How to conquer your fears: 6 tips from a mental health expert

Many people tend to create thoughts towards life around fear. You can actually hear your inner monologue jumping from one worst outcome to another. Fear keeps us from welcoming the experiences of life as they are. We refrain from jumping into unknown waters in life just because of the so-called ‘fear of the unknown’. We dread every situation that triggers even the slightest feeling of fear within us. It’s not something we were born with. Remember, when we were kids, we were always excited and enthusiastic to experience whatever life had to offer. As we grew and went through our share of highs and lows, we developed a fear towards certain things. In reality, our willpower is greater than the fear of anything, for it’s all in our mind that creates images of dreadful scenarios and stops us from giving our everything to the moment at hand. The good news is that we can all overcome fear with some techniques, tips and tricks.

Health shots got in touch with Dr Annie Singh, Educator, Relationship Counsellor and Writer, Dehradun to understand how to overcome fear.

how to overcome fear
Is fear healthy? NO, it’s not! Here are some tips to overcome fear in everyday life. Image Courtesy: Freepik

How to overcome fear?

Fear is a natural response to perceived threats, real or imaginary. It triggers a cascade of physiological and psychological reactions, such as increased heart rate, shallow breathing, and heightened alertness. Fear is an essential survival mechanism that has evolved over millions of years to help us respond to danger, explains Dr Singh.

Phobias are different. They are a specific subset of fear – more intense, irrational fears of specific situations, objects or activities. Unlike ordinary fears that may serve a protective purpose, phobias are characterized by their disproportionate and often uncontrollable nature. Common phobias include fear of heights (acrophobia), spiders (arachnophobia), flying (aviophobia), and public speaking (glossophobia)”.

Here are some simple everyday ways to deal with fear:

1. Challenge your thoughts

“Recognize when irrational or negative thoughts fuel your fears. Challenge these thoughts by asking if they are based on evidence or assumptions. Follow a fact-based thought process, and believe only what’s real,” says Dr Singh.

Facing your fears is the most bold move you can make. However, it is extremely rewarding in the long run. When you actually go out there to face your fears, it might trigger some stress in your body, and you might feel intimidated standing eye-to-eye with your fears, but that’s the only way to step forward to the other side of fears. It will make you realize the triviality of your fears and the strength of your mind.

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2. Cultivate mindfulness

Practice mindfulness techniques to create a gap between your thoughts and your emotional reactions. This allows you to respond to fear more calmly and rationally.

3. Seek support

“Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or mental health professionals for guidance and emotional support. Talking about your fears can provide new perspectives,” suggests the expert.

how to overcome fear
Know ways to deal with fear and anxiety. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Learn from failure

Embrace failure as a stepping stone to personal growth. Understand that setbacks are part of the journey and not a reflection of your worth.

Also read: Overcome your fear of public toilets by using these toilet hacks!

5. Practice self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself as you work on conquering fear. Self-compassion can help you approach your challenges with greater resilience and self-assurance. Talk to yourself just like you would talk to your dear friend going through the same challenges.

6. Stay persistent

Understand that overcoming fear is a journey. You might fumble on your initial days of overcoming fear, but never let that deter your spirit. Stay committed and persistent in your efforts, knowing that progress takes time.

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