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In my last blog,

we looked at what wellbeing means. Today we are going to look at some difficulties that we can all experience, and what they might look like.

For everyone, life is made up of times of joy, ease and happiness, times of ‘getting by’, feeling ok, and times of struggle and challenge. Many of us have experienced many upheavals in our lives, and so sometimes we might not even notice the impact on our wellbeing. Here are some common issues that people can experience.

Low Mood

First of all, it’s really important to normalize sadness. Feeling sad is a valid emotional response to a range of experiences, and everyone will have times in their lives where they feel distressed, annoyed, upset or even devastated by something or someone.

 

However, if these feelings remain for longer periods of time (say weeks and weeks), feel like they are getting worse, or are starting to affect aspects of your life (for example, not enjoying things like you used to) this might be an indication that some extra support might be helpful.

Difficulties With Sleep

Changes in your sleep can be connected to your wellbeing. It’s difficult to say though in what direction this relationship works – for some people, sleep problems can cause difficulties with their mood, for others, sadness and worries can make getting a good night’s sleep harder. Sleep difficulties can also look like a range of different things – finding it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep (so for example waking up multiple times at night) or waking up earlier than you would like.

 

Some people can find that their sleep pattern has been disrupted, so that they are spending more time awake at night, but sleeping in the day. Although this might on the face of it seem acceptable (particularly if you feel you are getting the optimum amount of hours for you in one sleep session) research shows that this sleep pattern might bring unintended consequences, such as an increased risk of physical health problems.

Finding It Hard To Concentrate

Struggling to pay attention to things you used to be able to do fairly easily, like reading a book or following a film or just finding that your mind wanders much more can be related to changes in your mood. Being unable to concentrate can be related to memory problems, like struggling to find a word you want to say or to remember what you did earlier.

 

Sometimes it can be easier for other people to notice these changes in you before you yourself notice them. It is true that our ability to concentrate reduces as we get older, but noticing stark or sudden changes might be an indication of changes in your wellbeing.

Feeling Very Worried

Worries, panic, anxiety, fears – whatever you call them, again these feelings

are very common for everyone. Indeed, worries, and the changes in our bodies which are associated with worrying (such as feeling sweaty, our heart beating faster) can actually be useful in some situations.

 

However, if you find that you are feeling worried a lot more than usual, and it is affecting other aspects of your day to day life, and how you feel about yourself, it might be time to address it.

Thinking About The Same Thing Over & Over

The professional term for thinking about the same thing over and over again is called ‘rumination’. Perhaps someone said something to you that didn’t sit

right with you, or you did something that you now wish you had done differently. Sometimes when we have a strong emotional connection to something that has happened, we might think about it a lot (quite naturally), but over time this might fade away, and be replaced by the other things that are going on in our lives.

 

However, with rumination, it might feel impossible to ‘switch off’ from it – instead, we find ourselves analyzing and scrutinising it again, and again. We might even find ourselves thinking about it when we actually don’t want to – it feels out of our control.

Thinking About Things You Don’t Want To Think About

Sometimes, difficult things that have happened to us in the past, particularly

traumatic experiences, can come into our mind without us being able to control it. This might be in the form of thoughts, or images, or even remembering the voice of someone or smelling a smell from the past.

 

When this happens, we might feel distressed or overwhelmed, as it takes us back to a time of sadness or worry. Sometimes these experiences can almost catch us ‘off guard’, when we least expect it, and change our mood and how we feel about ourselves. Or we might become worried about these experiences happening again, which can also greatly affect our wellbeing.

These are some common experiences which might be signs that it could be useful to think about some extra support for your wellbeing. Next time we’ll turn our attention to seeking support – what this might look like, and also what might get in the way of getting it. Do let me know if you have any suggestions for further blog posts or topics you would like to hear more about – my email address is chanelle@uprisingminds.org.uk

 

Take care,

Chanelle