Jewel’s Trick For Calming Her Mind During Traumatic Anxiety

As someone who has struggled with homelessness and agoraphobia, singer and songwriter Jewel has a keen understanding of anxiety. During a conversation with HuffPost Live about her new memoir, Never Broken, the artist offered a viewer her best advice for calming the mind when it feels out of sync.

For the “traumatic type of anxiety, where you’re actually gripped by panic attacks,” Jewel developed a visualization exercise that she said works like charm:

“I pretend I’m in an ocean and it’s very stormy on the surface, and then I’ll sink down below the water and I’ll slow my breathing down and I’ll sink to the bottom. And I’ll look back up to the stormy surface at the top, and I’ll notice the colors and I’ll notice the way the light is and I’ll notice how things are calmer. And when I watch what’s happening from a distance, I usually get a much better perspective on it, and my whole body will calm down.”

Jewel also experiences a kind of “random, free-floating anxiety,” which she said she tackles by identifying the negative “gremlin voices” in her head that tell her she’s not enough. She then creates an “antidote thought” that’s an exact opposite of the thought that is plaguing her. She told HuffPost Live that tactic has helped her in moments of professional uncertainty.

“I started recording antidote thoughts, and I would actually play them for myself while I slept because it helped me get out of that fear cycle and get into a moment where I could be present enough to actually have an effect on the outcome,” Jewel said.

Watch Jewel discuss her strategies for combating anxiety in the video above and watch her full conversation over on HuffPost Live.

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