emotions Archives - The Self-Worth Experiment

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How to get off the emotional rollercoaster
Dec 30

How to get off the emotional rollercoaster

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

I was over the moon. Humming to the cheerful song on the car radio, I replayed my successful workday in my mind. I couldn’t believe that the project manager had thanked me personally for my contribution.

Even thinking of the acknowledgement made me smile and a happy warmth spread through my chest.

I turned right and stopped at the red traffic light. Still swaying to the music.

Also, two people had commented on my weight loss. I had worked hard to shed a few pounds. And it finally paid off.

What an amazing day!

I bounced with excitement. I couldn’t be more pleased with myself. This was the best day I…

HONK!

The angry blare of a horn sent me flying.

Adrenaline raced through my body. My chest tightened. The traffic light was green. And I had missed it turning.

I glanced in the rear-view mirror. The driver behind was shouting, making annoyed gestures.

He clearly thought I was an idiot. An incompetent imbecile.
He would get home to his wife and complain about the most useless driver in the world. They would laugh about me, make fun about my embarrassing blunder.

My stomach was in knots, my vision blurred. Please don’t make another mistake now. He’s still watching…

I pulled into the next layby and let him pass. Sobbing and shaking, I sat behind the steering wheel, too upset to move on.

How could this day have turned so awful so rapidly? What had happened to the happiness I had felt only a few moments ago?

And why was my life such an emotional rollercoaster?

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Understanding the root cause of your anxiety
Feb 27

Understanding the root cause of your anxiety (to finally heal)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Overcome your fears

I noticed lately that anxiety is creeping up on me again.

Several times in the last few weeks, if only for a moment, its invisible, cold hand clutched my chest and twisted my stomach. Especially before meetings, teleconferences or when I had to go out. Even if it was only to take the cat to the vet or my daughter to ballet lesson.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

I’ve told you many times that I overcame my anxiety. I keep instructing you on ways how to eliminate the fear. And maybe that’s the reason why you are still reading my emails. Maybe you are hoping that you can free yourself from anxiety if you do what I did.

Because I succeeded.

So, to hear that anxiety is still part of my life must feel like a slap in the face. WTF, right?

But the thing is that I am not worried by anxiety’s return. I am not scared that I will be doomed to a life paralysed by fear. That I will return to a life sentence of misery. Trying to function in the world without anybody noticing my constant state of terror. Pretending that I’m fine while battling a fire-breathing monstrosity every minute of every day. Mortified of people’s judgements whenever I fail to contain the panic.

Been there, done that. Can’t recommend.

I no longer fear anxiety. It doesn’t make me feel like a failure, or a hopeless case. Or, in fact, a hypocrite.

Because I know something now I wish someone had told me 20 years ago. How much suffering it would have spared me.

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3 liberating steps to control your anger
Sep 24

3 liberating steps to control your anger

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

You know the feeling.

The red-hot lump of lava gathering in your chest. Its acid vapours crawling up your throat. Clawing, constricting, squeezing until breathing is a chore.

The tension inside that’s mounting. Intensifying, swelling. Filling your entire body with unbearable pressure.

And you try to control your anger. You do your best to force it back down, distract yourself from the overwhelming urge to surrender to it. You struggle against the impulse to scream and punch, just to alleviate the pain and make the agonising stress disappear.

But, once again, you fail.
Once again, the rage is uncontainable. Its sheer intensity and power take you over. You have no chance. It explodes from you in a violent outburst. Destroying, insulting, smashing, hurting.

And when it’s all over, the welcome wave of relief is soon obliterated by shame, guilt and self-disgust. You feel like a horrible, unhinged brute. Maybe even a danger to yourself and others. Regret chokes you, makes you hate yourself.

How can you ever make this right, repair the damage you did when you allowed your fury to take control? How can you live with yourself now and for the rest of your life?

And perhaps most importantly:
How can you stop it from happening again, and again, and again?

