How to Get Rid of Anxious Feelings Using YouTube
There’s an effective way to free yourself from anxiety in the moment!
Anxiety can be debilitating. Both my husband and I have experienced periods of time when we were so trapped in the quagmire of it, that it seemed it was going to last forever.
One of the reasons the human race is still around is the excellent security system we developed for survival. This is why the emergency fight-freeze-flight state is so overwhelming.
It’s also why anxiety is so much more intense than feelings of peace. The stress chemicals that flood the bloodstream when we get into a state of anxiety are designed to make us prioritize danger — so that we survive it.
Of course, when you’re feeling like you’re going to be “hanged at dawn” when there’s no reason for it, anxiety is more of a liability than a survival feature.
Death by Invoice
I remember receiving an email, letting me know that I’d made a mistake on a writing client’s invoice. The over-the-topness (it’s a word now!) of my reaction was astounding!
On opening the email, I immediately burst into fight-freeze-flight — and stayed there. For no reason. All I needed to do was correct the invoice, and email it back to him.
But, I was in the same state I would have been in if I’d had an appointment with the gallows in an hour.
Penguins in Trees
At least there was a “trigger” for that episode. There have been times when that familiar state of “I’m going to die” boils up out of nowhere.
I remember, we were staying with friends, in Nashville, TN, when one of the biggest episodes of unreasonable end-of-the-world anxiety experiences played out.
It was 3am when I woke up to find my husband in a state of intense anxiety.
He had been marinating in that state for an hour before I woke up. There was absolutely no reason for the anxiety — but no amount of logic or reasoning was going to bring him out of it.
We snuck out of our friends’ house, and walked around the cul-de-sac, bare-foot, in the dark, with me talking nonsense to him about penguins in trees (my attempt to distract him — the best I could come up with at that time of the morning!) for 30 minutes before the anxiety started to dissipate.
That was a while ago now. We’ve both done enough work on ourselves to change the subconscious programming that was causing those episodes of extreme anxiety; and I’m grateful to say — we don’t experience them any longer.
But for those who still do, here’s a relatively quick, simple, and effective way to pull yourself out of those intense states of anxiety in the moment:
Getting Rid of Anxious Feelings — The YouTube Method
- Find a video on YouTube that you find funny. Do this before you get into a state of anxiety — do it now. Save the URL of the video to your device — in an email, on your desktop, bookmark it. Babies laughing is always a good choice.
- When you start to feel anxious (as soon as you notice you’re feeling anxious — don’t wait for it to build), notice, just for a brief moment, how you know you’re feeling anxious. Then, go to the funny YouTube video, and press “play”.
- Watch the video until you laugh, or at least smile. Then press “pause”.
- Now, go back to noticing the anxious feeling. Just very briefly — notice how strong it is, zero to ten. Zero — there’s nothing; Ten — it’s very strong.
- Now, press play on the YouTube video again, and watch until you laugh or smile again. Then press pause.
- Go back and check the anxious feeling again — is it still the same, or different. Again, just very briefly notice (don’t sit in it ;) )
- Now, press play on the video again, and watch until you laugh or smile, then press pause.
- Repeat this process, back and forth, until you can’t find the anxious feelings anymore.
What’s actually happening in your brain and body as you’re doing this:
Every time you focus on something, your brain and body produce matching chemicals.
The anxious feelings you’re experiencing are stress chemicals.
While you’re focused on the anxiety, your brain and body are continuing to produce increasing amounts of those stress chemicals, and your bloodstream is being flooded with them.
When you take your focus off the anxious feelings, and focus on something funny, in that moment, your brain starts to produce different chemicals — and the stress chemicals start to reduce.
When you go back and notice the anxiety again, and then go back to the comedy, you are creating different connections in the neocortex of your brain.
As you do this back-and-forth, you start to change the chemical state of your brain, and bring the prefrontal cortex of your brain (which goes “off-line” when you’re in fight-freeze-flight) back online.
This enables you to start thinking more clearly.
Here’s a short video, taking you through the process above:
This is a temporary solution — to help you to free yourself from the anxious feelings in the moment.
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