Perhaps the first and most important thing to understand is that it is normal to feel overwhelmed at certain times in your life.
Life can get complicated and there can be a lot to cope with. So, you are not alone and it is not just you that has had these feelings. To accept that you want to feel better and want positive change is the first step on the road to doing just that!
Coping alone or not getting the right kind of support can make things a lot more difficult. Psychotherapy is a support to help you get back in balance.
How you can judge where you are at a point to benefitting from a Psychotherapist is if you are experiencing some of the following:
- You feel overwhelmed, trapped, isolated or stuck and cannot find a way beyond a certain point.
- Even though you know you have an issue and have tried, you still can't shift the weight, quit cigarettes for good or make those lifestyle changes that you know you should.
- Your relationships and confidence have been affected and that in itself is a source of stress and concern. It is like your issues are doubling up.
- You are aware of what the problem is and ideally the results you want but you just cannot seem to get there and maintain them.
- Your emotions and inner thoughts are tending towards the negative and affect your life.
- You can see that there isn't balance with your lifestyle, relationships and emotions and you really would like for there to be more of that.
Just because you think it doesnt make it TRUE
Typically we act and react based on our perception of a situation. Yet we will do this with little or no evidence for that perception being correct.
For example: A person leaves a party early and arrives late. The host can perceive that party guest to be rude or not interested in the party. The guest didnt give a good reason for their behaviour and the host considers their behaviour to be ignorant or insulting.
This relationship has now changed negatively. The host can then be a bit distant with this guest in the future as they felt personally insulted by how the guest behaved at that party.
What the party host doesnt know, is the medical issue this guest has or the relationship worry that has caused this behaviour. Perhaps they left the party early due to an embarassing personal problem?
This is an example as to how our interpretation, our perception of an event dictates our reaction and in turn affects our lives and relationships.
This host didnt fact check or make any allowance for a personal issue the party guest was having as to why the person behaved like this. The party host perceived rudeness and felt insulted and reacted with only that information.
Variations of this happen on a constant basis throughout the day with all of us.
To realise why you are feeling or thinking like you are and to isolate the emotions behind it is life changing. What do emotions boil down to? Basically, its Love and Fear.
In our example of the guest at the party, the host wanted 'love' with the guests behaviour and attendance. Yet the party host did not get that from the guest, who arrived late and left early.
The reaction of the host was anger based which is 'fear' in another form.
If the host had been more loving and made allowances for private issues the guest may have been having to explain their behaviour then the host would not have felt insulted.
Therefore avoiding the damaged relationship that now exists in this scenario.
You can do a lot of this through your own efforts. A professional such as myself as a Psychologist could possibly get you there faster.
However, I can assure you that you can progress a lot by even beginning to choose to become self-aware of your internal dialogue.
Gratitude as an attitude is calming and empowering.
It's a wonderful thing that we have the ability to self-reflect.
Instead of using our self-talk to be harsh on ourselves we can use it to encourage and to self -praise.
If something you wanted didn't go to plan, instead of thinking in terms of loss or failure, you can frame the situation differently.
''By acknowledging your own efforts you are thanking yourself & appreciating yourself....this is empowerment.''
''Your thinking is reflected in your actions.''
You see, what you are thinking reflects how you see the world around you. Your thinking is reflected in your actions. So, what you are thinking is very important.
The wonderful thing is we can have control on our thinking such as changing our attitude to a positive one.
Change your attitude and then your whole world changes.
''Change your attitude, and then your whole world changes.''
To focus on a positive, no matter what that positive is, distracts you from focusing on the negative.
It is a simple but powerful technique of stress management to alter your attitude in this way.
An attitude of gratitude connects us with others.
In times of anxiety, stress and upset we have the ability to take a moment to consider the many interactions we have had with others where they were nice or kind to us. We can actually feel good and even be grateful for all those small gestures that occur on a daily basis from other people.
Instead of focusing on where we have been let down, we have the ability to change our thoughts to recall those that have supported us.
Even if we are in a situation where we have been let down by a particular person, we can still bring our minds to other people who treated us well. This can have a calming and empowering effect, changing our perspective.
Our memory can conjure up those happy and positive times. Even in times of crisis we can do this and actually find ourselves smiling at those memories.
To be in control of your thoughts is an essential self help tool.
The ability to alter our perception as you can see can make us more aware and centred in ourselves. This is the very essence of calm self control.
To be aware of and in control of your thoughts is an essential self help tool. It is a tool that can be taught to you and supported through psychotherapy and counselling.
A psychotherapist such as myself would teach you such tools so that you can self manage your moods and perception.
It is important that outside of a therapy session you are self managing. The ability to switch your perspective is a very helpful resource.
