Taking care of ourselves is more important now than it has ever been. Happiness and contentment is a state that most of us desire but are often not able to access it or have only short-lived experiences. Today’s modern world means that we are all continuously subjected to numerous stresses on a daily basis. This can include our relationships with others, work demands, being in heavy traffic, as well as hearing stories through media outlets of disasters and violent acts perpetrated against others.
Although most of us are subjected to numerous stressors on a daily basis it seems that some can cope better than others.
What is it that allows some people to live their lives in a much happier and healthful way?
All people are uniquely different, having different personal experiences, as well as having learnt different ways of thinking and managing moods. This can mean that some people have learnt ways of coping that help them manage stress better than others. Such differences can include a better work and lifestyle balance. Other factors can include good self-awareness, and self-acceptance. Also certain personal strengths can also make a difference.
All of us though can learn personal change and new ways of increasing positive personal change. Personal Well Being can be enhanced through learning to think differently and knowing how to control thought processes, as well as learning how to take charge of moods. Learning and developing strengths and building on those strengths is a positive way to achieve the changes necessary and to understand how to increase happiness and contentment.
Personal Well Being Therapy may include:
- Modification of thinking patterns
- Understanding moods and how to manage them better
- Building confidence and self-worth
- Increasing self esteem
- Identifying and building personal strengths
- Facing fears and achieving your goals
- Improving relationships
- Developing assertiveness skills
- Managing conflict
- Learning how to manage stress
- Career and vocational guidance
- Lifestyle choices and decision making
- Weight management and physical health
- Motivation to improve health
- Social skills training
- Self-care strategies
- Parent skills training and child behaviour management.
Clinical depression is usually quite easy for a medical practitioner, psychiatrist or clinical psychologist to recognize. However, only around 20% of clinical depression cases are actually diagnosed. This is mainly because it can “mask” itself as a physical illness such as chronic pain or fatigue sleep problems, low frustration tolerance, and irritability. Online counselling is a very effective form of depression treatment.
The most common signs that can indicate clinical depression include:
- depressed mood
- frequent tearfulness
- loss of interest or enjoyment in usual activities
- low energy level, fatigue and tiredness after only slight effort
- a reduction in concentration and attention
- low self-esteem and confidence
- feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- pessimistic views of the future
- ideas of self harm and / or suicide
- disturbed sleep
- loss or increase of appetite.
Although medication can have its benefits for people with depression in lifting mood it does not teach people how to deal with those life stressors or negative thoughts that so often may lead to and can accompany feelings of depression.
Sometimes sufferers also need to learn strategies such as problem solving, how to be more active, and learning to think differently to ensure that they are more able to beat their blues and become more resistant to future episodes of the illness.
Learning strategies such as those that are taught within a Cognitive-Behavioural framework may improve quality of life, enhance relationships with others, and improve overall work performance and satisfaction.
Fortunately, anxiety disorders are highly treatable. Experts estimate that up to 90 percent of people who suffer from anxiety disorders can be helped through medication, behaviour modification, or psychotherapy.
Anxiety is a normal and healthy reaction. Everyone experiences anxiety to some degree. Anxiety is caused by the perception of fear, or in other words, by thinking fearfully. “Anxiety” describes the physical, mental, and behavioural changes that allow you to deal with threat or danger. These changes can be very useful if it is necessary to respond to threat or danger very quickly such as being in physical danger.
However threats can occur in day-to-day life such as being caught in traffic or having to meet time limits, or having a poor relationship with a work colleague can cause a series of changes to occur automatically in the body. Once the brain decides it is under threat certain chemicals are released. The body becomes prepared to “fight” or to flee (“flight”). This response is called the “fight-or-flight” response and there are a number of associated physical and mental changes that occur.
The type, range, frequency and intensity of symptoms experienced will vary from person to person due to the individual makeup and past experiences of each person.
Some of the more common anxiety symptoms may include:
- Fear and apprehension
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate
- Being overly vigilant and easily startled
- Having a feeling that something bad is going to happen
- Having trouble falling asleep
- Feeling tense, and restless,
- Dizziness and or increase in perspiration
- Having trouble concentrating
- Appetite and or changes in weight
- Digestive problems
- Immune system effects
- Be depressed (anxiety can mask depression).
An anxiety disorder may develop in some cases and may include:
- Simple and Complex Phobias
- Generalized Anxiety
- Social Anxiety
- Panic Attacks and/ or Panic Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.