In these times of economic uncertainty people are becoming more and more stressed and anxious about their financial future. Whilst a certain level of stress can actually help motivate us and keep us on our toes, prolonged stress can have the opposite effect. Prolonged stress can seriously impact your health, and reduce your resourcefulness, effectiveness, performance and decision making abilities. Therefore learning a simple way to quickly re-balance and re-focus your mind and body on a regular daily basis can have profoundly positive effects. The process below may also be helpful as a way to prepare for and manage interview anxiety, public speaking phobia, social anxiety and more generalised anxiety.
Anxiety Reduction Process
Here is a simple but very effective process, which comes from a blend of ideas from NLP,meditation, and HeartMath. When repeated regularly, it can help you to feel much more emotionally balanced, less anxious and can improve your mental clarity.
Practice the process regularly for at least 5 – 10 minutes at a time. It is also a particularly useful thing to do before stressful events like meetings, presentations or interviews, or use it any time you just want to feel calmer. Practice at least once a day for several weeks or more, and remember, you are learning a new skill so be patient with yourself, the more you practice the easier it will become.
Place your attention on the centre of your chest.
Continue to hold your attention on the area around your chest and imagine you are breathing in and out through that area.
Breathe as deeply as feels comfortable. It should never feel forced or overextended. Allow your breathing rate to gently slow and deepen, until you are comfortably breathing in and out to a count of 5 or 6. Continue this until the breathing feels smooth and natural. Once you’ve achieved a smooth and natural breathing rhythm you can go to the next step.
3. Reimagine Good Feelings
Recall when you felt a really positive feeling or attitude. For example, a sense of loving someone or feeling loved, a sense of confidence, a favourite place, or activity you enjoy, a happy memory, feelings of appreciation. Allow yourself to become fully immersed in this feeling or attitude. Make the mental images bigger, brighter, and closer. Turn up any sounds. Intensify any pleasant physical sensations and allow them to spread through you and around you. Really give yourself As you hold the positive feelings, continue the breathing and focus from the first steps.
4. Carry those good feelings into other areas of your life
Allow the positive feelings from the previous step to continue to intensify and spread through and around you. Imagine these feelings forming a bubble around you, with you at the centre of it, looking out through it as you perceive the world around you. Imagine looking out through your bubble of positive feelings as you experience the anxieties and stresses in your life. You may also want to imagine looking out of your positive bubble as you imagine going through the day ahead. As you hold the positive feelings, remember to continue the breathing and focus from the first steps.
Read more about his treatment for anxiety in Manchester here.
Integrative Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Life Coach, and NLP Master Practitioner
Manchester Psychotherapy, Counselling and Life Coaching clinic.