If you ever experienced a panic attack or intense anxiety, I don't have to tell you how awful it is. The attacks don't wait for the perfect time. They don't really care where you are, who you are with or whether you are ready for it. Sometimes it just happens. There is, however, something you can do right at the moment. It may not stop the attack completely, but it can help you get through it. It's called Getting Grounded.
Getting Grounded involves each of your senses. It's a simple but effective tool that helps distract you from the negative feelings, and keeps you in the present. This is how it's done:
When you feel highly anxious or an attack, in your mind or out loud, answer the following:
Name 5 things you can SEE around you!
Name 5 things you can HEAR around you!
Name 5 things that you can SMELL!
Name 5 things that you can TOUCH!
Name 5 things that you can TASTE!
If you can't actually hear anything, or taste anything at that very moment, just change the wording a bit, maybe to something like Name 5 things I can SMELL when I am cooking!
If after you go through this list and you still feel anxious to a point that you can't continue whatever it was you were doing, then continue with another list. Remember, it's all about distraction.
Name 5 social media networks!
Name 5 countries around the world!
Name 5 things around you that are blue!
So for example, if I were to do it right now, my answers would be something like.....
Name 5 things I can SEE: clock, chair, trees, rake, fireplace
Name 5 things I can HEAR: knife chopping, my fingers hitting the keyboard, music playing, the hum from this computer, footsteps upstairs
So, give it a try. It is a great tool to use in between counselling sessions. Many of my clients also have an app on their phone to help them during times of anxiety. The one app I really like is called "What's Up?" on google play.
The idea of re-marrying your ex probably would not go over too well with your family or friends. "Are you crazy?! Did you not learn the first time?!"
Well, those responses are quite natural, and probably is in your best interest from their point of view. However, statistically speaking, guess what? Your odds of having a successful marriage to your ex is actually greater than any first time marriages! Look at these numbers... first time marriages end in a divorce about 50% of the time. Second marriages are even more dreadful, ending about 70% of that time. But re-marrying your ex ends badly only about 30% of the time. Now, whether these numbers are concrete or not, I think if you really sit down and think about it... it just may not be a bad idea. Now, before you go ahead and look up your ex on facebook, consider the following....
(1) Have you taken responsibility for your part in why the marriage didn't last in the first place? What did you do (not not do) that caused the marriage to crumble.
(2) Is there a changed behavior? For you and theirs. Remember, past behavior predicts future behavior unless there is considerable change. Contemplate it. How have you changed? How have they changed?
Okay, now go find them!