Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Stella Goddard, BA (Hons) Registered MBACP (Accred)
12th October, 20170 Comments
The importance of good mental health is gaining momentum in society. This is a good thing, though we have some way to go before we are as comfortable talking about this as we are about our physical health. Just as physical health has many aspects, so does mental health. We need good mental health to be able to manage life well with all of it's challenges.
There are so many demands on our time and I wonder if our increased dependence on smartphones, tablets etc. means that we are often on high alert waiting for the next thing that demands our instant attention. We all have our limit before we reach breaking point.
Perhaps there are difficulties at work and personally and you are feeling pulled in every direction, trying to fulfill your responsibilities, but feeling increasingly unable to do so in the way that you would like to. Do you find yourself struggling to acknowledge that there is a problem but you notice that you are feeling exhausted and lacking in motivation yet try to push through in the hope that all will be well if you just try harder?
Sometimes it can feel as though everything has gone wrong and you feel stuck and unsure of what, if anything, you can do. Perhaps you can identify the main cause of your distress or it may be one last thing that has pushed you into a state of feeling overwhelmed.
Have you told anyone how you are feeling or has anyone even noticed that you aren't your usual self? I wonder what it feels like as you struggle and yet feel ashamed and embarrassed to tell someone that you are experiencing difficulties.
Do you find yourself getting involved in risk-taking behaviours such as drug or alcohol misuse, self-harm or unhealthy relationships? This may then lead to an increased sense of feeling overwhelmed and powerless.
Sometimes in childhood we are taught that we must be strong, not cry, not admit to any distress at all or we will be perceived by others as weak. The truth is that it takes courage to admit that we are in distress and to be willing to ask for help.
If we don't process our emotions we may find that we have physical pain such as headaches and stomach aches. We may also find that we are highly anxious, short-tempered and explosive at the smallest trigger.
Living in a state of stress and anxiety can have serious consequences personally and professionally. It is possible to find a healthy way to manage these. Perhaps start by making an appointment to see your GP.
About the author
Stella Goddard has extensive experience of working clinically with stress and anxiety. She works towards self-compassion, increasing healthy boundaries and helping clients to be more assertive so that their sense of self-esteem is enhanced. She works privately in Weybridge and Godalming, Surrey.
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