Regardless of whether you are familiar with the feeling of rampant, possessive fear for a long time or whether you are confronted with it completely new – let’s take a closer look at what fear actually is, what it is good for and, in the next step, which strategies you use use when fear takes over.
Shift Your Focus From Inside To Outside
When we are scared, we often direct all of our focus inwards, on our thoughts, the catastrophic scenarios that our heads are concocting and our physical panic reactions such as palpitations, sweating, tremors, etc. When you focus on your fear like this, you get caught in a whirlpool that steers you away from what actually IS right now. It is then important that you focus on perceiving the reality around you in order to “make real” something other than your own fear.
Change Your Interpretation Of The Situation
Let’s remember: It’s never the situation, but the interpretation that triggers a feeling, in our case that scares you. The good news is that it is entirely possible to change your interpretation of a situation by giving your subconscious the opportunity to choose different interpretations.
Speak Nice To Yourself
If you find yourself in a situation that usually triggers your fear, find a loving (imaginary) companion. Give this companion the task of supporting you and coaxing you well. You can also do this by talking lovingly to yourself and encouraging yourself to do a certain activity. “I can do it”, “You have mastered more difficult situations”, “You have nothing to lose” – and the fear automatically subsides without you having to rely on others.
Loosen Up With Breathing Exercises And Progressive Muscle Elaxation
When we are afraid, we are often tense and adopt a very tight, cramped posture. This is an interaction, so to speak, because this alertness signals to your system that you are on the alert and that danger is imminent.
Experience Calmness Through Meditation
Meditation goes in a similar direction. Meditation, however, includes the thoughts and trains you to simply let thoughts be thoughts. Through meditation you can teach yourself that you don’t necessarily have to react to a thought, i.e. to your interpretation of a situation (for example with fear or flight). The thought doesn’t demand a reaction, it just goes away and gives way to another thought.
It has been mentioned several times in this article: A very effective way of dealing with difficult emotions such as fear is to accept them. Sounds strange at first, but you can imagine it like a ball floating on water. If you want to keep it under the water surface (i.e. suppress it), that is quite exhausting and cannot succeed in the long term. Then when you let go of him, he has a lot of energy and jumps up with great force.
Face Your Fear In Small Steps
Finally, and with a little tongue in cheek, what really helps is when you practice facing your fears over and over again. Do it like in a computer game: Don’t start with the final boss… It’s best to write down a kind of fear hierarchy: What is one situation that scares me the most? Which situation scares me a little less? What kind of situation would be roughly in the middle range? And what am I just a little bit scared of, but enough to swallow a little bit?