Many people tend to create thoughts about life around fear. You can actually hear your inner monologue jumping from one worst outcome to another. Fear keeps us from welcoming life’s experiences for what they are. We refrain from jumping into unknown waters in life just because of the so-called “fear of the unknown.” We fear any situation that evokes even the slightest sense of fear in us. It’s not something we are born with. Remember, as children we were always excited and eager to experience what life had to offer. As we grew and experienced our share of highs and lows, we developed a fear of certain things. In reality, our willpower is greater than the fear of anything, because it is all in our minds that create images of terrible scenarios and keep us from giving everything to the moment in front of us. The good news is that we can all overcome anxiety with some techniques, tips and tricks.
Health Shots contacted Dr. Annie Singh, Educator, Relationship Counselor and Writer, Dehradun to understand how to overcome fear.
How to overcome fear?
Fear is a natural response to perceived threats, real or imagined. It causes a cascade of physiological and psychological responses, such as increased heart rate, shallow breathing and increased alertness. Fear is an essential survival mechanism that has evolved over millions of years to help us respond to danger, Dr. Singh explains.
Phobias are different. They are a specific subset of anxiety: more intense, irrational fears about specific situations, objects, or activities. Unlike ordinary fears that can serve a protective purpose, phobias are characterized by their disproportionate and often uncontrollable nature. Common phobias include fear of heights (acrophobia), spiders (arachnophobia), flying (aviophobia) and public speaking (glossophobia).
Here are some simple everyday ways to deal with anxiety:
1. Challenge your thoughts
“Recognize when irrational or negative thoughts are fueling your fears. Challenge these thoughts by asking whether they are based on evidence or assumptions. Follow a fact-based thought process and believe only what is real,” says Dr. Singh.
Facing your fears is the boldest step you can make. However, in the long run it is extremely rewarding. Actually going out to face your fears may cause some stress in your body and you may feel intimidated when you come face to face with your fears, but that is the only way to get to the other side of to overcome the fears. It will make you realize the triviality of your fears and the power of your mind.
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2. Cultivate mindfulness
Practice mindfulness techniques to create a gap between your thoughts and your emotional responses. This allows you to respond to fear more calmly and rationally.
3. Seek support
“Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family or mental health professionals for guidance and emotional support. Talking about your fears can offer new perspectives,” says the expert.
4. Learn from failures
Embrace failure as a stepping stone to personal growth. Understand that setbacks are part of the journey and are not a reflection of your worth.
Also read: Overcome your fear of public toilets by using these toilet hacks!
5. Practice self-compassion
Be kind to yourself as you work to overcome fear. Self-compassion can help you tackle your challenges with more resilience and confidence. Talk to yourself just as you would talk to your dear friend who is going through the same challenges.
6. Stay persistent
Understand that overcoming fear is a journey. You may fumble in the early days of overcoming fear, but never let that deter your mind. Stay committed and persistent in your efforts, knowing that progress takes time.