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  • Writer's pictureJulie Burn

How Counselling can help you smile again

In today's society many of us are dealing with stress and feeling overwhelmed, which can have a negative impact on our health - both physically and mentally. Insomnia, headaches, mood swings, high blood pressure, anger and irritability are just a few examples of how stress can manifest in our lives.

We all know the importance of taking care of ourselves by eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting enough sunlight (quite tricky here in Scotland!) and getting a good night's sleep. Also finding time to relax and unwind, pursue hobbies and get together with friends and family are also desirable for good mental heath.

Sometimes however, we enter a period in our lives when our usual self-care techniques simply aren't working as well as they used to, and this can be when chatting to a counsellor might be just what is needed.

Counselling is therapy through talking. A trained professional will provide you with the space, safety and confidentiality you need so you can talk about whatever you want to. It is a counsellor's job to actively listen to you. This basically means that whilst a counsellor will provide warmth, empathy and a safe space to be heard and cared for, they will do more.

A counsellor will challenge you, through feedback and exploratory questions, to start digging deeper into your thoughts, emotions and behaviours; to begin noticing things a little differently, to find clarity or gain a new and helpful perspective on an old issue.

A counsellor's aim is to help you feel better. After a few weeks, or sometimes months (depending upon the client and the issues), of talk therapy, you will start to feel better. You may be more positive in your outlook, have better self-awareness and confidence, and feel more in control and empowered in your life.

We don't think anything about sending our car off for its yearly MOT and service - having a trained mechanic, lift the bonnet and have a look at all the inner parts, a little tweak here, add some oil there, to ensure all is ticking over smoothly and working as it should - so why should we not gift ourselves a mental health service?

So if you have started the new year not feeling your best - perhaps you are depressed and sad, aren't taking pleasure in pursuits that used to bring you joy, have low motivation, are stuck in an unhappy relationship or struggling to get over a recent loss, then counselling might be just what you need.

More and more people are getting help through counselling, and although it can be a little scary making that initial contact, rarely, if ever, do you hear someone say they regretted coming to counselling. Quite the opposite in fact. Counselling can help. So go on, reach out. You deserve to smile again!

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