Top 10 ways to overcome fear

Is fear keeping you from achieving the things in life that you would like to accomplish? Is the thought of failure so crippling that you would rather not even attempt your dreams? Are the voices in your head telling you your a failure so loud that you can’t drown them out? In the following post I will list 10 steps to overcoming fear and then in future posts we will dive deeper into each step.

10 steps to overcoming fear

Step 1: Take time out

It is impossible to think clearly when your filled with fear and anxiety. The first step to overcoming is to pause and take a time out so you can calm yourself down. Distract yourself from your fears or anxiety by taking a walk around the block, making a cup of tea, having a bath, or anything else that relaxes you.

Step 2: Breath through Panic

If you start to get a faster heartbeat or sweating palms the best thing to do is to not fight it.

Stay where you are and feel the panic without trying to distract your self. Place your hand over your stomach and concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply.

The goal is to help the mind get used to coping with panic, which takes the fear of fear away.

Step 3: Face your fears

Avoiding fears only makes them scarier. whatever you fear if you face them they should start to fade. For example if you fear falling off your bike get up and get right back on your bike.

Step 4: Imagine the worst

Try imagining the worst thing that can happen – perhaps it’s panicking and having a heart attack. Then try to think yourself into having a heart attack. It’s just not possible. The fear will run away the more you chase it.

Step 5: Look at the evidence

It sometimes helps to challenge fearful thoughts. For example, if you’re scared of getting trapped in a lift and suffocating, ask yourself if you have ever heard of this happening to someone. Ask yourself what you would say to a friend who had a similar fear.

Step 6: Don’t try to be perfect

Life is full of stresses, yet many of us feel that our lives must be perfect. Bad days and setbacks will always happen, and it’s important to remember that life is messy.

Step 7: Visualize a happy place

Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place of safety and calm. It could be a picture of you walking on a beautiful beach, or snuggled up in bed with the cat next to you, or a happy memory from childhood. Let the positive feelings soothe you until you feel more relaxed.

Step 8: Talk about it

Sharing fears takes away a lot of their scariness. If you can’t talk to a partner, friend or family member, call a helpline such as the Samaritans (116 123, open 24 hours a day).

If your fears aren’t going away, you can ask your GP for help. GPs can refer people for counselling, psychotherapy or help through an online mental health service, such as FearFighter.

Step 9: Go back to basics

Lots of people turn to alcohol or drugs to self-treat anxiety, but this will only make matters worse. Simple, everyday things like a good night’s sleep, a wholesome meal and a walk are often the best cures for anxiety.

Step 10: Reward yourself 

Finally, give yourself a treat. When you’ve made that call you’ve been dreading, for example, reinforce your success by treating yourself to a massage, a country walk, a meal out, a book, a DVD, or whatever little gift makes you happy.

I hope these 10 steps to overcoming fear will help you to find the relief from your fears so you can start chasing after your dreams. In future posts we will break down each of these steps in more details and give practical ways you can put these steps into action in your life.

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