Moodzone: Anxiety control training 

Dr Chris Williams explains how you can take control of anxiety. This podcast is one of an eight-part series for Moodzone.

Why do I feel anxious and panicky?

Transcript of Moodzone: Anxiety control training

NHS CHOICES MOODZONE

Anxiety control training www.nhs.uk/moodzone

I'm Dr Chris Williams, and I'm here to help you to help yourself

through some common life difficulties.

In this session, we're going to focus on how to live better with anxiety

and learn how to relax.

Managing our anxiety and being able to switch off

and relax a little each day can help us to stay well.

Holidays and short breaks can also make us feel great.

But as you know, these can cost a lot in terms of time and money.

They also don't come around anywhere near often enough.

So, what I'm suggesting here is that you take a holiday every day.

Or even twice a day, but without the cost, the travel

and the pain of lost bags and all that spending.

You're going to learn a technique to help you relax.

To focus your mind away from worries and stress and also to relax your body.

And the audio file you are about to listen to

last no more than five minutes. And you can use it whenever you want.

Just rest comfortably back,

letting your gaze rest upon the point you've chosen.

Just listening to my voice.

And as the relaxation continues,

your eyes may wish to close in order to enjoy deeper calm.

In which case, they will.

Just think, first, about your hands,

just thinking about the position of your hands

and any slight contact or pressure of the palms of your hands.

The tips of your fingers and any feelings of warmth or coolness.

Just being aware of the temperature of the skin of your hands.

Whether they're warm or cool.

And any other feelings you may notice there.

Perhaps slight tingling feelings in your hands and so on.

And now your arms, the position of your arms

and your shoulders resting back.

Just being aware of any tension or tightness in the muscles of your arms

around your shoulders and neck.

Tension or tightness now becoming replaced by relaxation.

So your arms now begin to feel limp and relaxed.

Just letting relaxation come.

Your arms limp and relaxed.

Just letting controlled relaxation begin to come all through your body.

Not resisting it, but just inviting this controlled relaxation.

And now your feet and legs, just like your hands and arms.

First your feet, and all the feelings you notice there.

The position of your feet.

And the warmth or coolness.

Just being aware of the temperature of the skin of your feet.

Whether they're warm or cool.

And other feelings, tingling feelings and so on.

And just noticing the position of your legs

and any pressure in the back of your legs.

Just being aware of any tightness there being replaced by relaxation.

Just like your arms, limp and relaxed.

And now, the muscles of your stomach and chest.

Knotted up tension feelings being replaced by relaxation.

Just sinking back, deeper into the relaxation.

Not resisting it, but inviting controlled relaxation.

And now your face muscles, around your forehead and eyes.

Frowning tension being replaced by smooth relaxation.

Your forehead muscles smooth and relaxed.

Many people like to let their eyes close at this stage

in order to enjoy deeper relaxation.

You do what you like, whether your eyes are open or closed.

Whatever's most comfortable.

Now be aware of the muscles of your jaws, clenching teeth tension

being replaced by relaxation.

A deep, controlled, calm relaxation all through you.

And taking time to enjoy this control, your control over tension.

And now let come into your mind's eye a picture.

A calm picture, whether it's somewhere you know, a holiday, or flowers.

Whatever you choose. Just what you want. Your picture.

And through the picture, deeper still into controlled, calm, relaxation.

And the more you practise this technique,

you'll find it easier and easier to bring on

these deep, controlled, calm feelings.

And now I'm going to stop talking altogether.

You just continue with your calm, controlled relaxation

for a little longer.

Then in your own time, just when it suits you, bring the session to end.

Just in your own time.

How did that feel?

Could you physically relax the different parts of your body?

Did you find that you were able to move your mind on to a relaxing scene?

Somewhere that felt calmer and relaxing?

Great, isn't it, when you manage that?

Sometimes people notice that when they first try this,

it feels a bit odd and they don't feel fully relaxed.

Don't worry, this is perfectly normal.

And like anything, it's likely to become easier with practice.

And now that you've practised this first form of anxiety control training,

the key is to build on this by regular practice.

You've made a great start here by completing this session.

To get the most from this approach, you need to use it in everyday practice

for a few weeks so you get really good at it.

Thanks for listening.

Thank you. For more like this visit: www.nhs.uk/moodzone

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