Did you know that by being so constantly aware of the way your body is feeling at every moment, as well as avoiding the anxious triggers of the outside world, you can actually completely lose feeling for things? My own mother would ask me things like: “Do you even care about your family anymore?” In a complete daze due to the dizzy sensation I was experiencing and just barely conscious of her words I replied, “Of course I do mom.” To be honest, I was too occupied in my own terror filled world to care about anything.
Anxiety has a way of sucking the life out of you and shooting it into the distance asking you to either continue to cope, and continue to live in a world that is empty and dark, or work for the change you want.
I chose the latter after 6 years of mental numbness and it paid off big time. Another great example in my own life of being unable to FEEL anything for someone, something, some place, etc, was the time I was picked to play a professional tennis tournament in Nassau, Bahamas. To many this would be the time of their lives, but for me it was a daunting challenge and I would find myself losing track of the score during tennis matches. Glancing at the beach from time to time without interest, and giving my beautiful fiancée a kiss before the big match, all without being able to fully experience the sensations of joy, happiness, positivity and curiosity.
I was a Numb Man Walking, and of course my panic attacks were right around the corner waiting to strike at any moment which would again leave me in a cycle of complete confusion and fear afterwards. My doctor told me that this feeling of living in my own personal bubble was again a sign of a chemical imbalance in my brain. Depression soon kicked into high gear because when you combine a doctor’s prescription of Clonazepam (Benzodiazepine) with an anti-depressant, you first get hit with an actual FEELING of possibility and hope, only to come to the realization a few weeks into your dosage that you are becoming number and less productive, as well as leaving your feelings of the possibility for change in the unlikely hands of a pill. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ok with those kinds of odds, so I started chipping away at the root of the problem. I did something I haven’t done in a long time.
I started working on turning my focus around from myself to my immediate outer world. Common sense you say? It’s not so common – believe me.
The technique I used was what I like to call the “around me” visualization and it worked amazingly. I did 3 sets of 5 minutes each and my memory improved tremendously as well – I first gave myself a window of about 45 minutes of alone time, after that I took a minute to look around me to take in my immediate surroundings, than I closed my eyes and played the same movie in my head for 5 minutes. If I was home I would be visualizing my desk and how it felt, my water bottle and where it was previously, my son playing in the backyard and so on.
It was clear, It was powerful and after my 5 minutes I took myself to a new spot, noticed my surroundings clearly and closed my eyes for round 2, then round 3 followed after. Put this technique into your daily morning, afternoon or evening routine and you will soon be able to put your importance into your outside world over your inner world and with it, feelings that you truly deserve and want in your life.