Unspecific Unhappiness or Coping With a Crisis: How Counseling Can Help
Are you just feeling generally unhappy and don’t know why?
Have you reached a point where you remember being happy once, but you just don’t have that spark now? Miami days and weeks seem to drag on when nothing interests or excites you any longer.
Or is some heavy crisis pushing you to your limit?
Perhaps an event in your life left you feeling perpetually stressed or helpless. Often, hardships create a deep mental rut or escalate due to unproductive coping strategies.
Without professional help, you might mistake these feelings for new, negative chapters in your life. Don’t settle for perpetual unhappiness or ongoing suffering. Counseling can help pinpoint mental culprits and empower you to live your life well.
Identify Core Issues
Stress is unavoidable and happiness isn’t always automatic. In looking for a reprieve, where do you start? Counseling can help you determine the core issues robbing you of joy or peace.
Stress is stealthy.
It can undermine your happiness and bring it down if you’re caught unaware. You may be accustomed to the crush of activities and responsibilities in your life. You may also be used to the tension in your muscles, the poor quality of your sleep, and an increasingly short temper. Without realizing it, you might have allowed your stress levels to become unmanageable.
Embracing happiness under such circumstances is difficult. To lift your mood will require increased self-awareness and intentionality. Time spent noticing your thoughts and responses will be important for identifying symptoms of trauma, depression, or low self-esteem and getting to the heart of your generally low mood.
Counseling, for many couples, professionals, and parents, can teach skills for effectively assessing and managing stressors. In therapy, life events, career, family dynamics, medical issues, and more can become better understood and worked through.
Therapy can help you become mindfully self-aware, more adept at seeking solutions and actively involved in securing true emotional well-being.
The death of a loved one, a job loss, or a divorce could be weighing you down. High-stress events or experiences often require an extra measure of support and guidance.
Professional counseling can provide an objective, reassuring perspective. Unfortunately, too many people suffer crises alone, held back by therapy stigma or the idea that they should be able to “get over it” or recover on their own.
Heavy emotions accompany a crisis. Emotional pain can manifest itself uniquely in everyone. Unresolved issues from the past may be triggered, anxiety, or depression may stifle attempts to cope well.
As a result, unproductive coping mechanisms like substance abuse, risky behaviors, or social withdrawal may compound the crisis and make it more difficult to recover.
Counseling provides a safe, nurturing space to identify what’s really going on with you.
Therapy will help you understand and cope with your worries and fears, as well as helping to develop a wider perspective as you address how the crisis changed your world.
Counseling accomplishes this end from a healthy, forward-moving perspective. The goal is to understand yourself and your reactions, heal, and ultimately restore a sense of balance and personal control.
Navigate the Unknown
One of the most beneficial aspects of counseling is its ability to cultivate healthy change. Charting a new course toward emotional health may be unknown territory if you’ve been unhappy for a long time. Change may be scary if life looks very different after a crisis. Either way, a professional can help illuminate your path to well-being.
Counseling Encourages Your Happiness
Counseling, from a variety of approaches, can teach you to recognize negativity and train your mind toward more positive thinking. Emotional work may require a deeper look at your behavior and how your relationships function. You may challenge you to define or redefine your needs and values, and commit to a more authentic vision of your life.
Essentially, you determine what happiness really means in your life. Through counseling, you can design a plan to embrace it fully, and pursue the life you hoped for. Change will come with a commitment to the work and a resolve to get the most from your therapy.
Counseling Promotes Peace of Mind
Often, during a crisis, so much of your energy is exerted toward trying to survive that you may put aside any attempt to find lasting peace. Anxiety and a host of roiling emotions may lead you to either ignore, stuff, deny, or misrepresent your emotions. Thus, it may be difficult to really know how you feel or find your way back to calm.
Changing that dynamic requires a willingness to replace stress-induced survival responses with self-compassion and honesty. From there you can move forward with less anxiety or sadness and more hope and peace of mind.
Counseling can guide you through the appropriate steps to a full recovery, no matter the crisis. You can learn how to accept and process your new normal, even if life is unlike the life you knew before.
Implementing Stress Management
While it’s true that the stress fueling your emotional upset is often unavoidable, it needn’t be unmanageable. In fact, you can reduce stress to a bearable level. The key is to take care of yourself and understand your triggers so that you are able to better control your emotions and choices.
Simple things like nutritious food, adequate sleep, and incorporating at least 15 minutes of daily downtime can greatly relieve stress. Counseling helps strategize a game plan tailor-made for your life. You can read more of my stress management tips here.
Mindful Thought Patterns
Negative thought patterns can exacerbate unhappiness or trauma. Counseling can help you notice detrimental thinking, neutralize it, and motivate you toward more satisfying experiences and relationships.
Chronic stress is the invisible destroyer of a person’s health and well-being. It can accrue to a level where there is a total system breakdown. The problem is that because a person may be strong and accustomed to feeling stressed he or she may not realize how close to physical or emotional collapse they really are. See my post on Chronic Stress.
Services are rendered either at my office located at 2999 NE 191 St. Suite 703, Miami, Florida 33180 or through video conference via Skype. Serving North Miami area through video conference, anywhere there is a broadband internet connection.
About the Author
Dr. Stan Hyman is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach in private practice in Miami, Florida. He specializes in the treatment of stress, addictions, anger, anxiety, depression and work life balance.