Stop, Look And Listen

Stop, Look And Listen

Headshot of Joyce Barwis, Registered Clinical CounsellorOur life is a series of schedules and appointments along with work and deadlines. Life can become an existence without much pleasure or joy. Has your whole life become about packing more and more into each hour?

The price we pay for this rapid-fire lifestyle is that we miss what is going on in the present moment. Your child may want to tell you something but you have so many other things going on in your head you only half listen or tell them you will talk about it later. The moment is lost! We are stretching ourselves to the breaking point by cramming more and more into every hour.

The current attitudes within our culture are undermining our mental and physical health. Conditions like stress, insomnia, migraines, hypertension, gastrointestinal trouble, panic attacks and depression to name a few can be a result of over extending ourselves.
By rushing we fail to make real connections with people, our relationships becomes superficial. The things that bind us together and make life worth living suffer like community, family, friendships etc.

Our children have become as busy as Mom and Dad, juggling a range of activities leaving little down time. This takes it a toll on our children they do not have the capacity to cope with less sleep, stress and so on. We are seeing an increase in youth experiencing anxiety and depression, eating disorders, insomnia, headaches and the list goes on.

I encourage you to slow down and take time to notice and observe the dynamics in your family and in your relationships. You only have control over yourself but your influence reaches farther than you think. A positive change on your part can lead to a positive change around you. You may alter your behaviour or decide to adopt a shift in perspective. By doing so you set in motion a series of possible outcomes that bring balance into your environment. When we act in ways that our beneficial to others and ourselves it encourages those around us to do the same. The greatest teacher we could ever want is always with us… life.

We are living in a society that operates on the assumption that everything can be a quick fix. This is evident by the vast amount of pills that people take to alleviate any discomfort. The underlying causes of mental and physical health issues are not uncovered by this approach. If the adults in our society are not taking the time to process their feelings and use healthy coping mechanisms then who is role modeling this behavior for the younger generation?
When we do not have the time to explore options, it can result in feeling overwhelmed or pressure from our environment. We become disconnected from our mind and body when we go on automatic pilot as a coping mechanism. We become unaware that our body is sending us signals about our physical and mental health. It is time to pay attention to slow down and listen to what are body is telling us. Gabor Mate, M.D. has written an excellent book on this topic called When the Body Says NO.

Having time to think through a situation and the impact it is having on us is important. Our human psyche has layers of thoughts, experiences, emotions, fears, loves and goals. Some of these layers create barriers towards experiencing a full rich life. Coming to terms with those barriers is a process. It is important to become aware of wants, needs, reactions, aversions, pleasures and pain. With personal discovery comes personal growth.

It can be easy to walk through life not really being present. Much time can be spent dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. In order to stay in the present moment we need to be aware, open and receptive to what is going on around us, to pay attention. Rick Hanson is a neuropsychologist who has a number of very good presentations on You Tube. If you have children and would like to teach them how to be mindful, the book is Breath like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments For Kids To Feel Calm And Focused Anytime Anywhere by Kira Wihey and Anni Betts may be helpful.

Moving past negative thoughts, fears and emotions can be difficult. As a Registered Clinical Counsellor I am trained to assist you to remove old barriers that get in the way of your happiness and prevent you from connecting to life in a positive way. I f you or someone you know would like to develop new skills and coping strategies then please give me a call. Appointments can be booked with our receptionist. The number is 250 881-1806.

Joyce Barwis is a Masters Level Registered Clinical Counsellor providing the support you need to make significant, fundamental, and lasting change in your life. With over 35 years of practice behind her, Joyce can help you in all areas of your life and is certified for clinical practice in the areas of trauma, family therapy and mental health and addictions.
With Joyce, you will discover a supportive environment that allows you to restore faith in yourself. Joyce provides clinical counselling to help rebalance your life with many positive results allowing you to increase your ability to respond to challenging events with flexibility and resilience.