Latest News - Psychotherapy & Counselling

Posts Categorised: Stress management

In 1948 the World Health Organisation(WHO) was founded. Of its principles, the first is:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Yet, even today, many people struggle to achieve balanced health. For those lucky enough to have physical and even social health, mental health is often lacking. Despite mental health issues affecting 1 in 4 people (25% of the population of the world), it remains a taboo and stigmatized subject in society. 350 million people in the world suffer from depression.  These people are not odd “crazy” strangers, they are often amongst your closest family members, colleagues, and friends. So common are mental health challenges, that there’s absolutely no reason why it is not viewed as a normal, regular, yet managable condition.

Whilst some of these affected will need the help of specialists in order to function and maintain their mental health, we can all take basic steps to look after ourselves. Just as we invest in a healthy diet, gym memberships etc to maintain our physique and physical wellness, we can do similar things for our mental health. Both share exercise, diet and sleep in common.

When our physical health suffers we often feel the effect quite quickly in the form of tiredness, or even pain. With mental health, the signs can often be rather more subtle. For that reason, it is important that we frequently “check in with ourselves“. Daily self-monitoring and reaction to the changes we observe can be beneficial and helps with the identification of changes to our mental health. When changes are detected, or even before, we can learn numerous coping techniques to assist with the most common challenges such as depression and anxiety.

When we notice changes in our mental health that can’t simply be addressed by refocusing our thoughts or implementing healthy coping techniques then there is an abundance of help available in the form of psychotherapists, counsellors, peer support groups or even talking to family, colleagues, and friends.

Aspire Counselling is here to help when you need to talk or learn how to understand how you feel.  Psychotherapist and Counsellor Maria Luedeke specializes in empowering individuals, families, couples and teams in the corporate workplaces to achieve their goals and live fulfilled lives.

You can find out more or book an appointment with Maria at Aspire Counselling by visiting https://aspirecounselling.net or by going directly to our online appointment booking page.

“I really struggled to get out of bed today. Did you?

I didn’t get up until noon. It was the same yesterday. Then I was hard on myself for it and as a result, I had a miserable day.  Today, the same happened, but I decided to be kind to myself. The difference? I gave myself a break and refused to feel guilty or bad about it. Today I’m happier, smiling even, working and I believe that tomorrow will be easier. And if it’s not I’ll try again. I need to be kind to myself.”

These are the words of a sufferer of Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and ADHD.  Many will be able to relate to them. No one says you should feel bad if you can’t live a perfect, happy life every single day. Let’s be realistic we all have our off-days. Be kind to yourself instead of getting more upset with yourself when you aren’t feeling at your best. Self-compassion is a useful way to help you get through your day.

Do seek help if you or someone you know needs help to learn coping techniques and strategies for days when not feeling at your best. If you can’t get out or bed, like the writer, it might be a sign that something isn’t quite right, or you are avoiding something. Aspire Counselling has a range of techniques that it can teach you to help you with your life. We do these in ways that will allow it to become habitual for you, so you won’t be dependent upon us. You will learn to manage your own life successfully.  You’ll find these techniques useful in everyday life too.

For details on our Counselling and Psychotherapy services, email Aspire Counselling at info@aspirecounselling.net, call us on  6570 2781 or visit our website where you can book online face-to-face or video counselling sessions.  https://www.aspirecounselling.net

Young people have never been so bombarded by pressure to look or live their lives a certain way.

Relationships and contact with others are vital to a fulfilling life.  Social media is one of many mechanisms that can help foster and maintain strong relationships. However, for some, it can be a factor in increased levels of unhappiness. It can if left unchecked sometimes lead to identity, self esteem and confidence issues, depression, anxiety and child behavioural issues amongst others.

For the main part, kids used to only have to deal with peer pressure or bullying at school, and when out with friends. When they were at home, they were reasonably cushioned from the outside world. However, in today’s constantly connected social media focused world it can be a 24/7 onslaught reading and now watching live the lives of friends and millions of unknown people.

