ME/CFS And Anxiety

I had a conversation recently with someone who was experiencing anxiety, which reminded me of a time when I had ME/CFS and experienced extreme anxiety.

I remember feeling as if I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel with regard to the anxiety.

A friend described it as this underlying feeling of anxiety, with no recognisable cause.

I was staying with a friend. I was going through a lot of challenges, including dealing with ME/CFS, the end of a long term relationship and I was having difficulties with a member of my family.

I tried to deal with the anxiety using techniques I knew, but wasn’t successful. Continue reading

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ME/CFS: Remaining Calm In The Emotional Storm

In this post, former ME/CFS sufferer and Coach Simon Pimenta explores how people with ME/CFS can deal with external events that can be emotionally  overwhelming.

I wrote this on 23 June 2016- the day that the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), but recent events in Charlottesville and Barcelona (August 2017) prompted me to post this article.

For people experiencing ME/CFS, sometimes external events grab our attention, have an impact on our emotions and can even affect our wellbeing.

Continue reading

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ME/CFS And Perfectionism

In this post, former ME/CFS sufferer and Coach Simon Pimenta explores perfectionism and strategies for dealing with perfectionism if you have ME/CFS and this trait.

Note: I am not suggesting that all people with ME/CFS have this trait. I don’t believe that to be the case. Having worked with many people with ME/CFS for 11 years, I observe that some people recognise the trait within themselves to some degree, others do not.

Are You A Perfectionist?

Actually, instead of asking ‘Are you a perfectionist?’, it might be more useful to ask ‘Do you exhibit perfectionist tendencies at times?’ as the former question labels people; it suggests that a person is always a perfectionist, which is unlikely.

Perfectionism is setting excessively high standards and going above and beyond what is required.

Perfectionists tend to: Continue reading

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The Power Of Anchors: Changing Unhelpful Responses

Recently, I bought a ready made salad with a dressing.

As I ate it, I spontaneously started thinking about my time working on a summer camp, back in the 80s.

I was curious to know where that thought came from, as it seemed to pop out of nowhere.

As I pondered this, I realised that the salad dressing was very similar to the dressing used at the summer camp!

This blew my mind, that my thinking could be triggered by a taste.

This is an example of an anchor; when a stimulus can trigger a particular response, in this case a memory.

Anchors Are Powerful

Another example is when we hear a piece of music and it instantly takes us back to a particular time in our life.

Anchors can be negative: Continue reading

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5 Steps To Stop Worrying What Others Think

Do you worry too much about what other people think?

Perhaps you are concerned that you have upset them by something you have said.

Worrying too much about what other people think can be a trait that is present in some (but not all) people with ME/CFS and in people without this condition.

It can be exhausting and a waste of energy!

5 Steps To Stop The Worry Habit

1. Recognise The Pattern

If you think you have said or done something that may have upset another person, you could ask them if you have upset them.

However, if you are doing this too often, then it may be that it is a pattern that you may find useful to break. Continue reading

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ME/CFS: 6 Steps To Beating Binge & Bust

Maslow’s hierarchy proposes the theory that people are motivated to meet their needs in order to thrive, from basic needs; physiological needs, to higher needs; such as self esteem, self-actualization and self-transcendence (a term he added some years after the initial model he proposed).

We all have needs, that if not met, will have consequences.

I appreciate that getting your needs met when you have ME/CFS and don’t have the support you need, can make life difficult.

Binge & Bust 

One thing I noticed when I had ME/CFS, is that I would go through a cycle where I would: Continue reading

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ME/CFS: 5 Steps For Saying No

In Danny Wallace’s book, Yes Man (a very funny, daft and uplifting book), the author meets a man on a bus who tells him to say yes more, in response to hearing Danny say he has got stuck in a rut.

He sets himself the challenge of saying yes to everything. It results in many adventures, some amusing, some potentially detrimental. For example, he nearly ended up in a fight and if I recall correctly, taking some pills of dubious quality he bought online.

One of his learnings from the experience is that he needed to be discerning and say no in some situations!

Anyone with ME/CFS would love to be able to say yes more, but are unable to due to extreme physical and mental exhaustion, and other symptoms. Continue reading

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ME/CFS: Are You A Helper?

A trait often present in people with ME/CFS is that of the helper.

This is the person who is keen to help others.

It can be a good trait.

However it can also become an unhelpful one, that is detrimental to the person doing the helping, because they are not taking care of their own needs.

Continue reading

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5 Steps To Becoming Solution Focussed

In this post, Coach and Trainer  Simon Pimenta explores the topic of  how we can shift from over-focussing on problems to being solution focussed.

Some people tend to focus on and dwell on a problem, whilst others, having identified a problem, very quickly start to focus on considering solutions.

One way of spotting when people are getting stuck on a problem, Continue reading

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Is Stress Affecting Your ME/CFS?


In this post, former ME/CFS sufferer and Coach Simon Pimenta explores the topic of:
1. What stress is
2. A simple strategy for assessing how much stress you might be experiencing

3. How you can identify strategies to reduce stress, that may result in health and energy benefits.

What Is Stress?

When I ask people this question, people will often say that stress is:

The feeling of being out of control
Sweaty palms, heart beating ten to the dozen, etc.
The really big stuff- starting a new job, moving house, giving birth, dealing with a loss

Definition Of Stress

Continue reading

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