Forums Home

Carers Forum

Acceptance, connection, support. Share the journey.

Safe, anonymous discussion for people living with mental illness, moderated 24/7 by mental health professionals.

Read the community guidelines
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Looking after ourselves

Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

 It is interesting how you ensured you had social connection by volunteering @Appleblossom. It is well documented that those who volunteer are generally healthier than those who do not. In a talk I listened to it mentioned that this is in tune with a design law of nature, that in order to thrive, any living being needs not only to receive but also to give and bring meaning to our lives.  It does give social connection, particularly if tasks require teamwork and acquaintances are made with the potential but no guarantee of stronger friendships. 


Are you finding more connection with choir members?


Coincidentally, in the last couple of days I have become aware that at present I am not volunteering and am presently considering options.


Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

I can certainly see the value in what you are saying re helping others @Darcy  as I am definitely boosted emotionally when I am able to successfully help someone. That is why I have done so much volunteering at the university which as a bonus resulted in paid work and why I enjoy that paid work so much.  For me at least in our present chapter and for as long as that lasts it balances out some of the deficit of being so emotionally needy. 

Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

Was talking with vollies yesterday who applied for paid work. @Determined  It can be great if it leads to it, but I Was glad I was happy with my limit, that I did not even want to go there, but accept this vollie role as a stressfree and healthful ongoing way of life.

Re volunteering. I have always done it. @Darcy   Shook tins collecting for childrens hospital as kid, always aware there were people who had it hard.  Collected for starving kids in India etc ...part of that was a positive about religion that I do not regret.  Also I always lived in high density environments ... lots of people around and in my space.  I now strugggle with many middle class assumptions about normal ways of feeling ... that is ongoing challenge ... it is hard as I have similar education but not life experiences ... and find it hard to connect to rougher bogan type people, tho used to meet lots, but not really snobby ... just shy ... and now physical neck disability, so I just cant be around them if aggression is flying.  Forum really helped as I felt safe around my neck issues.


@Darcy Hope you find some vollie work that is rewarding.  I am pleased with the zoo as I learn a lot and have lots warm fuzzy feelings around animals and helping people ... I dont see it as an upgrade to get paid.  I think it is important to maintain that people have complex motivations and that making money is not the only one ... it matters ... but so do other things ...


Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

Moving on to the second to last suggestion we come to Tip 6: Build social connections


  1. Connect to people who care about you at least once in 3 weeks
  2. Connections can be face-face or over phone or social networks

@Darcy, , @Ali11  interesting and very true -- All of a sudden we can find ourselves bereft of friendships and feeling housebound.,

and when I finally get out to socialized , I feel strange  like I have nothing to talk about

with being self employed , with our jobs , lots of time we don`t see our customers at all

with mum in hospital , I tend to have more interaction socially with the doctors and patients

being on the forum, Facebook and messager has helped a lot , but I find that I have to do the interacting

if I don``t I would get no phone calls, no messages at all

Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

The choir stuff is layered and varied with me. @Darcy 

Most people in my choirs are fairly educated and well heeled and housed.  They have much more resources than I will ever have or had, so that can lead to misunderstandings, but many appreciate the work I have put in to develop my musicality so I can be a musical rock ... others periodically decide to take against me, because I dont fit the norm.  So it is actually hard work, as there are a lot of people out there, who think they know, and they are usually women who are willing to confront and have a go at me ... not the men ... 

At last concert a lady had a go, telling me I was wrong in my parenting, without the slightest interest in listening and just continually butting in and over riding me. She had no right, nor reason and I became very distressed then later angry and stood my ground telling her off and "not to do it again" ... she also gossips, whispering in my ear nasty things about others which I do not want to hear ... she is often a "concertmaster" .. which is a specific role, that does not take professionalism just bossiness ... so nothing is a given ... it has gone to the committee so we will see how it is managed .... I have backed away from that on for a while and joined something diff and local ... others are really beautiful and just give out warmth and revel in the music.  I dont think the conductor would like to hear what happened ... they are all going on big European tour, which I am will abstain from ...for lots of different reasons ... it is what it is ...Darcy.   They have money and will spend it to please themselves.  

Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

To summarise our thoughts on the last tip of building social connections:


@Appleblossom  mentioned how that making social connections was difficult and that she volunteering was a way to address this, but did not equate to making meaningful friendships.

@Darcy  mentioned how studies showed that people who volunteer are happier

@Determined  echoed the thought that when he is boosted emotionally after helping someone out successfully.

@Shaz51 finds that when she does get to socialise, she feels she does not have much to talk about and she finds that she is the one who needs to make the effort to connect.

@Appleblossom  also mentioned socialising can be hard work.

Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

We come to the last of the 7 tips today and that is to Be present:

  1. Over thinking about the future and the past can lead to depression, anxiety and stress.
  2. Spend five minutes at least on meditation.

I tend not ruminate so much on the past or what might have been perhaps because I stopped thinking that there was no guarantee that life would have turned out better if different decisions had been made. However, I know I like to feel that I am emotionally prepared for what lies ahead and can justify overthinking with the need to consider any concerns that I have but as Lolly Daskal puts it…


“Overthinking doesn't sound so bad on the surface-thinking is good, right?

But overthinking can cause problems.

When you overthink, your judgments get cloudy and your stress gets elevated. You spend too much time in the negative. It can become difficult to act.”


