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You’ve been around for more than half of my life, and I’ve decided to finally take some real action to get you under control. Most of my friends with anxiety might not understand this action. But knowing myself—and knowing you—I believe this will be the best way to deal with your continual presence: I’ve decided to stop fighting you.
Now, that doesn’t mean I’m surrendering to you either. The options of either “fight” or “surrender” are too black and white for me and too similar to your own tactics. I’m taking an approach that might throw you. After all, this is my life—not yours. So, I’m going to work with you. Not “for” or “against” but “with.”
When you do your thing to my adrenaline, I’m not going to freak out. I’m going to calm down with soothing self-talk, meditation, slow breathing, and/or medication as directed by my doctor.
When you tell me that my life is a disaster, I’m not buying that thought. I will use mindfulness to stay present and grounded.
When you make me sweat with fear, I’m going to connect with others who feel that same anxiety and humbly ask for help.
When all else fails and nothing seems to work, I’m going to just feel the feelings of you because you have finite energy and you will wear out before I do.
So, I’m going to stop complaining about you and start handling you differently.
And that’s a non-negotiable fact. ... See MoreSee Less
So many people ask me how to get rid of anxiety, I don't blame them for asking, anxiety is one of the most horrible feelings you can have. I'm not a therapist as you know - but- I've been an OCD Educator for over 35 years and counting. And, when I get slammed with anxiety, usually prompted by overwhelm or stress or both, here are some of my 'Go-To ' strategies that continue to work for me.
First, I recognize it as OCD anxiety and the thoughts I am getting are fears, not facts, so I name it to tame it and remember OCD is one big bully and liar trying to freak you out. I catch myself exacerbating the fears with my own scary scenarios of what might happen. I do my best to stay present in my mind.
Second, I don't try to get rid of anxiety but rather calm it down slowly because the idea of getting rid of something sounds too big to me. If use my tools to calm it down it will dissipate by itself.
Third, I try to find a safe quiet place in my house or outside and start breathing slowly. Inhale to the slow count of 4, hold for 7 and exhale for 8. The trick here is to go slower and slower and focus only on your breath. Yep, thoughts will be coming in and out - but always go back to feeling the air going in and out. Really focus. This is oxygenating your brain and calming your sympathetic system down and bringing you into the parasympathetic system, which is the calm one. The one we want to be in more.
Fourth, I refocus on something I like. Even if it's in my imagination, I refocus on something good. Something I'm grateful for. This might not sound powerful enough but there's plenty of research out there that says the opposite about focusing on gratitude and appreciation. My main 'Go TO's' for gratitude and things I like are my appreciation for my wife, support groups, and art. Photography takes me away from anxiety big time. Hey, so does a good movie on Netflix. Seriously, find a thought that makes you feel good and focus on it for a while. It will help a lot.
Fifth, I always say to myself in the middle of high anxiety and even panic, "I've been here before and I survived." To me, that means I'll get through it again using these tools. Listen, guys, we are survivors and much more courageous than we think.
Sixth, OCD and anxiety mediation has been prescribed for me under my doctor's directions. I only take what he has prescribed. I take that too but anxiety can sometimes override the medication to some degree, so I need these tools in addition.
Seventh, I do this last one all the time and tell others that come to me for advice or support to do the same. I slow everything down, slowly practice mindfulness which is basically the practice of being present and in the moment. Even if the moment is riddled with anxiety I feel it and become mindful of not shooting into a fantasy future. BTW, that's mostly where anxiety lives, in a future that hasn't happened yet and most likely will not. Never has for me. But, if it does, I'll handle it. We are stronger than we think. Hope these seven things help. More ideas to come. Gratitude and love to you all. JC <3 ... See MoreSee Less
OCD Coaching Videos are not designed to replace professional OCD Therapy. They are intended to help in the education and coaching for those suffering with OCD. James Callner is an OCD Educator and Coach, teaching from over 35 years of his own recovery experience. The Coaching Videos, Blog Posts and other information on this website are not a replacement for a professional therapist. Mr. Callner contributes his videos to the OCD Treatment Centre in Taunton England. OCD Treatment Centre therapists approve all OCD Coaching Videos. .