Wednesday, 21 March 2018

5 Things I've Learnt From An Emotional Resilience Course!

At the end of January, I embarked on a twelve week long Emotional Resilience Course with Let's Talk. Somehow, I'm over halfway through the course already, and despite my initial scepticism, I've learnt some really useful tools and techniques to help me manage my anxiety and depression. And today I'm sharing some of them with you! 

1. You are not alone. Anxiety and depression can be incredibly isolating disorders. It can feel like no one else understands how you feel. But a surprising number of people experience similar feelings of anxiety and depression at some point in their lives. You are not alone, and more people than you might think will understand, at least to some extent, what you're going through.

2. Don't go it alone. Because of it's isolating nature, it can be all too easy to put up walls and cut yourself off from others. But they want to help. It's so important to reach out to friends and family who all want to be there to support you. Don't tough it out, or go it alone. Things are always better when you have at least one person you can lean on.

3. Mindfulness matters. I've always been very sceptical of mindfulness, but in practising it regularly as part of my homework from this course, I've found it really does help. Here's an exercise I use daily that I really recommend:

"Find a quiet place to sit on your own. For just three minutes concentrate your attention on your breathing. Just pay attention to the air flowing in and out of your body. Notice what happens to your mind and thoughts. 

If you catch your mind wandering:

- Congratulate yourself for noticing
- then bring your attention back to your breathing"

It's as easy as that, and takes only three minutes of your time. You can repeat this exercise as often as you like. 

4. YouTube is a really useful resource. I find I focus better on the mindfulness exercise with someone leading them. So I turned to YouTube and found some very calming, very helpful mindfulness videos. Here's one of my favourites. There are so many wonderful resources on YouTube; it's well worth a click around!

5. Normal is just an illusion. I know I'm guilty of thinking, "why can't I just be normal?" But what is normal? One really important thing this Emotional Resilience Course has taught me is that normal is just an illusion. You can't achieve normal, because normal doesn't exist. Instead of aiming for normal, aim for free of pain and suffering. 

I've found this Emotional Resilience Course enlightening, and I've certainly found myself able to cope better with what life throws at me a result of what I've learned on the course. I'll be following this post up soon with "5 More Things I've Learnt From An Emotional Resilience Course," so keep an eye out for that!

How do you cope with anxiety and depression? 

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