Fear can be a crippling emotion that leaves you feeling frozen and out of control. When we experience fear, our bodies kick into gear, preparing to fight or flee. This can cause a racing heart, cold sweats, and tunnel vision, among a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. Fear is a natural human response, but with a few effective strategies in your toolbox, you can be prepared to defeat fear as soon as it appears. Practice these eight habits and to overcome fear and live your best life.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness, in short, is a way of staying present and fully experiencing each moment. When we’re afraid, our minds can get jumbled with racing thoughts, and mindfulness allows you to stop and take control, intentionally directing your focus to the moment. Mindfulness exercises put you back in control and have amazing health benefits. Try downloading the Headspace app on your phone to practice this strategy.
2. Fuel Your Body
Your body is a machine that requires fuel to function properly. If you filled your gas tank with soda, your car probably wouldn’t drive very well, if at all. In the same way, your body needs whole foods to run smoothly. Choose to eat food that nourishes your body and mind and your mental and physical health will significantly improve.
When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, that have been proven to boost your mood and decrease anxiety levels. Whether you enjoy walking the dog after dinner, dancing in your kitchen or a HIIT workout, try to aim for at least three sessions a week. You’ll feel better and fear will lose its power.
4. Positive Self Talk
Positive self talk is a powerful way to change your mindset and regain control of your thoughts. Find a few mantras that you find encouraging and recite them when you feel afraid. Some examples include, “Fear is just a feeling. It has no control over me,” or “I am strong and loved and fully capable of handling this.” Your favorite scripture can be a powerful mantra to recite as well.
5. Prayer and Meditation
Praying can stop fear in its tracks. If you find yourself overcome with anxiety, stop and whisper a prayer to the One who is in control. Spend a few minutes reciting scripture about fear to remind yourself that these thoughts have no power over you.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Just like whole food and exercise, our bodies need to recharge and rest to function best. Aim for around eight hours each night and create a good routine to wind down before bed. Try to limit screen time at night and do something relaxing before bed to transition yourself for a good night’s sleep.
Journaling is a great way to dump all of our thoughts onto paper without judgment. Spend a few minutes each day expressing your feelings to keep yourself from getting stuck in that constant loop of fearful thoughts. Buy a fun notebook and give yourself the freedom to release all of your thoughts onto paper each day.
8. Go Outside
There’s something about the sun that zaps away negative energy and leaves us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. If you find fears creeping in, go for a walk, take your laptop outside to work or take your lunch break outside. Spend a few minutes in nature each day, breathing fresh air and soaking up the sights and sounds of creation and your fears will melt away.
Fear is an inevitable feeling, but by practicing a few techniques, you can show it who’s boss. These mental habits work best when you practice them often, so take control of your mental health and embrace freedom from fear and anxiety.