Techniques to improve wellbeing

The stress bucket

The stress bucket can be a helpful way to think about stressful things that are going on for you and how you manage that. Mental Health UK developed a helpful illustration which you can view here

  • Goal setting – It can be helpful to set goals that you can work towards and that give you motivation. It can be helpful to organise your goals in a way that works for you and think about which ones to focus on first. Keep them small and achievable.
  • Relaxation – Practice spending a brief amount of time only focusing on the present. There are some techniques which can help with this and may reduce levels of anxiety, worry and stress. You could try Progressive Muscle Relaxation or Soothing Rhythm Breathing
  • Routines and healthy living – It can be really helpful to maintain a structure. Try to keep daily living to a similar schedule, and factor in activity, rest and things you enjoy. Make sure you eat well and keep to a sleep routine.
  • Talk to someone – Try telling someone how you’re feeling, perhaps a family member or friend, or someone from the Neuropsychology team.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves being fully aware of what is going on around us, whilst accepting it and not reacting to it. It is a skill that all of us are capable of, but it can take practice if you’re used to doing several things at once, rushing through things, or being emotionally provoked.

You can practice mindfulness with anything, at any time and wherever you are. It can be helpful to regularly schedule time for mindfulness, to manage anxiety or other difficult feelings. Some people described mindfulness as ‘grounding’, as if taking in everything around us allows us to be calm and return to Earth, instead of being swept up in a chaos of emotions.

Some examples of mindfulness are:

  • Body Scan - Sit still and notice your body. Feel where your legs are and what you feel through your feet. Notice where your arms have fallen and what you feel in your hands. Acknowledge the weight of your head and what your back is touching. Download this helpful PDF for more information. 
  • Eat a mindful meal. Turn off the television or move your phone away. Enjoy your food and notice all the different flavours and textures. Take notice of how different foods look.
  • Dropping Anchor, this involves switching off from auto-pilot and focusing on the present. It is a simple formula – ACE.

A = acknowledge your thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, sensation, urges

C = come back into your body; push your feet onto the floor, straighten your body, press your hands together, stretch and breath (this is to connect with your body, not to distract from A)

E = engage in what you’re doing. Notice the things around you and your different senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste), give the task at hand your full attention.