- Release of the stress hormone cortisol
- Increase in heart rate
- Change in body temperature
- Shallow or rapid breathing
- Transition of blood flow from your stomach to your major muscle groups
- Tightening and tensing of the muscles
Avoidance tactics will justify the fear
The things that will prevent you from breaking your fear and anxiety cycles and patterns are.
Wanting to avoid the things or situations that make you feel uncomfortable, wanting to avoid feeling feelings of discomfort.
Wanting to play it safe, not wanting something to happen, trying to be perfect or dreading or dislike something happening.
Your mind quickly learns to fear more, the things you want to avoid, what you don't want and the things you dread or dislike.
The only reason why you fear something is because you want to avoid it.
Avoiding any of the situations or things that you respond with fear to will not work either as what you avoid you learn to fear more, so every time you avoid something because you're trying to get rid of your fear, then you're actually reinforcing it.
Fear can be very powerful and persuasive, it will try and make you avoid the thing that you're scared of, but when you avoid it, then your mind will interpret this as the fear is justified, otherwise why would you be avoiding the thing or situation.
Try to look forward, love or like, the things that you're scared of or you don't want to happen. (Unless, they're generally dangerous)
Everytime you're feeling anxious or you fear or dread something. Tell yourself.
- I will look forward to ....
- I love ....
- I enjoy ....
- I am happy ...
- That sounds like fun ...
- I am excited
Some of the most common fears are
- Fear of failure
- Fear of your anxious thoughts
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of fear itself
- Fear of making a mistake
- Fear of embarrassment
- Fear of a certain thing, situation or object
- Fear of something bad happening (As in OCD)
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of being judged
- Fear of what other people think
11 Tips To Help You Overcome Your Fears
There are generally several things that you need to do to reduce your fear and anxiety because overcoming your fears and anxiety is a process of things and making some lifestyle changes that need to be followed.
To start with, it's important that you know that at times it's perfectly natural to feel afraid, so the more you can be comfortable feeling uncomfortable the stronger you will grow and the balance of power will start to shift back in your favour.
1) Do not always trust your imagination
2) Change the what if thoughts
If you're having those anxiety what if thoughts and all those what happens if scenarios, then it is your mind doing a risk assessment.
This is like your minds, advanced early warning system to try and alert you of any potential risks or threats.
If you leave those what if thoughts unanswered, then they will cultivate and trigger, constant emotional arousal, stress and more anxiety.
Most people, believe the what if thoughts are real and they spend to much time fighting with them, overthinking them or getting emotionally involved with them.
Everytime you notice that you're having those anxiety and stress provoking what if thoughts. As, long as you're not in immediate danger.
Do, not let them persist and avoid getting emotionally engaged in them.
Immediately answer them or change the negative energy to positive and calm energy.
You could just reply
You could, just flip the energy around by replying with something like
"What, if everything goes well"
You could logically answer the what if question, by stating what realistically is most likely to happen
"Just try to reassure your mind, that you'll be OK"
- I used to feel anxious
- I am overcoming my anxiety
- I am fearless
3) Change The Feelings
You can challenge and change your thought process or ask yourself what is the worst that can happen.
But one of the best ways to overcome your anxiety and fear is by learning how to break the feedback loop and change the feelings.
The powerful bad feeling, emotions come before the thoughts, therefore it is the feelings that you need to change. In some situations you will just get the fearful feelings and responses without the fearful thoughts.
As previously mentioned. What you do can affect how you think and feel.
If you choose to avoid or move away from a stressful and challenging situation that would normally bring about and anxious and fearful response.
Then your emotional brain will learn to associate that situation as being dangerous or threatening. Otherwise, why would you want to avoid it or move away from it.
Your brain learns to fear the things we want to avoid and move away from.
When you face and move towards the things you fear. Then your mind will think. It cannot be dangerous or threatening otherwise, you would not be approaching it.
To quicken this process. If you face your fears and act normal. Then, your mind will see these messages as, it has to be safe.
What I mean by acting normal is.
- Breathing deeply
- Chewing gum
- Standing or sitting poised
- Humming or singing upbeat tunes to yourself
- Focus on what you're doing
So what you need to change and work on is the way you feel and the way you respond.
Because whether you're just reacting with fearful feelings to an external stimuli or you're having anxious thoughts and imaginings the responses you will experience will be the same.
So whether your fear is being triggered by your anxious thoughts or by an outside stimulus, it does not really matter because you treat them both in the same way.
Our emotions play an important role in our survival, and when you're having anxious thoughts or fearful responses, it is a message being relayed from your unconscious mind because your unconscious mind thinks you could be at risk.
