1. Ground yourself and consider the objects around you.
This method is usually used for panic attacks. It helps to switch to what is around and distract from experiences. Here’s what’s worth noting:
- Five things you see in front of you. Look at your palms, the sky, or a book on your desktop. Watch how the light falls on them, what shade they have, what else is located next to them.
- Four things you can touch. For example, a computer mouse in your hand or a carpet under your feet. Focus on feelings. Feel how the pile tickles your feet and how the mouse clicks under your fingers.
- Three sounds you are hearing right now. Let’s say the noise of children in the yard. Listen to the voices, try to understand what the guys are talking about.
- Two scents that you smell. Focus on the aroma of coffee in your mug or pastries in the kitchen. Try to make out the semitones. Maybe the coffee smells a little milky, and the bun smells of spices.
- One thing you can taste. Take a mint gum or eat a piece of chocolate. Taste the food well and see if you like the taste.
2. Ask someone to talk to you
Conversation, like grounding, will help shift attention. If you don’t have the strength to share your experiences, just listen to someone’s voice. By focusing on the timbre of the interlocutor and his words, you may, at least for a while, forget about unpleasant thoughts.
It happens that friends cannot support as they would like, and sometimes there is simply no one to talk to. In this case, a helpline will help out. For example, the Emergency Psychological Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia provides free consultations at +7 (495) 989‑50‑50. At any time of the day, you can anonymously discuss worrisome problems with a specialist, whether it is parting with a partner, an unpleasant conversation with your boss, or a sudden surging longing. If after the conversation you want to analyze your request in more depth, write to the expert on the website of the online service.
3. Wash dishes or wash with cold water
Not obvious advice, but it can help. Washing dishes can distract from anxious thoughts, give strength to creativity and teach mindfulness .
It is important that you are not distracted by anything during the process, so do not turn on music or podcasts in the background. Instead, focus on how you feel. Feel the coolness of the plates, the warmth of the water and the aroma of the washing gel.
If the alarm is caught outside the home, wash yourself with cold water: in the restroom of the office or cafe. This will help you calm down and drown out disturbing thoughts.
Do not forget that the obsessive feeling of anxiety that interferes with life is a reason to consult a therapist. In this case, it is important not only to deal with the symptoms, but also to understand the causes.
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