COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged mental illness

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How to Stop Worrying

1. Remind yourself that worrying doesn’t stop things happening. Things will happen – or not happen –anyway.

2. Recognise that “What ifs” don’t usually help with problem solving. It’s better to use logic, and brain storm for solutions. Take control of your emotions by using rational thinking.

3. Motivate yourself by something other than worrying. Take a break and do something fun, and then go back to your work again. That positive approach will reap more benefits.  

4. Face your fears – and do the things that you worry about. The thought is often much worse than the actual thing you fear.

5. Ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Then, “What are the chances that it will happen? Then “Will you survive it, if it happens, in the end?” Usually, that helps to move us from an extreme and irrational way of thinking to a more realistic, and reasonable way if thinking.

6. Teach yourself a range of relaxation strategies – and then concentrate on them instead of on your different fears. Or, adopt a mindful approach – and keep your focus on “right now”.

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Overdependency in Relationships

Overdependency is:

  • Desperately holding on to other people, places or things in an attempt to find meaning and purpose in your life.
  • Letting others do so much for you that it prevents you from developing your own sense of personal autonomy, independence, responsibility and accountability.
  • Being unwilling to let go of others so that you can find your own direction in life.
  • Refusing to formulate your own goals and dreams in case they don’t match those of the people you are dependent on.
  • Having a feeling of emptiness and worthlessness; feeling you “need to be needed” in order to be loved; or having your whole identity wrapped up in someone else.
  • Thinking sympathy and pity are the same thing as love.
  • Having a desperate need for approval; desperately fearing rejection and abandonment by the person you are dependent on; being clingy, possessive and jealous.
  • Lacking a belief in your own competency and ability to cope on your own.
  • Feeling stuck and immobilised because of a fear of failure, or the fear of making the wrong decision.
  • Having a fear of loneliness – which causes you to cling desperately to someone – even when you should let them go.

Overdependency is a control issue because:

  • You are handing control of your life and happiness over to someone else.
  • When you become too dependent on someone, you give them the power to control you.
  • People who are overdependent frequently use manipulation and other subversive control techniques to “hook” others into taking care of them – so that they can rescue, fix or save you. Alternatively, they may use intimidation, threats and coercion.
  • · They use the same hooks to prevent the person from detaching and walking away (For example, by threatening suicide)
  • · They may use the mask of “helplessness” to get others to take care of them, and do things for them.
  • · When forming close relationships, they deliberately look “fixers,” “caretakers” and “rescuers” – that is, they seek out people who are likely to assume responsibility for their wellbeing.

Freedom from overdependency:

  • First, recognise what is going on and be honest with yourself about your patterns and tendencies.
  • Second, recognise that you are a separate person from your partner (or family member). Thus, it’s up to you to assume responsibility for your own choices, decisions and actions (or lack of choosing, deciding and acting). In the same way, stop assume responsibility for, or try to control, the choices and behaviors of others. Don’t speak and act for them, don’t tell them what to do (or how to do it) or redo what they’ve done (as it isn’t the way you would have done it.)
  • · Notice your negative feelings – anxiety, fear, and even terror – and learn to face and manage these. This is one of the most powerful things you can do!
  • · Next, notice how critical you become when others don’t do things your way, or meet the standards that you set for them. Also, notice how you act in response to these feelings. Do you jump in, try to fix, get angry, pout, withdraw sexually and emotionally? It’s time to get rid of those unhealthy behaviours as they’re part of the pattern of dependency.
  • · Consciously work on your self-esteem.  Don’t look to others to make you happy, or to feel you have worth and significance. Healthy self-esteem comes from the inside out.
  • · Recognise the value of boundaries – and know where you end and another begins. Learn to establish and enforce your boundaries, and accept that others can choose for themselves – so don’t manipulate to try and get your way.
  • Stop blaming others for making you upset. We have control of how we think and feel. You’re not a helpless victim – you can choose how you will live, and what you will accept in your relationships.
  • · Don’t take the flack for, or defend others’ behaviour. Allow them let them to feel the consequences of their actions. Stop defending and enabling them.
  • · Get professional help.  Being dependent in relationships often has its roots in our early childhood experiences. You may some need help to unravel that, and better understand why you act the way you do.

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Some Keys to Successful Relationships

We all want our close relationships to work – and it’s not just a matter of chance or luck. The 6 steps below are designed to assist you in creating successful relationships:

1. Make quality time a priority. You need to carve out some time just for you – without other friends or people around. It’s a time to exclusively focus on each other, and remember the things you both love and enjoy.

2. You both need to feel secure and comfortable. You need to be able to be open and real about the things you enjoy - and the things that bother you. You also need to be able to compromise at times, and to give for the sake of the relationship.

3. Learn how to balance independence and dependence. Remember to share how much you need each other and the ways the other person enriches your life. At the same, don’t be clingy or expect your partner to meet all your needs, or simply be a clone of you. That is, we all need to be free to be our unique selves, and to have other interests and friends as well.

4. Be attentive, listen well, and show an interest in your partner – and the kinds of things that interest him or her. Also, respect their need for silence and some time on their own. This demonstrates respect and true concern for them.  

5. Be affirming and warm. Make a conscious effort to make your partner smile, and to send the message that you think that they are great. For at times we all feel bad about some aspect of ourselves - and it can really make a difference if our partner’s on our side.

6. Learn to love (or tolerate!) their little quirks. Those cute little quirks that seemed appealing at first can annoy your later on, and be a source of contention. But all of us have irritating traits and habits, so learn to ignore them as they’re really not important! 

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