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Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms Part 2 – Mindfulness & Meditation

Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms: Part 2 - Mindfulness & Meditation

This is the transcript of Live the 8Wise™ Way Podcast.

Episode Thirty-Four:

Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms Part 2 – Mindfulness & Meditation

Hello everybody and welcome to the Live the 8WiseTM Way podcast with me, Kim Rutherford, Psychotherapist, author, and creator of the 8WiseTM method for better mental health and wellbeing. How are you doing? How is your January treating you? Have you made New Year resolutions? Have you stuck to them? I’m kind of hoping that you haven’t, because I think New Year resolutions actually add more pressure and more stress to us in the early months of the year. We put all this pressure on ourselves, what we’re going to achieve, and a lot of time it’s not even realistic. So, I’m hoping that what you’ve done instead, is set some really simple goals about making your 2023 about developing better coping mechanisms for stress in order to be able to manage what life is going to throw at you. Then what you can do is be able to manage those key eight pressure points that show up on your 8WiseTM wellness spectrum.

Now, when I’m working with my clients and they come to me showing some signs of stress or anxiety, or really struggling and feeling overwhelmed with life, there are certain things that I teach them, and it’s certain things that you need to understand, that you have more power and you have more control than you feel like you do and that you think that you do when it comes to looking after your mental health and wellbeing specifically in the moment. So, when those moments happen, when you can feel your stress levels really increase quite dramatically, or you’ve had a really tough day at work and you go home and just don’t feel right, this is when your adrenaline is still pumping, your brain is still firing. Or those times at night when you just cannot switch off because life has just thrown so much at you during the day you just don’t know where to take a breath. That’s a pretty good place to start really.

It’s what I always recommend to my clients is that you take a breath and you learn to slow down and slow down the breathing, slow down the thinking and what tends to happen in those moments is we tend to project our thinking of all the other things. What can I do to change things? What did I do wrong? What didn’t go well today? Who’s bothered me? Who’s upset me? And what I try to teach my clients to do is to stop, take a breath, turn your thinking internally, focus on what’s happening to you inside, and almost through a meditative process be able just to relax for a moment, reset yourself and get back in control of how you are thinking and feeling.

I use this in hypnotherapy and I use this in meditation, and I want to show you it today. I want to take you through a process today. So, if you are sat listening to this in your car, please don’t listen to the following bits, okay? What I recommend you do with the following bit is go home, find a comfortable space or go to somewhere that you find relaxing, go to a comfortable space where you can sit down and where you can have a few minutes to yourself to go through this process, okay. Now what I’m hoping is that you can save this and you can go through this process whenever you’re struggling to sleep, whenever you are feeling a little bit stressed out, whenever you need to take a few moments just to clear your mind and relax yourself and almost recentre yourself.

When you are working with me, we always start with working on that foundation dimension straight away. That healthy body, healthy mind with your emotional wellness and physical wellness. and actually, by going through this process, this meditative process, this self-hypnosis almost, you can actually balance both of those out at the same time. Which is why this is a process that I teach to my clients so that when they do feel overwhelmed, no matter when it is or how it is or why it is, they know they can go to this place or they can use elements of this in the moment to have to calm themselves and relax themselves. So, wherever you are right now, if you are sat down, if you can sit down comfortably with your feet on the floor and your arms resting, if you’re choosing to lie down then it’s worth lying down with a light blanket over you so you can get yourself lovely, comfortable, and warm and I want you to make yourself as comfortable as you can, and that might mean wiggling around, moving around until all your body is in the position that makes you feel most comfortable.

When you are in a natural, loose position, I want you to take a deep breath in and then slowly release that breath out, and then take another deep breath in and as doing so, I just want you to feel and see your lungs filling with air, and then breathe out, and then take another deep breath in. And as you take that deep breath in, your eyelids are starting to feel heavier and heavier, and you want to close your eyes. With your eyes closed, you now see the darkness and calmness. In this darkness and calmness, you will feel comfortable and in a safe environment. So let yourself feel comfortable in this very safe space. Keep breathing in and out. Regulating your breathing at a pace that suits you until you find a natural rhythm.

Now, I just want you to relax and focus on your breathing. In your mind I want you to count from 1 to 10 with your breaths, one as you inhale, two as you exhale, three as you inhale and four as you exhale, follow this pattern until you reach the number 10. When you reach 10, start right back at number one. Breathing in for the count of one, breathing out for two, inhale for three, and out for four. Anytime you find your mind starts to wander or you hear a sound that makes your mind start to drift, I just want you to bring yourself back to this breathing and start at the last number you remember. Always an odd number when you inhale and an even number when you exhale. Let’s try that for a few times. Inhale for one, exhale for two, inhale for three, exhale for four. You are thoroughly in control now, just focus on the breathing. If your mind wanders, that’s perfectly normal. Just bring it back to this pattern. Finding your own rhythm of relaxed breathing that feels comfortable.

