Four tips for improved mental health
Published on 10th January, 2022 in Counselling Directory
Do you have a ‘busy brain’? One which battles against your every decision and keeps you awake at night swishing around feeling like a broken washing machine?
One of the more common cognitive disturbances brought to therapy is ‘overthinking’. It creates anxiety and panic attacks. It can also cloud your judgement, lead to irrational choice-making and commonly it initiates insomnia. Not feeling in control of our own thought-processing can be extremely daunting and leads to feelings of disassociation and helplessness.
Although we cannot prevent unwelcome thoughts which often lead on to another and another and another; it is in fact mastering the art of recognising them, and replacing them with positive/rational thoughts to break the cycle. This sound easier said than done, I know; however, knowing this simplified Cognitive Behavioural technique is a sound place to begin. Once you implement this into your coping strategies, you will be surprised how empowering this small step can be to slowing down that swishing mind.
Resting the mind can also happen by practising mindfulness and meditation, again these are positive strategies with which you need to become consistent for maximum effect.
Setting three to five realistic, achievable goals is a healthy and empowering tool to support your overall mental wellness. Having something positive to work towards keeps the mind focused and hopeful; not to mention the enormous feelings of self-pride once achieved. Goals can be as small or life-changing as you feel ready to apply yourself to, but remember that the key is just that: ensuring your goals are realistic ones.
Managing a healthy, nutritious diet and regular exercise can be especially difficult if you are not usually a balanced eater or passionate sports or exercise person, however, if you can find that one thing that you do enjoy (mine is swimming), it can be your ‘go to’ method of clearing your mind in times of overwhelm and stress, and of course releasing those endorphins which are always great for the mind, body and soul.
Valuing yourself! Sounds easy, right? Well, it is anything other than easy for many people whose self-worth, self-belief and overall confidence have been damaged. When other people or negative life experiences have played a detrimental role in our own lives, losing a rational view of our qualities, such as our strengths, creative flair, and even our sense of self is a normal cognitive reaction. It is commonplace that people look inside of themselves for the answers and in the process begin self-loathing or blaming themselves for others' wrongdoings. It is often hard for a person to value their own being when often a person closest to them does not, thus decreased self-worth is ignited.
So, how can we repair our damaged sense of self and rekindle with the old flame that is our lost confidence? There are more simplified practices of self-compassion, self-love and healing, such as educating ourselves on these life-enhancing topics by reading books, taking a leap forward by seeking therapy sessions and taking care of our minds and bodies.
Another proactive way of healing our own worth is by the choices we make. Be mindful of the way you feel when parting company with people. Identify who energises you, who is also making positive life choices and you feel inspired by. The people who also have your best interest at heart and show their love and care by actions - these people can play a huge role in helping you to learn how to love yourself.
Love & strength
Design Your Destiny interviewed on the American positivity radio station: 'Transformation Talk Radio'
The utterly fabulous and world renowned female leader, Ms. Kornelia Stephanie invited me to join her on her podcast and radio show to share my personal and professional journey as inspiration to others within the ‘Stories that inspire hope’ platform of the station.
It is truly wonderful to be invited on such platforms to use my voice to inspire other women who may need that injection of empowerment to fulfil their personal and professional goals, and to overcome heartache and mental health challenges.
Kornelia was especially excited to hear all about my upcoming memoir/self-help book and the sensational women's healing & empowerment retreats 2022 in Phuket, Thailand.
The new world of Virtual Therapy
Virtual, hybrid, online, distance: the words which have become so commonplace yet the talked about distance has also brought us closer in many ways. A global pandemic has transitioned millions of business owners and their staff into a virtual world, a new way of working which is conducted via the copious technological platforms that enables us to somewhat effortlessly reach clients, customers and suppliers far and wide. Social media marketing and lucrative sales with less expenditures are the new welcomed norm for many.
