Most of us have experienced the discomforts of feeling unwell, whether it was physical, emotional, or psychological. As such, we appreciate the being unwell is not a state that we wish to be living from.
We search for ways to improve or change this state. Perhaps in the past, we have chosen a variety of coping mechanisms, such as avoidance, numbing or distractions. We may have sought the supports of health professionals or may have tried learning new skills and habits through self-help programmes.
If we have progressed to the coping mechanisms that provides relief without negative consequences, we have likely achieved a higher sense of well-being, aliveness, competence and empowerment. Life is good again.
But these experiences of moving between wellness and unwellness raise questions for us.
How do we find ourselves again in the pit of discomforts, unease, unwellness, lack of joy in life?
What has happened? We had been doing well just a while ago! Or was it last year?
The shift to a feeling on unwellness may feel like a sudden change, although it is likely that it has been progressive and perhaps a constant decline.
Is there anything that you used to do during that period of well-being that you are not doing now?
Is there anything that you are doing now that you did not use to do in that period of well-being?
It is quite possible that some of your coping mechanisms or positive habits have been left aside.
When we look back, we may have lots of explanations why that has happened. This may go from “urgent things came in the way” or “I got diverted by other things”, etc. The fact is that those beneficial skills, habits and coping mechanisms have gone into disuse.
Initially, we probably don’t even notice the changes when we stopped or interrupted our beneficial habits. Like most things, the effects are rarely immediate or fulminant. Hence, “I’m still well, even if I don’t practice or apply them”. But, again, like many things, they tend to have a cumulative effect, they build up … in this case, they deplete us from well-being feelings.
How can psychotherapy help us with this scenario?
There are a variety of techniques and processes that can assist us in learning to recognise the triggers and even the very slight signs of decay in well-being. This, along with exploring and re-structuring thinking and behavioural patterns, can support us in sustaining more constantly all the positive habits and skills that provide a sense of health, aliveness and empowerment in our lives.
Life is a process and it is possible that we occasionally get side-tracked from our positive habits. It is by frequently checking and re-aligning our route towards well-being that will maintain the general course of our life.