It’s quite Spring like here today in Glasgow as I write this piece. Days are getting longer and the weather is relatively mild for late February. Hard to believe that this time last year we were heading towards several inches of snow and unusually cold weather.
Things feel quite “spring like” with Epilepsy Futures Group 3 as well, as we have progressed through a couple of blocks of sessions, including five weeks playing with clay at Project Ability …
… and sessions based round the Living Life to the Full programme which covers topics such as helping us to understand
- How we create vicious circles in our lives, where we let negative thoughts influence how we feel and how we then behave.
- How this can make us avoid doing things that make us feel better
- How we make choices that make us feel worse rather than help us
- How we let other people push our buttons
- How we let things affect our self confidence
- How the coping mechanisms we use can sometimes not be so helpful
Importantly, the sessions also helped us to understand how easy it can be to break these cycles by becoming aware of when we notice our thoughts, moods, feelings, behaviour changing and challenging the “Inner Critic” that keeps us afraid and isolated.
We’ve learned how to
- Spot our negative thinking patterns
- Make positive plans and routines, taking small, realistic steps and celebrating when we achieve them
- Figure out better ways to respond when people make us frustrated
- Feel better about ourselves and find enjoyment in what we do
- Change how we are feeling by gentle exercise, putting on music, eating a little healthier, sleeping a little better, being a little kinder to ourselves and others.
The group have really valued these simple to follow sessions, opening up and sharing experiences in the safe, non judgemental space we have created together.
They say that their families and loved ones are seeing a difference in them too.
As well as talking about difficult things, there is a LOT of laughter and joy in the group, never more so than when Sharon Miller of Joy Works joined us on Wednesday 20th February for the first in a short set of sessions using laughter games to build confidence and deal with stress.
Judging by the tears of laughter in the room as we played silly games, it did its job.