COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged mental health

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Traits of a Best Friend

1. They believe in you even when you’ve stopped believing in yourself
2. They respect your boundaries, and don’t try to manipulate or control you
3. They’re faithful and loyal – and are always there to listen when you truly need them
4. They put up with your annoying little quirks and habits because they understand you’re not perfect yet
5. They’re not envious or jealous when you succeed at something. They’re on your side and want the best for you
6. They allow you to be you, to have your own viewpoints, and to follow your own interests - as they like you being unique
7. They are generous, large hearted, and quick to forgive. Also, they don’t bear grudges, and they think the best of you.

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How to Live Without Regrets

1. Discover and follow your own path in life.
2. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to other people.
3. Make character a goal, and top priority.
4. Don’t procrastinate, or fail to do the things that matter.
5. Spend your time with people who affirm and value you.
6. Don’t fear being judged or criticised by other people.
7. Do what makes you happy … All the things that you enjoy.
8. Don’t ruminate on failures, or misjudgments, or mistakes.
9. Do things that you’ll be proud of when you look back on your life.
10. Don’t take yourself too seriously, or worry all the time.

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When You’re Fighting Depression …

1. Remind yourself that thoughts and feelings aren’t facts. Often we think extreme and negative things – which are not completely true in reality. Try to get perspective and to be more balanced – and try to counteract accusing, negative thoughts.

2. Be patient, understanding and gentle with yourself. When you’re fighting depression or are feeling overwhelmed then that uses up a lot of your energy. Accept that today is going to be harder and put fewer expectations and demands upon yourself.

3. Do one small thing as it will help you to get moving - and you’ll start feel more hopeful as you see yourself make some progress. Also, keeping yourself busy will interrupt your thinking, and will help stop your feelings from getting even worse.

4. Although it’s not usually helpful to isolate ourselves, be wise in the people that you choose to be around. If other people are too happy – or too harsh and critical – it will compound your feelings of negativity. Instead, try and spend time with people who are gentle and calm, and who help you feel accepted and more positive.

5. Remember that tomorrow could be a better day. You just need to find the energy to make it through today.

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How to Support a Depressed Friend

1. Find out the kind of depression they are suffering from. Symptoms of clinical depression include sleep difficulties, loss of appetite, a desire to isolate themselves, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, suicidal tendencies and an inability to determine the cause of their depression. Those with situational depression may have some of the same symptoms but they generally know why they feel as they do, and once the issue is resolved, they are able to function normally again.

2. Be available to listen, or just be there for them. Sometimes you don’t need to say a word. Don’t offer opinions or advice; don’t judge them; be patient and understanding; be empathic, gentle and compassionate.

3. Take them out of their environment as a change of scenery can help to change our mood. It doesn’t have to be wildly exciting – just a walk by the river or a coffee at the mall is often enough to shift things a bit.

4. Don’t comment on their lifestyle (habits and patterns). Comments like “You ought to try and sleep more … or change your diet … or exercise more … are likely to shut the person down. These are often beyond the person’s control. They are symptoms of depression – and the actual cause.

5. Encourage your friend to seek professional help. A friend or family member can be a real lifeline; but objective support from a professional counsellor can help them deal with the cause in a more effective way.

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One of the most satisfying experiences I know is just fully to appreciate an individual in the same way I appreciate a sunset. When I look at a sunset … I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple in the cloud color” … I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds. It is this receptive, open attitude which is necessary to truly perceive something as it is.
Carl Rogers

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