There’s a natural urge to want a quick fix or a magic pill to help us move on with our fast paced lives. Safe to say, life is full of challenges and safety is not guaranteed. This means facing objective stressors such as relationship issues, workplace stress, illness or death… take your pick or collect them all.
People often say, “I just want to get over it” and this statement usually comes with a sense of exasperation or a sigh. It would be great to hit the delete key and purge that embarrassing or painful moment from memory. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, and some argue that trying to forget hurtful moments can paradoxically make the memories stronger. A simplistic exercise to illustrate this point is attempting not to think of a pink elephant – the more you wilfully try to avoid the thought of a pink elephant the harder it becomes.
A more helpful thought or term might be ‘adjustment’. That is, to integrate the experience into your life story and reduce the impact the stressor/s have on you. The way we do this is through work (spoiler alert, there is no magic pill). This essentially involves two parts, a talking part and a doing part. This also holds true for most forms of psychological therapy.
The talking part involves discussing the situation, exploring helpful and unhelpful cognitions and getting perspective. It’s an approach that can uncover a lot of useful information and help people to process what has happened. It can also lead to new ways of thinking, which can in turn, increase psychological wellbeing.
The doing part involves behavioural change, that is, specific activities that will help. There might be some experiments, collecting data, physical exercise and trying new strategies. We do this because there is a large body of evidence that shows the things you do can influence how you feel.
There’s not necessarily a quick fix; but we can certainly work together to help.
Dr Sebastian Joeffry
Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only and is not intended to replace advise from your doctor or registered health professional. Readers are urged to consult their registered practitioner for diagnosis and treatment for their medical concerns.
Blog written by CBT Professionals Clinical Psychologist on the Gold Coast, Dr Sebastian Joeffry. CBT Professionals are a team of clinical psychologists on the Gold Coast with offices in Coomera and Nerang. Gold Coast CBT psychologists offer services to adults, children, and couples. Please call and make an appointment on 56 683 490.