Do something different today
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Graeme Orr MBACP(Accred), UKRCP Reg. Ind. Counsellor
29th September, 20110 Comments
Insanity it is said is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So often as a counsellor, I find this to be true. Clients will come and describe their lives and expect things to change for the better around them. The difficulty is that we feel trapped an unsure of what will change things for the better so we stick with the status quo.
Take Catherine, since her divorce two years ago she has found that increasingly her life has become goes to work each day and get through the day. She isn’t particularly stressed by her job as and admin assistant but neither is she passionate about it. She has friends in the office, but no-one she feels particularly close to. Each day she comes home to her flat and after lounging around for an hour or so she gets her evening meal and veggies out in front of the TV. Her teenage daughter lives with her and organising her social life (lifts and so on) along with the weekly grind of washing, housework and shopping take care of her free time at the weekend. But Catherine feels more and more isolated she wants friends an interest but has no idea how to get them so she continues with the daily routine.
After speaking to a counsellor she resolved to do something different each day, not something big but something: It might be to go by train to the office rather than the bus, or another day it might be to eat out for lunch rather than at her desk. She saw that a visiting author was coming to the library and went along to hear them. By taking these risks she was inviting opportunity into her life. As she took each step it became easier. She found and joined a local book group and now she has a different routine but one which includes much more space for Catherine herself.
The point of this story is not that you will be guaranteed happiness by doing something different but that by doing the same thing you are guaranteed what you have now. If you want to bring about change in your life you need to be honest with yourself. Are you happy, what would you like to change? If you are vaguely unsatisfied with your life perhaps you need to spend some time finding out what will make a difference to you. I find that walking in the park helps me clear my head to be at one with my thoughts, perhaps listening to music works better for you or reading. It can be worth visiting a counsellor to get support to establish help and support in this change.
When you start to do things different be careful to choose things that you have control over and not things that rely on outside event. So I am going to the gig in the pub tomorrow is fine. I am going to the gig tomorrow, so I can meet someone raises expectations that possibly will not be met. Do things that you will enjoy or that change your life for the better.
How does counselling help?
Making changes like this in your life are often easier with the support of someone. They can be a sounding board for how you are feeling or support you when times get tough or it seems impossible to keep going. For some there are friends or family. But if they are not around, perhaps you are not sure they would understand or would be hurt or perhaps there is no-one. There is also the support of qualified counsellors who can help you through the process.
Even if you don’t win the lottery or meet your new partner as a result of trying something different you will have enriched your life by listening to your needs and being honest with yourself that your emotional needs should be looked after as well as anyone else. That you have done something that gets you out of the rut, which offers you the opportunity to see the world in a different way. Finally if you are unsatisfied with your life what have you got to loose, go on get out of bed on the right side today.
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