Hello it’s Dr Ro here.
I’ve been doing a couple of videos on anxiety and how to handle it. I want to keep it simple and talk about one method for handling anxiety, and that’s mindfulness. A mindfulness technique that I’ve already alluded to and talked about in a previous video, but I just want to come back to it.
If you know about mindfulness techniques, you may not need to watch all of this, but it’s a simple technique. You don’t often hear a lot of people talk about this, they tend to focus on breathing, but I’m going to give you a slightly different spin on it. And I have described it at the start of one of my other videos, but I just want to extend it and just explain it a bit more.
So let’s just remind ourselves of anxiety and basically what it is and for 90% of people in my mind, if not more nearly everybody, the anxiety that people experience is an anxiety they put upon themselves. Meaning that yes, I’m not taking away the fact there might be a lot of things going on around you. There might have been a death in the family, there might be pressure on you financially, time pressure, kids, physical health challenges, health issues, global meltdown going around you, financially, whatever. So I’m not saying that those things are not happening around you.
The difference between somebody that doesn’t experience anxiety versus somebody that does is how they react to that situation. So, of course, for somebody that gets anxiety their focus is literally magnified in each of these areas. Completely magnified. Everything is full multicolour and everything they think about comes up in front of them like this. And they go and the worst-case scenario gets magnified. They start to breathe and they think, oh my god what about that thing there to do with my finances. Boom that shrinks down this one comes up straight in front of them. And immediately they’re looking at it again going oh my gosh, what about the mortgage, what about the payments, oh my god. And then the situation that you had this morning with your partner up it comes.
So somebody that feels anxiety, even I can feel it now actually, it’s the breathing patterns. And you get a tingling feeling and then the world seems to narrow down and you get this tunnel vision on the one thing that’s really, really intense and boom, it gets put down. Then something else comes up the phone goes, the text goes, the email goes, and we are just bombarded. And of course you’re on social media and this is really what pisses me off about Facebook and social media. Great tool if it is used properly but people look at their friends, they look at all the stuff that’s going on. “Oh look at their life, it is amazing. Their financial situation is going really well. But my situation is really bad.”
And they do a comparison, Facebook all beautiful, boom, my situation shit. Facebook look at them they’re on holiday having a great time, my situation haven’t got the time or money to go on holiday this year, boom.
Relationship, they’re looking so happy, my situation had a massive argument this morning and we keep arguing every single day, boom. That situation over there they’re with their kids looks so idyllic on Facebook, look at them that’s fantastic photographs wonderful, boom, me and my kids not going out the door. Stress. Coming back late from school whatever.
I bet you’re relating to this! We do instant comparisons with what is apparently an ideal world. But what you don’t see is all the other negative stuff that is going on in their lives as well. Just remember that.
Everything is happening around us and the breathing is great. Let me try and simplify this. What I want you to do is, you can do this anywhere but if you can to start with do it in somewhere silent. Whether it’s here in the car like this, whether it’s in the café, although people might look at you a bit strange. Whether it’s at home. If you can find a quiet spot that’s the best thing to do. And I just want to rewind on this one. You are literally going to slow your breathing down and bring all of your focus to start with to one place. Not here, not here, not here, not all around you. But here, your breathing. Meditation techniques for years are focused singularly on this.
When I started learning the experience of meditating, learning to calm myself down one of the things I discovered very quickly was if you can own your breathing. You basically can control everything. And if you think about it fundamentally, you can survive for months without food, you can most people can. You can survive a few days without water, but you literally cannot survive more than a few minutes, if that without air.
The one thing that our body needs more than anything else is a breath. And I think that’s why it’s such a massively important thing, because it’s the one thing that we have control over. If you went into water and you’re underwater for too long you’d start to do this, and you go into a stressed state and the anxiety and the whole physiological reaction to the thinking I’m going to drown. So the very fact that all this stuff is happening around you, the anxiety and pressure is building on top of you, but you have control of this.
Now close your eyes if you can and bring the air down through the top of your chest down past your microphone, down past here and the harah is in the centre of the chest there. Just below the rib cage in that area there breathe, you can breathe down to your harah the core of your soul there. But even deeper down into the belly of your lungs because top of your lungs is shallow up here, bottom of the lungs is nice and big. The air can come into the void down there. So when you can get down and bring the air into there, your belly goes out, you’re feeling so much more air in there. And of course that’s what we need to get the oxygen into our bloodstream and our body and our blood goes, thank you very much for giving me oxygen. It helps me fire off the energy, fuel the nutrients, give the heart and the lungs that great impact of the air that is coming in there. There is less air getting down out into the blood system and so it starts to tingle.
So what am I doing?
I am slowing down and I’m focusing on every single breath. There different rules on how long you breathing for but I’m not going into that, but simply if you want to you can count, four, five, six, and out again. Heart math actually works on principle of five seconds in and five seconds out. You’ve got to go with what feels comfortable for you. It has to be enough, that’s why I don’t want to give you too many rules at the stage. Otherwise there becomes a rule about it has to be this way because that’s what Dr Ro said, but it’s just simply allowing the breathing to slow down and don’t and hold, try and make the process of breathing in slow.
Now, there are some great breathing techniques especially in the Asian culture, where you go forcing the air down one side and out on the other side, in with your mouth shut. You can do that, but if you want to keep it simple, just breathing in four or five hold it for two or three and out again, let the air just circulate.
