Do you ever have an ‘is it me’ day? The kind of day where you feel unappreciated or used and feel that other people, either at home or work, are acting in a self-interested, judgemental or unfair way. It’s easy for these feelings to spiral and it’s possible that you may find yourself withdrawing or arguing. It might feel challenging to find a way to live around those who only think of themselves.
It’s a wonderful thing to find something that helps us. It can change the way we view ourselves, our relationships, the world and life in general. However, what works for me might not work for you and that is why asking someone else to tell you what to do can be really unhelpful. Counselling is one of those things that can change your life. It can work on so many levels. It can help you to understand and accept yourself. It can help you to understand your relationships and why you might keep repeating some unhelpful behaviours. It might help you to improve relationships with your partner, your family, your friends and work colleagues. Or it might simply be the only place where you can really be you and work through all those things that you don’t want to tell anyone else about. How often do we have the experience of starting to tell a family member or friend something before they jump in with their own story, say something silencing like ‘tell me about it’ or simply not care enough to engage and listen?
I don’t know if you have noticed but counsellors talk about feelings a lot. I’m smiling as I write that because the stereotypical therapist is often portrayed in the media as someone touching their chin and asking their client ‘How did that make you feel?’ While I do try to avoid asking that myself, it does happen.
So why is it so important to understand our feelings? Well it might be useful to draw on why you might be considering counselling in the first place. You might find that you are thinking or saying things like ‘I feel lost’, or ‘I feel depressed’. It is your feelings which are being foregrounded here, not your thoughts. Alternatively, it may be that you have no idea what you are feeling and you might say things like ‘I’m bad at relationships’ or ‘My boss doesn’t understand me’. Counselling helps you to understand your feelings. It helps you to recognise the triggers to these feelings and helps you to process them. It helps you to understand how to cope when your feelings are stopping you from doing what you would like to do and to manage them.
If you need someone to help you with the way you are feeling, please get in touch. Feel well.
Imagine how your life would be if you felt comfortable with things being good enough? Would you feel like a failure? Or would you feel as though you had achieved an enviable goal? Your response indicates how you dance with life and how you evaluate yourself.
For a perfectionist or someone who suffers from anxiety, the idea of being good enough might feel awful and a second-rate position to aspire to. It might imply that you have not really tried hard enough to achieve excellence and that you are one of those people who is a bit on the lazy side and lacks ambition. For someone who is comfortable with being good enough, the idea of being perfect is an unattainable goal and they may realise that there are many things they wish to focus on in their life apart from work or study or looking perfect. Or it may be that things are far from good enough because you are procrastinating and feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to start changing things.
There is no right answer here and some people are happy with seeking perfection. For others, this can be an anxiety-provoking and isolating pursuit which can be exacerbated by others failing to understand just how important it feels to get everything right or give 100% all the time. In fact, the more others fail to understand the needs of the perfectionist, the more anxious and isolated the person can become. This can lead to arguments and the breakdown of relationships with friends, partners, family and colleagues. The same can be said of poor performance.
If you are struggling with perfectionism or with procrastination and a lack of performance, it can be hard to understand how to change things. You might be stuck and powerless and feel that no one is going to understand. You might be falling behind at work or woth your studies. It might be useful to seek some help to explore what is going on and possible changes you could make to live live in a more fulfilling way. Therapy can help you to do this, and to figure out how you would like the rest of your life to be.
There is no right way ‘to do’ counselling which sounds unsatisfactory I know. It is really going to depend so much on the relationship which develops between you and your Counsellor. It is also going to depend on the model of therapy your Counsellor draws on. For more on this please read my blog post different approaches to psychological therapy.
Not sleeping well is a bad place to be. It seems so much harder to cope with day to day life when you are tired. It becomes so easy to snap at other people. You can end up worrying about not sleeping and this can create a vicious circle. Lots of clients come to counselling and mention that they are having trouble sleeping. It’s very common, especially if you are experiencing some kind of psychological distress. So what can you do? There is a lot of helpful information available on the internet. Try searching under ‘sleep hygiene’ and you will find lots of common sense articles about how to get a good night’s sleep. Try some of the things suggested in these articles for about 2 weeks and see if things improve. It is amazing how many clients come to counselling and say that if they wake up in the middle of the night they go downstairs and make a cup of coffee. Caffeine is not known for its sleep inducing properties.
So what happens if you are still not sleeping well? It’s really important to try and figure out whether this is a normal response to an abnormal situation. If you are recently bereaved then it is possible that this will interfere with your sleep. If you have recently experienced some kind of loss, for example redundancy, again it is likely to impact on your sleep. Or it may be that you have some regrets about things that have happened in the past. And these keep ticking over in your mind at night. Maybe you feel guilty about something you have done. Or haven’t done. If you are having difficulties sleeping you could go to your GP and ask about medication. Or you could try some counselling and try to process those losses or regrets or feelings of guilt. Sleep well.