A sense of purpose

Having a sense of purpose provides clear reasons, such as a goal in life, that makes us want specific things and strive for what we desire for our future – to reach our potential, be successful in our relationships, to study well and have a career we dream of, to train well or compete in sports. It is what keeps us motivated and interested and reaching our goals. It is an investment in ourselves.

Having a sense of purpose is what you believe in and value, it is more than the mundane and routine and although it can be challenging, it is related to our positive mental and physical well-being. If we are feeling ‘under the weather’, it can be a reason to help us want to get better, provide hope and feel more positive, something to look forward to and become engaged with, providing focus and clarity. It is what drives us to want to achieve and make plans for our future. It can help us ride through ups and downs in life and build and sustain emotional resilience. This can be fulfilling.

Sometimes we may find ourselves struggling, lost in direction, feeling confused and wondering what to do to change things. Maybe you are feeling low in mood and your family and friends seem good at giving you advice as to how you could improve yourself and your situation. Perhaps you have been recently bereaved, had a recent loss, such as your job and financial security, a relationship break up, children leaving home, a family pet who has died, maybe there feels to be a large gap, a void in your life currently….

In order to make each day seem worthwhile, it may help to focus on something to do for each day. Take small steps such as some self-care, being kind to yourself, going for a short walk, connecting with nature in a local park, growing some plants from seeds, feeding the ducks, baking your favourite cake, or listening to music, playing an instrument, writing in a journal, finishing an unread book, playing a sport, arts and crafts, doing what matters to you. In other words… provide yourself with a reason to wake up in the morning, a sense of purpose, a sense of achievement.

Or in the longer term: focus on bigger changes you could make, lifestyle changes, reviewing your health and introducing exercise. Or it may involve reflecting upon relationships that make you feel negative and introduce ways to feel valued and appreciated such as voluntary work: perhaps charity work in your local community, for instance at the local hospital, church or food bank to provide that sense of giving back, helping others less fortunate, fundraising or campaigning for something you feel passionately about and giving you a sense of achievement. Having a strong support network with your family or friends or like-minded people and a sense of community can aid mental well-being.

If you feel that you are at a crossroads in your life and there are issues you wish to explore with someone who is impartial to your family and friends and does not instruct you what you should do or what they would do in your position, why not consider counselling sessions with a therapist in a safe, confidential, non-judgemental setting. It can help you to decide what is important to you.

A counselling session can help you to deal with this and support you in moving forward. Having someone to talk to openly who is there purely to listen to you talk about your feelings, help you make sense of them and explore your options can be beneficial and a genuinely unique source of support. Often talking to family and friends can be a barrier to talking honestly.

Counselling can help you cope with your mental health, any emotions not previously tapped into and any issues and difficult life events and relationship problems. By sharing and exploring your thoughts and feelings with a person-centred therapist, it can help you find your own solutions to a problem without them telling you what to do, you can start to regain control of your life.

Counselling can provide support whilst you try to adapt to a new situation, provide clarity and make it easier to cope. It can increase self-awareness and improve quality of life and help to reduce any anxious and depressive symptoms, you don’t need to cope alone. Counselling offers time for you to talk about any issues, time to think, ‘recharge your batteries’, cry, reflect with someone who will respect you. It can all help you work towards a life that you will consider will satisfy you.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Barrowford BB9 & Clitheroe BB7

Written by Gillian Gill

Barrowford BB9 & Clitheroe BB7

B.A.(Hons)Counselling & Psychology P.G Dip.Counselling & Psychotherapy. MBACP
Practice: clinics in Crawshawbooth & Barrowford, Lancashire. Currently:5 years for a charitable organisation, 7 years university students with mental health issues, 2 years Pennine NHS Mental Health. Historical 7 years Rethink Mental Illness.
Loss, Abuse, relationships.

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