“I want to get rid of my stress right away!”
Many people feel that way, but don’t know how to handle it, struggling through the daily stress. If stress from negative emotions such as irritation and anxiety are left untreated, it can eventually cause a serious stress reaction in the body and mind. In some cases, it might lead to mental illnesses such as depression. To prevent this from happening, it is important to eliminate the stress as soon as possible when you feel it. This article will introduce you to a stress care technique that has been scientifically proven to have a positive effect on mental health, and is easy to implement. It’s called the “mindbus” technique.
An Imaginary Bus will Take Away your Stress
The “mindbus” is a common technique used in mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapies. It helps alleviate the stress that comes from the situation of having to suppress one’s own needs. If you’re interested in finding out more about mindfulness, check out the article below.
The mindbus technique is very simple to practice, and it is a method of stress-care that can be completed with no special environment or tools, just your own imagination. For example, if you’re on a diet and think, “I want to eat something sweet!” or if you’re in the middle of work and think, “I want to play games!” These are the moments when you should try this technique.
The steps are as follows.
1. Visualize the craving in your mind as clearly as possible. (If you’re trying to suppress your sweet tooth, visualize yourself eating those sweets.)
2. Put the concrete image of that craving on an imaginary bus.
3. After you let the imaginary bus run for a while, let the object of desire off at any bus stop.
That’s all it takes to relieve the stress of having to withhold any desire.
It may sound somewhat silly on paper, and it may seem hard to believe. However, a study from Swansea University in the United Kingdom found that the group using this technique had more self-control and less stress. The mindbus technique is a scientifically proven method of stress management.
Effective in Improving Efficiency of Work or Diets
Regardless of age or lifestyle, we are often in a position where we must withhold the desire to do something. Whether it be smoking, drinking, playing smartphone games, or cheating on your diet, there are many temptations that surround us in our daily lives. This creates the desires in us, which sometimes lead to serious addictions.
When your mind is controlled by your own cravings, you may find it difficult to get things done, and your work and daily life may be less efficient. “I want to lose weight but all I can think about is junk food…” or “I can’t concentrate on work because I can’t get my videogame out of my head…” These are times when you can use the “mindbus” to reduce your own cravings. Challenge yourself to be in control. Increased self-control may help you focus better, which may help you work more efficiently and accomplish tasks.
Since the mindbus is a technique for suppressing one’s own thoughts, it is also thought to be effective in suppressing negative thoughts, such as trauma, that one cannot forget even if one wants to. We have a mechanism in our thoughts called the paradoxical effect of thought suppression: the more we try not to think about it, the more we think about it. It is difficult for anyone to suppress negative thoughts and desires by their own will. By using the mindbus and taking steps to move away from negative thoughts, you may be able to naturally avoid thinking about things you don’t want to think about.
Throw Away Your Negative Thoughts and Turn to the Positive
The “mindbus technique” is meant to keep your own cravings and negative thoughts away from you. Try it out when you feel stressed out from having to put up with something in your daily life. The key to taking care of stress quickly is to have some form of stress relief on hand. Having a coping mechanism on standby, such as the mindbus technique, helps to keep your mental health in check. There are also many other stress-care techniques besides the mindbus technique that you can use easily. Knowing what works for you and getting into the habit of practicing them when you feel stressed is the key to living a healthy and comfortable life.
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If you’re looking for more tips on how to care for your mental health, check out some of our past blog posts!
Jenkins, K. T., & Tapper, K. (2014). Resisting chocolate temptation using a brief mindfulness strategy. British Journal of Health Psychology, 19(3), pp. 509-522