“I can smell the fear on your breath.” Ok, so not really, but did you know that your breathing can affect your emotions? 

Breath work is being studied by doctors right now in relation to feelings of strong fear. It’s pretty neat that you can actually hack the autonomic nervous system just by controlling your breathing. I don’t know if you have noticed, but when you get into a state of extreme fear, you’re breathing tends to pick up, maybe your heart speeds up, you feel Iike you can’t breathe. I know I’ve been there, and it’s not fun. But when you take the time to pause and tell your brain how to breathe, it allows you to take control of a function of the body that you normally do by default so that you don’t enter that overwhelming stage of hyperactivity with your breathing and emotions.

One of my favorite ways to do this is to do box breathing. Picture a box in your mind. Each side of the box is going to get 4 counts. Breathe in as you go across the top of the box for 4 counts. Hold your breath as you come down the side of the box for 4 counts. Now breathe out as you come across the bottom of the box for for 4 counts. As you come back up the other side of the box, hold your breathe again for 4 counts. You can go around this box as many times as you need to until your body begins to calm down. It’s super simple. 

A way to elevate this experience is to add essentail oils. I always keeps some on hand. I’ve done this in public as necessary and even at home when things become overwhelming and tense. Simply put a drop of oil in your palm, rub you hands together, cup them over you nose like a little tent and do the same exercise. You can either breathe in through your nose or mouth. The mouth is sometimes a bit more effective, but the nose works well. You can try it first through your mouth and follow it with a round through your nose. 

Essential oils are really neat in that they can effect your emotions by reaching the amygdala of your brain. The amygdala is the part of your brain that controls your emotions and it’s very physically closely located to the part of your brain that processes the your sense of smell. Emotions and smell are also very closely linked to each other in how you process information. You may notice that certain memories you have are connected to certain smells. I know when I smell vanilla, I think of my grandmother because of a vanilla scented lotion she used to use. You can use this connection to help yourself calm down when you reach the overwhelming state of fear.

You can also use another technique called tapping. It uses acupressure points on the body to stimulate a calming response. Simply tap gently on the top of your head, middle of your forehead, under the eyes, under your nose right above your lip, the thumb side of your fists, and under the arms. You can repeat this process as needed. 

You can also come down to your chest. This is referred to as a thymus tap. You can do this on its own. Some people do it as part of their morning routine to ground themselves for the day. You can give that a few, good, solid taps right below the center of the collar bones, on the sternum. This can be the most effective location for me when I begin to spiral. 

You can use the tapping with phrases to remind your brain that you are ok. Any positive words you use, your brain will search for the evidence of that statement. Because you are telling your brain to look for that evidence, it helps you to come out of the state of “everything is going wrong and I am in danger.” You can try statements like:
  • I am loved
  • I am safe
  • I am ok
  • I am stronger than this fear
You can totally be prepared to confidently overcome strong fear in a given moment with just these techniques. You don’t need anything on your or with you. It doesn’t matter where you are: the airport, going to a meeting at work, or driving down the highway. You will be prepared to take on your emotions.

Grab some essential oils to pair with these techniques for the ultimate calming experience. My favorites are Stress Away, Valor, Peace & Calming, Lavender, and Frankincense. They are incredible for getting to the amygdala and calming the body. All five come in a set of twelve oils with a diffuser that you can use to create a calming atmosphere in your home. When you grab them using my link below you’ll get the 12 oils and diffuser at a 60% savings! I’ll also send you a guide on how to use them to make sure that you can enjoy all of their benefits. 

1 Comment

  1. MaryBeth DuPré  08/09/2023 06:52 AM Central
    Great tips! I will try some of these on my cherubs. 😉 Thanks for sharing 🙂

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