How to reduce anxiety and fear – A simple exercise

How to reduce anxiety and fear – A simple exercise


– Hey, I’ve got an exercise for you today that’s gonna help you to feel less anxious to reduce the fear, to
help you feel more calm, more happy, and
ultimately, more in control of your life and the things that you do. I’ll share a story with you, so I can tell how to go about doing this exercise. It’s really, really simple stuff, right? So recently, I’ve come to
realise that I get anxious. I suffer from anxiety. Now, I didn’t know this, right? I’ve been going through my whole life, I can remember a time from 10 years ago where I was driving my car, and this is just after
my brother Collin died, and it was my return to work, it was my first day back at work, and I’m driving down the road, and I feel this sudden, like
I can’t breathe properly, and it’s in my chest, and I feel sick, and at the time, and
up until very recently, I just assumed that when
I get feeling like that, that it’s just something I’ve eaten that’s not agreed with me, like it’s indigestion
or something like that. I’m not kidding. For 10 years, I thought
that that’s what it was, but that was a panic attack, that’s anxiety creeping
up on me from somewhere, just like it comes in from
absolutely nowhere, right? Honestly, no idea. Now, the work that I’ve
been doing with myself over the years has helped
me to overcome this, and to get better at managing myself without fundamentally
realising what was going on, but now that I know, I can
take this even further, right? So I’ve got another story
to share with you as well. So recently, I was going to do some work, it was really important,
I wanted to make sure everything was running on time, and I felt the anxiety come up. That was that moment
where I was just like, holy crap, that’s what
this is, this is anxiety. So I took 25 minutes to
meditate, and to relax, and to really focus in on
myself, right, it really helped. Now, this is where this exercise
I’m gonna share with you comes in. I was going on a trip with the kids. It was just me in the truck with Spencer, and with the two wee ones, and for some reason,
anxiety came out of nowhere, and started to creep up on me, and started these visions, these stories about having an accident in
the car, in the truck sorry, and having some kind of
accident with the kids, and it being my fault, right? Or whether it was my fault or not, I was in the truck, I was the one driving, and had some kind of road accident, and I wasn’t starting to freak
out or anything like that, but it was there, it was in my head, I could feel it in my
chest, and I thought, what is this? So this is what I did, all
right, and it put me in control, helped me to calm down,
obviously we got there safely, and we got back safely, and
we probably would have anyway, but it put me right in the
zone, and I was focused only on what I could control. So I wrote down three lists before I got in the truck that day to help me focus on what I can control, and let go of everything
that I can’t control, which helped to calm me
down, reduce the anxiety, but also helped me to be happy, and actually enjoy the trip as well. So I’m gonna read from my notes here on exactly what my list looked like. Okay, so I got three lists, control, incomplete
control, like influence, and no control at all. So we’re gonna start
with the control list. So on that control list, what do I control about this journey in the car, with the kids? And the control list, things
like my attitude on the road, which ultimately, is how
I react, and how I behave to other drivers on the road, and other situations on the road. My attitude in terms of
action points of driving, am I calm, am I relaxed,
am I enjoying this drive? I’m obviously in control of
things like my speed right, and the decisions I make
while I’m on the road, in terms of turns I make, and whatever, anything like that at all on the road, any decisions that I make
about situations of the road. I can control the time I leave, right? I can control the time that
it takes to some degree. In other words, I don’t
have to be in a rush, okay? I could actually take breaks
on the road, if I wanted to, as well, and that could
hep me to relax and things. Last was giving me permission to do that, and ultimately, I can sort of
control how others affect me, okay, my reaction to them. So if something happens on the road, like a shouty guy goes
past me, and swears at me, or something like that, for
going too slow, for example, I don’t have to react to that, right? So that’s what I’m in control of, and there’s many other things as well, mainly mindset, and approach, and reactions, and behaviours, okay? Now what don’t I control? Well, I don’t control the attitudes of other people on the road, I don’t control what they do, and how they react to things around them, and I don’t control how I
make them feel, for example. I don’t control their speeds,
and anything that they do in their car, generally speaking, I don’t control any of that, okay? But what I do know with this
middle bit, this influences, incomplete control, is that some way, my actions do affect others. It’s not that I can
control their behaviours, but my behaviours do in some way, affect and influence other road users, so I know, and I believe this,
and you believe this too, I’m sure, that if my attitude
is calm, and collected, I’m not gonna let other people affect me, I’m gonna take my time,
I’m gonna have breaks, I’m gonna not be stressed, and I’m not gonna let other
people affect me on the road, then that naturally will be an architect of the environment that
I’m in as well, right? It doesn’t control other people,
I can’t control everyone, but it’s certainly going
to influence the situation. Now, how did this help me, right? So just by going, even
just doing this exercise with you right now, it’s
actually making me feel much more calm. I know what I am in control of, and I can let go of all the things that I’m not in control of. So I can really affect
this whole situation. Now, that’s not to say that I can prevent an accident from happening on the road, but I know that if an accident happens, that I did everything that I could to control what I can control, and that I let go of everything
that I can’t control, because there’s certain things
that our out with our control and that is the way that it is, so instead of focusing
on all of the things that I can’t control, I move my energy, and I focus in to what I can control. Reduce the anxiety, reduce the fear, put me in a more situation
where I felt in more control, and calm, and happy, and
ultimately, enjoyed the trip with the kids in the car. And you could use this exercise, it’s sometimes called The Stoic Fork, it’s used in CBT, Cognitive
Behavioural Therapy, as well, to help people reduce
anxiety, and reduce fears, and help you to focus on the things where your energy should be, where the energy is gonna actually have an impact, a positive impact
on you, and your life, and the situations that
you’re in, so try it today. Try this control, incomplete
control, no control, these lists, every time
you feel anxious, or fear, or any sort of situation where you like you’re maybe losing control. What do you have control over, what do you not have control over? It could be a sales
meeting, a client meeting, it could be a meeting with your boss, it could be a difficult
conversation you need to have with a son, or a daughter, or a parent. It could be any situation
you can use this. It just takes two minutes. What am in control of, what
am I not in control of, what are my behaviours going to influence over the situation that I
am going to find myself in? It really creates self awareness as well, so you’re aware of your own behaviour, you’re aware of other people’s behaviours, and it really gives you that focus, and just that, I guess that
attitude that you need, that mindset that you need to
get the best out of yourself, and the best out of the situation that you’re about to get yourself in, whether that’s driving a car, or having a difficult conversation. Try it, see what you think. I’d love to know how you
get on with the exercise. Just jump in to the comments sections, let me know what’s on your mind, any questions, any thoughts, any ideas, I’d love to hear from you. Hope you enjoy that, and
don’t forget to be awesome.