Last year I wrote from the heart about mindfulness whilst walking (click HERE). I found myself returning that over the weekend as I noticed I had a busy head and wasn’t connecting to what was around me. It was a bit of a struggle to snap out of it so I started naming what I could see in front of me, around me, above me and below me. You might be thinking: ‘Wow, she must have looked pretty odd saying that to herself!’ Rest assured, I remembered to say it to myself and not out loud!
Quite quickly the thicker, more complex thoughts started to move away and I found I could focus more on what I was doing, which was exploring the woodland and unwinding after a long day.
Over the course of the week I’ve been sharing the pictures I took on that walk on social media and have brought them all together in the blog now, with the idea of sharing perspectives with you to highlight that what we think about a situation can really impact how we then feel and behave as a result of that thought.
Is this branch overburdened with responsibility?
Or, ready to fulfil its purpose?
Is this an exposed and vulnerable root system?
Or, a deep and anchored support network?
Are these fungi the leaches and thieves of the forest?
Or, is this one life supporting the other?
Is this Ivy the beginnings of burden?
Or, is the start of friendship?
What does each interpretation bring up for you with regards to your thoughts and feelings?
I enjoyed being in nature that day and looking around deliberately for pictures that may offer new meanings and could say more than one thing to the viewer. It also meant challenging myself to think about different perspectives too; after all, if I’m challenging you to do it then I like to practice what I preach. It was a week of shifting perspectives for me so I must admit I was probably more in that mindset than I usually am. In counselling, we would call changing our perspectives: Re-framing.
Re-framing can be a really powerful way to begin to understand troubles and concerns in a new light. We can very easily become entrenched in negative ways of thinking and it can be difficult to move away from that once it becomes a habit. I help clients to re-frame on a weekly basis and the shifts that it can produce can really help someone to re-understand.
I’ve seen frustration sink in at times when clients start to move past old thinking habits and experience freedom and clarity, only to hit a bump in the road a long the way which then sends them hurtling back to the old ways of thinking and coping. It can make them feel like that they are back to square one and have somehow undone all their progress in an instant. The fear comes back as well as the anger and the frustration at themselves and the situation.
Perspectives felt important to cover this week when I consider my past, current and new clients alike, in order to remind them that therapy isn’t a straight line of achievement after achievement. It will be bumpy and messy. It’s a messy ball of wool that we start to untangle and then we find big knots, small knots and even loose ends mixed up in there. It’s in the discovery of these knots and loose ends that perspective is most important. It’s crucial to keep reconnecting with:
- What you have achieved,
- What you have conquered,
- What you now manage on a daily basis,
- The difference between who you were, and who you are now.
When you take these things into account then the knots and loose ends start to form part of a whole picture and not an overwhelming, unapproachable and frightening obstacle.
If you’ve recently returned to work and are finding it overwhelming and uncomfortable then re-framing could help you combat your anxiety and negative thoughts.
If things are spiralling for you and you need some help re-framing your situation then hit ‘contact’ and I’ll be happy to help.