The miracles that can happen
It is often that we find ourselves convinced that the only key to our mental well-being is in our environment, or the people that we are surrounded by. It is true that the way in which we work, where we live and those we relate to are all factors that impact our emotional health, but it is also true that often we do not possess the power to change these factors. How many of us are convinced that work would be better were our colleagues to behave differently, or that we would be happier in our relationships if our loved one had different priorities? The fact is that the only change we can be certain we have the power to instigate is that within ourselves.
If you are stuck in an experience you wish could be different, try asking yourself what Solution Focused therapists would term, 'The Miracle Question'. Ask yourself: if by some miracle during the night your problem was solved, how would you notice it had happened? Try to focus on your felt experience. So, if your problem is, for example, work-related, you might have realised because you would not be experiencing dread about going into work the moment you wake up. If you are struggling with your relationship with your mum, you might notice the miracle because you feel pleased when you receive her morning text message. This question will help move the issue from something you have no power over to something more internal. They become "I would like to not experience dread about going to work" or "I would like to be pleased to communicate with my mum". This autonomous place might be just a starting point, but it is one with much more promise and potential than "I would like everything around me to be different".
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About Annabelle Hird
Annabelle Hird is a counsellor practising in the Richmond area. She also facilitates peer support groups for women with postnatal depression with Cocoon family support in Camden and is a counsellor with Off The Record, youth charity in Twickenham.
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