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SELF-COMPASSION

3 Underutilised ( And Free ) Healing Techniques We Have at Our Disposal

Emotions make us human. It is better to express them than to bottle them up for an inevitable burst in the future.

Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

Talking to a therapist can get expensive because taking care of mental health with external help is not a hit-and-run job. I did it once in 2019, for six months. And if done right, once is enough.

The lessons I learned from my therapist are timeless. The takeaways from my six months healing journey turned out to be so valuable that I still practice it even on my best days.

Once I started meditation to improve my focus at work, I combined the lessons from my therapy session with the new knowledge I have gained from experience over the past three years.

Here are three pointers that will help you too.

#1. Journaling.

When starting with journaling, I was super-confused about how to get the first words on the page.

Then I remembered the format of the thought diary from my therapy sessions. Although a thought diary has four columns and is very detailed to understand your behavioural patterns, it helped me converge to the sort of journaling that suits me.

For example, gratitude journaling is a great way to start. Start with writing five things you are grateful for in your life. To make the process easy, do it daily at the same time. Doing an activity at the same time daily develops a robust mental cue.

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”
Zig Ziglar

The power of a gratitude journal is self-awareness. When you’re feeling lost, turn the pages of your journal and see an army of achievements you have accomplished by helping people and being your honest self.

Once I wrote an entire article after reading my gratitude journal.

#2. Slow breathing.

Why is breathing exercise discounted so much nowadays? I have reaped the overlooked benefits of slow breathing from the combination of therapy and meditation.

It is significantly beneficial when your mind is racing through a million ideas, and you need a moment for your thoughts to slow down.

Breathing techniques work instantly. They take a maximum of one minute to calm your nerves and open your mind to new perspectives. It’s because when we are in a reactive mode, we are in fight-or-flight.

When we’re proactive, we come from a rest-and-relax mode with a go-getter attitude.

#3. Walking.

Even science is a fan of how walking is an effective remedy for mental health. Walking has so many benefits that explaining them will take a series of articles to cover.

I don’t benefit from walking as a standalone activity only. Sometimes I couple it with focussed breathing and music, which flies me into a mental universe where no one knows me, and I can be unapologetically myself.

Walking helps our thoughts interact with nature. The trashy ideas sublime in a few minutes. The precious ideas come to life.

Whenever I think of walking to alleviate some mental pressure, I am doubtful it might even work.

But from many previous successful results, I give it a shot for five minutes sans thinking. And before I check the time, I have walked for 30 minutes — twerking, stretching, and swinging in God knows how many ways.

Final words

There is a fourth activity I haven’t mentioned: cold showers. Since there are benefits of both hot and cold showers, I have dedicated a separate article on the benefits of cold showers as I’m a fan of the mental toughness it builds.

But if you want immediate benefits to control emotional reactivity, start with slow and focused breathing for one minute. To multiply your benefits, couple it with walking in nature — with or without music.

I wouldn’t press you to start journaling because it was hard even for me to get the hang of it for the first month. But once I saw the benefits, the habit became self-sustaining.

Let me know which habits mentioned above you have already adopted.

Here is a recap for your memory:

  1. Journaling helps in unloading thoughts by practising self-compassion.
  2. Slow breathing helps in stress management by lifting you from reactive to proactive mode.
  3. Walking helps to filter ideas by reconnecting with nature.

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Sanjeev is a mentor, writer, and fitness enthusiast from India. He writes about lifelong learning, personal growth, and positive psychology. When he’s not engaging with students in solving their doubts or busy writing, he’s sweating either in a workout, PC gaming or playing 8-ball pool. You can also find him on Twitter and Instagram.

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Sanjeev Yadav

Sanjeev Yadav

Writer • Mentor • Recovering Shopaholic • IITR 2019 • ✍🏼 Personal Growth, Positive Psychology & Lifelong Learning• IG: sanjeevai • List: sanjeevai.ck.page