Blow Anxiety Away on a Bubble
Anxiety can be beastly. It can take hold of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Anxiety seems to take control of our physical body, too. How on Earth do we combat such a beast? How about with bubbles?
Tricks for Anxiety-Reduction
There are many, many different tricks and techniques for showing the beast just who’s boss. (It’s you, by the way, not the anxiety beast. When anxiety tells you it’s the boss of you, it's just putting on a conceited front. Anxiety isn't the boss of you.)
In this video series, I've begun sharing one specific anxiety-beating tip at a time. The effectiveness of each one is supported by research, by reports of therapists who use them, and even by me, both as a counselor and a client. They’re not quick fixes, but they are designed to help soothe anxiety in a given moment, and when used over time, can be very effective in reducing anxiety overall. Everyone is different, so not everyone will get the same anxiety-reducing benefits from every technique. The best thing to do is try something, give it a chance to work, and either keep it or move on to something different. Build a toolbox full of tricks for taming the anxiety beast within.
Last time, I talked about putting anxiety in a box. This month, I have a very powerful weapon for you to put in your toolbox: a jar of bubbles!
Yes, bubbles. They truly are a match for anxiety and an effective method to blow it away. Tune into the video for information.
Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
I just played with some a few days ago with my dog.
Now I can understand more about why they're therapeutic and
the Colors Everyone! All those Rainbow Colors!
That's a Big part of the Visual Therapy for Me.
Check literature specific to play therapy (which can be used with all ages, including adults). I've read peer reviewed journal articles about bubbles, and there are often references in textbooks or edited collections of articles. Also check research regarding deep breathing in general, as bubbles encourage correct deep breathing techniques. Even if you don't find an article specific to bubble-blowing, the breathing research does apply. Another avenue to try is looking at the importance of play/lightheartedness to mental health. Bubbles not only encourage deep breathing and reap the benefits of that, but they introduce an element of fun. I hope these ideas are helpful!
I love the image of filling a room with bubbles as a diversion from panic attacks! That is fantastic! Congratulations on overcoming agoraphobia. It's entirely possible (you're proof of that), but it's not easy. Congratulations, too, on writing a book and sharing your experiences. Writing is powerful. I write books about anxiety and other mental illnesses too, but mine are realistic fiction. Best of luck to you!
You are doing something mental health professionals highly recommend -- seeking out information and reading about what is affecting you. It's called bibliotherapy. Just being interested and willing to read about anxiety puts you on the road to overcoming it.
One book that comes to mind is Maximum Mental Health: Overcome Depression, Anxiety and other Mental Illnesses with 20 Principles for Happier and Healthier Living (Mental Health & Happiness ... Depression and Anxiety Treatment Book 1) by Aleks George Srbinoski. This is informative, interactive, and truly helpful with practical techniques.
There are many other books available as well. A trip to the library or a search on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. will reveal a lot. Think of your own needs and beliefs to guide you on the search. Are you interested in holistic, natural healing? Traditional medication? Do you want to explore possible causes of anxiety? Or is the cause not important to you? Does anxiety affect your thoughts, or does it affect your emotions or your behavior or all three or just some? As you can see, there's a lot to anxiety, and there are books that address every aspect of it. There are also memoirs where people share their own accounts of anxiety (Scott Stossel's My Age of Anxiety is quite interesting), and there are fiction books that show what anxiety is like to live with. Perhaps begin with Maximum Mental Health (or something similar) to discover more about your own anxiety and desires, and then branch out from there. Reading about anxiety truly is a great way to overcome it.