Grief has a traveling companion: Anxiety. And it is relentless.
Before Dominic ran ahead to heaven I had no idea that along with sorrow, missing and heartache, I would have to battle a creeping sense of dread that could turn an ordinary day into a nightmare.
I’ve learned to plan ahead and minimize triggers I can identify, but sometimes I find myself suddenly overwhelmed with no easy means of escape.
That’s when I apply this technique.
It is amazingly effective and can be done anytime, anywhere without another soul even knowing I’m doing it.
I begin by taking five deep breaths-often I will place my hand on my diaphragm to remind me to breathe deeply.
Then I find:
- five things I can see;
- four things I can touch (I don’t have to touch them but if I can, it helps-even my own fingertips or my shirt or purse);
- three things I can hear;
- two things I can smell;
- one thing I can taste.
I use my fingers to silently count down the list.
While it doesn’t always erase my anxious feelings, it always tames them.
Taking charge and taking action (even silent, mental action) helps give my heart the space it needs to regroup and reassess the actual “danger” my body is responding to.
Try it. It’s easy. It’s free. And it works.