You could say, anxiety is when your mind thinks that something bad could happen to you in the future, whilst a fearful response is when your mind things a threat is imminent and something bad is about to happen.
However, when you're in a relaxed and peaceful state, then your mind will think you're safe, so you will begin to feel less threatened and you will switch back from survival mode to safe mode.
The secret is all about managing and changing your state. To overcome a fear, at some point you have to confront the thing you're afraid of, so long as the danger is not real.
This means, that you have to face your feared thing or situation, despite how you feel and you have to stay put until the fear subsides so you force your mind to accept the fear is false and unnecessary.
Fear is just a shift in energy and a change in your physical state, so instead of calling fear, just describe it as energy.
The trick is to catch it early, because if you leave it too late then it will result in high levels of anxiety and panic.
Do not try to suppress or resist your anxious thoughts and feelings, because that will increase the fear and stress. Also, do not be alarmed, frustrated or bothered by your thoughts and feelings.
On the onset of any fear and anxiety.
Do not judge, resist the feelings or react, instead try and act normal. This can take a bit of practice at first, because the feelings of panic and overwhelm will try and make you avoid or move away from the feared thing or situation.
1) Accept the thoughts and feelings
When you first notice the onset of fear. Do not try and resist or suppress your anxiety. Thought suppression, will always lead to more anxious thoughts and fearful feelings.
Allow the thoughts into your mind, let them carry on all by themselves. You can reassure your anxious and confused mind.
- "Whatever happens I'll be OK"
- These feelings cannot harm me, they never have and they never will"
- "It is not going to kill me, so I'll do it"
Never try and suppress your thoughts, just let your mind think them, smile at them, take a few deeper breaths and just observe your thoughts feelings and emotions, but let them carry on.
Just allow any thoughts to continue and allow your emotions to rise up through you and away whilst you just watch and observe.
You can acknowledge your anxiety and then let your mind know how you would like to feel.
"Yes I am feeling a bit anxious, how I would like to feel is calm and at ease"
Keep observing from a place of calm detachment. Just offer zero resistance to your anxious thoughts and feelings.
Deliberately instruct your mind to carry on thinking the anxious thoughts and allow the feelings to carry on rising up through you and away
2) Act normal
Release any tension, relax your body and take some slow deep breaths. Breathe in slowly and deeply, hold for the count of 3 and slowly breathe out for the count of five.
Keep you focus of attention externally, you can silently hum or sing to yourself. If you need to speak, talk slowly, loudly and clearly.
You can let your mind know, that
"There are no dangers present so the fear is not necessary"
If the anxiety and fear comes back, just keep on repeating the process.
If you feel anxious about a forthcoming situation, you can reassure yourself, by relaying back some safety messages to your unconscious mind, by telling yourself things like.
" It's not going to kill me, so
" I am safe and secure in this present situation, so the anxiety is not necessary"
4) Bring yourself back to the present moment
Your mind does not know what will happen, the part of your mind that deals with fear only know's what has happened in the past and its basis all its reactions to everything that has happened in the past to determine how you respond in the future.
The truth is you neither live in the past or the future, you live in the present so you need to remain in the present, so do not live your life based on the past and take no notice of your mind when it tries to second guess the future.
If your feeling negative feelings, then this means you have either ventured out of the now and you have gone into the future or the past.
So the first step to overcoming your fears, which are nothing more than noises and images being played out in your mind, is to get in the present and stay there as much as possible and you cannot stay in the present when you're worrying about the future.
What has been happening is, you're living your life in the physical world, yet you are responding with fear to your inner reality which is nothing more than an illusion.
Do not try to battle with your feelings, at times when you're feeling negative emotions, let yourself know I do not have to deal with these feelings right now, I am just going to let theses feelings subside.
They are just feelings, and feelings cannot hurt me, if I remain calm they will pass soon, let you know, "I am safe so I don't need to anything right now".
Then, once they have passed
This is why meditation is so beneficial, scientific reports after scientific reports have proven how good meditation is for anxiety and fear.
6) Change Your Self Talk
Most of our fears and worries are not logical yet we still allow the inner child and the none logical fear network to run our emotional responses,
Our minds create the fear and we keep trying to avoid the imaginary fear or we want to run from it. But the reality is, most of the time there is no real threat or very little risk, yet we still keep getting hooked up in the fear circuit and cycle.
But you can use your logic and intellect to challenge and change your fears, beliefs and worries.
After you have been through a fearful moment, let you know, that hurt, but I am alright, praise you up for being courageous.
