9 (More) Ways to Combat Fear
Fear can’t hold you back forever if you don’t let it. With some tools to help you, you can find courage and strength to overcome your fears. There are several ways to combat fear, here are my top 9:
1. SEPARATE REALITY FROM PERCEPTION
Sometimes when we are fearful, our view of reality is distorted, and the fear takes over how we see the world. Instead of caving into fear, ask yourself what is really going on. Try looking at the situation from a different point of view. Then, determine the facts of the situation, and reassure yourself that your feelings of fear are affecting how you perceive reality.
2. IDENTIFY THE TRIGGER
Figure out what it is in a situation that triggers you. For example, if you are afraid of water, going to the beach might be a big trigger for you, but you can prepare yourself ahead of time to face your fears by just realizing that there’s a trigger. Learning to identify it will help you learn to combat it.
3. KNOW WHERE FEAR LIVES IN YOUR BODY
A lot of times, fear takes over physically. It affects different people different ways. Maybe your muscles get tense when you’re afraid. Maybe you get an upset stomach. Identify if/how it affects your physical body and do the work to take care of your body. For example, if you hold stress in your back, you can learn stretches, use foam rollers, or practice yoga to avoid the pain, and work the fear out of your system.
4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Every day, list 1-3 things you are thankful for. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are, gratitude helps shift the mind into a positive light, which over time, overcomes fear.
5. LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE
Monitor your inner conversations. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself. Speak positively to yourself and remind yourself of your strengths.
6. CREATE A NEW ASSOCIATION
Remind yourself that the feeling and the moment will pass. Focus on the positive outcome of the situation, rather than the scary in-between time.
7. LOOK AT THE GLASS HALF FULL
Perception is a very powerful thing, and how you feel about your situation dictates how you respond. So think positively and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of success. This won’t happen overnight; practice with just one thought. What is one recurring negative/fearful thought you have? Work on reversing this one thought. Over time, this will become a habit, and you can move on to other negative thoughts that trouble you.
8. PRACTICE BREATHING EXERCISES
Breathing helps center your body; when you stop breathing, your heart stops beating. You can do a grounding exercise by engaging your senses with your surroundings. Touch something solid, taste something sweet, listen to the birdsong, smell the air around you, look all round you and pay attention to your surroundings. You can even just take 5 deep, long breaths at any point to calm and center yourself. It is best to start your day with this, but feel free to practice all day long.
9. CREATE A SAFE SPACE
When you feel safe and secure, there is no room for fear. Find somewhere safe you can retreat to when ill feelings begin- whether this is a real place such as your bedroom, or a place in your mind such as the forest. This sense of comfort will soothe you and allow you to face your fear.
Please keep in mind, these are just 9 strategies, and not everything works for everyone. But this is a place to start. Start implementing these techniques in your life and don’t let fear hold you back from reaching your goals and your highest potential this year!