Let loose to go about its own devices, imagination can play havoc with your life. On the other hand, if you rein it in, you can use it most beneficially and in ways that really do you good. Fear is one thing. It’s natural. You’re fearful of giving a presentation, a speech, starting a new job. Of course you are. And fear likes to couple itself to your imagination. Allow it to by all means, but only in a positive fashion. So I suggest you overcome fear and anxiety with these 4 tips.
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1. Breathe Proper!
Yes, I know, breathing’s always trotted out as the cure-all for anxiety, but please don’t discount it. Quick, shallow breaths will trigger all anxiety symptoms into action. Recognize that your breathing’s shallow, and slow it down by breathing out longer than you breathe in.
Doing this will calm your body right down. Do the 7/11 breathing if you start to feel anxious. Breathe in through your nose to the count of 7, then exhale through your mouth to the count of 11. The numbers are immaterial, just as long as the ‘out’ breath is longer than the ‘in’ breath.
2. Prepare For Peace.
If you become anxious when you start thinking about an upcoming event, your body will start to re-act in a certain way. In other words, you’ll start to feel anxiety creeping up on you. That presentation you’re dreading. The palms of your hands start to become moist, and you find yourself breathing more quickly.
Sit down. Close your eyes. Do the 7/11 breathing, while at the same time imagine yourself giving the presentation with perfect confidence resulting in success. Do this as often as you’re reasonably able. You must retain clarity of thought and this next step should help.
3. Re-arrange The Brainbox!
Extreme anxiety makes it much harder to think clearly. ‘Scale’ your anxiety from 1 to 10. Think to yourself; ‘What number on the scale am I now? About 7.’ The extraordinary part about this is that it fires up the thinking part of the brain, which will automatically dilute the emotional part. This in turn will make you calmer.
4. Control Your Imagination.
When we imagine the worst, fear and anxiety have a high old time. Chronic worriers use their imaginations sometimes in disastrous ways. To them, everything’s catastrophic. One of the proper uses of imagination is the ability to plan ahead, but of course a side effect is to imagine things always going wrong.
Don’t allow your life to be ruined by this sort of thinking. Again, sit down, do your breathing and imagine that speech, presentation, whatever it may be, going fluently and well.
After all, if you have the ability to imagine the worst, you certainly have the ability to imagine the best. Adopt this habit. Remember your breathing and don’t allow your imagination to ‘go negative’ on you for one minute.