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Time to Talk Day 2024
Most of us have heard of the January blues. That feeling of the festive period being over, of long nights and cold days. However, for many those blues don’t kick in until February. January is often a time of new beginnings, resolutions, enthusiasm, and goal setting. It can feel like a new slate and is often accompanied by a zest for life. February, however, is when the hard work kicks in. The “new year, new me” buzz subsides, the festive spending hits home, and the grind of maintaining this “new person” begins.
With this January zest most likely gone, we can be left feeling flat, low, or anxious. At times like this it’s more important than ever that we look after our mental health. One of the most important things we can do is to talk about how we’re feeling. The age-old adage of a problem shared is a problem halved, couldn’t be truer. This is exactly what Mind and Rethink Mental Illness are promoting with their annual Time to Talk Day. On 1st February they are encouraging people to talk about how they’re really feeling, to share their worries and concerns, to finally reach out. They are also encouraging us to reach out to others who may be struggling, to be that safe place for a friend, to check in on a family member we haven’t heard from, to be a listening ear.
When we’re feeling low or anxious, however, talking may be the last thing we feel like doing. Instead, we may choose to hide ourselves away from the world, to retreat, and to keep our thoughts and feelings to ourselves. The problem with this is that it can, in fact, exacerbate the problem. Whilst it may not feel like it, engaging with others is proven to play a key role in overcoming worries and low mood. With this is mind, Time to Talk Day may be the sign you need to speak to a friend or family member, to talk about what’s on your mind, and in doing so, hopefully gain some relief.
If, however, you find that talking to a friend or relative isn’t enough, or if the thought of social interaction feels too daunting, it may be time to speak to a professional. Therapists are trained to listen; they provide a safe, non-judgemental space in which you are free to voice all your inner thoughts. They take things at your pace, allowing you to say as little or as much as you wish. After working with a therapist, you may find that the very act of talking about your feelings starts to come more naturally.
As a QCH Therapist I see people struggling with anxiety and/or low mood daily. QCH Therapists are trained to listen in a very particular way. They are taught to listen for the patterns in what you are saying, to ask the right questions to help you understand yourself and your issue fully, and to help you explore the role your unconscious mind is playing in the creation or fuelling of your issue. This last aspect is crucial; 90% of our behaviours are driven by the unconscious mind. In essence, when ruminating over a problem or hiding yourself away from the world, even though you know it would be beneficial to talk to someone, you are in what’s known as a “trance state”. This is a state in which you are driven by your unconscious mind, and at times, against your conscious will. The job of a QCH Therapist is to “dehypnotise” you from this unhelpful state. In doing so this allows you to stay your “usual” self and enables you to behave as you choose to.
On this Time to Talk Day I invite you to think about a small action you can take to look after your mental health. Perhaps it’s calling a friend and talking about your day, perhaps it’s texting that relative that you haven’t heard from in a while, or perhaps it’s booking a phone call with a therapist, knowing that that one small act could be the first step towards you gaining insight and, most crucially, control over your thoughts and actions. It really is time to talk, today.
Katie is a QCH Therapist and NLP Practitioner. She works to empower you to make changes in your life when you’re struggling to make them alone. Katie works collaboratively with you to uncover what is holding you back and what you can do about it. She specialises in the treatment of anxiety, phobias and low confidence.
If you would like to contact Katie or another QCH therapist, you can find them using our therapist finder here https://www.qchpa.com/therapist-finder/#!directory/map/ord=rnd