Get some "TOOLS" they work!
Anybody that follows me on Twitter knows I am always talking about "Tool" a subject I will go into more, in the future. But today tools played a big part for me and it's now showing that if thrown into action at the right time ya can use tools to help you out.
My "Toolbox" started when I was over a mate Pauls one night and he said," ya need tools". I had no idea what he meant so asked. Tools are a set of things you have to use when ya mental thinking starts going nuts and also to use throughout the day to keep on the level. Well, one tool I used today was straight into meditation. Now it helps to have some experience with meditation. Something I would love to teach at some stage. I would like to get some interest and show what I know to help calm people. I meditate every day. I use an app called Insight Timer which is invaluable. SO a little background is handy but anybody can learn to meditate and I highly recommend you start a practice whether you have mental health or not.
Also, this is gonna sound strange but this worked for me too. Carry small mints. TicTac size. I had small round mints that you will hear about in the story. I wouldn't have even had them with me.
So, Sunday, I woke up not bad at all. My back was twinging a bit harder than normal but I have been having a different mindset with pain too and it helps. Tracy, (My wife) and I were gonna go out and do a bit of shopping. She says," ya ready", and then, "wanna mint". So I grab two small round strong mints and got in the passenger side of the car. We get down the road a bit and I can feel my anxiety building. I let Tracy know and start thinking about me back more. Then of cause other crap follows that ya think about daily. Before I knew it I was going into a panic. I don't like that. Hates a big word but I do hate it. I was getting to the point where if I didn't do something I was gonna be at the point of no return. Ask anybody with mental health how that feels and see the grimace on their face. It can get really bad. To point where ya can detach. Ya feel like ya somewhere else but know you are where ya at. The thinking has become so much that ya like, cease to think. Ya can't grab hold of anything to pull yourself back. I told my therapist once it's like trying to grab a bar of wet soap. Nothing is sticking. SO, I knew I needed to think. I just said "TOOLS" and went into Giang Mudra, in the car. Then said ok focus on the air in and out into my stomach. That's always ya first point. If nothing else focus on ya breath. Long and deep, the slower the better. Breathe into the stomach. Have the stomach stick out as you breathe in and expel all the air out while pulling the navel in. Nice and controlled. Tell yourself ya OK. You have nothing to worry about. You're in a safe place. And just keep the focus on the breath. longer breath out than in too. I like a two breath minute. but that gets worked up to. The more control and full focus the better. Another trick I learned was to dab ya finger and thumb on your tongue and moisten the rim of ya nostrils. It works. It "turns up the volume" on the air. and you can focus more intensely on the air around the rim of ya nostrils. But, I did not need to moisten this time. I just went slow and steady. Then, used the air conditioning. Where was it hitting me on the face and body? Is it colder on one side than the other? as thoughts came in Like" ya gonna need surgery", I say "No I don't". "That's crazy, I'm walking" "It's not that bad". "My back is strong". "I have no pain" Yes even if you're in pain. You be surprised what effect that has. Go the opposite and see what happens. Ya pain gets louder. Now ya focused on it that's why. So ya get the picture. Ya, do that with every thought. Then I went to the mints. Yes! The mints that I would not have had if my wife had not given them to me. Instead of labeling mint. I just concentrated on the flavor. How was it moving in my mouth? Did one side have more flavor than the other? The shape of the candy. Then I run my tongue around my teeth and gums. What do they feel like? What's the taste? Then I went to sound. There was music playing. Listen to it. Pick out instruments. Whats the words. Total focus. The sounds of the car on the road. The sound outside. Other cars. My wife moving in the car. Also (I didn't have to do this either), if you have something you can hold in your fingers and move around. I carry crystals and a rough stone. So I can focus on shape and feel of the stone if need be. I also wear a Marla with Lava stone that I can drop oils on to and that helps if you go to scent too. Same principals...What is is your smelling without a label? Is it strong or faint? "does it resemble anything" and so on. It's using all your senses. Sound is a great one. Walk into an airport concourse and the sound just sounds like a rumble. Its all the sounds mixing and coming to your ears in a slurry. BUT! Your brain can pick pieces of sound out just by focusing. I did this at Orlando airport. Close your eyes and pick one sound. When you focus on it, it will get louder. Then I was able to follow sounds too. Pick one out like somebody on the phone walking and follow it. Where is the sound going? Male or female" what country do you think? What part of the states? Are there footsteps? Are they going left to right or opposite? Is it coming behind you? As much detail as you possibly can. I kept checking in with my breath making sure I'm breathing correctly still. Nice and slow. Releasing the bad energy and pulling good clean energy. Telling myself "I'm a different person now" and the new Steve don't think like that no more. REPROGRAM your brain.
That pulled me out of a downward spiral panic and anxiety today. Have faith this stuff works. Now I am not perfect by any means. I have really bad days. But I now have a decent set of "Tools" that I am now pushing the new Steve to use. I am well proud of myself. When I came out of the meditation I looked at my wife and said," Holy F***!", "Did you just see what I did?". Tracy was smiling and said, "I thought ya were going into meditation when I looked over".
Use "Tools". Try art, play music, read, sing, dance, get outside, watch ya kids play, watch a film with the family....I have a folder on my phone that says "TOOLS" and I have everything from Meditation apps to reading apps. But will talk more about "Tools" another time. And thanks to my mate Paul. If I didn't get that advice I wouldn't have started my tools
Hope this helps somebody out there. Get your tools together. The things work. Like I said, yes I have bad days, but we still use our tools. I will still meditate even if I'm not feeling it. It's taken me roughly 45 years to where I'm only starting to learn this stuff. I'm only starting to learn who I am. Why things happen.