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Relapse: Helpful Ways to Overcome – October 2016

13. October, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

The most important thing about relapsing is not to beat yourself up about it.  Try to learn from it to be able to move on and hopefully stop it from happening again.

There are usually early warning signs such as:

  • Poor self care, concentration and motivation;
  • Social withdrawal;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Excessive sleep and lethargy;
  • Mood swings;
  • Headaches;
  • Increase in alcohol intake to self medicate.

And possible relapse triggers are:

  • Difficulties in relationships;
  • Housing situation unsettled;
  • Loss of social support.

By being aware of these signs and triggers, relapse can be prevented in consultation with your GP.  Any medication such as antidepressants can be reviewed and monitored.  And matters such as relationship difficulties can be talked through in counselling or with those who are supporting you.



The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only







Rational/Irrational Beliefs – July 2016

17. July, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

Irrational thinking can easily take over the ongoing thought process especially when depression and anxiety are prevalent.  It is important to try to reduce the stress that the irrational beliefs are causing and get back to a more rational approach.

How To Get Back Into Rational Thinking?

  • Tell yourself what you would prefer to happen BUT accept that you might not get what you want.
  • Say to yourself, “I don’t like it BUT I can put up with it”.
  • Believe that a situation is unpleasant/bad/uncomfortable BUT not the end of the world.
  • Avoid pressurising words such as MUST – OUGHT – SHOULD – NEED.
  • Try not to think, “I can’t stand it”, or “It’s unbearable”.
  • Don’t be negative by putting yourself and/or other people down.

Here are some examples of how to put the above into practice:

Irrational: I must sort it out.

Rational:  I’d prefer to sort everything out but it is not possible.


Irrational: I can’t cope when things go wrong.

Rational:  I don’t like it when things go wrong but I can cope.


Irrational: It would be awful if I did something wrong.

Rational:  It can be upsetting but it is not awful.


Irrational: If something goes wrong, it is not good enough.

Rational:  I accept that things can go wrong.


The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only



It’s OK To Be Quiet – May 2016

19. May, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

How would you describe yourself?

Loud, quiet….?

Often the loudest people in the room tend to dominate and the quieter and more sensitive or serious are overlooked.  The world needs all types to make it go round yet those who shout the loudest inevitably attract more attention and their willingness to talk to other people and not have quiet time for themselves reading and being on their own can result in success in job interviews, presentations, group work etc.  It is important to recognise that the more introverted characters have just as much to offer as the extroverts.   They can be regarded as unfriendly, not willing to participate in events and aloof but they are good listeners and often have a lot to offer – they are just less willing to speak up and make themselves heard.


The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only.


Addiction and Its Impact – March 2016

6. March, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

Addiction is to a degree the psychological dependence on anything in excess due to social, biological or psychological reasons.  Anything can range from chocolate, diet coke, crisps to drugs, smoking and alcohol.  There is an attachment to the addicted activity and part of stopping is dealing with the loss of this.  It is undoubtedly easier to give up chocolate, diet coke or crisps.  The more serious addictions such as drugs and alcohol can often be an alternative way of dealing with issues, particularly if they can obliterate and/or relieve the unpleasant and distressful feelings associated with these.

An addict needs a drug to maintain normal physiological functioning and the benefits of taking drugs or drinking etc can outweigh the costs, meeting the physical/emotional needs regarding help and understanding, rather than blame and personal responsibility.  This means that when trying to stop, it can be exceedingly hard.  However, relapses are a learning experience, resulting possibly from inadequate resources and most likely to happen when negative emotional states are prevalent e.g. stress.

Support, understanding and a strong desire are the key factors in overcoming addiction.  Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups are hugely successful in helping addicts but are not for everyone.  Each person is unique and it’s all about finding what works best for the individual – sometimes trying different methods are necessary before the right one is found.  In addition, an understanding of what has caused the addiction in the first place can contribute to stopping and addressing the painful emotions so they do not need to be eased through the taking of drugs, alcohol etc.


The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only


Mindfulness – How Can It Help You? – January 2016

21. January, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|No comments

Life has so many pressures day-to-day that the mind is continually overloaded.  Mindfulness allows ourselves to experience the world without becoming emotionally engaged in what is happening. Taking time to practice mindfulness on a daily basis can help reduce the stress and keep things in perspective.  The mind can be rested and released from the ongoing chaos and challenges of the modern world.

Normally when we dislike a situation we become anxious and try to move away from it or avoid it.  Often it is sensible to do this but sometimes the situation that we feel anxious about cannot be avoided and when we refuse to face the thing we dislike we actually become more and more anxious.  By practising mindfulness we train ourselves to face things that we dislike without becoming over-anxious.  We become more able to cope in difficult situations because we become able to emotionally detach from the painful situation while still facing it.

How Do You Learn To Do It?

  • Focus on your breathing.  Bring your attention to the sensation of air going into the nostrils.  Be aware of the breath entering the lungs.  Notice your abdomen rise and fall.
  • Relax your body and be aware of the change in sensation of your muscles as you do so.
  • Allow yourself to be aware of how your body is touching objects around it e.g. the way your back feels against a chair or the way your feet feel while touching the floor.
  • Let yourself hear sounds from your near space and those from further away.
  • Allow yourself to notice changes in temperature.
  • Be as aware as possible of any sensations which your senses detect.  Do not distract yourself from them.
  • If you want a movement, slow down the process so that you are aware of thinking about, doing and ending the movement.
  • If a thought comes into your head, let the thought stay for as long as it wants to, BUT do not make a judgement about it.  Say to yourself, “This thought is neither good nor bad”.
  • If you experience an emotion, focus on the physical presence of that emotion eg. say to yourself, “I can feel my heart beating faster.  I can feel a tightness in my throat.  This is anxiety” BUT do not judge that emotion.  Say to yourself, “This emotion exists.  It is neither good nor bad”.
  • If there is pain, be aware of the pain as you would be aware of emotion BUT do not judge it.  Just accept that you are experiencing it.

Mindfulness is when we allow ourselves to be aware of the present moment with Acceptance.  If you can accept how how you are feeling emotionally and physically rather than fighting the feelings you are experiencing, you will  be able to think more clearly so decisions can be made and improved interaction with others.


The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only