Empowering journaling prompts and exercises to boost confidence and self esteem.

What not to say to someone who self-injures.
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How to REALLY Help Someone Who Struggles with Self-Harm

Recently, I’ve had a lot of people (therapists, counselors, support group facilitators, parents, etc.) ask me about how to help someone who self-harms.

So, here are some things you should know.

  • Most cutters are highly intelligent and extremely sensitive.
  • Many don’t do it in an effort to end their life, but rather, to end their pain.
  • There are, unfortunately, people and websites that are pro self-harm (this is NOT one of those websites and I am NOT one of those people).
  • Self-mutilation is an addiction, and should be treated as such.

And here are some materials to use. Starting with, the top 5 things to never say to someone who self-injures:

What not to say to someone who self-injures.

Next, 5 things you should say instead:

What to say to someone who self-injures.

Take time to know and understand what the person who is cutting is going through.

And listen.

See this person as whole and send your love and compassion. I promise, he or she will be able to feel it.

If you are the one who is self-mutilating, I made this for you to print out (therapists and support group facilitators you can print these out to use in your sessions):

Self-harm worksheet

It’s okay to ask for help. In fact, please do so. Don’t keep it to yourself. I know you feel like no one understands you, but they never will if you’re not willing to let them. Believe it or not, the people around you are just as scared as you are.

Here’s mine as an example:

Tell me you love me.

Here’s another one for you to print out and use:

Things to do instead of cutting

It’s important to know what to do when you feel the urge to cut. When you’re in that state you’re not always rational so having something physical to have on you or in a place where you can see it will remind you that you have other options available.

Here’s mine (feel free to steal some ideas from it):

My list of things to do instead of cutting.

That’s it for now. I hope this is useful!

As always I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Your story matters
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Your Story Matters (Affirmation)

Your story matters. It’s true.

And more importantly, it deserves to be told.

Don’t deny any part of your past.

It has made you who you are.

And you are wonderful just as you are.

Your story matters

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3 Journaling Prompts to Encourage Self-Discovery

Self-discovery is one of the main goals of journaling. When I first began writing it was because I felt lost and had no idea who I was or who I wanted to be. It helped me connect back to the part of me that was greater, wiser and more confident than my thoughts and circumstances.

There is one constant in your life.

It’s you.

Other people will come and go, but you remain.

Which is why taking time to truly know yourself is one of the best things you can do. When you know how you operate, you’re less affected by what’s going on outside of you. You become more of a deliberate creator and conscious choice-maker.

Some people say journaling and other forms of self-care are selfish. I disagree. When we take care of ourselves and take time to know what makes us smile, laugh and cry we have more to give.

Which reminds me of this quote:

“The greatest gift you can ever give another person is your own happiness”
― Esther Hicks

So, do yourself a solid (you deserve it!) and take 30 minutes to journal today. Here are a few prompts to get you started.

Journal Time!

Write down and answer the following questions:

What makes me laugh?

What opens my heart?

What makes me want to be alive?

What did you learn about yourself today? How will you use this information to help others? Please leave your comments below!

Affirmations for teenagers
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Teen Truth: Donte’s Story

This post first appeared on TEEN TRUTH.

JC Pohl met TRUTH TRIBE member Donte Winrow while on the road this fall. Donte and JC learned a lot from each other at that TEEN TRUTH LIVE: BULLY presentation at Johnson Middle School in Westminster, CA. Read Donte’s powerful story!

I want you to understand that the TEEN TRUTH LIVE: BULLY presentation changed my life and the way I look at my disorder. The disorder I have is called Tourettes Syndrome and it’s not very common. The disorder forces me to have physical and vocal tics that often can’t control.

I realized I had this disorder when I was in 6th grade and it made that year the worst year of my life! It was so hard for me because I was always so embarrassed.

I still remember all the names of the people that made fun of me and tried to copy my Tourettes. At school I heard a lot of jokes and rumors about me. One of the tics I use to have because of my Tourettes was a twitch where and hit my nose. I heard a joke about my tic that was spread around the whole school. They said I would twitch because I was sniffing crack and that bothered me a lot.

Imagine living 8 years of your life having fewer friends then your supposed to have just because you have a disorder you can’t control. I always struggled with my Tourettes and the way people treated because of it. I also struggled with treating people nicely because I felt they were always mean to me.

On Thursday October 29, I heard we had an assembly at my school. They said it was going to be about life and teenagers. I immediately thought it was going to be a bunch of bull and a waste of my time. Because I was thinking these thoughts I started talking through the beginning of the presentation.

I wasn’t loud until my Tourettes started acting up. My Tourettes starts going off when there’s increased activity or excitement in my brain. I was talking and my tics from my Tourettes were causing me to make strange sounds.

