Updated: Aug 5, 2018
These anxiety controls have turned my life around.
Over the past 30 years, I have been managing my anxiety and depression with different degrees of success. Now this year I have really turned myself around with support and more specifically some great control strategies and techniques.
JFDI - Just F-ing Do It...
This is a really great piece of advice and one that you have to sometimes trick the brain. When anxiety or the negative monster creeps in it can stop us right in our tracks and prevents us from taking steps or actions. The monster will say things like 'you can't do that', 'you're good enough', 'no one wants to hear what you have to say' or 'they are all laughing at you'. The more these thoughts creep in the stronger they get and the less likely you will take action.
The JFDI approach is using a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown and takes immediate action. You have to actually countdown from 5 out loud or in your head and then take the action, decision, move, talk or whatever straightaway before the brain thinks.
The moment the brain thinks it starts to work at protecting you - this includes giving you negative thoughts to stop you from taking a 'risk'.
I've been using this a lot since starting Rotundus and it has opened more doors and opportunities than ever because my brain hasn't kicked in with negative thoughts and prevented me from speaking, engaging and just taking action.
We also know that there are loads of things that will be playing on our mind - money, work, relationships etc...but the more we worry about them the bigger the monster gets as well. So just taking action even a small one is a victory for success. These successes will build up step by step, day by day and before you know it what was worrying you has gone.
Reward your success
Those who suffer from anxiety like to beat themselves up for not achieve maybe what they wanted to in that moment or day. For example, you may set yourself a goal of getting up early in the morning and getting ready for work - but your anxiety about going to work gets in the way. You stay in bed, 5 minutes more, just 5 more minutes, last time 5 more minutes. You then start to beat yourself up for not getting up or achieving what you think others are doing.
Instead of setting a goal to get up early - maybe just celebrate that you got up and didn't stay in bed. That is an achievement and you should reward yourself by not beating yourself up. Then keep celebrating and rewarding yourself with positivity - it is about what you did do and not what you didn't do.
Combing JFDI and rewarding your success is powerful - no time to overthink and celebrating positivity no matter what the outcome as it is a step forward.
Moving your focus
The brain basically can't talk and listen at the same time - meaning your brain can't talk to you and listen to you back. You talking back to the brain is your conscious part - so when the negative thoughts come in (the unconscious) elements you need to use your conscious to drown out the noise.
I personally focus upon my senses especially touch - for me, I rub my thumb and index fingertips together. As I am rubbing them together I focus upon the bumps, ridges and softness. However, as I do this the brain will try and go back to the unconscious negative thoughts - you will then have to refocus even more. At first, it may take 5-10 minutes of concentration to reduce the anxiety and negative thoughts.
It is recommended that you also focus upon your breathing at this point feeling it fully coming in all the way to the bottom of your feet and then all the way out.
The more you do this the easier and quicker it can become to overcome the anxiety and thoughts.
Often these thoughts come in just as you go to bed and keep awake for hours until you pass out. The racing around of thoughts over and over again is a killer - eventually, the sleepless nights will display in anger, aggression and irritability with others.
I personally found listening to guided sleep meditation with sleep headphones on as a great way of focusing my thoughts to sleep.
There are 100's of guided sleep tracks on YouTube varying in length and style. My personal choice was rain based tracks lasting about 1 hour - more often than not I was asleep within 30-40 minutes. YouTube Guided Sleep Meditation - Rain
The headphones I used I got from Amazon and are designed for sleeping in - they have a headband with flat speakers in the band and an extra long wire to prevent entanglement. I would play the track, place my phone on the floor face down with the wire going under me.
Sometimes I would wake up, take off the headphones and fall straight to sleep.
Using all three of these techniques together I have found brilliant for coping with my anxiety and negative thoughts.
They are just a few of the techniques that I have been using over the past 8 months and my suicide ideation have reduced massively and I've not had any for the past 3 months. My aggression, anxiety and depression are very much under control and nothing is creeping in that I can't redirect and manage.
What works for one doesn't always work for another - but ultimately it is down to the individual to decide, make a choice and control the things you can control to make what you choose to work.
We are now working with Choices Education Ltd to deliver workshop sessions to help others with Understanding Anxiety & The Unconscious Mind with 4 brilliant coping techniques in the most simple and easy manner in just 2-3 hours.
We have an number of workshops coming up over the next few weeks at our offices in Tredegar. Click here for Rotundus Events.