Hi, I’m Daniel from Health Anxiety. I am going to show you a technique to help lessen your anxious thoughts.
You can continue reading this post, or view my video in the player below.
If you need a way to cope with strong anxious feelings and overwhelming thoughts, then this exercise is perfect for you.
I have always been a naturally anxious person. It wasn’t until recently that my anxiety and depression got out of hand.
I found doing simple tasks extremely difficult and I was on edge for most of the time.
There was a period only recently where I thought I was losing my mind. I thought I was going crazy – a common symptom of anxiety I would later find out.
My emotions were like a swinging pendulum. I was irritable, angry, sad, happy, joyful and then miserable again. But worst of all was sometimes I had a feeling of nothing.
It’s a weird feeling of nothingness. You are not happy, you’re not sad. You are just here.
Just a blank canvas waiting for someone or something to paint, anything at all.
But then I would get overwhelmed, so much so it would lead to sever panic attacks.
I needed a way to help me calm down. Something that was easy to remember when I could feel myself getting overwhelmed.
If you haven’t used this technique before, give it a shot because it works like wonders for me.
It won’t cure your anxiety, but it should help you focus your mind on a different subject. In turn will lessen the anxious thoughts and in turn help you feel a little calmer.
It’s essentially a game of categories and it is rather simple and easy to understand.
Pick a topic, and name as many of that topic as you can.
For example, you could pick movies and list as many as you can.
You can do it in your head, out loud or write them down in your journal.
I tend to do a mixture of all three, depending how overwhelming my anxiety is at the time.
There are moments in my journal where you can tell I had a bad day. There are three or four pages of movie titles, countries and song titles.
If you want to challenge yourself even further, go the extra mile and name them in alphabetical order like
The idea of this exercise is to take your mind off the current worry or anxious thought and actively on to something else. This will help lessen you anxiety now.
When practiced regularly with other exercises such as deep breathing, you should start to see your anxious feelings lessen over time.
I hope you give this exercise a try and you are keeping well.
If your anxiety and depression are getting in the way of your day to day activities, I strongly encourage you see a Doctor.
You can find information in the description of this video for mental health services in Australia.
Stay safe and I’ll see you next time.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing distress you can reach out to Beyond Blue: Beyond Blue’s support line is available 24/7.
Lifeline: For crisis support, Lifeline provides a 24/7 line. They have a range of online resources as well.