5 ways to beat anxiety

A number of clients I work with deal with issues around anxiety. Certain situations, ideas, people, and emotions can put them in an uneasy place. There are a number of ways to bring yourself back to center when you are feeling anxious.  However, time and time again, I find that one of the most direct, easy, natural,  and cost-effective approaches involves your 5 senses.  It sounds easy enough AND it is.  Let’s say one might be feeling a great deal of stress over a new work environment. It takes a lot of energy and strength to take on a situation where you are the new person. Hence, you want to really be focused and at your best when you interact with the new co-workers. You feel your heart race, your mind starts thinking of worse case scenarios, and you feel your palms begin to sweat.   Is the perfect time to find some clarity within reality around you.

Often we create a situation in our head along with words, emotions, and intent. Very rarely do any of these things relate back to reality but it doesn’t matter, the brain processes the response. It is a good thing to bring the mind back to a place where it can handle the information being brought into the system (aka: reality check). When you have the sense that you can come back to what is real, stop the chaotic thoughts, and bring your emotions back to center… one realizes very quickly that being able to handle anxiety provoking situations is much easier than expected.

Here is how it works …. you feel spinning thoughts/emotions

and then you stop and focus on each of your 5 senses

Ask yourself a question about each and then answer it.

Example:

Close your eyes and take a deep breath  in and out…

What do I smell around me right now? Answer.

take a deep breath in and out

What do I hear around me in this very moment? Answer.

take a deep breath in and out

What do I taste right now?

take a deep breath in and out

What do I feel physically in this spot? Answer.

take a deep breath in and out

Open your eyes:

What do I see around me in this instant? Answer

take a deep breath in and out

And you are done!

You can answer as quickly as you want with as many or few answers as you like out loud or in your head. None of the details matter, all you are looking to do is stop the regular process of how your mind/body interrupts the current data. The idea is that what fires together wires together… if you have wired in that these ideas, actions, and emotions are anxiety producing then your brain will react as you have taught it. Hence now you are teaching it a new ways.  It might feel a bit mechanistic at first but you are strengthening a connection that you haven’t had for a while. That connection is to allow your mind and body to take in information and to process it in a calmer way. So the moment you start the 5 senses experience you have already shifted the brain’s response. You are already succeeding and it is impossible to feel the same level of anxiety as your brain is working in a different way than it had before.

This approach works! It is getting yourself to do it … and you pretty much have no excuse… you can do it anywhere with anyone else around and it is totally free. Give it a try and see how it goes. Enjoy having less anxiety! Think of what you will do with all that time and energy now… time to live life!

 

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