Young people can also be unlucky enough not just to suffer bullying from “friends”, but also abuse from those unknown to them. In such situations the pressure to keep checking what is happening, and digest the latest comments can be overwhelming.

When it occurs, the unhappiness if left undiscussed and unchecked can lead to mental wellness challenges now or later in life.

Every young person has the right to feel supported and confident about their future. If you, someone you know or are responsible for is suffering, effective help and support are available both for individuals and families.  At Aspire Counselling we can provide help to improve a young person’s resilience, boost their confidence, and tackle the consequences of any bullying being experienced. We do this in a way, that allows an empowered young person, and their families if necessary,  to learn how to manage current and future challenges.

Aspire Counselling – Counselling and Therapy in Singapore – Book a face to face or online video counselling appointment with Maria Luedeke at https://www.aspirecounselling.net

#selfesteem #socialmedia #children

Recently, my husband severely injured his right hand, requiring emergency surgery and a stay in the hospital. This was stressful on many different levels: emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. I had to find friends to watch our kids, arrange follow-ups with doctors, and learn how to care for my husband who would have difficulty caring for himself for a while. It was overwhelming, to say the least.

Coping with the trauma of the event itself was something completely different. I’d observed my husband’s mutilated hand, and witnessed his agony, which was very troubling. Once I realized how bad the injury was, I had to go completely into crisis mode. That expends a lot of my extra energy and I ended up sobbing uncontrollably several times that difficult day.

With my recent Type I Bipolar diagnosis, I know that I have to stay away from stress as much as possible. But what happens when the stress comes to me? What happens when the unthinkable occurs? How does one with Bipolar Disorder cope with those events?

I’m certainly no expert in this area, but I found a few things that really helped me stabilize myself when I felt like the ominous string of sudden responsibilities would envelop me. I hope you find them helpful, as well

7 Tips For Coping With Stressful Events When You're Bipolar

1. Setting healthy boundaries. I started with backing off of all unimportant projects that were unrelated to the event, making sure I wrote them down to get to at a later date.

2. Rearranging priorities. This is when I really had to divide the necessary from the unnecessary. I started from the source of the trauma and worked my way out, noting the most important people that needed my care first.

3. Taking personal time. It’s important for me to continue to listen to what my body needs in order to stay balanced. I had to do my best to keep from continuously ignoring my own needs for those of someone else.

4. Staying organized. If you need to manage an unprecedented schedule, you’ll want to be as organized as possible. It’s harder to do when you’re in the middle of a crisis, so I like to stick to easy ways of keeping a schedule, like using a planner or my phone’s calendar app.

5. Getting enough rest. I can’t emphasize this one enough. Sleep can be paramount to coping well within difficult situations, and each day is going to bring something different. I planned for chaos, and stuck to my sleep schedule as best I could, and it made such a difference.

6. Asking for help. Reaching out only improved my situation. I had to call on my close friends and family members to help me cope and manage added responsibilities. It was a huge relief.

7. Talking to a therapist. My therapist helped me stay on track and reminded me that I needed to cut myself slack during that challenging situation. It also was really nice to have someone outside the situation to talk to about my struggles with the event.

It can be difficult to balance, and extra stress can cause all kinds of problems with your mind and body, poor judgment, to depression and irritability.

But don’t worry! You will get through this. With mindful planning, it’s possible to survive traumatic events without losing your entire ability to cope.

This article appeared on www.bhope.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melanie McKinnon

Melanie McKinnon is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She’s a blogger for The Huffington Post and has written for several notable websites, such as Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, and The Mighty. Diagnosed with Type I Bipolar Disorder in July of 2015, she spends her time balancing her moods and responsibilities at work, as a writer and barre fitness instructor, and at home, with her spouse and three children. Her favorite things include meditation, Diet Pepsi, Arizona, and football. Through her writing, she hopes to encourage and inspire anyone fighting a daily battle. Read more from Melanie on her blog: MelanieMeditates.com.

