The greatest antidote to anxious thinking is distraction. There are lots of things to be anxious about but we should ask ourselves – how much ‘mind space’ do they need? Sometimes we let anxiety grip us too easily. We can loosen that grip with the following strategies:
1. Return to a lost hobby. Dust down the piano, bring the guitar down from the attic, practice your golf swing in the garden!
2. Acquire a new skill – painting, knitting, drawing, gardening. There are lots of free online courses available. Order what you need from Amazon.
3. Switch your company. In order to talk about different things sometimes we have to talk to different people.
4. Switch on some music and start singing aloud or dancing. Organise a family concert/show.
5. Reminisce more. Find some old photos or videos and savour golden days from your past. Involve others.
6. Play a game that needs your concentration – cards, chess, monopoly or even try something on PlayStation or X-Box
7. Organise to meet some friends from afar on Zoom and chat about anything other than Covid-19. Make that the rule. Ask them questions about where they live, families and what they love to do.
8. If you have children – start playing with them. They have their own little worlds. Let yourself fall into them.
9. Get yourself a good novel and start reading it.
10. Try some crosswords or word mazes.
Distraction is free and is even used in pain management.
It is possible to get better at it with practice. Structure your days better and if you are your own worst enemy – spend lots of time with others
(C) Shane Martin