Fear can hold us all back in one way or another - no matter your place in the world. So, here are five tips to overcoming fears.
Fear is a natural response that is meant to keep humans safe. However, there are rational fears and irrational fears.
Being afraid of heights makes perfect sense because being high up is dangerous, and we could get hurt.
Other fears, such as the fear of clowns, can also be justified, but it just isn’t rational. Sometimes our fears grow more substantial over time, and they can prevent us from chasing our dreams.
Look at the Evidence
So many fears defy logic, but that doesn’t mean that logic can be used to help us face them. Looking at the evidence can be a great way to approach fear, but you need to go about it the right way.
Evidence can mean facts or feedback from others.
Let’s say you fear public speaking; obviously, no one has ever died doing it. However, you could speak to people or listen to TED talks or YouTube videos about people’s experiences.
You can also join Toastmasters and check out these tips on getting better at it for this particular fear.
Count to Five
If you are a fan of Lost, then you will remember Jack’s story about making a mistake during surgery and counting to five to calm down.
Five is not a magical number. However, taking a time out and giving yourself a timeframe to panic before pulling yourself together can make a big difference.
Either distancing yourself from a situation for a moment to gather your thoughts can help you calm down and create a rational plan of action.
Just because your first instinct may be to give in to fear, a bit of thought might help you find the courage to move forwards.
Discuss it With Someone
Although a therapist is the best person to discuss one’s fears, talking about them with anyone could help. Friends, family, and even strangers could be great to talk to about your worries.
There are even online chat rooms or in-person groups for people to discuss different topics together.
Discussing what you are afraid of can help because saying it aloud might help you see it differently. Plus, someone else may help you see things in a different light.
Learn More About It
The most common fears are of the unknown. So one approach is to learn more about it. For example, if you are afraid of spiders, open up a book or pull up Google and start learning.
Sure there are statistics on spider-related deaths, but more importantly, you will find out that most spiders are harmless.
They are also all scared of humans even more than we are of them.
Add a cute video of Lucas the spider cartoon, and who knows; you might be a little less scared.
It seems like a silly tip, but breathing is so important. Everything in our bodies relies on oxygen, and so many problems like feeling light-headed can come from a lack of it.
When people are scared and start to panic, they often begin to breathe irregularly.
Taking a deep breath and focusing on breathing in through the nose and out through your mouth can help you get air where it needs to go.
Having enough oxygen in your brain is especially important because it can help you think clearly and rationally.
It is easy for people to tell you just to face your fears, and it can be a good idea to do this.
However, there are other less drastic ways to ease into facing them. Looking at the evidence, counting to calm down, discussing it with others, learning more about it, and deep breathing are great ways to start.
Next, when you are ready, you can try to face your fear with a new attitude and a calm mind.
Uncertain times can cause fear, but here is a couple that used uncertainty to make success.
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