Ms LJ Jones, a British international Psychotherapist and wellness business owner based in Bangkok, informs us how, surprisingly, this has also become a platform for Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists and a new wave of Hybrid Healers around the world. She takes us back to a not so distant history when Mental Health Practitioners would only conduct their sessions with clients in the traditionally formal manner, similar to that which we have seen in movies, minus the unrealistic images of clients sprawling on a fancy sofa, she states.
For many Practitioners, there was never an anticipated shift from their holistic, therapeutically designed offices, to providing sessions through a computer, or even mobile phone screen, however, Ms Jones excitedly shares that she and her clients are now hugely benefiting from ‘Virtual Therapy’ in voluminous ways.
Therapeutic relationships can be formed between Therapist and Clients globally, thus people in need of mental health support are becoming increasingly aware of, even preferential to choosing virtual therapy for reasons such as having social anxiety or limited transport resources to attend sessions with their preferred Therapist. Sadly, social and general anxieties are at an all time high as the world has been trapped in a collective and prolonged uncertainty, therefore being able to access a chosen Therapist online is a very safe and non-compromising option for such clients. This also means that people are no longer beholden to choosing a Therapist based on geographical limitations, which in turn is allowing for exciting and effective choices being made on a global scale. Ms Jones is testament to this as she now provides online therapy from her home in Bangkok to clients around Thailand, including remote tropical islands whereby people would usually struggle to receive the mental health support they desperately require, as well as having weekly sessions with clients in the UK, USA, Australia, China, and Dubai.
Practitioners who once felt fearful of losing their clients, and therefore their income when international lockdowns became apparent in March 2020, have now exceeded their usual client base and earnings by providing online Therapy through platforms such as Google meet, Skype, and Zoom which eliminates outgoings previously accumulated by travel and renting appropriate office spaces.
Marketing has never been so cost effective as, additionally to the usual professional advertising platforms for Therapists, many now advertise their services through Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and other wonderful corners of the internet.
Therapists have also advocated how technology is encouraging their ethical duties to ongoing professional development and efficacy. There is an ever-growing online world of priced and free mental health workshops, webinars and courses to expand on their skills and knowledge to best educate themselves in order to serve clients from diverse backgrounds and presenting with a multitude of challenges.
Ms Jones speaks passionately about networking with other mental health professionals in a global capacity and delights about how this can be done by simply
arranging video calls and conferences, yet this has enormous positive benefits for both mental health workers and their clients. Therapists who once had a small circle of other trusted Practitioners in their field, are now supporting, inspiring and being inspired by other mental health professionals around the world. She continues to share how this feels both empowering and safe for Therapists as their role was once a more isolated one with just their monthly casework supervision and a few like- minded people in the same role, now they can reach out and branch out more than ever anticipated.
• Ms Jones states that she has felt huge relief on a personal and professional level to have been able to continue working with her trusted Counselling supervisor since 2014 since she has lived around the corner from her in the UK, and by the use of Zoom whilst working and travelling around China and now Thailand.
Of course, many of these facilities were birthed pre-pandemic, however most of the before- mentioned technological approaches to therapy would have been incomprehensible to the majority of Therapists even just a few short years ago. The ‘having to work from home’ has evidently transitioned into ‘preferring to work from home’ and for reasons including all of the above business possibilities and strengths for both Therapists and their Clients.
Another factor she discusses is that the new wave of young people seeking therapy are the generation which has lived in no other world other than the one of technology, thus as unplanned as it may have been: seemingly therapists are modernising their world in a timely fashion to meet the style of therapy the new generation of adults are au fait with.
What commenced as a temporary ‘working from home’ era, also known as ‘stay home, stay safe’ in many countries, soon sparked into lightbulb moments for CEOs and other Professionals that they could use this new wave of technological facilitation for the greater good. For the masses who have sadly been detrimentally impacted: countless others have discovered empowerment through technology within their realms.
How utterly wonderful to sift life-changing positives from life-changing negatives, she beams.