Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
You know those times when you are in a situation and you just feel overwhelmed, like you could have a panic attack or just sort of "lose it"? Yeah, I think we all know that feeling. Maybe it's too loud, the situation is super stressful, you have a lot going on in your life, or something else. For me, when I am somewhere where and there are a lot of people and it's really noisy, I feel like I can't concentrate. I feel like I need to get out of there and sometimes feel a little panicky when there are really loud noises. For other people it may be taking a test that throws them off. Or maybe you just get stuck thinking about something and can't let it go. It could be anything really. Luckily there are some things you can do to help.
This exercise is not a magic wand, but I find it very helpful. I recommend giving it a try. You can do it anytime, anywhere and it doesn't require any tools, training or a specials environment. And really, what can it hurt? It doesn't really matter what order you do it in, as long as you hit all five of your senses.
Part of what I really like about this exercise is that it forces me to focus on right here and right now. It also involves some numbers and going through steps which distract me from my racing thoughts. Try counting and naming items in your environment without being distracted from your thoughts. I can't do it. Being forced to focus on the present can be a reminder that you are ok. Your body may be telling you that it's time for fight or flight, but once you slow down and look around, your brain gets a chance to tell you that you are safe.
Give this a try. I think you might find that it helps.
Sara Cole MFT is San Diego Therapist who has been in practice for over 10 years. For more ideas or to find out how she may be able to help you, check out www.saracoemft.com. Sara has offices in Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression and anxiety. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.