This technique - I collect these things and am always grateful for new ones - was given to me by Steve my Macmillan Nurse.
Breathe. It's a breathing exercise. Breathe in through your nose . On the exhalation pay attention to what is outside your body -
- it can be the feel of the chair you're sitting on, the heat of the sun, the coolness of the breeze, or the proximity of a loved one.
- the sound of birds singing or conversation in another part of the room or any sound you can perceive
- the smell of hyacinths, lilies, or coffee - whatever you notice
- the sight of your surroundings could be brought into sharp focus- colour, texture,light and shade.
- the taste and mouth feel of something, perhaps your cup of tea or a mint, in your mouth.
Concentrate on just one sense but give it your full attention. The theory behind it is that it overrides your brain and all the worries it is concentrating on. You overload it, and by multitasking you are forced to choose what you concentrate on. It's powerful stuff and it works. I've tried it , and strangely, I really quite enjoy the experience. It feels wonderful because you concentrate on something pleasurable ( though if you have a bad taste in your mouth it'll either make your perception of it worse, or still work, but be more a masochistic pleasure !! I don't know, and I don't feel any urge to try ! ) It is a sensuous experience and can feel like quite a luxury at a time when you may need that most. Try it out yourself and let me know about your experience . I think of it as quite akin to a gratitude journal ,but unlike a journal , as it's title implies, it's instant, takes only a moment and requires no office supplies or paraphernalia, and can be done anywhere at all. You can do it as unobtrusively as the occasion warrants, so as long as you remember it you can use it in any situation. The trick is to remember these techniques at the times of stress when you most need them. I admit that there are occasions when they would work, but my mind is elsewhere and the help is temporarily unavailable. But for when you do connect with the storeroom in your mind these techniques are invaluable, or so I have found.