How healthy are we in other ways?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Saff Mitten, Counsellor & Psychotherapist - W1 & NW6
23rd June, 20140 Comments
Everyone tends to be focused on the importance of health these days but when we think/talk about our health we are usually referring to our physical health. For instance, have we been sick lately, how fit are we, what's our diet like, are we doing enough exercise? These are all valid and important things to consider and focus upon, and most of us could probably pay them a little more attention at times.
However, how healthy are we in other ways? And how does this impact upon our ability to function and succeed in life and work? Although we may not stop to consider it all that often, our health is as much about our emotional and mental wellbeing as it is about our physical body. In fact, our thoughts and feelings can have a big impact on how we function in our day to day lives both at work, and at home with friends and family. If we are struggling with difficult thoughts or grappling with painful, confusing or low feelings, this is going to affect our overall health and wellbeing and our ability to be successful in life. Furthermore, our thoughts and feelings can have a big impact on our physical health and our motivation to exercise, eat well, and generally look after ourselves.
Therefore, when considering your health, aside from focusing on how you are physically, why not take the time to also get in touch with how you have been feeling lately. Have you been feeling positive things such as feeling happy, confident and at ease? Or have you perhaps been feeling hurt, angry, frustrated, confused, insecure, depressed, anxious, low, empty or numb? Whatever you have been feeling is a reflection of what has been going in your life and it is bound to be impacting on you, even if you are trying to ensure that it does not.
At the same time, it is worth examining your thoughts to determine whether there are any recurring thoughts or negative/difficult patterns of thinking that have been coming up for you lately. Are you in a positive place with your thoughts and do you feel that you have some control over what you are thinking? Or are you maybe having recurring unhelpful thoughts popping into your head when you least need/want them too? Are you overly worried about things or doubting your abilities at work? Are you finding yourself being very critical of others or of yourself? Are you having difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly when you need to focus on specific tasks? Again, all these things can impact how you perform at work and/or how you interact with others on a professional and personal level.
Getting into the habit of checking in with yourself on a daily basis to identify your thoughts and feelings can therefore be beneficial, as it can help you to become more aware of what is going on for you and how your emotional and mental health is impacting your life - positively or negatively. In doing so, if you find that you are struggling with emotions or thoughts that are difficult, unhelpful or unwanted (which to be honest we all do at times) then it may be worth seeking some help and support in the form of counselling, psychotherapy or coaching.
More broadly though, you don't need to be struggling to seek out therapy. Although that is often what brings many people to therapy to begin with, it can also be used in a pro-active way to invest in and help you support your overall health and wellbeing - in much the same way as you go to the gym/build in exercise to help you remain/become physically fit, or how you undertake further training to keep you ahead of the game at work. In fact, many people find it can be very helpful to to designate an hour of their time weekly in therapy (for a period of a few months or more) to explore and examine their thoughts and feelings with a professional who is trained to help them do this effectively.
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