Worry No More, Touch Your Worries Away

I know it’s been a while, just over here starting my online counseling practice but I know the title of this post probably has you a bit intrigued on what I’m planning to talk about. Well, when we worry, what is usually going on?

What Happens When You Worry

  • You can’t stay present
  • You’re having ruminating thoughts
  • You’re piling on those anxiety symptoms that can do some damage internally, if you do this activity quite often.

Helping Yourself When Worrying

One of the things that I’ve mentioned before that is helpful is figuring out a way to be present. Incorporate a grounding exercise to get you back to a state where you can control what you’re doing. Next, it’s about figuring out a plan, especially if this is something within your control. What is the first step you can take to get this problem solved? If it’s out of your control, then maybe it’s getting out how you feel in some way (journaling, talking to someone) or figuring out a coping technique that can help. We don’t want to just keep thinking and worrying, without an exit plan.

So, in using your senses, I thought it would be good to share a little tip. Find an item that you think can serve as a good distraction for you, something small that you can put in your hand and make it serve a purpose. That purpose is being able to tell yourself to not worry about things out of your control, calm down, breathe a bit and anything else you feel you want this item to tell you in moments where you just start to worry. Carry this item with you, rub it, squeeze it, hold it, but start to make a connection for yourself that this item is supposed to help you limit your worrying, calm you down and help you stay present and out of your head.

The reason this topic was so important for me to share today was bc I recently was given this item called a “worry rock” and I never knew such things existed. I am aware of stress balls and other items to put in your hand when stressed but never this and I’ve been using it quite often. I think being able to turn your attention to something in your hand, helps keep you distracted for a bit to ponder the following.

Questions to Ask Yourself When You Finally Distract Yourself From Worrying

  • Why am I worrying about this right now?
  • Is this going to matter tomorrow or days from now?
  • Is this taking me away from something that I do need to focus on?
  • Can I come up with another way to look at this thing that I keep worrying about?

Additionally, try other sources of touch that can help you in certain moments to balance or calm you down. There are studies out there on the benefits of touch and so it’s doing what works for you. At one point I started to just try to be still in moments where I felt like my heart was racing and I would just rest my hands on my chest and just let it stay there for a while, and I found that was very helpful in bringing my heart rate down. I believe this is something similar to Reiki, which I have been going to a massage therapist for and after my sessions lately, I feel much more relaxed than when I walked in.

Worrying shouldn’t be where you just stop and allow your mind to just keep going about the what-ifs, what you should have done, or things you feel you can’t do. Make this a moment where you take some control and don’t allow your worries to take you away from dealing with what you need to so you can move on to feeling like you should.

Calming Yourself Down With Your One

Hey there. Long time no see but I’m trying, just thought I’d poke my head out and let you guys know I’m still here. Being busy at times can be good and not so good, so I’m still trying to find a balance. Plus, I’m working on moving so that’s another layer of things I have to focus on. I think I would like to talk about my calming activity that has been oh so helpful.  As I sit on my couch, flipping through Netflix, not really finding anything. I cut the cord a while back or is it I cut the cable, but anywhoo not sure if getting older but I just can’t seem to find much that interests me on tv nowadays. 

As I like to multi-task oh so well, I’m also coloring in my adult coloring book and that truly is my peace right now. It’s my one. What is this “one” that I’m talking about? It’s really an activity/hobby that you find for yourself that helps create a calming bubble for you any time of the day. 

Coloring for me is my one thing that I look forward to doing lately, just to take my mind off things and just relax. In the midst of the day-to-day routine, this is my one right now. I used to look forward to meditation, which I still do but there’s a calming effect when I’m just sitting and coloring that I like. 

What I’m paying attention to during this process

  • Colors: I want to make sure I pick the right color for this design, do I want certain areas to match? Do I want to shade certain areas and make others more darker? Decisions, Decisions.
  • Staying in the Line: I understand elementary school for me was eons ago but I still find myself trying to perfect this process, not sure if I never fully mastered this but this is a careful process for me to make sure I stay in the lines.
  • Make it unique: We have a sense of how certain things look in our world and these pictures allow me to change that bc it’s what I want to see.