Positive Psychology research and discussion on 'What is Gratitude' - Click here
Clarity Therapy offers counselling and support services for when you need it. Online & Phone sessions are available.
It's a party, it's normal to be excited, a little anxious maybe. Your heartrate is increased due to this. You have just arrived and are surveying the room perhaps looking for familiar faces. As you sip your first drink the alcohol in that drink is getting into your blood stream that little bit faster due to your heart beating that little bit faster.
Other factors are at play which influence how alcohol affects you, maybe also you are a little tired from being so busy and havent eaten properly? This is a perfect recipe for party disaster and alcohol drinks to go straight to your head! Remember, how much you have eaten and how tired you are also influences how alcohol will affect you.
Turkey is a protein and it contains an fairly high amount of the Amino Acid called 'Tryptophan.' Tryptophan is an essential Amino Acid, not one your body makes. You have to consume it.
Key information to know about where this myth comes from is as follows, just two points to know.
1st point: Tryptophan is used by your body to make Serotonin. Serotonin is part of what regulates your mood.
2nd point: Our body makes Melotonin from Serotonin. Melotonin is the hormone that makes us sleepy.
So you can see the importance of consuming Tryptophan in your diet. If your Tryptophan levels are not good then your mood can be affected. Low serotonin levels are linked with depression and anxiety.
Melotonin and serotonin are vitally important for your sleep and relaxation levels or the ability to relax.
This is where the half truth around Turkey making you sleepy comes from.
Does that mean to eat lots of Turkey and you will feel both great and sleepy? Well, actually no, and actually in fact Tofu contains more Tryptophan than Turkey.
To sum up on this myth about Turkey making you sleepy:
It is true that eating Turkey gives you some Tryptophan. It is also true that Tryptophan makes you feel relaxed and it is part of what makes Melotonin which is the sleepy hormone.
However, eating Turkey in itself is unlikely to be the cause of falling asleep after your Turkey dinner! It is far more likely to be simple, tiredness, overindulgence and excess carbohydrates which has the real sedating effect.
Point to remember! 'Just because you THINK IT, Doesn't make it TRUE.' Your thoughts are not facts. Central to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is this point.
We all do it but that doesn't make it ok. For some of us what we are thinking is really off centre. Genuinely not even near what is factually true. You know this, some people are way off! Thing is, you are sometimes too!
People can have very slanted and biased views on all sorts of things, anything in fact, and will believe it fully just because they thought it to be true.
We are all capable of this. To make up our minds about someone or something just because WE THOUGHT IT TO BE TRUE. Not an ounce of fact or research gained.
We react, we upset ourselves, we worry, and all perhaps for something that we framed in our minds to be a certain way.
WE framed it that way.
1. Our 'filter' perceived the event or the person or the place etc..
2. We told ourselves a 'story' attached to it
3. We believed it.
4. We react...
This happens in micro split seconds in our thought processes. Emotions are very much part of this. Intertwined is emotion.
If you want to have a healthy mind the information in this article really is key.
In Psychology we call it 'cognitive bias' which is that slanted way of thinking. Typically it is a negative bias that is in fact causing the person issue. Thing is, you may not see it as a bias, you may think its FULLY TRUE. After all, its your bias and its your mind so you are believing what you are telling yourself!
Working with me or any therapist can feel challenging because of this. It is hard to question yourself and to let go of attitudes you have held on to. Thoughts and ways of speaking that were habits. Habits of thinking and speaking that you were not even fully aware were not helping you in life. Until your therapy work sheds light on them.
What someone like me does with a person is to use techniques such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to help a person begin to realise those biases, those slants in their thinking. Therapy can uncover how those biases that appear in self talk are not helpful and WHY they are not helpful.
What you can do in terms of self-help is to begin to question yourself sometimes with what you are saying to yourself. Ask yourself, do you know for a fact what it is you are telling yourself is actually true? Pay attention to your self talk.
This really is key to good mental health. In fact its key to healthy communities and relationships. We would all be a lot nicer to ourselves and others if we took a moment before we made our mind up about someone or something.
If your thinking is not healthy, if you know you are having angry or resentful thoughts and worry a lot. Perhaps you find yourself not able to relate in your relationship? If you relate to any of this then therapy genuinely can help you. Probably help you a lot quicker than you realise and with such positive unburdening effects you can barely imagine just now.
I offer online therapy using Skype or Whatsapp calling or we can use Facebook messenger calling. My office locations are in Marbella and Riviera del Sol. Here is a link to my website for all information about me and working with me so as to help you. www.claritytherapy.es
Meditation is something that gets mentioned a lot to me as a psychotherapist. Mostly in terms of how a person has tried to meditate but can't. Or that they meditate in the morning but still feel stressed and so it isnt 'working.'
