Waiting for change that never comes
Today, more people recognise their holistic, complete personal well-being relies on their mental health. They also recognise that they are having problems with anxiety, stress, low self-esteem and lack of confidence like 'imposter syndrome' at work or their relationships. Yet, many still don't seek to talk about their problems but rather hide from them. Why is that?
One of my preferred quotations has always been: "If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you always got."- and that I found on a notice at the surgery of a GP-cum-counsellor, many years ago.
Unless we do something differently, the outcome will always be the same. You don’t change, the other person doesn’t change and therefore the situation will not change either.
How do you hide? Perhaps you choose not to think about the problem (and so won't find a solution) or take drink or drugs to stop the pain and numb the thinking - which is not helpful either. Perhaps you find many distractions like 'work from home' problems or 'home from work' problems you don’t want or feel able to face up to and resolve on your own.
So ask for help.
Initially, tell someone how you are feeling - or at least in response to, "How are you?" reply more honestly saying you are 'not great right now' or 'I have been better but I have some problems I need to sort out'. People will generally be willing to help, whether or not they are able to. They will at least listen and that counts for a lot.
"A problem shared is a problem halved" becomes self-prophecy. Why? Because you realise then that you are not alone and don't need to carry your burden on your own. People are there, to listen, to act with you and share ideas and experiences that might jog your own focus into gear to change what needs to be.
Counselling has become more popular and acceptable in the UK over the last few years, which I can see, having been in the US for several years before. The stigma may still be around for some but not as many or as much. Most of that stigma is around your own beliefs and expectations of yourself - often impossible standards to meet, whilst others will recognise similar situations and also realise their empathy to help a fellow person out, especially someone close.
It may be that they simply support you to find the right help, or let you talk and recognise your own solutions. They may offer advice that you don’t actually have to take but might help put things into perspective so it is less daunting and frightening after all.
Just talk. To someone, to a professional, to those who can influence the stressors you are facing and help to make the changes you need. Even small tweaks can make a huge difference. And that will also be the first step on your journey to change and improvement, to a better situation in future and helpful insights that you will embed in your life and never lose again once you have realised them.
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