Ok, so why am I just talking about coloring? Because it helps create a sense of control and peace in the moment. Adult coloring books can aid in managing anxiety, improving mindfulness bc you’re focusing on the task at hand and nothing else really matters. I’ve also read how this can be an alternative to meditation, if it’s not quite your thing yet. My boss got me my first coloring book and its been something that has come in handy for me when I need to relax

What It Means to Have A One

Having a one means you’re putting your self-care first. It means you value personal time with yourself and you’re ok with having alone time to get you right. If you need help in letting go of your stressors for a good bit of time, then its about finding your one. 

Be that person that looks forward to doing something else besides flipping the channels and letting technology take over in every aspect of your life. Remember as a child how you may have looked forward to snack or nap time? Well, just think about that feeling you would have, when you had a few minutes until that time. Find something that brings on those feelings.

Your one needs to bring some joy and happiness your way, it needs to be calming and it needs to be something that motivates you in some way. 

You heard about my one, what’s yours?

Thanks for reading

Alvina

Creating a Calmness Around You A Good Majority of The Time

So just wanted to check in mid-week, short week but it seems to be dragging.

My ultimate focus lately is creating this space of peace/calmness. Awareness of the control we can have in different aspects of our lives, is key. Things are definitely not going to go as planned all the time but that doesn’t mean we still can’t create this space of calm energy while we deal with the uncertainties of our day to day tasks. We can be tempted in different ways from,  someone talking about us, receiving a work email that could possibly poke at your abilities, someone being dishonest with you, etc. Yes, at times we want to gravitate towards what we know best and pounce on the situation. Who wants to think about our actions in the moment when we have all this adrenaline in us? Unconsciously, we may want to make someone else feel what we’re feeling in the moment and that can cause the immediate reaction.

Lately, I’ve learned the benefits of stopping in the moment. Yes,  I want to react but I stop, I may attend to whatever that is for a few minutes, may even have a comeback but,  it’s not about that, it’s giving myself time to calm down, creating a good peaceful energy for myself before reacting. Can I say that it has been so helpful to my overall outlook on things? Also, that not everything/everyone deserves your energy. That energy is very important and why waste it on people/things that are of no importance to you in your overall scope of how you go about your life?

Creating this peace can be beneficial to you in the long run because it can keep your heightened physiological activity at bay. Something we need, because every time we’re reacting our internal system reacts and too much of that can be detrimental to our overall health.

To get a clear understanding of yourself, how you respond to things, what triggers you, find your peace in these chaotic moments.

I catch myself talking myself down in my head, shrugging things off, labeling my behavior and learning to back away before I release on innocent bystanders. Of course, breathing and grounding techniques are also helpful during these times as well.

Just like I have mentioned before in so many ways, create a space for yourself that brings you happiness, everyday may be something different but you are in control of how you allow things to bother you. Create this space of calmness for you and no one else because it definitely is something that we all need right now.

A few other techniques in detail that may also be of some help.

 

Thanks for reading

Alvie

Making Meditation Something That Works For You

I was going back and forth today about if I should wait to write about meditation another day since I feel like I have mentioned it a few times on how beneficial it is for me. Meditating daily has been a nice treat to look forward to when other things at times are out of my control.

To understand yourself and be in tune with you, mediation can really help with so many great things.  We are in this space right now in our world, where we’re being fed all these not so great stories that subconsciously affects parts of who we are, especially when we get higher doses of these not so great things and really don’t have the means at times to really deal with it. Being able to mediate, helps you take control of your world. You get to be still for as long as you would like, you learn to let things go, you learn that you are much more than the things that occur in your life and just learn how you can create calmness, awareness and mindfulness within you at all times even in the midst of all that is going on around you.

“Truly it really just makes you sit your butt down to calm your nerves, you know you need that so let it work its magic.”

