Filmed in a spare room at home, the video uses a variety of visual devices such as dyes, stackable rainbow blocks, ping-pong balls, and even a bottle of Corona beer to explore anxiety, depression, toxic relationships, and stress. , describes problems such as addiction. grief and trauma.
Three years ago, she told her husband that she wanted to share skills and information she believes are helping young clients in her practice. He suggested she put her “something on the internet” and together they made “some terrible YouTube videos.”
After trial and error, they settled on a bite-sized clip that was warm, insightful, and “provides an educational dimension to therapy, but is never therapy.”
Smith, who has worked for the NHS for 10 years, says, ‘You can’t therapeutically replace the special relationship you have with someone.’ Still, not everyone has access to treatment, and “there’s a lot of struggle out there.”
Her video hoped to show that there are certain tools people can use every day to improve their lives and mental health.
Tools like metacognition.
“Metacognition is simply the idea that the brain has the ability to think about that thought. So you can say to yourself, ‘Oh, I look terrible today.’ And I was like, ‘Wow, look how self-critical I am. What’s that about?
Metacognition can also be a valuable tool when you know that a behavior makes you feel bad but you continue with it or avoid something even though you know it helps. .
By mapping the emotions and thoughts that precede behavior, she says, you can start dealing with painful thoughts and feelings with alternative coping strategies.
“That’s why it feels so impossible to do the right thing if you haven’t educated yourself and dealt with the emotional pain.”
Doing the “right thing” usually requires making small changes, one at a time. This is another focus of her book, offering a depth of detail not possible in a 60-second clip.
“The big grand changes that we are really ready for are most of the time unsustainable. And when for some reason it doesn’t work out, we feel kind of disillusioned… when we change small habits , you’re more likely to keep it,” she says.
“Then you can free up some of the brain’s capacity to think about the next change and get this kind of compounding interest of all these small changes that pile up over time.”
No matter what tools people take away, Smith hopes the main point is that the mental health struggle is a human experience.
“Mental health is just like physical health in the sense that it fluctuates and can be affected by all sorts of things outside of you,” she says. If you do, it’s not your fault, it’s your responsibility, and with that responsibility you can arm yourself with this tool arsenal, which means you don’t have to be at the mercy of it.”
Smith doesn’t profess to offer a panacea or suggest that one tool will apply to all situations, but says she can have a “potentially positive impact” through her broad range. We believe. Having one more tool in your arsenal will help you feel more confident in your ability to deal with your mental health, she says.
“It’s like, ‘I have this one and I know how to do it… I have these tools and I can use them and it will help me. I am more capable than I thought.”
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