Bad days and bad moods are a normal and healthy part of the human experience but feeling depressed or anxious is never pleasant. It doesn’t help that our brains are hardwired to focus on negative thoughts, and that sex workers mental health and adult service providers in the Adult Entertainment industry are equally prone to mental health issues in the workplace – but probably the least supported when it comes to dealing with them.
We’re normal people after all, as human as our neighbours, and our legitimate small business set up means we rely on customers and booking to survive just as much as the next person. In fact 2020 and the Coronavirus pandemic hit this industry hard and as we’ve had to pivot alongside the rest of the world to stay afloat during these challenging times, mental health has become an issue that Cherrydtv looks forward to shining a light on as we uplift our peers in he industry.
Negative thinking can result in negative thinking habits, and this continued behaviour can change our perceptions and realities if it isn’t nipped in the bud.
Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy and a branch of clinical behavior analysis. It uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed with commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.
We recommend it because it’s great for dealing with workplace stress and social anxiety and therefore potentially a great fit for the Cherrydtv community. The theory is that, unlike some other cognitive behavioural therapy techniques that try to control negative thoughts, we should instead notice, accept and refocus on the present. Because when we stop fighting emotional pain from past experiences and focus on what’s important to us right now, we ultimately feel less pain.
Our advice is to acknowledge negative thoughts when they arise. Don’t ignore them, instead sit with then them, and then set them free – with these three simple exercises: This is specially for sex workers mental health
- Let your negative thoughts flow. Think of them like a river washing over you with ease, instead of getting caught up on the usual obstacles of anxiety and overthinking. Bypass these behavioural patterns, feel the negative feeling, relax into the negative thought, acknowledge it can’t hurt you, float past it and onto focusing on something unrelated and infinitely more positive.
- Meditate ten minutes a day. It’s the key to staying present, increasing self awareness and reducing negative thoughts. We LOVE Headspace for its short exercises, portability, and focus on mindfulness and anxiety relief.
- Practice self-love. Or as it’s more often referred to now: self compassion. We say this because it’s so important to not let negative thoughts impact our sense of self, and our sense of self worth. Think of it as the psychological equivalent of a core strengthening exercise that trains our minds to slow the spread of negative thoughts and allow more positive thoughts and feelings to flow.
By accepting negative emotions we free up mental energy that we can put to much better use focusing on more important aspects of our lives. It’s a theory that makes sense, because beating ourselves up about feeling down clearly adds to the ever increasing pile of negativity we are already coping with, and these the first steps on a psycho spiral staircase towards feeling even more deeply depressed.
But the less attention we give to our negative thoughts and feelings, the less impact they have on our ‘sense of self’ – and how we engage with the world around us.