Fear and anxiety riddle our world. How many times have you been laying in your warm and cozy bed replaying a horror movie in your head about something that hasn’t even happened yet?
It happens to everyone. I know I’ve done this, and I’ll be the first to admit it. Fear and anxiety can creep up before a big meeting, before you have to meet your boss, or even when you’re going to a party and you don’t know anyone.
Here are a few tools and strategies that you can use right now to help you overcome fear and anxiety as soon as it rears its ugly head.
Tool 1: Become The Audience
When you’re lying there in bed thinking about all of the horrible things that could happen, ask yourself these 2 questions:
- Is this happening right now?
- Are you ok and safe right now?
By doing these two things you step away from the future and back into the present and realize that you are safe and sound and nothing is going to happen in the present moment.
Tool 2: Anchor Yourself In The Present Moment
The way to do this is by using mindfulness. Mindfulness is a tool that you can use to bring yourself fully to the present.
One way to encourage mindfulness is by doing the ‘5 senses check-in’. This is an exercise where you stop for a moment and use all of your 5 senses to become aware of your surroundings.
- Sight – What can you see right now?
- Smell – What are you smelling right now?
- Feeling – What is close to you that you can touch right now?
- Hearing – What can you hear right now?
- Taste – What can you taste right now?
After you’ve paused and gone through the 5 senses check-in, take a moment and ask yourself ‘Did I feel anxious while doing that’? The answer is likely to be ‘No’, because your brain was concentrated on the present moment – not preparing for a fight or flight response.
Tool 3: Worry Time
I love this one! This is a very good exercise for chronic worriers.
Set an alarm on your phone at 10 pm called ‘Worry Time’. Anytime you feel a worry coming on, remember that time and say to yourself – No worrying until 10 pm!
It’s a good way to push the worries aside during the day. Then when you get to 10 pm and sit down to actually worry about all of those things, you start to realize how silly it is and how some of those worries were pure nonsense. In fact, you’ll probably forget about half the things you were going to worry about!
Tool 4: Meditation And Journaling
We have a GPS inside our soul called our intuition. By clearing out those thoughts that create a mess inside our brains – we get to create space for our intuition to really tell us what’s up.
Tool 5: Essential Oils
Essential oils have long been known for their ability to help calm our fears and anxious feeling. When we breathe an essential oil we use our olfactory system which directly affects our limbic system. A primary structure in the limbic system is the amygdala which is the emotional center of the brain. So if we put two and two together…. Nice smelling aromas (aromatherapy) can make us feel happier, less anxious and less fearful.
My top essential oil recommendations to calm the emotions:
Disclaimer: I adapted Tools 1 – 4 from a recent lecture and workshop by Hay House author Jennifer Grace. She teaches ‘The Creative Insight Journey’ which is based on Stanford University’s Creativity in Business Masters Course, an 8-week course designed for individuals who are seeking clarity and direction in their lives.
If this resonates with you, check out where the classes are held. I’ve just signed up and am excited about my journey!
Lindsey is the author of A Life Well-Balanced, a lifestyle blog dedicated to helping people live a more balanced life – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.