BREATHE EVENLY. Even breathing – inhaling for the same count as our exhale – for just two minutes is the quickest way to re-balance the nervous system. This is vital to release the fear and return to present state awareness.
REMIND YOURSELF: IT’S NOT REAL. Ever wonder why some people can love horror movies and others simply can’t handle watching them? It’s often said “fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.” Fear reflects our interpretation of a situation rather than the situation itself. So when we’re in the throws of fear, we need to get above the line in terms of consciousness, and see through the story. One way to do that is to ask yourself “What am I actually seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching?” Direct your awareness towards observing with your senses and return to what’s here now so you can respond accordingly.
ASSUME THE SITUATION IS BENEFICIAL. When we’re in fear our focus narrows and we can’t see the bigger picture. A useful presupposition I use is that anything showing up in my life is valuable. Sometimes I need to deliberately remind myself: this isn’t happening TO me, it’s happening FOR me. I ask myself, “How is this serving me right now?”
PRACTICE GRATITUDE. Making a list of the things we’re grateful for is such an important practice with so many benefits – psychologically, physically, and interpersonally. Anytime is a good time to be grateful for what you have.
PHONE A FRIEND. Connecting with someone we deeply love and care for is a great way to release fear, particularly when we use that conversation to pace and lead ourselves from where we are to where we want to be. We have to start off by honestly owning what we’re feeling. I do that by saying something like, “Even though I’m feeling (current emotion), I’m committed to feeling (desired emotion).” And then I direct my focus there.