When it comes to anxiety, stress and depression: Are you unwittingly making things worse?

Our thinking patterns are crucial in determining how we feel!

In my psychology practice, anxiety, depression and stress are the three major problems that cause many of my clients acute distress so I am always interested to read about research in these areas.

A recent article in Psyblog mentioned three behavioural styles that are common in individuals who suffer from depression. These include rumination (preoccupation with cycles of negative throughts), a lack of adaptive coping ( failing to seek support and also not using positive approaches such as exercising and seeking out positive experiences) and self-blame.

On the subject of stress – a large proportion of the stress we experience is as a result of daily hassles – recurrent, annoying things that happen on a daily basis such as hold-ups in the traffic, appliance malfunctions and call-centre queries. Our stress levels are dependent on the way in which we interpret and respond to these stressors and our health is directly affected by our characteristic way of responding to these hassles.

The postive implication of this research is, of course, that it is possible to alter these patterns of behaviour. This is frequently the focus of my counselling and psychotherapy with my clients.

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