There’s no Reason to Freak out…Unless…

Do you ever freak out when facing new situations? I think everyone does sometimes, no matter how old they are. Our degree of anxiousness varies according to a number of factors, including our perceived locus of control (internal or external), past experiences, mental and physical health, environment, relationships, and financial stability.

Even so, I think we can all do things to calm ourselves. One way is to reframe a situation by telling ourselves we are “excited” rather than “anxious” or “nervous” about it. And we can ask ourselves: What’s the worst that can happen?


Everyone gets anxious sometimes when facing new situations. But what's the worst that can happen? (The sillier the better.) Share on X

Kids freak out

My friend and organizing colleague Carol Jones, owner of A Jones for Organizing, shared a cute new children’s book on Facebook the other day. It was written by Jennifer Crouch and illustrated by Jared Salmond. It’s called…wait for it…There’s no Reason to Freak out…Unless.

Carol: Parents and grandparents, I have an adorable and helpful book for you! If your little kids are ever nervous about new situations, this book will help them laugh about it and ease their anxiety. Everything from jumping into a pool to moving to a new house, has a ridiculous and silly alternative. Your kids will have fun coming up with their own examples. And I don’t just love it because my niece came up with this for her own little kids and wrote it herself, but because the idea is fabulous, and the illustrations are adorable. Check it out!



Hazel: I think we need a book like this for adults, too. I know plenty of them who get anxious about new situations. Like the back cover of the book says, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Carol: That is an excellent idea. You should write it!

Carol: I was totally serious! Think about it!

Hazel: I could probably manage a blog post.


Amazon book description:

Ever been witness to your child’s struggle with something new or difficult? You wouldn’t be human if you hadn’t. Novelty can be tough! Hardship by its very nature is hard. And the best way to overcome that fear is to tackle it again and again and again.

This book provides a whole new way of tackling fear by contrasting seemingly scary situations with the wildly ridiculous. It puts the fun in fear and makes difficult things downright silly. Afraid to jump in a pool? Sure, that can be scary. But there’s no reason to freak out… unless the pool is filled with pickles! Thunderstorm freaking you out? No need to worry…unless it’s raining jellyfish!


Adults do too

I see ADULTS struggling with things that are new or difficult ALL. THE. TIME. Here are some examples. (I don’t have a copy of the book. But I’d be willing to bet that most of the examples in the book apply to adults, too.)

Afraid of making a mistake?

There’s no reason to freak out… unless you suddenly find yourself performing brain surgery without any training or practice!

Read this blog post: Always Believe in Yourself (Spoiler alert: You WILL make mistakes, and things WILL happen. But you will survive. Because you always do.)

Ask yourself: What’s the worst that can happen? How likely is that? What would I do if it did happen? Do I need to learn more, practice, or ask for help? What is my Plan B?


Timid about going someplace new?

There’s no reason to freak out…unless the only way to get there is by hot air balloon, and you have to hang on for dear life to the outside of the basket the whole way!

Try this: Check Google Maps in advance (Street View, so you can virtually walk around the new neighborhood); leave early; use GPS; and (if local) make a trial run earlier in the week to scope out the parking situation.


Can’t remember where you put something?

There’s no reason to freak out… unless you’re the person responsible for protecting the country’s nuclear codes!

Read this blog post: If you can’t find something, clean up!


Anxious about meeting new people?

There’s no reason to freak out… unless YOU are purple, and THEY are one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eaters!

Remember this song?  Sheb Wooley “The Purple People Eater” (Official Video)


Nervous about public speaking?

(Remember the old advice about picturing the audience in their underwear?)

There’s no reason to freak out… unless you’re the only one in your underwear!

Read this blog post: Public Speaking: 6 Ways to Calm Your Nerves


Don’t know how to do something?

There’s no reason to freak out… unless you are on a desert island with no one to ask for help and no internet for Googling up a tutorial video!

As Marie Forleo says, “Everything is Figureoutable.” (That’s a link to her book. And this is a very short — less than a minute — YouTube video by the same name.)

I also love this: Danielle LaPorte – A Credo for Making it Happen (YouTube, less than 2 min.)


Afraid to part with something in case you might need it someday?

There’s no reason to freak out… unless you’re in possession of the actual, biblical, holy grail!

Read this blog post: Keep or Toss? “But I might need it someday!”

Related article: Holy Grail and Ark of Covenant thought to be located under an English house — Who knows? But why not? (I just watched “The Lost King”, the movie about the remains of King Richard III, lost for 500 years, being found in a British parking lot by amateur historian Phillipa Langley.)


Worried about the future?

There’s no reason to freak out… unless a gigantic asteroid is suddenly discovered to be headed our way and there is nothing anyone can do to prevent our mass extinction. In which case it’s time to party like there’s (literally) no tomorrow!

