1.0 Setting the Scene

Welcome Back!

Before we begin, how have things been?

Before We Begin PHQ-9 GAD-7 START 10 MINUTE TIMER

Last week we looked at Problematic Thoughts, Twisted Thinking and Identifying and Breaking Negative Thought Patterns.

Hopefully you found it interesting and there have been loads of new ideas to put into practice during the week.

This week we’re going to look at Distraction Techniques, Positive Psychology and Social Media.

Before we go any further let’s do our Drill Review for last week.

- How did you find applying the Vicious Cycle to your thoughts throughout the week?
- Did you find it more useful to capture Problematic Thoughts in the moment or did you need to use the written technique for more challenging thoughts?

It is important to have a selection of tools and techniques to help us shift focus and put our attention on something else when thoughts are at their most bothersome.

These are called Distraction Techniques.

You may already have many distraction techniques, some which you may have had longer than others. Some of these techniques may be healthy and some unhealthy.

It’s good practice to filter out the unhealthy ones as they are likely hindering your mental health and wellbeing without you even realising.

A distraction technique is simply any activity that you engage in to redirect your mind off your current situation or feelings.

Here are some examples:

- Mindfulness: Helping focus on the present moment and using a range of techniques to achieve a calmer mind.
- Physical Activity / Exercise: Whether it be a brief walk, stretch, jog, kicking a football around or cycling around town, 30 mins of exercise 3-5 times a week has been scientifically proven to improve mood.

- Mental Work: Sudoku, puzzles, word searches and quizzes can provide a useful distraction as you have to focus.
- Worry Time: Knowing that you have allocated a small portion of the day specifically to reserve for thinking about problems can help some people distract themselves from negative thinking throughout the day.
- Talking/ Socialising: Meeting up with friends and talking with others can really help take our mind off other things as well as being good for our mood.

Discuss with your mentor now any distraction techniques you may already have when you are feeling low, sad, worried, nervous or stressed.
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START 5 MINUTE TIMER

Name 5 positive distraction techniques you would like to use when feeling low, nervous or irritable and note these down.
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START 5 MINUTE TIMER

Distraction is a skill and requires practice. It is no different to learning an instrument or a new language. With practice, you will become better at this.

Distraction isn’t about burying our head in the sand or ignoring a problem, it’s about being equipped to give the right amount of attention to a problem at the right time.

What does self-esteem and confidence mean to you? How would you describe your own self-esteem and confidence? Have a discussion with your mentor now.
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START 3 MINUTE TIMER

When we want to improve our self-esteem and confidence, we do so by making some changes in our life. Whether this is our routine, the people we surround ourselves with, our job, our habits or even our home.

Whatever we choose to change, we must be consistent. Rome wasn’t built overnight! I bet you’ve heard that one before. But seriously, it wasn’t. You can improve your self-esteem and confidence; it just takes time.

Please determine three areas where you may feel you lack self-esteem and confidence and write these down.
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START 5 MINUTE TIMER

Have a chat with your mentor to find some of the ways you can improve your own self-esteem and confidence. See what most resonates with you and the goals you set in week 1.
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START 10 MINUTE TIMER

Now, let’s note down three changes you can make in your life to improve your self-esteem and confidence. Whichever you pick, you must make a conscious effort to be consistent. Consistency is KEY when we want to make a change. Consistency is not about getting it right all the time, but about keeping coming back to practice again.
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When you are suffering, do you have empathy for yourself and do you take action to try and help yourself? Are you kind to yourself? Have a quick chat with your mentor.
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START 2 MINUTE TIMER

We can work on our self-compassion by carrying out many different practices. Some examples include:

- Transform your mindset
- Accept love and kindness from yourself
- Speak and think kindly of yourself
- Forgive yourself for mistakes you have made
- Engage in activities you enjoy
- Take care of your mind and body
- Respect yourself
- Pay attention to where your passions lie
- Cultivate acceptance for yourself and the things you cannot change

Our connected world through social media means that we can keep in touch with family and friends in different time zones, receive emails and notifications at any time of the day and order a food delivery which arrives on our doorstep within minutes. In fact, we can use our phones to buy a new wardrobe, view a new flat, gratify our deepest fantasies and track the functions of our bodies in fine detail.

We can easily absorb ourselves for hours through a screen no bigger than a shoe.

Think and make some notes with your mentor now about the positive and negative aspects of your relationship with technology and social media. If you don’t use social media, think about your relationship with technology as a whole.
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START 5 MINUTE TIMER Social Media

How does social media and technology impact your life? How does it make you feel? Have a discussion now with your mentor.
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START 5 MINUTE TIMER

It might seem that social media is painted in a bad light here. Social media does not have to be a bad place. It’s a big part of creative and social life where we can connect and learn with others. The internet allows us access to never ending learning and education.

We just need to know how to use it correctly so that it does not have a detrimental effect on our mental health and wellbeing.

- Using social media and the internet responsibly
- Hit the unfollow button on anything that brings you down
- Limit screen time
- Remember, likes do NOT determine self-worth
- Turn off notifications and set out specific times in the day to address them
- Don’t get caught up in mindless scrolling

- Give your phone a rest one to two hours before bed.
- Limit the number of platforms you are on
- Be mindful of your feelings
- Do not overshare information
- Remember you have a choice - to scroll or not to scroll

Turn off, tune out and be unavailable. Do you feel like a slave to your machine? Write down and discuss with your mentor what a social media detox might look like to you.
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START 5 MINUTE TIMER

We don’t often take time to reflect on our achievements or the things we are proud of. Write down 5 things about yourself that you are proud of or are happy about. This could be achievements, positive changes you have made or something about who you are as a person.
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START 10 MINUTE TIMER

Session Summary

This week we learned all about distraction techniques and how they can help us during times of crisis. We also explored self-esteem and confidence and the importance of self-compassion. Finally, we learnt about social media and how it can affect our mental health and wellbeing.

Being more mindful of the ways we can be more responsible when using social media can help our overall mental health and wellbeing.

As ever, well done! Loads to take in here but you’re smashing it getting to this stage of Bazaar.

Mini Mindfulness

Drills🔈

During the next week, if you find yourself feeling low, anxious or stressed, consider some of your chosen distraction techniques from today’s session. Keep a note in your journal how you feel before and after. Maybe stick some post it notes around the house to remind you too?

Each night, one hour before you go to sleep, put your phone on aeroplane mode. If you’re feeling brave, set it to aeroplane mode two hours before you go to sleep. During that time, engage in something you enjoy. Whether it’s reading a book, doing something creative, tidying your room, sitting quietly, writing in a journal or doing absolutely anything else that does not require your phone.

Practice this for a week and see how much of a difference it makes.

What are you grateful for?🙏
Write this down now.
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❤️ I will let go of negative thoughts that hold me back.