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Anxiety/Stress/Worry Techniques

 

Below are some very powerful techniques to help you with any anxiety/stress/worry that you may be experiencing. This section will be added to regularly. If you have a technique that may help please do get in touch : breathe@omgom.com

 

 

A.W.A.R.E Model for Coping with Anxiety ( and panic attacks)

 

A = Accept

W = Watch

A = Act normally and carry on

R  = Repeat cycle

E = Expect the best

 

So the ‘A’ in aware stands for ‘Accept the anxiety'. Decide just to go with the experience. Fighting anxiety, getting angry or scared just fuels the fire. Although it can be frustrating, there is nothing to be afraid of.

The ‘W’ in aware is for ‘Watch the anxiety’ Observe it without judging it to be good or bad. Remember - you are far more than just your anxiety.

The next ‘A’ in ‘aware is for ‘Act normal’. Behave normally and continue doing what you intended to do. Breathe normally focusing on extending the out breath. If you run from the situation your immediate anxiety will of course decrease but this may lead to an increase in future anxiety.

Staying in the situation helps ‘decondition’ the panic response as your mind gets the message that it is not really threatening. This is why people often say that the first few minutes of public speaking are the worst. If you continue for longer than a few minutes then the mind gets the message that it’s not really that threatening.

The ‘R’ in ‘aware’ is for ‘Repeat the steps’. Continue accepting your anxiety, watching it and acting normal until it goes down to a comfortable level. This will take practice to get better, so remember to repeat the steps.

And finally the ‘E’ in ‘aware’ is for ‘Expect the best’. What you fear may never happen. You will surprise yourself by the effective way you handle situations when using the ‘AWARE’ technique.

Of course, getting rid of all anxiety is not desirable, or even possible, but getting rid of panic attacks is.

 

 

 

Worry Time

If you find you worry a lot, use the following technique to help you reduce your time spent worrying. You are going to condense it into a short space of time, freeing up the rest of your day for helpful thinking! This may feel strange at first but keep with it. It is one of the most powerful techniques I use with my clients to help them free up a huge amount of their energy and time.

  1. Schedule worry time each day for one week.  Put it in your diary.  Start by setting aside 15-30 minutes during in either the morning/afternoon/early evening.  This will be your worry time.  It’s best not to do worry time right before you go to bed!

  2. During that 15-30 minute time slot, write down all of your worries that you can think of.  You’re not expected to find solutions to all of your worries but if you can solve any then great.

  3. Writing the worrisome thoughts down can be incredibly therapeutic in itself, it gets it out of your mind and on to paper. That act alone can be effective in relieving any worries.

  4. Between worry times: if you start to worry ( which you will at first), tell yourself to let go of those thoughts until the next designated worry period. You can write any worries on a post it note or in a diary to save until your specified Worry Time. This is very important. This is where you get the good kind of control back by stopping and delaying those worrying thoughts.  This may feel hard at first but commit to save all of your worries until Worry Time.

There is no perfect way to do this exercise. Set your intention  to stick to your designated Worry Time and do your best. This isn’t an exercise in giving ourselves a hard time for doing something incorrectly.

  1. At the end of the week, take a few minutes to look at what you wrote down over the course of that week.  What are your main worries? Are there any patterns? 

  2. After doing this for one week, try it again for another week. You may naturally find that your allotted time slot for worrying needs to decrease.  Regularly with my clients they start at 30 minutes and then by the end of week two their allotted slot reduces to around 5 minutes a day.  You’ll notice that your ability increases as to how much/where and when you worry.  You get the control (the good helpful kind) over how often you worry, freeing up all that extra time and energy!