How do I handle the anxiety of going to the grocery store? I get very overwhelmed by empty shelves.

Updated: Mar 24

This is a timely question that I'm sure many people resonate with.

One thing you can do is prepare yourself emotionally for your visit to the grocery store.

There is a technique called stress inoculation—basically you imagine different scenarios and check how anxious you feel.

In the comfort of your own home visualize or imagine getting your coat on, opening the door and setting off for the grocery store. Check your anxiety on a scale of 1 to 10. Ten means you are very anxious, 1 means you don't feel any anxiety at all.

If you feel at a 5 or more use one of the Shine meditation practices to calm yourself. When you feel grounded take a breath and now imagine you are close to the store.

How do you feel now? Again use the scale of 1 to 10.

Eventually work up to visualizing a part-empty shelf. Check how you feel and use the meditation or relaxation exercise you have learned.

Keep practicing and then go get groceries.

Please remember, an empty shelf doesn't mean you are not prepared enough. It's probably an indication that other people are taking more than they actually need.

Dr. Anna Rowley


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