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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I find that the biggest problem with my anxiety is the fact that I'm constantly THINKING about it. I just can't stop. And the more I notice it and try to stop, the worse it gets, which is probably the case for most people, if not all.

Sow how do you keep your mind from constantly racing, and just "live in the moment"? Any tips?

Thanks.
 

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I find that the biggest problem with my anxiety is the fact that I'm constantly THINKING about it. I just can't stop. And the more I notice it and try to stop, the worse it gets, which is probably the case for most people, if not all.

Sow how do you keep your mind from constantly racing, and just "live in the moment"? Any tips?

Thanks.
Oh man, this problem plagued me for years and years. It still does, but I've found that keeping myself busy helps a lot. Exercise, for one, actually helps immensely, because the endorphins will make you feel better about yourself and more lively in general. But if you're like me and sometimes "feel too awful to exercise", then there's plenty of other things to do.

"Living in the moment" actually means doing something engaging in the moment. The reason being that you are actively doing something new, or something that requires thought or attention, in other words, requiring you to be active and pour some of your "life" into what you're doing.

Reading some of the other posts here and working with others to solve problems is one option.

If you have a sport or game you like to play, that works great.

Watching a movie or a show that you enjoy can be a good way to absorb a large amount of time.

And listening to music while doing any of the above (or virtually anything that doesn't require hearing) can further add to distracting and changing your mood.

If small, trivial things like that still aren't helping, maybe you need something that requires some devotion and dedication. Volunteer work, a job, or picking up and learning something like dancing or whatnot may just do the trick.

And last, but certainly not least, picking up the phone and talking or finding a friend to hang out with is great, but given the forums we're on, availability can vary.
 

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Music, Meditation...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What about when there are no available distractions, though? Like siting in the break room at work with a bunch of people, or standing in line at a grocery store, things like that...
 

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Globe Trekker has already mentioned meditation, and a
form of this will work in public as well, i.e. deep, slow breathing and imagining the situation as it really is as contrasted with the terrifying situation that your mind tries to convince you is taking place.
Having said that, I do not think that it is possible to work through your problems with SA when confronted with the terror arising from interaction with other people.
My advice, take a walk. Seriously, if you live in a city get outside and start walking until you either wear yourself out, in which case you are not anxious, or at least develop some peace of mind. I don't think that walking is very different from
meditation. Both emphasize being present, but I find walking a
simpler means to accomplishing the desired end.
 

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What about when there are no available distractions, though? Like siting in the break room at work with a bunch of people, or standing in line at a grocery store, things like that...
Oh, I see, I completely missed your aim. I do what Peregrinus suggests, slow and steady breathing. I never actually thought about doing it, I think I started doing it automatically as a reaction to stress when it got too overwhelming, and by the time I realized that I had been doing it for weeks, I also realized it worked.

I'm guessing that just calling up a friend to talk to is not an option in these situations, so having a music player of some sort or a book could work. I find trying to do "creative" things like drawing and writing generally doesn't help, since they generally actually make me think deeper and increase stress. I remember that once I couldn't stand it so much that I forced myself to think about buying a gift for someone, and then I got preoccupied in deciding what gift to pick out.

I never did buy that gift, but it's definitely my choice for the next occasion.
 

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The moment is connected to your ab area. You can sit up nice and straight the way yo' mama tole you or yo' friends mama tole you or a tv mom tole them, or that voice in yo' head that tole you or me that tole you and breathe there for one. Personally I have reworded many of Barry Manilow's songs (none of which feature Obama, well okay, let's just pretend that I didn't have two versions of reworded Manilow songs for a second because it will be easier to take the truth in little doses I believe) and I like to do Latin dances while I sing them with mixed fruit juices. WOO HOO.
 

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What about when there are no available distractions, though? Like siting in the break room at work with a bunch of people, or standing in line at a grocery store, things like that...
Like what others suggested, deep breathing helps. I also turn on my mental radio to calm me down. I just start playing songs in my head or make up some beat to distract me.
 

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Here's some inspiration.
well this is a stretching and warm up song. Unless I speed it up and add a latin beat. That is interesting. but then again you may puke over it. forget it I never said nothing. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH.
 

