Observe Your Thoughts: Waves on a Beach
Often, we take thoughts at face value. So when your mind tells you negative things about yourself, you’re inclined to believe it- even when it’s unhelpful or untrue. This can cause turmoil and distress.
This exercise aims to help you separate from your thoughts by observing them in a new way and without judgement (this is called ‘Cognitive Defusion’). In this audio track, you’ll be asked to visualise your thoughts as separate to you and part of the ocean surf. You learn to look at your thoughts and hold them more lightly, which can shift how poorly your thoughts make you feel.
Credit: Wave sound effects obtained from zapsplat.com.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
When you are stressed or tense, it can be hard to relax. And when you are chronically tense, this becomes your normal, making it hard to identify when you are actually relaxed.
This audio track is an active form of relaxation where you tense and tighten major muscle groups in a controlled way- and this can actually help relax you. It takes just 12 minutes to practice.
Managing Worry about the Future: Balance your Thinking
Sometimes it can be really hard to control worry or overthinking about things that haven’t happened yet. Uncertainty can breed worry, and often people get very focused on all the things that could go wrong, or spend time dwelling on worst case scenarios. This might feel helpful- you’re prepared for the worst, right? And then reality is often much nicer than what you’ve imagined, so you feel relief when the future eventuates. However, this position overlooks the fact that in the meantime, you’ve endured a lot of unnecessary worry and distress- because the worst-case scenario rarely eventuates. It also overlooks just how much time and energy you’ve poured into all-consuming worry.
This resource aims to help you balance your worry and thinking about the worst-case scenarios that play in your mind. You’ll reflect on multiple outcomes and their likelihood. This can help shift unnecessary worry as you’re considering the bigger picture- not just the worst picture.