How To Deal With Fear

EXPERIENCES OF CHILDHOOD TRAUMA CAN OFTEN LEAD TO ANXIETY DISORDER, AND THE FEAR THAT GOES HAND IN HAND WITH THIS, IN LATER LIFE. I THOUGHT, THEREFORE, I WOULD LIST A FEW SUGGESTIONS THAT CAN HELP US LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH FEAR :

1) GET TO THE ROOT OF THE FEAR – often, when we are afraid of something, it is not the actual thing itself we are really afraid of, but what it represents to us on an unconscious level. Sometimes, if we take a little time to analyze the fears that we have, we realize that the thing we think we are afraid of is actually triggering a memory of something in the past which frightened us.

2) STOP AND ANALYZE AGGRESSION AND ANGER – some people seem to be angry all the time (in fact, that is not entirely inapplicable to me). Sometimes, displays of anger and aggression can be a mask for underlying feelings of powerlessness (again, some might argue this is not utterly untrue of old muggings here). Sometimes, then, we get angry in an attempt to hide (not just from others, but from ourselves) our inner feelings of fear.

3) OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF SUCCESS : this may sound a rather odd one, but, in fact, it is far from uncommon. It often exists only on a sub-conscious level. But why, I hear you ask, should somebody be afraid of success ? Well, there are generally taken to be two main reasons – the first is that sometimes we need to take risks in order to be successful, and many people don’t want to put at risk the limited success they may already enjoy. The second is that often people fear the pressures and responsibilities success can bring with it.

4) DESENSITIZATION : this is a technique whereby we expose ourselves to our fear in gradual stages to ‘get used to it’. A simple example would be someone who is afraid of heights. They may start off by going to the second floor of a building a few times and looking down from its balcony, and they would gradually progress to the 4th, then 6th, then 8th floor, and so on, until, by the end of the desensitization process, they are able to look over the balcony on, say, the 30th floor.

5) CREATE A PERSONAL MANTRA : people have been doing this for thousands of years ; ideally, by saying the phrase (whatecver it happens to be) it should make you feel strong and confident. The English comedy character Delboy, for example, has the mantra, ‘He who dares wins’, perhaps a rather silly example, although it was originally used by the elite British fighting force the S.A.S.

6) EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR PARTICULAR FEARS – this is one of the most important things you can do in relation to overcoming fears. You can start by researching just one or two fears. For the purpose, there are academic materials available on the internet. These will provide a wealth of knowledge about what causes them. Remember, knowledge is power – the more that you know about what is causing your fears, and the more you teach yourself strategies to overcome them, the less frightening they will become.

7) ASSUME THAT YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL – when undertaking a particular task, or when trying to solve a problem, ASSUME THAT YOU WILL SUCCEED AT IT. Research demonstrates that there is a positive correlation between levels of expectation of success and success itself. A negative attitude, in contrast, will put you at a disadvantage from the word go.

8) LIVE IN THE MOMENT – Of course, it is necessary for all of us to plan for the future ; however, thinking about the future too much can very easily become a source of fear. This is especially true for those of us who suffer from anxiety conditions. To avoid this, we can train ourselves to live more fully in the present, as a young child engrossed in play does so naturally (we find it harder as we get older). The more that we practice doing this, the easier it becomes.

9) STAY BUSY – When we are busy it is necessary for us to focus and concentrate on the task in hand and stops us having morbid thoughts. Busy fingers are happy fingers!

10) ENDURE A DIFFICULT SITUATION – By making yourself remain in a situation which makes you uncomfortable, such as, for example, an awkward and stressful social situation, you will usually find it becomes more tolerable and perhaps (god forbid!) enjoyable. Set yourself mini-endurance challenges like this – the more you are able to get through uncomfortable situations, the less anxiety provoking they will become.

11) ENGAGE A DIFFERENT PART OF THE BRAIN : this is a most effective method which has the effect of SHORT CIRCUITING THE FEAR RESPONSE. Using a higher level of brain function (e.g playing chess against a computer or even mentally running through some mental maths) will largely disengage the emotional part of the brain and engage, instead, a higher level of consciousness. Alternatively, try to mentally relive, in detail, a pleasurable past event from memory.

12) EXERCISE  :  Research has shown that getting moderate physical exercise (even as little as 20 minutes per day) is of enormous benefit to both physical and mental health.

13) TRY TO FIND HUMOUROUS ANGLES TO APPROACH PROBLEMS FROM :  this is extremely good when dealing with fear as it is almost impossible to be frightened of something when you are laughing at it. The brilliant film director Woody Allen has said that his sense of humour acts as a defense mechanism (I recommend his films – a good one to start with is Manhattan).American comic genius Woody Allen

14) Don’t allow you fears to exaggerate a situation – try to consider the situation in which you find yourself in as realistic a way as possible. In particular, watch out for fears over-riding your rational mind (which is the main reason they become overwhelming. This used to happen to me – all the time and in a very extreme way.

15) DRINK LESS ALCOHOL – drinking large amounts of alcohol effects judgment and often causes fears – especially the next day when hung-over, spiral out of control. There is a danger of long-term, excessive drinking leading to delusions and paranoia.

16) REDEFINE YOURSELF – we are all changing every day (as our brain is changing day by day according to what it is experiencing and how it interprets what it is experiencing, there is nothing to stop us from consciously working on that change in a focused manner. Reducing fears, and leaving some behind altogether, can be one of those changes.

17) REMEMBER THAT FEAR IS, VERY OFTEN, JUST :

 False

 Evidence

Appearing

Real

Whenever you feel afraid it is worth repeating this mantra (if possible, out loud)

18) TRY TAKING SOME SMALL RISKS : In life, if we wish to make progress, it is necessary to take some risks. Obviously, though, large, foolish risks are to be avoided !

 

OVERCOME FEAR – SELF HYPNOSIS DOWNLOADS. CLICK IMAGE BELOW :

pack-beat-fear-anxiety

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

About David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

Psychologist, researcher and educationalist.

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