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Tips from a Psychotherapist

Don’t always take your thoughts too seriously.

Our thoughts are only thoughts. We can all get overwhelmed by our thoughts and we can sometimes take them as absolute facts. However, thoughts are not always facts, rather they can just be thoughts. We all have them, but learning to understand them is important. If we learn to take a step back and observe our thoughts instead of either always engaging with them or fighting them, this could be helpful to us in not getting so overwhelmed.

Take your own advice.

We are great at giving other people advice, whether it be a friend going through a tough time in work or having relationship difficulties, even when someone is having a hard time coping, we always find that we can give advice or seek advice for that person in need. But what would it be like to actually have that conversation with yourself and take your own advice? Sometimes taking our own advice is hard, however if we can’t take our own advice, why give someone else the same advice?

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Find a means of relaxation.

Finding and integrating relaxation into your lifestyle is very important. We all need something that we can use to relieve stress or anxiety. Relaxation can improve the flow of blood around our bodies, which can help our energy. Relaxation can  help us to have a calmer and clearer mind which can in turn aid positive thinking, concentration, memory, and decision making. There are many different types of relaxation techniques such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Deep Breathing, Meditation, and Music.

Let yourself off the hook.

It’s true that we are our own worst critic, as we often hold ourselves to unrealistic expectations. But it is important we know that it is ok to ask for help. There is no need to be hard on yourself or thinking negatively for asking for help, rather allowing yourself to care for yourself like you would a family member or friend can help improve our own self judgment.

Feel your Feelings.

A lot of us are experts at hiding from our feelings or pushing them aside. But we should really be doing the opposite: While you may not want to act on every feeling you have, try to experience each one fully in the privacy of your own heart. Name your feelings (e.g., anger, sadness, dread, etc.) and remind yourself you are allowed to have them. Doing these small things for yourself will allow you to work through your feelings as opposed to avoiding them, avoiding your feelings can result in in a problem becoming bigger and overwhelming.

Try to stay willing, accepting, and teachable.

We are all striving to be the best people we can be. To some, that’s being kind, patient, hard-working, determined, funny, fit, and healthy all at the same time. But how exhausting and unrealistic is that? It is time we narrow that list and seek to become a willing, accepting, and teachable individual instead. You won’t be perfect at it but should focus on progress rather than perfection. These three mindsets could serve you in regard to your mental health, relationships, and overall wellness.

Practice being self-compassionate.

We dedicate a lot of time and energy into being there for our loved ones, but we do not give ourselves that same necessary attention. Being committed to thinking, feeling, and doing things differently could allow for a different result. Learning to counter negative self-talk is a helpful way to  become  more accepting and compassionate of oneself. Trust the process, taking it one compassionate statement or action at a time.


Implement movement into your day.

Sometimes you just need to step away from what you’re doing or dealing with and get some air. Sure, getting regular exercise is important for mental health, but even just taking regular, relaxing walks can be soothing for your mind. Plus, it may literally force you to take a breather when you need one. Getting out into the world and connecting with life is usually healing, as is the rhythmic nature of walking. It can help get you out of your head and into the world. Try taking a walk when you first get up or after dinner or try scheduling 20 minutes into your work calendar to remind you to just step out for a bit.

All of these tips could help to improve many aspects in a person’s life. There are a lot of tips above, and  not all of these can be implemented at one time. However, making a gentle effort to try out one or two of the above  could be useful. Being realistic with yourself when trying to implement change can be an effective way to start using these tips. If you’d like to avail of counselling alongside these tips, you can book an appointment by calling 01 611 1719 or by emailing [email protected]

Written by Darragh Horgan.





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