I have followed this post with the full article from Lolly Daskal as it gives practical tips in relation to overthinking.


Fear is often in the driver’s seat when we overthink in relation to the future. It can rob us of potential joys and stop us from even trying. How often is it we are thankful that we made an effort to get up and do something and found that we enjoyed it despite any reservations we had.  Brene Brown says that our fear of the dark casts joy into the shadows.


When it comes to the past, we are often ashamed and we worry and about what people would think and perhaps afraid that they would no longer want to be our friend if they knew the whole story. We are uncomfortable with vulnerability. Researcher Brene Brown found that the antidote to shame was empathy and that in owning our stories and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we will ever do.  She says that shame erodes our courage and fuels disengagement but that if we share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame cannot survive.  


Meditation/mindfulness is something that I have difficulty with and it has been suggested that it can be in the form of something that requires concentration and takes your attention away from your problems such as:

  1. Going for a walk
  2. Watching a movie
  3. Photography

I find that working on a jigsaw or weeding the garden are two activities that work for me.


These are simple tips in relation to what can be a lot more complex and again I remind you that while self- help is effective for some, assistance from a trained professional such as a psychologist or counsellor is often warranted.

download (19).jpgdownload (20).jpgimages (17).jpg

Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

10 Simple Ways You Can Stop Yourself from Overthinking

By Lolly Daskal


Overthinking doesn’t sound so bad on the surface–thinking is good, right?

But overthinking can cause problems.

When you overthink, your judgments get cloudy and your stress gets elevated. You spend too much time in the negative. It can become difficult to act.

If this feels like familiar territory to you, here are 10 simple ideas to free yourself from overthinking.


1. Awareness is the beginning of change.

Before you can begin to address or cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of it when it's happening. Any time you find yourself doubting or feeling stressed or anxious, step back and look at the situation and how you're responding. In that moment of awareness is the seed of the change you want to make.

2. Don't think of what can go wrong, but what can go right.

In many cases, overthinking is caused by a single emotion: fear. When you focus on all the negative things that might happen, it's easy to become paralysed. Next time you sense that you starting to spiral in that direction, stop. Visualize all the things that can go right and keep those thoughts present and up front.

3. Distract yourself into happiness.

Sometimes it's helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. Things like mediation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, knitting, drawing, and painting can distance you from the issues enough to shut down the over-analysis.

4. Put things into perspective.

It's always easy to make things bigger and more negative than they need to be. The next time you catch yourself making a mountain out of a molehill, ask yourself how much it will matter in five years. Or, for that matter, next month. Just this simple question, changing up the time frame, can help shut down overthinking.

5. Stop waiting for perfection.

This is a big one. For all of us who are waiting for perfection, we can stop waiting right now. Being ambitious is great but aiming for perfection is unrealistic, impractical, and debilitating. The moment you start thinking "This needs to be perfect" is the moment you need to remind yourself, "Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress."

6. Change your view of fear.

Whether you're afraid because you've failed in the past, or you're fearful of trying or overgeneralizing some other failure, remember that just because things did not work out before does not mean that has to be the outcome every time. Remember, every opportunity is a new beginning, a place to start again.

7. Put a timer to work.

Give yourself a boundary. Set a timer for five minutes and give yourself that time to think, worry, and analyse. Once the timer goes off, spend 10 minutes with a pen and paper, writing down all the things that are worrying you, stressing you, or giving you anxiety. Let it rip. When the 10 minutes is up, throw the paper out and move on--preferably to something fun.

8. Realize you can't predict the future.

No one can predict the future; all we have is now. If you spend the present moment worrying about the future, you are robbing yourself of your time now. Spending time on the future is simply not productive. Spend that time instead on things that give you joy.

9. Accept your best.

The fear that grounds overthinking is often based in feeling that you aren't good enough--not smart enough or hardworking enough or dedicated enough. Once you've given an effort your best, accept it as such and know that, while success may depend in part on some things you can't control, you've done what you could do.

10. Be grateful.

You can't have a regretful thought and a grateful thought at the same time, so why not spend the time positively? Every morning and every evening, make a list of what you are grateful for. Get a gratitude buddy and exchange lists so you have a witness to the good things that are around you.


Overthinking is something that can happen to anyone. But if you have a great system for dealing with it you can at least ward off some of the negative, anxious, stressful thinking and turn it into something useful, productive, and effective.


Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

very interesting --- Overthinking


1) overthinking about jobs  or things that need to be done ---- writting them down helps , I have a few note pads around the house , like in  the kitchen and the lounge

I now have Mr shaz writting them down on paper ( took him a while ) but when they are done we cross them off


2) I find my time to overthink is in the middle of the night , because I have to visit the bathroom about 4 times a night , get back to bed and my mind starts -- sometimes it is better to get up and read or go on the forum for a little while and have a cup of tea  and then go back to bed


3) I think my biggest one at the moment is Mum , is she going home ?? is she staying in hospital long term ??


Re: Talking about building emotional resilience

Writing things down as you think of them is a practical solution to ensuring things do not get missed @Shaz51 . I know if I don't write something on a shopping list or other check list things can get missed. 


Your Mum is a big one for you and as there are a lot of potential 'what ifs' along with anticipatory grief.  If you feel that some counseling would help, regional patients can access bulk billed on line psychology services with a mental health plan.  

For urgent assistance, call: