One of skills that anxious people possess is that they’re very good at using their imagination, or rather misusing their imagination, to create future threats to their physical and or emotional wellbeing. In this exercise you use your ability to imagine things in order to lower your anxiety.
One of the consistent things about anxiety is that it encompasses a physical sensation in the body. This sensation is always moving, and usually it’s moving fast.
People often describe it as a rushing sensation like an electrical current or a tidal wave through their body. The sensation usually has a temperature associated with it, ranging from white hot to icy cold. This sensation usually moves up or down the body but it doesn’t exit the body. It just keeps circulating through the body.
This is why we can say anxiety has a spin.
This technique is a way to interrupt that cycle. It’s really simple and fun to do. It comes from Richard Bandler co-founder of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). It can be used to ease or relieve many different uncomfortable emotional states, not just anxiety.
As well as using it to quickly relieve your own anxiety you can guide family and friends through the process and help them feel less anxious too.
I find that once I’ve guided my clients through it once, they’re able to use it on their own as a rapid way to reduce their anxiety or stress level and get into a far more resourceful state.
Here’s how it works
- Close your eyes so you can attend more completely to your feelings. Locate where the anxiety is felt most in your body.
- Now rate this feeling on a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is unbearable. Make a mental note of this number or so you have a reference point for how much lower your anxiety level is once you’ve completed the exercise.
- Now sense, imagine or pretend that the feeling is spinning and get a sense for the direction it’s spinning. It’s often helpful to use your hand to trace that direction of the spin. Does the feeling spin in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction? If you can’t tell, try spinning it both ways, tracing the spin with your hand, and get a feel for which direction is most familiar.
- Now I want you to imagine moving that spinning feeling outside of your body. In other words it’s still spinning in the same way that you were feeling it before, but now it’s out in front of you.
- Once you feel or sense it outside of your body, reverse the spin. If you’re still using your hand to trace the direction of the spin, reverse that hand movement too. Notice what changes when you begin to spin that feeling in the opposite direction. Typically people find the feeling becomes much less intense.
- Now spin the feeling a bit faster in that (opposite) direction. And as you do so, notice what else begins to change.
- Now imagine bringing the spinning feeling back inside your body, whilst still rotating it in the opposite direction. Notice what changes when you spin that feeling back inside your body.
- As that shape spins in the place that old anxiety feeling used to occupy think of something funny, and add some laughter into the spinning feeling.
- Spin the feeling like this for ten seconds, stop spinning.
- Tune into your body and try and find that old anxiety feeling. If there’s still some there, re-assess the intensity of the feeling on a scale of 1 to 10. Notice how much lower the intensity is now.
- Repeat the exercise until the level of anxiety has reduced to a level you are comfortable with or it has disappeared.
And that’s it. Spin Anxiety Away is a simple, quick and effective way to lower your anxiety. Give it a go and experience the difference it makes.
Stay safe and well inside your bubble. ~ Tony
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I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible enjoy lives free of unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you’d like my help, or you know someone who would benefit, call/text me today on 021 056 8389 or email firstname.lastname@example.org