Yesterday evening, I was conversing with a good family friend. Him and I both deal with anxiety, meaning when we discuss the topic, we are able to relate to one another and make sense of some of the things we encounter in terms of anxious thoughts throughout any given day.
Mike, our good family friend, was telling me about a technique he was told to try in an attempt to reduce anxiety and panic attacks. He explained how it is essential to try and see ourselves through the eyes of someone else. It seems simple enough, but for someone with anxiety, this can be a tremendously difficult thing to do because of fear of potential judgment and ridicule from such person.
When you think about it, it makes sense that trying to view yourself through the eyes of another individual makes a great strategy to combat anxiety and panic. Often times, persons with anxiety get trapped within their own minds because negative thoughts accumulate and eventually swallow their ability to see themselves in a way that likely everyone around them does. Mike explained that when you being to feel worries or anxieties creep up on you, simply stop yourself and force yourself to imagine how a good friend or a family member interprets you. It is essential to refrain from choosing to see yourself through the eyes of an individual who is negative, or whom threatens you. Instead, try to focus on the perspective of a person who you know well and are comfortable around. It is unlikely that such person thinks of yourself the way you do in the midst of an anxiety attack, therefore the technique should calm your thoughts and enable you to relax.
Mike, for example, is a truly gifted man. He is a phenomenal mechanic, and has the ability to both build and repair literally anything. Take my word for it – he and my dad built a pulling tractor from the ground up. Mike deals with anxiety, and he struggles to see himself in a positive context, and he furthermore struggles to recognize the incredible gift he possesses in terms of mechanics. My family and myself, however, are consistently amazed by Miked and his work and skill, and we have a hard time comprehending why Mike cannot always see how intelligent he is. This is where the technique comes in – Mike would, in the event in which he is feeling panicked or anxious, envision himself in the way myself or my dad sees him, and it provides comfort and relief to catch a glimpse of the person you truly are, and not what your anxiety is telling you to be.
Anxiety is a tough thing to live with, but it is certainly not more powerful than your own thoughts.