MEN­TAL HEALTH

With coun­sel­lor Amanda Jayne

Let's Talk - - Contents -

How many times have you found your­self do­ing some­thing or go­ing some­where or say­ing some­thing just to please some­one else?

Do you some­times take up hob­bies or adopt cer­tain ways be­cause it will en­list the ap­proval or ad­mi­ra­tion of an­other per­son?

Be­fore you shout “No”, have a think about it. It’s an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion be­cause so many of us fool our­selves into think­ing we do things be­cause we like them. How­ever, when you re­ally dig deep; half the time it’s to im­press or seek ap­proval of some­body else. It’s a deeper ver­sion of the ‘keep­ing up with the Jone­ses’ at­ti­tude.

I’ve met a few peo­ple who have re­ally found their pas­sion in life. The things they are in­ter­ested in and pas­sion­ate about are noth­ing to do with any­one else; and they don’t care if no­body else gets it. They are usu­ally very ful­filled and sat­is­fied with their lot, and able to fol­low their dreams and in­ter­ests with aban­don.

But not ev­ery­one can feel free enough to think this way. So many of us are tem­pered by what oth­ers will think or say; whether we will look silly or be harshly judged or be ridiculed.

The other thing we do is con­stantly com­pare our­selves to oth­ers, usu­ally find­ing us lack­ing as a re­sult. I’ve heard:‘Oh, but so and so does that and loves it, why can’t I?’ or ‘They will think I’m silly for want­ing to do that’.

A way to see to what ex­tent you suf­fer from this is to ask your­self how many times do you say ‘I should’ or ‘I shouldn’t’, in­stead of ‘I want to’, or ‘I re­ally like’ or ‘I re­ally don’t like’! How many times, for ex­am­ple, do you do some­thing just so that you can tell some­one you have done it, and not be­cause you par­tic­u­larly want to do it or have any pas­sion for it?

If any of this feels fa­mil­iar, then it’s time to get back in touch with your­self. Over the years you may have got into the habit of liv­ing through or for oth­ers, and you have for­got­ten what your pas­sions and in­ter­ests are. Maybe you never dis­cov­ered them in the first place.

Time to have an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into your­self. Ask your­self what you loved as a child or teenager; what you’ve al­ways wanted to do, or where you’ve al­ways wanted to go. Is there a hobby or ac­tiv­ity that you’ve al­ways wanted to try? Is there some­thing that you’ve al­ways wanted to learn?

Ev­ery­one has their own unique life and set of cir­cum­stances which dic­tates how they re­act and live their lives. You can­not forge ahead their way and make it yours as your cir­cum­stances, your per­son­al­ity and your char­ac­ter are very dif­fer­ent.

Get in touch with you, what you like, how you feel, what you don’t like, the kind of per­son that you are, and nur­ture and nour­ish it.

You will end up a much hap­pier, more con­tented per­son. It doesn’t mat­ter what any­one else thinks or does. Be­cause after all, what other peo­ple think of you is none of your busi­ness!

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