Last week, we invited therapist Kati Morton to the Studio at TFD for an honest and interactive conversation about managing anxiety, finances, and our futures during this totally-new era we’re living in.
The workshop was full of great advice and actionable tips for boosting your mental health. We thought we’d share a few of our favorite exercises from the event. To keep up with future workshops and events from The Studio at TFD, sign up for our newsletter and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
1. Make A Daily List Of These 6 Things
If you’re having a hard time with quarantine anxiety — and who isn’t? — Kati recommends a nourishing exercise to help you stay grounded: Make a list! Specifically, make a daily list of these six things:
- Two things I’m grateful for
- Two things I’m working on
- Two things I’m looking forward to
We love a list, and this exercise will give you something to look forward to in the future while also being mindful in the moment.
2. Use “Bridge Statements” To Banish Intrusive Thoughts
Turn a worrisome thought into an “it’s possible” statement — or what Kati calls a “bridge statement.” When you’re stuck ruminating over something, it’s hard to go from negative self-talk straight into a super positive affirmation. A bridge statement can help you get there gradually.
Let’s say you’re stuck on the thought, “I’m going to be single forever,” and feeling pretty negative about it. You might bridge this into a more positive thought by talking through it this way: “It’s possible that I’m just going through a tough time and I’ll find somebody. I might not, but it’s possible that I will.” The “it’s possible” statement helps you gradually obtain a more positive outlook.
3. Use Powerful Memories To Stop Anxiety Loops
We’ve all been there: You wake up in the middle of the night with an anxious thought about something dumb you did at a party three years ago, and you keep replaying the moment in your head, hoping for a different outcome. You don’t know why you’re stuck in this loop, but here you are.
Kati’s suggestion? Yank yourself out of it with a really powerful, positive memory. Think of a few moments that make you feel joyful and peaceful no matter what, then bank those memories and save them next time you’re caught in that loop. The positive memory will pull your brain out of that worry cycle.
4. Turn Your Bed Into A Sanctuary
Keep your bedroom sacred and sleep-friendly. Kati recommends only using your bed for sex and sleep — no TV, no phones, and sorry, no pets on the bed. This helps you associate your bed with sleep. Also, if you go to bed at midnight and consistently have a hard time falling asleep at 3 AM, your new bedtime is 3 AM. When you spend too much time tossing and turning in your bed, you start to associate bedtime with anxiety.
5. Limit Your To-Do List To 7 Items
To-do lists are great because they make you feel accomplished when you cross things off of them. But don’t overdo it — Kati recommends keeping your to-do list limited to seven items or less. Otherwise, your brain gets overwhelmed and that feeling of accomplishment fades.
We have more workshops coming your way this summer, so make sure to stay updated!
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