Because of the strange noises JC, the speaker, got on me about talking aloud and told me to be aware of the impact I was having on the rest of the group. I felt ashamed and embarrassed.

After that, we watched TEEN TRUTH BULLY and it literally made me think in a way I never thought about before.

My mind went into shock, my whole mind just blanked. After the film I was glued to what JC had to say. I loved the presentation and in the end it actually made me realize that I had to apologize for disrupting the presentation.

I told JC about my disorder, and he realized that it wasn’t my fault. He told me that we often times don’t realize what issues a person is dealing with because we never ask and the impact that we have could hurt.

That day we both learned a TRUTH about each other and we both realized we made judgments that were false.

The TEEN TRUTH LIVE presentation was the best presentation I have ever seen. It made me realize that it is okay to be different. If I weren’t different, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

If you’re not the same as everyone else, that doesn’t mean your stupid or a retard. Get over the bad comments and rumors spread about you because you’re a different person.

Be a happier person, be yourself. To get over your obstacles you need to forget all the bad. Try to go on with your life, and stop copying the people that are not going to make a difference. I believe anyone can make a difference. You just have to believe in yourself and try!

Suicide prevention tips for the holidays
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3 Suicide Prevention Tips for the Holidays

Suicide prevention tips for the holidays

So, I’m a member of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention and this is an article I submitted to them to be used in a statewide newsletter, but I also wanted to make sure it reached my readers first. Please share these suicide prevention tips with as many people as possible. You never know who might need them.

The holidays are meant to be a joyous time for all, but let’s face it, it’s also when a lot of emotions get stirred up for many of us. Whether it’s memories of those we’ve lost, a family gathering gone wrong or the disappointment of not being able to afford gifts. But I’d like to offer a new perspective on this. What if instead of viewing these events as wrong or bad, we allowed the memories to surface and gave ourselves permission to express how we truly feel? And what if this created opportunites for forgiveness and deeper connections with those we love?

Perhaps this holiday season can be a time for healing and connection. Maybe our love and presence and choice to uplift others will lend hope to those who need it most. And maybe when we allow others to uplift us, we’ll give them a sense of purpose and belonging. You never know.

Here are three simple guidelines to experience more joy and connection for the holidays – two things that may just save someone’s life.

#1 – Have keen awareness.

This is a time to be really tuned in. To yourself. To the world around you. And to all those you love. Each person you encounter is a reflection of you. Every human being on this earth is unique and offers value to the world. When we choose to look at our life in this way, it appears a little brighter and in turn has a positive impact on those closest to us. So, be present to the gift each moment has to offer. And be aware of the gift that is you. As you know and feel your own worth, you inspire others to find it within themselves. YES, you are that powerful!

#2 – Let connection be the priority.

Before your interactions with others, set the intention to connect and experience more love, laughter or anything you’d like. For example, if you’re about to have a conversation with your best friend, first make it clear in your mind (and your heart!) that you want to feel connected – imagine the two of you laughing and enjoying one another’s company. You can also make your intentions known by sharing them with your family and friends. Tell them what you want and how you feel and ask them what they’d like to see and feel more of in their life. A lot of the time we assume others know what we want, but the only way to be abolutely certain is to speak up. You might be surprised to discover it’s all the other person wanted too, but he or she was afraid to ask.

#3 – Let love be what fuels you.

Actively look for evidence of love in all people, including yourself. If something is going on with someone you love, you can feel it. If you notice something is up, don’t take it personally, but definitely take it seriously. Offer to help (not fix) in any way you can and ask for help when you need it. Find little things you appreciate about yourself and everyone you encounter. At the grocery store, while you’re waiting for your food or even by offering a smile to the person sitting in the car next to you at a stop light. When you make a point to put love at the top of your list and are driven by the desire to love and be loved, anything is possible.

As you keep these three concepts in mind and practice them on a daily basis you’ll create healing for yourself and your entire family. You are such an asset to this world. We all are. And we’re all in this together. So this holiday season give those you love something greater than presents or the “perfect”occasion – give them the gift of being seen and heard and allow others to see you and hear what you have to say.

 

Journal Time:

As a journaling exercise for today, write about some other ways you can deepen your connection with those you love…and even those you don’t.

How can you deepen your connection to YOU?

 

As always, thank you for reading and please leave your comments below. How did this article impact you?

Self-esteem in teens
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Just a reminder…

This affirmation can be used by teens and parents alike. I feel like college students will find it especially helpful.

Self-esteem in teens

addiction in teenagers
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The Art of Becoming Bigger Than Your Addictions – 5 Tips to Help You Clean Up Your Act

addiction in teenagers 
 
This post is relevant to teenagers, parents of teenagers, teachers, therapists, social workers, life coaches or anyone who works with teens and anyone who has ever struggled with addictions. 