 Read this blog post: What are you worried about? Don’t worry – Take action!


What other examples (and silly extended scenarios) can you think of?

How do you calm yourself when faced with a new situation?

Please share with us in the comments below!



Share this:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Seana Turner on June 12, 2023 at 7:22 am

    I totally remember the Purple People Eater song!!

    I love the whole approach here. We tend to let fear take over, and that can outsize the possible downsides. In some cases, such as with an anxiety disorder, this can be paralyzing. I have a dear one who lives in fear of going to jail. To me, it is laughable, since she is the absolute sweetest and most law-abiding person I know. But for her, it is real.

    This is like a way to extend the “will it matter in five years?” question, and to bring to help us see that maybe our fears are a bit ridiculous. We survive, we learn, we grow, hopefully we laugh, and life goes on!

    How fabulous that this book exists for children. Sounds like a perfect birthday present to me.

    • Hazel Thornton on June 12, 2023 at 6:52 pm

      Yes, I think taking scenarios to their extremes makes us think a little harder about what is likely to happen (and what isn’t). And then we can prepare for what’s more likely and not fear it as much. Thanks for your comments, Seana!

  2. Sabrina Quairoli on June 12, 2023 at 7:33 am

    I love that you shared this book about anxiety and kids. And, I agree, it would be great for adults too. Thanks for sharing this children’s book and making this post lighthearted to read.

    31.1% of U.S. adults experience any anxiety disorder at some time in their lives by the NIMH

    I started reading a book called Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer. It’s a fantastic self-help book to assist adults in finding new ways to cope with anxiety. He offers lots of options to combat anxiety.

    • Hazel Thornton on June 12, 2023 at 6:49 pm

      Thanks for the “Unwinding Anxiety” tip, Sabrina!

  3. Janet Barclay on June 12, 2023 at 8:14 am

    Ooh, I know an anxious child who might benefit from that book! Thanks for the heads up – and your other great tips about anxiety.

    • Hazel Thornton on June 12, 2023 at 6:48 pm

      I hope it helps!

  4. Diane N Quintana on June 12, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    I love this Hazel and think you should write the book!

    Hack Your Anxiety by Alicia Clark is another good book with great tips, suggestions and solutions for putting anxiety to work for you rather than letting it derail you. She is one of the speakers at the ICD Conference in September.

    • Hazel Thornton on June 12, 2023 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks for the “Hack Your Anxiety” tip, Diane!

  5. Jonda S Beattie on June 12, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks for the great read. I am sending a link to the children’s book to my son to see if he would like me to get it for my grands.

    • Hazel Thornton on June 12, 2023 at 6:48 pm

      I should think any child would not only enjoy the book, but benefit from it. Especially as many times as picture books get read over and over!

  6. Julie Bestry on June 12, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Aside from getting my hair messed up, I think a hot air balloon would be preferable to a germy airplane filled with rude people!

    I love the idea of thinking of that buzzy feeling as being excited rather than nervous. I’m going to have to incorporate that mindset the next time I’m feeling anxious about doing a new thing!

    And I love your silly, outsized scenarios. When I have clients who are going to deal with rude or hurtful people, I often have them imagine equating the mean things their bullies say with equally ridiculous things that will resonate less. (Afraid they’ll say “You’re stupid?” But you know you’re smart. Remember that they’re being as silly as if they said, “You have purple hair!”)

    Fun post — I can see this book has lots of potential!

    • Hazel Thornton on June 12, 2023 at 6:46 pm

      I like your approach to hurtful things people might say. I mean, if one has known bullies, it would be an important thing to prepare for. And the reframing to “excited” from “nervous” really works! Let me know if you try it.

  7. Julie Stobbe on June 13, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for sharing the resource. At one time or another, I was anxious about all the situations you listed. I did it anyway and now things are easy. My biggest success was regarding the “I don’t know how to do it”. Now when I am in that situation I start off by telling the person I don’t know how to do this. Would you be able to help? They are so kind and gentle. Even when someone gets hostile that I am taking too long when I say I haven’t done this before, they calm down and help.

  8. Sharon Lowenheim on July 7, 2023 at 9:46 am

    Hazel, you’re hilarious! I love the examples you came up with.

    • Hazel Thornton on July 12, 2023 at 9:49 am

      Thanks Sharon, I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

Leave a Comment

Don't miss out!

ENTER your email address below to receive notifications of new blog posts by email. (Don\'t forget to subscribe to my newsletters as well!)

Hazel's Books

Book cover: What's a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy

What’s a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy

Cover of "Go With the Flow! (The Clutter Flow Chart Workbook)"

Go With the Flow! (The Clutter Flow Chart Workbook)

Cover of "Hung Jury: The Diary of a Menendez Juror"

Hung Jury: The Diary of a Menendez Juror