Stop saying yes when you want to say no

We’ve all been there…that moment when you’re asked to do something you don’t want to do or even have the time to do….you want to say no….but before you know it, the word ‘yes’ has already come out your mouth.

Don’t worry, you really aren’t alone in that. We’ve been thinking about why we find it so important to please everyone, to the point where we feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Pleasing others can be self-serving. But I wonder if the benefits to saying yes are outweighed by the negative impact on our mental health.

By agreeing to do things that you don’t want to could mean that you are a people pleaser, which is not a bad trait, but can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. People pleasers think about other people’s needs, worry about what other people want or think before they think about their own needs, or what they want. 

Learning to say “no” is is about setting boundaries. Every time you say “yes” to someone, you say “no” to yourself and your priorities and needs. It is far worse to say “yes” then to feel your anxiety building up. Forget about pleasing people. It is more important to please yourself so that you can stay calm and relaxed.

Practice saying “no”. Say it aloud so you can hear the words in your own voice. Say phrases with “no” in them, such as, “No, I can’t do that.”

Never say yes on the spot. Instead say “I’ll get back to you” after you’ve checked if you actually can do it. Or how about “Let me think about it and ill speak to you tomorrow”.

You do not need to say “yes” just because you are capable of doing something. You should say “yes” only if you considered your time availability, other commitments and what you may need to give up to complete the job.

Put your self-care above anything else by spending your time on things that make you happy and on decisions that you want, rather than on what others want. If you don’t set boundaries to what or whom you will say no to, your health is at stake. If you neglect yourself, you will not be able to help your family or those that care about you.

You don’t even need to apologies for saying no.

Remember that your self-worth does not depend on how much you do for other people.

Working hard and working smart

“Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they use it up. The real hero is already home…because they figured out a faster way to get things done.”- Jason Friend & David Heinemeier Hansson

Working hard and working smart are two different things.

Working hard involves commitment, involvement and sincerity it also means working honestly. Working smart refers to being creative and looking for other ways to get the work done faster and easier.

 

For example:

Working hard = Doing the job

Working smart = Getting the job done

 

Working hard = Thinking/planning after doing the job

Working smart = Thinking/planning ahead of the job

 

Working hard = Dedication or doing work without intention about result

Working smart = Always having the end result in view

Smart work is not a substitute of hard work they go hand in hand. You have to work hard to achieve things but if you do the wrong things, you can put all that effort in the wrong direction and end up in the wrong place.

For example, studying for six hours over the weekend might help you prepare for your exam the following week however, you could chose to study for an hour everyday over six days. The length of time spent is the same just the former is hard work and the latter is smart work.

The latter option helps in better retention of what is studied.

Also reading everyday for an hour is an easier goal to achieve than six hours in one day. Hence you are more likely to accomplish your goals simply because the psychological barrier is smaller. Finally, achieving smaller goals has a compound effect. Your overall personality will improve with small and steady progress everyday.

So in other words it is about…

…working harder, smarter.

Stranger on the Bridge study: Request for help

This is an opportunity to work with the University of Exeter in their research into how members of the public can help prevent suicide in public places. This work is inspired by Jonny Benjamin’s The Stranger on the Bridge and the University would like to hear from you if you are aged 18 or over, and fall into one of the following groups: 

1.    You have personal experience of attempting or seriously considering taking your own life in a public location and you were prevented from doing so by a stranger.

2.    You have personal experience of trying to prevent someone you didn’t know (a stranger) from taking their own life in a public location.

If you are in doubt about whether your experience fits, please get in touch to talk it through with one of the research team.

For more details see the here on the University of Exeter website, see the Information for Participants (pdf) or email PUBLIS@exeter.ac.uk

Please also share this as widely as you see fit in order to reach others who might be able to take part.

In the News: How to support a depressed partner while maintaining your own mental health

here is no lightning-bolt moment when you realise you are losing your sense of self; just an absence. When you are caring for someone you love, your wants and needs are supplanted by theirs, because what you want, more than anything, is for them to be well. Looking after a partner with mental health problems – in my case, my husband Rob, who had chronic depression – is complicated.

Like many people, Rob and I were not raised in a society that acknowledged, let alone spoke about, depression. The silence and stigma shaped how he dealt with his illness: indeed, he struggled with the very idea of being ill. He told me fairly early on in our relationship that he had depression, but I had no idea what this entailed – the scale, the scope, the fact that a chronic illness like this can recur every year and linger for months.

