By Cliff Kuhn, M.D.
The Laugh Doctor
Anxiety treatment comes in various forms - usually with combinations of counseling and medicine prescribed by your doctor. I have augmented my patient's therapy for years with the natural medicine of humor. Specifically, my Fun Commandment, Remain Focused, Yet Flexible has helped many patients; I know it will help you too.
Anxiety treatment is a necessary fact of life for over 2 ½ Americans. As as practicing physician I have seen more than my fair share of sufferers; I know just how desperately you need help if you suffer from panic attacks. Although there are a variety of treatments and medications, however, I have found great success for my patients by subscribing the natural medicine of humor to augment their therapy.
As a psychiatrist I understand well the chemical imbalance that contributes to anxiety attacks and that anxiety treatment is best left between you and your doctor. What I am recommending is in no way intended to replace the course of anxiety treatment you and your physician have crafted. But, having said that, I am quite sure that following my doctor's orders will greatly enhance your existing anxiety treatment.
You know that the effects of anxiety attacks leave you dazed and confused, physically, mentally, and emotionally unable to function at acceptable levels. That is why I always recommend that my patients avail themselves of my Fun Commandment, Remain Focused, Yet Flexible.
How Does Humor Help You?
How does this Fun Commandment apply to your anxiety treatment? Let's begin by recognizing an ancient truth - the shortest distance between two points is...usually under construction. That's right - the theoretical "straight line" does not exist in real life.
In fact, life itself is not a straight line. You've certainly discovered that fact during your anxiety treatment. Life is like the punch line of a joke - surprising and unexpected.
This is why my anxiety treatment patients are always asked to implement my Commandment, Remain Focused, Yet Flexible. You must keep your goals and priorities clearly in focus, otherwise you're lost like a rat in a maze. At the same time you must be flexible enough to accommodate life's inevitable surprises - like your anxiety attacks.
And when it comes to the unexpected twists and turns of life, it's not a question of if, but rather of when, they will occur.
If your focus overrides your flexibility, you can become stubborn, rigid, and bullheaded - not a good formula for success and health. For example, as a physician I have learned not to focus too quickly and exclusively on a single diagnosis. What inevitablely happens is like the old joke, "My doctor is never wrong. If she diagnoses an infected toe, you can be sure you'll die of an infected toe."
Conversely, if flexibility eclipses your focus, you are then left aimless and vulnerable. You don't want to wander through life this way. You need a way to avoid either of these two extremes in order to help your anxiety treatment and this is where my Fun Commandment comes in.
Here are my Doctor's Orders
To "soup-up" your anxiety treatment with my Remain Focused, Yet Flexible Commandment, try these simple exercises:
- Concentrate on keeping a smile on your face at all times - an excellent way to maintain your focus
- Keep humorous "props" with you at all times to remind to keep your perspective and avoid being too rigid
- Try playing a game of Alphabet Conversation, where each sentence must start with the next letter of the alphabet
- Play the Questions Only game, where you have a conversation with someone which involves only asking questions
- Delve into my Fun Factor prescription to learn to turbo-charge your current anxiety treatment
Spend some time practicing to Remain Focus, Yet Flexible and you'll find your anxiety treatment has become as much as four times as effective. And, please, come back and share your results with me.
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