Tips for the Anxiety: Using a Fear Jar

Fear_Jar

Was this past year a little intense for anyone else? It felt like the universe was taking a piece of sandpaper to my life— scrubbing off all the excess hard. Friendships were lost, career failures hit hard and a new boyfriend over 1,000 miles away constantly required the best of both my will power and my cell phone battery.

During turmoil, it’s hard to find the silver lining every situation.  For me, it’s much easier to let anxiety and fear take up an all-inclusive residency in my mind, kicking logic and hope to the cheap motel in the back. And I know this is a terrible idea. However in my thickest of times, it’s honestly the best I can do, until I can find a smarter strategy.

The Wonder Trick
But one strategy that did wonders for me this year was a little invention I call a fear jar. I have one in my home and one on my office desk. Each are filled with sealed  pieces of paper with a pestering fear written on them — helping me clearly identify whatever nonsense I’m holding on to. Simple, but effective.

In fact, I don’t think I can even begin to speak to how effective this was for me.  Because even in my moments of helplessness, I know negative thoughts will never help my cause. And I know the old age truth that what you focus on becomes your reality. So finally finding a way to control my thoughts and refocus them to a more positive place was a HUGE game changer. Writing out my fears allows me see them for what they are and create plans to work around them, through them and crush them completely.

How To Make One
For the papers, I vary what I use. At work, they are sliced strips that I staple closed, while at home, I just use post-its that self adhere. I even taped along the jar rim a little message that says Thank You —an active practice of gratitude that I think all my yoga teachers would be proud of.

However, once they are sealed, I don’t look at them again. When we’ve newly worked ourselves out of tough jams, it’s important to keep our spirits in the positive and not to slip backwards. Maybe one day, when I’ve had distance, I will read all the adventures of yesteryear. But for now, I leave them alone, and it feels like the right thing to do.

It’s a really simple idea, but I can’t recommend it enough.  It’s helpful. It’s alleviating and it never hurts to believe that it will all work out the way you need it to. Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes for you.

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