Mindfulness

Mindfulness is based on the foundation that thoughts are completely meaningless, they are opinions not facts.

Thoughts often repeat over and over again and the more they repeat, the more we tend to believe them. This sets off a whole new chain of related thoughts making you feel even worse.

What Mindfulness does is bring your attention back to the present.

Trying to fight, ignore or control anxious thoughts and feelings is paying them too much attention. Try to observe anxious thoughts and feelings like an outsider. Notice how when you don’t try to control negative thoughts they soon fade, it’s when you engage in them that you get stuck and the anxiety increases.

Beginning the meditation pay attention to how your body feels, notice your breathing and try to breathe more slowly and deeply. Notice the ever changing emotions and thoughts that go through your head. If you get stuck on a negative thought come back to the present moment in time.

At first your mind will go back to negative thoughts and concerns but each time you bring your focus back to the present you are reinforcing a new mental habit and it is this that will enable you to break free of the negative worry cycle. I want you to observe your worries (the way you feel about yourself) and let them go.

I hope I have explained the Mindfulness Technique sufficiently to give you a good basic knowledge. You may find the initial attempts of meditating hard going but please persevere. You will be surprised at how quickly you can begin to retrain your mind thus putting you back in control.

Below are two websites. The first is the Mind link to Mindfulness, the second recorded meditation instructions for you to listen to. Please try the first meditation of five minutes and see how you feel afterwards.

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/mindfulness/#.WWDPUIqQzEa

http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations

 Change the way you think to change the way you feel.

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder composed of two elements: obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions

Obsessions are best described as unwelcome thoughts, urges, feelings, doubts or images, that keep on repeating themselves in your mind.
For example, constantly thinking you haven’t locked the front door or experiencing the sudden urge to lash out and hurt someone. Obsessions such as these can be scary; they can take over your life and grow in intensity to the point where an ordinary lifestyle becomes impossible.

Compulsions

Compulsions are activities that you repeat over and over again because if you don’t you believe something bad will happen.
For instance, having to touch wood every time you have a nasty thought or image and becoming very agitated if you can’t find any wood. In which case you feel compelled to find a piece of paper to touch because it’s made from wood.
Another instance is repeatedly checking your front door to make sure you have locked it.
As you can see from this example, it ties in with the obsession mentioned earlier – feeling you haven’t locked the door.
Basically, the compulsion (the action of checking the front door repeatedly) is driven by the obsession (believing something bad will happen if the door isn’t locked.)
The anxiety caused by this ‘circle’ of thought and behaviour can be extremely stressful and the respite given by the compulsion is more often than not short-lived.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has the most success with the treatment of OCD. There is an article on this therapy in the last blog.

info@etherapyroom.co.uk

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is recommended for a variety of disorders, including depression, anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.

Combining cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy CBT focuses on how you think about the things going on in your life – your thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes (your cognitive processes) – and how this impacts on the way you behave and deal with emotional problems. It then looks at how you can change any negative patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing you difficulties. In turn, this can change the way you feel.

Together with the therapist, you will explore what your problems are and develop a plan for tackling them. You will learn a set of principles that you can apply whenever you need to. You may find them useful long after you have left therapy.
CBT may focus on what is going on in the present rather than the past. However, the therapist may also look at how your past experiences impact on how you interpret the world now.

Being encouraged to challenge automatic negative thoughts surrounding distressing or stressful situations may help to reduce the amount of worry associated with them, and can even increase self-esteem.

Stress & Anxiety

What is stress?

A certain amount of stress is required for us to function normally but when stress levels are too high they can cause anxiety.

The anxiety and stress that come from the feeling that you are unable to cope, can affect you both physically and mentally.

This may manifest as:

  • Lack of energy.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhoea, constipation and or nausea.
  • Tense muscles causing aches and pains.
  • Chest pain with rapid heartbeat.
  • Restless sleep
  • Frequent colds and infections.
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • High blood pressure.

Common causes of stress are relationships, financial matters and work.

If just one of these were a problem you may well be able to cope but often one of these issues is linked to another.

For example If you are having a hard time at work this could effect your relationship as you may be short tempered and without meaning to, take things out on your partner. This could cause friction and arguments that just serve to increase your stress level.

So, how do you manage stress from day to day?

In itself stress is not an illness but left to escalate it can cause serious health problems.

Try not to turn to alcohol or cigarette’s as this could just exacerbate your problems.

Although it is difficult to avoid stressful situations it is possible to stop its’ effects spiralling out of control. For example you can learn stress busting relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation.

Regular exercise routines that can be as simple as walking, dancing or for something more structured joining a local fitness group can help you unwind.

Should I see my doctor?

You should see your doctor if self-help techniques do not work. They may suggest other coping techniques for you to try or recommend some form of counselling or cognitive behaviourial therapy (CBT).

If stress is causing you serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, you may need to take medication or have further tests.

info@etherapyroom.co.uk

www.etherapyroom.co.uk

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‘Coming Out’

Psychotherapy and counselling are a type of talking therapy that allow a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable manner.

