Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New way to fast stress and anxiety relief....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 1-14-2014

I found this in the Medical News Today a couple of weeks ago:

'Work with anxiety' rather than seek calm to improve performance
Seeing performance anxiety as an opportunity to be excited works better than
making the greater effort needed to calm down, psychologists have found in
randomized trials.

Anxiety and fear can paralyze you, make you feel distressed, and stress you out.

They and this reaction can lower your ability to deal with the situation, make you feel rotten, and even be harmful to your body and hard for it to release and recover from.  Too often it does just that!

This simple paragraph however, has a MAJOR idea.

You feel fear and anxiety when you see a threat or think you do and your adrenalin and related responses for fight or flight ramp up.  

In fear and anxiety there are two components involved, the perceived threat -- and the ramped up adrenalin and fast heartbeat etc.  These are the mental and the physical responses in other words.

The problem with the fear and anxiety is that these physical responses turn down your mental abilities to avoid or turn off the threat and are hard on you and hard to turn off.

The traditional advice has been to turn down the physical response with some kind of relaxation technique.

If you have mastered a relaxation system in advance and start in a more relaxed resting state to begin with that sometimes helps.  Tai Chi and Qi Gong and some versions of Yoga do this.

The Karate mental training is to focus on making your mind "like the water" so that it's like a mirror and you can see what's actually happening easily and quickly.

That too can help.

But the problem this study helps solve is when your physical response is most amped up and you need a solution to a real threat and the physical response is way too high to relax out of it easily.

The genius of this idea, which apparently HAS tested as working!  -- is to simply accept that your body is ramped up with energy that much and leave that alone without fighting it in the slightest degree.

BUT instead of thinking about it as fear or stress or anxiety simply call it excitement instead.

The positive connotation of the “excitement” description of the ramped up state by just using the single word initially is profound. 

You accept that you are energized that much and that excited BUT that throws a switch in what thoughts you think.

Excitement is what you call a high energy state when you have something good happening or an opportunity to make something good happen.

Once you do that, you can begin to do as the real Captain Phillips says he does when he has serious threats to deal with.

His basic thought is to set aside thinking about the threats even though you know good and well they are still there.  And, say I’m excited to try the potential solutions that might get me out of this!

He said he literally visualizes setting his fear on a chair and then steps away from it and starts working on the likely solutions.

Now his excited state can power his efforts to solve the problem.

Mercifully most of us aren’t under attack from armed pirates or on a sinkable ship you are responsible for when it may have a disabling fire or a massive hurricane trying to sink it!

In OUR lives we normally have threats that though serious are easier to beat than challenges of that magnitude.

Dale Carnegie and the modern talk therapists recommend these two steps at that point.

How real and likely is this threat? 

Sometimes people scare themselves to death with possible threats that they haven’t actually got direct evidence exist for sure.  They might exist but the person worries about the threat if it happens without checking to see if it actually exists or is at all likely.

Dale Carnegie even suggested to look at the worst case scenario and accept it in advance.  The idea is to then stop focusing on it to free your mind to prevent or turn off the threat.

But instead of wasting time on focusing on that -- at that point, begin to spend 100 % of your thoughts on writing down what you can do to make that outcome less likely.

If the threat is real and possibly likely in short, write down what might solve the problem.

Now, instead of disabling you, think of your energy and high adrenalin state as power to work on making those solutions happen. Just call it excitement!

Decide which action to take first and do it.

There is even a way to use this in public speaking.

I’ve even heard speakers say it directly!

They know why they are speaking and why the audience will or might want to hear them -- if they have done their preparation as they should.

So, they simply stand up and say in essence, “Here’s why I’m excited to be here with you and speaking on this topic.”

Same deal. And, it DOES work!

They feel the high energy level, call it excitement, and then use it as a power source instead of a barrier.

Guess what?

In practice, once you begin taking actions you know might work or even better they DO work, the physical stress begins to decrease and THEN you CAN relax a bit. 

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