Finding ways to be remain bright when things around you seem dark.

Finding ways to be remain bright when things around you seem dark.

Heidi:

I’m trying to take my own advice from my last blog (i.e. if it’s not working, redesign it. to read the full blog, click here).  Like so many pieces of advice, it’s easier said than done.

When I come home, I am not as happy as I am as I am at school.  This is for a variety of reasons, some of which I have identified but others remain unexplored.  To deal with the strange school-to-real-life transition I am going through, I’ve been adapting using some different methods, two of which I’ll share with you today.

When I’m particularly anxious about the future, I use the five senses approach.  It’s the practice of using your senses to stay in the moment.  When I first heard of this, I watched someone demonstrate it out loud and even that had a profound calming effect on me.  To use this method, you pick a sense and name three things according to the sense.  For example, I feel the softness of the inside of my sweatshirt, I feel the smoothness of the kitchen counter, and I feel the cold of the kitchen floor.  I usually do about three senses—sight, touch, and hearing.  By the time I’m done I feel calm, aware, and almost ready to write a poem.

Another method I use is my phone.  By this I mean I simply call my friends.  If possible, I set up a meeting.  Yesterday I met a friend for coffee and I left feeling rejuvenated and happy. This helps because it can take you out of your own bubble.  Everyone has their own issues. Listening to other people’s problems and offering empathy makes you feel connected.  Feeling connected to other people can give meaning and purpose to your life.  Once you talk about your own problems/anxieties/shame, etc., it gives them less power over you.  Plus you’d be surprised at the wise and helpful suggestions you might receive from your friend.

If any of these work for you, great!  But don’t be afraid to throw them out the window if they don’t—what works for me might not work you.  To find more techniques, check out this website. If you’d like, let us know in the comments what works and what doesn’t–we’d love to learn from you!

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