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Joy doesn’t always come to us naturally.
Some days, it feels like joy and happiness seem to take a hike… and forgotten the way home.
For those struggling with depression, chasing down a slither of happiness can feel more like swimming against a strong current. It’s downright gruelling!
What can make sense in those moments is to give up, to forgo any kind of joy in life because the depression is simply too heavy to manage.
Yet, regaining joy in life is possible. And moving away from depression doesn’t have to paralyze you.
Here are three keys to successfully overcome depression and regain that much-needed joy in your life
Key #1: Use History to your Advantage
Depression can slowly creep up on you. Starting as a simple negative emotion – one that we all experience, such as sadness – it can take root and start to strangle out any other positive part of life.
You may begin to lose interest in things that once brought you joy. And as you avoid possible rejection and other painful experiences, your life starts to spin on a meaningless axis.
To take back your life, pull out your personal history books. Examine those activities that once made you feel happy—hobbies, adventures, relationships, etc.
Keep in mind, depression will tell you that nothing makes you happy now and nothing ever will again. That’s okay. Let it talk.
Focus on your pre-teen days and young adult era, especially the times of joy. By reflecting back on these moments, you can confirm that joy once existed.
Plus, you can begin to re-establish those activities in your life little by little. The more you acknowledge the once-existing joy, the more naturally that joy will reemerge.
Yes, the first and most important step is simply to do your history homework.
Key #2: Set Yourself Up for the Win
As you may know, depression can make everyday life incredibly difficult. Things such as taking a shower, sleeping, or putting on nice clothes may seem like impossible chores. However, these are also some of the things keeping depression grounded inside of you.
To regain your joy in life, you’ll want to set yourself up for success. But, what exactly does this mean? After all, the term “self-care” is recklessly tossed about nowadays.
Here’s a pro tip: start small.
Self-care is practical, and you can do it effectively. Begin by taking stock of your personal hygiene. Do you shower or brush your teeth every day? If not, make those two things your very first steps.
Build from there. Move on to doing the dishes each day. Then, read a chapter of your favourite book each day.
Soon, you’ll find that dedicating yourself to a foolproof self-care regime is like the sun when it warms your skin on a crisp day. Essentially, you make room for joy again. And it feels good!
Taking care of yourself is basic, but it’s so undeniably powerful. Your body remembers the words you say to it and the way you treat it by the emotional energy you release.
Remember, within a self-care regime is unrivaled power. Harness it!
Key #3: Say “Yes” to Acceptance and “No” to Avoidance
When you struggle with depression, you may often feel like you need to avoid painful emotions or even situations that could possibly be uncomfortable. Soon, you’re missing out on everything, leaving no space for joy whatsoever.
Furthermore, every time you avoid a situation, you embrace a pseudo sensation of safety and security. It’s not real, but it feels good at the moment. But that behaviour is problematic because it only buries you into a deeper state of depression.
This third key is likely the most difficult: practising acceptance.
What it means is that you stop telling yourself that you’re okay and you make peace with being “not okay.” This is the part where you get to look depression in the face and say to that nasty abyss that you’re no longer running away from it.
But it doesn’t always come easy.
For starters, instead of ignoring the intrusive thoughts, acknowledge them and let them pass. Rather than bottling up your anger, acknowledge you are angry. Saying you are angry will help you to regulate your emotions and it also helps others to understand what is happening for you. Gradually, you’ll begin to start feeling a sort of peace wash over you. This peace or tranquillity will help to reset your sleep/wake cycle, allowing you to think more clearly.
Plus, your mind won’t be bottlenecked trying to avoid all the negative thoughts. Joy will have the space to return again, and you will safeguard your mental health from depression.
If you’re struggling with depression, please contact me today. I would like to help. Together, we can find meaningful solutions to any issues that you face.
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It’s not that long ago, we didn’t fully understand what was making great relationships so successful, and struggling relationships so difficult to turn around. thanks goodness things have changed! we now have a very clear understanding of the strategies to help all relationships thrive.
Relationship counselling can benefit any couple, no matter if you’re dealing with seismic issues or not.
