Soothing touch techniques. One is called "Havening."
The basic idea is to put your hands on opposite shoulders, and then rub down the backs of your arms to your elbows. Then lift the hands and replace them on your opposite shoulders, and rub down to the elbows again. Repeat over and over.
While doing this, you can repeat a mantra in your mind that you want to believe. “I am safe. I am powerful. I am infinite.” Anything that you want to believe. There are more complex techniques that work even better, but this is a really good start and super easy to do.
They are doing it because they feel threatened, which makes them act in automatic and aggressive (or passive aggressive) ways.
This makes you feel threatened, which makes you act in automatic and aggressive (or passive aggressive) ways.
It's a downward spiral that needs to be interrupted by physiological safety.
The way to interrupt it is by working directly on your brain. There are techniques out there for training the nervous system to reduce its threat response.
Before an interaction with that person, or just right when you get into work, find a space to be alone.
Put your hands up like you're punching the sky, and take 10 deep breaths.
Then do some Havening (Google it). Bring your hands to opposite shoulders, and rub down your upper arms to your elbows. It creates a relaxation response and shifts the frequencies of your brain rhythms to a calm, sleep like state.
There are more complex techniques like this you can do to train your nervous system not to feel threatened by this person.
The goal is, when you interact with them, to have it be from a feeling of safety and confidence, which will allow them to feel safe and be a better, more collaborative version of themselves.
Why do I get irritated so easily? When I do, I feel like I'm losing it. I started hitting things, yelling, and wanting to be alone.
You most likely have physical discomfort in your body (likely in your stomach, back, or chest).
Start to notice your physical sensations when you're irritated. Once you've figured them out, then you have a more direct line to the issue.
Use exercise, soothing self touch techniques (like Havening), or a hot shower, something to relax and create healthy positive sensations in your body.
One thing to further consider is the difficulty of putting our attention on uncomfortable physical sensations.
It’s literally the least enjoyable thing to pay attention to. It’s literally viscerally upsetting.
There’s a kind of finality about it, a terror of mortality.
That's because discomfort in the torso does reduce our life energy. It deadens us a little.
And of course, for some reason, our brains hide from us the fact that these things are connected. It’s somehow not built into our awareness that internally generated physical sensations are the vehicles of emotion flow.
But if you change the visceral sensations in your torso, you change the emotions behind your eyes.
What should I do? I looked through my friends phone because I thought she was talking behind my back - and she was - she found out and now she hates me. How do I get her to be my friend again, even though I've said sorry hundreds of times?
Aren't you angry at her too for talking behind your back?
You both did things to hurt the relationship. Things won't get better unless you both decide to own your part and apologize.
Yes, you should keep apologizing for breaking her trust. AND you have to make it known that you feel hurt by her being dishonest with you.
AND you need to make it known that you want to repair things and continue the relationship.
AND you need to be ok with her not wanting to meet you in this task.
Why we she taking about you? What was she getting out of it? You need to truly understand this, and she needs to be clear for herself about it too, otherwise she'll just keep doing it to you and her other friends.
If you tell her everything and then let it go, she'll come back eventually and tell you her story. Then you can listen, and that will help.
If you're too anxious to go to a therapist, don't go yet.
Find a video that soothes and inspires you. Watch it. Take gentle, deep breaths while you do.
Then find another. Watch that one. Breathe and know that because you are alive, every day is new.
Then talk to someone you feel safe with.
Ask them if they have any good sources (videos) for help with anxiety.
At some point, your brain will learn from your positive actions that you are braver you thought.
Find the smallest steps and take them. As you build bits of momentum, the next steps are less effortful.
I have social anxiety. I begin my first job tomorrow but I'm super nervous and shaking. I can't stop thinking about it. And now I don't want to go. I'm going to feel so uncomfortable and I will be shaking. What can I do to not feel like that?
The best way to do thinking is to DO something that uses all of yourself.
Your whole mind and body.
If your anxiety gets real bad at work, go outside and run around the block while singing a song in your head.
I also recommend soothing self touch. Give yourself a hug and a fake makeout session.
Rub your arms and torso as if you were soothing a baby, while singing a song in your head.
Get the body to feel loved, and do something that uses your whole mind, and your emotions will change.
Anxiety is as much about uncomfortable physical sensations in the body (viscera) as it is about repetitive uncomfortable thoughts in the mind.
Find powerful mind-body tools and practice them diligently.
I recommend you look into Havening, a technique that involves soothing touch and mental stimulation. It's been researched as an effective anxiety treatment.
Diet and exercise also play a role. Complex problems require multifaceted solutions. Your life right now might have to be about working through the anxiety. You have to study, experiment, and evaluate different techniques as solutions for you.
What you learn along the way will make you a natural leader.
There are three levels connected in the brain. Physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Feeling good quickly requires having two of these three feel good/pleasurable. The third will follow.
I have an anxiety disorder, I really don't know what to do. Apparently I'm getting really bad and I need to see someone. But I'm scared.
Definitely find someone who makes you feel safe to talk to. A friend AND a professional if possible. The more the merrier.
Aside from that, anxiety is a brain state, not just a mind state. This means that the body is highly involved. I have had tons of social anxiety for years, and the only things that have made a real difference are mind-body practices and techniques.
Look for mind-body practices that you like. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, cardio exercise, dance, singing, anything that both moves and generates energy.
The other thing is to build a practice that you can use in real time. A self-talk technique, attentional focusing technique, or breathing technique. These kinds of things can allow you to recenter in real time. A therapist or coach might be able to help you find one for you.
Voice is all about breath, and breath is all about space in your torso, i.e. your posture.
The smallest thing you can try when speaking up is simply lift the very top of your head, like it's a balloon filled with helium.
In fact, see what it's like to practice that once or twice a day. Feel the top of your head with your fingers. It might be a little bump (with a tiny dip in the middle).
Then use your mind to lift it, and just notice what it feels like.
More space inside?
Then decide what you feel like saying from that position.
Dave Wolovsky, MS CAPP
Relationships Coach, answering the internet's questions about all kinds of relationships.