As many of you know, I was diagnosed with depression & anxiety last year. It’s something that goes way back, but I was able to address a lot of the core issues last year.
I definitely still have lapses, and like any other person on the planet, I have good days and bad days as well.
I was talking to a student of mine the other day about exam anxiety and thought I’d share some things I do to help in that moment of stress. Some of these I have talked about in previous posts, but they’re worth mentioning again in.
Catherine Mede reminds me of this one whrn I’m having a bad day. A few deep breaths take us out of ‘fight or flight’ mode by giving oxygen to the brain and physically calming our body.
When I take these breaths, I visualise the breaths going through my body, calming down my whole physical self.
This leads pretty clearly to visualisation. I blogged about this one last year, as it was a key strategy to my progress.
One of my biggest issues is self-esteem, and allowing others’ words and actions to affect my already frail sense of self-worth.
My counsellor suggested a visualisation on this basis. You imagine your heart, and then imagine a shield around it. When I visualise, my heart is a lotus, and it’s shielded by a glowing white sphere.
A SAFE PLACE
This is also a form of visualisation. For me, a safe place is my counsellor’s room, even though I haven’t been to see her for over a year.
Her room was peaceful and healing, and she was a role model for me.
Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly low, I imagine I am in her room. It sounds weird, but I kind of super-impose her room over the place I am in.
This is one I read in a meditation book, but I can’t remember which one! It’s effective but you do need to really focus.
Start by identifying the emotion you are feeling, then identify a time when you felt the opposite of that emotion. Be specific.
For example, if I was feeling inadequate at teaching, I would think of a time when I had felt proud & confident in my students’ progress.
Next, you take a few big belly-breaths, and imagine you are back in that scenario. Remember how you felt, and what your body was like. Were you full of energy? Relaxed? Creative? You’ll find yourself shifting from a state of anxiety to replicating the emotions from your chosen scenario.
The above are strategies that still use, and I still need to utilise these at least once a week at the moment. I know I can rely on these to carry me through rough moments.
What strategies would you add to this list?
“This post is shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop”