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Why Do People Gaslight

Do you know what gaslighting is? For those of you who don’t know what gaslighting is, it’s when someone uses manipulation by psychological means into making another person doubt their own sanity.  They cast doubt on what you are thinking and doing so that you think you are losing your mind, when all along it is a manipulation technique used by the other person so they can feel better about themselves – crazy right! And yet this is something that I find quite common in the people that visit my office.

Unfortunately it seems that there are a lot of people who have someone in their life who gaslights them. Gaslighting can go easily ignored or if you’re an empath or thick skinned enough because you will be finding lots of reasons why the other person is behaving so badly i.e. maybe he had a hard day at work, maybe he just drank a bit too much etc etc. Yet all the whilst the gaslighting just gets worse. If the person gaslighting is manipulative enough, it can be very damaging to your mental health. This is why I wanted to talk about gaslighting and what you should do if you find yourself as the victim.

First and foremost, no one should ever gaslight you. If you find your friend is doing this then I’m sorry to say they are definitely not your friend. If your significant other is doing the same thing then that should be a big red flag to get out of that relationship as fast as possible because it can turn toxic very quickly. One of the most important things to remember about gaslighting is not to take it personally. Now I realise this is easier said than done, but if you understand where gaslighting comes from – in other words this is about them not you – then maybe this will become a little easier.

Almost always, people gaslight because they have a low self worth. They think so little of themselves that the only way they can feel better is when they have that feeling of power over another person. They want to cast doubt on you so that you become just as miserable and doubtful as they are. Hopefully this can help you understand it a little better and realise that when they are gaslighting you, it is almost always out of their insecurity and a mental sickness. Don’t let them get to you, the best thing you can do is pick your head up, maintain that confidence and get out of that relationship quickly.

Gaslighting is dangerous when someone is doing it for control purposes, especially if it is a significant other in your life. Some people will do it purely to manipulate you and use that moment of doubt to control you. This is a very common tactic in abusive relationships and if you think it is happening to you, please get out fast! No one should ever try to manipulate you or make you feel bad, or confused for their own self gain. You deserve to be happy, healthy and confident, so make sure you surround yourself with healthy people and don’t be afraid to let go of people who completely confuses you – life is too short for that x  


The Importance of Recharging Your Batteries

This is something that may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people forget to do it. Taking a minute to recharge and break away from work is just as important as working hard at your job. One phrase I like a lot is, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’, this meaning if you work yourself to exhaustion, it will only hurt you in the long run. Everyone deserves a break, especially if your working excessive hours some well deserved ‘me’ time is vital for your productivity. Nothing good comes from burning out so remember to take a little time and do something special for yourself.     

I’m constantly working with people who feel as though they are overworked and the main thing I hear is that they don’t take enough time for themselves. This is something that I used to struggle with too. When I get swamped with work I too can feel exhausted and so I schedule time for myself, even if it is just a few moments at the end of the day to give back to myself.

When people I talk to hear me say they need to take time to recharge they start thinking of a week long holiday and how they can never find the time to do that. Though taking a holiday is necessary sometimes (and who wouldn’t like a week long trip to a sunny beach!), recharging your batteries can be as simple as putting the email down for the night, or leaving an hour early at work to take yourself to a movie.  All it takes is to put work away for a few hours and make sure the time is spent doing something you really love. It doesn’t have to be something spectacular, it just has to be something you enjoy and does not cause you stress.

Taking the time to recharge is important, not only for your productivity but for your mental health as well. You need to take time out of your day to make sure your mental health is on track and do things that you love. If you do this then your happiness and productivity will be much better off.   


Letting Money Be Your Validation

People are always looking for validation, but unfortunately lots of people are looking in the wrong place. I have met a lot of people who think they can gain validation through material items, or by how much money they have in the bank, this couldn’t be further from the truth. People get this idea because they see the rich and famous people plastered all over social media and hold the untrue belief that their material success is them being ‘valid’. Except, validation only comes from within so trying to fill that hole with something material is just not going to work.

It’s quite common for me to speak to clients who feel as though they have a low self worth. People struggle with validation and trying to find their place in society but more often than not they end up looking for it in money. People attach a lot of meaning to money and it can have an impact on your social status, people see it as a marker of who you are. This is a really bad way of thinking about validation. Just because someone has money, it doesn’t mean they are kind, warm, open hearted, honest etc. It just means they have money!

