How to overcome fear? Fear has become a universal problem of humanity, affecting both old and young. It is something almost everyone goes through daily. At different degrees anyways.
Anticipating whatever could disturb your emotions and avoiding them is an intelligent move. But the truth is, regardless of how hard you try, unforeseen circumstances will show off.
As we strive to survive life’s troubles, the body keeps watch through our emotions. Anytime danger of any sort is sensed, fear is the body’s alarm. Sometimes it could be in response to failure. One thing that must be settled in our minds about fear is that its triggers need not be things we can sight physically. In fact, its strongest grips are birthed by imagination and illusions.
Being an emotional concern, fear has its way of affecting the quality of life that can be enjoyed. And when it is not promptly attended to, it puts our health at stake. You most likely know enough of the harms fear could cause, so I won’t dwell on that.
However, did you know getting fearful may not exactly mean something is wrong with you? It’s just a red flag warning you to be cautious about the situation at hand. And like I noted earlier, it is common to all. But the bad part is when we do nothing about it and permit it to rule our lives. You know while you may not be able to stop butterflies from flying in a garden, you can forbid them from resting on your body.
Have you ever thought about how better and delightful life could be if there are no fears? Or at worst if it could be overpowered when it shows up? In this article, I’ll be giving you ten easy steps you can take to get on top of any fearful situation.
Identify What Your Fears Are
The first step to effectively deal with any issue is to pinpoint the source(s). Why do you think requisite tests are run in hospitals before Doctors write out prescriptions? It saves them of stress of making numerous guesses. So take a little time out to find out where exactly the fear is coming from.
A quick way to do this is to practice daily meditation, either in the morning or in the evening. Mindfully do this for about ten minutes every day. Take pen and paper with you and note all the thoughts that fly in your mind.
Making out time to find out what your mind has to say would benefit you in two ways. Firstly, you will be sure of what the problem is exactly. And second, it could open your head to a possible way forward.
Admit Your Fears as Means of Personal Development
The second critical step to overcoming fears is to see them as means of improving yourself. You can choose to see things from a different perspective. While it is true that fears are threats to good living, they could be opportunities to get better too. You’d remember I said earlier that fears are red flags.
This liberating step would build bravery, resilience, and compassion into you. And once you break loose from this intimidation, everything starts getting brighter. Much more, you will become wiser. A fact of life is that every experience, both the good and bad, all have one or two lessons to pass across.
So, as you identify what your fears are, mindfully think about the new lessons they have for you. Rather than leaving your fear to metamorphose into depression, leverage it as a chance for bigger success.
Understand and Stay Off Triggers
Having identified the sources of your fears, another thing you should do is to get a clear cut of how their triggers work. Giving triggers place is like adding fuel to fire. It will worsen the condition.
After identifying your triggers, the next action should be to proactively make plans to avoid them.
Let’s look at some examples. Online content could be a terrible trigger of fear when you are ill. Feverish conditions, chest pain, and coughing are not limited to COVID-19. But I’m sure if you search the internet for those two symptoms, COVID-19 will pop out as one of the top results. And you know what this could mean to the mind.
Again, events of people’s death can have a lasting effect on the mind, and this could transform into a trigger you’d have to cope with. In instances like this, you do away with all resources or materials that can bring back the awful memories.
Develop a Large Heart for Growth
As rational beings, we set goals of what we want to achieve. But sadly, many of those dreams go unfulfilled. And there’s a possibility of feeling dejected when this happens. Don’t ever allow your failure to define your life. Failure happens to everyone. Moguls sometimes lose hugely. Doctors lose patients to surgery. On and on like that.
You don’t have to be swayed by the tides of our society, in which success is celebrated while failure is mocked. See downfalls as opportunities to get wiser. Expect them.
When you position your mind this way, you build a shock absorber for the next ugly occurrence.
So if you want to have fear under your feet, you must learn to give yourself time to grow. After all, no one is perfect. When failure comes, embrace it as an opportunity to be wiser
When negative thoughts start running on your mind, you begin to anticipate evil. A good response to challenge this is to recite positive affirmations.
Imagine saying to yourself before sitting for an exam – “I know I will fail this exam, but I will read harder the next time.” This is utterly discouraging! Things would be better for your mind if you say something like “I will prepare adequately for this exam and I will pass excellently.”