I didn’t know what questions to ask. And Rob struggled to articulate how bad it was. He wanted to be “normal” so he expended a lot of energy trying to pretend he was OK when he wasn’t. In 2015, Rob took his life. The reasons are complex, but I believe it was a mix of depression and an addiction to the opiates he used to self-medicate.

Although I am painfully aware of how Rob’s battle ended, I am often asked about how I dealt with it when he was alive. Hindsight is always bittersweet, but I did learn a lot – especially about taking care of my own mental health.

Look after yourself

Feeling that you have to handle everything is natural, but you have to look after yourself or you won’t be any use to your partner. “That pressure to keep it all going can feel too much,” says Dr Monica Cain, counselling psychologist at Nightingale hospital in London. She advises “taking that pressure seriously. It’s something that is very difficult to manage even at the best of times.”

Remember that depression isn’t just a mental illness

It used to drive me mad that Rob wouldn’t get out of bed. It took a while to realise that he “couldn’t” rather than “wouldn’t”. I was so sure he would feel better if he came out for a walk or met his friends, but depression is a physical illness, too. As Dr Cain says: “Physically, depression impacts energy levels. People sometimes feel very tired and want to stay in bed all the time.”

Don’t stop doing the things you love

When your partner can’t get out of bed or come to social engagements with you, there can be anger and frustration. Jayne Hardy, founder of the Blurt Foundation, which helps those affected by depression, says the “feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and unworthiness” depressed people may have mean they often “place loved ones on a pedestal”. She says their skewed perspective means they can “struggle to see what they have to offer you”.

On more than one occasion, Rob said to me: “I feel like I’m ruining your life.” I stopped doing the things I loved and, because I stayed at home with him, it made him feel guilty that I was missing out.

Take charge of admin and finance

People with depression find even mundane tasks, such as opening the post or going to the shops, impossible. Often, they keep their finances hidden, says Dr Cain. “It can feel quite shameful for them to say: ‘I’m finding it difficult to stay on top of it.’” This can be stressful for their partners. As Dr Antonis Kousoulis, a clinician and an assistant director at the Mental Health Foundation, says: “Being the main source of support for a partner with depression can add a lot of pressure.” But it is still better than not knowing what’s happening with your partner’s finances or admin. So, to maintain your own mental health and avoid unnecessary stress, it may be easier to have an agreement with your partner that, when they are ill, you will be in the admin driving seat. And when they feel able, they will sort it out.

Talk to your friends and family

You may fear that friends and family won’t understand. But trying to maintain appearances while supporting your partner is exhausting. “Opening up conversations to friends and families, and getting them involved usually makes a big difference in tackling the stigma and building a circle of support,” says Dr Kousoulis. Hardy adds: “All the advice we would give to someone who is unwell with depression also applies to loved ones who support us: make sure you are supported, reach out for help in understanding more about the illness, keep the channels of communication open; don’t be afraid to ask questions, and prioritise self-care.”

Don’t take it personally

There is the person you fell in love with, who makes you laugh until it hurts – and then there are the bad days, when you are dealing with a stranger who won’t let you in. “Depression can magnify or alter emotions,” says Dr Kousoulis. “A person can have emotional highs and lows in equal degrees, so it is important not to take changes personally.”

This can be easier said than done. I found my own coping mechanisms – therapy, exercise and lowering my expectations of what I needed and wanted from Rob when he was feeling bad. I knew that somewhere inside this person was my husband, so from time to time, I’d leave him postcards telling him how much I loved him. He didn’t react in an effusive way but I know it got through because he kept every one in a memory box.

Above all, hold on to your love. “You won’t always feel as though you are making any progress,” says Hardy. “You, too, may feel helpless at times. But your patience, kindness and understanding make such a difference.”

You can read the full article at this link: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/10/how-to-support-a-depressed-partner-while-maintaining-your-own-mental-health?CMP=fb_gu

Ideal for psychology graduate/undergraduate

#1. Service provision mapping.

As a mental health service in the third sector it is vital our work:

  • Responds to need
  • Doesn’t duplicate other service 

In order to do this in the changing face of services it is vital for us to establish where other services specifications start and stop, and where best we respond to gaps in provision to meet the needs of those experiencing mental distress, self harm and suicide. 

