This blog category is the journaling and journey-ing of my quest to say (with cautious sincerity) “Hello, Anxiety” and to take a look at the condition from my “me-andering” views.
NPA — NEAL’S PROTOCOL FOR ANXIETY
As I have explained in previous posts, my therapist ￼”Rubi” suggested that I think about the various strategies I employ to help with my anxiety, an Anxiety Protocol, if you will. He said to make sure I begin each of my strategies with “intentionality,” that I need to be deliberately attentive and to intend that each strategy or effort be effective.
Again, as I have explained, I divided my protocol into three parts. The first deals with strategies which can help with both the physical and mental aspects of my anxiety. The second with mental, and the third with physical. Of course those divisions are academic only. The mental and physical ebb and flow into and through each other. I struggled a little categorizing my strategies.
Part One dealt with strategies I use to help with both mental and physical. Today’s post, Part Two, looks at the mental, with three simple but effective strategies.
II. FOR THE MENTAL PART.
(How I can attend to the experience in my mind.)
• Recognize anxiety as a part of my experience right now.
Maybe even speak to it: “Hello, anxiety.” This strategy has been SUCH a challenge. I don’t want anxiety to be part of my experience! Who would? But as I have experimented (with test tubes boiling over), I’ve come to realize (when I’m not anxious, that is) that anxiety IS part of my life. It’s there. It’s here.
This strategy helps me to be real. “Hello, anxiety. I see you. I hear you. I feel you.” This deliberate act of anxiety recognition also helps me to grasp and understand that anxiety is NOT all-consuming, that it’s not “all of me,” but just a part of my life experience. What a revelation!
• Assign anxiety a number from 1 to 10.
This strategy was/is a jewel from Rubi. With the simple act of assigning a numerical value of intensity to my current anxiety, I step “outside” for a moment. And “outside” helps me realize, again, that my experience with anxiety is not the totality of me. It’s just a part. Which I can see. And not be completely consumed by. That truth is empowering.
Most of the time, my numerical anxiety assignments are 5 or less. But for some reason, each time I think they are going to be 10 plus! Until I remember my protocol.
TIB (Truth In Blogging): 75% of the time, when I’m really anxious, I forget all of the above. Well, and the below.
• Verbal self messages/affirmations.
I LOVE affirmations, declarations, proclamations! And this strategy has proven to be one of the most powerful for me.
“I have felt this way before, and I always make it through.”
“My anxiety level is at a six, but it is not at a 10.“
“This anxiety is like the tides, ever changing. In and out.”
“If I keep breathing, which I will, sooner or later, I will feel better.”
“My anxiety is like the clouds — it comes by and then it passes on.”
Easeful Calm & Peace to Us All.
NPA Part Three and printable outline coming soon.