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Improve lessons

I’ve been trying to find a good balance of how to deal with stressful situations without either ignoring it completely or exploding and panicking and not being able to act.
I recently learned IMPROVE which I find helpful and I know it may seem like standard steps to others, but it’s simple enough to remember.

I: imagery. Finding yourself in a stressful situation and then taking the time to take a deep breath and focus on relaxing your muscles. Focus on listening for relaxing sounds or imagining a safe place.

M: meaning. Am I learning anything about myself? How will this be different in the future? How much does this really matter?

P: practice. What can you do to make yourself feel more grounded and present in the world around you and gain perspective?

R: relaxation. Read a book, take a hot shower, listen to music. Take time for yourself every day.

O: one thing in the moment: our minds tend to run to the past to replay “see this is another mistake I’ve made to pile up on”. So ground yourself with one thing in the moment. It can be as silly as rolling around in the floor. Sit in the grass and pick it. Hum to yourself. Squeeze your hands together. Be present.

V: vacation. Not a literal pack your bags holiday, but take five minutes to do something you enjoy (which sounds similar to relaxation, but something more active). Say go for a walk, call a friend, do yoga. It’s a vacation from the situation your struggling with in the moment.

E: encouragement. Maybe you want to write them out for yourself to repeat or maybe you want to ask a friend to help encourage you. Whatever it is, keep encouraging yourself and really hearing the validation of others.


Absolutely LOVE this and saving it for myself. I love that it conveys different options that can speak to us differently and depending on how we really need at the moment. The balance to find between not panicking and not hiding completely is hard work. I’m witting right next to you on that learning process.

These are good reminders, especially when slowing down and taking care of ourselves is not an automatism yet. Especially when our mind is prone to catastrophizing too.

Thank you for sharing @Bimini. You’re a treasure. I hope things are going okay for you. :hrtlegolove:


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