Dealing with fear probably isn’t top of your want-to-do list. Truth is, no one likes dealing with fear, but shit happens in life and sometimes it will rear its ugly head. So, what can you do when you’re dealing with fear and feel your emotions start to escalate? The answer is to become calm as quickly as possible and ask for help when you need it. After all, two minds striving for a rational solution is usually better than one.
Don’t Always Trust Your Thoughts
Even in crazy situations, you probably have an idea about the right course of action. But even so, you might start to doubt yourself. It’s a good idea to try to recognize the situations where you tend to have trouble thinking clearly. That way, when these situations do come up, you can start working on solutions, instead of giving into the cloudy thoughts. Keep a daily journal and write down what’s happened during the day and your thoughts and feelings around it all. It will help you begin to pinpoint patterns in your thinking and behaviour, and more importantly, the triggers that start the downward spiral of your thoughts.
You Probably Shouldn’t Trust Your Thoughts in the Following Situations:
When you’re under stress – People often don’t recognize how detrimental stress can be to the mind and body. Stress can cause you to make unwise decisions and think too quickly. Stress can take over your body and produce hormones that alter your thinking patterns. In short, a stressed mind tends to make stupid decisions.
When you’re feeling anxious – There are varying degrees of anxiety that can affect anyone at any time. When it grips you in a chokehold, such as when you’re dealing with crippling fear, it can lead to erratic, irrational thoughts or even panic.
When you’re having negative thoughts – Sometimes you’ll have a bad day or even a bad week. A tough time can cause a negative thinking pattern that can cause you to think unreasonable, or even absurd, thoughts. You may start to have angry or depressing thoughts that can’t be trusted.
When you’re having thoughts that seem real, but are rather unreasonable, remember that it’s not coming from you. Rather, it’s coming from the build-up and repression of years of self-doubt, negativity, stress, anxiety, or even past circumstances. That’s precisely why you can’t trust those thoughts.
The Fear and Anxiety Loop
Basically, your conscious mind is simply commenting upon the feelings that the subconscious mind is producing. You feel anxiety and the conscious mind starts saying ‘I’m feeling anxious,’ which in turn feeds back into a loop with your body. Your thought now becomes a feeling travelling through your body, meeting up with the anxiety that your subconscious produced in response to a trigger, and the ‘anxious feeling’ is ramped up and supercharged. This in turn gives the conscious mind even more to comment upon, and so it goes on… Meanwhile, the stress hormones surge even stronger through your system and the stressed mind goes even more haywire.
Dealing with Fear
Negative thought patterns can arise from stress, anxiety, fear or even the past. Crippling fear, unfortunately, hurls many strongly negative feelings your way. But it’s how you deal with them and proceed with your thought patterns that make all the difference. Strive to take time to cool down and relax your mind before making important decisions.
One way to know if something is your true feeling is to wait a few days before making a decision. For example, if after a week of thinking something over, you still think the same way, then it’s probably true. Of course, you first have to ensure that your mind isn’t under attack from stress, anxiety, negativity, or fear.
Healing from Fear
If you find that you’re frequently in fearful situations, you can concentrate on healing those feelings. When your mind begins to race, take in a large dose of oxygen. Believe it or not, deep breathing is a signal for your mind to relax and think clearly. It signals to the nervous system that everything is fine and you’re safe. So, breathe deeply and breathe often!
Also, when you feel the fear or anxiety rising tell your brain to stop. Remember, the subconscious mind has been triggered by something, and when the emotions rise simply say loudly and firmly ‘Stop – Not Helpful!’ This instructs your mind not only to cease producing the feeling but also why it should stop. Repeat this process every time you feel stressed. Repetition is the key to making this work.
Fear Can Be Helpful
Fear and anxiety are valid in the right context. If you’re about to walk close to the edge of a clifftop, walk down a dark alley late at night, have a wild animal charging towards you, or you face any other potentially dangerous situation, then fear and anxiety are the correct emotions to feel because they speed up taking avoidance action. In this case they could well keep you alive!
But it’s when you’re anxious about situations that aren’t potentially dangerous, then you need to take steps to deal with the feeling and calm down quickly.
Methods for Dealing with Fear
There are great methods for taking control of fearful feelings, such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), TFT (Thought Field Therapy) – both are known as ‘Meridian Tapping. There’s also NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), which is like having an instruction manual for how the brain works and how to change thinking patterns.
You’re not alone. There are people that can help and you shouldn’t feel shy to ask for that help. If you feel uncomfortable talking with a family member or friend, consider the help of a coach or therapist.
Just remember to avoid taking drastic actions that arise from fear. Take your time when making decisions, breathe deeply, and seek the help you need to overcome the grip of fear.
And imagine… Who would you be without unnecessary fear and anxiety? Take action to become that person!
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And there’s more…
Below are some resources to help you deal with fear:
A classic read for dealing with fear, from the internationally renowned author Susan Jeffers, who has helped millions of people overcome their fears. Whatever your anxieties, her book Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway® will give you the insight and tools to vastly improve your ability to handle any given situation. You will learn to live your life the way you want – so you can move from a place of pain, paralysis, fear and anxiety to one of empowerment, energy, enthusiasm and action. Buy this book! Click on the link below: Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action – Susan Jeffers:
I’m a massive fan of Mel Robbins, the life coach and brilliant author, who not only talks sense, but also has some fantastic techniques for dealing with fear and moving into action. Want to learn how to destroy doubt, conquer fear and enrich your life – in the space of just five seconds? Then you need to read this book. Buy this book! Click on the link below: The 5 Second Rule: The Surprisingly Simple Way to Live, Love, and Speak with Courage: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage – Mel Robbins:
Do you have a secret desire to write a book? Then everything you need to know about writing a book is right here - click on the link: 40 Days To A Finished Book!
Want to create big change in your life and have yourself some freedom from the daily 9 to 5 grind? Click on the link: Learn how to step into your best life by gaining the skills that you need!
Are you ready for a training program that will press the reset button on your mind? Do you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances? Are you exhausted and overburdened with stress? Do you find dealing with fear totally derails you? Take a look at this new release from Damon Zahariades, in which he will help you build-up your mental muscles and emotional stamina, to help you deal with everything life throws at you. Buy this book! Click on the link below: The Mental Toughness Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Facing Life’s Challenges, Managing Negative Emotions, and Overcoming Adversity with Courage and Poise – Damon Zahariades:
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© Ruthy Baker 2020