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How changing your perspective can help you cope with anxiety

By Joseph Pond

Published 19/04/2016

Joseph Pond
Joseph Pond

Ten years ago, I thought I was going to have a stroke. My business was imploding, the pressure was intensifying and I felt like I was suffocating. Blood was pooling in my head and my ears were pounding. I knew that if I didn’t get out into the open air immediately, I was going to explode.

For many of my readers, this is unfortunately all too familiar. If you’ve ever found yourself in the centre of a full-on anxiety attack, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Some of you may even find it uncomfortable just reading these words.

You’re not alone. According to one report, nearly £31m is lost in our local economy due to mental health-related absenteeism from work, primarily due to stress, anxiety and depression.

I promise that changing your perspective will help. I know that, not just because it helped me, but because of the many clients I’ve worked with and because of the countless studies which prove that thinking about your situation in a new way will give you a new lease of life.

When I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, I just needed someone to say: “Here, let me lift this off you ... breathe ... relax.”

Of course, you can say this to yourself and begin to broaden your perspective. I’ve found that, if you are fixating on a “problem”, it’s important to literally widen your horizon.

Try this: think of a problem. Most people will zoom in on the very thing that’s troubling them.

For example, a dog-phobic will focus on the teeth. In their mind’s eye, they tend not to notice the ground beneath the dog’s feet, the sky above, or the trees. A stressed homemaker will see only a pile of dirty laundry.

When you go into peripheral vision, however, you get out of fight-or-flight thinking and start to notice opportunities.

If the anxiety is great, you may need to see a professional, like me, but often you can do this on your own.

The next time you find that you’re narrowing your focus, practice expanding the picture in your mind to increase your possibilities. It will give you breathing space.

  • Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops in hypnosis with PowerTrance. Reach him at or at Hypnosis/?ref=hl/?ref=hl

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