Why Just “Cope” With Anxiety? Just STOP it! (Part 2)
When we talk about how to cope with anxiety, sometimes I feel like we´re still in the dark ages! Talking to my clients, I´m always amazed at the strategies they´ve been trying to follow – with little to no effective results.
You know what I´m talking about…
- Take a time-out.
- Learn relaxation techniques.
- Take deep breaths.
- Accept that you cannot control everything.
- Maintain a positive attitude
…among so many others.
But how are you supposed to get rid of your anxiety if all you ever use are strategies showing you how to “cope”?
Let´s face it, learning how to cope with anxiety just isn´t enough.
That´s why I want to share a simple technique with you that my coaching clients have had great success with, and you can start using today to end your fear of panic attacks.
It´s a simple, easy, down-to-earth way of focusing your attention when the discomfort of a panic attack begins to build.
So, what do you need to do?
Give Your Anxiety An Ultimatum
Tell it you´ll give it no more than 30 seconds to get down to business and produce a full-blown panic attack. When those 30 seconds are up, it has to cease and desist. No more scare tactics. No more empty threats.
No matter what physical sensation anxiety wants to throw your way, it will only have 30 seconds to do it in…
- If you´re going to get so nauseous and dizzy that you feel like you´re going to faint, it has to happen inside of those 30 seconds.
- If your heart beats so fast, it threatens to burst; it has to happen inside of those 30 seconds.
- If anxiety is going to drive you over the edge, it has to happen inside of those 30 seconds!
Are you beginning to see where I´m going with this?
By giving your anxiety an ultimatum, you are stepping up and taking charge. If this were a game, you would be defining the rules. And, by doing that, you effectively create a sense of control within your mind and body.
So, tell yourself:
I´m finished worrying about this. Enough is enough! I´m not going to waste my time anymore; I´ll give the anxiety I´m feeling 30 seconds and no more. If nothing happens, there´ll be no second chances. Time is up and I´m going to focus my energy on what I was doing.
At this point, you want to start counting…
But you have to play fair ~
Pace it out; no dashing off the numbers, trying to get to the end in record time. You have to keep it slow and steady.
That´s the key.
Then, when you get to 28, begin drawing it out a bit
…28, 28 ¾ – this is it, anxiety – 28 ½…
You want to give anxiety a fair chance. Remember, you can afford to be generous because – deep down – you know there really isn´t anything to be afraid of.
…29, 29 ¾ – last chance, anxiety! – 29 ½
…30! That´s it, anxiety, time´s up and I win!!
Better than learning how to cope with anxiety, this method of “giving your anxiety an ultimatum”, puts you back in control. It lets you take charge of those anxious thoughts and unsettling physical sensation while supercharging your confidence, at the same time!
So, next time you feel panic creeping in, look it in the eye and tell it, point blank:
Okay, anxiety, you have 30 seconds to wreak havoc, and then I´m moving on…I´ll take my time counting and play as fair as I can but there´ll be no second chances.
When time´s up, it´s up – I´ve got better things to do!
Join me next week when we take a look at how practicing gratitude can put an end to feelings of fear, worry and anxiety, once and for all.