Using distraction techniques for anxiety

Anxiety is experienced differently by everyone and most use distraction techniques for anxiety as a way of coping. A different person might feel anxious due to their worries, concerns, or fears. It can also be caused by external circumstances that are stressful or unsettling. And it can be viewed as a feeling of nervousness and panic that may interfere with an individual’s ability to carry out their everyday daily tasks. 

When anxiety takes over, people seek distraction techniques to cope with the feelings of anxiety. However, these techniques are often unhelpful in the long-term process to get rid of anxiety. 

distraction techniques for anxiety

What are distraction techniques for anxiety?

For many people, anxiety is a challenge they have to overcome on a regular basis. When people experience anxiety, it’s common for them to try to distract themselves from their feelings. 

Distraction techniques are often used in the process of dealing with anxiety, as they provide relief by helping individuals focus on something else other than their worries or fears.

When used in response to stress and low mood, distractions can be helpful as they allow us time to relax and recharge and help us avoid ruminating about problems we may have encountered during the day.

However, when behaviours such as these are used habitually as a way to cope with anxiety or uncomfortable emotions at other times, these techniques aren’t always helpful and can actually worsen the underlying issues.

Examples of distraction techniques for anxiety

When the symptoms of anxiety are overwhelming, many people attempt to distract themselves. They use different distraction techniques to cope.

Distraction techniques are methods of distracting oneself from anxiety-inducing or negative thoughts and activities. 

Distraction techniques for anxiety may include:

  • Watching TV
  • Playing video games
  • Scrolling through social media
  • Binge eating
  • Exercising vigorously

Distraction techniques are generally helpful when you’re feeling anxious. However, you should be careful not to rely too heavily on them for long-term relief. 

In the short term, distraction techniques may temporarily reduce anxiety symptoms. In the long term, however, they can lead to maladaptive coping strategies that create more problems than they solve.

Why are distraction techniques for anxiety unhelpful?

Some distraction techniques, such as counting breaths or focusing on something in the environment may provide temporary relief.

However, if we’re talking long-term, distraction techniques for anxiety can also be unhelpful because of the following reasons:

  • Distraction techniques for anxiety may create a sense of fake relaxation which doesn’t address the underlying causes of anxiety. 

Rather than dealing with the problem head-on and taking positive steps towards facing your fears, distraction techniques serve to momentarily numb the mind and make it more difficult for you to realise that there is a problem in the first place.

Once this technique goes away, anxiety can resurface. Many people will use the same strategy again, which means that it really isn’t helping at all.

In short, distraction techniques don’t provide any long-term solutions to get rid of anxiety.

  • The use of distraction techniques for anxiety always results in the development of avoidance behaviours.

Avoidance behaviours are attempts to avoid, escape or prevent feared situations or sensations. Avoidance can be helpful in the short term but becomes unhelpful when it is relied upon strongly over time.

By constantly avoiding situations, you never learn to confront your fears. This reinforces anxiety, and you are left with no other option than to continue your avoidance.

Eventually, avoidance behaviour may become a habit that becomes very difficult to break.

  • Distraction techniques can lead to the development of dependency.

If you start to rely on distraction techniques to cope with anxiety, it can lead to unwanted behaviour. You may find it difficult to function without them and as a result of this, your anxiety symptoms will increase. 

In addition, you may begin to feel vulnerable as you become increasingly dependent on your coping mechanisms.

Distractions are a trap

It’s important not to fall into the trap of using distraction techniques in order to cope with anxiety when they can actually intensify your feelings of helplessness and vulnerability.

Using distraction techniques to get rid of your anxiety is unhelpful. Now, you may be wondering, “If distraction techniques are not helpful, then is there any other way to get rid of my anxiety?”

The answer is yes, there is. But how?

Hypnotherapy is the answer.

distraction techniques for anxiety

How can Hypnotherapy help get rid of anxiety?

At The Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy, we train students to approach treating anxiety in a different way. We do it through our specialised hypnotherapy techniques. All the hypnotherapists that work for us have been trained by us.

Hypnotherapy for anxiety is a powerful and effective way to permanently change your negative thinking, beliefs, and anxiety symptoms. 

Our approach to hypnotherapy is unique and distinct from traditional methods. While traditional hypnotherapy tends to focus on *suggestion-based techniques*, our approach is more exploratory and focuses on helping clients uncover and address the root causes of their anxiety.

By accessing the subconscious mind through hypnosis and hypnotherapy, we can change the underlying beliefs that support your anxiety. Once this happens, the real causes of your anxiety are addressed and removed, it will no longer have any power over you. 

Through hypnotherapy, we aim to empower our clients to take control of their thoughts, emotions and actions, so that they can lead a happier and more fulfilling life. 

Don’t take our word for it: Our clients are always happy with the results they receive!

If you are struggling with anxiety, we invite you to contact us, so we can determine if hypnotherapy is right for you.

Book your first appointment today!

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