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Five Answers to the Question – ‘How Do You Overcome Fear?’
Fear is one of the strongest human emotions. In its mildest state it can make you hesitant to climb a small ladder or walk by a large dog. At its worst, fear is completely paralyzing and can rob you of valuable human experiences. Those gripped by a specific fear will schedule their lives around avoiding facing that fear. It isn’t only airplanes and roller coasters, either. Just about anything can be feared. Thankfully, those fears are curable with a positive attitude and good mental approach. Here are five simple ways for you to overcome your fears.
– Logical Analysis. At a time when you are removed from your fear, sit down and analyze what it is exactly that you are afraid of. Let’s say you are afraid of riding in an elevator. What it is that you think will happen in the elevator? Do you really know how elevators work? Are you familiar with the statistics of how rare an elevator accident is? Once you work through this checklist and gain some basic knowledge, you might find the fear already starting to recede.
– Baby Steps. Sticking with the elevator scenario, you don’t have to take a ride up 30 floors right at the start. If you are fearful, try going up just one floor in a hotel, for example. The fear of the elevator falling will be minimized because you are never that far off the ground to begin with. As you gain experience riding up one floor and becoming more comfortable, you can start to take on longer rides until the fear is gone completely.
– Externalize Your Fears. It is a natural instinct to keep your fears inside. You may be embarrassed that you are afraid of something others are not, or you just don’t know how to verbalize your fear. Whatever the case, find someone you trust and confide in them to start. By having a rational, friendly conversation about your fear, you can see how another person views the activity you are afraid of. If possible, do this with several people to gain a variety of viewpoints. When working toward conquering your fear, you can draw on what they said during those conversations to give you strength.
– Take It Head On. This approach is somewhat opposite of our ‘Baby Steps’ method, but can be just as effective for certain fears. For instance, take the fear of flying. This is probably the common fear around, and can keep many people from exploring places they otherwise would enjoy visiting. For many, the anticipation of a flight is far worse than the event itself. If you have a big vacation planned that is several months away, try booking a shorter flight for a weekend trip sometime soon. Rather than fearing a far off flight, you tackle your fear by getting on a plane as soon as possible. By getting that flight out of the way (and getting an extra little vacation), your fears will be soothed and you can relax in anticipation of your upcoming trip.
– Meditate. Most of the time, fears are irrational. We all know that statistics indicate flying to be a far safer mode of travel than automobile. Yet hardly anyone fears travelling by car, and millions are afraid to fly. Meditation is a great way to turn off those illogical fears and center your brain back onto rational thoughts. Chemically, meditation has been shown to increase levels of GABA, which in turn reduces your tendencies toward anxiety and tension. How do you overcome fear? For many, the answer may just be found in meditation.
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