happiness Archives - The Self-Worth Experiment

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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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How to wipe out 100% of your worthlessness (in a single moment)
May 19

How to wipe out 100% of your worthlessness (in a single moment)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

Work is insanely busy at the moment.

And I spend most of my days doing things I don’t enjoy much (such as data analysis, document review and questionnaire design). Sometimes it feels like all I do is sleep, work and drive to and from work.

So, today, in the car (to work), out of the blue, I thought: “When will I get a chance to live?”

And from the furthest corner of my mind a little voice replied: “You are living. Now.”

It was a much-needed reminder of the importance of living in the present. Because the present moment is all we have.

The past is gone, nothing but scattered memories and emotions we cling on to. And our future is fiction, a movie of the mind. A mere projection fed by past experiences, fears and worries. But none of it real.

So, we can only live in the moment. We can only be happy right here. Right now.

And it’s the present where we ARE 100% worth. Let me explain.

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How to ignore fear of change (and start transforming your life)
Feb 25

How to ignore fear of change (and start transforming your life)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Overcome your fears

My life sucked. But I couldn’t change it.

At the age of 25, I should have been socialising, meeting friends, enjoying myself. Travel, start a promising career, go on dates. Have fun, be daring and outgoing, open to new experiences, challenges and adventures.

I should have been happy.

But instead, I was scared. Terrified of facing the threats of a dangerous world. So, I sat at home, a hostage of my anxiety.
At night, my heart raced and I choked at every unfamiliar sound. During the day, I avoided meeting new people. Sweating and panicking at the mere thought of the humiliation, rejection and self-flagellation that would inevitably follow.

I functioned at work. But it took all my strength to appear normal. To hide the unbearable state of terror that was my life. To pretend that I was calm and collected while anxiety was ripping my body apart.

Fear destroyed my life, ruined my happiness. I felt stressed, lonely, paralysed. Trapped in a puny comfort zone that had become a nightmare.

I was desperate to transform my life. And yet, somehow, I remained stuck.

Because I feared one thing more than anything. I just didn’t know it yet.

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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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5 empowering steps to overcome self-sabotage
Oct 24

5 empowering steps to overcome self-sabotage

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the simple reason why you never get what you want. It was based on the premise that the Universe loves us. Every one of us. It wants us to be happy and yearns to provide all that we need to live an abundant and fulfilling life.
This is something I deeply and truly believe in.

But yesterday, I received this message about my article:

“What a load of crap! The universe doesn’t give you what you want, since what you want usually involves other people or something else, and that is what we don’t have control of. Not everybody gets what they want no matter what they do. In my opinion, the Universe is cruel and evil.”

It broke my heart to read this message. Not for my sake (I’ve been immune to criticism for quite a while now). But for hers!

I can empathise with all the anger and frustration that result from a life that feels unfair. From having your dreams and hopes crushed every time you try. From having to resign yourself to the suffering and misery of a life you didn’t want. Where everything seems to go wrong all the time.

But the Universe doesn’t hate you! It didn’t deal you a bad hand out of spite. And it certainly doesn’t trip you up through sheer vindictiveness.

Your negative experiences and unhappy circumstances are not the Universe’s fault. They all just boil down to one word:

Self-sabotage.

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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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3 empowering steps to eliminate negativity and toxic self-talk
Sep 17

How to eliminate negativity and toxic self-talk

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I still remember the day when I first noticed it.

Cursing the abhorrent weather, I stumbled through the front door off the storm-swept streets of Vienna. I shivered and sneezed, feeling sorry for my dripping wet self. It would be just my luck to catch a cold so close to my birthday!

I opened my mailbox with a feeling of dread. It only ever spat out bills, problems and evil tidings. I expected the worst, and wasn’t disappointed when a hefty supplementary electricity payment dropped in my hand.

This was outrageous! They were taking advantage of little people like me!

Disgusted by the world’s corruption, I stomped up the stairs to my flat. My mind racing with worst case scenarios of nasty conversations involving arrogant call centre employees defending a money-grubbing corporation. I loathed conflict!

Lost in gloomy thoughts, I caught my foot on an umbrella some idiot had left outside their door to dry. I tumbled down, my knee hitting the hard stone floor. I screamed in pain and frustration.

