Darkness, loneliness, failure, spiders, snakes, open spaces, small spaces, elevators, airplanes, heights. Speaking in public. Death. These are just some of the most common fears and phobias experienced by people everywhere. Therefore, be sure that at least one of these is felt by the person sitting next to you or the one you share your bed with every single night. It does not matter if you consider them rational or not – these fears and anxieties cannot be dealt with lightly and, in some cases, they are here to stay. However, there are a number of techniques that can help you and make a huge difference.
The Basics – Where Does Fear Originate and How Do You Feel About It?
Being such a complex and complicated emotion, fear is not easy to understand. Unlike happiness that can be traced back to certain positive stimuli and experienced as a mental and emotional state of being happy and content with our lives, fear is a mixture of feelings not always easy to explain. The easiest way to describe it is as an emotion you feel when you see or feel something unusual, irrational, unknown or frightening.
These images or associations come from various sources and they affect your brain functions causing a reaction – you run away or feel paralyzed. While some fears are rational and experienced by many, others are irrational and often indicate a deeper psychological problem traceable to a big trauma or childhood memories. Moreover, fear often leaves deeper marks on your psyche and cannot be escaped until you address it properly. Nevertheless, here are some ideas that might help you overcome your own fears.
Simple Breathing Exercises
Even though it may sound too simple and mundane, breathing actually is one of the easiest and most effective ways of overcoming anxiety. But not just breathing in and out without thinking about it will do – only by paying close attention will this exercise be successful. So, what you need to do once you start being scared is employ the 7/11 technique – take a breath in counting to 7 and then slowly exhale counting to 11. Repeat this as many times as you need and you will nip anxiety in the bud.
Talk to Someone
Whenever someone mentions fear, anxiety and phobias, most people recommend talking to a psychiatrist. This, however, is not the only way to go. Yes, you can set up an appointment with an experienced psychoanalyst and express your problems to them, but this can be costly and time-consuming, and, furthermore, does not have to work for everybody. Some of the other people you can address your fears to are your close friends and family, or even – and this may sound surprising – a complete stranger or a person you have only met recently. Of course, you might want to consult a life coach trained to ask the right coaching questions that will not only help you feel less anxious, but also understand the root of your fears.
This is another simple technique that brings great results – picture yourself in a serene environment, surrounded by people you know and trust, listening to the music you enjoy and talking about the things that make you happy. No matter what fear you are struggling with, this exercise will make you calmer in just a few minutes.
Everyone is prone to one fear or another in today’s stressful world and there is little we can do to avoid being troubled by them. However, by taking charge of your life and facing your fears head on, you will prevent them from taking control over you.