In order to get a sense of self worth and validation you need to look within. There is no external factor that can help you achieve these things. This is an issue that a lot of people can’t seem to grasp.  They will go to the ends of the earth looking for something to validate them but all along the answer was within themselves. Finding peace and purpose needs to come from your own self validation. You can have all the money in the world but it still is not going to change how you think. You need to put yourself in that positive mindset in order to bring a sense of worth to yourself.

Don’t let anyone tell you differently, the only place you need to look for validation is inward. This is where the greatest sense of validation is going to come from. Any feeling of self worth that comes from money and possessions is only a shadow of the feeling you will get from finding it within. Have confidence and love yourself, that is the greatest give that you can give to boost your self worth and self validation. If you do this then I can guarantee it will improve the way you feel. You are great and deserve to feel validated in your being, don’t let anyone tell you differently.          


How do you define success?

Being ‘successful’ is one of the most important things people aspire to. Except if you ask what it means to be successful to ten different people you will get ten different answers. A lot of people think success is having money in the bank and a Lamborghini in the parking space out front. I  have a lot of clients who talk to me and say that is what they envision success to be, without thinking about what success would mean for them. It’s too often that people forget that happiness comes from within, not from the things you have on the outside.

People often define their success by how they compare themselves to others, who has a bigger house, who has a nicer car, who has the designer clothes and the list can go on. Especially with the rise of social media in the past decade this phenomenon of excessive comparison seems to be a trend that is not going away any time soon.

The difficulty with this ‘comparison success’ is it digs away at the unique individuality each and every one of us have. We are all our own person and that means that success is going to be different for everyone. Trying to copy and paste someone else’s success into your life is not going to bring you happiness. I have spoken to some very wealthy people and one of the most common things they say is money doesn’t buy happiness. You should not attach material items to your success or happiness because those things come from within.

You need to define success on your own terms. The advice that I like to give people is if you can look at yourself in the mirror and say you’re genuinely happy and have an inner peace, that is success. It really doesn’t matter how much money you earn, what matters is that you are happy and the people that you love are happy. That can mean being a multi-millionaire or just providing a happy healthy life for you loved ones, no matter the size of your goals, just reaching them is an accomplishment in its own.

Success is different for everyone, but most importantly, it’s what makes YOU happy. Being able to wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror with acceptance and an inner peace is really what success should be. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and focus on what is going to make us happy. Dedicating time to your self improvement and reaching your goals, no matter how big or small is successful!  So how about we stop looking to others to define ourselves and start looking to create our own success. Write a list today of 5 things that you believe make you successful which have nothing to do with anything outside of yourself.

If you want to find out more about how I can help you live a happier and healthier life then book a FREE consultation with me today!


The Importance Of Investing In Yourself

One of the most important things you can do for your mental wellbeing is to invest in your most important asset, YOU. It’s vital that you take the time and make the decisions that are going to be best for your mental health. In today’s world things can get quite stressful; many of us are overworked and constantly staring at our phones and computers. Many people are not taking the time so set these things aside for a moment to regroup and focus on themselves.

Finding the Time     

One of the most common things I hear from people is that they struggle to find the time to dedicate to themselves. It’s not about finding the time, it’s about making the time for yourself. One of the key pieces of advice I can give to people is: create boundaries.

Smartphones and social media has become an unavoidable part of our lives that can cause a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. I’m not saying that all social media is bad and you should go and delete your Instagram and Facebook accounts; but it’s important that you set boundaries for yourself and take a break every once in a while. One of the best ways you can set some time aside for yourself is not to look at your phone right at the beginning of the day. Take time when you wake up and enjoy getting ready, eat nice breakfast (slowly!) and relax with a cup of coffee before you start your day; you will be amazed how much healthier your outlook will be when you start your day off on the right foot. Even 5 mins is better than 0 mins!

Good Friends with Good Attitudes

Everyone wants to be part of a group and one of the most important things for mental health is having a good group of people to socialise with. Problems occur when the people you surround yourself with are not adding towards you becoming a better person.

We learn a lot from others and we fall into similar habits as the people we surround ourselves with. This is why it’s so important for us to keep those who are good to us close. In order to be the best you, you need to be around people who have a positive energy and love you for who you are. Constantly being around people who don’t really care and are friends with you out of convenience is not going to put you on the right path to a more positive life.