This article by Madelyn Heslet, appeared in TheMighty

When I’m depressed or anxious, it can be hard for me to remember what makes me happy or what calms me down. Every coping skill I’ve learned in therapy seems to fly out of my head and disappear elsewhere. I used to let the depression or anxiety take over and control my mind, and would be miserable as a result.

During my last hospitalization, I learned about a meditation technique called mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing your attention to what is going on internally and externally in the moment you are in. Mindfulness doesn’t exactly rid your mind of negative or anxious thoughts, but trains you to accept them and let them flow freely without feeling bad about having them.

It’s hard to accept negative thoughts at first; you just want them to leave you and not return. But acceptance is an important step in recovery, and accepting your thoughts for what they are is important when battling anxiety or depression.

On my bad days, I try to be mindful in everything I do, not just sit and think mindfully. When I wake up, I am aware of how I feel. I’m aware of the warmth still in my body as I stretch, and am aware of the immediately negative thoughts I have about the day that hasn’t even begun yet. I let those thoughts be, and move onto being mindful about my surroundings. As I travel from my room, to the bathroom and into the kitchen, I am mindful of how the carpet feels between my toes and of the bird’s songs outside the windows. Already my negative thoughts are moving through my mind, making room for positive thoughts.

As I sit down for breakfast, I eat mindfully. I eat slowly, savoring each bite and each texture of the food. I enjoy what I’m eating, even though on my bad days I don’t want to eat. Mindfulness helps me to not only satisfy the hunger I can’t feel on a bad day, it helps me to truly find pleasure in something so simple as eating an apple. And finding pleasure on a bad day is so very, very important.

As I walk down the street with my daughter in the stroller, I am mindful of my surroundings. I notice the birds flying, the trees swaying and the bees moving from flower to flower. I notice my daughter look around, imagining she is being mindful as well. Children look at the world with such innocence and wonder, much like mindfulness has us do. I accept the worries swimming in my head for when we return home; chores, lunch to prepare, phone calls to make. I accept them and move on, back to observing the beauty around me.

When it’s raining, it’s hard for me to remain mindful. The weather matches my mood and I would like to just stay in bed. But I am mindful about the rain. I notice the size and the speed of the drops,
and remind myself that water, even in the form of rain, is good. It is good for the plants, for the crops and for me. It washes away yesterday and prepares me for another new day. I used to let the rain, the bad days, control me. But when I learned to look at the rain mindfully, my mood toward it changed, just like my mind has changed when it comes to negative thoughts.

Remaining mindful helps me cope with my anxiety and depression. It keeps me in the present moment, and manages my worries about the past and the future. Mindfulness doesn’t make my worries disappear, but rather equips me with the peace and strength to deal with them. I was just practicing mindfulness on my bad days, but now I try to remain mindful on my good days, too. Since trying to remain mindful all of the time, I see my situation and the world around me in a more positive light. I find I enjoy the little things more often when I’m mindful; my daughter’s laugh, the neighbour ’s dog, my mom ’s cooking.

Without mindfulness, I would still be in darkness on my bad days. I would let my negative thoughts completely take over, leaving no room for an inkling of positivity. Without mindfulness, I may not see myself or the world around me in a realistic, positive way. I am glad I learned the technique during one of my most difficult times, so I could learn to use it in the most trying, and the most wonderful times. Mindfulness is not only just a form of meditation. I believe it is a way of life, and a natural medicine to help treat anxiety and depression.

Learning mindfulness

Aspire Counselling offers Mindfulness as one of its services.  We can help you learn the technique and how to apply it in your life, such that you can support yourself.  This can be extremely useful to support you in managing stress, anxiety and depression amounst other things.  It is equally applicable to men, women, couples, and for use in a corporate setting to manage employee and work related stress.

You can visit our website to book an online counselling or face to face couples, relationship counselling session with us. http://aspirecounselling.net

Contact Aspire Counselling at info@aspirecounselling.net or call 6570 2781 to find out more about our services for men, women, adolescents, couples, families and corporates.