For the past 9 months, I have been influenced by my therapist who has always said, “distract, don’t think.” My thinking (even though I thought I was doing the right thing by using cognitive-behavioral techniques)was actually making things worse. He told me to stop reading and analysing all those self-help books, and to work on a word puzzle or watch a movie instead. He also suggested that I surround myself with people as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for cognitive-behavioral techniques and mindfulness. But when I reach a point of disabling anxiety, it’s more beneficial for me to just distract myself.
I have found only one full-proof immediate solution to anxiety. And that is exercise. Wether thats running, waking or swimming.t doesn't matter what you do, as long as you get that heart of yours working hard. You don’t have to be training for a marathon to feel the antidepressant effect of exercise. Even picking the weeds and watering the flowers has been shown to boost moods. Aerobic exercise can be as effective at relieving mild and moderate depression as SSRI's.
3.Use visual anchors
My therapist told me that he looked up to the clouds.For me, it’s a candle. I don’t now why, but just staring at fire really calms me down. I also love staring at bonfires when I have the chance, as I love the feeling of warmth on my face and the beautiful colours of the flames. I gueess this is how I can justify my love for candles! If I don't have a candle handy, I downloaded an app called 'Virtual Candle' which calms me down when I start to feel anxious.
I don't know about you, but even just whacking on a funny film, programme or even Youtube video, immediately makes me feel better. Though, it does much more than relieving any crushing anxiety. It diminishes both physical and psychological pain and fights viruses and foreign cells,. You have no doubt experienced a moment when you were crippled by anxiety until someone made you laugh outloud, and in doing so anxiety lost its hold over you. Just another reason to laugh all the time, eh?