Finding Joy

Even when you’re feeling buried in a dark place, I guarantee light will find a way. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. No-one has a perfect life or a perfect day every day. But everyone has some form of joy – all we need to do is look for it. There is always a silver lining, even in the dark times. Even in the times when things feel tough, there will be moments – whether its a loving conversation with a friend, or a stranger being kind to you, that will come into your life. It’s important to recognise these moments and say to yourself: ‘not everything is bad and I can and will come out on the other side of this’. Appreciating the little things is what brings joy. Every day you’re alive is a blessing and should be thought of as nothing less.

Taking the time to invest in yourself and appreciate the small victories is going to go a long way to turning a negative outlook around. It’s important to remember that the most valuable person in your life is always going to be yourself. Mindset is everything. It’s mindset that helps you find the joy even in the darkest of times.


How To Deal With Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is a problem that lots of people face. The most important thing that I remind people who come to me with an emotional eating issue, is that you are not alone. I have helped thousands of men and women with emotional eating and body image issues and I want to assure you that not only is this a common issue that affects people from all walks of life, but it’s totally possible to change it.

Don’t use a diet   

When most people try to fix their eating problem, they immediately gravitate towards a strict diet and restriction to curb the amount of food they eat. So many people have the mentality that a diet is impossible to stick to but still try to do it anyway meanwhilst constantly resetting day after day as they fail to meet their targets.

But ‘diets’ are not a good idea for anyone let alone people who are emotional eaters. Diets create the binge/restrict cycle and this is the opposite outcome of what you are going on a diet to do.

With this being said, a different strategy needs to be taken into account when you’re trying to change your eating habits. The way I have helped lots of people with their emotional eating problems may seem counterintuitive, but trust me it works!       

Eat More Not Less

What I tell people to do in order to start to change emotional eating is to, at first, start to allow all foods.  Now I can hear the gasps through the computer screen, ‘are you crazy Jacqueline? I’m going to gain so much weight!’ The short answer to this is that if you are focussed purely on weight being your only drive to learn how to have peace around food you will never get to where you want to be.  Trying to let go of weight obsession by purely focussing on your weight will never get you there !

This work is of course a process and everyone has a different journey but the important thing to remember is we are here to fix the mental side of the problem first. Once the mindset is changed, the physical side become secondary.

As a tip, for example, if pizza is the food of choice that you go to when you’re feeling down and/or stressed, the first thing I would tell you to do is to eat more of it; eat pizza for every meal.  For like a whole 7 days.. By the seventh day of eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I guarantee you pizza is going to become something that holds no power over you anymore. This is one baby step towards how we retrain your brain to find peace with food.  There are of course many more steps but every journey starts with with the first step.

Now some people may not be expecting something like this to overcome emotional eating, but after years of working with hundreds of people who I have helped overcome their emotional eating problems I can tell you that this works!  

Come and have a chat with me so I can help you to stop looking at food as the enemy or something you battle with, and instead find real food peace.

Click here to book your free consultation.



Dealing With Depression When You Have It All

What people post on social media doesn’t always translate into who and what they are like in real life. What people forget sometimes is that social media only shows the best moments of someone’s life, the experiences and moments they want to share with others, most of the times skating around the realities and struggles of their day to day life.

Having it all    

I have a lot of people coming to me asking ‘why do I feel so miserable when on the surface my life seems so good?’. You can have what seems to be the perfect life, great clothes, plenty of handbags and a large house and still feel awful about where your life is going. These thoughts are common and something that you shouldn’t fear, in fact if you recognise that you are feeling this way you are already one step closer to getting on the path to happiness.

The Dalai Lama has a great line stating, “Happiness is not something ready-made, it comes from your own actions.” This is the crux of the point I’m trying to make, it doesn’t matter how nice your life can look online, or how many pairs of shoes you have in your closet, happiness isn’t something you can go out and buy or wrap yourself up in; these things may bring you temporary fulfilment but I guarantee you it will soon fade. Happiness is something that you have to train your brain into choosing straight off, it is  something you must strive for as your best result and learn how to find it effortlessly via your mind.

Guilt

One of the most common aspects of people coming to me with their problems when they claim to ‘have it all’ is that they feel guilty for feeling sad; as if their sadness is less important compared to other people who are worse off than them. Now there is an element of truth to this, you could be out in some field digging ditches for a living so let’s take a moment and be thankful that your not; but one thing that you shouldn’t do is tell yourself that your feelings don’t matter, because no matter what your background or means, happiness is something available for everyone.

