It’s suddenly turned freezing cold here in North Cumbria. It’s bright, sunny and beautiful, but chuffing freezing.
Once it’s dark, you can see thousands of stars, its bloody beautiful. But, when you’re out in the garden in your dressing gown at 3am, as I am most nights at the moment, thanks to a new puppy shaped addition to our family, it really gets your teeth chattering!
Whenever that happens to me, I remember something that a friend told me a long time ago – we we’re by the swings looking at the stars one freezing night (I don’t remember what we were doing in the local park in the dark, probably secret smoking, sorry mum!) and we were both shivering. He told me that if you just take a deep breath and focus on how warm you are inside your coat, the shivering stops. It’s true, it does. Only for a few seconds, but your whole body calms down, and it feels very peaceful.
But why am I telling you that like I’m a food blogger giving you a life story before telling you how to mash potatoes – it’s because you can do just the same thing with the thoughts and sensations of anxiety.
Even if your whole body is shaking and your thoughts are running wild, if you take a deep breath and think how safe you are in that exact moment, your thoughts and body calm right down, and it feels very peaceful.
It’s not a one-time fix
It might only last for a few seconds like it does with the cold. But you can repeat it as often and as quickly as necessary. There’s no maximum dosage for this intervention!
If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, or if you’ve been dealing with anxiety for a while, you’ll be familiar with the rational part of your mind taking a back seat while you’re spinning in anxiety. By creating this pause you may just give yourself the space some rational thinking to come back in and that could be all that is required to stop you spiraling in that moment.
Anxious thoughts are busy telling you that you’re not safe, but if you just consider the moment you’re in, and the next 5 seconds or so, you can see that you are physically safe. (If you’re genuinely NOT safe, then you are not having anxious thoughts, you are in a situation and are coming up with solutions.)
The brain is hard wired to assume that, when in doubt, think danger. It used to stop us getting eaten by bears. It got passed down in our DNA. (Those who didn’t assume the worse got eaten, and that’s a big barrier to passing on your genes.) But there aren’t so many bears around now. So when those anxious thoughts start flying, take a deep breath, take a look around, and notice that you are safe.
Anxiety affects everyone in different ways. Whether its general anxiety, phobias, addictions, habits, weight issues or anything else you do it your own way. So, it stands to reason that the solution should be as individual as you are. I use a range of techniques, such as Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy, Life Coaching, EFT, Reiki and many other tools I’ve picked up along the way to work with YOU to find the best fit. We can work online from the comfort of your own home, or you can arrange to come to my private therapy room near Carlisle, Cumbria.