It has to be said, that fear is one of the strongest and most powerful emotions to have an effect on both your mind and your body. It can force us into strong responses such as fleeing or fighting if we are being attacked.
However, it is not just when facing danger that we’re faced with fear but in situations such as exams, public speaking, a date or for some, the fear of social situations. It is our reaction to what we see as a threat which is either perceived or real.
Some types of fear we refer to as anxiety, which is generally the fear of something coming or occurring in the future rather than something happening in that moment. Fear and anxiety can last for short periods of time and be fleeting but they can also suck you in and keep you in a permanent state of fear and anxiety and in some cases for whole life spans and can affect your ability to do everyday things from eating to sleeping and enjoying life.
Fear isn’t all bad though and in fact can be a healthy and normal part of life as it can be very motivating and keeps us from getting into harmful situations. When we become really fearful of something, it is then that it can be classed as a phobia.
For example, on a scale of 1 – 10. If you were to think about HOW fearful you were of something, generally anything 7 or over is considered a phobia.
So how do you go about getting over your fears?
If you are constantly avoiding situations where you are fearful, you tend to build the fear up inside of you making it worse. By avoiding the circumstances, you won’t ever be able to test yourself to see if things are really as bad as you think, so never release that fear. Anxiety tends to increase if you get into the habit of always avoiding your fears. Exposing yourself to these situations can be a great way to overcome them.
Knowing Your Fear
It can often be certain things that trigger an anxiety or fear, so you need to get to know yourself and what it is exactly that is causing you problems. Try keeping an anxiety/fear journal so that you can note down everything that happens – what triggers you, when it happens, why you think it has happened. Then try setting yourself small goals for facing your fears.
There are also ways of distracting the mind so that it pays less attention to the fear and anxiety you are feeling and more on the task at hand.
Exercise is a great one for concentrating the mind on what you are doing. Employing calming breathing techniques whilst doing exercise will also help you to feel more centred.
You can take these breathing techniques and use them for relaxation which can help with both the mental and physical feelings of fear. Simply drop your shoulders, breathe deeply and try and imagine being in a relaxing place. Things like yoga, meditation, massage or hypnotherapy are all practices that would help.
A healthy, well-balanced diet will also help with feelings of fear and anxiety. How? Well, a dip in sugar levels can actually make you feel anxious and an increase in caffeine levels can also do the same. So, take things like this in moderation and pack your diet full of fruits and vegetables.
If you find yourself suffering badly with fears, phobias or anxiety, then it may be that you need professional help and that is okay. Seek out your doctor, a counsellor or perhaps hypnotherapist and ask for help and guidance. The help you need is there and it is the first step that is the hardest.
Reach out to us if you need help.