If this sounds familiar to you, please read on because, I’m going to provide you with some extremely quick, easy and most importantly, effective techniques to help you take control of your thoughts and the associated, unpleasant feelings and emotions that they are currently creating for you.
The pressure to be jolly!
There are an increasing number of people – adults and children – whose anxiety, fear and stress levels just soar at this time of year. The pressure that’s added is unbearable and made all the worse because we are constantly bombarded with messages such as “tiz the season to be jolly”. Parties, gatherings, social events are in abundance and the expectation is that we should go, we should be happy, we should be mingling and demonstrating how happy we are because if we don’t we are considered a “Grinch”, bah humbug, Scrooge. Pressure adding to the anxious, stressful thoughts which produce the emotions and feelings that can range from rapid breathing, increased heart rate, excessive sweating, blurred vision, queasiness and even vomiting or fainting.
What causes anxiety?
Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense, stressed or afraid – when our thoughts are focussed on things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen.
You are not alone. You are not broken. Your mind and your body are behaving naturally, exactly as they are programmed because anxiety is a natural human response when we feel that we are under threat.
Thoughts create Feelings
Our mind and body work in unison and we have ways to help protect ourselves from danger, when we are under threat. When we have thoughts that are focussed on worries, fears, stress – under threat – our bodies react by releasing certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol which can help us should we actually be under threat.
- make us feel more alert, so we can act faster.
- they make our hearts beat faster, quickly sending blood to where it is needed most – maybe our limbs so we can either “fight” or take “flight”.
This is something that happens automatically in our bodies and we have no control over it!
What can I do to prevent the anxious feelings?
There are many things you can do to help alleviate anxiety, stress and overwhelm but if your thoughts and feelings are excessive and adversely affecting your life, you should seek further help and input. As an EMDR practitioner and qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, I’d be happy to chat and discuss appropriate therapy.
However, for some immediate relief, the following are effective, distraction techniques. Practice them regularly and notice the positive effect.
You need to become present, in the here and now. You need to become aware of your thoughts. You need to distract your mind and focus.
Ideally and where possible, gently close down your eyelids – this action closes out distractions around you and is an ideal way to start focussing internally, however, if it is not possible just follow:
Take a deep breath in and mentally count to 6.
Hold your breath and mentally count to 4.
Exhale and mentally count to 8.
Continue this rhythm for at least 12 times.
As you breathe in, feel your tummy expanding, your lungs filling with pure, white, refreshing air, your shoulders lowering and easing. Maybe imagine feelings of calm, peaceful relaxation entering your body alongside the clean fresh air.
As you exhale, imagine breathing out stale, old, used air. Maybe imagine, mixed in with the stale air is any tension, worries and concerns, notice as these feelings are expelled from your body.
Just imagine this cycle of breathing in calm, peaceful relaxation and breathing out tension, worries and concerns and allow this to smoothly, easily and effortless continue…
Using your finger press on your right nostril. Keeping pressure on this nostril, take a deep breath in through the left nostril and hold till the count of 4.
Swap over and place your finger on the left nostril, press on it and exhale through the right nostril.
Then keeping your finger on the left nostril, take a deep breath in through the right nostril and hold it as above. Move finger from left nostril to the right nostril and press it closed and then breath out through the left nostril and repeat as above.
Breathing in through right nostril
Breathing out through left nostril
Breathing in through left nostril
Breathing out through right nostril
Do this 12 times on each nostril
Keep repeating this process until you feel calm.
Perhaps, as you allow your breathing to resume it’s natural rhythm, you could test yourself.
Starting with A, work through the alphabet to Z, coming up with:
- a girls name,
- a town name,
- a country,
- a football team
- choose a topic of your own that you love spending time thinking about
A recent client came to me because at 22 she was finding her world getting smaller and smaller as the anxiety she was experiencing was preventing her from doing “what most people would consider normal family or social events” Now she says:
“Truly life changing! Moira has really helped me to unlock the parts of me that were holding me back and I am starting to live a much more positive, happier and more meaningful life”.
Free recording to help your inner peace
I’ve created a 20-minute, calming, peaceful recording to help you rest and relax and maybe even drift and float into sleep if that’s what you choose.
- The recording is best listened to through headphones.
- Do not listen if you are driving or operating machinery or walking.
- To gain maximum benefit, find yourself a cosy, comfortable place where you will not be disturbed.
- Allow yourself to enjoy and benefit from this special time that you have given to yourself, just for you.
- You deserve it!
You can either listen on the player below or for a downloadable copy you can take with you wherever you go, just drop me a message through my contact form with the subject “Calm & Peaceful Recording” and I shall email it to you asap. Why wouldn’t you?