It took me about two months to finally settle into this new reality: I got stranded away from my home during the pandemic. I’d left behind a relationship and all my offline work for the upcoming months had been canceled: conferences, concerts, workshops…
So I took this period of self-isolation pretty hard. By the end of April, my mental health was in a dire state. As everything started shifting and new virtual opportunities started to arise, I was torn between feelings of excitement and uncontrollable anxiety.
At the beginning of May, two days before one of the biggest online performances of my life, my mom received the news that her brother, who was currently in a home under constant care, had been diagnosed with COVID and was demonstrating symptoms.
My mother broke down from the anxiety. I was doing my best to be a positive presence for her but seeing her in so much pain combined with all the nerve-racking preparations for the show the next day was enough to send me down an emotional turmoil.
I started calling friends while crying uncontrollably. As days went by, I felt I was losing my mind due to all the fear, grief, anger, and pain.
I knew something had to change. It wasn’t only for me, it was for the sake of my family and all the friends who loved me and were doing their best to support me.
I started doing some digging. My first objective was to find something to help me reduce anxiety. Then, I wanted to find a way to transform all this victimized energy into something positive and constructive. I was looking for healing and deep transformative change.
Through research and recommendations from friends, I gradually included in my routine a variety of tools and techniques to lead me in my journey to self-transformation.
With the help of these resources, I gradually pulled myself out of depression by connecting back to pure emotions like love and gratitude instead of indulging in mental replays of scenes from my past triggering anger or disappointment. They helped me stay focused on the present moment in times when this seemed impossible.
I’m sharing these resources with you because they brought me what I feel is true and long-lasting change.
Now that I’m back home and doing much better mentally and emotionally, I still include some of these techniques in my daily routine. Not because I think I need them but because their impact is incredibly positive in my life.
Note: There are no affiliate links contained in this post. I don't do affiliate marketing. I'm sharing these resources because I personally tried them and they truly brought me huge benefits.
1. Self-Hypnosis Sessions
Sometimes, when your brain is freaking out, there’s no way to calm it down by using the conscious mind.
I was always fascinated by hypnosis, though I never gave it a shot. The fact that it seemed you could overcome seemingly impossible challenges while under hypnosis drove me to ask myself if maybe I needed something like that to help me deal with my anxiety.
While doing some research, I stumbled upon the website hypnosisdownloads.com. There, I found a treasure trove of self-hypnosis sessions downloadable at a reasonable fee.
Before buying, I signed up for their newsletter which gives subscribers access to a short email video course on how to perform hypnosis. I enjoyed the course and found it instructive which gave me the confidence I should maybe try one of their self-hypnosis sessions.
Since then, I bought 4 sessions and directed some of my friends to the site. I found them to be incredibly positive and relaxing and they allowed me to work on myself on a deep level without having to put in any conscious effort.
Your only responsibility during the session is committing yourself to relax (I can still hear the therapist’s voice in my head). It feels less like work and more like treating yourself to a relaxation session.
I used these sessions to help me with procrastination, to boost my creativity, and increase my confidence. A friend of mine is using them to go through a painful breakup and learn to let go. Another friend is using a session to help him improve his emotional intelligence.
There are hundreds of sessions available for a variety of situations, patterns, and issues. I highly recommend to go on their website and browse around or sign up for their newsletter to take their free email course on hypnosis, if you’re interested in learning something new.
2. Dr. Joe Dispenza
You might already be familiar with Dr. Joe’s work through his involvement in the documentary “What The Bleep Do We Know?”.
“Dr. Joe Dispenza is a doctor, a scientist, and a modern-day mystic. . . . In a style that is simple, straightforward, and easy to understand, [he] has woven into a single volume the paradigm- altering discoveries of quantum science and the deep teachings that adepts of the past dedicated their entire lifetimes to master.”
— Becoming Supernatural, foreword extract by Gregg Braden, New York Times best-selling author of Human by Design and The Divine Matrix
I’m a complete fan of Dr. Joe.
The reason why is because he manages to explain the unexplainable with the help of science. If you were ever interested in spirituality or meditation, you probably heard about the concept of enlightenment before. In Buddhism, someone enlightened is someone who reached the mental state of a Buddha.
To me, Dr. Joe exposes the science of enlightenment. He’s able to demonstrate tangibly how his meditation techniques are affecting the practitioners’ brain. I’ve never encountered a more clear, efficient, and practical approach to meditation. The fact that he has scientific proof of how our minds create our reality makes the equation for us quite simple to understand: do the work and this will be the result.
He doesn’t promise anything, he exposes techniques backed with facts and then makes sure to properly kick your butt to get you motivated to do the work.
What saved me during self-isolation was his book "Becoming Supernatural". I started to practice all the meditations Dr. Joe describes in the book consistently. After about a week of meditating every day, the pain in my chest created by anxiety finally went away.
I was feeling grateful. I could walk outside and feel amazed by nature’s beauty. I could believe once more in my ability to create my future. I started living my future in the present, feeling it as consistently as I could. Slowly but surely, I felt myself changing into a new person.
