Chad A. Buck, PhD: Work/Life Connections – EAP and Health Plus
1. When you have a hard time clearing your mind of thoughts of food, count on your 4 other senses.
- 1 - State 1 scent you can smell.
- 2 - Name 2 sounds you can hear.
- 3 - Name 3 sensations your body is feeling, such as the temperature, the texture of your clothing, or the feeling of your feet against the ground.
- 4 - Identify 4 colors or objects you see.
Repeat 4 more times
2. If you are feeling short of breath, anxious, or out of control, try a deep breathing exercise.
- Relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
- Breathe in through your nose for a count of 5.
- Hold your breath for a count of 5.
- Exhale through your mouth for a count of 5.
- Repeat 5 times.
- Catch the thought. Example: “I will never lose weight."
- Release the thought. Example: “That was a judgmental thought.”
- The point is to acknowledge the thought/emotion and to challenge it quickly. Imagine catching a fish and then quickly taking it off the hook and throwing it back.
- Set a time to write each day for as long as you can tolerate it, or just write down thoughts or things you notice as they happen in a planner or notebook.
- Write your thoughts down without editing. Don’t judge yourself.
- As an experiment, try writing about the past, present and future. For example, “I used to feel _______, and I feel _______now. I want to feel __________ in the future.”
- Cut out positive or relaxing words or images from a magazine.
- Draw your emotions, positive or negative, to externalize them.
- Buy a coloring book and color, sketch pictures, or just pick out colors you like.
- Examples include rosary beads, small smooth stones, natural stones or crystals that you like, a picture of your child, a piece of fabric with a texture you like touching, a piece of fabric with a scent or perfume on it that calms you.