Today we considered how this group is very helpful to people, both face to face and online. The group were encouraged to hear that the blogs of their experiences had sometimes up to about 90 views. That means that 90 other people are being helped and encouraged by shared experiences. Imagine if we had 90 people all sitting in the group room! The friendships in the group really matter, and often people find that physically attending the group really helps their mood, they leave feeling better and more grounded. This is a good reminder to us that sometimes if we push ourselves to do something which feels difficult we end up being so glad that we did and we have a good experience.
We continued our discussion around intrusive and unwanted thoughts. A lot of advice out there around dealing with such thoughts is that it takes time and is an uncomfortable process, but people do learn to manage their thoughts. Some key elements in this are:
- Gradually learning to confront unwanted thoughts and allow them to be there without doing what is called ‘relief seeking rituals’ e.g hand washing, checking, ruminating. This is uncomfortable in the beginning and may increase anxiety.
- Learning to challenge unhelpful thoughts. e.g Is that true? Are you sure you would do that? Have you ever even done anything like that before? Remember that our thoughts are not always accurate and do not always have any real basis.
- Be aware of how much significance we attach to our thoughts. If a person thinks the thought is very important and must therefore have a lot of meaning, the more likely, they are to act on compulsive relief seeking rituals and feel anxiety and worry.
This information is a much paraphrased snippet from a self-help guide called ‘Obsessions and Compulsions’. For the full document please see:
Group members said that it would be helpful to spend some focused sessions on how to manage and control unwanted and intrusive thoughts. We also had a chat about mindfulness as people are learning to practise some of these techniques and finding them very helpful.
During the group we also had a look at:
This is a campaign run by SAMH and headed up by Sir Chris Hoy to address stigma, reduce inequality and improve mental health. Group members were encouraged to sign up on line.
Next week is our second birthday and celebration of 100 meetings. We look forward to this meeting which will definitely involve cake.
Finally check-out this cheery YouTube video, we enjoyed it and hope you do too: