Take the opportunity to book an Adult Mental Health First Aid course for your organisation. Contact for details of this time limited, one time only hugely subsidised offer of spaces through Positive Energy Being to train as a First Aider. Up to 16 delegates.
A police officer has spoken to the BBC to call for more people to talk about their mental health after he had a breakdown at work. PC Jim Morton, known as “Big Jim”, said he felt suicidal in 2015 because of personal reasons and working in such a demanding job. The 6ft 7ins tall officer said people do not expect men like him to suffer with their mental health. He said he is now one of Derbyshire Police’s “Blue Light Champions”, a mental health ambassador for the force.
Some basic, but very effective techniques to do oneself at home to anchor and calm the nervous system through body positioning.
With trauma, PTSD or anxiety, people can suffer extreme states of terror, hyperarousal, immobility, nervousness, internal chaos, mental chaos and overwhelm that they simply cannot figure out how to escape. These exercises provide a release.
A passivity or disconnections comes with having no access to self. Being stuck in states of immobility (deer in headlights) dissociation (mind is in another time/place) and hyperarousal (uncontrollable terror) are all versions. As the self and will has been totally obfuscated and lost, passivity would be expected. These exercises help gently bring one out of this extreme passivity.
The goal of these exercises is to calm the
nervous system, bring the self back into the body, develop more body awareness,
and to train one’s own nervous system to remember what normal is like. They
help the body to regain the sense of having boundaries. They also help one to
develop self-regulation, improving skills and confidence to positively
influence the physiological and emotional states we find ourselves in.
Trauma and stress can leave us feeling scattered, broken, shattered,
blown apart, chaotic, fractured, or split. Our thoughts and nervousness
may become overwhelming, out of control, all over the place. The exercises
helps us feel the outer limits of our body and therefore feel ‘contained’. The
body is the container of our sensations and all of our feelings; it’s all in
the body. They helps create an internal state of calm because to know where we
end, to know experientially (inside our body) that we are located in a specific
location in space, brings a sense of calm and relief. Being scattered and not
knowing where we begin and end is unsettling, even if it is unconscious.
By bringing about a ‘settling’ feeling, reduces overwhelm. By enhancing the feeling of the body as container reduces overwhelm in emotions and sensations.
Beginning this exercise, most of the time
the first shift happens as a spontaneous deep breath followed by a breath
change to a deeper, slower rhythm and a relaxation of muscles. In time with
practice of the exercise, the shift is more subtle and gradual as if entering
the space of the body in a deeper way.
It still sometimes takes a very long time
to feel a shift. Perhaps the current level of chaos in the nervous system at
the time will influence this. If the chaos is very high, it will take longer.
What is happening?
The human nervous system responds to touch. Hands-on healing has been used by humanity since ancient times. Stimulating and soothing the body’s natural electrical currents with hold positions. The exercises encourage focus on the body, this change of attention and awareness is therapeutic. The practice encourages a self gentleness relationship towards the self – characterised by being gentle, caring, kind and nurturing. The self-holding exercises help with the body container strengthening and building activity which helps one begin to experience a sense of self.
Trauma, stress and anxiety can erase the
sense of having a self and where that self might be in space and time. Doing
either of the exercises and giving the exercise a chance to sink in, in other
words opening the body to allow the body to receive the exercise, can improve
the feeling of self. This might occur first by having a feeling of having a
location in space, being solid and being in one location. There may be a
sinking into the internal awareness that ‘I have edges’ which in turn helps bring an
awareness that ‘I am here’ (location in the world) and ‘I am me’(ego-identity).
This helps with restoring one’s identity as a normal human being rather than
being shattered and nothing.
Then one might experience a feeling pride
in self, a feeling of fierceness, a desire to defend self. This is the sense of
self-defense and self-esteem coming online. Once self is found, it is easier to
feel the desire to protect and defend it, and to feel proud of it. If one has
no access to self, concepts such as self-esteem and self-defense can be
confusing. They may make sense intellectually but not experientially. It’s not
that one does not care about these concepts, one may care a lot about them;
it’s just that they make no sense without an embodied experience of self.
One may begin to gain a sense of having emotional boundaries, the sense of what is OK and what is not OK to experience emotionally and in relationships. This boundary awareness could have been completely lost or misplaced as a result of the traumatic experiences.
Accessing self would also allow access to
the inner knowing of what one wants; a personal will, the ‘decider’ or
action-taker. The ideas of personal truth and personal will probably are
difficult for someone who has no access to self to really truly ‘get.’ Once
that connection to self is re-established, feelings will begin to arise from self
– the feeling of dislike for something, or of liking something. These feelings
develop complexity, maturity and expression and eventually become ‘my truth”
about a situation. Access to the will also may come back online and one can act
on their truth which eventually turns into the development of authenticity.
A passivity or disconnections comes with having no access to self. Being stuck in states of immobility (deer in headlights) dissociation (mind is in another time/place) and hyperaraousal (uncontrollable terror) are all versions. As the self and will has been totally obfuscated and lost, passivity would be expected. These exercises help gently bring one out of this extreme passivity.
Contact or call 07548 690170 Positive Energy Being for session, training or exercise instructions.
Concerns about the mental health and
wellbeing of children and young people are currently in the public spotlight.
However, any conversation about supporting our children’s wellbeing must also
include how we support our teachers.
We must do more to support school leaders, teachers and other school staff to ensure that their mental health and wellbeing is prioritised. If we don’t recognise the importance of this, we will fail not only staff, but the children and young people they support.
This resource is based on the views of school staff who participated through the Anna Freud NCCF -Schools in Mind learning network and the Teacher Tapp survey. This resource provides some helpful materials and encourages schools to reflect that if they want to make a success of promoting children’s mental health, this can only be achieved by giving the staff wellbeing the consideration it deserves.