What scares you? Is it a stranger at your door, a trip to a job interview or doctor, thunderstorms, or the death of someone dear to you?
Generally, fear keeps our body alert because of something that is happening at present. However, fear can become a pattern in your life when you are not careful. So you need to fix your worries because this can affect your mental and physical stability. It might also force you to avoid things that make you fearful, which is not the solution.
Here are suggestions on how you can manage your fears.
Study Your Fear
What is causing you to be fearful? Although this is a difficult step, it’s absolutely necessary because it’s the start of your journey towards overcoming your fears.
Naturally, you can’t explain something when it’s buried in your subconscious. However, turning towards it rather than away from it will help you to discover some things you didn’t know about it. This is what will help you to overcome your fears.
Next, you can record the patterns of fear in a journal. This includes; what happens when you’re scared? How does your body respond when you’re in a fearful situation? Stomach clenches or hands become clammy. When do you mostly become fearful? Early in the morning or in the evening. What comes to your mind when you become scared? To hide, scream, walk away or flee.
Such information will help you demystify your fear patterns and stop viewing them as insurmountable.
Take a Deep Breath
Taking a deep breath when you’re are fearful can activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Usually, when you become anxious, your body reacts by having short breaths; however, controlling your breathing can help you overcome your fears quickly.
You can do this by stopping and focusing on your breath whenever you become fearful. Slowly inhale and exhale but make sure your breath out is longer than the breath in. This activity will help your body to calm itself slowly.
Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation and breathing are important because they deactivate your body’s stress response.
Face Your Fears
Don’t avoid your fears because it will only cause anxiety and hinder you from moving forward. You should gently do what is safe for you instead of continuing with what you were doing, yet you’re in a panicky mood.
Further, doing what is more pleasant or comfortable not only calms you but also helps you to explore your fears when it feels safe. You may realize that your fears are stemming from a trauma you experienced some years back. Such fears may become chronic, but with the help of a therapist, you can face them and work towards reconstructing your memories.
Another approach is to practice mindfulness meditation. This involves sitting quietly and observing what is happening at the moment. This technique helps you recognize fear as it arises and study how your body responds and any associated thoughts.
You can also take a break and get yourself involved in something neutral such as observing an object in the room or taking a little walk.
Generally, fear will remind you of negative events, making the world a scary place to be. But how about noticing something positive such as the pleasure of a sunny day, being around your dear loved ones, the beauty of nature, and more.
A positive outlook in life helps broaden your perspective and gives you a wider view that gives you more options.
Positivity will help you build resilience to help you function even when you’re in difficult times.
Take a Nature Walk
Walking in nature can help to reduce fear and increase pleasant feelings. Connecting with nature will make you feel calm, happy, alive, beautiful, and hopeful because it reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.
So find a green space or park and go for a walk. The physical exercise you get while walking, jogging, or cycling will help to boost your mood because your brain is used differently. Switching your mind from irrational, fearful thoughts to something else will help you to overcome your worries.
It might be challenging to manage your fears by yourself, especially when you have tried several steps and failed.
Social relationships can help avoid fear in various ways. Your family or friends can walk with you as you realistically assess your fear. Their support can make you confident and calm as well as reduce the flight response.
Aside from your family and friends, you can talk to a counselor or coach or get a therapist who will help you work through your fears.
You can seek mental health professional assistance if you:
- Feel overwhelmed
- Unable to complete routine daily tasks
- Can’t function normally at the workplace
- Cancel social events or work because of social anxiety
- Always plan your activities or take action around minimizing your triggers
Avoid Being a Perfectionist
It’s important to remember that life is messy, so there will be bad days and setbacks. Therefore, you should avoid making your life perfect because this is next to impossible. Instead, accept that life is full of stresses and good times.
Pursuing things that will bring you peace and joy can help you to manage your fears. So, look for things that you love, such as a hobby, a neglected exercise routine, take a wholesome or something that has nutritional value, drink plenty of water, or engage in something spiritual.
Your goal should be to avoid self-treating your fears and anxiety through the use of drugs and alcohol because these will make it worse. Instead, opt for the best cures listed above, such as eating healthy, taking a walk in nature, and more.
Reward Your Yourself
Treat yourself when you overcome your fears because it will reinforce your success. You begin by simply buying a book, a dress, a meal out, a country walk, a massage, or anything else that makes you happy. After that, you can go a notch higher and take a vacation to your favorite destination and more.
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