Guest Post – Frances Coombes, Successful Health Recovery Strategies

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HealthI run ‘Healing Power of the Mind’ workshops at City Lit London in which learners are encouraged to adopt a positive attitude about their health, and write their own, or adapt other people’s successful health recovery strategies to deal with major health events in their lives.

These are brief strategies for achieving a better than average recovery from different forms of health adversity. i.e. ‘My successful stroke recovery strategy’, …,Hip replacement operation recovery,.. ‘Calm’ strategy for before and after hospital procedures’.

Whilst hospital booklets are brilliant at giving accurate and practical outcome summaries, we often recover even quicker when we also have our own customized recovery strategy that we feel works best for us.

Strategy for calm before hospital procedure

A study done in England, aimed at reducing the need for giving general anesthetics to patients who had failed to attend for MRI scans because they were claustrophobic used a similar anxiety reducing technique. After learning the procedure, 76% of patients underwent scans without GA. The results were advantageous in terms of patient safety and costs.

Anchors change your state

We anchor memories throughout our lives.

We anchor memories throughout our lives. When we hear a few bars of familiar music and we want to jump up and dance we have anchored a behavioural response to a sensory stimulus. It can be evoked through any of the senses, a smell, a sight, hearing a snatch of music which creates an association in your senses and gives you a familiar feeling. You may imagine a baby sleeping, its smile, its smell and warmth, and feel protective and loving. An anchor is any stimulus that changes your state.

How to Anchor a good feeling

Think about the situation which you are anxious or nervous about. We want to replace the feeling with a more resourceful state.

List 3 or 4 more resourceful things you would need to feel in the future situation to deal with it more positively. Breathe deeply, and think of a time in the past when you already felt confident and deeply relaxed.

See what you saw, hear what you heard, notice what you noticed and feel what you felt.

At the height of the experience when you are feeling really relaxed; anchor that good feeling with a small hand gesture you can easily repeat.

At the height of the experience when you are feeling really relaxed; anchor that good feeling with a small hand gesture you can easily repeat. Practice running and building your confident images, make the feeling stronger and stronger again. At the peak of each good experience, anchor the good feeling with a small hand gesture.

Now briefly think of having your unwanted procedure, then move out of it quickly. Go back to your really good feelings, press your fingers together to anchor that positive state, then step back into the negative spot bringing associations of all your good feelings with you.
Continue to associate into your positive anchors and build them so that you feel relaxed and happy, the way you want to feel in the future. Practice the anchoring sequence so that you are able to access your relaxed feelings on demand.

– Guest Author, Frances Coombes, Teach Yourself Self-Motivation.