In her book, The Unthinkable, Amanda Ripley tells of the ingenious technique of Charles Humes, a
city police officer. Toledo
Humes found that every time he turns on the siren of his patrol car, adrenalin rush would cause his hands to sweat, shriek with a squeaky, high pitched voice, and other classic distress symptoms. His speech and his thinking would be incoherent. Humes was a danger to himself and to others.
Humes learnt rhythmic breathing which greatly reduces his distress symptoms.
Humes also devised a clever way to practice his rhythmic breathing. He would play a sound recording of a patrol car siren while practicing rhythmic breathing. He would practice rhythmic breathing together with the siren recording for 10 minutes everyday.
After a month, every time he turns on the siren in his patrol car, he automatically goes into rhythmic breathing which calms him down.
In effect, Humes has anchored his rhythmic breathing with the whine of the siren. The whine of the siren which used to put Humes in distress, is now the trigger to automatically go into rhythmic breathing.
Can you find such a natural anchor for situations that distresses you?
Try the anchoring method Humes uses.