The Container Exercise: Can be used when you are currently experiencing stress or emotions that feel overwhelming, 'too big', or uncomfortable. It is a temporary measure to reduce the feelings, make them more manageable, and allows for you to come back to them at another time. Helpful for after therapy sessions, difficult conversations, spending time in toxic environments, after a long day at work, and so on. (Video script from The Personal Transformation Institute)
Safe Space Pendulation Exercise: This exercise can help build tolerance for the physical sensations and feelings that can come with trauma and stress. For those that use distraction, numbing, and dissociation as main coping strategies, practicing how to tolerate mild irritations for a brief period of time, and learning how to quickly move yourself away from uncomfortable sensations, can be useful skills to build resilience and help you in your healing journey as we process traumatic memories. This guided visualisation uses slow bilateral tapping (EMDR) to help connect your visualisation and calmness to a single word so that you can 'trigger' this relaxing state by simply using the word in stressful situations. Slowly tap the tops of your legs, or knees, or your shoulders. Tap one at a time (like we do in session). Remember to go slow to encourage feelings of relaxation as going too fast can activate trauma memories. If experiencing these sensations is too intense for you, stop the exercise. If anything negative comes up during or after the tapping, stop the exercise. (Script developed by Dr. Jem Tosh based on Personal Transformation Institute original concept).
Healing Light Exercise: Can be used for relaxation after a period of overwhelm, chronic illness flare up or pain, or just when it feels like it would be helpful to spend a few minutes focusing on your body and/or mind's healing. If focusing on bodily sensations or being 'in' your body feels distressing or triggering, skip this resource. (Video script by Dr. Jem Tosh)
Affirmations for PhD Students: Doing a PhD can be tough. Not only is it a lot of work, but sometimes students don't get the support they need, or all that 'constructive criticism' starts to feel like a never-ending loop of not being good enough. Here are some things that you should be hearing regularly from those around you as you study, research, and write your thesis. This short video can be useful for things like after a difficult meeting with a supervisor, getting negative feedback on your thesis or a paper you've submitted, when you feel fed up with your project, and so on. You might also like to join our virtual Reading and Research Group - it's a very supportive space for people at all stages of their career. This video may be triggering or emotional for you if you have waited a long time to hear these things being said to you. You can check the transcript below before listening for potentially triggering content. (Video script by Dr. Jem Tosh)
Transcript: Get comfortable where you are sitting and close your eyes if you want to. I want you to picture the perfect meeting place, where you feel relaxed and inspired. It could be a cafe or a book shop, a library or a park. Choose anywhere you like. Make it as real as you can. Picture the details of your surroundings, the sounds and smells. Spend some time relaxing in this space, where you are in complete control. Imagine someone sits next to you now, someone who is friendly and kind. What do they look like? As you sit in this wonderful space this person starts talking to you. They say: I read the latest draft that you are working on and I think it is incredible. Even those parts that you’re not 100% happy with, I know they will be great by the time you are finished. You’re learning everyday. What you don’t know today, you can learn tomorrow. I think you bring a unique perspective to this work because no one else in this world is exactly like you. That’s your strength. I think it’s amazing how far you have come on this journey. You inspire me. You have worked so hard and I see all the effort you have been putting in. You deserve rest and recognition. I see such a bright and wonderful future for you. Filled with exciting opportunities. For now, you can enjoy this moment, of where you are right now. There is no rush. Great work takes time and patience. It’s okay to slow down for a moment. You’re doing your best, and that’s enough. I’m so proud of you. Imagine yourself leaving this place you have created and going back to your day. Know that you can return here anytime you like, and that this kind person will always be here to tell you how amazing you are.
Loving Cat Meditation: Lots of people find being around cats comforting and relaxing, and have pets as emotional support animals. If you find spending time with animals healing, you may enjoy this cat meditation that focuses on feeling comforted, loved, and not alone. This video may be triggering or emotional for you if you sometimes feel lonely or unloved. You can check the transcript below before listening for potentially triggering content. (Video script by Dr. Jem Tosh)
Transcript: Get comfortable where you are sitting and close your eyes if you want to. I want you to imagine that you are somewhere soft and comforting. It could be a place in your real life or somewhere imaginary. It could be your favourite chair, a beach, or a cloud. Make it as real as you can. What colours can you see? How do the things around you feel and smell? Enjoy being in this soft and comforting place of your own creation. It’s just how you want it to be. Imagine now that you can see a cat not too far away from you. What does it look like? The cat starts to walk towards you. It looks friendly and curious about you. Imagine the cat climbing up onto your lap and coming to rest on your chest. You can hear the cat purring and take this opportunity to hug them and pet them. The cat is very happy that you are giving them this love and attention. You are enjoying each other’s company in this lovely and comfortable space. You feel loved and cherished in this moment. You are not alone. The cat starts to stretch and you finish the hugs and petting. Imagine the cat jumping off your body and onto the ground around you. You return to your present day knowing that this feline friend will always be here to love and comfort you.