How to stop anxiety, panic and flashbacks in their tracks!
Three simple things you can do to stop anxiety, panic or even flashbacks in their tracks no matter where you are or what you are doing.
1. Manage your breathing
2. Focus on something in the present
3. Become aware of how your emotions are moving
The quickest way to get back in control of the state you are experiencing is by focusing in on your breath. There are lots of really wonderful breathing techniques that you can use, the one below is called square breathing and it will instantly help you manage the state you are experiencing in the here and now. What’s wonderful about this technique is that you can do it no matter where you are, so if you are stuck in a meeting or out shopping and are experiencing any of the above just take a few moments and focus on your breath.
Here’s how to square breathe!
Imagine a square, gently inhale, hold and exhale as you imagine the shape of the square.
Focus on the breath and the count of four until you reach a relaxed stated Focus on something in the present moment. It can be anything, the clothes you are wearing, or the feel of the texture of the clothes, or the cars passing, or even the glass or cup you may be holding in your hand. Anything, just get present with what you are doing or where you are and keep your attention there.
Become aware of how your emotions are moving
Most people do not realise that emotions actually move, and because emotions move they will naturally peak and fall. All you need to do is hold tight, and know that the emotion you are feeling will pass through you and be assured that the flashback, panic or anxiety is going to pass. Because emotions move you need to be able to let the emotion move right out of you. The secret is not allowing the emotion to take over or for you to be knocked of your tracks by it!
Since emotions move, which is a fact, it’s not just an opinion emotion’s actually spin! The either tumble forwards or backwards or move clockwise or anti clockwise, therefore your goal is to figure out which way the emotion is spinning. That fear you are feeling is it tumbling forwards, backwards, clockwise or anticlockwise.
Let the flashback play in your mind like a movie, take a step back and focus on the feeling as you figure out which way its spinning. Focus on making it spin in the opposite direction.
Keep your focus on making the emotion spin in the opposite direction and once you have done this make it spin faster, as fast a you can. You can even imagine taking the emotion out of your body and putting it back in the opposite direction. I find it really useful to figure out where in my body I am feeling the emotion, then take my focus there and imagine taking the emotion out, then turning it around so its moving in the opposite way and putting it back in as I make it move faster and faster.
If you do all of these three things, and it doesn’t require you to take a long time to do it, you can literally do this in a few moments; you will find that the feeling of anxiety, panic or the flashback movie that’s playing in your mind will be gone and you will be back in full control of your own physical and emotional experience and that feeling you had will no longer exist in the intensity that it did.
You can do this, and it works, I spent years practicing this when my eldest daughter was born and I was overcome by flashbacks and anxiety as a result of my own child hood trauma. Hang in there you can be free of these things, I believe in you!
Avril Gill, Hypnotherapist Transformational Coach & Hypnotherapy Trainer