7 Tips to Help You Manage and Overcome Your Fears
Fear is an innate feeling that alerts us to dangerous situations and makes us cautious. However, there are times when it paralyzes us and prevents us from taking risks and enjoying new experiences, which can be very enriching.
5-Minute Crafts has compiled 7 tips to help you manage and overcome this emotion.
1. Identify how your fears make you feel.
First of all, it is important that you learn more about your fears and face them so that you can identify their main characteristics. This will help you to get to know yourself and, eventually, to overcome whatever frightens you.
To accomplish this first step, keep a notebook where you record the answers to the following questions:
- What physical symptoms manifest themselves when you feel fear?
- At what times do you feel them more intensely?
- What do you usually do when your fears appear?
This exercise will help you relate to your fears, and writing them down can be beneficial by allowing you to see them as something smaller and more manageable.
2. Be realistic about the chances of something bad happening.
Sometimes, fear can originate from a past experience. However, many times you don’t really know why it manifests itself.
Because of this, it is important to pay attention to the probabilities behind a situation that makes you fearful. For example, if you are afraid of being trapped in an enclosed space and running out of air, ask yourself or someone else if this has happened to someone you know. Also, think about what advice you would give to a friend or family member with a fear that is similar to yours.
3. Use your imagination to your advantage.
Imagination is a powerful tool that allows us to create and develop our critical thinking. However, it can increase the feeling of fear and worsen this feeling by letting frightening situations into our heads.
Fortunately, you can always use this faculty to your advantage by doing the following exercises:
- At a time when you are calm and relaxed, close your eyes and imagine yourself in a scenario that normally causes you fear.
- Then, think about how you would handle this situation calmly and without feeling anxious.
This may help you deal with that scenario in a more rational way.
4. Connect with nature.
There is evidence that spending time in nature can reduce anxiety and fear, and increase feelings of pleasure and calm. In addition to having benefits for our physical health, being in contact with the natural environment makes us feel better emotionally.
Therefore, it is important that when you are experiencing fear, you head to a park for a walk or physical activity. The latter can also help you release tension and anxiety.
5. Remember the fears you have managed to overcome.
Throughout your life, you have probably faced a lot of fears in order to become the person you are and achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
While taking risks and opening ourselves to new challenges can be a bit scary, it can lead to a series of positive experiences and personal growth.
It is likely that a situation that scares you now is different from those you have overcome in the past, but focusing on the fact that you were able to move forward is a sign that you should not let fear paralyze you, since it is very likely that the worst-case scenario is not really as terrible as you once imagined.
6. Think about positive results.
Fear is an emotion that protects you from possibly dangerous situations. Therefore, only you have the power to dissolve negative thoughts if you set your mind to it. Consider that fear is only an emotion and not a reality, so you can create positive scenarios instead of the opposite.
To do this, practice the following exercise:
- Think of something you are afraid to do and mention what is holding you back in a sentence.
- Transform the second part of the sentence so that you focus on a positive outcome.
Repeat this sentence and see how you feel about it. Thinking about favorable outcomes can cause your fears to diminish and you can begin to focus on different scenarios beyond fear, allowing you to move forward, even during difficult periods.
7. Lean on people close to you.
Talking about your fears with a family member or a friend can help you re-evaluate threats and possible negative scenarios you have set for yourself. Having another perspective on things can always be favorable.
In turn, the support of others will also make you feel more confident in your ability to deal with your fears and eventually overcome them.