Life is an exhilarating ride. There’s moments of excitement and passion followed by moments of sadness and anxiety. All these aspects create a life worth living. However, a lot of people inhibit themselves from experiencing the highs and the lows because of their fears. Hiding from any potential stressor that might cause upset may keep you from the lows, but more often than not, it keeps you from the highs.
The good news: once you face your fears, rather than avoid them, you’ll have a better ability to rule and dictate your decisions and reactions. This will allow you to lead a life full of more highs and moments of exhilaration. If you’re tired of living a life hiding from your terrors, take a look at these healthy ways to face your fears.
Figure Out Your Fears
Before you can face your fears, you need to figure out what fears inhibit you. For example, quite a few of the most common fears people think they could never get over—such as the fear of flying or the fear of enclosed spaces—are actually fears they can deal with. Decide on which fears you’d like to face first, follow these steps, then move onto those tougher terrors and tackle those as well.
Sit with Your Fear for 2-3 Minutes
Once you decide which fear you want to tackle first, there are a few steps you should take to face them. You can do the steps below in any particular order, but one of the most important ones is this: sitting with your fear. For two to three minutes once a day, week, or month (depending on the fear), allow yourself to sit with the fear. Breathe through those high-tension moments, use some self-affirming statements, and plan an immersive, enjoyable activity for afterward. Sitting with these fears will help your mind and body realize that you’re okay, and the fear won’t hurt you.
Exercise Through the Emotions that Come with Fear
A tip for those fears that you have trouble working through comes from movement. Though it’s important to sit with a fear, it’s not healthy to let that fear consume you. When you notice that your mind starts to focus solely on the fear, take at least 15 minutes to exercise and refocus your mind. This exercise will help you pull attention to your capabilities—like how you’re bigger than your fear.
Guide Yourself with Key Questions
Another healthy way to face your fear is by guiding your thought process with some key questions. Think of these questions as a metaphorical hand hold. These questions are like a little squeeze to your hand that help you key back on reality and pull out of your terror. Ask yourself questions such as the following:
- Could what I’m scared of/anxious about really happen?
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- If the worst happened, how would I recover?
- How would my ideal-self get through this?
- What are the actual chances of this happening?
Remember: You Are Not Defined by Your Fear
In short, as you work to face your fears, try to remember that your fears do not define you, nor should they inhibit you. You’re a powerful, capable person—don’t let your fears make you think any different.