Simple Exercise to Help with Anxiety, Panic, Fear, Anger and Overwhelm

This is a very effective exercise that helps to relax the mind by slowing your thoughts down and shifting – or diverting – your focus away from unpleasant internal struggles you may experience.

You are going to be using 3 senses:

1: Sight (peripheral vision)

2: Hearing

3: Touch

You can do the exercise speaking out loud or silently.

Do not worry if you find the exercise difficult at first, it will get easier with practice. It is the doing of it that is important – not being good at it. If you lose the thread at any point, just start again.

Here goes:

Sit or lie in a comfortable position and fix your gaze on a certain object in the room. Start by noticing what you can see in your peripheral vision.

Here is an example of what you might say to yourself:-

I can see –
My coffee mug on the table
The plant on the shelf
A magazine

I can hear –
Children’s voices
Raindrops on the window
A car driving past

I can feel –
My left forearm resting on the sofa cushion
The heel of my right foot pressing against the wooden slats of the table
Strands of my hair lightly resting on my shoulders

I can see –
A white armchair
A framed photograph on the wall
A brightly painted wooden chest on the floor

I can hear –
The whine of my neighbour’s vacuum cleaner downstairs
A car door slamming
The hum of the fridge

I can feel –
The silver bracelet on my wrist
My tongue touching the inside of my lower teeth
A light draft coming from an open window in the bedroom

I can see –
The headphones on the desk

I can hear –
My breathing

I can feel –
My left thumb touching my index finger.

(Continue as necessary)

This exercise takes a lot of concentration which is why it works so well. You might find it gets harder to find the words as you go on as your brain (and breathing) slows down and you feel yourself relaxing.

This is a portable exercise that you can do wherever you like such as in bed, in the car (as a passenger), on the train, in a quiet place at work etc. Do it whenever you feel you are struggling. It is especially effective if you are susceptible to panic attacks.

If the place you are doing the exercise is very quiet, you may have to repeat the same sounds but that is not a problem.

‘Feel’ is fascinating as you are not moving and will notice tiny sensations.

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4 thoughts on “Simple Exercise to Help with Anxiety, Panic, Fear, Anger and Overwhelm

  1. Thank you for your comments, and for sharing! I’m glad you found it helpful. The more you do it, the easier it will become so keep practising. You will be amazed by how quickly you’ll be able to diffuse how you’re feeling. Good luck 🙂

  2. Yup, I’m all about this kind of gradual approach to mindfulness and finding the centre. It can be agonizingly slow just calming down enough to be able to sit and focus (that’s my first hurdle!), but I’ve found such a technique as you describe very helpful — especially during those attacks I get immediately upon waking. Here’s a very verbose description of what I do when I need a *hug* (not a simple thing, when you have huge issues with personal proximity, yet are a touchy-feely kind of person). It’s a link to a page on my blog, check it out if you will and see if you might find it helpful (you can skip the backstory and go straight to the technique!).
    http://wundernutbar.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/mental-health-intimacy-and-the-4-stage-hug-2/

    Cheers,
    Rico

    • Hi Rico,
      Thanks very much for your feedback. Once you have done the exercise a few times, you will find yourself naturally slowing down.
      More to come so keep a look out!
      Thanks for the link to your page, I look forward to checking it out 🙂
      Best wishes,
      Natasha

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