“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.
And I’m feelin’ good”
– Nina Simone
Welcome to a new month
Sitting on my sofa feeling cosy, wrapped in a blanket, and the lyrics of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ came to mind. Admittedly with my level of cognitive impairment I couldn’t remember much other than partial lyrics and the tune. Luckily Google is very good at finding stuff to fill the holes in my memory.
Really listening to the lyrics gives a sense that everything will be alright, that past troubles are in the past and that the future is bright.
This mindful approach to life can help improve mental well-being
By moving on from past mistakes and past hurt we can look to a future that isn’t clouded by regret or sadness. The mistakes and hurt will still be there and will still influence our core beliefs and sense of self, but they cannot be changed. No amount of rumination, worry, regret, crying, ‘what ifs’, or generally beating yourself up about it will change what’s in the past.
“Sleep in peace when day is done: that’s what I mean
And this old world is a new world and a bold world for me”
– Nina Simone
Mindfulness is a useful coping strategy
I have written on Mindfulness previously (read more here) and while it’s most definitely not a magic cure for depression, PTSD etc, it can be incredibly helpful in managing negative emotions. When faced with overwhelming distress paying attention to your immediate surroundings can reduce the severity of these feelings by changing the focus of the mind.
The following mindfulness technique requires you to look around and verbalise:
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can touch
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste
Doing this helps ground your emotions, providing immediate relief and bringing you back to a more stable emotional state.