When I was younger, my mother would put little green stickers around the house – whenever we spotted a little green sticker, we would remember to take one deep breath, and come back to the present moment. She called it “dropping an anchor.” At the time I was a tiny wound-up ball of worry and fear and this simple grounding exercise helped me (and probably my mum too) manage the ever-spiralling thoughts. Over time it became easier to do this without the little green sticker reminder, and now I ‘drop an anchor’ whenever I notice my thoughts trying to carry me away. DOT does something very similar, in the form of a fun, pocket sized, brightly coloured book.
Originally created for a 10-year-old struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, DOT is written in a warm, comforting tone that’s so easy to follow it can help anyone take a mindful moment and come back to the present. You can breeze through this book in a few minutes or sit with it mindfully for as long as you like. Yes, a myriad of smartphone apps out there might do a similar job, but there’s something about physically holding this book in your hands, slowly tuning each page, that lets you stay connected to the here and now.
And there’s a little story to DOT. It has a rhythm, rhyme and meter that fills the pages with a gentleness and familiarity reminiscent of being read to as a child. In the busyness of everyday, amongst the worry and the fear, DOT becomes a friend, a guide, a companion, a deep breath and an anchor to the present. Highly recommend.
Reviewed by Ana Bogdanovic, Enquiry Services Co-ordinator, Mental Health Foundation