1. Switch thoughts
As we think about pressing issues, we sometimes become anxious or gloomy. The method of the Swiss psychotherapist Roger Vittos, based on “correct sensitivity”, helps to get out of this state, refresh the look and find the right solution.
It “helps stop negative thoughts and relieve anxiety,” explains psychotherapist Martina Mingan. “Relaxing the brain allows you to fully restore attention to yourself.” You need a pebble and a quiet place where you can be alone.
First step: stand up with your arms down, breathe through your nose, relax your neck and shoulders, make a few grimaces to feel your face and then relax it. Think about the problem that is bothering you and define your condition on three levels.
Bodily: what are the sensations in the fingers, feet, in the chest? Emotional: what do you feel – sadness, joy, excitement, anxiety? Intelligent: what’s going on in your thoughts? Then name the general condition in one word: anxiety, longing, tension, fear, grief, anger, stress … Feel how it resonates in your emotions and body. If the word is chosen correctly, you will feel it.
Second phase: take a pebble and focus on its color, shape, weight, temperature … Roll it in your hand, circle its bumps, cracks, depressions with your fingertips. Concentrate on the sensations. How does it smell?
After a few minutes, ask yourself the question again: “What word can you call my general condition now?” How does this word resonate in the body? Is this not the original word for your condition anymore?
If you still feel that, for example, anxiety is still present, do not rush, give yourself more time to study the stone. Do this exercise several times a day to get in the habit of “immersing yourself in the sensations” and to reduce mental stress.
Meditation option in the metropolis: If you don’t have pebbles at hand, use your imagination. Close your eyes and carefully, safely move around the room. Touch something without opening your eyes. What is it? Try to determine its size, texture, temperature, and how it will react to your touch – whether it gets hot or stays cold.
Feel it. Try to rotate. Smell, listen to it (is it rustling, ringing or tapping?). Open your eyes: are you surprised? Or did you manage to guess the subject right away? What new have you learned about him and your feelings? Did you know how pleasant the spine of this book is to the touch? Or did you think it was brown, but it turned out to be green?
Draw a parallel: are you familiar with the problem you are afraid of? Perhaps, upon careful consideration, “probing” it, you will discover new ways of solving it. How do you rate it now that you have switched your thoughts to your touch and smell? It may not seem as big as before.
2. Back to reality with cards
In a state of anxiety and even more so – stress, we often lose touch with ourselves. Transpersonal psychology helps to restore it. “She introduces such a concept as the spiritual dimension of the individual,” says psychotherapist Bernadette Blen. – “I” and the Self are fighting in us for the supremacy. “I” is our concept of ourselves, and the Self is our deepest essence, which exists beyond our fears. The exercise I suggest is called the Mandala of Being. It helps you connect with yourself. ” You will need a companion to complete this exercise.
Cut out five paper cards and write on them in big letters: Now, Future, Past, Other, Me. Place the cards on the floor in a circle: in the center – “Now”, in the north – “Future”, in the south – “Past”, in the west – “I”, in the east – “Other”.
State out loud what you want. Then, what you feel now, your reality in the present. Then share what beliefs and arguments are at the heart of your reality. For example: “If I do not pass this competition, I will no longer have professional growth opportunities.” Remember – when exactly did this fear appear in “Past”?
You will feel the fear increase. It’s natural because you give yourself permission to be afraid.
Stand in the center of your handmade mandala and breathe deeply with your eyes closed. Then open your eyes and, stepping to the east (to the “Other” card), express your convictions out loud: “If I don’t pass this competition, I will no longer have opportunities for professional growth.”
How are you feeling? Move your attention to bodily sensations. Focus on the worst. Have an exercise partner ask the question, “Is this statement really true and irrefutable?” If it is not 100% correct, then it is generally incorrect!
Usually it is at this moment that we understand that what we took for an irrefutable truth is just our belief, which has nothing to do with facts and reality.
Return to the center of the mandala. Let go of this belief, “disconnect” it from you. The assistant asks, “How do you feel now without this belief?” Usually at this moment we feel less depressed, lighter.
Remember this state and keep this impression. Then consider your situation based on that sensation. All you have left is the facts, the reality, freed from the layers of emotion generated by your beliefs.