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I have this problem also. I am really kinda good when interacting with people. I am good when I am doing something and not alone. But when I am walking the street alone, or sitting in silent class alone with people behind. Then it's freaking hell for me. I just can't control my mind. I start to think that others are watching me, I start to think how stupid I may look and so on. Then I start to blush, sweat or even get a shaking neck. Arghhh thats so ****ed up.
 

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When I'm getting ready to do something, I try to breathe and tell myself that there's nothing to worry about it - but it never works. What works the best for me is to accept myself as I am. If I say, "Well, who cares if I'm shy and I get nervous? That's just who I am." And, ironically, it eases anxiety a little.
 

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Deliberately change the image and thoughts in your mind when you start feeling anxious. YOU are in control remember - so you can make your mind bring up an image that you find calming or stimulating. It could be the image of someone you look up to, could be of a place you love, or the lyrics of a song, words of a poem, but concentrate on the mental image to the extent of everything else.

Breathe deeply while you are 'seeing' this image. If the anxious feelings or thoughts try to come back then just concentrate harder on the image, remember that YOU are in control and you can choose to concentrate on what you prefer to think about. :yes
 

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I find music helps a lot too. Take a CD player/Ipod with you when you go out or are on break. I always had one when I had to walk home from school.

Sunshine, have you done anything with All the Time? That's kind of an SA song. Barry's the solution to any problem!

If for some reason I don't want to listen to song lyrics I have a whole bunch of jazz/instrumental music that always does the trick.
 

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Anyone else find that "trying" to be in the moment doesn't help? I don't think this is something that can be forced, any more than you can force yourself to fall asleep. Ironically, it might be when we give up in frustration that we finally awaken to who we really are.

Sorry if this is too esoteric ... just one of my many random thoughts.
 

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I get what you're saying. Trying too hard rarely results in succeeding.

Not that we shouldn't try, but taking a step back every now and then helps.
 

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What about when there are no available distractions, though? Like siting in the break room at work with a bunch of people, or standing in line at a grocery store, things like that...
My doctor says focus on breathing or focus your attention on surrounding objects like a sign on the wall and read it over and over or even just hold something in your pocket like a stress ball and squeeze it to release tention just to distract you, combine the whole 3 and it should calm you somewhat in those situations. chewing gum works good too.
 

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Here are a few things that work for me to ease anxiety:

1. Deep breathing. Not only does this naturally calm you, but it also takes your mind off of whatever is making you anxious.

2. Turning your physical signs of anxiety into positive feelings. As soon as the butterflies hit your chest/stomach, concentrate on your chest/stomach and picture your butterflies as something positive. For example, if you're standing in line at the grocery store and you start to feel anxious, concentrate on your physical symptoms and TELL YOURSELF that it's not anxiety you're feeling, it's actually happiness. This eases my anxiety and almost always puts me in a better mood.

3. Turning your anxiety-worthy events into positive events. This sort of goes with the previous one but if you're feeling anxious because you have a social event coming up (and trust me, I know anticipatory anxiety is the worst), tell yourself at least one positive thing that's going to come out of it. For example, I get anxious doing most things by myself especially if I'm going somewhere I haven't been before. Let's say I'm going to a new dentist and I'm feeling anxious. I tell myself first that there really is nothing to be afraid of. Second I list all the positive things that are going to come out of that experience-better looking teeth, higher self esteem, even just being able to do something by myself makes me feel like I deserve a pat on the back.

4. Self talk. I find books that tell you to use self talk are decent at explaining it but a lot of these resources just aren't for me and my way of thinking. So you know what I do? If I start to feel anxious, I SCREAM (in my head) "WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?!?" This helps me realize the sillyness of the situation.

5. Living in the moment. I know it's easier said than done. You said the breakroom at work and standing in line at the grocery store as examples of situations that living in the moment doesn't work. It DOES. Remember that living in the moment can be WHATEVER you mean it to be. Let's say two people are in a car driving together. One person might be watching the scenery go by while the other is concentrated on the music. They're both living in the moment in their own way. So if we use the grocery store as an example, you can pay attention to the cashier scanning items, or you can look at the candy bars they have on display next to the register, or you can think about what you're going to eat when you get home. These are all examples of living in the moment. The last one might be an example of living in your head but it's not a negative example. Wondering what the cashier is thinking about you is an example of living in your head negatively.

You can use all of these in conjunction with one another or if one works for you, that's great. I tend to practice deep breathing, living in the moment, and self talk most often.
 
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