if you’ve been thinking about individual counseling or marriage counseling, but aren’t really sure if you need it, then this is the post for you. And I’m in the mood for short and sweet, so here we go!
This is a blog post about those days or times where you feel way off from your normal self. Maybe you're slightly more irritable, or maybe you're just less satisfied overall, or maybe you find yourself wishing it was 8 pm so you could have that beer, or maybe you start to question all of your life choices that ever got you to this place you're in (not least of which includes work, relationship, kids, and location).
What I want you to do when/if you get in that place is to ask yourself these five questions. They're simple, really, but that doesn't mean they don't have a ridiculously impact on our mental health and overall well-being.
I don't even know if that's a term or not, but it makes sense in my head.
Here's what I meant by existential drift - it's that moment in time when you're thinking about the meaning of life, or why you're here, or what's your purpose, or what's it all mean, and then you shift from curiosity and awe into despair, angst, and terror. It's that reeeeally slow shift; that gradual slope that you don't catch until you're speeding down the slide into the deep, dark recesses of your existentially-terrified mind.
Here's the scenario. I'm in session with a couple and we start an intervention that requires stating things from a personal perspective for one person and listening and summarizing for the other (without giving their interpretation or jumping into why). Easy peasy, right?
This isn't a fun topic for people, although I would argue it's one of the most necessary things that people should do. Personally, I love this topic. I love seeing people self reflect in such a way that they can honestly own whatever it is that they're doing in a given situation. I also personally love this topic – I'd rather know what my stuff is then have it metaphorically slap me in the face later on to the point that I feel completely blindsided.
I'm just going to come out and say it. Life can be boring, mundane, and monotonous. There. It's out in the open. Can't take it back.
It seems that so many people strive for this "perfect" life, but don't realize that striving for something that doesn't exist without embracing this basic sort of fact (that's clearly a personal bias) that life can be boring at times leads to feeling dissatisfied and unhappy. It's not that I don't want people to strive for better or more or more content or happier, but I want people to be realistic about their strivings.
Alrighty, friends. This is a continuation of the first part in a series of posts on anxiety. Each post covers one distinct aspect of anxiety (existential, biological and genetic, evolutionary, psychological, and behavioral) and all aspects can comprise your (or anybody's) experience with anxiety. Although some might be more relevant than others. The purpose of this isn't to tell you how to 'cure' your anxiety and it's not a magic fix; the purpose is to think about anxiety in a different way.
I don't know how to say this, so I'm just going to say it. Lots of counselors that I know think of anxiety as purely a psychological problem. That is, they believe anxiety is a result of your thoughts... and that's about it. My take is that there are many more pieces to the puzzle (see the list above of all the different aspects). When we start to understand all these aspects and see how they influence and/or show up in our own lives and in our experience of anxiety, then we can start moving forward in an effective and efficient way in managing and living with our anxiety.
Y'all are going to think I'm crazy, but this is way too relevant to not share.
Okay - so most of us want to figure out what our problems are so that we can change them right away, so that we can fix them and be done with it. I mean, people come into therapy and counseling specifically for that reason. They feel some level of distress (something isn't quite working in their life) and they're not quite sure what or how to "fix it."
Here's where I come in...
This is going to sound like the most confusing thing ever, but just hear me out.
Anxiety is rewarding.
There, I said it.
Please don't misunderstand, though. Anxiety is rewarding does not equal it's healthy to get lost in 'what if' thoughts that consume your life. It also does not equal don't give your brain time off because it likes to be worked 24/7/365.