COUNSELLING BLOG

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Supporting a Friend with Mental Health Concerns

1. People with mental health problems are likely to need different kinds of supports at different times.
2. Probably the most important thing you can do is to listen in a caring, and non-judgmental way. That simple act will usually mean a lot as mental health issues are often misunderstood by the general population.
3. Always treated the person with respect, acceptance and compassion.
4. You don’t have to do too much – just stay in contact with your friend, invite them over, or hang out with them.
5. Remember that your friend is looking for a friend – and not a counselor, or psychiatrist.
6. Offering practical support can be the right thing at times, as going through a hard can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy inspiration mental health mental illness depression friends relationships self improvement online counselling college

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How to Get Over Past Mistakes

1. Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes, does things wrongs, and has moments of regret. There are no perfect people out there. In that sense, you are just the same as everybody else.
2. Remind yourself that “that was then, and this is now”. You can’t turn back the clocks and change what you did, but you can be a different person in the future.
3. Allow yourself to experience and name the feelings you are struggling with (regret, guilt, shame, disappointment, embarrassment, sadness, etc.) – then make the decision to let those feelings go. In the end, it’s unhealthy to become attached to them.
4. Ask yourself what you can learn from the situation. What would you do differently if you found yourself in that situation again? How can it change the person you are now (so that you feel better about yourself)?
5. Recognise that failings and mistakes are part of the growth process. It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter obstacles, challenges and failures throughout life. Don’t let that stop you from really living life.
6. Remind yourself that “it was what you did, it’s not who you are.” Don’t allow any single event or experience to define you. You are more than – so don’t let that become your identity, or your destiny.
7. Give yourself the gift of a new day and a new start. Forgive yourself, let go of the past, and with confidence move on with your life.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy inspiration motivation goals success failure mental health mental illness online counselling college

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How to Recognise a Toxic Friend

1. Is this a person who always puts you down? A friend is someone who accepts you as you are – and allows you to be different, and to think for yourself, and to make your own decisions – without an explanation. However, if a person is demeaning or always puts you down, criticises your opinions, or the way you dress or look, then that’s someone to avoid as they’re a toxic friend.

2. Do they gossip about you? A friend is someone you can totally trust. You can share your deepest secrets, and say what’s on your mind – and they won’t tell a person or betray your trust. However, if you always have to watch what you say around a friend as they’re likely to gossip or let something slip then it’s likely that this person is a toxic friend.

3. Do they constantly mock and make fun of you? A bit of gentle ribbing shows affection between friends. But if they’re always making fun of you, or highlighting your faults, or attacking you in public, then they’re not a genuine friend.

4. How do you feel after being with your friend? Think about your answers to the following:

- Do you feel defensive when you spend time with them?
- Do you feel hurt or upset after spending time with them?
- Do you feel as if you always have to justify yourself instead of being “natural” around your friend?
- Do you enjoy their company or do you feel ambivalent?
- Do they undermine your confidence and self-esteem?
- Do you feel attacked and used after spending time with them?
- Does the friendship feel unbalanced and require a lot of work?
- Is it more a competition than a genuine friendship?

Note: If you recognize the signs of a toxic friend, then it’s time to move on and find a different friend. Being with this individual will wreak your happiness.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy inspiration motivation self improvement relationships friends mental health mental illness online counselling college

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Coping Statements for Anxiety

It is often possible to manage anxiety by actively replacing irrational thoughts with more balanced and reasonable thoughts like the following:

1. I’m going to be OK. Sometimes my feelings are irrational and false. I’m just going to relax and take things easy. Everything is going to be fine.
2. Anxiety may feel bad but it isn’t dangerous. There’s nothing wrong with me. Everything is going to be OK.
3. Feelings come and feelings go. Right now I feel bad but I know this is only temporary. I’ve done it before so I can do it again.
4. This image in my head isn’t reasonable or rational. I need to change my thinking and focus my attention on something that’s healthier, and generally helps me to feel good about myself. For example _____________.
5. I’ve managed to interrupt and change these thoughts before – so I know I can do it again. The more I practise this, the easier it will become. Anxiety is a habit – and it’s a habit that I can break!
6. So what if I anxious. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not going to kill me. I just need to take a few deep breaths and keep going.
7. Just take the next step. Just do the next thing.
8. Even if I have to put up with a period of anxiety, I’ll be glad that I did, and persevered, and succeeded.
9. I can feel anxious and still do a good job. The more I focus on the task at hand, the more my anxiety will ease, then disappear.
10. Anxiety doesn’t have a hold on me. It’s something I’m working on, and changing over time.

Filed under psychology therapy mental health mental illness anxiety counselling self improvement success online counselling college