Today is National Hug Day – what a lovely National Day to have isn’t it? Except at the moment, with the pandemic, hugging is off the menu. But did you know, that a hug to yourself can also feel wonderful, and can ease the panic and fear associated with your phobia?

In this throwback video I give a 3 step technique that helps you to reduce the panic and anxiety associated with your fear or phobia. And step 3 involves havening, which in my opinion resembles hugging, so reduce your negative feelings with the simple act of self hugging!

3 steps to reduce stress, anxiety, fears and phobias – watch the video.


In words – here is what you do. Reduce your phobia and fear with a hug.

  1. Think of the thing that you are scared of, maybe go back to the first time that you experienced that fear. Then gently stroke your forehead, temples and cheeks as you focus on the feelings associated with this experience and phobia. Stroke your collar bone. Then shake it off
  2. Next, move your eyes left to right as you continue to think about the thing that you are scared of. 
  3. Finally, give yourself a hug. A nice, firm hug – cross your arms, and rub your arms up and down, really absorb this feeling, whilst thinking about the thing that you are scared of, as this helps to give you the subconscious reassurance that it never got in the first place when the original incident happened.

Why does this work so well? You cannot feel a negative emotion at the same time as you feel a positive one, and what’s more, when you hug yourself and rub your arms, you release the feel good hormones, and endorphins and you reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

Doing this as you think about your fear or phobia, replaces the negative thoughts, memories and feelings that you have been holding onto, with a more positive experience.

Try this, right now, in your office, or in your loving room, it takes less than 3 minutes to do this technique, and you will see for yourself how different you feel.

Moving forwards: next time you find yourself experiencing fear, anxiety or panic, simply rub your arms up and down, like in the video, and doi some deep breathing. Reassure yourself, calm down your nervous system, reduce your cortisol and release the feel good hormones, endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.

Let me know how you get on with this won’t you, it really is great as you can do it anytime and any place really!

I will speak to you again next week, have a great weekend,

Christopher Paul Jones. Harley Street Phobia Therapist. 


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