4 Ways to Overcome Fear and Anxiety

4 Ways to Overcome Fear and Anxiety

For those who have never experienced true fear and anxiety, the concept may be as foreign as trying to read a Chinese newspaper. But rapid breathing, dry mouth, sweating, and an accelerated heartbeat that comes with a “flight or fight” response is extremely real. For many people, these symptoms can become debilitating. Which is why understanding how to overcome fear is so essential.

Even elite athletes who seem to live a charmed life can experience life-altering fear, stress, and anxiety, as documented by professional basketball player, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers and all-star pitcher Roberto Osuna of the Toronto Blue Jays. Their journeys on how to deal with anxiety have been a source of inspiration for many.

No one should live a life wrought with fear and stress. The process of learning how to overcome fear and to best deal with the situation is essential to physical, mental, and emotional wellness.

The Brain and Fear

The source of any fear can be something as simple as seeing a cockroach in your bedroom or something as dramatic as speaking in front of a large audience. It can be something physical or mental, it can be real or imaginary, but in all cases, a signal of danger is messengered to the brain and triggers a sense of fear.

When confronted by a particular stimulus, if the brain interprets a threat, it sends signals to the body that create the experience of fear. In the brain, specific hormones and chemicals are released, which leads to a stress response that tells the body to either fight or escape the threat.

Options and Solutions

Fear can limit a person’s ability to reach their full potential and live out their dreams. Our brains are wired to avoid anything that could cause harm to us, so we work to avoid it at all costs. The anxiety caused by the fight-or-flight response can be useful under specific conditions, though it also can cause negative consequences.

But there is hope.

There are steps that can be used to reduce the fear response and allow you to achieve (and even exceed) your personal goals. Try these tips to manage and overcome the way your brain creates fears:

1) Breathe

It may sound simple, but the truth is controlling your breath plays a key role in how to overcome your anxiety. When you are scared, it triggers your breath to become rapid and shallow. Taking a few seconds to pause and take several deep breaths can actually stop the fear response that would normally take place. Train yourself to take deep, strong, breaths. A 3 second inhale with a 2-second hold, followed by a 3 second exhale works wonders. Instead of feeding into the stress, breathing allows the tension to dissipate.

2) Get Moving

The brain chemicals produced during exercise, known as endorphins, can produce positive, even euphoric sensations. Working out gives fear an outlet. In fact, research has demonstrated that exercising for 20-30 minutes prior to engaging in something you know you fear helps use up some of the adrenaline and helps overcome anxiety.

3) Visualization

Quite simply, visualization for overcoming anxiety is a relaxation strategy wherein you imagine yourself in safe and pleasing situations. If you want to overcome a fear, it can be helpful to make a point of habitually visualizing yourself succeeding. The more you practice visualizing success, the easier it will become to ease your fears.

Experts suggest that using imagery and visualization can be done in two ways:

  • The first is when you visualize yourself actually conquering and overcoming the fear
  • The second is when you visualize yourself in a calming state-of-mind during the fear

4) Face the Fear

Frequently, the thought of the fear is worse than the actual situation itself. Studies reveal being slowly exposed to the things you’re afraid of will make them more familiar. This is best done under the guidance of a life coach or therapist. The process will also provide lasting changes to the brain’s response to fear and provides a path on how to overcome anxiety.

Seek Support in Learning How to Overcome Fear

Fear and anxiety can paralyze you in your daily life. There is an old saying that there are two types of people in this world…

  • Those who conquer their fears
  • Those who get conquered by them

The truth is that dealing with fear and learning how to overcome anxiety is usually best left to professionals. Let YesGurus’ innovative life coaches help you move forward. If you are facing fear, anxiety, or insecurity, a life coach can help. Life coaches are trained in identifying emotions that block you from achieving your greatest potential and success.

Author: Audrey Beim

A California native, Audrey holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from USC and an MBA from Pepperdine University, as well as 2 Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology from UC Santa Barbara. She has also been writing professionally for more than 20 years in a variety of categories including psychology, nutrition, health, and fitness. Her greatest joy is to write compelling articles that engage readers in current news and trends. She also enjoys a high energy spinning class, hanging out with friends, and spending time with family, especially on holidays.

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