03 January, 2012

One of the things I enjoy most about my job is trying to understand human behaviour. We humans are so fascinating. Even though we are all of the same species (homosapians), we all act differently. These differences in behaviour has much to do with how our mind interprets events. The mind is the strongest yet often the most overlooked organ, which influences and alters our behaviour.

However, not all of the thoughts we have, leads to helpful outcomes. Sometimes we can develop unhealthy or unhelpful thinking patterns and this can lead to all sorts of difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, stress, anger issues etc. What can happen over time is, we can become stuck in this style of thinking and even though we do not like the consequences, the thoughts happen automatically. It is a bit like when we first start learning how to drive a manual car. Initially, we have to think a lot about the clutch, gears, etc, but over time we become so use to driving we may not even notice when we change gears, our thoughts become automatic.

Even though our thoughts may become automatic, one of the advantages of being human is that we can learn and re-learn. Though we may think in a particular way, it does not mean we need to continue. If I use the example of the car again, when we hop into a manual car that we have not driven before, we become more aware of how we are using the gears, clutch etc.

One way, which counsellors may help you, is by breaking down how you think about events and becoming more aware of how you interpret events. Furthermore, you can learn how to challenge some of your unhelpful thoughts, which can lead to alternative outcomes rather than adversity.

At Relationships Australia, we can assist you in ways to catch and challenge unhelpful thinking and if you are in a drought declared area and affected by the drought, a fisherperson affected by the change in fishery laws or a sugar worker affected by changes to the industry our counselling services are free. Call 1300 364 277 to find your nearest Relationships Australia branch.

This article was written and supplied by Relationships Australia Queensland. Any reproduction of this article is prohibited unless agreed upon by Relationships Australia Queensland.