What do I do if I'm worried about my mental health?

I've recently started feeling like I'm slowly losing track of my path in life and have no guidance. this has caused me great stress and overthinking almost every day. I feel like I'm failing in everything I've attempted, nothing really excites me. i need help.
Asked by Beanie

Hi Beanie,

Thank you for reaching out, I am sorry you are worrying about your mental health at the moment. I am hearing that you feel you are slowly losing track of your path in life and have no guidance which is causing you stress.  It sounds like you are feeling a little lost right now and struggling to decide which way your life is progressing. 

Sometimes when we reach a point where nothing really excites us and there is no joy in anything we may need to evaluate what our goals and aims are in life, you do not say anything about your situation or what you feel may be contributing to this feeling of losing track of your path of life.

Talking to someone about how you are feeling and your personal situation may help you to understand what is causing you to feel lost and stressed.  Therapy can be a safe space to talk about this to find some clarity, with a supportive therapist you can work out together what may be holding you back from becoming the person you want to be.  Helping you gain some clarity and foresight into what goals you want to achieve can help you with your focus for the future and the path you speak of. 

You mentioned feeling that you are failing in everything you have attempted, and I am curious to know if you perhaps are being harsh on yourself and having high expectations. Sometimes by showing ourselves some compassion for the efforts we are making can help us grow in confidence and self-esteem.   If you find you are self-critical, it can be hard to feel proud of yourself for what you have achieved, it may be good to reflect on if you have received praise from others for the attempts you have made in the past, you may have had high expectations placed on yourself and not received praise, this can in turn make you very negative about yourself, causing you to feel you are never good enough and harshly critical of yourself.

It can be hard to change this thought pattern and therapy can help you work through this, firstly you can explore where this unhelpful mindset has come from and question what you really need right now to make those changes.  Working with your therapist you can learn to be less judgmental of yourself and more accepting, this can be very freeing.  The weight on your shoulders of this can stop you from attempting new experiences from the fear of failure, keeping you stuck in this cycle of stress, worry, overthinking and therefore lacking enjoyment and excitement in your life.  When this happens, it can be safer for you to not try, but this is unhelpful in the long term, leaving you in this situation you describe, without growth and joy. 

Being in your comfort zone can feel a safe place until the comfort zone feels "uncomfortable" and stifling, I wonder if that resonates with you right now?

Taking some time out to be mindful and in the moment can help with periods of feeling lost and overwhelmed, it can help with the overthinking you mention, by trying to stay in the here and now, focus on what you are experiencing right now, such as a walk, or enjoying a hobby or being creative can all have positive effects on your mental health. When you feel yourself starting to think outside of that perhaps bring yourself back to some of the simple things that you can get some enjoyment from.   

This can take practice, keeping a journal can help with this, write down all the little things that have given you pleasure that day, reflect and give yourself positive reinforcement for these small steps, they all add up.  You can look back on a week and instead of feeling like you have failed and have not experienced any excitement or joy, you can identify some achievements and see the light moments amongst these dark times.  Practice praising yourself for your efforts and share them with others who you trust. 

As well as reaching out to a suitable therapist to talk over your emotions with, always talk to a healthcare professional who can assess your medical needs, this approach will ensure you stay safe and get the help you need.

Take care and good luck.

kind regards,

Julie Cameron

Counsellor and Psychotherapist