Ask yourself, what logical reason was there for why you felt anxious, and just try and break the belief behind the fear.
Positive self talk can be a good strategy to feel better about yourself and help you to change the way you respond.
If you dread something change your inner dialogue too, I am looking forward to, I like, I enjoy or I love.
Your subconscious will offer some resistance to start with but be firm with your internal voice until you override the old beliefs.
Begin to challenge and change your false fears and beliefs, ask yourself what's the worst case scenario, tell yourself things like I can handle that or I can do that.
Boost your self esteem by saying positive things about yourself, including telling yourself repeatedly that you like yourself.
Whenever you feel fear, switch the energy over and focus on what you're thankful for instead. If you're dreading giving a presentation be thankful for the chance to speak in front of others.
7) Use your body to reduce your anxiety levels
Many people think the way to treat their anxiety is by fixing the mind, and although your mind is a powerful tool and you will have some bad memories, emotional attachments and negative beliefs that will need changing.
You should also, not overlook the importance of your body. Most of the sensations and symptoms of anxiety are chemical and physical changes that are happening in your body, therefore you can use your body to lower your anxiety.
Fear and anxiety are a physical state, where your body being prepared to either fight, avoid or run away from a perceived threat.
Because of the mind and body connection, this means that your mind and body are tied in and linked together.
What this means is, your body responds to your mind, and it does this very quickly, but also your mind will react from the feedback it receives from your body.
Our posture and muscles are linked to the fight or flight process, when our body is out of alignment and balance our muscles will tighten up.
Slouching, or having a bent forward rounded posture, is a negative energy
A tense, rigid and stiff posture is just as bad as slumping because it is associated with fighting, defensive and aggression. If you suffer with anxiety, then you can have a tendency to either shrink and go small, or you might tense and stiffen your posture.
Because of the fight or flight connection, your mind will interpret both of the above postures as your about to be threatened or something bad is about to happen
When your neck, shoulders and upper back are tight and
Tension in mind and body can send you into the survival mode because muscle tightness is strongly linked to the fight or flight process, when our bodies are tense our state and thought processes can change to more tense types of thoughts.
Tense muscles or the physical sensations that are associated with stress will flip your mind over into your negative files and data, this is where all the data for your past bad experiences are stored.
Try to adopt a nice open, but relaxed and aligned, balanced posture, so you are sitting and standing with the least amount of strain and tension.
Remember, that your body posture, and your physical state is directly linked up to your thought patterns and your emotions.
When you're aligned and balanced, you will feel more relaxed and comfortable, your circulation and your breathing will be better and your chi energy will flow freely around your body.
8) Visualization to change your energy
You can also use visualization in two other different approaches. First, you can practice at least once a day creating your very own safe haven, spend five to ten minutes imagining yourself feeling relaxed in a place of calm, peace and serenity like a tropical beach, walking through a meadow or beach by a lake.
You can either return to a time or place when you were feeling deeply relaxed or you can make one up and imagine yourself in a place where you feel completely relaxed, safe and secure, engage all your senses.
Or you can do it whilst you are deeply relaxed, such as when you are meditating, just keep focusing on how good you feel and how calm you are, make your ideal location your safe and secure sanctuary, then magnify the good feelings to make this even more powerful.
An the onset of any fear or build up of stress, go virtual and imagine yourself in your safe and ideal place, but remember to involve all your senses, this can calm you down and help you to replace fear with feelings of calm in those stressful situations.
Another exercise that you can do is, imagine how much better your life will be without your fears, work on one at a time and clearly imagine and visualize in clear detail with emotion how much better your life will be when you have released your fear.
9) Eat Healthy Nutritious Foods
Some people get stressed and anxious because of a vitamin deficiency, your diet is important so if you suffer with stress and anxiety, then it may pay you to cut back on high sugar or junk foods, caffeine and alcohol and eat a more healthy and varied balanced diet.
The vitamins that can help anxiety are the B complex and magnesium, if you take a supplement then make sure you stick to the recommended daily dosage, also make sure you stay hydrated.
Also make sure that you do not dehydrate, because when you're dehydrated you will go into survival mode, drink often but not excessive in one go.
To sum things up,
- Do some regular exercise
- Take up meditation to reduce your stress and anxiety
- Have a relaxed and aligned tension free balanced posture
- Calmly observe your fearful thoughts and feelings
- Do whatever you
can to makeyou feel good
- Breathe correctly (regularly take some slow, deep breaths during your day)
- Live a healthy life and eat a well balanced diet
- Do not dehydrate
- Think positive or neutral good feeling thoughts
- Do not think about or focus on your fears or anxiety
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