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It's a simple activity to pre-empt any triggers that may be out there. We drag our arses out of bed, we shower, we groom ourselves to a relatively acceptable level to engage in human interaction. We basically put on a disguise to fool other human beings and to avoid unwanted questions. Ultimately, it will help you connect to your emotional states in a more present and objective manner. To do this, you will safely explore your senses and get curious about which sensations feel comfortable to you. This is an important step in helping your central nervous system process sensory information from your body and respond to it accurately. To begin, use your instincts to decide which sense you want to explore first. If you are uncertain how to do this, simply get curious about what feels good to you. Start by discovering the different and distinct smells of essential oils. If you find a smell that you connect with, put it in your toolbox. You may want to carry this essential oil around with you and take it out a few times a day, especially during those moments when you find it difficult to stay present. Begin to discover what different textures feel like against your skin. I invite you to visit a fabric store and take yourself on a tactile journey, exploring the different textures and shapes. Michael watched as the man led his wife into a narrow room to his left. Before the door closed, he saw a mattress on the floor and a stack of magazines. The young girl gently guided Michael to a corner and whispered, Stay here for now, but when I leave the room, follow me. She moved toward the couple sitting at the table. The man looked tired, and his clothes were worn, but he was clean-shaven except for a small mustache. Michael thought him a rather distinguished sort. The woman sitting across from him was ghostly pale, as if she'd recently been ill.

Nevertheless, she smiled as the girl approached. Papa, the girl said. May I go upstairs? If you leave the house un-showered, looking like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards and upside down, people tend to ask Are you OK? <a href=''>You</a> look a little tired' and while this is true, it's not socially acceptable to answer withWell actually, JANET, I feel like I haven't slept in six years, my mind is trying to kill me, I find it difficult to enjoy things, I am a human disaster, my neck hurts, I have terrible posture, I haven't checked my bank account in three months but my card keeps working so I am assuming everything is OK. How are you? In a perfect world you would be allowed to turn up to work in your pyjamas, bringing your duvet with you, and to watch Netflix while occasionally emerging from your blanket cocoon to steal biscuits. This has two drawbacks. First, an office full of people in blanket cocoons is a fire hazard and second, the tube is already packed enough without the added inconvenience of hundreds of duvet people. Things that would be greatly improved by being able to wear a duvet in social situations: weddings, all sports ever, going to the cinema, going to the pub, job interviews, partaking in sandwiches, literally everything. Who thinks I'm weird? HOW TO ACTUALLY LEAVE THE HOUSE1: Visualisation Once you have discovered a few textures that feel calming to your system, put them in your toolbox. Perhaps you keep a piece of this fabric in your pocket and touch it when you feel anxious. We all ground differently in our senses, and some of us ground through our visual sense. I invite you to go to a museum, look at art articles, look at pictures, notice the colors, and notice what thoughts and feelings come up for you as you observe. Get curious about what shapes and colors appeal to you. Do you notice any patterns? Or, perhaps you simply like the more general visual landscape of nature.

Go outside and look around. Notice how different scenery makes you feel. If you notice that particular sights are soothing to you, keep a picture of that sight either on your phone or printed out and readily available. The man smiled. Time to be alone again, is it, Anne? Then certainly you may go, he said. She glanced at Michael and moved to a stairway at the back of the room. Without a sound, she went up the staircase and out of sight. Michael followed quickly, dodging the other people in the room as he passed. As he came up the stairs, he saw the girl motioning for him to hurry. The staircase seemed to go directly to the ceiling, but as Michael soon saw, there was a hatch cover that provided entrance to the attic. As soon as they were inside, the girl replaced the cover and said, I am so excited to meet you that I almost cannot breathe! She clapped her hands together quickly, but softly. Your brain will easily convince you that staying at home and ignoring reality is the safest option, so before you leave the house, make a cup of tea, sit down for a moment and go through your day in your head. Plan your travel, plan your day, visualise the positives, analyse the false negatives and prepare yourself for the horrifyingly necessary part of life in between getting out of bed and getting back into bed. Every article about mental health will tell you to set goals throughout your day, and as annoying as this can sound, it actually bloody works. They can be the tiniest goals imaginable - make sure you drink water, make a round of tea for the office, don't get hit by a tram - if you can meet a few of these a day, you will have achieved something. Plus, these goals can only be met if you leave the house. When you are training a dog, you give it incentives with treats and cuddles and by telling it, regardless of gender, that it is a good boy. Thought this section couldn't get any more patronising?

Well here we go! This will work differently for everyone, but I'll use myself as an example. If the daunting prospect of the outside world is imprisoning me in a cloud of self-doubt and duvet cages, I get up, leave for work early and get a good cup of coffee. Or, if you prefer to see certain sights in person, perhaps try stepping outside or taking yourself on a walk the next time your nervous system needs some TLC. Pay attention to which sounds and genres of music feel comfortable to you. Or perhaps you notice that being outside and listening to the sounds of birds tweeting or water running is calming and peaceful for you. Once you have determined what feels relaxing, put together a playlist or take note of the sounds that will nourish your system each day. Spend a few minutes with these sounds daily. I do not recommend using taste as a dominant tool (especially if you have a history of or are currently dealing with disordered eating). While we all have our comfort foods that can calm and regulate our nervous system, using taste as a soothing mechanism includes many complexities that go beyond the scope of this article. Use the information you gleaned from this exercise to identify some new tools you can use when you find yourself in a moment of feeling overwhelmed, dysregulated, or disoriented. Write down or keep with you the scents, textures, sights, and sounds that soothe you in a place that you can easily access. When you find yourself in need of calm or soothing, you can redirect your senses to those things that calm your system. This is thrilling, is it not? Michael grinned at her enthusiasm. Looking around he saw that there was not a stick of furniture or a box of anything stored in the attic--just dust and dirt. I expected you, did you know? A dream is how. I even know your name. It is Michael Holder.

I wrote you a note just this morning. Should I get it now? No, no, Michael chuckled. That's the incentive I need to start a day - but this will be entirely different for all of us. It could be treating yourself to a walk on a break, a decent lunch, a pint after work; You are training your brain to associate new scary things with a sense of accomplishment and pride in yourself. It's difficult, but you can get there. The most we can do is try our best. I'm not one for the motivational quotes that are thrown at you on Facearticle. I don't particularly want to climb a mountain, I can't see myself `living each day to the fullest' because it seems tiring and very expensive. My definition of a Good Day is getting through it in one piece and not embarrassing myself in a way that will lead to another 3 a. The only person who is expecting more from you than you can handle is you. One simple piece of advice that works for anxiety is this: give yourself a fecking break. Even better, you can begin to build resiliency in your nervous system by calling upon these senses on a regular basis as a way of keeping your nervous system regulated on an ongoing basis. Self-Soothing Exercise Start here if you scored very high or high on the interoception assessment. This exercise is designed to help calm the nervous system and begin to build boundaries and safety in the body. Physical and emotional boundaries go hand and hand and help us form a distinct identity. Boundaries also help us protect ourselves and define what is acceptable. Set a timer for five minutes and notice how you feel at the end of that time period.