In fact, you really don’t have to be experiencing any problems to participate in relationship counselling. Though many couples tend to wait until bad gets to worse before making the call.
Because we each are unique individuals with our own set of experiences influencing us, coming together in a romantic partnership can be challenging.
Relationship counselling can help to smooth out these relational wrinkles, encouraging a deep bond between partners.
Here are some benefits that may help you decide if it’s right for you.
- Improves Communication
As you may know, communicating your perspective to another person may seem impossible at times. This is where mind-reading would come in handy. But, alas, this superhuman power eludes most of us.
Nevertheless, relationship counselling can help you both to slow things down and better understand each other, empowering you with empathy and compassion.
Moreover, knowing how to communicate saves couples from a great deal of heartache due to misunderstandings and mistaken rejection. Rather than react, you’ll be able to respond to your partner. These are skills that don’t come naturally. After all, we’re humans and we are hardwired to protect ourselves.
- Resolves Ongoing Conflicts
Unfortunately, our hardwired self-protection strategies don’t always serve our relationship! In fact, the strategies we use to protect ourselves, develop into patterns, which cause the emotional distance we feel during conflicts.
The pattern is now the problem! As a result of this pattern, you may feel as though you keep having the same fight over and over. Or you simply never truly come to a resolution on an issue.
Relationship counselling helps you to resolve these ongoing conflicts. After years of dealing with certain issues, surface problems tend to cover the real issues. Counselling helps you to develop skills to get to the heart of these problems.
It may take a bit of digging and searching, but addressing core issues in a relationship helps increase relationship satisfaction.
- Deepens Understanding
It’s not uncommon for couples to be together for a long time and still not truly know one another. Keep in mind, it’s normal for people to change and transform with age.
So, when someone says their partner isn’t the same person anymore, it’s probably true. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Change can be good. It’s just hard to keep up with sometimes.
Relationship counselling can help you to understand each other, even during life’s natural transformations. With the assistance of a counsellor, you and your partner can develop strategies that support continual growth, development and connectivity.
- Fortifies Commitment
Whether you said your official “I dos” or you are simply dedicated to one another, relationship counselling can help strengthen this commitment.
Not only will your counsellor encourage you both to review and renew your commitment, but they can also help you to set goals together. Relational goals have the potential to keep couples on track.
Most of all, establishing your commitment in various ways tends to add a dash of zest to your love life as well.
- Revives Romance
A vibrant love life is what we all desire, isn’t it? That feeling of a great connection is unrivaled. And relationship counselling supports that need for passion and romance.
A lot of times—even in the most dedicated relationships—the glory of passion fades away. Meaning, sex can get dull and you may become bored with each other’s company.
Relationship counselling empowers you with little tricks to keep the romantic flames burning. You’ll learn things like how to establish relationship habits that encourage romance. And you’ll be encouraged to use your calendar to schedule some of these moments as well.
- So, what do you think? Is relationship counselling for you?
As you can see, even when the world isn’t crashing down on your love life, relationship counselling offers many benefits. Contact me today if you would like to learn more about how it can benefit you.
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Do you swing from feeling sad and depressed to angry and annoyed? Is your relationship suffering? Are you tired of this cycle and looking for a way out?
If you are feeling stuck in an unwanted pattern of behaviour, this Blog was written for you! The information provided here is life changing. It will help you to break old patterns, and create greater happiness, success and better relationships.
Anthony Robbins developed the Crazy Eight Strategy to help people recognise and change unwanted patterns of behaviour.
The pattern I’m referring to is when a person swings from feeling annoyed and angry, to feeling sad and depressed. An event triggers one emotion, which is then relieved by the opposing emotion. Before long people find themselves hooked into the Crazy Eight swinging between feeling mad and sad.
How Does This Happen?
The ways, in which people can get hooked into the Crazy Eight pattern, is limited only by their imagination. It depends upon their life experience, values, beliefs and priorities. A whole range of issues and situations cause emotional triggers, which can potentially impact our mood and behaviour.
Because I work a lot with couples, I am going to demonstrate the Crazy Eight with a case study, from my combined experience as a couples therapist and coach.