Funny story, maybe not funny at the time but looking back at it today, it was.  Yesterday, my thoughts were just racing for some reason, I knew that it was time to meditate but I just wanted to be in my head and continue to think what I was thinking. There was no solution I was coming up with, it’s just I was choosing to be on edge and continue these thoughts. I think that is something we all can be guilty of at times, not taking a step back to recognize what we’re doing, how we’re making the situation worse and thinking of a healthy solution to get us back on track. That is what meditation is helping me with

With meditation, you want to make sure you do what works best for you. There are several techniques and I wanted to share a few.

  • Movement Mediation:Instead of having to sit still, this form of mediation is about moving your body, building up energy within you while still creating the stillness in your mind. Yes, you’re moving but in gaining control of the situation for you, it’s being mindful of this energy you’re creating and recognizing your bodily sensations.
  • Focused meditation: There are times when we can’t fully clear our minds like we would during a meditation session. Utilizing focused mediation can help with allowing your mind to be able to focus on one thing. Whatever that one thing is, doesn’t quite matter, it’s just about being able to keep your awareness of this thing and any sensation it provides in that moment, from maybe the color or the smell of something, it’s just being able to focus on something that can help with keeping you present in the moment. Also, you’re able to focus on your breathing, if you don’t have an object in sight. If your mind shifts, its ok, just work your way back to what you’re focusing on and continue with your meditation.
  • Transcendental meditation: Also known as TM, is being able to reach a deeper state of relaxation through a silent mantra, that is repeated in the mind. It’s been said it’s the most natural and it’s basically allowing yourself to reach a level of peace as your body and mind naturally flow into this calm state.
  • Mindfulness meditation:This is what I have been practicing lately. Being aware of the present moment and being able to stay in this space. The thoughts that arise are just thoughts in this moment, no need to judge but the focus is creating a sense of calm regardless of what’s going on around me. It’s being able to accept that things could be occurring, but I can still be in this space of not feeding into anything but being present in what I’m doing and that’s creating a space of stillness.
  • Mantra meditation:Being able to repeat a word or phrase, has powerful implications due to the vibrations and sounds that your body can take in during this act. It has been said to have healing powers and also can help with being intentional about how you want to be in the moment and continue for the rest of the day. Having a phrase or word that you incorporate into your psyche, helps with what you may choose to focus on. That one phrase or word can be a nice way to calm your thoughts down and shift your attention in moments where you need to be still and allow the things going on around you to happen but staying grounded for a bit.

To gain a better understanding, its practicing different ones to see what you’re comfortable with. Some days may be better than other, but it starts with trying it in some way to create that sense of peace that we all really need. I have been able to take myself out of stressful situations to create a mindset of calmness because I’ve learned not all things need your energy. The more energy you give things that don’t matter the more it takes you away from gaining that sense of control of how you act, feel and think about situations

Few things to keep in mind if you start.

  • Create a space to meditate
  • Schedule time to do it
  • Choose a posture that works for you
  • Build up on the amount of time you give to meditation
  • Be patient with yourself
  • Have fun with it

How will you create your sense of calmness today?

“Play-Time” the Adult Way

When was the last time you put emphasis on “play-time”? From age 18 on or maybe a little sooner our ‘play-time’ really goes out the window because now we’re adults in a sense and we’re required to do adult things because that’s just how things are, right? I don’t know the last time I played but I think I would like to start. The way I define ‘play-time’, is just being able to enjoy a moment without judgement to really be your true self. It can be filled with play dates (brunch with adult beverages, happy hour, staycations, checking-in with friends/family, etc),  being okay with just being alone and enjoying that moment with you and also creating an imaginary space for yourself to be creative, be at peace, etc.. It could just be writing or partaking in a favorite hobby, but I think it would be a great addition to overall mental wellness. Think about when you were young, what care did you have but deciding what outfit to put on your doll, what truck to carry around, which non-matching outfit you would put together and what imaginary friend you would pick to sit at the tea-table? Play time could be very beneficial in getting you into a space that you are comfortable with you. I think it can help with a few things like:

Relaxation: What more can you ask for but being at peace in a moment that you create for yourself? Setting up a space full of things that can help bring on that relaxation or can be used to extend this time for a much-needed moment to be fully balanced through mind, body and soul. As a child, nothing could get in my way if I wanted something that I thought would make me happy so I think that should apply to our relaxation. Relax with candles, a bath, talking to you plants, petting any animals, reading a book with a nice glass (bottle) of rosé, etc. This time should be used wisely, thinking about how it feels to be in this moment, savoring this moment and accepting how great you feel.

