Recently, I walked into my therapist’s office (yes, therapists have their own therapists), and said, I am sucking at life right now. She laughed, which is her common response to the ridiculous things that often come out of my mouth, and said, ok, tell me about it. We then spent the hour looking at the different areas where I felt I was failing miserably. Truth be told, I wasn’t magically transformed into feeling like a winner by the end of the session, but I did walk away with a better perspective that helped me challenge the idea that I was sucking so badly.
Have you ever had one of those days or weeks were it felt like everywhere you turned or put your attention, you were basically met with a response that said, you suck!? It’s an awful feeling, one I don’t recommend, but it happens and when it feels like everything is going to hell in a handbasket, there is something to keep in mind. Perhaps there’s a problem with your thinking.
The principle of confirmation bias, also known as seek and you shall find, is a very powerful type of thinking. It is the tendency to search, interpret or recall information in a way that confirms our beliefs, and when it is activated, we mistake or overlook data contrary to our current belief system. Think your spouse was raised by wolves when it comes to picking up after themselves? You will see examples of where this is true time and again, but simultaneously, you will also miss or not see when they clear the dishes or put the laundry away.
When we hit a bump in the road, most of us, at least those who aren’t drowning in pessimism, can bounce back and tell ourselves, wow, I can’t believe that jerk took my parking spot, thank goodness I still made the train. When it begins to feel like the bumps in the road are coming at you like black diamond moguls, that self-talk doesn’t always do the trick. It may be that a few things start to build up like, missing the train, a terse conversation with your teenager, forgetting to pay the cable bill and the dry cleaner losing your favorite sweater. All of a sudden, it seems you can’t catch a break, and it begins to get harder and harder to keep your chin up or see data that indicates anything other than this is going to be a really shitty day.
Things often go wrong, sometimes many things go wrong, but rarely is EVERYTHING wrong. Perhaps what you are missing amidst the fog of your biased brain is that you made the green light at the intersection, your partner sent you a funny text, and not only did you remember to pack your lunch, but you also brought it with you. (Insert fist pump!) These are definitely not parade-worthy events, but they are small triumphs we can acknowledge during the times it seems like we are sucking at life and say, ok, I’m not entirely useless today. It takes just a moment to ask yourself, what is going right today? Or, what do I need to focus on to challenge this negative belief? Changing our thinking takes practice, and doesn’t always come easy. Like any skill though, it can be learned and the more you deliberately try to look at all the pieces of the puzzle, the easier it gets. Hopefully, with continued practice, this skill gives you a little more energy to keep that chin up and stop sucking so badly!
To be continued…
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What a week for our world. As everyone tries to adapt to a new sense of normal amidst an ever-changing landscape, we've all been asked to do things differently. And humans do not like change! We crave the familiar, the predictable, the known. One of the ways we are encouraging our community to stay healthy during this time is to keep as much routine and consistency as possible, including self-care and support.
We understand the anxiety and worries that are in the world right now, we also understand the importance of connection and care and healing. We are moving all of our appointments to Telehealth sessions as of Monday, March 23rd. While this may be a different way of doing things for some of you, it allows us to be a consistent source of support for our community.
Our practice has been using telehealth for over two years, and we have a HIPAA compliant platform in place that is really quite simple to use for our sessions. All of our therapists are able to walk you through getting used to your first telehealth session and not much will be different other than you'll show up online instead of at the offices.
In fact, we're still taking new clients during this time, so if you are feeling like you'd like to talk to someone or know of someone in need of extra support right now, let them know that we are here to help. You can call or text our offices at: 630-563-0044 or sign up online via the "Book Appointment Online" button on our website.
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