It is natural to feel scared of certain things or situations. It is your body's way to tell you that certain things can be dangerous, and this often leads to a fight-or-flight response. You start experiencing problems when your fears cripple you and affect the quality of your life. You can lose your social skills if you have a fear of people. That is when you have to learn how to stop being scared and start living a better life.
7 Ways to Stop Being Scared
Know What You Are Scared Of
To learn how to stop being scared, you first need to identify exactly what makes you scared. Be specific here. Saying that you are afraid of people is never going to help. You have to determine what types of people frighten you. You may be scared of females, males, or people who do not like you. There may also be certain situations when you feel scared – it could happen when you are with a large group. Whatever it is, just be clear about it.
Talk to Someone You Can Trust
When you have a scary moment, be sure to tell a close friend about it. While it is always better to call a close friend or some family member, you can also call a hotline for people who have trouble dealing with anxiety. The idea is to talk to someone and listen to what they have to say about your irrational fears. In most cases, they can say things that would help put your fears to rest.
Practice Deep Breathing
You will not be able to learn how to stop being scared until you know how to control your breathing when anxious. The things are only going to get worse when you start hyperventilating. Learn to take deep breaths when you are anxious. This helps relax your nerves by providing your body with more oxygen.
At the same time, you can start focusing more on your breathing and less on the situation that has triggered an anxiety attack in the first place. Moreover, breathing helps calm the hypothalamus, which controls your flight or fight response.
Start Journaling about Your Fear
It always helps to develop a better understanding of your emotions when you start writing about what you feel in different situations. You can read those pointers and realize that most of your fears do not deserve that much of attention. Moreover, writing about things you might feel scared of helps bring your fears more into your conscious mind, which puts you in a better position to overcome those fears.
Learn to Develop a Detached Reaction to Things
Another good way to learn how to stop being scared is to develop a detached reaction to things that scare you. What it actually means is that you should distract yourself when you find yourself in a situation that scares you.
You can pick some mantras and repeat them when you find yourself in scary situations. Make yourself understand that things are not that bad and they will turn out well. You can also try things to physically distract yourself – simply drinking a cup of tea and focusing on its taste, warmth, and aroma can relax your nerves. Therefore, the sooner you learn to detach yourself from scary situations, the better. It will take some practice but you will eventually get there.
Try to Change Your Thinking Pattern
You feel scared of certain things because of certain pathways that are used when you encounter the same situation. In order to learn how to stop being scared, you need to understand how you can re-wire your brain and change those neural pathways. Neuroplasticity may prove beneficial because it is involved in how you learn new things. It also implies that you can change neural pathways by practicing desensitization, which involves exposing yourself to your fears gradually in controlled environments.
At the same time, you should consider learning more about how you react emotionally to physical stimuli and surroundings. If you are scared of spiders, it is mainly because you are scared of how they look. It means the physical stimulus is their appearance. Then, you experience an emotional reaction, which is fear but can spiral out of control to panic levels. Knowing the physical stimulus can help cultivate a detached reaction, which will eventually help you overcome your fear.
Encounter Your Fears
You will never be able to overcome your fears if you keep avoiding them. Avoiding things and situations that scare you intensifies those fears and never allows your body to get accustomed to those things. The better idea would be to encounter your fears but in a controlled manner.
For instance, you can overcome your fear of heights by taking short walks in relatively higher places. Ensure that those places are equipped with safety. You can then increase the height gradually to overcome your fear. The idea is to make yourself realize that you can overcome your fears only when you stop avoiding them. The more you avoid those scary situations and things, the more they are going to paralyze you. So, start confronting your fears from today!