BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE

LOW SELF-CONFIDENCE IS PERPETUATED BY
– staying within a narrow comfort zone
– sacrificing your interests in the hope of gaining approval and security

OVERCOMING SOCIAL ANXIETY
– challenge your negative thoughts
– take action to overcome avoidance
– practice self-compassion

OVERCOMING INDECISIVENESS
– work backwards from what you know you don’t want
– brainstorm all possible options and make a list of pros and cons
– choose the best possible option (even if there is no obvious right decision)
– leave room for course corrections and have a back-up plan

OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION
– start even if you are not in the right mood or do not have all the materials
– build momentum by starting on the edges or with the easier parts
– focus on one step at a time rather than thinking about the end result
– learn to procrastinate productively by using breaks to perform other tasks

CHANGING HABITS
– try to understand the cues and rewards that drive the habit
– use trial and error to find a new routine that can give similar rewards
– start simple and change only one habit at a time
– practice the new routine consistently for the first 30 days

CHANGING JOBS
– try to be clear with yourself about why you want to leave your current job
– look at whether the problems with your current job are fixable
– list what you want from a new job in concrete terms
– spend time doing research and consider all options
– assess your financial options and supports
– consider vocational assessment or further education
– test your readiness by doing preliminary job interviews
– consider a trial run before committing yourself to a new position
– beware of recruiters who pressure you to close the deal
– organize a plan with a time-line and work backwards by setting deadlines for each step
– leave your old job on good terms
– see here for information on dealing with problems in the workplace

SEE ALSO
– Confidence
– The Impostor Syndrome
– Status Anxiety
– Procrastination
– The Perfectionist Trap
– Misemployment
– How to Find Fulfilling Work
– What is ‘Success’?

 

UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION

WANTING VS LIKING
– wanting (craving) and liking (satisfaction) are separate aspects of pleasure
– in addictions and compulsive behaviours, craving takes on a life of its own

WANTING
– wanting/craving is a powerful motivational circuit originating in the lower parts of the brain
– the core feeling is hopeful anticipation and excited searching
– craving is activated by brain dopamine and stimulant drugs

LIKING
– liking/satisfaction is fickle and tends to habituate
– the core feeling is physical comfort and social belonging
– activated by brain endorphins and opiate drugs

ADDICTIONS AND COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOURS
– tolerance develops with all drugs and leads to decreased satisfaction
– the wanting/craving system become over-sensitized and easily triggered
– cycles of withdrawal and shame create a vicious cycle
– excessive focus on using leads to narrowing of other interests

DEALING WITH CRAVINGS
– change your environment (people, places, things) to reduce exposure
– identify emotional triggers. including boredom and loneliness
– be aware of your efforts to rationalize or bargain with yourself
– re-learn simple satisfactions rather than pursuing shiny new objects
– learn relapse prevention techniques here

SEE ALSO
Why Disappointment Is So Devastating: Dopamine, Addiction, and the Hedonic Treadmill
The Science of Craving
Addiction and the Opponent Process Theory

 

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

ARTICLES
Getting Started with Mindfulness
How to Practice Mindfulness
Benefits of Mindfulness
What Meditation Can Do for Us, and What It Can’t

GUIDED MEDITATION AND RELAXATION
– Breathing for Anxiety
– Guided Meditations
– Deep Breathing & Guided Relaxation Exercises
– Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique

BOOKS
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook
Wherever You Go, There You Are
Calming Your Anxious Mind
The Mindful Way Through Depression
– Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
– The Happiness Trap

TORONTO CLINICS/TEACHING CENTRES
– The Centre for Mindfulness Studies
– Meditation for Health
– The Mindfulness Clinic