Just before I was about to start, I was feeling more anxious than I would have liked.So I scaled myself at a 6, breathed longer out than in for a few moments, and waited for myself to go down to a 3 before starting. Scaling (sometimes known as 'grading') your fear puts a 'fence' around it, making it more manageable, and forces you to think. We developed imagination to be able to project into the future so we can plan ahead.Some people don't even really know they are doing this.

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And keeping your 'thinking brain' working actually calms you right down. When we become very anxious, it's harder to think clearly.

But if we force ourselves to use parts of 'the thinking brain', this will dilute the emotion and begin to calm you down. You can scale your own fear from 1 to 10, 10 being the most terrified it's possible to be and 1 being the ultimate relaxed state.

About to set upon me, a lonely traveller, leave me for dead and steal all my possessions! He shook from head to toe and found himself breathing like an unfit man running to the finishing line of his first marathon.

Imagination and emotionality are closely linked and what we imagine can feel very real to us (even when it isn't at all).

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The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine has been told to withdraw a leaflet it issued promoting hypnosis treatment for a number of conditions including mental health problems and irritable bowel syndrome.

One symptom of too much fear or anxiety is not being able to think clearly (Nasrudin stumbled into the nearest tomb! This happens because the emotional part of the brain 'swamps' the thinking part so as to avoid, say, over-analysis getting in the way of running like Bejessus from a lion.

But in most modern situations we retain clear thought.

But uncontrolled imagination is a nesting ground for anxiety and fear that can spoil otherwise happy lives.