Fear. It can be paralyzing. It can cause judgment to get thrown out the window. It can cause panic.
It is easy to get caught up in it, but during fearful times, it is common sense and sound thinking that is needed the most.
Yes, fear is scary.
Something new and unexpected is happening so why wouldn’t it be terrifying, right?
Although fear is a natural emotion — a reflex to stay alive — too much of it can create panic and jeopardize overall health. Stress levels can rise, causing imbalances in the body (think weaken immune system, elevated blood sugar, trouble sleeping). Mental health can be affected by too much fear as well. Ever felt depressed or anxious upon hearing frightening information? Fear can mess with various areas of our health.
Do you feel like fear is overtaking your life or daily routine? Here are five tips that can help:
- Have a game plan: Often times things become less scary if there is a plan involved. Knowing what will happen if x, y, or z occurs makes it less fearful. Having a plan B, and even a plan C can put your mind at ease and alleviate any anxiety surrounding the situation. It will help to know there is a net to catch you if you fall.
- Look at the bigger picture: It can be very easy to hyper concentrate on one thing. Stand back and analyze the bigger picture. What will it look like two weeks from now? One month? One year? Chances are you will be better equipped to put things in perspective if you stand back and observe the entire situation. Most times there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to be able to see it.
- Being cautious is okay: It is fine to be cautious. Be alert and prepared, but that does not mean you necessarily have to be fearful. Chances are if you take rational steps, the fear will subside and the easier it will be to see that everything will work out.
- Don’t let it over consume you. It is natural to experience fear, but do you find yourself overthinking every move? Fear is meant to help keep us away from danger not cause unnecessary burdens. Do not let it take up most of your mental space.
- Accept the unexpected: Know that life is full of unexpectedness. Things will not always go as planned, yet things will normally work themselves out. Adopt a mindset that accepts the unexpected. It may lead to less stress and anxiety. It may also lead to more peace, since perfection will not be the expected outcome. Honoring the unexpected can ease the panic and fear that can come during unpredictable events.