4 Tips For Finally Facing Your Fears

Posted on November 4, 2015

Photo source: Flickr

We know that the best way to deal with our fears is to face them. But, naturally, this sounds like a terrifying proposition. After all, these are the very situations, experiences and events that we fear.

Joe Dilley, a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety suggests that it helps to determine whether you need to confront a fear in the first place. In other words, does your fear lead you to living a less fulfilling life? Is your fear worth confronting?

He also stressed the importance of pursuing fears when we’re prepared. For example, if you don’t have a plan for moderating your arousal when you confront your fear, you can experience “a tidal wave of a natural fear reaction.” This can lead you to retreat and then view your encounter as a defeat versus a victory, he said.

Below, Dilley shared the best techniques for facing our fears.

1. Engage in relaxation exercises.
It is important to temper your physical arousal. Dilley suggested doing so by practicing deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

2. Visualize yourself overcoming your fear. Realistically.
“When rehearsing success, the key is to see yourself as competent, confident and calm,” said Dilley. "Be realistic. Don’t envision yourself performing superhero stunts, since you’ll be disappointed when you can’t replicate that in real life."

3. Speak to yourself using supportive words.
Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself. Being negative and minimizing your abilities only perpetuate your fear and amplify your anxiety. Dilley shares a few helpful statements:

“This is gonna be really hard. But I can do hard things.”
“All I can do is all I can do.”
“My objective is to _____. My task is to ____. My responsibility right now is ____.”

4. Think small steps and pieces.
By their very nature, fears are overwhelming. So it’s tremendously helpful to break down “the overall objective into short, manageable and realistic goals,” said Dilley.

Follow the link below to read the full article.

Category(s):Anxiety, Fear, Health Psychology

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