What I want people to know is that they shouldn’t feel bad about feeling bad, you’re just making yourself feel worse for no reason. You need to recognise these feelings and understand that having it all comes from you and not your possessions. It’s ok to feel sad or even depressed, what’s not ok is to sit there and do nothing about it. Only you hold the keys that can set you on the path to a happier life.  

The message I hope that gets through to the people who pass through my office is that you should try to avoid getting wrapped up in the material aspects of life. Now I don’t mean you should sell everything you own, shave your head and move into the nearest Buddhist temple, but it is healthy to take a step back every now and then. If you’re someone with good friends, a loving family and can find the value in themselves you are a winner and already have so much going for you. It’s ok to feel upset and depressed, just not for too long because you often have a choice. You  also need to see the good things you already have in your life and finding strategies that can change your thinking and put you on the path to a happier mental attitude.



What to do when you can’t fix something

This week I’m talking about the journey of trying to fix something in your life even when you feel that it’s not possible.

Often when people come to me about problems they have, they want a quick solution to get rid of the negativity in their lives. Every time I have to remind them that the only person who has the power to get themselves out of this funk, is themselves – via their mindset. You are the only one who can truly make the decision to think and act more positively and I think that is an empowering statement that everyone should understand and remember. You have to fix your brain and train yourself to be a more positive thinker, when you can’t control the situation you’re in at least you can control how you think about it. This is the key point that I try to teach people with my life coaching sessions by showing them how.

Day by Day      

One of the best ways to tackle a problem is to break it down. It can seem overwhelming when you look at an issue in your life and keep bringing it back to the same big picture. The suggestion that I make to the people who choose to come and see me is to simply take it day by day. A mantra that I like to use is, ‘just for today’. When you break the problem down into bite sized pieces it ends up taking a lot of the fear out of the situation and can allow you to positively focus on solutions to the predicament you are in.   

Open for Learning

The stress and anxiety you feel when there is a problem you can’t fix can either make or break you. But it’s just as important to remember that even if think it is breaking you at first, it is always something that can make you in the end. The sun will always rise tomorrow, so you will always have a new opportunity to face the challenges that lie ahead of you. There will always be something amazing to learn from your experience, good or bad. The key to achieving happiness and getting on the road to solving your problem is learning from every experience you have. Even if you believe you are in a situation that you think is going to break you, there are things you can learn from it to see how actually, it could be the making of you.

It’s always best to be open and honest about your problems, and like I said before, taking it day by day is going to be the best thing for your mental health. Re-energising your thought process and learning the skills to shift to a more positive vantage, is key to not only achieving happiness but facing life and everything that lies ahead on the road of life.         

For more inspirational posts from Jacqueline, just click here.


How To Find Perfection In A Dark Place

In this week’s blog post I am exploring how to find perfection in any dark place that you experience in your life.

First and foremost, finding yourself in a dark place or rattled with negative thoughts is a completely normal thing. I don’t think I have ever met someone who has just set cruise control on life and not hit a bump along the way. These types of things happen to everyone and the big questions to answer are always the same.  

Do you have the skills to take this negative experience and make something positive out of it? Can you make it a learning experience to grow from so that on the other side you can be a stronger, healthier version of you?

You’re not alone

One of the most common statements I get when sitting down and talking to people is that when they are going through dark times they feel as though they are all alone in their feelings. Each and every time I have to reassure people that this couldn’t be further from the truth; you are absolutely not the only one caught in a dark place. I find that reminding people of this fact, and helping them understand that the good times as well as the bad times are just an unavoidable part of life, brings a certain sense of solace to the people I speak with.

Once people feel and understand that they are not alone I can then help them to start the process of regaining control by giving them the skills they need to climb out of the dark place and go forward with a more positive attitude. Every individual holds the keys to their own mind and there are endless ways to make yourself feel better in the moment. Ultimately this is why I love being a life coach, helping people to see the potential in themselves and giving them the tools to help them realise that they are in control, and that happiness is something that can be achieved.

Seizing opportunity   

When people come to me with problems or negative feelings, one of the things I often tell them is that even if you can’t control the situation you’re in, you can control the way you think about it.

Being able to feel better in the moment and take control of your thoughts is the most useful thing you can do when trying to find happiness.

