Never underestimate the power of distraction. Now distraction doesn’t mean, numbing out or avoidance. However, there is defiantly something to be said for getting your mind off of things. One reason I took up tarot was because I realized I had seen every episode of Law and Order: SVU and needed a hobby. I was very uncomfortable with boredom and it led me to be anxious or just check out of my life and into Olivia Benson’s. If you take up the study of tarot you will never be bored and could feasibly distract yourself for your entire lifetime.
Repair Damage to Imagination and Creativity
Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues not only cause us great suffering, but they physically change your brain. One part of the brain that can be severely impacted is the area associated with creativity, imagination and problem solving. This is concerning when you take into consideration that there has been much research to show that creativity is vital to personal happiness and well being and that when we are depressed or anxious we need problem solving skills to help us get better. My favorite aspect of tarot is that it is a creative catalyst like no other. Tarot can be used in many ways to jumpstart and sustain creativity. The evocative images, connection to archetype and myth make tarot fertile ground for creative pursuits. Simply using tarot for divination is a creative act. Using tarot in ways specifically designed to get your creativity flowing is a great way to repair and heal your brain.
Engaging The Senses
Using your senses is a great way to soothe yourself when you are anxious or triggered. Flooding your mind with sensory information distracts you from disturbing thoughts and helps your mind to exit fight or flight mode. Most tarot readers have a ritual which they perform to get into tarot mode. Mine consists of lighting incense (smell, is the most powerful sensory memory by the way), chanting, shuffling and looking at each card. This ritual alone has engaged four of my five senses. It takes me out of regular head space and allows me to enter a more relaxed state. Working with tarot daily will allow you the benefit of this relaxation time and you can use this ritual as a way to deescalate when you are anxious or upset even if you do not plan on working with your cards. When I am anxious I often just pull out the decks and start look through them. I am settled in no time.
We all know by now that mindfulness and meditation are wonderful for our mental health, especially among all the high tech shenanigans we deal with every day. Spending time with your tarot cards is not only decidedly low tech, but is a practice in being present and focused. Mediation can be hard for some people. Spending 30 minutes quietly reflecting on a pack of cards is not exactly meditation but the quiet, reflective time is still beneficial.
Tapping Into Intuition
When we are suffering we are often cut off from out intuition and our inner voice is hijacked by negative self-talk. Working with tarot regularly will help you maintain or rediscover this voice and learn to trust it. Your intuition is the place of your deepest knowing. It is a powerful guide which exists to help you live a happy life. Learning to listen and use you intuition is a valuable tool for tough times.
If you have used tarot as a self-care tool I would love to hear about it. Please be in touch.