Your Happiness Factor:celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

What to do when guilt is spoiling your life!

What to do when guilt is spoiling your life!

Recently I wrote about shame and how to deal with it (Is shame spoiling your life?). Guilt and shame both come from a sense of having done something considered bad, stupid or wrong. Shame comes from a fear of being disapproved of by others. Guilt comes from disapproving of ourselves – we have broken our own code of values.

When we feel guilty, we may try to put things right by confessing and saying sorry. Or we may punish ourselves – for example, in an extreme form, taking an overdose. We may allow others to punish us – putting up with bad treatment, sometimes for years. Or we may anaesthetise ourselves – for example, with drink or or drugs and sometimes over-work.

Sometimes guilt is about things we've done and sometimes it is about things we should have done but didn't – for example not making the time to support a friend in trouble.

Guilt has a bad reputation in the 21st Century but it isn't all bad. It may be guilt which leads the thief to confess and make restitution.

But guilt can be corrosive. It can cause years of misery and erode confidence. And sometimes when we have the courage to explore it, we find the pain we feel is much greater than the pain we caused.

One of the best ways to tackle your feelings of guilt is to work out just what part you played . What in reality was your degree of responsibility?
  • List all the people and factors that played a part in the event
  • Look at the evidence for their contribution to what happened
  • Give them a percentage rating – out of 100
  • Include yourself last
  • The overall total for all must not be more than 100

You can complete a responsibility pie chart like that shown here with the results.

Redistributing the guilt doesn't mean that you get off the hook. But it does give you sense of reality and of proportion.

But labeling yourself as bad, doesn't actually do any good. Much better to examine the facts, say sorry, put things right if you can and move on.

But do look at your own moral standards and the “should” statements that you find yourself using about yourself and other people. Taking a more tolerant attitude which substitutes “I'd like to” for “I should” is likely to make life better, both for you and those about you.

It is right for us to feel remorse when we have hurt or damaged someone else. But guilt without action achieves only our own misery. Recognise your own humanity - like the rest of us, you get things wrong sometimes. Learn to forgive yourself as you forgive others.

As a life coach, I work with people who want to work on their feelings of guilt and shame. If you would like to work with me, please get in touch. My email address is below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Tuesday Quotes - Relationships

 Tuesday Quotes - Relationships

  • The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships. Anthony Robbins
  • Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings. Miles Franklin
  • Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so. Anon
  • The most effective way to achieve right relations with any living thing is to look for the best in it, and then help that best into the fullest expression. Allen J. Boone
  • We are never more discontented with others than when we are discontented with ourselves. Henri Frederic Amiel
  • Each relationship nurtures a strength or weakness within you. Mike Murdock
  • A person isn't who they are during the last conversation you had with them - they're who they've been throughout your whole relationship. Rainer Maria Rilke
  • However good or bad you feel about your relationship, the person you are with at this moment is the "right" person, because he or she is the mirror of who you are inside. Deepak Chopra
  • They who forgive most shall be most forgiven. Josiah Bailey
  • Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. Buddha

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, 28 May 2012

Time Management - Pinpointing Those Emotional Blocks to Change

English: Managing emotions - Identifying feelingsManaging emotions - Identifying feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Time Management - Pinpointing Those Emotional Blocks to Change

My last two posts about Time Management (The Clock Is Ticking! How Good Are You At Time Management) and (Time Management: Know Where Time Goes - Keep A Log) said that the first two steps in managing time are to be clear about your purpose and your direction in life and then to know how you spend your time.

Knowing those things and completing the first two steps are important. But often time management improvement plans still fail. This is usually because there are underlying emotional issues.

Sometimes people feel guilty about spending time on their own interests. For example, what about the rest of the family – shouldn't this time be spent with the children? Or perhaps you might be anxious about saying no to a colleague and refusing to help them at the expense of time to do your own work. This might be because you lack the confidence to be assertive.

So any time management program needs to include an emotional management element.

You will find posts here, usually on Wednesdays, about handling big emotions. For example, last Wednesday I discussed dealing with feelings of shame. (Is shame spoiling your life?).

So, if you want to improve your time management skills, I would suggest reading my Wednesday posts here as well as following this series. The next post in this series will be about becoming better organized and it should be here on Monday 11th June 2012.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, 25 May 2012

Lemon Balm – A cup of tea with my lovely Melissa

English: A can of peppermint infusion. Deutsch...  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)English: The Mint moth (Pyrausta aurata) on Le...The Mint moth (Pyrausta aurata) on Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 Lemon Balm – A cup of tea with my lovely Melissa

I've started drinking lemon balm tea in afternoons. 

