Today at the group we looked at the impact world events can have on our mental health. Over the last few years there does indeed seem to have been constant change around the world politically. For some, adapting to change can be relatively stress free, but for others it can lend itself to a fear of the unknown. This can then go on to challenge someone’s feelings of safety and stability. Political change can also create fear due to unknown financial implications. Deaths to celebrities who we admired and felt a connection with can also affect us.
Group members discussed the impact disasters around the world had on them and how this upped their level of anxiety. For people who already suffer from anxiety things like war and terrorism can increase their anxiety ten-fold. Members found watching the news or reading a newspaper to be depressing and negative. They felt that some of the information put out by the media came from a biased viewpoint depending politically who they aligned themselves with. They also talked about the despair at seeing so many sad things being sensationalised while reports on the kindness and humanity of others barely gets a mention. Some group members actually found watching the news to be a far scarier experience than watching a horror movie! To avoid feeling like this people have learned to avoid newspapers and news on TV. While they acknowledge the usefulness the media can bring in shedding light on certain issues people have decided it’s far healthier for them to avoid the news altogether and to stick to hearing world news from friends.
At today’s group people discussed achievements they have gained in their lives. If suffering from low mood you may be prone to seeing things from a negative viewpoint. As a result, you may end up dismissing or playing down your achievements which can then lead to low self-worth.
A list of some of those achievements were:
- Going on holiday alone
- Making brave decisions about relationships
- Gaining qualifications later in life
- Being able to say yes or no
- new employment ideas
- Going to University
- Using the self-service check-out in a supermarket!
- Showing resilience in such tough times
- Taking calculated risks
- speaking to a big group of people
- Breaking free from unhealthy situations
Listening to everyone’s achievements seemed to inspire everyone with the immense courage and bravery shown. It very much helped reinforce the fact that members have indeed accomplished many things in life even though they did not initially think so.
If you are experiencing challenging times it’s important to remember the things you have achieved and can further achieve.
At today’s group we looked at what “being assertive” means for people. Some said they found it hard to be assertive due to the unknown response they would receive. Low self-esteem and feelings of not feeling worthy enough to be heard can make it seem a scary prospect. If people have grown up to believe that it is safer to not express emotions they could end up feeling irritable with internal anger as it does not have a healthy outlet. As a result of this someone may go on to experience poor mental health and develop an addiction problem.
Confrontation does not necessarily have to be a negative thing it could also create a resolution between you and another. Showing assertiveness does not mean being aggressive. Aggression and assertiveness are two totally different things. Being aggressive can come at a cost to you and others and will make it really hard to reconcile things as in the heat of the moment you may say things you did not really mean. The reality is that being assertive does not guarantee you will receive the response you would like but it does allow you an opportunity to say how you feel in a respectful and healthy way. This is helpful remember while experiencing fears about being assertive.
At today’s group we played a fun photo game in which group members brought in younger photos of themselves with others having to guess who it was. We had a lot of fun looking at the pictures and all of the styles and fashions from days gone by. From the ‘Robert Smith’ look of the 80’s to the lovely 70’s carpets and curtains look at our family’s homes right up until the shocking centre-parting hair style of the 90’s! Most people guessed correctly in who was in each photo. Although someone did think a teenage male photo was actually female! People seemed to really enjoy today this group and had lots of fun!
Today we were originally scheduled to visit Queen Street Gardens to spend some time in nature but sadly we had to postpone this due to the Scottish summer weather! Fortunately we had a contingency plan in place if this were to happen!
We did another session on art and crafts making balloon bowls. The materials used were, glue, glitter, buttons, tissue paper and of course balloons! The creativity was in full flow with various different designs being created. The theory behind this is that once the design is complete you leave it to dry for about 24 hours and burst the balloon and you then have your bowl!
Below are the before and after pictures!
BEFORE & AFTER