While dealing with agoraphobia I was once in panic the day before I was to take a short road-trip with my daughter. It was only two hours at the most, depending on traffic, but a large bridge was involved, as was meeting new people and having conversations with them.
I made it, and so can you.
I just read this article on Deepak Chopra’s website regarding Chaos and I found it to be insightful and helpful. Feel free to visit and read the entire article. I have included what I found to be most helpful below.
My application of this and my interpretation follows the excerpt.
What Is a Positive Emotional Anchor?
From the teaching of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), comes the concept of an anchor. The simplest way to explain an anchor is to think of it as a link to an emotional state. The anchor serves as a reminder or a trigger that puts you into a certain state of being. Of course, anchors can be both positive and negative; however, we’re going to focus on positive anchors.
For example, an athlete will use an anchor to get back into “the zone” so they can regain peak performance in a game. It may be a visual image of shooting the perfect basket or knocking the ball out of the park. A professional speaker will have a routine they do before going on stage to remind them of the positive states they want to be in while presenting. This routine is their way of setting up an anchor—or a positive state. You can use this same concept at any time to help you get out of a chaotic state.
In the circumstance I mentioned earlier, I created an anchor by thinking about having my daughter to myself for the round-trip and how much fun we would have catching up, talking, and most importantly, laughing.
I then started to think about some of the things I would like to speak to her about – not motherly advice things – but things that interest her. Where does she see herself in five years? Is she happy with her boyfriend? Is he the one, or is he just the right one for right now. How does she feel about a political or social issue right now. I would ask her to tell me about her job and how it makes her feel.
I began to visualize the conversation and realized I needed to insert some humor, so I began to brainstorm some silly things I had seen on Facebook.
And then there’s gossip. Did you hear about what happened to _______?
My visualization calmed me and gave me peace.
Focus on the anchor, and the rest will fall into place.
Also, I knew I could count on her for help and support just in case I had a panic or anxiety attack. She would help me make a fast exit either to the restroom or outside. She’s that kind of girl.