The research intern will identify all relevant statutory services and establish their service specifications (through request or FOI) drawing a visual representation of coverage for both adults and young people in each locality area to demonstrate Harmless’ service fit and business case. 

Applicants can apply by emailing caroline@harmless.org.uk

 

#2. The research intern will work to establish the business case for Harmless and The Tomorrow Projects service. 

As such they will:

A) look at the usage of service (who, what, how) to establish who we are helping and of these, who are eligible or ineligible for other services. 

B) what impact we are having on their outcomes in the short term and longer term, undertaking analysis of in-service and follow data.

The intern will produce a report to document the client journey, the impact received from receipt of service and their changed outcomes because of this. The intern may also use narrative of the clients to tell this story. 

All data collected to evidence this journey has ethical clearance from Nottingham University. 

Ideal for psychology graduate/undergraduate 

Applicants can apply by emailing caroline@harmless.org.uk

Share a smile #startanepidemic

Came across this poem last night and thought I would share it with you all…

Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!

In celebration of this poem we thought we would raise a little money to create a few more smiles


Donate £1-5 to create some more smiles and saves lives.  Once you’ve donated take a photo and share your smile with us today on social media with the #startanepidemic 

@letstalknlearn @harmlessUK @lifevsuicide

Click on the link to access our local giving page click here


Have you heard of mindfulness?


Mindfulness meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, little by little, to let go of struggling with them. You come to realise that thoughts come and go of their own accord; that you are not your thoughts. You can watch as they appear in your mind, seemingly from thin air, and watch again as they disappear, like a soap bubble bursting. You come to the profound understanding that thoughts and feelings (including negative ones) are transient. They come and they go, and ultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them or not.

 

Benefits of mindfulness

Stress less

Research suggests that in-person Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs may help manage stress. In fact, a systematic review of 17 MBSR studies found the program to be effective in reducing psychological and physiological symptoms of stress.

Sleep better

A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials for insomnia found that eight weeks of in-person meditation training significantly improved total waking time and sleep quality in patients with insomnia.

Happier, healthier relationships

A study evaluating the benefits of an in-person mindfulness-based relationship enhancement program suggests that mindfulness enhances couples’ levels of relationship satisfaction, autonomy, closeness and acceptance of each other, while reducing relationship distress. In fact, three months after participating in the study, couples were still experiencing these improvements.

Manage anxiety

Anxiety currently affects about one in fourteen people worldwide. That’s 7.3% of the total world population. A systematic review of in-person meditation training found that 69% of the studies analyzed showed meditation practice alleviated symptoms of anxiety.

Sharpen concentration

Findings suggest that meditating for just four days is enough to improve novice meditators’ working memory, executive functions and their ability to process visual information.

Have you heard of Headspace app? It’s an app that’s built for guided mindfulness meditation.

Headspace has one mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world.

You can try Headspace for yourself and learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness with the free Basics pack. If you enjoy it, you have the option to subscribe. Once you do, you’ll have bite-sized minis for when you’re short on time, singles to add some extra mindfulness to your day, and hundreds of meditations for everything from stress to sleep.

The techniques used within the Headspace app have been refined and developed over many centuries. Their aim is to cultivate awareness and compassion so we can better understand both the mind and the world around us.

Research onto the effectiveness of the app:

https://www.headspace.com/science/meditation-research

Get your tickets to our 10th Anniversary Celebration Event on 7th October 2017!

 

Join us on Saturday 7th October to celebrate 10 years of Harmless!

Thank you to those who have already purchased their tickets to the event!

To mark the 10th anniversary of Harmless and a successful 5th year of the Tomorrow Project, we’ll be holding our annual celebration event on Saturday 7th October 2017 at Ruddington Grange Golf Club.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS 

The Venue:

Ruddington Grange Golf Club, Wilford Road, Ruddington, NG11 6NB

 

The Date:

Saturday 7th October 2017

 

The Time(s):

6:30pm arrival for a 7:00pm start

 

The Cost:

£40.00 per head

 

The Event:

Three course meal with raffle, silent auction, games and live music from the Monroe Acoustic Duo and the Monroe Band featuring Polly Yates.

 

Click here to watch a video of the Monroe Band

 

Dress Code:

Smart

 

The purpose:

To raise enough money to save more lives.

 

If you would like more information on the event, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0115 934 8445 or you can send an email to admin@harmless.org.uk