This is a term used in establishing suitable environments for the support of people with autism; I use it in the context of anxiety recovery by removing any obvious triggers and replacing them with more beneficial alternatives.
The key is to be aware of what you are being exposed to in respect of each one of your senses. This is something that takes practice, and should not be obsessed over as the chances are you are already hyper-vigilant so we don’t want to add to that.
Removing just one trigger that you’re exposed to regularly (e.g. the news or caffeine) can have a dramatic impact on your anxiety, so a carefully implemented strategy which considers a range of factors will be even more effective.
If you’re a smoker or drinker then reducing both of these will help, if you can cut them out altogether then even better but do this over time to avoid any withdrawal.
If you’re on medication this is best left unchanged until you are recovered, then you can reduce it over time with the support of your doctor. Try not to increase your dose in the meantime as it will take longer to taper off later.
Putting it into practice
By far the easiest way to implement this is to keep a journal that includes all of your activities each day; document the times that you did things and consumed things, and note any smells, sounds, colours, materials, etc. you were exposed to.
When you feel anxious make a note in your journal, with an intensity out of 10 (1 being the least intense) and over time you will start to see patterns emerge.
A couple of examples – I used to find I felt anxious in the evenings; I started reading instead of watching TV and found that it helped. I know of one person who reduced his anxiety by switching off a plug-in air freshener. Our bodies are not designed to tolerate all the toxins we’re exposed to.