Andrea (41) and John (44) have been together for 20 years and married for seventeen. They have two children aged sixteen and fourteen. Andrea works part-time as an accountant and John works full-time as a real estate agent.
For the past three years Andrea and John have become increasingly dissatisfied with their intimate relationship.
Andrea complains John doesn’t appreciate her, and he puts his work above all else. John feels Andrea doesn’t understand that he has to work long hours to maintain their lifestyle. He is frustrated with Andrea’s constant complaints and mood swings, and doesn’t know how to manage her expectations or make her happy.
The challenges both have experienced in expressing their thoughts, feelings and needs has resulted in John spending more time away from home and Andrea spending more time swinging between feeling mad and sad.
They are concerned with the difficulty they are experiencing with their communication and fear that the distance between them will continue to grow.
What Is Really Going On?
For the past few years John’s business has really taken off. He’s receiving more referrals than ever before, and sales are going through the roof! He feels great when he is at work. He knows how to do his job well and he enjoys the feeling of success. His career provides him with a high level of certainty and significance and he feels well connected within his community.
Andrea is proud of her husband’s achievements and appreciates the financial rewards his work provides to their family. At the same time She misses him when he is working and is frustrated when he brings his work home. Their conversations are constantly interrupted with business calls, emails and messages.
When John takes a call at home Andrea’s automatic emotional response is to feel rejected and alone. In her heart she knows her husband loves her, yet at the same time she sadly feels the distance between them is growing. She wants to bridge the gap, but feels unable to take action, because this conversation always ends in hurt feelings and misunderstandings.
How People Get Hooked Into The Crazy Eight?
The challenge couples face, is in effectively communicating, how they feel, and what they want. When emotions are running high, and communication is difficult, these discussions often lead to one person feeling defensive and the other feeling misunderstood. As a result issues are not resolved and future discussions seem futile.
When couples feel unable to speak their truth, to be understood and have their needs met, they become vulnerable to developing unproductive patterns of behaviour.
Back To The Case Study
For example, now when John reads an email at home, Andrea immediately fills with emotion, she is unable to express herself effectively, and as a result of this barrier to communicate, will either express anger “I’m so sick of him checking his emails at home. He’s constantly on the phone. I don’t know why he even bothers to come home!” Or, sadness “I wish he could see how important our time together is. If I were important to him, he would prioritise his time with me”.
The way Andrea makes sense of the situation will influence her mood and behaviour. Because she feels blocked from communicating her concerns she will try to get her needs met with a display of emotion. Andrea doesn’t realise she has just stepped into the Crazy Eight.
Cycling From Mad To Sad
Because human beings are unable to maintain one state forever, eventually Andrea will get tired of feeling one emotion, for example anger, and her thoughts will shift, “I wish he could see how important our time is. If I were important to him he would prioritise his time with me”. With this thought her body will lose the energy anger provides and she will transition across to a depressed state. After a while she gets tired of feeling sad and depressed and she will shift her focus, she will become annoyed and angry, and so the unproductive pattern of behaviour continues.
Due to the communication difficulties, experienced by the couple, John is unaware of the intricacies of Andrea’s thought processes, and as a result of the confusion he is unable to help reduce his wife’s distress and meet her emotional needs. Instead he feels helpless, defensive and unappreciated.
He notices Andrea is becoming increasingly moody and he feels powerless to resolve the situation and make her happy. Eventually he gives up trying. He feels he can’t make her happy anyway so what is the point.
Andrea perceives his withdrawal as further evidence that he doesn’t care about her feelings and work is now his priority.
How Do I Stop The Cycle?
Relationship counselling and coaching offers you the support needed to stop the Crazy Eight pattern of behaviour and start living the life you deserve. Results are achieved in the shortest possible time by helping you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, to recognise your emotions, beliefs, trigger points, and the automatic thoughts, which are no longer serving you.
Along with effective communication skills training you will be able to authentically and openly express yourself, which leads to better understanding, compassion and intimacy.
Relationship counselling and coaching helps you to create a vision for the future and an action plan to achieve your relationship goals. Throughout the process successes are celebrated and barriers are addressed. With the right support you can break the old pattern, create a new destiny, and enjoy greater happiness, success and better relationships.