9 Things You Might Say to an Anxious Child... or Anyone!

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#8 - Let’s think up some endings for what could happen…

That’s such a useful one for me! I discovered that one for myself some years ago. What worked for me was to imagine the most outrageous ‘ending’. Going to the dentist and being soooo anxious that I throw up on myself…poop in my pants…run around screaming in the office…breaking things…taking hostages, demanding one million dollars and a helicopter. Because anything less than those ‘endings’ is going to be an okay outcome. :slight_smile: There were many other situations I would use that technique with.

When I examined how I did anxiety (it’s a behaviour that has a repeatable structure after all…a series of internal steps we take that produce those feelings) I realized that one of the features of imagining an anxious event was that it always ended at the height of my anxiety/terror. I would end it there because the intensity was overwhelming to my primitive imagining brain. Then I would cycle back to the beginning. It’s an ‘anxiety loop’. So I thought ‘well, what might possibly happen if I continue the imagining beyond that high point?..since I’m just imagining stuff anyway’ And an interesting thing happened I noticed…when I asked 'and what happens next’ it eventually always gets to a moment where there is no more anxiety or it is extremely reduced. Even if I get to the point where I imagine I die from the extreme fear I’m feeling, well, that’s an end to the anxiety. Most ‘endings’ weren’t that extreme though.

I can’t recall if I tapped while doing that…I might have…it’s been a while since I’ve played with this idea. I’m going to have to rejuvenate this and tap while doing it.

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Nice! I am going to apply that myself and notice…

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Me too!! lol…it’s been quite a while since I’ve played with this and, as I said, I can’t remember if I tapped while doing it. I’m going to add tapping for sure.

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