Mind Over Matter!
By Kate Marchant. Stress busting techniques that really work! Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a method of improving mental health by looking at the link between thoughts and behaviour in response to physical stress responses. It helps to challenge these responses to implement new ways of thinking, acting and responding to stressful stimuli. The practice aims to reprogram the brain to respond in a healthier and more productive way to stressors in our everyday life. The physical response of the body is something we can’t stop, but we can change our responses. The 5 Senses If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or worried, try these 5 techniques recommended by therapists to challenge negative thoughts and behaviours. Wherever you are, take note of your setting and in your head, name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This method helps to calm the Sympathetic Nervous System by distracting you and by helping you to feel grounded and present in the moment. Judge and Jury If you have a negative thought pop into your head, imagine yourself as a lawyer in front of a judge and jury, presenting the evidence disproving that thought. What evidence do you have against that thought? This method works by challenging those negative thoughts and providing an alternative view. The Oprah Method When you have a negative thought, think to yourself, what would Oprah say? It doesn’t have to be Oprah – it can be anyone you like, but try to pick someone inspirational, positive and motivating. What would their response be? How would they react? 7-11 Breathing When you feel stressed, breathe into your stomach deeply for 7 seconds, and breathe out gently for 11 seconds, so the out breath is longer than the in breath. This method engages the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is engaged for rest and digestion. The Inner Child Method Imagine yourself as your inner child and picture telling this younger version any negative thoughts you have about yourself. This technique of encourages you to have more sympathy for yourself and to treat yourself with kindness. You've got this!