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Archive of: Difficult Emotions

  • Are You a Silent Prisoner of Shame?

    If I were to name one thing that has the most impact on a person’s happiness and experience of life, it would be their self-worth. Our level of self-worth affects everything – from our health and relationships to our careers and financial abundance. So, let me ask, where do you stand on the spectrum of self-worth? Do you feel good about yourself? Do you love and accept yourself, warts and all? Or are you ‘self-rejecting’, always finding reasons to …

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  • Is Unresolved Sadness Keeping You Stuck?

    How comfortable are you dealing with feelings of sadness? Do you allow yourself to be present with them, or do you do everything in your power to run away from them and pretend they’re not there, busying yourself with distractions? In my experience, many people do the latter. There appears to be a collective discomfort around owning our sadness, facing it, and allowing it full expression. Perhaps more than any other emotion, it’s one that people tend to deny …

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  • New Podcast: Are you Ready to Explode with Anger?

    The next episode in my podcast series “Bringing You Back Into Balance” is now online. In this podcast I focus on a very misunderstood emotion; that of anger. Many people believe anger to be inherently bad but did you know that it is a natural, healthy, intrinsically positive emotion? It just needs to be processed, managed and expressed in a safe and constructive way. I talk through the dangers of holding your anger in and of acting it out, and outline five ways …

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  • How to Get over Rejection

    I witness a lot of heartache in my therapy work. One of the biggest causes is rejection. The circumstances may be different: for one person it’s being told by their spouse of twenty-five years that he or she wants a divorce, for another it’s not being asked out on a second date; for someone else it’s not getting the job they wanted after an interview, or being slighted by a close friend; rejection comes in many forms. But the feelings that arise from it are always the same: pain, anger, disappointment, self-doubt, sadness and despair. I’m pretty sure you can relate to these feelings …

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  • How to Not Take Things so Personally

    You may recall that last month I began a series of newsletters focusing on the personal habits of happy people. Happy people tend to think and behave in ways that allow them to feel peaceful and content, no matter what’s going on around them. With a little effort, we can all learn to do this. The first of these habits, which I wrote about last time, was letting go of grudges. This month I’m going to focus on happiness habit two: how to not take things too personally. I think you’ll agree that many people struggle with this one. Someone says or does something, and before you know it your mood has plummeted and you’re upset or angry….

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  • How to Let Go of a Grudge

    Do you know that you can learn to be happy? And that ultimately happiness is a choice that you make? Sure, there are circumstances in life that can strip you of your contentment, joy and wellbeing, but most of the time the only person stopping you being happy right now is you. It’s amazing how many people spend a large proportion, if not all, of their lives waiting to be happy, as if it’s some elusive thing far off in the distant future that’s dependent on health, wealth, status and perfect relationships. But happiness doesn’t come from these things. It comes from within…

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  • How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

    Do you constantly compare yourself to other people? Do you often find yourself thinking that other people have more than you or are better than you? The comparison game is as old as humanity itself. I guess we all want to know how we measure up to other people. This drive is a part of our innate desire to understand ourselves, and our place in society. In recent times, however, social comparison has risen to a whole new level thanks to social media. It’s almost become an epidemic. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And he was right…

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  • How to Handle Overwhelm

    Overwhelm. I bet you’ve been there; the times when you’ve almost been immobilised by having too much to do and too little time to do it in. I know I have. Very many times in fact, especially when I was younger. Life is a constant juggling act, and every now and again we are all faced with the fear that we have more on our plates than we can handle. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that there’s nothing worse than that sickening feeling that arises when you think the intensity of your thoughts and emotions is about to get the better of you…

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  • How to Handle Difficult People

    Christmas is meant to be a time of joy, peace and merriment. I think there’s a part of all of us that buys into that fairytale image of an open log fire, a beautifully decked out tree, piles of presents, cards, food, drink and a smiling, loving family. Yes, that’s right … I said ‘family’. For some people that word is enough to pop the fantasy bubble right away! Most of us get to spend time with family at Christmas. But, for some, that reality is about as far away from joy, peace and merriment as you can get. In fact, it’s often the cause of great anxiety and dread. A couple of people have articulated this sentiment in my …

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  • Dealing with Shame: How to Weaken its Destructive Hold over You

    Have you ever felt shame? I’m sure you have at some point in your life. All of us have. Shame is that awful feeling of being worthless, rejected or cast out. Deeply painful, it brings humiliation and distress in its wake. Its close cousin is guilt. Guilt shows up when you believe you have done something bad; shame shows up when you believe you are bad, so much so, that you are totally unlovable. Shame’s toxicity does not end there though. It also carries with it a sense of helplessness, that there is nothing you can do to purge yourself of its burdensome and soul-crushing presence…

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