You’ll start to notice that every time you repeat this breathing from 1 to 10, you feel calmer, more in control, more relaxed, more safe, more secure, less anxious, calmer, safer, relaxed, and in control. Allow yourself to feel calmer. Allow yourself to feel in control. Allow yourself to feel relaxed. As you continue to breathe in and out at a pace that suits you, picture your body moving with each breath you take. See your shoulders and diaphragm rising as you feel your lungs fill up. See your shoulders and diaphragm sinking as you breathe out. Take a moment to watch this movement. Feel how it connects all parts of your body and throughout this process, if you feel or see your mind wandering, it’s perfectly normal. Just bring yourself back to this image of your body moving freely as you breathe in and out. Or find a more suitable way for you. Whatever you choose is right for you, and you will stay relaxed, you will stay calm, and you will stay feeling safe and in control.

When you are ready, take a moment to acknowledge your full body. Start at your feet and moving slowly up your body watch how each part connects to the other. See how each part of your body gives you the stability and balance you need to function. Whatever part you focus on is your choice. You are in control. Now move your focus to the centre and at a pace suitable for you keep breathing in and out. At the centre you’ll see and feel a warm, bright light, golden colour. That light is a release light when you want it to be. When you focus the light on any part of your body, any part you choose, it will wrap its bright, colourful warmth around, absorbing in any tension and relaxing every muscle into a deep, deep state of relaxation. Comfortable relaxation. Now, try moving that release light towards your feet and wrap it around your toes. See and feel the tensions leave your body, relaxing you deeper and deeper. Now move that calming, relaxing light smoothly up your body see how the warm glow lights up each area it focuses on, see and feel how it moves, and thrusts the tensions out of you, relaxing you deeper and deeper, leaving you feeling suspended freely. Imagine the light penetrating its healing colours into your core muscles as it travels up your body. See and feel how it wraps soothingly around you. How it brings you relaxing pleasure and comfort, relaxing you deeper and deeper. See and feel its tingly effect as that light moves over your legs, up to your thighs, over your hips, your stomach, your chest, your back. Everywhere that light touches, you feel more and more relaxed. Deeper and deeper. Wrap that bright, warm light around your ribcage, up to your shoulders. The warm golden glow soothing you deeper and deeper, relaxing you deeper and deeper. Now, gently move the light down each arm right down to the fingers, each one glowing with each warm touch.

Picture your relaxed body glowing as the light journeys over your neck and towards your head relaxing you deeper, leaving it suspended safely but loosely with each facial feature melting into the warm, comfortable, relaxed state. Feel your skin rejuvenate and glow. See and feel how your lips plump up as they relax, see and feel how the strain in your eyes leaves your body. Enjoy the experience of feeling a pure sense of deep relaxation, a deep relaxation you have not felt in a while. Let the glowing light travel all around your head and settle in your mind. Now enjoy your entire body glowing brightly from your healing light. Enjoy your body feeling warm and comfortably tingly in the soothing power of your relaxing light. Enjoy how you have controlled that light and entered into a state of beautifully relaxed numbness from head to toe. Enjoy how safe you feel being numb and motionless. Enjoy how safe, calm and free you feel from controlling your inner light and removing your own tensions. Enjoy this blissful relaxation, this feeling that you have created. Enjoy this blissful feeling of being suspended in time. Feeling safe, feeling in control, feeling pain free, feeling tension free. Enjoy seeing and feeling your body and your mind in a deep inner calmness, in a deep level of relaxation, better than you have ever felt before. And as you experience this level of relaxation, peace, and tranquillity, let all the stresses disappear. Let all your worries disappear. Let all your fears disappear. For now, have no fears, no anxieties, no worries. Just feelings of freedom, a sense of safety, a sense of calm, a sense of control in this deep sense of relaxation, A deeper sense of relaxation than you have felt in a long time. Your mind is calm. Your body is calm. No stress, no tensions, no worries. Just giving your mind a moment of lightness. You may still find that thoughts wander in and wander out, that’s perfectly normal. Every time it does, just rethink about your breathing. Breathing in. Breathing out. Breathing in, breathing out. Feel that warm light over any part of your body you choose. Breathing in, breathing out. Just enjoy this moment of calm, this moment of peace, this moment of tranquillity, this moment without stress, just you, your calm, tension free body, and your calm tension free mind.