Why always me?! Why did the Universe hate me?

As I finally collapsed on my sofa, despair overwhelmed me. My life was a relentless string of disasters, catastrophes and anxieties.

What was wrong with me? Why did nothing good ever happen in my life?

I felt like a pathetic failure. I wasn’t good enough! My own incompetence and the cruelty of this backstabbing world doomed me to a miserable existence…

And right there, as my mind wallowed in hopelessness, it hit me.

Every thought I created was toxic, every word I spoke despondent. I had become a powerless victim of my own negativity which sabotaged my life, destroyed my happiness and ramped up my anxiety.

And I knew it had to change.

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How to meditate effectively (even if your mind won't shut up)
Aug 02

How to meditate effectively (even if your mind won’t shut up)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I am often asked why my tips on overcoming low self-worth and anxiety never seem to include meditation.

After all, it calms the mind, balances your emotions, deepens your breathing and helps to control stress, fear and negativity. During meditation, you connect with your authentic Self. Transcend your limitations and struggles. Enjoy the infinite peace, love, bliss and worth that dwell deep within your blessed soul.

And I know that. I tried.

When I first started to transform my life back in 2005, I believed a regular, healthy meditation practice was an indispensable part of my journey out of fear, emotional turmoil and worthlessness. Many times I sat down on my meditation cushion. Closed my eyes. Focused on my breath with high hopes and expectations.

But it always went a bit like this…

Me: “OK, breathe in. And out. No thinking now.”
Mind: “Shall we have fish and chips for dinner?”
Me: “Argh! Be quiet!”
Mind: “Oops! No more thinking…my back aches. That was another thought, wasn’t it? So sorry!”
Me: “Don’t worry about it. It’s ok. Just be silent now please”.
Mind: “Oh God! I have to give a presentation at work tomorrow. I think I’ll be sick.”
“Me: “Would you just shut up!”
Mind: “Don’t be so mean! I‘m trying my best here. I’m just not good enough. I will never get better. It’s hopeless.”
Me: “You know what, just forget about it! I can’t even meditate. I hate myself. What is wrong with me?!”

It was counterproductive, to say the least. Every time I attempted meditation, I abandoned it prematurely, feeling ever more anxious and upset. Despairing over my obvious inability to create a happier life.

I believed I wasn’t disciplined enough. Too weak and pathetic. Incompetent.

When, in fact, I misunderstood meditation altogether.

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A sure-fire way to fix your relationship with yourself
Jul 21

The sure-fire way to fix your relationship with yourself

By Dr Berni Sewell | Love yourself

Last week I was making my herbal tea to drink throughout the morning. As I do every day.

But as I poured the boiling water into the jug, the glass exploded and scorching liquid gushed towards me. In panic, I hurdled backwards, stumbling over one of little one’s toys.

And while I thankfully avoided a third degree burn, I tore a muscle in my thigh. Which rendered me immobile for the rest of the day.
So I sat on the sofa. Analysing some cancer outcome data for work, watching daytime TV and twiddling my thumbs.

Looking around, I could see all the chores that were waiting for me. The chaotic piles of toys, dusty floors, mountains of dirty dishes were mocking me from afar.

It upset me that I couldn’t tackle the mess or cook dinner for my family. I felt guilty because my husband had to cater to my needs and take over the child care. And I was disappointed that I would have to suspend my newly-established yoga practice.

As I brooded over all the things I should do, ought to complete or was missing out on, I started to feel angry.

“You stupid, idiot thigh,” I grumbled. “If you weren’t hurt, I wouldn’t be so restricted. I wouldn’t be such a burden to others. I wouldn’t be so useless!”

And the moment I said it, I knew how wrong it was.

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How to overcome low self-worth in 3 simple steps
Jun 20

How to overcome low self-worth in 3 simple steps

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

Let me ask you a question.

Is it important for you to have worth?

Most people would answer yes. After all, you want to be worthy of happiness, fulfilment, love and abundance. You yearn for other people to accept, respect and admire you.

And if you don’t have worth, if you aren’t deserving of the good things in life, you will be deprived of them. Condemned to suffer in misery, isolation and austerity.

You have to prove your worth, work hard, be perfect, sacrifice in order to fulfil the requirements for a happy life. You have to earn it. Right?

Well, not quite…

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