While some anxiety can be positive in motivating us to achieve goals, some forms of anxiety can impair our abilities to face work and social situations, and even just be able to relax in our homes. Some anxiety can destroy our ability to cope with the most basic functions in our lives. Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques available to master anxiety. Some include breathing, taking breaks, doing math problems or spelling in your head, or even opening your focus to other things in your world.
According to Les Fehmi, in his book The Open-Focus Life, open-focus is a tool used to manage emotions in such a way as to optimize our well-being. Open-focus helps us maximize our attention and awareness so we can better manage anxiety and other emotions.
In the book, Les Fehmi and the co-authors explain various forms of attention and learning how to manage your attention style. Adapting your attention style to your specific needs will help you perform better, be more social, and cope with changes in your circumstances. Open-focus techniques help you have a more flexible way of paying attention, which helps us maintain more calm in our lives, despite the demands of our jobs and friends and families.
Anxiety disorders are explained as disorders altering how we approach life. Anxiety can be difficult to control and changes how we approach situations and respond to stimuli. Fortunately, anxiety disorders do not have to exclude you from living life to the full. At SokyaHealth, we offer self-care tips for anxiety as well as other resources. Our providers are equipped to help you learn how to manage your anxiety.
We are natural worriers. As children, we were told to pay attention. We were told to notice what is happening in the world, the classroom, our families, our finances, and so on. The things about which we worry take up our time and focus to the extent that we are unable to concentrate on other things in our lives. In short, we are narrow-focused and stressed to the max.
Imagine being able to sit and focus not only on your current activity but being able to notice and pay attention to the other things in your environment. Open-focus is a form of mindfulness and requires a different form of paying attention.
Two ways you can use open-focus techniques to manage anxiety include:
Most of us awaken to our smartphones jingling or playing a sound we cannot ignore. Then, we look at our missed messages, emails, possible calls, calendar, and other items we feel must be addressed before leaving the bed. This narrow focus on our technology and what we may have missed during those few precious hours of sleep can destroy our feelings of well-being and create anxiety in the first few moments of our mornings.
Taking time to simply turn off the alarm and stretch and breathe may help you. When breathing, open your focus to your room, your house, your neighborhood, and then back to your breathing. Notice the space between your breaths. That pause has always been there and is a reminder of our need to pause between bursts of activity.
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. Yet, many of us skip it or eat those calories on the go. Taking some time to notice the smell of your breakfast or even the coffee or tea brewing can help increase feelings of calm. Notice your stressors while still allowing yourself to focus on what you are experiencing.
Panic and anxiety are often a result of narrowed thinking. When one has a panic attack or anxiety attack, their focus is narrow, concerned about either living and dying or about a significant stressor in their life. Panic does not have to control you, and starting your day with just noticing the smells in your kitchen might alleviate some of your anxiety.
Using the open-focus technique is a way of engaging all of your senses throughout the day to alleviate narrow focus. Having a narrow focus usually leads to anxiety and panic. You do not have to live in an anxious state. Relief is available. Open-focus might not be the right strategy for you, but there are plenty of options to help you manage anxiety.
Being open to your experiences is a significant part of managing anxiety. Mindfulness has been touted for years as a means of managing your well-being. Open-focus is an expanded form of mindfulness. Using the open-focus method is beneficial, but sometimes you may need some extra support. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression, or other issues surrounding well-being, do not be afraid to ask for help. At SokyaHealth, we provide a variety of services that are personalized and confidential. We know how busy your lives are and provide telehealth services. Anxiety does not have to be survived but can be overcome. Reach out and ask for help. Not only do we provide self-care tips, but we also offer coaching, therapy, group support, and medication management. Do not suffer from anxiety any longer. Reach out to us at SokyaHealth by calling us at (877) 840-6956 and learn how we can help you overcome anxiety.