How about giving yourself a quick psychological MOT . Have a look at the questions below and reflect if each is as you’d like it to be.
Do you have a sense of attachment, a sense of loving or being loved?
Do you feel as though you have an identity, a sense of belonging?
Do you believe you have a voice – are you heard, either at work, at home, or elsewhere?
Do you have a sense of purpose in your life, a reason to get up in the morning?
Is there, for you, a reason for it all, a sense of meaning?
If you answered each of the above with a resounding, or even a hesitant yes, then you are probably feeling happy enough to be getting on with, which is marvellous – hopefully you recognise how lucky you are. If you paused , and identified that one or more of these fundamental needs was in some way lacking, you may find yourself feeling at a low ebb at times. This could be experienced either psychologically through feeling depressed or anxious; or physically – low energy levels, sleeplessness, and other unexplained symptoms can be attributed to not having your basic human needs met.
Sadly, in today’s NHS, while incredible medical progress has been made, many experience the de-humanising effect of feeling as though they on a medical conveyor belt, never seeing the same practitioner twice, or feeling so rushed that they are not able to voice their real concerns. One illustration of this is a friend who went to the doctor’s on several occasions, each time seeing a different G.P. with a variety of symptoms, from blinding headaches to IBS, and was sent to hospital for many different tests. Not once did a doctor ask her about what was happening elsewhere in her life – she was actually going through a divorce which was traumatic and isolating for her and she now recognises that it was stress that was at the root of her physical symptoms. The importance of the ‘therapeutic relationship’ has been lost in present day mainstream medicine, and its hard to imagine it being re-established. So how can we begin to address any of the issues above when we have identified them?
Self help books and internet sites have a really useful role, but will not be able to replicate the sense of being heard and cared about by another person.
A therapeutic relationship – that is, one that is formed while having therapy of any kind, be it counselling, reflexology, or homeopathy, will gently establish some of what may be lacking in your every day life. By listening carefully and non-judgementally, a therapist will allow you a voice, and support you while you explore your own meaning to life. You will be accepted just as you are, without having to put on an act, and encouraged to take care of yourself while you begin to determine your sense of purpose. Your uniqueness will be valued. If this sounds very airy fairy, it really isn’t. It’s about explaining your worries or symptoms to another kind, caring expert person who will help you to resolve them. What is important is that it involves real live human interaction as part of the process.
If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the questions on the checklist above, now might be the time to make changes that will address what’s lacking – you may be surprised at the all round benefits that will come as a result.