Hilarapy Helps Improve Self Esteem And Why That’s Vital to Mental Health

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Lizzie Allan, the founder of Hilarapy: Healing with Humor, underscores the empowering value of high self esteem and its critical role in mental health.

The world’s foremost comedy therapy program, Hilarapy, was developed by Lizzie Allan, a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, a Professional Comedian with a degree in Comedy Writing and Performance, and a Comedy Therapist. Lizzie’s groundbreaking new modality successfully combines group therapy processes, comedy writing, and standup performance techniques wrapped around a safe and joyful community environment.

“Self esteem plays a critical role in mental health,” asserts, Allan. It takes attention and intention to ensure our self esteem remains healthy. Sometimes others project their issues onto us, when it has nothing to do with us. She advises we need to remember we only have control over our own thoughts. Self esteem and confidence are partners and work in tandem. When one is high, the other rises. Low self esteem is often at the source of poor performance, anxiety and depression, and difficulty in making and retaining friends and relationships.

Low self esteem is destructive. It starts with negative self talk. Negative affirmations imprinted into a young mind can affect the individual as an adult. Many struggling through painful periods have no idea how to get themselves through it. We spend a lot of time repeating negative words and statements in our mind, whether consciously or subconsciously. It becomes an internal soundtrack on repeat. If a person keeps telling themselves that they can’t do something, they will struggle to succeed.

Words and statements work both ways, to build or destroy, but their capacity to cause harm or good is up to us. Self esteem affirmations are a powerful start to reclaiming an individual’s high self esteem.

The repetition of positive affirmations helps focus our mind on our goals by building mental images in the subconscious. By using this process, consciously and intentionally, we engage the power of our subconscious to transform our habits, behavior, mental attitude, and reactions. It has the muscle to re-write old internal soundtracks that are no longer serving us. By repeatedly stating what we want to be true in our life, we mentally and emotionally see and feel it as true, thereby attracting it into our life.

Shame can also trigger a downward spiral toward low self esteem and even depression. “Shame is like layers of mud covering our essential goodness,” describes Allan. Shame is a fear-based emotion that makes us shut down rather than open up, compounding our suffering. Shame causes us to direct our negative focus inward and view our global self as unworthy, shattering our self esteem and severely damaging our self worth. Sometimes the cause began during childhood, repeatedly hearing phrases like, shame on you, or you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Hilarapy was created to harness comedy as a therapeutic tool to shine a light on self-stigma, shame, and self esteem.

“Nobody escapes trauma,” observes Allan. “Being alive is the definition of traumatic. It starts with being born, and it carries on till we die.” Shame emerges later, after a traumatic event. Shame is when we feel like the whole of us is wrong. The emergence of shame destroys self esteem and leads down a dark path to stress, anxiety and depression.

There are strategies to improve self esteem. Here are some steps we can take to start feeling better about ourselves. Identify conditions and situations that crush our self esteem. Triggers include a crisis at work or home; changes like a job loss or a death; a challenge with a family member, co-worker, or spouse; or other high stress situations. Start listening to our self talk. Ask ourselves if these beliefs are true and then ask ourselves if we would say them to a close friend. If we would not, then don’t say them to ourselves. Always challenge negative and untrue self talk.

Oxford professor and psychiatrist, Dr. Neel Burton, suggests we make two lists and read them out loud every day, one of our strengths, the other of our achievements. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Pay attention to our personal hygiene, wear clean clothes that make us feel good, eat a healthy diet, and ensure we’re sleeping well. Exercise regularly and go for a walk every day, even if it’s cold or rainy. Be sure to connect with close friends daily and engage in activities we enjoy. Tidying up our living space will make us feel better, too. Spend more time with people we hold near and dear and avoid people who treat us poorly.

Affirmations are a superpower. We all have a little voice that continually tells us when we can or can’t do something, and most often, that voice is giving us a million and one reasons why we can’t. Positive affirmations are an effective device to rewire our subconscious mind and train that little voice to be on our side. Erase the old soundtrack and embrace the power of positive affirmations and we will begin to see and feel great changes in us.

Lizzie Allan’s recent TED Talk, Transforming Your Shame into Comedy, reveals her transformative origin story and how she created Hilarapy – a revolutionary new modality to help those dealing with the absurdity of the human condition.

To learn more, Hilarapy offers a Free 60-minute Comedy Therapy Class: Using the Power of Therapeutic Comedy to Change Your World. Profound life-changing experiences occur when combining comedy and group therapy. With this online therapy free class, you will acquire and learn to use potent new tools and develop active listening and powerful sharing skills to help you build confidence, increase self-acceptance, self esteem, and self worth, and overcome life’s anxieties.

For additional information on Hilarapy and the Healing with Humor Online Program, go to Hilarapy.com

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