Spin your way out of anxiety in 60 seconds…
So there I was, anxiously awaiting my turn to introduce myself at a meeting recently, trying desperately to think of the right words that would portray the correct image in one minute flat, and my mind went blank. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done this, it still fills me with dread and a feeling of impending doom – what if I mumble or stutter? What if they think I’m a complete gibbering idiot? But then I came to the conclusion that just about everybody in that room was going through the same process I was – wondering how to make yourself believable and professional, without coming across as a fraud, or stupid, or worse – condescending? And all in 20 words flat? So putting my professional hat on, I used one of the techniques that I teach my clients, and voila! Problem solved.
It might be that you’ve got an interview you’re dreading, or a speech you’ve got to make. Or maybe you just want to stop feeling the way you do, or reacting to events in an unhelpful way. The trick is to stay calm, give yourself some thinking time and ‘unwind’ the thought pattern that you’ve got yourself into. Sounds simple doesn’t it, and quite honestly, it is!
There are lots of NLP techniques you can use for these occasions, but one of the simplest ones is the Reverse Spin method. You can use this any time you want to get rid of thoughts or feelings that aren’t helping you, and change them to more appropriate or helpful ones in less than 60 seconds.
Step 1: Take 3 really deep breaths – draw the breath right into your diaphragm and release it slowly.
Step 2: Notice where the feeling or thought starts, and think about which direction it goes? (In a lot of cases it starts in your tummy or chest, and moves up to your head, but everybody is different).
Step 3: Use your imagination to lift that feeling out of your body, and hold it out in front of you, at arms’ length. See it spinning round (either horizontally or vertically).
Step 4: Notice what colour it is? Change the colour to another one that makes you feel calm, and happy.
Step 5: Now reverse the direction of the spin – you can turn the wheel upside down, or to face the other way, but make it spin the other way, all the time washing it with your preferred colour.
Step 6: Now pull that feeling back into your body.
Step 7: Now spin it faster and faster in the opposite direction to where it started originally – ie, down your body instead of up – and all the time you’re spinning, keep the new colour around it.
Step 8: Keep spinning faster and faster until the feeling reduces, or eventually disappears.
Of course anxiety comes in many forms. If, like me and many of my clients, your anxiety shows itself with clear sensations, you can use this simple technique every time you need to feel calm, or get unhelpful thought patterns or feelings under control. It might seem a little strange to begin with, but try it – it may help you. And if it doesn’t, there are loads of other techniques you can use to help you. NLP is a brilliant way of helping you re-programme your mind and if you’d like to learn more, just get in touch. I hope it helps you – it works for me!
Please accept this blog in the spirit in which it is offered. I am intending only to give you some light hearted food for thought here – not reams of indigestible facts that you can find elsewhere all over the internet. If any of the suggestions ring a bell for you – great. This is a simplified version to give you a taster, so if your problem is more serious, and you feel you need more in-depth professional help, please contact me. I can help you identify any underlying issues that may be holding you back, and allow you to kick-start the process of moving you forward again. And of course, if you feel the need to visit your GP please go straight away. NLP, hypnotherapy and counselling are not a substitute for professional medical advice, but a complementary therapy. Thank you for reading this, and I hope to meet you soon.