Something that crops up again and again in counselling sessions is the debilitating effect that anxiety and unwanted thoughts can have on clients’ ability to sleep. And of course, most of us have been there…. At the end of the day, we climb into bed, hoping to drift into a deep and peaceful sleep, when our minds decide that now would be a good time to start thinking about everything that’s going on in our lives just now, and we lay tossing and turning for hours instead.
So here are a few ideas that may help you fall into that seemingly elusive sleep when anxiety and unwanted thoughts seem determined to keep you awake.
So there you go… A few suggestions to help you get to sleep and allow your mind to rest.
Let me know if you have any suggestions of your own, by commenting below.
Next time, we’ll look at how to make it easier to get up in the mornings.
There are so many things in the world that we can’t control, such as the weather, and the thoughts and actions of others. But there are more things that you do have control over in your life, even if you think you don’t.
You may be in a job you hate and think you have no choice but to stay in it.
“But I can’t leave my job – if I do, I won’t be able to pay the bills”
It may not seem like it, but you are still making a choice - you are choosing financial security over financial insecurity.
It may seem a small consolation when you really dislike your job, but just that simple shift in thinking can help you be more accepting of your job and feel more in control of your life, and it can also open up different possibilities available to you, rather than leaving you feeling stuck.
One way to help you notice the (often subconscious) choices you are making in your life, is to look at the language you are using.
Pay particular attention to sentences that include ‘I have to’, ‘I need to’, ‘I must’, and ‘I should’.
These phrases tend to suggest you don’t have control - they sound like obligations rather than choices.
But do you really ‘have to’, ‘need to’ ‘must’, or ‘should’?
If so, why?
And what are the consequences if you don’t?
Some of these obligations can come from habitual thinking or the expectations of others, so it’s worth taking some time to identify where your ‘haves’, ‘needs’, musts’ and ‘shoulds’ come from, and thinking about whether they still serve you.
A simple way of identifying control and choice can come from reframing these sentences by changing the words ‘have to’ ‘need to’, ‘must’ or ‘should’, to ‘could’.
Try changing, “I need to finish writing that report tonight”
to, “I could finish writing that report tonight”
Notice how changing the wording implies choice – it allows you to weigh up the pros and cons so you get to make an informed decision on whether to finish writing the report tonight or not. You are now in control which, in itself, can help to lessen pressure and stress.
And if the guilt of letting other people down is leaving you feeling that you have no choice, take a look at my vlog, 'How to say 'no' without feeling guilty'.
Of course, there are going to be some things over which you really do have no control, but even then, you can still choose how to respond or react which can help put you more in control of your feelings.
So what choices are you going to make to take back control over your life? Let me know if the comments below, or drop me a line on my contact me page.
3/8/2020 0 Comments
If your car exhaust was rattling, would you take it to the garage, or would you wait until it fell off before getting it repaired?
Most people would want to take it to the garage as soon as possible as they know that if they left it, it might lead to more damage and a higher bill.
And yet a lot of people only think of coming to counselling when they’ve reached rock bottom. It’s seen as a last resort.
But you don’t have to reach a certain level of struggle for it to be ‘ok’ to have counselling.
Counselling is really good self-care. It’s a way of helping yourself when you’re starting to struggle, and putting it off could mean you will struggle for longer.
As with the car exhaust analogy, counselling can be about prevention - nipping it in the bud before things get too bad.
In fact, nothing has to be ‘wrong’ with you to see a counsellor. Counselling can be one of the most positive things you can do, and if you want to feel better, why wouldn’t you go to counselling?
The cost is sometimes seen as a stumbling block, but think about it as an investment in yourself. You’d pay for your car to be serviced, so why not pay for yourself to have a mental health MOT? I know it’s not cheap, and only you know what you can afford, but imagine being free from what is troubling you and how much difference that would make to your happiness.
Counselling can help you to:
Improve your confidence Improve your relationships
Silence your inner critic Create better boundaries
Overcome anxiety Process a traumatic experience
Understand yourself better Feel calmer
Sleep better Feel less stress
Improve your communication Learn to say no
Make positive changes Have a better work/life balance
Laugh more Relax more
Increase your self care Be more assertive
Be kinder to yourself Understand your needs
Eat/drink less Improve your libido
Counselling is the ultimate self-care for those of you who want a better life.
So what’s stopping you coming for counselling? Let me know in the comments below, or if you’d like to ask me more about how counselling could help you, visit my Contact Me page and send me a message.