Minding your mind
We know how to look after our physical health. We eat healthily, take exercise and if we notice any changes in our bodies, we usually have these checked out.
How do we look after our mental health? It can be more difficult to know if things are going wrong. It is not as easy to examine our minds in the same way as our bodies to check if we are ok. What do we compare our own mind and emotional experience to? What is ‘normal’? How do we know if our emotional health is under pressure?
For the most part, our emotional selves are hidden from others. Unless we choose to share our innermost thoughts and feelings, others mainly see what we choose to show. Our own emotional experiences and how we deal with them are unique to ourselves and changes in how we are feeling emotionally can be subtle. For example, you may notice that you continually feel more anxious than before, that you are experiencing a period of sadness that doesn’t lift or find that your thoughts are becoming increasingly more negative. It can be difficult to make sense of what is happening to our minds, particularly if there does not seem to be an obvious trigger for the changes.
Psychotherapy and counselling provides you with the time and space to explore your emotional state and help you make sense of what is happening for you. A qualified and accredited psychotherapist/counsellor has the knowledge and experience to work with you and your unique needs. Using a range of therapeutic approaches appropriate to your symptoms, your psychotherapist/counsellor will help you explore, understand and manage your emotional distress.
Even a short number of therapy sessions can assist you in gaining perspective on your feelings and emotions and in understanding patterns and behaviours that are holding you back from enjoying your life.
It is important to take that time for yourself.
Marina Hunt, MSc Psychotherapy
MIACP, MIAHIP, EAP.