Now I've grown lemon balm in my garden for years and always enjoyed the smell. On a summer's day, it is something quite special. But only this year have I taken a couple of fresh sprigs, steeped them in hot water and drunk the results. 

Oh, it is lovely.

Apparently, the word Balm is an abbreviation of Balsam, the chief of sweet-smelling oils. It is so called from its honeyed sweetness It was highly esteemed by Paracelsus a sixteenth century alchemist of genius. He believed in its ability to revive.

Paracelsus, as Manly Hall has said, gained his knowledge "not from long-coated pedagogues but from dervishes in Constantinople, witches, gypsies, and sorcerers, who invoked spirits and captured the rays of the celestial bodies in dew; of whom it is said that he cured the incurable, gave sight to the blind, cleansed the leper, and even raised the dead, and whose memory could turn aside the plague."

So clearly someone worth listening to.

The London Dispensary (1696) says: 'An essence of Balm, given in Canary wine, every morning will renew youth, strengthen the brain, relieve languishing nature and prevent baldness.' 

John Evelyn wrote: 'Balm is sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory and powerfully chasing away melancholy.' Balm steeped in wine we are told again, 'comforts the heart and driveth away melancholy and sadness.' 

In olden days,  a spirit of Balm, combined with lemon-peel, nutmeg and angelica root, enjoyed a great reputation under the name of Carmelite water, being deemed highly useful against nervous headache and neuralgic affections.

Gerard wrote: 'It is profitably planted where bees are kept. The hives of bees being rubbed with the leaves of balm, cause the bees to keep together, and cause others to come with them.' And again quoting Pliny, 'When they are strayed away, they do find their way home by it.'

The leaves of balm applied externally, have been considered to be a cure for the bites of venomous beasts and the stings of scorpions. It has certainly long been recognized that balsamic oils of aromatic plants make excellent surgical dressings.

The Greek name for lemon balm is Melissa officinalis.  The name Melissa is from the Greek word signifying 'bee,' which reflects the attraction the flowers have for those insects because of the honey they produce from it.

Lemon balm is often used as a flavouring in ice cream and herbal teas, both hot and iced, often in combination with other herbs such as spearmint. It can be paired with fruit dishes, used in fish dishes and is the key ingredient in lemon balm pesto.

The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are said to be a repellant for mosquitoes. Lemon balm is also claimed to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

At least one study is said to have found it to be effective at reducing stress and there are claims that it may have a role in the treatment of Alzheimers
Now, I'm not a doctor and I have not seen the proof of any of these claims. But I do know that on a lovely, hot afternoon in May it makes a dreamy and refreshing drink. I do recommend you grow it, for its scent if nothing else – although if it likes you it will spread a little too quickly.

So now I'm off to make my lemon balm tea.

 Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Developing Empathy – Playing Emotional Charades

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of EmotionsRobert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Developing Empathy – Playing Emotional Charades

I truly believe the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our children is the gift of empathy. That is the ability to see and feel life from someone else's perspective. Empathy is at the root of compassion and positive relationships as well as all good communication.

Empathy is behind our ability to listen well and really understand what someone else is trying to tell us. It helps us to to frame and convey our messages to others. But, sadly, not all of us seem blessed with empathy by birth and up bringing.

So, what can we do to develop our empathy skills?

The following is a little exercise for children taken from a book that now sadly is out of print “Adventures in Guidance: How to Integrate Fun into Your Guidance Program”. I believe it can easily be adapted for adults who would like to polish up their empathy skills.

Emotional Charades

This little game is about communicating emotion non-verbally to a partner.

You work in pairs;

  1. First create a simple set of card with the names of the whole range of feelings on them – one feeling on each card.
  2. Now one partner takes a card and acts out the feeling.
  3. The other person guesses the feeling and its strength
  4. You follow up each word with a discussion. Why the actor chose that particular strategy for conveying the feeling? What did it feel like to act it out? What did it feel like to watch?

Feelings like anger may be pretty easy to guess – but the feelings of acting out and watching could be interesting. When it comes to things like hurt, shame and guilt things might get more complicated.

The game becomes more useful, if you can play it with a number of different partners and people from different cultural backgrounds. You will find that different cultures can learn to express feelings very differently – a smile doesn't always mean you are happy!

I wish you success in developing your empathy skills and I hope life will become richer as a result. 

Wendy Smith is a Life Coach with Career and Business Coaching skills. She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Is shame spoiling your life?

ShameIs shame spoiling your life?

