Sometimes it doesn’t take much for us to feel a little stronger; some words of wisdom from a close friend, an understanding smile or a few comforting thoughts. Here are some really useful ideas that I have recently passed on during online counselling. I hope they make a difference to you.
All Feelings Change
No matter how bad we feel, no matter how difficult life gets, in time, feelings will change, whoever we are and whatever we do. This is the nature of feelings, they ebb and flow, they come and go like the tide, and when the tide is out such a long way as it is right now, it’s difficult to believe that it will ever be high tide again. But it will. Times will change and your feelings will change as well.
We all talk to ourselves. We may not think that we do, but we do. We may not do it out loud, but, all of us, without exception, talk to ourselves. We all have a voice at the back of our mind which often whispers self-defeating and worrying thoughts. During good times this voice is drowned out by the hubbub of day to day life, but at times of great stress and uncertainty this little whisper can easily turn into a bellow, or even a hysterical scream. Be aware of what you are saying to yourself as this “self-talk” informs our beliefs. If we are constantly telling ourselves that we can’t cope, the chances are that we won’t. Self-talk becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Monitor your own self-talk and change it slightly and it will make a difference. Instead of telling yourself you can’t cope, take a deep breath, and re-phrase your feeling to something that’s not so self-defeating, maybe something like, “although life is difficult and I feel that I can’t cope, I know that I am strong and have managed difficult things before and I will once more manage this.”
People Around You Are Good
Over the past 30 years working as a counsellor I am happy to confirm that people are good. We may well do odd things from time to time and certainly are capable of making mistakes, but on the whole, most people are good. It’s useful to remind yourself of this when everything may feel so bad and uncertain. The people around you are good people.
You’re a Survivor…yes you are!
You may not feel much like a fighter, but believe me you are. If you trace your family back over just a few hundred years you will discover that you come from a long line of people who have learnt how to survive, who have fought to survive and have carried on their legacy to be able to produce you. If your ancestors were not survivors you would not be here reading this! Survival is deep in your DNA, and all you have to do is carry on carrying on. Keep going, you are doing just fine.
Common sense, as well as clinical research, shows that healthy self-confidence and self-esteem is born out of experiencing success. When we are feeling low it’s often difficult to remember how successful we have been in the past. Although we might not have trophy cabinets stuffed full of glittering awards, we will all know what it’s like to be successful, to have passed our driving test, got through a difficult job interview or studied hard for an exam or test. When things are difficult remember all those times when you have been successful. It will boost your self-esteem.
This is, without a doubt, the most challenging time in recent history. There has never been a time when so many of us have faced uncertainly, job losses, bereavement, lifestyle restrictions, health problems, stress, anxiety, depression, isolation, relationship problems and so much more. At some point these difficulties will pass and we will once again be able to live a happy and peaceful life. It’s important to hang on to whatever it is we are looking forward to. For me I’m looking forward to going to watch live football and seeing my children.
What are you looking forward to?
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Debi Bennis says
Very informative, in simple user friendly terms. Thanks for sharing.