I wanted to share this as it is the only thing that has ever stopped my anxiety in its tracks. I can’t promise this will work for everyone but it absolutely helped me come on leaps and bounds day to day.
Have you ever heard of that trick for getting rid of hiccups where somebody offers you £5 to hiccup within 10 seconds? If not, try it next time, it works on everybody I’ve ever done it to. And this uses the same logic. Next time you’re feeling anxious, or about to have a panic attack say this to yourself:
“Go on then”
And here’s the thing, you have to then actually try to make yourself panic. With all your might and all your brain power, try to force yourself to have a panic attack. And it disappears.
Anxiety is notoriously irrational. As soon as you start feeling anxious you try to ‘calm down’ or others try to calm you down. Then you end up battling with yourself in your own mind, feeling angry that you can’t stop the anxious thoughts, and it just gives you even more to think about. I’ve tried so many different techniques before, none of which worked.
But this one works so well the first time I did it I actually felt like laughing.
It’s like the constant fighting of it just added to the mess of thoughts in my head. But when you shine a light on it, it gets stage fright.
I’ve even told my other half that if I ever get past the point of doing this to myself then he needs to say this to me. We’ve yet to get to that stage because it works. Every. Fucking. Time.
Sometimes I change what I say to myself, but it’s always variants of the above, I’ve also sworn at myself before and that nipped it in the bud pretty sharpish.
Since doing this, I’ve made more progress than I have in years. That’s no joke. And I find that I’m having to say it to myself less. I’m sure there’s a load of psychology behind this and how it works, but nobody had ever suggested this to me before in years of trying to recover from it.
The only thing I would say is please be careful before saying this to someone who’s having an anxiety attack without discussing it first. It can can be triggering depending on previous experiences, and/or come across insensitive, cold and upsetting if done in the wrong way which of course is not your intention!
But, used in the right way I’m convinced it works. I would love to know if anybody tries this and it works for you too!