Thunderstorms. Spiders. Heights. Everyone is afraid of something. And while we don’t always enjoy being scared, it can serve a purpose.
Fear is what keeps us safe. It warns us of impending danger, so we can take the necessary action to protect ourselves. The problem is, sometimes we react fearfully to things which really can’t harm us at all. Then it becomes necessary to master the emotion of fear.
Easier said than done? Try these tips:
Document the Fear
There’s nothing you can do about fear if you don’t have a clear understanding of what exactly you’re afraid of, and why this bothers you. Writing this down allows you to explore your fear in more detail. Many times when we see our fears written out, we realize they’re not as bad as we thought they were.
Enjoy the Fear
Yes, you heard correctly. Embrace your fear. Accept it as part of who you are. Your fear is normal and probably something other people are afraid of too. When you stop being afraid of your fear, you’ll find it’s much easier to handle.
Ignore the Fear
Do something else. Don’t like thunderstorms? Grab a book and some headphones and immerse yourself in something else for a bit. Just because you’re afraid doesn’t mean you need to pay attention to your fear whenever it resurfaces.
Confront the Fear
Why are you letting your fear take over your life? If you find you’re avoiding certain situations just because of your fear, you’ve allowed it to be in control. It’s time to confront it, face-to-face. If you don’t like heights, find ways to visit high places, such as visiting a tall building and going up one floor at a time to look out the window. Don’t like spiders? Put one in a terrarium and live with it. By taking small steps to confront your fear, eventually, it will lose its power over you completely.
Banish the Fear
By practicing mindfulness, you can shove the fear out of your head and return to the here and now. There’s no room for fear at this moment.
Fear is an insidious thing, but you don’t have to live with it if you don’t want to. Remember, you are in control of your emotions; your emotions do not control you. And be sure to celebrate every instance where you successfully confront your fear. It’s in those instances where you prove just how truly brave you are.