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We hope you enjoy the information contained in this section. We call it "Branches Seeds". Use the information and coping skills below on your own, or with a Branches therapist.
Does it seem as though the world around you has changed? Are you regularly asking if neighbor has always seemed to be pitted against neighbor? Are you concerned about how the world may impact on your family? Do you find yourself thinking more and more about the negative than the positive?
If these caught your eye, read on.
There have been times in our world when people seem to gravitate to the negative thoughts we have about the world around us. This isn't always anyone's "fault" and we aren't being "forced" to have this perception, but that doesn't eliminate the perception itself. Sometimes it can be hard to step out of ourselves and see things in a different light, leaving the feeling of hopelessness or loss. Of course this can happen for a variety of reasons, so we'll stay general in this posting.
While reading ask yourself if you must feel this way, or if there are things that your time would be better spent doing.
When we feel as though the world is crashing down around us it can create a feeling of panic. Even if we've learned various coping mechanisms (relaxation, yoga, controlled breathing, etc.), it can be hard to recall and implement those mechanisms. While practice helps, it doesn't usually create an automatic coping response. We must stop to recognize what is going on and refocus ourselves, and that is much more easily written than done.
Of course, the first assessment is whether it is a physical safety issue, which this post will not address because that is an emergency and the appropriate authorities should be involved in that.
When you are feeling as though you are dissatisfied with the world, or catch yourself thinking of others as "those people", you may want to assess your feelings. You likely couldn't carry on a conversation with a random person without finding things that are different about them, or even things you may not agree with, but that doesn't mean their views aren't as valuable as yours. Too often we hear that one opinion is better than another, or one view is the "right" view, but that divides us into right and wrong instead of understanding most people have good reasons, and often extensive background, in their beliefs. An unyielding belief that our view is the "right" one can put up barriers to those around us and harm our views of others, and ourselves.
When encountering a different viewpoint, or when catching ourselves viewing others negatively, we can choose to ignore that manner of thinking (in most circumstances). Does it really matter than someone on social media disagrees with you? Not likely. Does the person on TV have control over where your life will go? Step back and extract yourself when negative thoughts occur. Even if your negative thought is valid, ask if feeling negative will benefit your life and those around you. There will be many times in our lives when we "know" the right thing and that others just don't realize their view is "wrong". If they are "wrong" does it impact on our life, family, or even immediate community?
Even though the impact of those we disagree with doesn't always impact our immediate life, there will always be times negative things around us may impact on us directly. When the impact will be felt closely, and ignoring or refocusing truly isn't an option, take time to determine how important the impact will be on your life. Is it worth having negative thoughts about? Will the negative cause more harm than is acceptable? Have you considered the reasons for differing views, or taken time to understand the other side?
Muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga, controlled breathing, exercise, hobbies, and of course therapy can help work through those negative thoughts we have. We can spend time looking for things that make us happy, which may reduce the negative thoughts we're having. After all, humanity is not perfect, none of us, and even those most like us are different. Take time, spend time, and don't waste time on negativity. Time is precious, limited, and constantly ticking away.
If you want help on your journey, feel free to click the button below to reach out to a Branches therapist.
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