There’s a lot of chatter on social media about ‘doing things’ isn’t there….doing exercise, following a diet, moving out of your comfort zone as though being busy was the antidote to feeling crap.
When I speak with my clients they quickly tell me a list of things that they were told would be helpful to support them in coping with stress and anxiety….it turns out that many clients feel overwhelmed with a list of things that will supposedly help. When I tell them to just ‘do nothing’ I am often met with a look of incredulity.
Whose permission are you waiting for to rest? Mine? Someone in your family? Your boss?
The truth is, no one is going to give you permission to relax but you. Non doing is just as important as ‘doing’. Simply acknowledging your feelings as they come and go without actually ‘doing’ anything with them is inner therapy. No analysing, no trying to figure out what it means (actually your feelings can not tell you anything but how you feel in that moment – your feelings know nothing about who you are and what you have achieved….they are just feelings) you need not attach anything to feelings any more than you would attached to the coming and the going of waves on a beach.
Simply acknowledging is enough. Your oasis of calm can be found anytime you stop your busy mind and give yourself permission to stop and just be.
Teaching yourself a little bit of self- hypnosis can pay dividends – to start with focussing on relaxing your muscle groups is excellent to help with reducing anxious feelings (Taylor 1982) Hypnosis can help this relaxation if you combine muscle relaxation with calming images in your mind at the same time; thinking about places that make you feel calm or creating an image of a relaxing garden or beach scene are well known techniques. Add some relaxing music and you can deepen this feeling of calm. Rehearse this often enough and you can develop an instant response to the same image or music whenever you need to. In my classes I teach a technique called Anchoring or a Calm Anchor (this is available on my website for free and is widely used by therapist to help clients help themselves once they leave a session). Calm Anchor FREE Resources
If you would like some help with this, there are lots of guided meditations available for free on line. I have one on my Meditation Shop for free which you can download by clicking on this link and following the instructions as if you were going to ‘purchase’ but there is no charge. Have a go and see if you like it!
So next time someone tells you off for ‘day dreaming’ you can tell them that time spent in a pleasant oasis of mindful calm is actually a very worthwhile investment…..tell your boss I said so!
Whose permission are you waiting for to feel calmer?
Julie Phillips is a therapeutic coach who specialises in working with people who want to take control of their stress, anxiety, career fears and life issues. Julie offers one to one sessions and Mindfulness Classes as well as Workshops in Confidence Building and Moving from Chaos to Calm. Email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org