This may sound crazy, but bear with me. You can 100% eliminate or reduce your anxiety in 20 minutes. Your anxiety will not be resolved permanently, but you will be giving yourself a respite that can last hours or days if you are willing to try this out.
Here is what to do:
Step 1- Find a quiet place to lay down or sit. Make sure your legs are not crossed and that you are comfortable.
Step 2- Develop a Calm/Safe Place in your mind. Think for a few minutes about a memory, experience, person, or place from the present or past that gives you a feeling of safety, comfort, acceptance, etc. You can even use something imaginary if you need to. The goal here is to have something your mind can focus on that incorporates good feelings.
Step 3- Now that you have something in your mind’s eye for your calm/safe place, you will begin to focus on it in your head. While you imagine it you will do one of three things to incorporate bilateral stimulation (I will explain in a moment):
- Use headphones while you imagine your place and stream “EMDR Audio” from YouTube. What is unique about EMDR Audio is that the sound alternates ears and is a form of bilateral stimulation which relaxes your brain and allows it to access information and process it much like REM sleep does.
- Cross your arms like you are giving yourself a hug and tap, alternating sides, slowly. Your taps do not need to be hard. Even the softest of taps will register with your brain. While you do this, think of your safe and calm place.
- Instead of crossing your arms you can place your hands on your thighs if you like and alternate taps while you think of your place. Any of these choice will work as well as many more.
Step 4- Allow yourself to marinate in your place in your mind as you use the bilateral stimulation of your choice. If your mind diverts for a moment, that is okay, gently bring yourself back to your place and continue taking in all the sensory information. Notice what you see, hear, smell, taste and feel physically as well as emotionally.
After you complete this you will notice a marked difference in how you feel. The lump in your throat should be mostly gone, your level of tenseness should be easing up if not eliminated. Remember, practice makes perfect, so the more you do this the better you will feel.
If you have any questions about how we use this in therapy session please call Greenway Therapy and a therapist will be happy to answer any question you have about how EMDR can help you!