Train the mind

Anxiety is not the same as fear, but they are often used interchangeably
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There are many definitions of anxiety. American Psychological association defines “Anxiety as an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts.

People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness, or a rapid heartbeat.

Anxiety is not the same as fear, but they are often used interchangeably. Anxiety is considered a future-oriented, long-acting response broadly focused on a diffuse threat, whereas fear is an appropriate, present-oriented, and short-lived response to a clearly identifiable and specific threat”.

That was about definition but in this article I am concentrating on ways to slowly defeat anxiety, and make patients realize that anxiety is something outside our body which should not define us. I hope it helps patients as well as budding psychologists. I also request patients to always visit a counselor and psychiatrist near to them.

But I begin with one statement- We cannot stop thinking, it is like saying I can stop the flow of air. But yes I can change my thought pattern, if I think of some past traumatic event, I should tell myself that traumatic event happened for example in year 2000, now it is 2022. I should concentrate on lessons learnt from past events rather than living in past.

Panic attacks are common and must be diagnosed only after ruling out all other physical causes meticulously.

Instead of saying I will never have a panic attack or anxiety , let us command and train our mind to following affirmation.

“firstly, panic or anxiety attack will not come, but if it comes I will manage it, as I am stronger than my anxiety, I can manage all “.

Many patients avoid social gatherings, or talking in class when teacher asks them any question.

For such patients I will say relax and do following exercise daily 4 times a day.

First, do breathing exercise for 5 minutes. Then think you are making a short movie on how you leave your home till you reach the place where social gathering is held. Think how will you dress, how will you reach that social gathering - by foot, in bus, think about all. Lastly, think when you reach that place, who will be the people there, people on gate, inside, your friends, strangers. Imagine that you reach that gathering and all goes well, no heart palpitations, no sweats, all goes fine. Think and imagine your trip ends on a positive note. Instead of imagining you can write all on a copy, it also helps.

Try the 5–4–3–2–1 method — -to reduce anxiety.

Working backward from 5, use your senses to list things around you. For example, you could start with 5 things you see, then 4 things you hear, then 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell and one thing you can taste.
While you do this, anxiety will reduce a lot, you can repeat it again.

Grounding Techniques:

If you are sitting on a chair, press your body against floor. You can begin with pressing your feet against floor, then hands against chair you are sitting,;this way all possible body parts need to be pressed against chair.

Pick up or touch items near you.

Take a short walk singing or walking in zig zag pattern. You can also savour a scent. Some students or employees will be afraid to sit in examinations or meet boss for meetings or any such event but remember by sitting at home and not going for exams, or meeting, you have zero per cent of passing. But by going to give exam you have 50 per cent of passing or meeting ending on a successful note. And we all know 50 per cent is better than 0 per cent any day.

Visualization

In this type of visualization you think again of positive outcomes of any event especially which troubles you. Instead of thinking I will fail in interview think of being successful on daily basis, slowly anxiety will be replaced with confidence.

Exposure therapy

Make a list. Make a list of situations, places or objects that you fear. Build a Fear Ladder. Once you have made a list, arrange things from the least scary to the most scary. Face fears starting with the situation that causes the least anxiety.

Visualization

In this type of visualization you think again of positive outcomes of any event especially which troubles you. Instead of thinking I will fail in interview think of being successful on daily basis, slowly anxiety will be replaced with confidence.

Exposure therapy

Make a list. Make a list of situations, places or objects that you fear. Build a Fear Ladder. Once you have made a list, arrange things from the least scary to the most scary. Face fears starting with the situation that causes the least anxiety.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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