3. Convert fear into energy of movement
The experiences we used to think are negative can be helpful! If fear, apprehension and anxiety arise in us, then we should not immediately try to drown them out, NLP master, business coach, co-host of the Mirror training Maxim Dranko is sure: “It is better to ask yourself: where do they come from and why are they needed ? Perhaps they are drawing attention to some serious risks and obstacles. I suggest that we face fears honestly and openly. And learn to manage them. “
Observe safety precautions: do not work with phobias and strong fears with this exercise (otherwise you can provoke panic). You will need three sheets of paper and a pen.
First step – “Risks”. Write down on sheet No. 1 the answers to the question: “What is the worst thing that can happen if …?” And then substitute your project or action about which you are worried. Write in a numbered list the worst things that can happen on the way to your goal.
For example, you are going on a trip but are afraid. What unpleasant things can happen on a trip? Let’s say they steal money. Write whatever comes to mind. At some point, you will feel the fear increase. This is natural: you are giving yourself permission to be afraid.
Continue the list until the fear subsides or dries up. And when you seem to have written everything, ask yourself the question: “What is even worse than this can happen?” And when you have already accurately unloaded all possible horrors on paper, we can assume that the first stage is over.
Second step – “Response”. On the second sheet of paper, for each item from sheet number 1, we write what we will do if “this” happens. Have all the money stolen from you on the trip? What will you do? At this stage, fear will arise again and may even be stronger than at the initial stage, because we are actually living through an already accomplished fact.
For the brain, imaginary and real danger are very often the same: hormones are produced in the same way, the heart beats in the same way, the hair on the nape of the neck stands on end and a lump rises to the throat. This is how it should be: it is better to be a little afraid now with a sheet of paper in hand than to rush about in real life in panic.
At this stage, we are living not only a critical situation, but also its resolution. Here we tell the brain, “I have a plan B.” If at some point you do not know what to write, then you have the task of learning, finding out the solution, asking.
In this case, the energy of fear is transformed into the energy of solving the problem. I collect information in advance in case of an emergency: the phone numbers of the police in the country where I am going, or the phone number of the embassy.
Third step – “Prevention”. On sheet number 3, write for each item on the first sheet what you can do to prevent this from happening. For example, don’t keep all cash and all cards in one place. Etc. In this way, we direct the energy of anxiety to reduce stress, while not closing our eyes to possible dangers.
4. Spread your shoulders and find balance
Our body is often wiser than the mind. “Sometimes simple bodily solutions work faster and no less efficiently than mind-based solutions,” says Maxim Dranko.
Find a place where you can easily take 5-7 steps and not be distracted. As you think about the situation that bothers you, take the seven steps. Notice how you walk: is your head tilted, what is the position of your shoulders, how your hips, knees, elbows, and feet move. Or record a short video on your phone. Review it, paying attention to the gait.
Usually those who are under the burden of responsibility round their shoulders, as if shrinking and shrinking in volume. The shoulders cover the neck, it retracts, like a turtle. Agree, not a very resource state.
Now try to straighten your shoulders as far back as possible and walk, thinking about your problem, in one direction. Then bring them as far forward as possible, round as much as possible and walk to the other side. Try to find the middle position that is most comfortable for you. Walk around and remember the position of the shoulders.
Assemble yourself, as a constructor, together, reproducing the comfortable middle position of all our “parts”
Do the same with your head: first, lower it to the maximum on your chest, and then carefully tilt it all the way back. Find an average head position that is comfortable for you. While keeping it, walk again. Fine.
Take the shortest, mincing steps to one side, then the widest to the other. Find the average stride size that makes you comfortable to walk. Walk around and remember your condition.
Hips: Imagine that there is a steel bar inside you – walk. And now, moving in the other direction, swing them at the greatest amplitude. Find the middle optimal hip position and try to walk. Do the same for the rest of the body.
And finally, put yourself together as a designer, reproducing a comfortable middle position of all our “parts”. Walk in this state, thinking about your problem situation. Feel yourself in this new format, new gait, new posture, then ask yourself the question: what can I do to change the situation?
Track what the problem looks like now: maybe the attitude towards it has changed or a solution has appeared? This is how the body-brain connection works, through movements, postures, triggering the thoughts we need.