Anxiety is a part of some of us. And when it starts to take over, it’s a great idea to get some help and ways to treat your anxiety and get it under control.
There are people that have dealt with anxiety all their lives, it can get boring just talking about it.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about talk therapy. But, I’m also about trying new things with your anxiety, shaking it up a little, and giving you a chance to learn a little more about yourself. When I’m working with a client, I might think of a tried and tested technique that has worked many times before, or I might have an idea for something completely new. I wanted to share with you one of the funnest ways I’ve worked with anxiety. There are a million ways to treat anxiety, but let’s talk about the one that make therapy fun and brings smiles and giggle every single time.
Anxiety is a beast, a monster under the bed. But for some people it just becomes this serpent that wriggles it’s way into everything. Sometimes I like to pull it out from under the bed, take a good look and talk about it. Stripping it completely nude and seeing it for what it truly is. How do I do this?
We start with imagining what it looks like. Is it scaly like a snake? Fluffy like a cloud? Hairy like a bear?
Then we wonder what it smells like. Is it stinky like the rubbish? Or does it smell dusty like the back of a closet?
What does it sounds like? Is it a raspy whisper? Or a loud authoritative voice? Or does it sound like you do?
Once you have a perfectly clear picture, then we can name it.
I’ve hear Blackie, The Cloud, and my favorite, the Banana. I wonder what word you’d like to choose, will it be a word that describes the anxiety monster, or will you choose a word to make it less scary like, Banana.
Now that you’ve crafted an identity for your anxiety, we’re going to call it out.
We’re going to call out it’s bad behaviour, we’re going to hold it responsible for all the rubbish it’s putting you through, and we’re going to be able to start to see the person that’s underneath.
How do we do this?
OK. Let’s say my anxiety is called, Wayne. Wayne is a dark purple octopus creature, that get’s his tentacles into my thoughts and can make life a little harder for me. He’s sticky, and gooey, and is very sneaky. He also smells like purple Hubba Bubba bubblegum.
When I wake up in the morning, he’s already there. He’s on my chest with his sticky tentacles, and big gloopy purple body. Instead of pretending he’s not there, and pushing my feelings down, I say ‘Good Morning Wayne’, like he’s actually in the room. I’m behaving as though he is a seperate part of me. I haven’t woken up with anxiety, I’ve woken up with Wayne. Like a bad hangover, and a sleepover guest that you forgot you brought home from the bar.
When my thoughts are rushing, Wayne is telling me that I have a million things to do today and not enough time. But Wayne can’t be trusted. He’s a sticky, stinky, purple liar. To prove Wayne wrong, I get out my to-do list and my calendar and reassure myself that Wayne is wrong. I’ve got plenty of time, and everything is going to be OK.
Different huh? This is just one of the fun ways to treat anxiety, and it may be great for you.
It’s called ‘externalising your anxiety‘, and it’s a great technique to seperate anxiety from you, removing your blame and shame, and allowing you to get on with your day with a little monster called Wayne, instead of a beating heart and negative self talk.
I’d love to hear about your monster in the comments below. I wonder if they’re friends with Wayne? …
If you’d like support to make your monster, or just to talk about your anxiety, book a free session with me and we can work it out together.