A personal statement is a reminder you can use to centre yourself when fears or negative thoughts try to take over. You’ll want to remind yourself of:
• Today’s date
• Where you are right now
• The fact that you are safe here
• Why this moment is different from the past, or scenarios you’re worried about
• A positive affirmation
Here’s an example grounding statement: Today is Monday, and the year is 2022. I am safe at my new job. I am having thoughts about harassment at my previous job, but that is over now. I got through it and found something better, which shows that I am strong.
Be mindful of simple tasks Learning to appreciate the little things that happen during the day can help you to feel less numb, and prevent you from getting lost in anxious or negative thoughts. For example, if you’re folding laundry, focus on the way the clothes feel on your hands, and the shapes you create as you fold.
If you’re driving, pause to breathe at red lights instead of worrying you’ll be late. Take a moment, as your computer boots up, to think about how much you will accomplish because your computer is on.
Practice focus as you listen to music This technique is an excellent chance to try listening without biases or pre-conceived ideas getting in the way. Put on headphones and listen to a song you don’t know. Try not to think about whether you like this genre of music or this artist. Go in without expectations, then close your eyes and immerse yourself in the song. Listen to each instrument in the song and how they interact with each other. Pay attention to the vocals and how they sound with the backing track. Try not to let preconceptions get in the way, and just focus on listening.
Practice gratitude Gratitude, and thanking God for things that you might otherwise take for granted, helps you to notice the positive parts of life.
Try thinking of five things or people you appreciate, and ask yourself the following questions:
1. How did this person or thing become part of my life?
2. What do I appreciate about this person or thing?
3. What would life be like without it or them?
4. What role does this person or thing have in the larger world?
Be mindful sometimes, not constantly.
Mindfulness is helpful, but keeping it up 24 hours a day would be exhausting. And since exhaustion and stress aren’t good for depression or anxiety, use these tools with moderation.
Keep mindfulness from causing stress by choosing times to practice being in the present, and times to relax, let your mind wander, watch a TV show, or do nothing at all.
Mental rest is vital. Remember that mindfulness isn’t a task to stress about; it’s a tool to help you feel better. Enjoy the experience of every moment of your life.