Fear is one of the most powerful emotions; it has a very strong effect on your mind and body. Fear can create strong signals of response when we’re in emergencies; it can also take effect when you’re faced with non-dangerous events, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. It’s a natural response to a threat that can be either perceived or real.
Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases they can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can hold you back from doing things you want or need to do, and it also affects your health.
Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. It can be hard to break this cycle, but there are lots of ways to do it. You can learn to feel less fearful and to cope with fear so that it doesn’t stop you from living.
Some quick suggestions to help you to cope with fear:
Find somewhere quiet for a few minutes, concentrating on slowly breathing in and out, while telling yourself that it is perfectly okay to have this emotion. You say this out loud, ‘that you are feeling fearful, but you have recognised it and will do your best to work through this period of time’. Acknowledgement is a great start to help you process the reasons behind fear.
Exercise if you can, by walking for 15 minutes outside in the fresh air, and thinking of happy times in the past or what you plan in the future; anything but negative thoughts.
Write down how you are feeling, as this can help you overcome your fears after time. Getting to the root of your fears, will be of tremendous use in the days ahead, as you check in with what you have written down.
Phone a friend and tell them how you are feeling and ask them to cheer you up!