 

As a teenager, I had many addictive behaviors. I was a cutter, I smoked stuff, I snorted stuff, popped pills, drank and was completely out of control.

There is nothing cool about this.

These things will never be cool.

And they will definitely never make you cool.

But I get why you might think so. That’s what I thought.

 

Part of it was wanting to be accepted (not so much with cutting, but I’ll save that for another post).

Part of it was not being able to process my emotions.

Part of it was because I didn’t like who I was – and actually had no idea who I was.

But I think (know) the bulk of it was I didn’t feel like I deserved any better.

In other words, I had given up on a better life because it seemed impossible.

 

So I let myself become lost in my addictions.

They became stronger and more powerful than me.

Because I let them.

It was easier to just be high all the time.

You get it.

 

I had friends who weren’t my friends.

Who made fun of me.

Who talked about me behind my back.

 

And it’s okay.

 

I wasn’t very nice myself.

Because I didn’t know how to be nice to myself.

So how could I be nice to other people?

How could they be kind to me?

We just didn’t know anything else.

 

When I decided to stop, I had one person by my side. My boyfriend at the time was the only person there when I was ready to quit. In fact, he saved my life. Well, he helped me save my own life.

 

By believing in me.

By believing there was more to me than my addictions.

And by just being there until I could learn how to be there for myself.

 

So that brings us to…

 

Tip #1: Have Support

Find someone who will reflect your beauty and perfection back to you. Someone who won’t judge you and who will encourage you. This person is there to support you in becoming more of who YOU are. It doesn’t have to be a boyfriend or girlfriend. And in fact that can sometimes get messy. I recommend (if you’re a teenager) finding an adult you feel comfortable talking to. It could be a therapist, counselor or life coach who specializes in working with youth (that’d be me).

 

Tip #2: Write in a Journal

Remember when I said I couldn’t process my emotions? Journaling made it possible for me to do so. Let yourself feel your emotions and express them without holding back. Get it all out. I loved writing throughout my recovery.

 

Tip #3: Know What You Want and Why You Want It

See this as an opportunity to go on an inward journey. As you release your addictions, you unravel layers upon layers of false beliefs. About yourself. About the world. About the entire nature of reality. Every time you do this, more of your truth is revealed. This is the time to dream about a better and brighter future. Write down everything you want to be, do and have and start taking steps towards your goals. Remember why you want to achieve them because the more you can connect with your “why” the quicker and easier you’ll reach your goals.

 

Tip #4: Meditate or Find Some Other Relaxation Technique

The goal of meditating is to get you connected to your wise inner self. Some benefits of meditation include: improved concentration, better health and a calmer + happier disposition. When you practice stilling your mind, you become more self aware and better able to recognize and acknowledge your thoughts and feelings and therefor increase your power and ability to let them go. You can start by sitting in a quiet place for just a couple minutes and breathing very slowly and deliberately. Listen to the sound of your own breath and if any thoughts come up, imagine putting them in a bubble and letting them float away.

 

Tip #5: Eat Good Food, Sleep Well and Take Supplements

One of the first things I did when I stopped using was focused on eating right. I was already a vegetarian, but now a very healthy one. I received many benefits from fasting, doing cleanses, taking vitamins and eliminating a bunch of stuff from my diet. Soy (in excess messes with your hormones, which is especially bad if you’re a teenage girl), gluten and dairy to name a few. Your inner ecosystem greatly impacts your thinking and mood. I strongly believe in the power of natural medicine as its truly the only thing that’s ever helped me.

 

So that’s it!

These 5 things have all proven to be effective for me and continue to be a huge part of my life.

I hope you find them as helpful as I have.

 

Now, let’s journal! Grab a pen and paper, jot these questions down and then write out your answers.

 

What do I wish to accomplish in the next year?

Why?

 

p.s. Today I made one of my favorite soups EVER. The recipe is from The Body Ecology Diet which was practically my bible for a good year. I scanned the recipe for you. Get it here.

p.p.s. It’s toddler approved.

carrie leigh sandoval loves adin isaac sandoval

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions? Comments? What was your biggest insight from this post? Please share in the comments box below. 

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Express Yourself

Your opinions are valuable. Use this affirmation as a daily reminder to speak your truth. Especially if it’s different from everyone else’s.

expressyoself

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Love Exists in All Moments

When in doubt, use this affirmation.

eyeloveyou

Decide to look for love within you and all around you.

Start by finding one thing you love.

Maybe it’s a song.

Or an exchange of words.

Or a smile.

You can find love in your darkest moments.

And I encourage you to do so.