How to Hack Fear and Anxiety

A peak performance hack used by elite athletes and armed forces to perform at their best under pressure
How to Hack Fear and Anxiety
Jake McNeill
June 15, 2021
5 min read
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The story?

Before Navy Seal Team 6 stormed Osama Bin Laden’s compound on that fateful night, they all did one thing that will surprise you.

They stopped to do breathing. Square breathing to be precise (AKA Box Breathing)

They call them breakpoints.

Elite forces around the world use breakpoints before storming a room or entering battle zones.


It’s a peak performance tool.

Square breathing hacks the nervous system. It reduces and regulates your heartbeat which prevents you from going into fight or flight mode.

(Or gets you out of fight or flight mode.)

It stops fear and anxiety. It creates calm focus and concentration.

This is one of the simplest and most important hacks you will ever learn.

Elite athletes and world-class performers from all fields use this hack to help them perform at their best under pressure.

Do square breathing before you start creating. Get yourself grounded.

Fear and anxiety cripple creativity.

To create better work be calm and focused. This will help you get into a flow state.

The science

Sports psychology and mental toughness :

Once our heartbeats go beyond 115 bpm we enter into fight or flight mode. This shuts down our brain to refocus our energy to our body in preparation to run or fight.

This cripples our creativity and decision-making skills.

We perform poorly as a result. Do square breathing to regulate your breathing and bring your heart rate down.

This will allow your brain to reopen and you will be able to create better work and make better decisions.

Who is this for?

Artists and creatives who want to create better work and ideas under pressure.

The method

Belly breathing. Hand on the belly, breathe in for four, hold for four and breathe out for four. Do this at least 4 times or as many times as necessary.


It’s easy and can be done anywhere

Do it before you have a Zoom call or an important interview to be calm and focused.

Create better work, have better ideas, make better decisions.

Why does it work?

Medical research shows that deep breathing calms and regulates the autonomic nervous system.

This provides an almost immediate sense of calm, lowers our blood pressure, and improves our mood.

It’s an outstanding treatment for anxiety and panic attacks. It also helps with insomnia by allowing you to calm your nervous system before going to bed.

A bit about me

I help maverick artists and creatives hack into their true creative genius, crush the creative blocks that hold them back, and create their best work.

Every creative rebel’s worst enemy?

Creative mediocrity: Being bland. Staying in our lane. Creating in our comfort zone and following the crowds.

The Goal? To create authentic work that matters. Take creative risks, avoid creative burnout, and making a racket in saturated markets.

I’m a former multi-platinum artist manager who got burnt out and became an artist & creative blogger, coach, and consultant.

I’ve challenged myself to write 50 articles in 50 working days. 20 down, 30 to go.

Find out more information on my website or connect on my LinkedIn

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