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8 action steps to pull yourself out of depression
Jun 23

7 action steps to pull yourself out of depression

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

Eleven o’clock in the morning.

And you are sitting in front of the TV. Have been for hours.

Listlessly staring at the screen. You don’t even care what’s going on there. You just watch because you can’t motivate yourself to do anything else.

So many things compete for your attention. Errands that should be run, tasks that ought to be completed. That self-help book you started full of enthusiasm and hope but now can’t be bothered to pick up again.

You have no interest in doing anything. What’s the point?

Your hobbies, other people’s stories, problems, gossip, their concern, are arduous. Even eating is a chore. It’s impossible to engage in any activity or conversation when all you can think is: “So what?”

You can’t remember when you last felt so low. Have you ever?

You hate the hopelessness, the emotional numbness, yet torment. You loathe yourself for not being able to “snap out of it”. For being trapped in the toxic sludge of pessimism, self-condemnation and pain. Incapable of neither positivity nor happiness.

And you blame yourself for your depression. When it’s not your fault at all.

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A powerful way to release emotional pain
Mar 27

A powerful tactic to release emotional pain

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

[MY FIRST EVER VIDEO POST] We’ve all experienced emotional pain.

Acute agony such as grief, disappointment, rage. They arise from a specific traumatic experience, are reactions to devastating loss, betrayal, injustice.

They have a clear trigger. And they subside again after a while. When life moves on.

And we with it.

But what about the emotional pain that never leaves? The chronic torture that remains with us every hour of every day. For no apparent reason.

When emotional pain becomes chronic, we feel like we want to crawl out of our skin. Run away from it all. Just make it stop.

So, we try to numb the pain. With medication, alcohol, drugs, food. We try to distract ourselves by working all hours, shopping, partying. We become addicts, alcoholics, workaholics, chocaholics, shopaholics.

All to make the pain bearable. Before it destroys us.

But numbing the pain is not the solution. We need to eradicate it. Eliminate it altogether.

And there is only one way to do it.

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The 3 secrets to happy relationships that last
Jan 31

The 3 secret ingredients for happy relationships that last

By Dr Berni Sewell | Improve your relationships

What makes a happy relationship that lasts?

The right partner? With shared interests, passions and world views? Undying love, commitment, trust? Faithfulness, honesty, equality? The ability to communicate, overcome conflict and grow together?

All of the above? Or something else altogether?

The more people you ask, the more you’ll realise that the number of potential ingredients for a happy relationship is infinite. And none of us knows the definitive recipe for relationship bliss.

So, finding that one person to love, becomes a matter of trial and error. Mere luck at best and impossible at worst.

But still we search. Anxious to be loved, to become one with another. Find our other half, to finally be whole. And happy.

So, we stumble from one partner to the next. Trying to unearth that top-secret recipe to our “happily ever after”, we bend, distort, please. Compromise, put up, tolerate. Battling rejection, heart-ache and disappointment on the way.

Until we become disillusioned by our inability to make it work. Frustrated by our failures, furious with ourselves and the world. And we start to doubt.

Are we impossible to love? Are we destined to roam this Earth alone? Doomed to a half-life of solitude, longing and misery?

We blame our unlovable nature and incompatible partners for our unhappiness. And hate ourselves for our incompetence.

Because, despite all our struggles and sacrifices, the true recipe for a happy relationship still eludes us.

When, in fact, we are only missing 3 essential ingredients.

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A life-changing practice to eradicate anxiety and depression
Sep 28

A life-changing practice to eradicate anxiety and depression

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

Let me ask you a question. Do you brush your teeth? Every day?

Why?

Because it’s imperative for your dental health, right? If you don’t brush your teeth caries will accumulate, erode your enamel and cause excruciating pain. Who wouldn’t want to avoid that?!

And we are well equipped. Our parents taught us an effective dental hygiene routine as soon as our first teeth emerged. Our schools reinforced the essential message and we visited the dentist regularly to maintain healthy teeth.

