What’s In My Tool kit

I often am asked the question about resources or apps that I often recommend and there are some wonderful tools to look after our emotional well-being, no matter where you are on your journey.  I am including here some tools which I often recommend, and people have reported to me to have found helpful. These can be especially important when it can be hard to access psychological practitioners or when on a waitlist.  These tools can also be used alongside therapy to support the one-to-one work and integrate psychological understanding. There is no “one size fits all” solution; however, what you may notice on this resource list is that finding a tool to connect to the body and regulated relaxation state is an important component to recovery.  A mind-body approach is important to feeling well. I would also note that it takes dedication, time and attention to emotional well-being to move towards healing. 

One book that I find easy to read and helpful includes Babette Rothschild, 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery, 

This book is for the academics and people who really want to dig deeper into theory and who wish to better understand trauma survivors and how psychological theory has evolved – Judith Herman’s Trauma & Recovery and an especially important read for those in clinical practice.

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Although not for everyone, I also have witnessed the benefits of an understanding of mindfulness (present moment awareness) in emotional well-being and for this reason have trained as a mindfulness practitioner.  What these practices offer is a greater awareness and noticing of what is happening inside of us, and this awareness then leads to more helpful and active choices that serve us better.  I always recommend that people trust themselves and their bodies, and if unsure to consult professionals who know them well.  Those that are curious and think it may be worth looking into more, may find that apps such as Headspace and Calm are good first steps into cultivating mindful awareness.  

For those that may want to delve a little deeper, there is a book and app that are self-guided, and easily available on Amazon by Mark Williams and Danny Penman, Finding Peace in a Frantic World

Mindfulness By Professor Mark Williams

Perhaps after exploring these options, investing in an 8-week course (that requires more time and commitment) with the Oxford Mindfulness Foundation (OMF) at Oxford Mindfulness Foundation – Online Training Courses, where a one option is the Mindfulness for Life Course.  I am in training to teach this course (if you are interesting in joining one of my courses, do get in contact with me at saira@mendality.com). 

Finally, with the relationship to others and ourselves I often draw from the Compassionate Mind Foundation Compassionate Mind Foundation , (https://www.compassionatemind.co.uk/resource/resources) and the work of Professor Paul Gilbert.  His books explain our evolutionarily based emotional systems and the importance of compassion in response to threat.

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For those that are drawn to yoga, Yoga Nidra is another form of meditation that has been found effective in supporting people.  

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Lastly I would mention HeartMath and their app that measures heart rate variability (HRV – the difference in time between heart beats).  Higher HRV is associated with better emotional regulation, decision-making and attention.  HeartMath devices and apps are expensive but can be helpful in improving HRV and therefore, our internal regulated state.