Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity

The five step self-holding exercise for self-regulation of anxiety, PTSD, and mental health 

An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

It is Mental Health Awareness Week …. But mental health issues can be lifelong. If only they were just for a week!!

And what does the word “awareness” even mean?! It is an empty nod for 1 week to what is now the new pandemic for so many people.

It should be renamed Mental Health Education Week, and this is what I want to share this week.

Here in the UK, we have the hugest suicide rate in the world.

Pre Covid the statistics were that if you are autistic or have another type of neurodivergence, you would be 2-6x as likely to pick up a mental health illness than someone who is neurotypical. I wonder what on Earth the figures are now??

Fifty percent of mental health illness is laid down before the age of fourteen and 75% before the age of twenty-four.

So, let us literally take this in hand.

This week’s video shows a 5-step self-holding exercise that absolutely anyone can do to help self-regulate mental health illnesses such as anxiety, PTSD, and depression.

After just 20 seconds of touch, it is now neuroscientifically proven that the neurotransmitter oxytocin is released. This stimulates that feeling of love and nurture as well as opening up our emotional intelligence so we can think clearly, read and process faces and situations, improve our social cognition, have empathy and compassion.

It is also very empowering to self-regulate, to take charge and have the tools to manage the not-so-good days. For those who are touch averse, by putting them in control of the touch stimulates trust and openness. THEY are in charge of that touch and pressure.

You can also use these simple holding techniques on each other on a friends and family basis or get your classrooms of students to do it for themselves if you are a teacher.

If you are a therapist, please feel free to use these simple holding techniques as part of your sessions.

Take care everyone.

Look after and out for each other.

Look after yourselves too so that you are not pouring from an empty cup.

And most of all Be Kind to everyone you meet because we all carry journeys and stories inside us.

See you next week.

Love, Giuliana xx

The five step self-holding exercise for self-regulation
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Mental Health and wellbeing CampaignThe five step self-holding exercise for self-regulation