Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Drill down to see what's beneath anxiety

When you are sick, you often take your temperature. When you are feeling anxious or restless, do you ever take your emotional temperature?

Sometimes it's a good idea to just drill down further into your emotions to see what's beneath those feelings of anxiety or restlessness. Try to stay with the feelings rather than ignoring them or trying to get over them. Stay with them and ask questions of yourself: Am I afraid? Am I sad? Am I angry? What's happened lately that might cause or contribute to these feelings? What's really going on?

If you are good at journaling, write it out. If you think best by talking with your partner, spouse or best friend, do that. And here's something you might try: Right-hand, left-hand dialogue. Such dialogue allows you to discover things that are at a subconscious or unconscious level. This format allows the questioner or interviewer part of you to talk with the feeling, emotional part. Use your dominant hand for the interviewer and your non-dominant hand for the emotional you. So the questioner side asks something such as, "What are you feeling right now?" And the non-dominant hand writes whatever emerges, not editing or stopping to think it through—simply writing whatever comes to mind first.

I have done this before and been blown away by the inner thoughts and feelings that emerged. If you'd like help exploring this further, please contact me.

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