We are living in a time of great uncertainty. Life as we know it is being upended by coronavirus. You may be afraid of losing your job, of not being able to pay the rent or mortgage, of your elderly parents becoming ill ... of yourself becoming more isolated, more anxious, more depressed, more angry - and finding you have no way to deal with it.
There are so many things that are confusing about the behaviour of people during the coronavirus period. People are acting in ways that others don't understand, or are critical of. There seems to be no logic or explanation for their behaviour. In fact, you may be struggling to remain logical yourself, and find yourself being driven by emotions of rage, fear, or are just shutting down from it all. Here's what's going on.
It's such a common phrase as people try to take advantage of a New Year to attempt a change in their lives. Perhaps you're attempting just that, or trying for the umpteenth time to make a change but fear that once again you'll fail. Do you undermine your own chances? Do you doubt your ability to change? Or perhaps you're really not all that willing to change but like to be seen to make the effort? What really gets in the way, and how can you make the changes you'd like to make?
The end of the year is a time when many people are able to switch off from many of the stresses of the rest of the year. Wouldn't it be great if we could start the New Year better equipped to deal with stress, and gain the upper hand? Not only is it possible, but you may already be doing it! How do you understand and manage your stress?
Depression is not simply feeling sad, and not something that people can just "get over" or snap out of. It's an overwhelming self-loathing that saps energy, joy, and hope. Here are some points to help understand more about people who are depressed.
Anxiety is an insidious feeling that takes many forms, from a reluctance to go out socially, to a self-censoring internal dialogue that hold you back, preventing you from moving forward in your life. It's also highly treatable. You can gain control in your life. You can be happy.
This is an accurate video written, acted, directed & edited by Ton Mazzone.
Perfectionism is something I see a lot as a therapist. While high standards and operating at your best are worthwhile goals, perfectionism can be a major impediment to living your life as you would prefer.
"Anger comes fast, often unanticipated and always unwelcome. It operates without logic, with no concern for consequences. It damages things, relationships, and sometimes even people. It leaves me feeling ashamed of myself. Worthless. What's worse, I'm even too weak and useless to control it."
Does this sound familiar?
Do you often find yourself saying "sorry?" Do many of your daily interactions involve apologising for what you think you may have done? Of course, being aware of where we impinge on others as we move through our day is a vital part of the cohesion of society, but there's a way to do it that is a powerful shortcut to happiness.
Communication is so important in a relationship, but for many, we have only the training we have received in our lives to guide us - and it's often wrong! Take empathy for example. We all know that it's the best way to listen, especially with a partner who needs us. But how is it done? And why is it so hard?
Tremors can be a frightening component of anxiety. They are experienced by many sufferers of anxiety, who are often uncertain what the cause may be. It's useful to know that, as anxiety lessens, so too can the body begin to suffer less from this condition.
It's amazing how changing your perspective can completely change your world. We so often get stuck in the rut of the way we look at things that we stagnate, repeat the same mistakes, and gradually become more and more disillusioned. But just how do you set about changing your perspective?
"Coming out" is generally how the process of letting people know you are same-sex attracted has come to be known. This process - and indeed it is a process - is different for everybody. It's also something that all same-sex attracted people have in common, having gone through their own "coming out" process. People often find taking that step to be one of the scariest things they'll ever do. An alternate way is the concept of "inviting in." It's a version of coming out that is increasingly being seen as a way to tailor the process to make it more manageable, and to be less daunting.
We are fast discovering how important a tool breathing is as a method of regulating mood and alleviating distress. While the links are still poorly understood, there is much to learn of immediate benefit, particularly if you are stressed, anxious, or fearful.
I often find people come to see me because they feel stuck. They're unhappy with their life, unhappy with where they're at, but can't see a way forward. Even those who have worked hard on understanding themselves can come to a point where the question becomes "What next?"
Chris is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist at Engage Counselling, Sydney