Understanding fear and how to overcome it

Chronic fear can interfere with a person's happiness

Fear is a very natural and powerful emotion. According to psychology research, fear involves a universal chemical response that leads to an emotional response. Fear alerts us to danger, or the threat of harm, whether that be physical or psychological

Fear is so intense that it can interrupt the processes of our brain that allows us to regulate emotions. It impacts our thinking and decision-making and leaves us vulnerable to intense emotions and impulsive reactions or behaviour.

Our physical reaction to fear may be sweating, dry mouth, increased heart rate, dilated pupils, and tense muscles, which prepare the body for fight or flight, depending on the trigger. Our emotional reaction to fear is more personalized to the individual. Some people may find enjoyment in some forms of fear, such as riding a rollercoaster or rock climbing, whereas another person may find the same experience terrifying.   Whatever the source of fear, the brain stores all the details surrounding the danger (sights, sounds, odours, weather, even the time of day, etc.). Future fearful events may bring back all the memories or cause you to feel afraid without consciously understanding why.

Everyone experiences fear at some point but living with chronic fear can interfere with a person's happiness, sense of security, and ability to function day to day effectively. Chronic fear can weaken some parts of the brain, making it more difficult to regulate actual fear from perceived fear and leaving a person feeling anxious all the time. It can also interrupt the processes in the brain that allow you to control emotions or pick up on non-verbal cues presented to us. You may tend to overreact to a situation or sway to the negative side of decision-making to avoid intense emotions. Chronic fear can ultimately lead to various forms of anxiety disorders and phobias

Coping With Fear

How you cope with your fears depends on their depth and how they have impacted your life. You may seek professional help to identify the root of your fear and steps to manage the fear response.

You can also take steps to help cope with fear in daily life. Such strategies focus on managing fear's physical, emotional, and behavioural effects. Some things you can do include:

Take a Time Out- It's impossible to think clearly when you're flooded with fear or anxiety. The first thing to do is take time out to physically calm down. Distract yourself from the worry for 15 minutes by walking around the block, making a cup of tea or having a bath, reaching out to a friend, etc.

Breathe-  If you start to get a faster heartbeat or sweating palms, it is best not to fight it. Place the palm of your hand on your stomach and breathe slowly and deeply. Stay where you are and feel the panic without trying to distract yourself. The goal is to help the mind get used to coping with panic, which takes the fear of fear away.

Get to know yourself- Minding our thoughts, acknowledging our fears, and being present can go a long way toward managing our everyday fears. You cannot overcome a fear that remains hidden in the dusty regions of your subconscious. The ability to step back and recognize where your thoughts may come from can help you evaluate whether they are valid or irrational. It can be a powerful step toward overcoming fear.

Learn about your fear- Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety by keeping a record of when it happens and what happens. Record any patterns you notice. Do your hands turn clammy, and your stomach clenches when you hear the doorbell? Do you experience more symptoms of anxiety in the morning or the evening? What do you tend to do when your fears arise? Jot down anything that seems significant. Transferring your fear patterns and symptoms into writing can help reduce their power over you and can effectively address the underlying beliefs behind your anxiety.

Practice Mindfulness & use stress management techniques to relax- While you cannot always prevent certain emotions, being mindful can help you manage them and replace negative thoughts with more helpful ones. When you recognize your fear symptoms arising, sit down and think about what is happening to you. Observe the symptoms as they arise, then implement a stress management technique such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation and visualization, which can help you with the mental and physical feelings of fear. You could also try learning things like yoga or meditation.

Take care of your health- Eat well, get regular exercise, get adequate sleep each night, and avoid excessive use of alcohol; it's very common when we are stressed to lose sight of those healthy habits that we know make us feel better. Increasing the amount of exercise, you do is not only good for you physically, but it can also take your mind off your fear and anxiety. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and try to reduce refined sugars. Resulting dips in your blood sugar can give you anxious feelings.

Face your Fear- All types of fear are helpful in some way because fear is an invitation to change what you believe and think. Fear points out a limitation within your perception and interpretation of "reality." It highlights negative beliefs and thought patterns that you need to evolve beyond. If you always avoid situations that scare you, you will eventually stop doing things you want and need to do. Look at the evidence- It is sometimes helpful to challenge our fearful thoughts. Ask yourself what the likelihood of the outcome really happening is.

 

Supplements Can Help Cope with Anxiety & Fear

Veeva Anxiety Formula helps relieve anxiety by reducing the severity of the five most common components of anxiety: feelings of anxiousness, nervousness, relaxation, mental focus and stress resistance.

Living Alchemy Wisdom –provides fermented, activated nutrients from holy basil, Gotu kola, green tea, turmeric & ginger, plus lion's mane mushroom. It helps brings me a sense of calm and focus

 

Purica - Zensations Mindful Breath - An organic blend of Lions Mane, Cordyceps and Cacao not only provides energy, better focus and endurance. It can help manage the symptoms associated with anxiety

L-Theanine is used relaxation without causing any drowsiness. L- Theanine works by decreasing the excitatory brain chemicals that contribute to stress while increasing the brain chemicals that produce relaxation. it quiets the mind.   Consider Natural Factors Mental Calmness chewable L-Theanine

Natural Factors- Ashwagandha helps increase resistance to stress and anxiety in individuals with a history of chronic stress. Taking an Ashwagandha dosage for anxiety can give you a feeling of balance and control while reducing anxiety symptoms. Ashwagandha is also linked to lowering cortisol (the "stress" hormone) & better sleep

NOW - Cheer Up Buttercup Oil is a wonderful blend of essential oils for uplifting mood and relieving anxiety. To relieve stress and anxiety, use bergamot oil to diffuse 5 drops at home or work, inhale the oil directly from the bottle, or apply 2–3 drops topically to your temples and back of your neck.

Try this breathing exercise to help overcome fear & anxiety

This calming breathing technique for stress, anxiety and panic takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere. You will get the most benefit if you do it regularly, as part of your daily routine. You can do it by standing up, sitting in a chair that supports your back, or lying on a bed or yoga mat on the floor.

  • Make yourself as comfortable as you can. If you can, loosen any clothes that restrict your breathing.
  • If you're lying down, place your arms a little bit away from your sides, with your palms up. Let your legs be straight, or bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.
  • If you're sitting, place your arms on the chair arms.
  • If you're sitting or standing, place both feet flat on the ground. Whatever position you're in, place your feet roughly hip-width apart
    • Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it
    • Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth
    • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five. You may not be able to reach five at first
    • Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from one to five again if you find this helpful

Keep doing this for three to five minutes

 


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