Bringing on your fun side: You get to be creative again, it may take some getting used to, if its been a while but you get to think about things outside the box.  You can find yourself again, figure out what you do like to do for fun and you may have to just use what you have and create a fun space for yourself that you will enjoy. A simple paper and crayons could keep me busy when I was younger so it’s about bringing out that creative fun side because we know it’s there.  You can create this space for yourself in any situation regardless of the limited resources you might have.

Getting you out of your head: You can’t do two things at once in this moment. We are trying to create this fun-filled space for you where you focus on your well-being, so in doing this, its about allowing yourself to be in the moment. It allows for you to focus on fun and more fun and that’s what it should be about. No need to try and think about a meeting coming up, or an email that has to be sent, you’re trying to be in this moment of enjoying yourself, no grown-up vibes allowed. Doing things like this can really carry over to other aspects of your life, where you learn to stay in the moment, focus on that conversation that is being direct your way, instead of thinking of how this person didn’t speak to you earlier.

Prioritizing your time: When you start to realize how much fun you’ve been missing out on, you may start to incorporate it into your daily schedule.  When you really start to make those “play moments” a force to be reckoned with, you make sure you create that time for yourself more often. It’s about understanding the importance of your happiness and being able to fill moments with little or big doses of ‘play time” behavior.

I owe all of this getting into my creative, playful side to a book that I started and need to finish, called the Own Your Glow, a way to really get in touch with you and find your inner glow.

Your Happy Place

We are in the 2nd week of the new year and hoping you’re doing well. I went a bit crazy with shopping this weekend, looking at ways to organize and just get things out of the way. After a while of just not seeing things in a designated spot, I just need some organization in my life, so I spent some time at Ikea this weekend, next step is HomeGoods, I can get lost there just buying little knick knacks for the place, things we may not need, getting excited even thinking about it. Sorry, just went on a little tangent but we can apply todays topic to shopping. How? Let me tell ya, so first I ask, “Do you have a happy place” to relax after maybe a long days work, a place to meditate if you partake in that, a place to go when you just need a “woosah” moment. At one point in my life my “happy place” just happened to be my closet, it was filled with things that made me happy and I could literally be in my closet all day, certain pieces in your closet you just remember what you’re doing when you wore it and how you made the outfit so I find positive vibes in my closet, but since our closet is in a state of transition, my temporary place is in front of our mini library. It’s still surprising to me how after all these years I can still sit Indian style for so long. Ok. Alvina, focus, my attention gets the best of me sometimes,  so your happy place is supposed to be a relaxing spot for you, emphasis on “you” you want to create a space that is filled with things that help with relaxation. Create a comfortable sitting area for yourself, add some pillows if that works, add some color around you, have you ever heard how certain colors can influence how we think about things? Well it can, so add a bright color that may brighten your mood, maybe have some soothing scents around, have some pictures that are relaxing as well. These are just some ideas, don’t have to use all but just ways to create a good space for yourself, so whenever you need a moment, this is where you go, hence how shopping comes into play here. Having this space can help in so many different ways, it has helped me in times where I just needed to repeatedly use a deep breathing technique and remove myself from a situation that triggered my anxiety, it has helped with reflecting on what has happened during the day and a time for me to release, whether through journaling or just calming my thoughts. It has helped in letting me carry this over to the outside world, so since I can’t bring my happy place with me having a place that I consistently go to, to practice healthy techniques, is helpful so,  I’ve learned to create a similar space outside of the home by taking moments during the day when I need it and just going somewhere I can practice healthy coping skills, so it has taught me to consistently use these coping techniques even in unexpected situations, my thought process automatically shifts to relax and create that space for myself. Create a good space for you and use it accordingly.

Happy Monday, be great today, you will have a good day, speaking things into existence early on in the day, makes a world of difference.

Alvie