction to everyone else’s intense emotional experiences. When we can’t directly relate an emotional experience of our own to one we encounter in someone else, then expressing sympathy is a way to recognize and validate another person’s emotional pain. Learning to recognize similarities in our own past emotional responses even when the exact circumstances may differ is a way to deepen the empathetic response. By allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and share in another’s pain we are able to form rich and deep connections with others.
For more information on establishing boundaries so you don’t feel overwhelmed in emotionally intense encounters, using empathy to strengthen your primary relationships, or raising empathetic children and teenagers, visit the Oakville Wellness Center.
What does it mean to be “authentic”? The dictionary definition of authenticity is “representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.” But while this short, simple phrase may sum up the notion accurately, actually being authentic can be surprisingly complex.
Letting go of negativity and judgment helps, but also creating and serving others allows you to go outside of yourself. Apply the following practices to release fear, anxiety and guilt, and to introduce positivity, optimism and inspiration:
Tune Into Your Intuitive Abilities
Discussing your feelings with others, asking for advice, and being open to constructive criticism are all very important. However, don’t be afraid to trust your own opinions and intuitions, either. Social upbringing, culture, and a whole lot of other factors causes people to feel doubt and to question everything. Authentic turn to others for guidance -- but they don’t allow themselves to be lead around by the thoughts or desires of others without taking their own aspirations and desires into account.
Darlene Lancer of PsychCentral once wrote, “We can’t control other people’s reaction, so we also must know that we can nurture and sustain ourselves”. Nurturing oneself sounds great doesn’t it? Yes, it’s “easier said than done”; but it just takes discipline and practice, until little by little you develop a strength and confidence in yourself. Try meditating and reflecting inward and ask your authentic self the same questions you’ve asked others; and answer back genuinely and truthfully, and free of judgment; then listen to your intuition and take action.
Find Friends Who Foster Happiness and Success
Think about that old saying, “You are are who you hangout with”. Surround yourself with people who foster bad habits and cynical attitudes and you’ll start to act, think and sound like them. On the flipside, involve yourself with successful and authentic leaders, and you’ll gradually begin to feel motivated, inspired, and yes, authentic. Jessica Stillman of Inc.com wrote that even if “you have an 'I am less than them' feeling,” when interacting with successful figures, “If they are a genuine leaders, they will help you”. Stillman also advises to find friends and colleagues that make you “feel comfortable in your own skin." Think about taking those next steps in walking away from toxic relationships, and into life-changing ones.
Discover Authenticity through Helping Others
In the article, Volunteering--7 Big Reasons Why Serving Others Serves Us, Kathy Gottberg, explains that “a part of our brain lights up when we help others; that part of our brain then doles out feel-good chemicals like dopamine, and possibly serotonin”. You’ve heard about the “runner’s-high,” will this achieves similar feelings and is known as the “helper’s high”. By serving others in need, people typically feel more fulfilled, meaningful, peaceful and closer to their authentic self. By serving the community (whether that’s leading an AA group, writing a self-help book, or working at a soup-kitchen), you’ll experience a deeper connection to others which creates both outward and inward love.
Do I Need Professional Help To Feel Authentic?
Quite simply, you can achieve authenticity and fulfillment all by yourself. However, when you feel down and gloomy or anxious day in and day out, you may want to consider getting psychiatric and/or therapeutic help -- even if it’s just for someone to listen with undivided attention!
Oakville Wellness Center, has several certified therapists with various special focuses and styles. If you do not feel authentic after trying to love yourself and others, then consider contacting one of the therapists at Oakville Wellness Center. Struggling should not happen alone, if you feel isolated or misunderstood, seek out help today. With the right therapy (and sometimes medication) and self-help practices, you’ll feel significantly more at ease and closer to your authentic self.