Now, once you feel you’re doing that and you’re not focusing on the sound around you. Nothing at all, no distractions you’re really focusing on just the breathing in, notice the air going out. Picture it passing up to your lungs and out into the world and then picture it sucking new fresh air in, the coolness going through down your lips, down into your lungs. Just focus on the breath nothing else, no sound or distraction.
Once you get into that state it’s quite euphoric, you can see it in my eyes. What I want you to do, try this technique. People don’t talk about this very much. Now I want you to picture the scene all around you like it’s all in 3D, multicolour 3D. Every single situation that is going on around you, I want to imagine it as this floating movie screen. You can do it that way if you want to go right into it you can. But each area in your mind where these images are stored of all the challenging situations that are going on whilst you’re still breathing. I want you to imagine them slowing down when you’re breathing and these movies are slowing down to such an extent that you can just look at them. You’ve got the argument that happened this morning just sat over there in your mind, we keep our memories in different places it’s like a little separate movie screen.
Now just try the process because in doing this, the anxiety cannot be rushed now. So it forces you to go okay, there it is, that’s the situation. Just notice it and while you’re looking at that scene just for a moment if you’re feeling some anxiety just ask yourself a quiet question, what can I do to improve that? How can I react differently to that next time in a positive way?
And just ask that question.
In a positive way how can I get more out of that situation? Our breathing and that little movie scene has slowed down just there. Yeah I could do that and then just let it go. And then take yourself to the next image, that’s the one over there financial situation. I had a fall out with the bank this morning, the bank manager. That’s the situation, slow it down, add a bit of a comical side to it, oh yeah I looked a bit silly there. How could I handle it differently to next time when I go into that situation? Yeah I could do that, take some more information with me, maybe I’ll have a bit more facts with me next time, don’t raise my voice, yeah I could do that. Yeah that feels good, let it go.
What I’m trying to do is get you to imagine this literally, the environment with all these busy things that are causing a lot of stress and you’re slowly seeing for what they are and letting them go. How can I handle it differently? Boom. My kids that was an anxiety thing last night, I just got so stressed about the kids rushing around them, I shouted at them and I got angry and said something I didn’t want to say. Picture that scene and slow it down, just for a minute look at your children’s faces. Look at how they’re reacting to you, they’re just these little people. They don’t know any different, they’re so young. Their model of the world is based on the model of the world that you are creating for them, so your anxiety becomes their anxiety. Do you want that? I don’t want that.
So look at how innocent they are and I’m shouting at them. I’m trying to impart my set of beliefs about how I want the situation to be, they’ve never even experienced this and yet I’m forcing it on them. How can I be different in that situation as a parent? You know what let me sit down instead of standing up and pointing down to them. Next time I’m going to sit down with them, get on my knees and just talk to them face-to-face and hold their hand and just have a conversation a different way. How would that feel? That would feel amazing and I can see that they would react differently. That is good, boom let that one go.
“What about the tension between me and my mum the other day, when we were talking. It seems to be happening a lot at the moment she keeps talking about all her ailments and illnesses and the challenge that’s going on there. I keep trying to find solutions and I’m getting anxious because I think she should be doing this and should be doing that. What if she ate this and what if she looked after herself better. I’m feeling so frustrated about this and anxious because I want her to get healthier.” Okay remember we are slowing it down, slow that movie down. “Yes slow it down, thanks Dr Ro.”
Okay, so what is it your mum really wants in that situation? Notice I’m doing different questions but they’re all essentially the same thing. “I just think my mum wants me to love her.” Exactly, and is that you are doing? “Yeah I’m loving her.” But what you’re really doing is you’re being a parent or teacher to them. “That’s true.” I don’t think that’s what they want, is that what they want? Look at the situation again. “No it is not really what she wants.”
Just slowly move it down. As if you’re your mum right now floating yourself into their situation. What does she want? “She just wants me to give her a cuddle.” Why didn’t you give her a cuddle? “Because I was angry with her.” Okay, but can you still be angry and give her a cuddle? “Yes, because I love her.” Okay, so what could be a better thing to do next time? “Give my mum a cuddle, just tell her I love her, tell her I’m here for her and don’t try and judge her. And say what if I was to give you some ideas. Would you be open to that? If she’s not, that’s fine. But if she is great, but don’t assume that you have all the solutions.
How would it feel to give her the opportunity to be yourself and let her come to you? “Well that would be less pressure on me because that’s something that’s been on my mind when I go to bed over the last few days.” Okay, well let’s park that.
And that’s all you do, it’s the process you do. I’m not saying it’s the solution to everything. It’s being mindful of all those situations; it’s slowing them down and you’re taking control of your mind and at the same time being able to say it’s okay to let that go and I’ve got solutions to some of these already.
I hope that’s helped. It doesn’t work for everybody. It certainly works for me and a lot of people I work with, people I’ve coached. And if it’s given you something a little tool there, then it’s been worth me spending the time before I shoot off. Because I have to go home now and I’m going to switch over with my partner now as she’s going to spend some time my daughter. I think she’s going off to get her hair done, and my other daughter who is four years of age I’m going to spend some time with her.
It is time for me to sign out, Dr Ro getting ready to go. I shall see you on one of my next videos.
Remember they’re not just videos about anxiety. There are videos about health, relationships, communication about money and about property, and it’s a great joy to be able to share this with you.
I’ll see you on the next video.
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