Fears well up from many different causes. You may worry about losing your job or feel terror about delivering a presentation in front of an audience. Or you could be panicking about how you’re going to pay your bills or about challenges in your relationship or your health.
Or maybe you’re in a sports competition and you’re afraid of failing. Stress is part of life but when chronic, it can create patterns of fear that become paralyzing and result in dysfunction.
You can squash those feelings of fear and panic but first you’ve got to get a grip on what they are.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
So here are my effective ways to crush your fears:
1. Take time to tune into your negative self talk
Face those disturbing thoughts, and let them go.
Out-dated internal messages may spin incessant self-judgments such as “I’m not good enough, smart enough, thin enough…” or “this will never work out.” Once you notice your harmful inner dialogue, you’re on the path to conquering anxieties.
You need not spend time figuring out why you feel that way (i.e. “my father bullied me and made me feel worthless”), you just need to be aware of your feelings and let them pass through you.
Let go of the old stories. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, shift your attention to what’s right and practice a more positive attitude.
2. Wipe out the old, bring in the new
Think of a windshield wiper in the middle of your forehead. As it wipes to the left, it erases all fears. As it wipes to the right, it brings in new images.
Here’s how it works for a quick release of any perceived burdens. On the “wipe in,” simply interject a happy image into your awareness and hold it in your mind for 30 seconds.
One of my clients envisions the beachfront in Saint Maarten and imagines seeing the colors, feeling the sand and soft breezes and hearing the sounds of the gentle waves.
Experiment with it for yourself. Do not be discouraged as it will take some practice.
3. Get moving
Dwelling on your concerns will keep them energetically trapped in your body and mind. The problem is that our fears — which are usually of our own making — can seem like a Bengal tiger to us and stimulate an undesirable “fight or flight” stress response. Hormones get released that activate increased blood flow and heart rate, making us feel agitated.
To balance ourselves, we need to activate our bodies and use the stimulation of energies more productively.
One technique I use effectively is Qigong which has roots in Chinese medicine and martial arts.
It aligns the body’s vital life force energies.
The simplest movement is called “Opening the Gates:”
Stand tall, with your feet a little more than hip width apart, arms relaxed at your sides. Swing your body freely, turning from right to left. Allow your arms to swing loosely with the flow. As the momentum increases, lightly slap your body. Allow your shoulders, neck and head to get into the swing.
Breathe in a steady, uniform stream. Do this for about a minute. This enhances the flow of oxygen, improves lymphatic drainage, and detoxes old stale energies.
Pause. Close your eyes. Then repeat 1-2 times.
4. Relax with what is
Like youngsters who get overstimulated, we need time-outs to see the reality as it is. Instead of focusing on problems, we need to withdraw from the immediate dramas and pause to appreciate what we have. More than likely, we have all the basics for our survival.
We may want more or are improving ourselves but in this very moment, we’re okay.
To go deeper into relaxation and dismantle anxiety at the source, I encourage you to try my Sports Recovery Plan which features a transformational Integrative Relaxation experience.
In the meantime, you can try a brief excerpt for free by connecting with me through my WatchFit profile. By taking a brief mental pause, you will refresh your mind and body. It will help you think more clearly, feel more energized, function more effectively and ultimately reduce stress!
All you have to do is sit or lie quietly, follow the guidance and you’ll feel like you’ve magically crushed your fears.
Peggy Sealfon is a personal development coach and author of the best-selling book Escape from Anxiety—Supercharge Your Life with Powerful Strategies from A to Z. Check out her three WatchFit Plans: Stress Buster Plan, Sports Recovery Plan or Yoga: Body-Mind Builder.
Connect with Expert Peggy Sealfon.