A Rugby psychologist says people can be master of their own minds and gain a healthier perspective of life and its challenges.
Dr Hayley Poole, the clinical director at Purple House Clinic Rugby, shares tips on how to regulate emotions and develop resilience.
More than 1 in 4 people experience a mental health disorder, whether it’s due to personal, professional or financial pressures.
Dr Poole said: “Whilst discouraging thoughts and emotional setbacks are usual for everyone to experience, life experiences or traumatic events may lead a person to struggle with negative and overwhelming thoughts.
"Human beings are designed to avoid pain, so it is only natural that we would want to avoid upsetting thoughts and feelings. But, with people usually experiencing stressful or intrusive thoughts about things that are important to them two, these thoughts are usually hard to escape from.”
Dr Poole said the more you try to push them from your mind – however rational or irrational they may be – the more they will persist.
"In becoming aware of your thoughts, you can work on accepting them or reframing them, reminding yourself that your thoughts are not facts and helping yourself to rationalise your perspective on a situation. Not giving power to your upsetting thoughts and keeping the circumstances in perspective can help you manage your worries, and therefore your mindset.”
Dr Poole sad the key is to be your own number one fan.
"It can be all too easy to be self-critical if we do something wrong or blame ourselves if we are faced with difficulties. But by talking to ourselves as we would a friend, we can slowly but surely increase our confidence. The number of peoplereporting low self-esteem has tripled in the last two decades, suggesting that now more than ever, we need to be kind to ourselves.
“Try to think about situations where negative thoughts and self-reflections occur most often so you can gain a greater perspective on how your thoughts can cause emotional reactions. Then, the next time you recognise you are using critical self-talk, try to stop yourself by taking a step back, observing what you are thinking and then remind yourself you are doing the best you can. This opens up choices to think. As we grow our self-belief, we begin to consider what is possible, rather than what can go wrong – leading to a happier and more ambitious you, inside and outside the workplace.”
Therapy can mean many things and does not always need to take place with a professional present.
"From guided meditation where you can visualise positive, peaceful scenarios to promote a calmer state of mind to learning breathing techniques to help slow your thoughts and physical reactions down, there are a whole host of strategies you can try to help manage your mindset,” Dr Poole went on.
“Writing things down has also always been a great way to help focus our minds - although it is a simple act, writing down our thoughts and feelings is a great way to make sense of what we are experiencing and can open up new ideas regarding coping or ways forward.”