Psychotherapist’s and counsellor’s are trained to listen to you so they can help you deal with any negative thoughts and emotions that you have.

For example, ’If I come out I’ll lose my family and friends’ is an example of negative thoughts. There are so many different ways people could react but all the time this negativity is going around in your mind the more the fear of ‘coming out’ may grow.

The most important part of the therapy is, have you accepted the fact you are gay or transgender, because if you haven’t, how can you expect others to accept it?

This is where the right therapist will help and guide you through the process. The more you talk in therapy about your feelings, the easier it will be to discover yourself, your beliefs and your sexuality.

When your thoughts and emotions have ‘untangled’ themselves, it will be so much easier to approach your, ‘coming out.’

info@etherapyroom.co.uk

www.etherapyroom.co.uk

Time to Relax

Time to Relax

Firstly, either sitting or standing, turn your head as far as you can to the right as possible and notice the furthest object in the room that you can see clearly.

Now go through the following exercise.

“The Monkey”

Hold the rest of your body still; raise your shoulders as high as possible towards you ears. Raise and drop them three times.

“The Giraffe”

Now, holding the rest of your body still, turn your head slowly from left to right. Stretch your neck as far as you can whilst turning your head. Do this three times.

“The Eagle”

Now slowly raise your arms to the side and to shoulder level, turn your palms up and move your arms slightly back to push shoulder blades closer together. Don’t let your arms go too far back.

Now turn your head to the right again and see whether you can observe past the object in the room you primarily noted.

If so you were too tense. Remember this exercise and practice it when you feel a stiffness in your neck and shoulders or when you are feeling tense.

Depression & Sex

People suffering from depression very often lose interest in sex. Unless you are in an unhappy relationship it’s very unlikely your partners depression is anything to do with you.

If you and your partner have a relationship issue this will be discussed at a later date. Or you can contact me at:

debsjrooney@gmail.com

www.etherapyroom.co.uk

Depression is awful for the person suffering from it; however, you will be affected as well since it may intrude on your relationship.
Your partner may recoil from your affection and of course this hurts but it’s important you realise this is probably the depression and not a slight to you personally.
Unfortunately, as much as a depressed person needs cuddles, love and support, the very nature of the illness can stop them accepting such attention. Depressed people often become withdrawn, they stop communicating with you and this may cause arguments in a relationship and that’s the last thing you need.
Although your partner is suffering from an illness you are suffering from a loss. You have ‘lost’ the person closest to you and this may be reflected in your sex life.
It is often the case that depression affects the libido, the sexual urge and this can seem like rejection and even lead you to feel unloved and unwanted.
When the person you love the most has withdrawn so completely from you it’s hard for you not to react. You have feelings too and they are being ignored.
How do you cope with all this emotional turmoil, both yours and your partners? Take strength from the fact there is help available in different forms.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-depressants and it is important to take them as instructed. You could also consider counselling therapy.

www.etherapyroom.co.uk

Sexual Performance

It is known that chemical changes happen in the brain leading to depression and it has been found that possibly there is a genetic link that causes severe, re-occurring depression

This form of depression will be discussed at a later date.

It is generally accepted that a depressive illness is prone to affecting all our bodily systems, slowing them down. And, of course, if your partner is taking medication this also could cause a feeling of constant drowsiness.

Depression in men often displays as a feeling of hopelessness and that can cause erectile dysfunction. This may be the inability to maintain an erection or premature ejaculation.
Depression in women may take the form of an inability to reach orgasm, a lack of sexual feelings and interest in any sexual activity. A feeling of helplessness may also be present.

Self Help

About two to three weeks after medication has been taken the effects of it will hopefully have the prescribed affect. If not then phone your doctor for advice.
If your partner has ‘lost’ their routine it is important they are encouraged to re-establish some small part of it as a means to an end.
For example getting out of bed in the morning, showering, dressing and eating breakfast. It may help if they write this down as part of a journal – ‘Things I Will Do Today’ and number each goal. As they achieve their aims they can tick them off.
Then planning the day, just small steps at a time. I know this all may sound trivial but they are actually very important steps towards emerging from the depression.
A walk or some other form of exercise will be a good boost both physically and mentally. The brain will release endorphins that have a positive effect on the bodily system.
Encourage your partner to listen to music you know they like. Ask them to write down any happy thoughts or feelings they are having, again this could be part of their journal.
Together make up a menu for the week ahead and write the shopping list. If your partner has been avoiding large supermarkets (possibly because of the number of people) why not go to a small shopping centre together?
Let your partner take on responsibilities again if they so wish, though do not push this if they show signs of concern.
You may go three steps forward and two steps back in the beginning but be the optimist – that’s one step gained.
Give positive reinforcement of any encouraging behaviour with a hug, a smile anything that shows you understand the importance of what they are
achieving.

Throughout all of your troubles, try to cuddle but don’t assume a cuddle is going to lead to sexual activity, just cuddle with love and tenderness. What you will be doing is showing unconditional love and that is something very precious.

www.etherapyroom.co.uk