To me, what IS meditation is actually not fully understood. Typically we think of the person crosslegged on the floor, eyes closed, incense burning, chanting a mantra etc. Yes, that is certainly a WAY to meditate but it isnt exactly WHAT meditation is or the only way to get in that state.
You see a brain scientist views Meditation as a 'state' that 'state' is then measurable and observable for a scientist. They use MRI machine, ECG machine etc. to measure and observe what happens to a persons brain when in a meditative state. Below I have included some links about this if you are interested in learning more about this fascinating subject.
You have heard of Mindfulness? It is a very popular concept these days. I completed a course in Mindfulness with Leiden University in conjunction with Oxford University and found what I learned to be very revealing and helpful as a therapist.
Let me be honest with you, anxiety is hard to deal with. It is a very uncomfortable feeling and it can really affect your life and relationships. If you have anxiety or you get anxiety 'attacks' then you already know that!
It is hard to explain to people who dont get anxiety what it actually feels like. That in itself can be frustrating and a problem all on its own. Not only do you find it difficult to make sense of yourself but others around you dont really understand it either. It is an isolating experience in that way.
This week two Facebook friends of mine lost 'things' of great value, specifically their gold wedding ring and their dog. In the 'real world community' I heard my aunt lost her purse.
The reaction on Facebook was immediate with people sharing the 'lost item' post. People giving words of support and encouragement and offering to help. Here is the good news, the ring, the dog and the wallet were all handed in and returned to their relieved owners.
Altruism is the word that means to do nice things for other people. Studies show that altruistic acts are inherent in us humans, we have inherent caring for one another.
Faced with aggression? This is a difficult thing to handle. Naturally, our response is 'fight or flight.' When faced with agression we are naturally designed, due to our hormonal reactions, to immediatly react. Typically we will either freeze in shock or lash out at the aggressive person. This is the 'fight or flight response in action.
Our natural reaction is to have a personal and emotional response. To be hurt, insulted, shocked or angry. So how to handle aggression from others in a balanced way when our natural reaction is otherwise?
It is possible and advisable to take a moment to calm and centre yourself when faced with aggression from others. Keep your composure.
Fighting fire with fire is not going to calm the aggressive person. Think a moment before you say something you may later regret or will just add negatively to the situation.
You can actually calm the other person down or make them realise they are getting out of control simply by how you react to them.
This is something that people can be trained to do as part of their profession. Paramedics and the Police for example are highly trained in dealing with aggressive people as they deal with hurt, angry & intoxicated people as part of their job.
In some aggressive situations we have an opportunity to walk away or tell the person we will get back to them later. We can assure them that we have heard their grievance and give them a time frame as to when they can expect to hear back from us.
If the aggressive person simply wants to vent, and has no intentions of being reasonable, then you are in a bullying and harassment situation. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by handling the situation as calmly as you can.
If the aggressive person has begun to be insulting to you personally then this is a situation that is already out of control. Personal insults are never ok.
It may be possible for you to say to this insulting aggressive person, 'I know you are frustrated and can see it, we will have to end this conversation if you continue to speak to me in this way, I am listening to you.'
Then, if the person continues, you have warned them and can back away from this situation, having kept your composure and dignity.
The other person is then in the position to have to realise that they allowed the situation to get out of hand with how they reacted and spoke to you. Therefore owing you an apology.
Of course, if you are in fact dealing with a bully or manipulator, any apology if ever there is one, would be for them to gain an advantage.
'Fighting fire with fire is not going to calm the aggressive person.'
The link below is to a Psychologists Positive Traits test. It is easy to complete and takes about 20 minutes. You may find the results interesting? It is a test showing your character strengths. A real Psychology test not 'pop psychology.'
In working with my clients I will on occasion use tests such as this. It gives us a good place to start and an interesting insight.
Why is this important or interesting? Well, when presenting yourself to a Psychologist for whatever reason, the Psychologist then has choices in how to view you personally, how to view your issue as you report it to be and how to help you. A Psychologists view can and will vary according to their professional approach. Psychologists and Psychotherapists approaches can vary a lot!
If you know someone with Anxiety or you have it please read this. It is important to know that anxiety is not something that is just in your head. It is not simply thought related.
Thoughts are part of it or can be but they are not the whole picture. I want to communicate in this information piece that you can get a blood test and find out what is causing your anxiety. You can do that. That is possible.
Your anxiety can be treated more simply than probably you realise. Than perhaps your Doctor or Therapist realises. Read this and let me explain as this information can save a lot of misery