These suggestions were originally designed for Generalised Anxiety, Panic Disorder (with or with agoraphobia), Social Phobia, and Simple Phobia. I think it may also play a role in helping ease depressive states...
The key word is ALLOW
. The goal is to develope a coping strategy that allows us to deal with unwelcome circumstances.
- Our Inner Dialogue
A Talk = Anxiety Self-Talk
B Talk = Rational Self-Talk
A Talk - "What's wrong with me. Why am I so anxious."
B Talk - "I am having anxiety. I am going to let this happen and relax as much as I can. It'll soon be over and I'll feel better."
Learn to listen to the A Talk, and understand that A Talk is is only a thought and NOT an actual event. It's alright to have these feelings.
Understand that you may have these feelings for a while, and that it's 'okay' to feel this way. Give yourself permission to have this problem, and realise that 'you are not alone, everyone has problems now and then.'
A Talk - "Why am I feeling this way? I shouldn't have these feelings!"
B Talk - "It's okay to feel this way."
- Allow the feelings:
Accept them. Know that you will feel better soon. Give yourself permission to have these feelings, and know that they are only 'feelings.'
A Talk - "I've got to stop having these feelings."
B Talk - "I am safe. These are only feelings."
- Slowing down:
Focus on the moment. Remind yourself to slow down. Visualize yourself moving in slow motion. Embrace the fear.
A Talk - "I must leave quickly. I cannot let anyone see me like this."
B Talk - "I am slowing down so I can have more time to think rational. It's okay to slow down, it helps me."
- Letting go of control:
A Talk - "I must stay in control."
B Talk - "I'm okay with whatever happens."
B Talk - "I allow myself to let go of control."
The best way to control emotions is not to control them at all. Let it happen. Understand that it's okay to feel anxious.
- Taking Risks:
Risk taking is part of recovery. Give yourself options. It's okay if you do not go through the risk, and risk taking does not have to be performed perfectly if you do. Ask a friend to help you at first for support if you think it'll help, then try by yourself when you gather more confidence.
A Talk - "I'm not going out, that way I don't have to deal with anxiety."
B Talk - "It's okay to leave. I'll try it. And if things get out of control I know I don't have to stay in a difficult situation, so I can leave."
- Allowing Catastrophic Thoughts:
Know that everyone has catastrophic thoughts now and then. We do not have to do anything about them. The only time they may may not be good is if you see them as not good.
A Talk - "What if I get anxious while I'm driving. Then I'll increase my probability of causing an accident."
B Talk - "This is 'only' a thought of causing an accident. Such thoughts are normal. And besides, I can pull over if I feel anxious."
I'm so excited to start my using these techniques.
Now, I actually want anxiety - that's funny!