PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: After a proper diagnosis has been made by a physician, the following exercises may help mitigate anxiety, along with other treatments, such as medication, if indicated.
Inner/Outer Focus Exercises
Dennis B. Kottler, MD
Westlake Village, CA
We can focus either on ourselves or on the outside world; we cannot do both simultaneously.
When we become acutely anxious we tend to focus too much on ourselves, on how we are feeling. For example, we focus on feeling dizzy, light-headed, jittery, queasy, faint, and various other unpleasant sensations. Forcing ourselves to focus on the world outside is difficult when in the middle of an anxiety attack, but it can produce a big payoff in lessening anxiety.
In the following scenarios we practice becoming familiar with the "inner focused" anxiety-provoking thoughts and then learn to substitute the "outer focused" anxiety-lessening thoughts. Thus we learn to control our level of anxiety.
This technique is useful to:
1 -- Prevent or Abort a Panic Attack.
2 -- Defuse excessive Anxiety, as in a Performance scenario.
3 -- Knock out Social Anxiety (Phobia) problems.
3 -- Improve Communication with another person.
HERE IS HOW THIS EXERCISE WORKS:
When you click a button at the left, a scene displays. Two buttons appear below the scene.
*** Click the button marked "inner focused thoughts" to practice the kinds of thinking that can increase anxiety.
*** Click the button marked "outer focused thoughts" to practice the kinds of thinking that can lessen anxiety..
NOTE: This exercise may resemble "positive thinking," however, the main goal is REDIRECTING THE FOCUS of thought away from the "self" and out to the environment. The outer focused thought doesn't have to be positive...e.g. "that building is ugly."