The sense of fear is not actually a bad thing. It is necessary to keep us safe and is what has allowed humans as a species to survive through the ages. Yet, in these modern times we seem to have some fears which hold us back. We no longer need to fear many of the same things as our ancient ancestors, so these fears can limit how we navigate the modern world.
In much the same way that we need to take control and find remedies for anxiety, we need to find ways that we can overcome our fears and live our best life. If you feel that your fears are unfounded and difficult to allow you to live a healthy and normal life, then you need to find the way to take charge.
In this article, I will go over some ways that you can overcome these fears.
Fear vs phobia
As I already mentioned, fear is not always a bad thing as it is a form of protection. Some amount of fear even in the modern world can be useful. If you are afraid of walking through a park at night, then that fear may cause you to seek alternatives and thus be safe from anything that could happen.
This is basically our primal fight or flight instinct that kicks in as a survival mechanism. It can allow us to turn to others for protection and safety and use our resources to make good decisions. There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of fear.
It is different from a phobia. A phobia is a persistent fear even in the face of reason that this fear is actually unfounded. Phobias can elicit reactions of anxiety and panic attacks that all but disable a person and cause them to stop using rational thought.
It’s these irrational fears that cause us to make bad decisions and often lead to a reduction in our quality of life.
In some cases, it makes sense to simply take out our phobia by extreme means to be able to get through a situation in which you couldn’t ordinarily overcome it. Going to the dentist is necessary, but some people have such a phobia of going to the dentist that their oral health suffers as a result. For those people, sedation dentistry is the best option to be able to perform the necessary procedures so their delta health doesn’t suffer. Then, over time, they can work on other less dramatic ways of overcoming their fear and phobia.
If you have a phobia about flying, but are a business traveler that requires frequent plane travel, then taking some pills as you board the flight is going to help you get through to your destination.
However, these remedies need to be used in conjunction with other methods as they are not actually helping you overcome your fears and phobias.
Practicing mindfulness and being in the moment is a great elixir for many anxieties and even fears. It is a way of living that becomes a habit that will sort of train your brain to focus on what activity is at hand. It isn’t just a method to help you overcome a specific phobia you have, but when it becomes part of your everyday life, it is exactly what will help you overcome your phobias.
An example would be to be mindful while taking a shower. Many people use that time to let their mind wander and think of their to do list for example. Instead, focus on the actual washing. Think about how the soapy sponge feels on your skin, the warmth of the water and how you enjoy being clean.
This exercise should apply to anything you are doing so your mind doesn’t ever wander off into a dark place like a phobia. When confronted with a fear, your brain should be trained to retreat from that thought to focus on the here and now.
Focus on breathing
Anxiety and fear usually start with your breathing. Short breaths can cause a chain reaction of anxiety and fear. Then it becomes more difficult to focus and keep yourself from drifting into anxiety.
If you start by focusing on long, deep breaths then this can avert the short breaths that start a panic attack. Recognize that you are about to drift into panic and start your deep breathing routine. Take a deep breath in, think about it and then slowly exhale. Keep doing this until the panic subsides and you can carry on.