One of my clients shared this strategy to reduce anxiety in unfamiliar situations…
When you are in an anxiety provoking situation, take a look at the individuals around you and play the game of Instant Life Story. Pick one person at a time and make up a life story for that person.
For example… on an airplane with many strangers… you see a mean looking man with a scowl on his face boarding. To shift from a fearful/anxious reaction to him, make up his instant life story…
Perhaps he’s angry because he’s been bumped 4 times from other flights and exhausted because he hasn’t slept in 36 hours.
Perhaps he’s in a witness protection program and was told not to look anyone in the eye.
Perhaps he just lost a loved one.
See how making up a possible alternate life story can change your reaction to him and the situation? Give it a try!