If you suffer from anxiety, you may be interested in hearing about a study conducted at the University of Exeter on the effects of looking at pictures of people being loved and cared for upon the brain’s reaction to pictures of threatening or anxiety inducing situations. They found that when subjects in the study viewed the positive images, they did not react to the negative images.
This finding is interesting because practically speaking, if you suffer from anxiety, a simple and inexpensive intervention to introduce into your self-soothing repertoire is to keep a number of pictures on your phone or bookmarked in your browser of people being loved and cared for. I intend to recommend this for patients with anxiety, stress, and PTSD. It is a simple thing to incorporate into any treatment and self-soothing routine.
Think about when you are waiting to see the dentist or preparing to undergo a medical procedure, or are just experiencing a lot of stress–how simple is it to pull out your phone and browse through some positive images? Paired with breathing exercises, mindfulness, and positive self-talk, this combination will very likely help alleviate anxiety and reduce stress.
If you are suffering from anxiety or having issues with stress management, please give me a call or send me an email to discuss how I may be of assistance to you.
To see a summary of the study, go here: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_420975_en.html