Redirecting Focus

Write about some of the kindest things that you can do for yourself when you are in pain (physical and/or emotional).

I’m going to focus on the emotional pain that comes with depression, anxiety, stress, anger, and misophonia. The first thing that comes to mind is focusing on my breathing. The rise and fall of my chest. Sometimes I’ll tell myself that everything is ok. This is something I do to try and reset and ground myself. Some may find that breathing in for 4 seconds, holding for 7, and exhaling for 4 works for them. For me it only increases my discomfort. So I breathe in and exhale for a comfortable amount of time–which varies–that works for me.

After focusing on my breathing for awhile, I shift to my heartbeat. I may focus on the feeling it makes in my chest. The sounds I notice when it beats. How fast (or slow) it’s beating.

Yogi Lavender Tea. A cup of that is just really nice and calming. Peppermint, raspberry, and lemon teas are also favorites. I will occasionally have some decaffeinated coffee.

The A Soft Murmur app or website. This has been a huge help. I have the app, and you have the option of playing wind, rain, thunder, and waves into your headphones for a calming experience. I play a combination of these sounds whenever I need to escape from a trigger and reduce how angry I feel.

Nothing compares to a hug, specifically one from my boyfriend. Hugs make me feel safe and calm me down a great deal. Along the same vein, cuddling is also a great stress reliever.

One of the things I need to work on is staying in shape. Exercise releases endorphins that reduce one’s perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger positive feelings (rather, they’re supposed to). I have a difficult time doing anything self care related that takes a long time, and exercise is one of those things that takes forever. I recently downloaded an app called 7 minute workout and used it the other night for some bedtime stretches.  There were audio cues about how much time was left, and links to YouTube for instruction on how to do the exercises. I will use the app and see what the basic workout one is, and I may write about my experience if needed.

I have a hard time staying focused. It’s my hope that these “kind things” will help me in that regard. While I haven’t started my journey to getting help yet, I want to make an effort to do something for the few days I’m still home, and while I’m away visiting my boyfriend. When I get back, things are going to happen, and they’re going to go at an appropriate pace.

See you in the next update.

View the first update here.

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