Mental imagery can do amazing things to a person’s mindset. Basically all worry is due to mental imagery. This is because a person only worries about something he or she doesn’t know the outcome to. Waiting for the results of a lab test to come back is one example. When you imagine a bad outcome, you will exhibit all the symptoms of a worried and nervous person. When you imagine a good outcome, none of these symptoms will be present.
The right kind of imagery can help a person in many different situations. The old public speaker’s trick is to imagine his or her audience to be naked. This, of course may be difficult to get the hang of, but it certainly could change the speaker’s mindset from one of being inferior to a much bolder one.
Using mental imagery can also help overcome a panic attack or other types of anxiety symptoms. There are some mental images that work very well for this. In this article, I would like to share one taught to me by a young school teacher who is wise beyond her years. This little trick helped me greatly when I was a panic sufferer. Like the public speaker trick, this one takes a little practice to master, but just thinking about this image will bring at least, some relief.
When we were kids, we used to play with a toy known as Chinese Handcuffs or Chinese Finger Cuffs. These were simply a tubular device, about the width of a human finger that was woven out of bamboo. When an unsuspecting person would put both his index fingers in the finger cuff, he would become trapped in them.
The harder he pulled his fingers apart, the tighter the device would become. Eventually, most people figured out the way to escape these finger cuffs is to stop pulling. I’ll bet at one time or another, you have played with this toy and learned the trick to freeing your fingers as well.
Relax Your Way to Anxiety Freedom
Anxiety attacks work the same way Chinese Handcuffs work. The harder you try to pull out of one, the deeper you become immersed in it. Anxiety and panic attacks are fed by adrenaline. The more you try to fight your way out of an anxiety attack, the more adrenaline you create.
During a panic attack, use the mental imagery you are escaping a Chinese Handcuff. Don’t actually try to do anything, just visualize escaping this device and the mental imagery will lead you away from feeding your anxiety and in many cases toward relief from it.
While this rarely cures anxiety disorder overnight, it certainly is effective in reversing an oncoming anxiety attack or just helping you find relief from a tough day.