Ways to Self-Soothe

You’re having a bad day due to anxiety, depression, or just the general stress of being a human on this modern earth. You want ways to calm yourself when the things you know to try aren’t successful. Try these:

Pet an animal, real or stuffed, or a soft blanket, or a cozy sweater.

Sip a warm beverage, any that you enjoy (but you might skip the caffeine) like cocoa, tea, or coffee. You don’t have to follow Big Bang Theory’s protocol.

Take a warm shower or soak in the tub. Bonus if you have bubbles or something to add a pleasant scent. You don’t have to cleanse if you’re already clean, but bringing your core temperature up can be helpful.

Write or do art. Getting your emotions out of your body and onto the page can release pent up feelings. What you write/create makes no difference as it’s about expression, not creating something wonderful right now.

Move your body gently and briefly is fine. Take a walk around the block, dance to one song, check out some tai chi, or whatever you like best.

Massage your muscles by rolling your neck, using a foam roller, or rubbing your body with your hands.

Spend time in nature by visiting a local park, or even sitting on your porch and looking at the plants and creatures nearby.

What other tips do you enjoy that I haven’t listed?

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Virginia. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Be Here Now

Have you been feeling unmoored from your body, your sense of self, or your life? Do you feel adrift, unhinged, untethered, or in need of grounding? Have you been spinning out of control in your thoughts and unable to gain traction?

Try this mantra: “Be here now.” But say it like each word is a sentence: Be. Here. Now.

With each word, do it.

Be. Be in your body. Notice your body, the weight of it, the position it is in, the feeling of any fabric or material on your skin, and any movement of the air.

Here. In this place. Where you are, with anything you can notice around you, eyes open or closed. Engage your senses: see, hear, smell, taste, feel – to notice absolutely anything.

Now. In this moment, the only moment that exists, present as best you can, eliminating thoughts of past and future as best you can right now. It might be difficult and that’s okay; just do your best and reset and reset again if you need to.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Virginia. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Overwhelmed? Obsessing? A technique for you.

several plants in pots along a sunny windowsill

Zooming in/out

When I am overwhelmed, like thinking about war and climate change and politics, global issues that I have little to no control over, I am zoomed too far out. I’m looking at life through a telescope. I’m needing to change the focus to what is now, here in front of me, that I can change or have control over.

When I’m obsessing, like thinking about day-to-day stressors and my to-do list and all the little pieces that seem to need my attention, I am zoomed too far in. I’m looking at life through a microscope. I’m needing to change the focus to what is now, that I can accomplish and check off, that I can move in the priority if necessary.

I challenge you to change your focus. Notice if you are zoomed too far in or out, and move to a more comfortable middle ground. This is a skill and takes practice, so assume that the lens is going to get out of focus sometimes, and that’s okay, but it is also adjustable and you have the ability to adjust it to be comfortable for you.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Virginia. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Anxiety in Others

00micQuestion: How can I enjoy my visit with my friend, who is often plagued by anxiety so badly that he makes plans, but then can’t or won’t leave the house? On past trips, I’ve been so frustrated by his seeming ambivalence to go out with me that I’ve wanted to leave early. I’ve gotten angry and upset and it ruined my visit. I want to have a different experience this time, but don’t know if things will be any different on his part.

Answer: Reframe the situation. Continue reading “Anxiety in Others”

Get Better Today

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That’s me in a session, at my old office.

A little background: At this point, I’ve been specializing in clearing trauma for over a decade. I studied psychology for my entire 7-year college education. Point is: I’ve been at this awhile and am trained in making people well; but, I’m also trained in making people well, whole, happy, and doing it FAST!

I’m a Certified Practitioner in Continue reading “Get Better Today”

SPD in Adults

Am I Normal?I was never diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) as a child. Although Sensory Integration Dysfunction (it’s predecessor) was coined in 1972, I didn’t learn about it until 2013, while having dinner with two colleagues who work with children. Upon hearing about the symptoms, I identified with many of them, asked my colleagues many questions, and took a quiz to self-diagnose. Fascinating stuff. It explained many things about my childhood and adult life.

You can watch a video Continue reading “SPD in Adults”

Overcome Test Anxiety

0pencilOf the most common fears, test-taking ranks one of the few that we are legitimately made to face. We can avoid heights, spiders, and death for a time, but in order to get through school, get into college, or finish an advanced degree, test-taking remains one of the fears we have to repeatedly face. Continue reading “Overcome Test Anxiety”

Being Calm in Depression or Anxiety

DandelionI’ve been going through a depressive episode for some months now. I’m taking antidepressants because it feels chemical, like PMS, as symptoms come on in waves. I’ve been steadily seeing my doctor and we have upped my dosage once, about a month ago. It feels relatively stable, or it did, until the election, which put me into somewhat of a tailspin.

This morning, I was watching Netflix, and began to feel as if I could not get enough breath. I knew, logically, that I was breathing and was fine. But the underlying feeling of despondency was giving me that physical feeling. It felt different than anxiety (and I’ve had just 2 panic attacks in my life time), but had similar features.

Ever the scientific-minded me, I said, “What would you tell a client who came in with this item?” Continue reading “Being Calm in Depression or Anxiety”

Entrepreneurs face Anxiety, Fear

0plateIn September, 2013, Inc. Magazine‘s Jessica Bruder discusses the issues that entrepreneurs face with regard to mental illness. They often suffer from depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or bipolar disorder. Entrepreneurs are often swept up in new ideas and bouts of creativity that are actually mania or can mirror the symptoms of mania or hypomania. When followed by doubt in their business or product, failure to see growth, failure to make certain incomes, or not achieving certain markers of success, there can be depressive feelings. If these phases cycle, it can mimic bipolar disorder, or be an expression of bipolar disorder. Anxiety is often found in the entrepreneur as he/she worries about product launch, deadlines, and if the business is “good enough” to be a hit. The tendency to jump form one part of the project to the next is often a marker for ADHD and adults with ADHD will gravitate toward work that allows them to function in time with their brain chemistry. Continue reading “Entrepreneurs face Anxiety, Fear”