DEPRESSION, ANXIETY AND THE FUTURE
Depression and anxiety are debilitating emotional condition which almost always go together. They affect a significant number of people in the UK and we certainly see it in many clients who seek counselling from Olive Branch.
Depression and anxiety are rooted in the primary emotion of fear. Fear itself is all about the future – the future that we cannot predict and over which we have very little real control.
George Harrison (of Beatles fame) once said ‘We cannot relive the past, we can only learn from it. And as for the future, we don’t know if there is one. All we have is the present.’
When we are anxious or depressed we often start predicting the future by playing one or more ‘dangerous games’ and these are guaranteed to re-enforce our already low mood.
These ‘games’ are
· What if……
· If only……
· Yes but…..
· It’ll be alright when…..
Taking the correct medication and paying regular visits to our GP is very important but Mindfulness can be a very useful additional method of helping with depression and anxiety since it helps us to focus completely on the present moment.
Such techniques as ‘safe place’, breathing and relaxing music or sound are beneficial if you are able to take regular ‘time outs’. However, the principle of Mindfulness is also just as effective. This involves focussing on the task or issue at the top of our list and only moving to the next problem when we have dealt with the current one.
If you need an excellent illustration of the above, observe your cat, dog or small child. They live completely ‘in the moment’ and are not interested in the future. They are brilliant at Mindfulness
So if you find yourself slipping into a low mood and starting to play ‘dangerous games’ come and talk to us at Olive Branch. We are here to listen
Making Friends with Anxiety by Sarah Rayner
Mindfulness, Be Mindful, live in the Moment by Gill Hasson
“I found the counselling to be of great assistance to my life. I am now able to use Coping techniques when difficult situations arise. My father died 12 years ago and I can now look at his picture on a daily basis and not get upset.”
“The situation has been difficult since lockdown but from my point of view I am glad I was able to have some sessions with my counsellor before FaceTime took over. As such I didn’t find it as difficult as I thought it was going to be.
My goals were a bit hazy when I first started my counselling but my counsellor managed to get to the bottom of my problems and we focused on this in the later sessions.”
“Contacted Olive Branch after the death of my mother during lockdown. Was completely overwhelmed by feelings of grief, anger, guilt, lack of purpose. Was pushing away the people who were important to me in a way that I recognised as self-destructive. I was very depressed and recognised from a similar time in my life 25 years ago that I was in danger of becoming suicidal. Within 8 weeks Olive Branch had pulled me out and given me the strength to move forward into the future. My counsellor was understanding and very supportive, but also gently helped me to see what needed to change.”
“Great fan of the telephone counselling. Face to face would have made me more conscious of reactions and more guarded. I don't believe we would have got so far so fast if we'd have been meeting.”
“I had had the worst year of my life with family tragedy and trauma. Olive branch counselling helped me more than I expected it would.
Caring, compassionate and a true supportive hand to get me back on a clear and positive path.
I laughed again.