Become an objective observer of your anxiety
Updated: Jul 15, 2019
When in a highly emotional state I often find it helpful to create a visual picture of the emotion you are feeling or the “part” of you that is feeling something strongly. For example, if you have overwhelming anxiety, allow yourself to create a picture in your head of the emotion (My personal favorite is to the characters from the Inside Out movie). Let the emotion speak, move, and express itself. Consider asking yourself what it’s saying and what it needs. There might be other parts of you or emotions that you take through this process. At times when sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts are compulsive, engaging this process can help to “give them a voice” and then the intrusive thoughts often quiet down a bit. So much can be uncovered in this process. Some individuals find this too triggering because the emotion feels overwhelming. In this case, a great first step is to create an imaginary glass in between you and the emotion in the picture. The idea is to give yourself space to view the emotion as an outsider, an objective person. This uses a different part of your brain and allows you to see things from a different angle. Your cognitive brain functions best when in a flexible, curious state. Allow yourself to be curious and see what happens! This principle can be effectively applied to a number of situations in life.