People also tend not to recognise the opportunities of being in a dark place and this is one of the key ways I try to help people who come to see me. I’m a big believer in contrast; if you don’t know what you don’t like, then how can you know what you do like? It’s important to remind people that being in a bad place is not a bad thing, it’s only bad if you ‘think’ it’s bad and don’t do anything about it.

The dark times are part of our life journey and everyone will go over some speed bumps along the way, believe me I can speak from my own personal experiences.

The most important two points to remember are: you’re not alone and only you hold the keys for your own success. Finally, you’re stronger than you think and believe. Don’t let the bad times dictate how you go through life, seize the opportunities they offer and grow from all of your experiences, good and bad.         


How To Actually “Let Go”

How many times have you heard someone ‘just let go’. I have, many times (!) but what I know for sure is sometimes it feels easy to say and hard to do.
Sometimes we struggle with feeling that we just can’t ‘let go’ in life.
That everything, in some way has to be under control.
We put so much energy into trying to control our bodies, our relationships, our money, our future, our business, our families, our kids etc., that it becomes harder and harder to relax and simply enjoy the moment.
So how do we actually let go?
First of all it is important to understand that letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
If you are struggling with control (and may I remind you control is after all an illusion) then here are a few tips to help you ‘let go’ a little…
Beauty cannot be defined.  Beauty is a reflection of what we deem valuable.  Try not to value your worth on the size of your body.  In this society we are brainwashed into believing that beauty is only one size. Challenge that definition. Define your own beauty. Get confident in your uniqueness.
Perfection cannot be obtained (and it’s boring anyway). Trying to be perfect ultimately ends up in emotional pain. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation which is impossible to meet and we usually then end up berating ourselves. Challenge your thinking.  You are already imperfectly perfect and that is more than good enough.
Other people will judge. Doing our best and accepting that people will form opinions and judge is far more empowering than stressing about what everyone else thinks. Let them judge, who cares anyway?
Sometimes there is no right or wrong. There isn’t always a right decision or a right answer. It’s just about what feels right and whether we have the courage to honor it. Be brave and always trust your gut instinct.
It’s all going down as it should. Despite all our planning, plotting, worrying, dreading, freaking out, stressing about what will be, it will always work out how it is meant to work out. Trust the universe. Its always working in your favour. Always.
Take responsibility for your life. Stop blaming anyone else for where you are in your life or how you feel. Grow into emotional adulthood. Be brave. Look inwards and check your thoughts.  Ultimately the only one who has real responsibility for you, is you.
We can’t change other people.  No matter how much we wish someone would act differently, it has to be his or her choice. Trying to make other people change is a total waste of your own energy. We cannot change how other people think or act or behave. The only thing we can change, is ourselves.
We are worthy, just as we are. Yes re-read this again and again.  You are enough. Right here, as you read this. You. Are. Enough.
Forgive yourself.  If we want to be happy, we need to cut ourselves some slack and believe we’re doing the best we can with what we have at the time. Being kind to yourself is taking the fast track to helping yourself to let go. Be nice. Re-read the point above. Your worth it.
We always have a choice.  We always, always, always have a choice as to how we think, feel, act and behave. Growing into emotional adulthood means there may have been lessons to learn from our past and we can make different choices going forward. Lessons are growth. Choices are yours.
We are never really alone. It might feel like it, but there is always someone to offer love, kindness, and support. We just need to be willing to reach out and ask for what we need. Letting go may mean that you need to get vulnerable but that could be just what you need. Ask for love and you will be amazed at how many places you can find it.
Everything is cyclical. For every pain, there will be pleasure. Nothing stays the same. Everything transforms eventually.
What’s the worst that could happen?  If you are holding on too tight and finding it tricky to let go in a specific situation, ask yourself this question. You may find opportunity in that “horrible” thing.  You may find ‘”growth” in the thing and you may even, find yourself.  At the very least you will work out that you will be okay—still here, still strong, still breathing. You are more powerful than you give yourself credit to be. Let it go.
We may not get everything we think we want. Despite all our best-laid plans, things won’t always turn out as we hoped they would.  There is always a bigger picture. We will though, get what we need. It may also be the best bit of luck you ever had by not getting what you thought you wanted. Seriously.
What we do matters. It might not seem like it when our efforts and outcomes seem small, but we create tiny miracles every day by doing what we do and being who we are. We all make a difference in our own ways. What you do matters. You are more loved than you think you are.
Sent with love,
Jacqueline