Anxiety is horrible, it gets out of control really quickly and then seems to take over everything. It can start out as feeling slightly overwhelmed about a forthcoming event. Maybe a meal out with people that you know. And each time you think of this, your chest gets tighter and tighter. But this is ridiculous, why am I feeling this way! Oh no, fingers are starting to tingle. Time is doing that strange thing of slowing down and speeding up at the same time. How the hell is that happening? Nothing is stable. I'm going to make a fool of myself, stutter and trip over my own tongue. If I can get words out at all - they are definitely not going to make any sense. God! I'm going to sweat so badly - my hands, top lip. That very obvious anxious rash on my neck is pretending to be a red light in Amsterdam.. I can't cope!!!
This may not be everyone's experience of but anxiety can quickly spiral out of control. Then it can creep into other areas of our lives. It breaches our boundaries. Leaking into areas that we were confident in, once. So we start to avoid those trigger points. We decline invitations. Stop doing certain things, going certain places or different places. Our life shrinks, we limit our experiences, because of the fantasy running in our head. The myths we've been told or believed in take hold - a tight grip.
But there's hope, there's always hope.
Here's 5 things that you can do instead, in no particular order...
- Don't Believe Everything You Think
- Right Here; Right Now
- Don't Think of a Purple Elephant
1. Don't Believe Everything You Think - you have many thoughts throughout the day, some will come and some will go, many will be presented without spell check or proof-reading. View them at arms length. Begin to apply critical thinking "What evidence do you have?"
2. Breathe - ok, so you do this throughout the day, everyday but do it now with your full attention. Do 4, 7, 11 breathing and notice what happens. Get a slowish beat and start to count; breathe in through your nose of the count of 4. At the same rate, breathe out through your mouth for the count of 7. Repeat 11 times. Really let your breathe fill your belly, so you use your diaphragm for this.
3. Right Here; Right Now - anxiety rarely lives in the here and now time frame; being on the future or the past. This exercise brings you back to the present. It goes like this 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. State 5 things that you can see: 4 things that you can hear; 3 things that you can feel/touch, 2 things that you can smell, 1 thing that you can taste.
4. Focus - what is it that you want to have happen in the next hour, 30 mins or 10 minutes. As energy flows where attention goes this gains control and focus. But remember to say it the way you want it!
5. HUGs - you know Satir's take on hugs and survival, this is really true and we can also offer comfort and security to ourselves by using this approach. Hold Until Gremlins Subside - HUGS.
Remember we are born to grow.
For further help please contact me at Sharon@sharonrooke.co.uk