If you’re new to Dr. Joe’s work, I highly recommend watching this amazing seminar or directly visit his website to see the list of books and meditations available. The community is also active on Facebook and there’s now a possibility to join weekly live streams.
3. Mind Movies
Did you ever make a vision board? Vision boarding is fun but its benefits seem to be a bit hit and miss: some people swear by it while others don’t see the point.
Personally, I do believe in the power of vision boarding but always felt there was something missing in the process. Not in the making but in the way of keeping the vision alive through time (most people I know make vision boards for their whole year).
Mind movies take the concept of vision boarding to the next level. Instead of making a static board with images to represent your vision, you make a small movie!
The idea is that advertising is so powerful, why not use that power to advertise our future to ourselves!
The people working at Mind Movies walk you through the process of working with mind movies right from the beginning. By signing up for their newsletter, you receive a set of 6 free downloadable mind movies for different areas of life.
What do you do with a mind movie? Simple, you watch it every day. Like any good advertisement, music plays an important role. Having a music piece you love and which sticks in your head helps you remember scenes from your movie throughout the day.
The same way a company can bombard you with ads to push you to buy their products, you are selling your future to yourself! And you need to be a pushy marketer, bombarding your brain with the same positive ad representing your ideal future, until your brain buys it.
Mind movies are something Dr. Joe Dispenza also talks about in his book "Becoming Supernatural" but they are powerful enough to be a stand-alone tool. Combined with some of Dr. Joe’s teachings, you can create a superpower cocktail to manifest your dreams into reality.
4. Mel Robbins’ 5-Second Rule
One day, while randomly browsing on YouTube, I decided to watch one of Mel Robbins’ videos and I heard her say this:
“Procrastination is a reaction to stress.“
This sentence alone was a huge eye-opener. It makes so much sense! I’ve always been a chronic procrastinator. Yes, I do get things done but that moment of starting is generally a struggle. I never fully understood why since I do feel very passionate about my work.
And then, I discovered Mel Robbins’ explanation of procrastination.
I was shocked.
I started looking at my procrastination pattern and realized, Mel was absolutely right! The only time I procrastinate is when I’m stressed about something. And procrastinating does feel like a stress reliever in a way…
So I started to watch more videos to understand her 5-second rule (it’s so simple, it only takes a few minutes to get it and then a day or two to develop the habit of using it).
I only have one word: magic.
Unbelievable. I never thought it could be possible.
Yes, it does take some discipline and a strong desire to change but honestly, it’s a small price to pay for receiving the benefits of its application.
And it works right away, from day one. That’s not something you can usually say about other self-help techniques.
For me, her videos were enough to get me going and start applying the 5-second rule effectively. If you want more, her book "The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage" is available on Amazon.
A Few Bonuses
This post wouldn’t be complete for me without mentioning a few extra things that also made a significant impact on my process.
Bonus 1: Binge watching AGT/BGT “Best Of” videos
What? I know what you’re thinking but hear me out.
We all need inspiration from time to time. Instead of compulsively watching the news and feeding my anxiety, I let myself indulge in watching videos that show people accomplish great things.
For me, it’s "Britain's Got Talent" because I’m an artist and it’s inspiring to me to see what incredible artists can do. But maybe for you, it’s sports, or cooking, or climbing Mount Everest…
Bonus 2: Opening up to a friend
My friend Timna and I haven’t known each other for so long but we had a great connection from the start. When she moved from Israel to New York, we lost touch for a while. But during the pandemic, it so happened that she also got stranded away from her home and was struggling with her mental state during isolation.
We got into a habit of checking in on each other. We became each other’s go-to phone call when things got tough and we just needed someone to talk to. We repeatedly said to each other how grateful we were to have this friendship right now during those crazy times.
Opening up to a friend is important and can be a lifesaver but it’s not the answer to the core of the problem. It’s important to keep in mind that, sooner or later, if you don’t choose to take care of yourself, it becomes unfair to ask someone else to take care of you. A friend or partner should be there to support you, not to walk in your shoes.
Saying “Thank you” to Life
I’m so happy I’m now doing much better.
Of course, it helps that I’m now back in my home in Israel and can finally reconnect with my partner. Still, after being away for more than three months and coming back, I feel how much I’ve changed — in a good way.
I wake up motivated in the morning. I have exciting projects coming up. I feel much more in control of my thoughts and emotions overall (definitely not perfect but much better) and I have tools to help me keep my anxiety in check.
Every day, I feel grateful I was able to be present for my mom and support her emotionally throughout this crisis. I learned so much. And without all the challenges, I would’ve probably never had the motivation to change and work on my issues.
I hope these resources can help you as much as they helped me. If you’ve experienced any of them, feel free to leave me your impressions in the comment section, I’d love to know your thoughts!
I wish you all to stay safe and healthy: physically, mentally, and spiritually.
This article was originally published by the author on Medium.