How to Remove Anxiety by Watching Boring Objects
Know that life is a series of moments. Developing an ability to watch the present moment, and only this present moment, is the first skill in limiting and removing anxiety. Much the same as we can watch a rock detached, we can watch our thoughts, detached. A rock cannot independently hurt us or endanger us in much the same way our thoughts cannot, unless with empower them to do so. Utilize the following mindfulness exercise to develop this skill and subsequent capacity of removing or lowering anxiety.
Watch an object (best if it’s as boring as possible in nature). Develop an awareness that you’re watching the object. Hold it for 10 seconds (or more, whatever is an achievable challenge for you) and switch that awareness to your thoughts. Then watch your thoughts for 10 or more seconds, don’t try and change the thoughts; simply hold the watching of the thoughts for a period of time. This will slowly and naturally engrain within you a natural emphasis on the present moment where you’ll learn that there is no reason to be concerned or worried about imaginary issues because you are in this moment, where no immediate danger exists.
Proactively Think Negative Thoughts and Take Control
Our imagination helps us be creative, problem solve, and ultimately does help us in our lives. But our imagination also creates most of our anxiety. Daydreams turn into worrying nightmares. Thoughts and imaginary scenarios represented by the following thought patterns are examples:
“The bills are piling up, too much is going on my credit card and I will have to pay interest”
“I haven’t made enough sales this month, I could get fired”
“I might not get enough work next month, nor have enough money for the mortgage”
These imaginary scenarios that we stress about very rarely come to reality. One way of taking control of these thoughts, not allowing them to happen onto you, is to proactively inoculate yourself from them – removing their power and their hold. One way of doing that is to go negative. It seems counter intuitive but if we sit down and proactively write down all the possible worst case scenarios and subsequently plan for those rare outcomes, we remove the stress ‘charge’ by being prepared and confident that we’d be able to deal with that negative outcome if it occured.
The following is a good example and an exercise you can do yourself:
“I may lose my job next week, there’s talk of sackings
What would I do if that occurred?
If that occured, on the day I was to be fired, I’d make sure I’d walk out with a good reference from multiple people. I would get my resume in order. In fact, I’ll see if I can get both of those two things in order now. I would call other companies and market myself and I would find out what they want and need in employees, using that information to help me get a job somewhere else if I didn’t get one there. I would call agents to see what’s available. I would follow up. I would scour the internet. I would simply find a way to make it happen. If all else fails I’ll borrow money from family. I will survive. I always have.”
Suddenly you’ve inoculated yourself from the feared thoughts because you are prepared and thus more confident in the event that something like that occurred. You can thus dismiss anxious thoughts more easily and the fear associated with them.
My Favourite Technique
I firmly believe that all anxieties and negative emotions have healthy origins and are healthier in nature that how we represent them to ourselves. These anxieties are simply signposts to suggest that something isn’t right and to pay those feelings attention. One way of releasing negative emotions and anxieties is to sit with them, and pay them attention. They only ever want attention. They do not want to be pushed away and suppressed into yearning the benefits of bad habits. Once they get the period of attention they need, they will simply dissolve. Children are good at this, when they get upset everyone knows it and they release the energy immediately. Adults on the other hand often suppress emotions and this consequently develops the appearance of a background anxiety, or negative feelings.
A good little exercise to release these anxious thoughts and feelings is the following. It allows you to accept the feelings and anxious thoughts and this naturally allows them to be released. It is very, very simple but highly effective and repetitive. It is a series of questions. The answers aren’t important but the questions and an awareness of the anxiety, heavy emotions in the body are.
The questions are:
“Can I embrace this feeling?
“Would I want to let it go?
“Could I let it go?
If so, when?”
Repeat the exercise 10 -15 times with your eyes closed and you’ll surely notice a difference to how you feel.
There have been numerous scientific studies that show the benefits of hypnotherapy for anxiety and phobia conditions also. I strongly suggest that modality if you want further assistance in feeling better.