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Hitting Your Mental Reset Button

If you were to turn on the television and stumble upon a New York Yankees game, you may catch one of today’s biggest stars bending down to grab some dirt in the batter’s box, grinding it between his fingers, and throwing it away. To the average viewer, this quick routine will likely go unnoticed. However, for Aaron Judge this is an important ritual, helping him to clear his mind, forget about his negative thoughts, and focus on what is important to him – hitting the next pitch.

So, what does grabbing dirt and hitting a baseball have to do with helping us in our daily, non-baseball-playing, lives? Something that seems trivial because of its quickness and lack of familiarity is actually an important skill to practice. Think of Judge’s behavior as an example of a mental reset button. When our technological devices don’t work properly, or are functioning slowly, we know to reset them. The same idea can be applied to our brains when we get stuck or slowed down by anxiety and negative thoughts.

Find Your “Dirt”

The greatest part about this skill is that you get to choose what your reset button is, what it looks like, and how to press it. This empowers you to play a large part in developing your own mental health skills, and it also helps because you can choose something that means something to you individually. Maybe your reset button is listening to a favorite song. Maybe it’s giving your dog a scratch. Maybe it’s splashing some cold water on your face or smelling your favorite candle. Whatever you choose and whichever sensation your reset button accesses (smell, taste, feeling, view, or sound), what is important is that it brings you back to the present and helps you focus on what is important.

So, I encourage you to explore your surroundings and experiences and to find your “dirt.” Your first option may not be the one you stick with forever, and the effects may not take place immediately. At the Behavioral Wellness Group, we often talk about “neuroplasticity,” or the ability for our brains to make new neural pathways over time. More simply, and just like in baseball, practice helps us to make unsteady skills into more permanent ones. What may not come straightforwardly at first will become easier over time. Hitting your mental reset button can help you to regain your focus when you’re feeling a little distracted or out of control.

If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue, consider speaking with your primary care physician or reaching out to us at The Behavioral Wellness Group. To set up an appointment you can contact our front office staff at 440-392-2222 #1.

Cory Hersh, M.Ed.
Practicum Counselor

The Behavioral Wellness Group is a counseling center providing therapy and behavioral health services and assessment including chemical dependency/drug addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other therapies. We also provide mental health or psychological assessments, and psychological,educational and bariatric testing. Providing services to the following communities in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake County: Cleveland, Ashtabula, Beachwood, Chardon, Concord, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport, Geneva, Grand River, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Leroy, Lyndhurst, Madison, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Painesville, Pepper Pike, Perry, Russell, Solon, South Euclid, Thompson, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, and Willowick, from our offices in Mentor, Ohio.