With my blogs I want to give you a glimpse into my life and how I handle my mental well-being. Of course, there must also be room here to explain the lesser things. Just #realtalk: although I have grown a lot in recent months, I still have a list of features that I want to improve on myself. The highest scoring on this list are that I have a high temperament, quickly develop irritations and so many frustrations arise in myself. Traits that I am  not always proud of. The strange thing is that at work I can turn this into “positive energy” and never lose my temper or get angry.

Unrealistic expectations

In my private life, this is unfortunately different. I quickly build up irritations towards others because they do not always respond the way I want or pick up things the way I would. In recent years I have learned to express these frustrations much less (sorry, not always, I am only human!) – because no: my boyfriend, friends and family really don’t deserve that! My expectations are often high, too high: both for myself and for my personal circle. And although this expectation management has paid off in my career many times (because yeah, believe in yourself!), It is not always fun for me and everyone around me.

Emotional roller coaster

Sometimes I can completely overthink simple situations, and I get angry or cry. For example, I have in mind that my boyfriend cleaned up the house (because he was home alone and I had to work, so that makes sense in my head) but then he just had a wonderfully lazy day and then I am so disappointed and get angry or cry. In my relapse prevention plan, which I set up with Sarah as my sessions ended, I set myself a three-step plan to calm myself down and limit these kinds of expressions of frustration.

Meditate, reflect and confront

As the title suggests, my plan consists of three phases: meditate, reflect and confront. I would like to explain this to you on the basis of the above example about cleaning up the house.

Step 1: meditate

As I indicated earlier, in recent months I have become a huge fan of meditation and mindfulness. It ensures that I can withdraw from the situation for a moment and find the calm again. In small, simple situations it may be that I only do a simple breathing exercise, in the case of a major violent event a longer meditation of at least fifteen minutes.

Example: I am coming home from work and the house is not tidy. I feel the irritation coming up, instead of expressing this frustration I make sure that I can find calm again through a simple breathing exercise

Step 2: reflect

After I have taken myself out of the situation and found peace in my head again, I make sure that I reflect on the situation. I do this by challenging my thoughts, a method that some of you have probably heard about. By challenging my thoughts, I look at the various thinking errors and try to establish within myself what really bothers me.

Example: by being annoyed by the house that is not clean, I fall into the thinking errors “overgeneralization” and “hasty conclusions”. I over-generalize by focusing on the negative (a house that is not clean while my boyfriend did groceries, for example) while there are probably also positive things to highlight. I also draw the “hasty conclusion” that my boyfriend doesn’t think I am important enough since he did not do that for me.

Step 3: confront

In this third step, I may have to confront myself or choose to confront “the other”. This is not always necessary, but with some events I will continue to feel this need after steps 1 and 2. Hereby it is important to face the confrontation in a respectful way without trying to hurt anyone.

Example: I confront myself with the fact that it is not a problem that the house is not completely cleaned up and I then confront my boyfriend by proposing to have a clean-up day together tomorrow.

 

Although it may feel strange at first to use these steps, it has greatly helped me to see through and tackle my own pitfalls. Maybe you too?

 

Love,

Mara

 

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Mara

Hi! I'm Mara and I have a busy life where I have to keep a lot things up and running. Sometimes a bit too many things. With these blog I hope to inspire you to get started with your mental well-being! Personally, I always held back when it came to seeking help until I discovered that there are so many ways to help yourself. Small adjustments to your lifestyle and useful tips and tricks can sometimes make a world of difference in feeling that little bit better!

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