Most adults will brush their teeth diligently and consistently once or twice a day. It’s part of our daily hygiene. And we don’t think much about it. Knowing that, if we neglect it, we will suffer the painful consequences.

I am sure you do the same, don’t you? It’s important after all!

But what do you do to prevent emotional pain? To avoid and eradicate anxiety and depression? ​What does your daily emotional hygiene routine look like?

Do you even have one?

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A peaceful way to restore emotional balance
Oct 27

A peaceful way to restore emotional balance

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

“The neighbours will call the police if you don’t stop screaming!”

My boyfriend was gripping my wrists. He pinned me into a corner of his bedroom. I could see the concern in his eyes. And the disbelief.

I tried to clear my head. It felt as if I was waking up from a nightmare. A tsunami of self-loathing and shame washed over me. What was going on? What was wrong with me?

Tears streamed down my face. My throat was sore because I had been screaming for minutes. My hands were bruised and aching where I had punched my fists against the walls.

I didn’t even know what had triggered the outburst. A small, innocent remark? A tiny criticism?

My boyfriend was the most caring, gentle and patient person I knew. He didn’t deserve this appalling behaviour, the emotional abuse and heartache.

And it wasn’t the first time either. For the last weeks I had lashed out at him whenever we met. One moment I was fine. The next I was overpowered by all-consuming anger and aggression. Without apparent reason.

Was I losing my mind?

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How to overcome 3 common panic triggers
Mar 13

How to overcome 3 common panic triggers

By Dr Berni Sewell | Overcome your fears

Going to the dentist has always been one of my worst panic triggers.

And last week, two of my fillings had to be replaced. My dentist insisted on an anaesthetic injection. Which I hate! The entire left side of my face was numb, including my nose and eye!

And then the procedure started. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. The bright surgical light above my face blinded me. Two people were pressing against me from each side. Inserting countless instruments into my mouth, manipulating my teeth.

I felt panic gripping me and fought it down.

But then out came the drill. The shrill screeching in combination with the unpleasant pressure against the affected teeth is terrifying. Saliva accumulated at the back of my throat and made me gag.

I tensed up. My finger nails were digging into my thighs. Adrenaline accelerated my heart rate and I wanted to scream, remove those utensils from my mouth, jump up and escape the awful situation so I could breathe again.

Panic had won again.

I felt like a total failure. I knew I wasn’t in any real danger. So, why was I so terrified?

What was wrong with me?

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10 amazing books that helped me heal low self-worth and anxiety
Feb 14

10 amazing books that helped me heal low self-worth and anxiety

By Dr Berni Sewell | Overcome your fears

By the autumn of 1999, my life was soul-sucking misery. I had suffered from social anxiety, an overreactive bladder and irritable bowel syndrome for many years. But I coped. Life wasn’t a blast, but I was ok.

All changed when I moved to Vienna. I chose a University further from home to escape the rejection, heart-ache and bullying of my school days. But it left me alone in the city, depending on nobody but myself for the first time in my life. And I was terrified.

Everything had changed. My emotions were in turmoil and I resisted the new situation, unwilling to adapt. I felt forlorn, helpless, vulnerable.

Even little things, such as popping over to the shop across the road, became unsurmountable challenges and triggered frequent panic attacks. I existed with a constant baseline level of fear. The sick butterfly feeling in my stomach accompanied me from dawn until dusk and then turned into full-blown terror at night. Every unfamiliar sound sent sharp shocks through my chest. My heart was racing all night and I laboured hard to force air into my lungs.

Between lectures, I sat alone while others had already formed friendships. I watched them chatting and laughing. But I couldn’t get myself to start a conversation, to just say hello and see what happened. Maybe I was scared of being rejected again. Maybe I thought I would make a fool of myself. But I was lonely and isolated and I remember that I cried a lot.

But all changed when I read the book that saved my life…

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