Stop Feeling Afraid With These 4 Simple Tips
Fear is one of the strongest emotions you’ll ever feel.
When you experience fear, your body can go into a state where you either want to fight someone or something or run away from what’s triggering your fear. This fight or flight syndrome is a normal response, which happens automatically when your body’s autonomic system takes over during a crisis.
Yet, there might be other times when you feel fear and then experience frustration with yourself for feeling it. You might notice others around you don’t appear to be afraid, and you’re a bit annoyed about your own emotions. In essence, your feelings may generate fear whenever the source of that fear isn’t generating fear in others.
For example, you’re on a walk with three other friends. The night is starting to fall and you still have a half-mile to go to get back to your house. You feel a bit anxious about getting “caught” out after dark, but you’re unsure about why you feel this way.
When you feel fear in situations but believe it’s unwarranted, take these steps:
1. Confront your fear. Identify that you’re feeling fearful. Label it.
- Ask questions. Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way? What is the source of these feelings?”
2. Examine your past. Perhaps you’ve had a prior experience where something scary happened to you when you were in a situation similar to the one you’re in now.
- Continuing with the above example, maybe you were walking after dark twenty years ago. Someone came up behind you and snatched your purse.
- Suppose something is traumatizing in your past, and it’s causing you to feel an overabundance of fear in certain situations. In that case, you might want to talk to a professional therapist to see if you can help alleviate your unwarranted fears.
3. Be realistic. When you’re in the situation, do you really seem to be in imminent danger? A good clue might be looking at those around you to assess the situation further.
- If others appear relaxed and seem to be having a good time, consider the possibility that your fear is misplaced in this instance.
4. Share your fears. When you’re open about your worries, it truly helps to dissolve them. Tell your friends when you’re feeling fearful. They’ll likely reach out to comfort you through a challenging situation.
Learn to soothe yourself. It helps if you realize that you’re in the best position to calm your own thoughts. Tell yourself you’ve made it through many things, and you’ll likely make it through the current situation unscathed.
- If you figure that there’s no real reason to feel afraid, tell yourself it will be okay.
Although you’re entitled to your feelings, take the time to explore the reasons for your troubling emotions. Once you determine that your feelings may not have a real, believable source, you’ll be in a better position to conquer them by controlling your thoughts.
Laura Reichert is the CEO and founder of Triangle Life Coaching.
She offers in-office coaching and virtual coaching via video or phone call.