Joanna Goodfellow Counselling and Psychotherapy in Melksham

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Wellbeing resources

You will find here some useful resources on wellbeing. Take some time to have a look round.


Evidence suggests there are 5 steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.


Five steps to mental wellbeing

Mental wellbeing where we are able to develop our full potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others and contribute to our community. When you feel good in both mind and body, you can enjoy life to the full and cope with the usual stresses of everyday life.

Research suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.
Try one of these or al of them, see if this makes a difference in how you experience your life.

CONNECT – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend some time developing these these relationships.

BE ACTIVE – Go for a walk, join a gym, go cycling or play a game of football, join a dancing class.

KEEP LEARNING – Learning keeps your mind active and builds a sense of achievement and confidence. You could learn a new language, an instrument, a new dance or a new skill.

GIVE TO OTHERS – Check on an elderly neighbour, volunteer with a group whose ideals you agree with, take an extra step towards another offering kindness. All can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.

BE AWARE – Notice whats happening in the present moment. Notice your feelings and how your body feels, notice your environment. All this can positively change the way you feel about life.


SOME WAYS YOU CAN CALM YOURSELF

Ground Yourself & Calm Your Nervous System.
When you’re feeling anxious, your autonomic nervous system is aroused and activates your fight, flight, or freeze impulse causing a whole rush of symptoms throughout your body.

One of the ways you can begin to calm your nervous system and ease your anxiety is through some physical grounding and breath-driven self-soothing.

BREATHING AND GROUNDING

Sit comfortably in a chair or sofa. Let your eyes close and rest your hands on your legs or on the furniture. Slowly, and with your lips slightly open, begin taking a deep breath in, imagine it going down past your organs and down to your belly. Notice your feet on the floor, your back supported by the chair, your bottom supported by the cushion. As you breath out bring your awareness to your feet on the floor, imagine roots going down from you feet to the earth below, imagine those roots connecting to other roots of trees outside. As you breath out and bring your awareness to any sensations or sounds you notice, any sounds, or smells. Continue with your breathing down to your belly, relax your shoulders and when you take that breath down to your belly relax your belly. Notice your feet on the floor, your body supported by the chair and breath.
And finally, when you’re ready, come back to the room.

Challenge your anxiety

Anxiety scans our lives and futures and tries to warn us of possible threats, so it’s extremely effective at triggering scary thoughts. Identify and name the anxiety-provoking thought, ask questions to test the reality, and find four reasons why that thought may not be fully true.
When you challenge the truth of the thoughts that are creating your anxiety this can give your more perspective and a sense of space and since thoughts can generate feelings, when you create more spaciousness and flexibility in your thinking, you can often ease your anxiety.

Distraction
Have you ever been so wrapped up in your anxiety that you started to become emotionally flooded?
Slightly short of breath, totally in your story, detached from the room you’re sitting in and the person you’re with because of the intensity of your feelings?
You may have been emotionally flooding.
Again, when you’re anxious and perceiving threats, your nervous system is aroused and your body becomes flooded with stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol.
This can make it hard to think clearly and to maintain focus and react rationally.
This is emotional flooding.
Ways to counteract emotional flooding

Counting Colors.
If you catch yourself flooding or perhaps just caught in the loop of an anxiety-provoking thought, tell yourself to look around you in whatever room or environment you may be in, and try to scan the surroundings to find and count aloud five colors of a certain shade.

The reason why this tool is effective is that it pulls your mind away from the intensity of the internal experience you’re having and forces your attention to be external, literally scanning your surroundings and focusing on a task, which can help reduce the emotional flooding you may have been experiencing.

Counting Backward
Another great tool to use on yourself is to count backward.
But not just any counting backwards, pick a big number like 637 and then pick an odd, random number like 19.5 and start counting backward to zero from 637 by 19.5.

Focused efforts to try and do that engages your brain in a way that can distract from the anxiety and flooding you may have been experiencing.

Reduce your Anxiety
Take a moment to check how anxious you are feeling right now, on a scale of one to ten how anxious do you feel, ten being very high. Once you have a number, consider how you can bring it down one number, say from a 6 to a 5, rather than have it go up to say a 7. Try some of the suggestions above and see if it works, if you can bring it down just one number, it makes a difference and gives you a sense of control over it.


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