These affirmations will do two things for you. Firstly, it’ll make you avoid the frustration that comes with fear. And second, your mind will be in a stable condition.
You don’t have to wait till fear comes before you make the affirmations. Soldiers learn to shoot before a war starts. Making affirmations in advance can be very helpful in developing strength to combat the next attack on your mind. Our words form our reality!
- Open up to someone
Sharing your fears with someone is another simple step you can take. Mind you, it is not compulsory to go for a Psychologist at this stage. Just find someone you can confide in. Because the concern here is not about getting brainy advice. Not at all! The main thing this would achieve is to pull you out of the pool of self-pity.
However, you should apply caution in doing this. Be very selective with whom you let into your personal affairs. A trusted family member would be appropriate, or bosom friend.
The next step will help you in your decision of whom to talk to or keep around you.
Watch Your Company
The quality of a man’s life largely depends on the kind of influences he has around him. Man himself is a product of influence. You’re molded into the person you are today by the interactions you had with people – parents, relations, friends, and colleagues, etc.
You can’t be around someone suffering from anxiety and expect him to give you the strength you need to face your fear. He can’t give you, because he doesn’t have it.
In getting over fearful thoughts, there’s a place of having someone you are accountable to.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Who are those in my company?
- How well do they combat their fears?
- Are they contributing to my fears?
- How have they motivated me to face my fears recently?
Overcoming fears demands being in the right cycle. You should consider estimating your company.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
How familiar is EFT to you? It has been trending for a while now in the psychology cycle. The name suggests its meaning. It is therapeutic development for managing fear. The technique involves the tapping of Meridian points of the body to maintain a balance in the rate of energy flow in the body. The idea is that an imbalance in energy flow can fuel fear and affect the overall functioning of the body.
But just before you start tapping, there are three things to fix. The first is to identify the fear or emotional distress as the case may be. Secondly, rank it on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being mild and 10 worst. This intensity ranking would help you keep your checkmate your progress. The last thing to fix is to write out a short statement to acknowledge the fear you just identified, and also to avow that you accept yourself all the same. If you’re scared of upcoming examinations for example, here’s a sample you can follow to write your affirmation statement. “I know I’m afraid of failing my exams a second time, but I accept myself all the same.” This is simple enough right?
Now let’s identify the points to tap and the sequence.
- the small intestine meridian (located at the karate chop)
- the bladder meridian (located around the eyebrow)
- the gallbladder meridian (located by the side of the eye)
- the stomach meridian (beneath the eyes)
- the governing vessel (under the nose)
- the central vessel (located at the chin)
- the kidney meridian (located at the beginning of the collarbone)
- the spleen meridian (located under the arm)
- the governing vessel (located at the top of the head)
Here is where the real work starts. Tap the small intestine meridian and the affirmation statement three times. Do this twice consecutively for the small intestine meridian and other points as well.
When you’re done, recheck your fear level to see if you have made any progress. And in case you are not satisfied with the result, keep repeating the tapping till the fear level finally drops to 0.
One thing fear does to the mind is that it bombards it with lots of thoughts, and that makes it difficult to maintaining focus. Some exercises can make a significant difference in reducing stress levels. And you know stress is a major trigger of fear.
You can pick one or more of the following.
- Interrupt the thoughts of your mind by creating visual images. Imagine yourself in your choice relaxation center, enjoying cool music, the freshness of nature, and other things you’d enjoy had you gone there. Keep these pictures in your mind till you feel the fear is no more.
- Relax your muscles by taking a sitting position in a calm and comfy location with your eye closed. Having done this, gently let in air through the nostrils nose and exhale through the mouth. Clench your fingers in your palm and release the fist after some seconds. Keep fisting and opening your hands this way and you will find the tension gradually easing.
- Other exercises you can do are to take a walk or have some light gym sessions for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Seek Medical Help
In case you have tried the suggestions above and things seem not to get better, talking to a Psychologist would be a good option. It is always good to treat health conditions early enough as delay could get things aggravated. I am sure you won’t want your fears to develop into intense anxiety and depression.
Here are five signs to watch out for to know if it’s time to seek help from an expert.
- When your fear leads to persistent worrying
- Uncontrolled restlessness
- Continuous palpitation
We have seen that fear is common to all. The only distinguishing factor is our reaction to it. You can get over the condition if you take the right steps. You can master the situation. Don’t throw in the towel!