Our world and our people have been through so many major, and at times catastrophic changes in the last few years, that anxiety has become the ‘new normal’.
From pandemics to unprecedented floods, catastrophic fires, droughts, lockdowns, and the latest… the Ukraine war. This has given rise to anxiety in epic proportions. No-one really knows what will happen next, and that leaves us with little foundations to build on, and a gnawing fear deep in the pit of our gut that we may not be safe.
Anxiety is created when a fear from past experiences is projected into the future. The good news is… the future isn’t here yet, so lay down your guns… and just breathe. We may not be able to change what’s going on in the world, so let go of what we cannot control, and let’s focus on what we can!
We can change where we put our focus, so instead of watching the news; switch off your TV and only watch uplifting programs. For example: Gaia TV, search YouTube for inspiring movies, or watch some Dr Joe Dispenza to speak to your soul and begin rewiring your brain. Instead of sharing the gloom and doom posts on social media, unfollow those people and share what makes you happy, share what makes your heart sing, share inspiring stories, for there are many! Be the change. Where we put our focus, grows. So, let’s focus on what we CAN do.
Here’s some mind-hacks to deal with anxiety:
• If you feel a panic/anxiety attack coming on, begin counting out of sequence. The brain cannot hold panic and count out of sequence simultaneously. Eg: 749 531 8 6.
• Hum. The brain cannot hum and hold anxiety at the same time, as humming occupies all parts of the brain.
• Focus on following your breath coming into your body, to the count of 7, all the way down to your toes, hold for 5, and back up again as you breathe out to the count of 8 (the extended-out breath is the most important).
If you feel anxiety when going out or a big event that triggers your anxiety is approaching… or God forbid, you have to socialise… eeek! Here’s a brief, but powerful exercise you can do:
• Anxiety can only travel in one direction so close your eyes, and imagine a situation that would normally trigger anxiety. Feel the direction it is travelling (always upwards), now feel where it lands. Usually in your chest, stomach, throat etc. Now where it lands, imagine you have a big handle attached to a cord that you can pull out, and pull out the handle, turn it around so it faces downward, push the handle back in and with your hands, push it the rest of the way down and out.
With daily practise you’ll become more and more conscious and within the present moment, because you are creating a ‘safe space’ for the child who experienced the trauma.
Kaz Field Anderson is a Trainer in Transpersonal Psychotherapy, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Trauma & Clinical Resource Therapy at Hypnotherapy Training Australia.