I've been writing an article once a month since September 2020 on a Japanese local newspaper called "Fraser". It's titled "Spark in your heart; a journey to your true self".
I decided to put it up on my blog in English. Once I catch up, I will put it up once a month.
Here's the September article below. I hope you'll enjoy it!
In Japan, counselling is considered to be the last resort when you are completely feeling mentally at a breaking point and there are absolutely no other resources. But in reality, it is a safe and supportive place for you to go to when you lose balance in your mind and heart, or when you feel like you're not being yourself. A counsellor provides a place for you to feel safe and to feel accepted for who you are and where you're at in your life while you seek answers in yourself for whatever you are facing. If you feel as though you keep wandering in a maze with no exit, I would like you to consider seeing a counsellor.
Let's take this whole Covid situation as an example. Many people are experiencing anxiety. You'll need to first figure out what you are having anxiety towards. Is it towards getting infected or infecting someone? Spending secluded, lonely time during quarantine, or unforeseeable future? Once you figure out what you're anxious about, you'll be able to predict when you would get this anxiety as well. Finding the cause of your anxiety and helping you find the best solution suited to yourself. This is counselling. As we are all unique, our anxiety on this Covid situation also differs depending on each person and so do our coping skills. As such, many different theories and modalities in counselling exist as well as various types of counsellors. It is absolutely your choice and your decision to find the best matching counsellor to your personality. There are many great counsellors in our area. I hope you'll find one whom you feel connected to the most by contacting a few first.
I would like to introduce one way to deal with anxiety: the breathing technique, at the comfort of your own home.
Focus on the point just below your belly button and breathe in. Imagine you're slowly blowing your belly big like a balloon, breathing in for 3, 4 seconds. You'll then slowly breathe out taking 6, 7 seconds, flattening your belly. It will be more effective if you empty your mind by really focusing on breathing. Keep breathing and listening to your breath until the "cloudy" and "unsettling" feeling leaves your stomach. Once you accomplish it, I would like you to really praise yourself. Even when you can't completely get rid of your anxiety, please remember that is it very important not to blame yourself.
You might have all types of obstacles and hardships in your long life. We counsellors are here to help and support while you discover and figure out your own amazing coping skills. I hope everyone can keep their balance in their heart and mind during this very difficult situation.