YOU might have heard of minimalism.?
It is a way of life where you stay healthy and happy with minimum resources, things, and possessions.
Language is a foundation of all understanding in this world. We communicate feelings, concepts, and ideas through language.
Can minimalism apply to the usage of language as well?
And how can it help us ease anxiety and panic?
Just imagine human existence and human affairs if verbal language didn’t exist.
So, in conclusion, language is perhaps the greatest invention humans have ever made and now it is as necessary as oxygen and water.
The impacts of words on your everyday life- How does it relate to emotional states?
The use of different words in combination with different tones of voice produces different emotional states for us and for others.
The reason for that is simply “the words” hold power because they are attributed with different emotional labels in our brains.
Some of them are feeble while others are intense. For example, pleasure versus euphoria. They basically indicate a similar thing but of varied intensity.
This is called Semantics. This branch of study discusses on the emotional impacts of words on our minds.
This is a very important branch of behavioral sciences and it has solutions for us to ease anxiety and panic!
Semantics and anxiety- What is the relation between words and emotion of fear?
Now, as you know people with anxiety are already in a frantic state, they always have something lurking behind their back!
What is always bugging them?
They are always suspecting negative outcomes from all the things happening with them and especially from the things that they are most scared of.
If you are an anxiety sufferer you might have experienced it.
Every once in a while, you go through a state where you get very sensitive to stress and that causes you to panic easily.
Anxiety researchers found that the emotional impact of the words that the anxiety or panic prone person recites in her mind, during the anxiety episodes affect her mood deeply!
For example, see the following self-talks anxiety prone people have
When Jim, an agoraphobic, starts to panic he normally says- “Oh God, this is going to be horrible. Where is the way out of this pub?”
A social anxiety prone girl Alicia says- “Oh shit, this is going to be extremely awkward in this party.”
A panic attack sufferer Martha says– “What if I panic in front of these people here?”
These are the automatic thoughts (words) that these people say to themselves when they get in the situation.
It’s like they were lurking somewhere at the bottom of mind but now following the present situation they surfaced the mind!
Even if the words pop up automatically they are not minimal in their emotional impact.
The results of the words:
When Jim says the words- “Oh God” and “Horrible”, his confidence in staying at that open place is completely strangled.
When Alicia says- “Oh shit” and “Extremely Awkward”, her (somewhat left) confidence to speak with strangers is completely shattered.
When Martha says- “What If I Panic?” in combination to “In front of these people” her mind starts to ride the rollercoaster of anxiety which only goes up. She cannot stay still and even enjoy the company of the people around her.
No doubt they are getting aroused automatically. But, with the use of such words, they are creating emotions that exaggerate the fears that are already lurking in their subconscious mind.
This creates instant discomforting anxious mind-body responses and that undoubtedly contributes to their unending misery.
On the contrary, what could have happened?
Now, consider what would have happened if they had engaged in self-talk like mentioned below.
Jim- “Oh, I am feeling my habitual fear.”
Alicia- “It’s a bit difficult to be in this party.”
Martha- “What if I feel more discomfort?”
All the three would have felt less fear and could get a better control of the situation they were in.
Because of being minimalist in words they would not panic readily and easily.
Though they are anxiety sufferers, the use of less intense words would have made at least some difference in their perception of fear and discomfort.
This is the simplest demonstration of Semantic Technique for anxiety and depression developed by Cognitive Behaviorist Therapists.
See how words affect your mood and feelings in anxiety, panic, and depression:
After reading this it appears that though anxiety is often intense, it can be made a little less intense just by shifting to some feeble or unconvincing words. This is at the very core of the Semantic Techniques (CBT) for anxiety and depression.
In conclusion ?
This technique will not fade away your anxiety entirely but it surely takes you to the first step to curb your anxiety and panic or even depression.
The reasons this technique works are:
- It reduces the impact of negative self-talk on the sufferer
- It increases the sufferer’s confidence to cope with the fear arousal
Therefore it’s worth trying so that if it works for you, it will always be helpful to you in all the situations you face in daily life.
This is one of the best ways I have ever learned to ease anxiety and panic.?
Practice it and share as much as possible…..