When and How to Stop?

I read the title of an article from the ABC news website: “Exercise and pain: Discomfort, ‘good pain’ and knowing when to stop” (23/02/2017) and thought how topical that is in the therapy room, i.e. knowing your limits and when and how to stop (unrelated to exercise!). It’s something all clients bring: wanting to stop doing a job they hate, having friends who aren’t really friends, being in bad relationships, being amenable to everyone – there are many situations.

Why don’t people know what their limit is and when to stop? stopSometimes it’s because you hope that something beyond your control will change and make things better, you tell yourself that the future pay-off will make this unrelenting pain worth it, because you don’t think there are any other options, or maybe simply because you don’t even realise just how deeply unhappy you are. Sometimes the fear is that if you stop, people (and/or you) might think you’re a failure, that you’re weak, that you gave up too easily, you don’t measure up, you are unworthy, that you didn’t try hard enough or maybe you don’t know how to be any other way. Ultimately, your happiness (and unhappiness) is down to you – and it’s your responsibility.

Realisation is the first step and is what brings people to my door. Once you’ve realised what you don’t want in your life or how you don’t want to be, other paths, ideas and options become available. It’s not about being strong enough or able enough to keep going at it on your own but about being smarter about the choices you make to lead you to live a more easy and happier life. It’s worth checking in with yourself every now and again and asking yourself what’s causing you pain right now? What is it that really needs to stop so you can be happier in your life? Start realising that there’s something you can do about it and that you don’t have to do it on your own.