In a moment, I’m going to count up from one to five. When you get back to five, you will come back to the present. Feeling really good about yourself, knowing that something fundamental has changed, that you have learned that you can relax yourself, that you can de-stress yourself whenever you are feeling overwhelmed. You now know you have developed a healthy coping mechanism for dealing with the stress and overwhelm of everyday life, and you feel confident knowing that you can listen to this recording. You can listen to my voice whenever you need to, to bring you back to this deep sense of relaxation, this deep sense of inner calm, this deep sense of being stress free, worry free, anxious free. You have the power to bring yourself back to this deep, deep, relaxed sense of tranquillity, peace, safety, and in control. When I count you up from one to five, not now, but shortly, when you are back at number five you’ll feel calm, you’ll feel relaxed, you’ll have a deeper sense of clarity. Your cognitive brain will feel revitalized, and you’ll feel that you have awoken from a deep sleep and have been well rested and can conquer the day and times ahead of you.

One, you can feel your body reconnect with the surface beneath you. Two, you can start to hear the everyday noises around you. Three, you can feel your body head to toe. Four, you now feel fully relaxed and refreshed as if waking from a revitalizing deep sleep. Five, you can open your eyes. You are back in the room. You feel calm, you feel relaxed, you feel safe, and you feel ready to conquer the moments, the time, and the life you live ahead. Okay.

So that’s an example of a self-meditation, self-hypnosis that you can use. So, keep this episode somewhere safe for you so that you can replay it whenever you need to. I do recommend, if you can, try and do it after a busy day, just so you can cleanse yourself of any of those stresses for the day. But this short series of episodes is all about developing healthy coping mechanisms, and this is a healthy coping mechanism. Learning to relax your mind, learning to relax your body, learning to focus on your breath, learning to focus on releasing your own tensions. These are healthier ways to develop coping mechanisms. So, if your coping mechanisms in the past have been to go and eat food, to go and drink lots of alcohol, to go and do things that might be more dysfunctional for your health, then I recommend you try something like this that is a little bit more healthy for you. If you are struggling with your mental health and are looking for tools to help with your recovery, then this is a tool that you can use. If you are looking to focus on your wellbeing in order to prevent your mental health from deteriorating, then this can also be a tool for your prevention as well. This is an all-round good tool for managing your emotional wellness, managing your physical wellness through deep relaxation, some breath work, and some mindfulness. So, give this a go when you’ve got a spare chance.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. If this is the first episode you’ve ever joined of the Live the 8WiseTM Way podcast, they’re not all like this. There are lots of other ones that give lots of other information and informative, so my recommendation is go back to number one and listen to the others as well so that you can learn to Live the 8WiseTM Way for better mental health and wellbeing. And I always say, and I ask everybody because I’m trying to reach as many people as possible, there are lots of people out there struggling on their own that don’t know what to do to boost their mental health and wellbeing, we want to reach those people. So please, if you don’t mind, if you can take the time to either comment below, hit the like button, hit the subscribe button, share this everywhere that you can possibly share, I would be really, really grateful. I’d also love it if you followed me on social media. You can find me on Instagram, you can find me on LinkedIn, you can find me on Facebook, pretty much anywhere that there’s a social media you can find me. You can find me usually @8wisekim or @8wisetherapy.

If you are wanting to learn more about 8WiseTM, then please check out my website where you can access a copy of the book 8WiseTM Ways to a Healthier, Happier Mind, which really is the mental health manual for the modern world. You can also get your copy of the 12-week journal. If you are looking to focus on making some short-term goals in the next 12 weeks, that is the perfect little journal for you. If you are looking to focus more about a whole 12-month strategy, then the 8WiseTM 12-month planner is what you need to go for as a brilliant tool for helping you focus over a 12-month period. And if you’re just looking for some short, sharp tips and tools to help you to master each of your core eight elements of the 8WiseTM method, then the Pocketbook of Wellbeing is what you can access as well. If you are using the book and you are following through the book and using it as a workbook, then all of the activities in the workbook are also found on my website as a free downloadable tool so you can check those out as well.

Thank you very much for listening. I hope this has been a useful episode for you. As I said, if you can try and bring meditation into your day-to-day routine just as a relaxer, 10 to 15 minutes, 20 minutes a day will be a brilliant boost for you, great for your mindfulness, and it will just help you to disconnect from what’s happened during the day. Disconnect from what is overwhelming your mind and overwhelming your body. Put you back in control and almost reboot your brain.

So, thank you for joining me on the 8WiseTM Way podcast Living the 8WiseTM Way with Kim. I’m a Psychotherapist, I’m an author, I created 8WiseTM to help as many people with their mental health and wellbeing, and I used it on myself as well so I’m hoping that you find it really useful. I will be back soon with another episode, so take care and bye for now.

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