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This article from Caitlin Ainsworth writing on The Mighty, describes what many of our clients can feel. They struggle to get out of bed and from the outside they are percieved to be lazy and unfocused. At times they may also see themselves this way. In the article referenced below, Caitlin describes how life feels to her. You may even recognise yourself in what Caitlin describes.

“Have you ever felt like everyone around you was living a full life? Not to say they are — or you are not — but I’ve found sometimes through my own pain it can seem like everyone else has nothing to fight off. I wake up every day with immense dread that I’m no longer asleep, or worse, that I’m not finally dead. I finally find the courage to get out of bed five hours after my alarm goes off to go to the bathroom and maybe find some food, but after that I’m back into my nest of blankets and pillows that once in a while seems to guard me from the monsters in my head — the monsters that surround me.”

Read more at https://buff.ly/2gzxBBx

Do I have to continue like this?

Too often these struggles lead the individual to feel guilty and that they aren’t normal. However, you should know that it is not an unusual feeling. Also, it is not something you need to feel guilty about. In fact, when feeling this way you need to make sure you are kind and compassionate towards yourself. We know that you are trying and doing your best.

We can empower you to live a fulfilled life and achieve your goals

Aspire Counselling is here to help in these circumstances. Our passion is to help empower people to lead fulfilling lives. We would like to help guide you towards ways that you can help yourself, whether you are suffering from depression, anxiety, bi-polar or any other condition. We can show you techniques that you can use to help you achieve your goals, whatever they are.

Contact Aspire Counselling

Contact us at http://aspirecounselling.net to find out more about our services and book an appointment.  You can also call us on  6570 2781 or email on info@aspirecounselling.net

The Thinkstock image accompanied the article when it was published on The Mighty on 22nd November 2016

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.

Tools to help you get unstuck

Staying on course can be a challenge when life throws a sucker punch at you. Here are some tools to help you get to where you want to go and shake off what has held you back

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  1. Don’t give up. Once you quit, it is never quite the same. Whether it’s a relationship, a job, or your life, you are in charge of your choices. Giving up may enter your mind, but find some way to keep going, even if you have to do things a little differently.
  2. Take it one day at a time. It can be tough going in this world we have created. Former lovers sue each other, companies fire people to increase the bottom line, and there are evil people out there who get their kicks by hurting others. You can’t let all this get to you. Try talking first, because you don’t always need a lawyer, and get your personal support system involved.
  3. Love and prosperity can come in a New York minute, so be ready. You really do never know what tomorrow will hold. I have seen things change drastically, and for the better, overnight. And even if it takes a little longer, that is better than hiding from the world.
  4. Stay positive. The world is not your enemy. Albert Einstein once said, “We all need to see the Universe as friendly.” This is true wisdom from a great man who knew more about the nature of things than most anyone.
  5. Go at your own pace, but don’t stop moving forward. You may have been beaten down, but you are not broken. Even if you have suffered and lived through a life-altering trauma, if you still have a beating heart and air in your lungs, you can get back on your feet.
  6. Remember, it’s not a race. If you do just one thing a day, you will reach your goal. Sometimes even doing that one thing can seem overwhelming, and if so, just get started and you can always give yourself the weekend off. Pretty soon you will find that doing this work to get to the next level of your life is actually rewarding, and you will start to feel better.
  7. Even making a little progress can go a long way. The key is to stick with what you’ve started. It’s kind of like writing a book. In the beginning, you have an idea, or maybe several, but by writing one page at a time, you will complete the book and feel pretty great about yourself. Progress is a great healer.
  8. Recognize that what you are going through now is not permanent. Sadly, there are things we can do nothing about, but we have a lot more control over our own moods and actions than most people think. Whatever circumstance you are dealing with, your job is to nurture the strength within you. Doing this will bring you greater stability and success in all areas.
  9. Think about your thinking. If you don’t think you will make it, it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Research says that up to 80 percent of our thoughts are negative, and that needs to change. When you learn to recognize your negative thoughts, you can begin to think more positively, which will make you feel better about yourself and your life. Imagine having 80 percent positive thoughts!
  10. Learn to deal with disappointment. When Murphy’s Law is in full force, you may wonder why you are even trying. The truth is that successful people in all walks of life have to deal with disappointment sometimes. It’s part of the deal. The trick is to not let disappointments stop you. Ever.

Don’t let life throw you offtrack. Take the time you need to refocus and gain some clarity. You will be well prepared for your next adventure.

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.d. writing in Psychology Today

I’ve struggled with depression for more than half my life. It’s always been there, sometimes bad and sometimes not so bad, but always lingering. For most of that time, there’s been a stigma attached to it. Recently, that stigma has lessened somewhat, but still, it is not enough.

Something I’ve dealt with, as part of this stigma, is the sense that it isn’t OK to struggle with depression. I think to myself, “Most other folks don’t struggle with it, so I definitely shouldn’t.” It’s easy to feel bad about feeling bad, which makes it so much worse.

Of course, there’s pressure to get better. People have pushed me to find a “cure,” to feel better and to stop feeling depressed. With each passing year, I feel worse that I’m not better. I tell myself, “I should be better by now. Surely, I’ve struggled long and hard. It should be over.” But it’s not.

I’ve come to a realization recently. It’s made it easier to cop, and it’s made me feel better. I realized I will probably struggle with depression for the rest of my life. Maybe that sounds hopeless, but it’s not. It isn’t a resignation, but it’s an acceptance.

I now know there isn’t a cure and that takes the pressure off me to find one. Depression is an enemy, make no mistake about that. I’m not fighting a battle though. I’m fighting a war made up of thousands of little battles. I will not win a single battle and be finished with it, but I can push it back with little victories.

Each time I get out of bed and take a shower, I win a battle. Each time I manage a smile, even a fake one, I win a battle. Each time I laugh, do something I enjoy, work hard at my job or go for a walk, I win. I can take comfort in these victories, even though I’m still struggling.

I still lose sometimes. I still have days when I can’t get myself out of bed and days when it’s impossible to fake a smile. It’s OK because the war isn’t over. I may have lost a battle, but it’s just one battle. Tomorrow is a new battle, and a new chance at victory.

By David M, writing in The Mighty