We all experience fear to some degree, it's a completely natural and biological emotion that serves an important role in keeping us safe as it mobilizes us to cope with potential danger. However, fear can quickly turn unhealthy if it’s causing you to be overly cautious, anxious and prevents you from doing things that would allow you to live your life fully.
Physical, emotional, and psychological harm are the trigger points of fear which activates your "fight or flight" response. In some instances this could save your life, in others, it could potentially hold your back from doing something positive. The common fears we typically face fall under the psychological and emotional category, which tend to be exaggerated outcomes of made-up issues in our head such as: fear of rejection, fear of the unknown and fear of losing for example. These negative fears potentially hold us back from doing something that may have otherwise helped us exceed or be happy.
Intensity of fear
This is a scale showing moderate to intense levels of fear. Do any of these sound familiar to you, if so where do you stand?
- Feelings of uncertainty
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”
― H. P. Lovecraft
Face your fear
This is the first step in the process and the hardest, but it is absolutely necessary to your healing process. You can’t overcome a fear hidden in your subconscious unless you face it. Once you can begin to run towards it you will start to recognize things about what’s making you fearful that you wouldn’t have otherwise, which will be your road to overcoming it. Treat your fear like a project and learn as much information as you can to identify ways to counter it.
Now, let’s get started on your new project -- conquering fear!
The path to understanding and overcoming your fear
- Identify your fears: for the next 3 weeks keep a journal of what triggers your fear and record common patterns. This trick will help scale down these fear patterns, taking them out of your head and putting it on paper will make them much less scary.
- Use your imagination to your advantage: Our crazy imagination can lead us down a dark spiral, however taking that big imagination and changing the narrative when you’re in a calm state can help you face your fears in a healthy way. When you’re in a grounded and relaxed state, sit down close your eyes and imagine yourself in a fearful situation, now once you’re there imagine yourself handling the fear in a peaceful manner with a positive outcome, instead of the same old story that usually plays in your head.
- Trick your brain! When you feel those uncertain, fearful thoughts coming to light, trigger a different part of your brain by thinking about numbers or focus on your breathing. These techniques will begin to rewire your brain the more often you practice it, which can eventually help to reduce those fearful thoughts overall.
- GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: This may seem scary at first, but it’s truly the most effective way to help you overcome your fears and grow as a person. Start by saying yes more often.. whether it’s once per week or month, say yes to something uncomfortable and watch your fears fade away.
Managing your fears
Some fears can be hard to shake, but there are great ways to make them manageable so you can get back to living your best life:
- Practice mindfulness by learning to become present
- Exercise to induce those happy, feel-good chemicals
- Think of your fearful thoughts like rain water passing by and allow them to wash away, remind yourself these thoughts aren’t you and it’s normal
- Try a natural health supplement to reduce anxiety and induce calmness
- Seek help from a professional