Stop apologising and start thanking
I saw this image on another counsellor's page this week and it really struck a chord with me. Even without a discussion about anxiety and depression, this is such a common experience for most people. We, on the most-part, as a society, have gotten into a habit of apologising. We apologise for taking up people's time, for talking, for being late, for getting things wrong, for asking for help... the list goes on. But what should we be doing? This picture shows it in terms of saying thank you, which I think is lovely. Let us start thanking people for listening and for accepting us as we are, for waiting for us and for being patient. Perhaps if more people thanked, instead of apologised, then we would feel less of a burden and we would ask for help when we most needed it.
The problem with depression and anxiety is that it can make us feel a burden. It can make us wonder why people would want to listen to us or spend time with us, and it can make us feel the need to apologise for who we are. If we started thanking people instead and started asking for and accepting help we could begin to shift these negative feelings about ourselves. We could start to appreciate ourselves and feel important. We could learn to love ourselves and want others to see us and hear us. Talking and being heard is so important, as is feeling ok in allowing other people to hear us.
I think that people have become scared to talk as they don't want to load their problems onto others, so we have learnt to keep them all in and deal with them ourselves. But are we dealing with them or are they just piling on top of each other until we are in a state of stress and anxiety? The problem with living in a state of stress is that we are in a constant state of fight or flight. All of the hormones that this involves and the way that it affects our bodies is catastrophic. If we could just learn to talk and share our problems and to be ok with doing that then surely this would be beneficial.
Counselling is an important part of this process too. Learning to be ok with talking about ourselves, and learning that we are important is so vital. If the only place that you feel comfortable talking is with a counsellor, or someone that you do not know, then make that your starting point. As you get more comfortable with this process it will hopefully flow into your everyday life and communications. The key thing to remember is that you are important, you matter and you need to learn to love yourself. However you start or commence that process is the right way for you and is the start of your journey into self-care and self-love.
The more we all learn to love and appreciate who we are, the more we will all hopefully stop apologising and start saying thank you!