Shame is a hard emotion to deal with. Usually it happens when we start to believe something about ourselves that we think others will criticize. Or it can happen because of the way someone else treats us. Sometimes it combines with guilt about something we've done that offends our values. But it can poison our relationships and erode our confidence. Here are some steps you can take to help to confront and overcome shame.
    •  What is this issue? Spend some time alone, or with someone you trust like a coach, really exploring the cause of your sense of shame. It helps sometimes to write things down. Try to sort out the various strands that contribute to your feeling, It may be very complex so take it right down to its constituent parts. Don't rush it – take the time and space you need to make it clear to yourself.
    • Who is causing you to feel shame? Is it you? Is it the way someone else is behaving? Or is it how you think they are behaving and what you think they think? When you have worked out what it is really about under step one, you can be clear about how it happened and who is responsible, It may not be about you at all. 
    • What advice  would you give a friend? Now you are clear about what and who, try to look at things objectively. What would you think if someone told you this story about themselves – what advice would you give? Try to stay cool and calm as you consider a way forward.
    • Share it and let it go! Now is the time, if you have not already done so, to share this with someone you trust. Releasing that sense of shame from within your self, really will make you feel better. Listen carefully to what they say. It may be that there never was anything to feel shame about. Or it could be something you can change even now.
    • Now step away from it. You are human and you are doing your best. We all make some mistakes sometimes – that is what it is to be human. Work on developing your self confidence and your self esteem. Forgive your self and be proud of your self for confronting your own shame and releasing it.
I wish you every success and if you would like my help, as a coach, my email address is below.

Wendy Mason is a Career Coach with Life Coaching skills and expertise in helping people have the confidence they need to be successful at work while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Relationship Counselling - Can It Help You?

“My clients are genuinely surprised when we start working together – they think that I am going to tell them what to do, but it’s not like that. They also come in feeling nervous and apprehensive but once we have met a few times, they even start to enjoy it. At the end of the day, it’s a brave move to come to Relate, but for almost everyone, it’s one of the best moves they have made.”

This video explains how relationship counselling works

If you are facing divorce or separation, dealing with an affair or a major conflict in a relationship, then relationship counselling really can help.

Relationship counselling helps you to make the most of your relationships, past, present or future. Working with relationship counsellor can help you, even if you are not currently in a relationship and worried about it. 

Many people believe that relationship counselling is only there to help with the major crises in people’s relationships.  But they are also there for the relationship worries that might seem trivial or minor to anyone else but they matter to you.  

Please have the courage to take that first step and contact a relationship counselllor.  

In the UK you can contact Relate - this is their website address 

If you need support to make that first contact then I will be very happy to coach you through that - email
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, 21 May 2012

Monday Quotes - Time Management

The Android Emulator home screen.The Android Emulator home screen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Monday Quotes - Time Management

  1. Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.Alan Lakein
  2. The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.Stephen R. Covey
  3. This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.Ralph Waldo Emerson
  4. If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.Lee Iacocca
  5. You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time.Doc Childre and Howard Martin
  6. One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.Chinese Proverb
  7. Never let yesterday use up today.Richard H. Nelson
  8. Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real.Sara Paddison
  9. Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.M. Scott Peck
  10. A year from now you will wish you had started today.Karen Lamb                                                                                                Wendy Mason is a Career Coach with Life Coaching skills and expertise in helping people have the confidence they need to be successful at work while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, 18 May 2012

34 diet & fitness tips you need to know

34 diet & fitness tips you need to know

iVillage have picked 34 of the best tips from the world's top diet and fitness gurus, to help you get started on your plan, stay motivated and reach your goals:

1. Diet for the season
'Get up earlier in summer and later in winter, in line with natural sunlight hours. Don't eat late at night or before you're fully awake.'
Nutritionist Patrick Holford, author of The New Optimum Nutrition Bible (£9.74 Piatkus)

2. Stay hydrated at the gym
'Your gym may have drinking fountains but they won't help you keep an eye on how much you drink. Make sure you take a large bottle with you to the gym and keep it to hand whenever you are in class or on a machine.'
Steve Shipside, author of Win at the Gym (£9.74 Infinite Ideas)

3. Shake things up
'Though there's not much scientific proof that it works, some dieters find that changing some of their meal plan selections from week to week seems to help them break through a plateau. Simple changes like switching some of those chicken portions for fish or having a chicken salad instead of an egg salad at lunch could make a difference for you. Not to mention ensuring your taste buds stay interested.'
The Ediets nutrition team. Try out the iVillage Body Boost Diet

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Universal Mind Meditation - A Guided Meditation

Personal Development - Something to Feed Your Spirit and Your Mind

Kelly Howell - The Secret Universal Mind Meditation  - A Guided Meditation

Be somewhere in a safe place where you can relax, when you follow this! 

This meditation includes subliminal messages - these must never be played when driving or using machinery
Enhanced by Zemanta