I have a variety of wellness practices that make a difference in my life. They include meditation, observation, envisioning, and feeling my emotions. Since the tender age of thirteen, I have built my tool box of wellness practices. Many of these tools not only help me cope with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but with difficult people and experiences.
Meditation helps me start my day. Every morning before I leave for work, I do guided meditation. The soothing voice and the bright nature sounds ground me and tell me that I’m going to have a positive day. After I’m done meditating, my mind is focused and I’m able to conquer the day with a can-do attitude.
Observing my emotions rather than reacting to them helps me identify my emotions and identity how my body is reacting to them. When I have an OCD episode, I voice to myself that I’m feeling anxious and that my body is feeling stiff because of the anxiety. Then I tell myself the things that I’m able to control, and what I’m not able to control, which gives me the opportunity to be proactive to change things that are within my reach.
When my anxiety becomes unbearable, I imagine it as a puppy that needs love. Imagining my anxiety allows me to see it as a cuddly animal that is asking for hugs and kisses. This is important because I become less irritated toward my anxiety and more understanding.
Allowing myself to feel uncomfortable emotions rather than distracting them is a mindfulness technique that I learned from Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I enjoy this wellness practice because I realize that uncomfortable emotions such as anger, sadness, and anxiety aren’t there to bother us but to tell us that something is wrong. Feeling and accepting my uncomfortable emotions soothes me and grants me the ability to solve my problems.
Before I practiced and developed these wellness practices, I was very reactive to uncomfortable emotions. I’d blame bad fortune rather than take responsibility for my problems or build up resentment. It was unhealthy and I become someone that I didn’t like. Fortunately, therapy provided me tools to cope with my anxiety and other uncomfortable emotions, and allow me to become the best version of myself.
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