The Power of Fear: How to Turn Fear into an Advantage
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we have. Whether you have a phobia or get scared while watching horror movies, everyone knows the dread of fear.
Some people have fear of minor things, such as sleeping with the lights off. Others suffer from severe anxiety that interferes with their day-to-day lives.
There is a way to advance over your fears and use them for empowerment. Here’s your guide to the power of fear and how fear can make you into a better and stronger person.
Remind Yourself That You’re Okay
Most of our fears aren’t true. They’re thoughts and realities we create in our mind. This can happen from media scare tactics, past trauma, and other issues and memories that can affect us for the rest of our lives.
But as long as you’re not in immediate danger, you’re okay.
When you start feeling panicky, take a few breaths and tell yourself you’re okay. Feel your clothes and any furniture or objects around you. This reminds you where you are and your current surroundings.
You are in control of your thoughts and actions. But sometimes, fear and anxiety are more powerful than what you can control. As long as you’re okay, you can control your anxiety.
Anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect someone for the rest of their life. Regardless of the event, PTSD can make it difficult to lead a normal and healthy life.
It’s not easy letting go of what happened in the past. But a great way to start is to stay in the present.
You may have gone through something traumatic but you’re currently not experiencing trauma. Life goes on and you’ll only grow stronger.
We cannot control and change what happened in the past. But you can create a better future and focus on the present. This also helps to control your anxiety and fear.
Take into consideration what’s currently happening; even if you only identify your surroundings, this is still a good exercise to keep you focused on what’s currently happening.
We feel anxiety when we feel helpless. There are many life events that are out of our control.
When we obsess over these events, we get panicky or even start exhibiting compulsive behavior. To relieve ourselves of panic and fear, it’s best to take a healthy approach to action.
For starters, do something you love. Indulge in a creative outlet or a past time. When you feel anxiety, draw or write down your thoughts.
If you’re more of a practical person, study for a test or research a topic you’re interested in. You can also take steps to accomplish your career goals.
Focus on doing good for others. If you lost yourself in anxiety, start volunteering.
Work with animals, the elderly, children, the homeless, the poor, and any other group that you feel passionate about. Someone can always use a helping hand and this kindness will also help you alleviate your fears.
You Have No Control
It’s easy for us to develop anxiety when we realize we have no control over our lives.
This is true with disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) where the person develops multiple rituals to alleviate an ongoing fear. An example is obsessive hand washing or cleaning that germophobes exhibit.
The first step in relieving OCD and other anxiety disorders is realizing you have no control. Accept the fact that you can’t control everything in your life.
Once you understand this fact, relieve your anxiety in healthy ways. Talk to friends and family. Invent in your passions, your education, and your career.
When you have an anxiety disorder, it’s easy to stay negative and indulge in negativity.
Negative news stories are a perfect example. Let’s go back to that germophobe example again. Germophobes tend to research different sicknesses, new illnesses, and different ways to prevent sickness.
This will only strengthen your anxiety. Instead, focus on positive things. The minute you want to research illnesses or another topic that will add to your anxiety, research something that makes you happy.
Examples include happy and inspirational news stories. Everyone also loves funny animal and baby videos. Watch a silly movie or a cartoon that makes you smile. Or maybe what you need to do is put the phone down and try and rest.
Count to Five
This seems silly, but it works. When an anxiety thought pops into your head, don’t think about or do anything else. Just count to five. Why do this exercise? By counting to five, you’re shifting your mental gears.
Anxiety comes in a cycle. You have an anxiety thought, this provokes a reaction (such as a panic attack) and then you experience relief. But when you count, this forms a break in the cycle. Your mind is re-charged and you prevent a reaction.
Be the Thing You Fear
As a kid, you were afraid of the dark. But did anyone tell you to become the monster in the closet?
If you decided to hide in your closet and scare your poor mother, you probably felt good. That’s because you’re conquering your fears by becoming your fear.
We will always have fears. It’s inevitable. But when you become that big scary monster, you’re tricking your mind into becoming as powerful as what you fear.
This mindset also exists in our daily life. If you’re in a dangerous situation, such as a car accident, it’s rare you’ll succumb to your fate by dying in a car accident. You will do everything you can do stay safe and survive the car accident.
Now You Know the Power of Fear
Fear can make us into our worst selves but also our best selves. By exercising the power of fear, we can conquer our weaknesses and rise up to become a better person.
We can do this by investing in our passions and becoming a more positive person.
When you try these exercises, you’ll be surprised how much more of a powerful person you can become.
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