DO you ever get the urge to do something, something that you later wish you hadn’t done? Perhaps you have an unwanted habit, that starts with an urge you don’t seem to be able to control. If so, then rest assured you are not the only one, it’s something I come across quite often as a therapist.

I’d like to tell you about a technique known as ‘Urge Surfing’. It is a mindfulness-based technique that can help you to ride out unwanted urges without giving in to them. It is based on the idea that urges are like waves, they will come and go, and they will eventually pass.

It is particularly helpful for people who may experience anxiety, it can help to manage stress, and it is useful in helping people to control their impulses. It can also help with concentration, which is useful if you are a student, or have a deadline for something you need to complete.

To urge surf, you first need to identify the urge. What are you feeling? What are you thinking? Where in your body do you feel the urge? Once you have identified the urge, you can begin to observe it without judgment. Notice how the urge feels in your body. How does it change over time?

It is important to resist the temptation to fight or suppress the urge. This will only make it stronger. Instead, allow the urge to be there. Just accept it without judgment.

As you observe the urge, you may notice that it starts to lose its power. It may not feel as strong or as urgent as it did at first. This is because you’re not giving it your attention, in other words, you’re not feeding it.

If the urge starts to get stronger, you can use some coping strategies to help you ride it out. These strategies might include things like, taking a few deep breaths, or distracting yourself with a task or activity. You may also find it useful to talk to a trusted friend or family member.

This is a really effective technique, so if it doesn’t work straight away, be patient. It takes time and practice to learn how to urge surf effectively. Remember, if you give in to an urge, don't beat yourself up. Just start again the next time you have an urge.

My aim with this column is to get conversations about mental health and well-being into the open, and to let you know about things happening across the area that can help people with their mental health. If you run any kind of support group in and around York, please get in touch

Please remember if you are in any kind of mental health crisis, go to your GP or A&E, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or text SHOUT to 85258