3 Deceptively Simple Ways to Overcome Your Fears

3 minutes

What are you scared of? Oh, don’t shake your head and say, “Nothing!” We are all scared of something – it could be fear of something real like mice and cockroaches or fear of the possibility of something going wrong – like feeling humiliated while addressing a crowd. 

In this article, you will be taken through a three step process of understanding why you are scared of something, what to do about it and finally how to overcome it.

1. It’s quite simple really, you don’t feel scared when you are in control.

you are in control when driving a car

This is why you are scared of natural calamities and terrorism – it is not in your control.

However, when you are driving your car or riding your bike, though the chances of you getting hurt are more compared to catastrophes, you are not scared because you have a feeling of control.

As the book “Your Brain At Work” explains

The loss of prefrontal function only occurs when we feel out of control. It’s the prefrontal cortex itself that is determining if we are in control or not. Even if we have the illusion that we are in control, our cognitive functions are preserved

2. Now you have no control over something,  how do you still not fear it? Visualize your fears.

falling down the rabbit hole

  Source – http://in5d.com/

This may sound counter-intuitive, but the logic is, the more you think about your fears, the less scary they become.

So you have a fear of heights? Think about riding in a cable car. Does this make you feel scared? Make it worse, think that the cable car crashes and you fall down, down, down like Alice down the rabbit hole. But don’t stop there, think of all the bloody wounds and fractures that you can have. And then? Well, you can stop now. Just concentrate on your breathing. You have imagined the worst, your mind can’t play any other tricks on you.

As explained in the book “Code of the Samurai

The Samurai are asked to constantly think about death, so that death does not seem scary anymore.

3. Finally, gradually expose yourself to your fear.

Face your fears

Take baby steps, but make sure you progress. Basically, you must ‘face your fears’. That’s an old and boring cliché, but a cliché is a cliché for a reason, right? Are you scared of closed spaces? Try riding an elevator one floor at a time.

As Stanford neuroscientist, Philippe Goldin said in an interview,

Exposure is hands down the most successful way to deal with phobias, anxiety disorders, and everyday fears of any sort

So, there you have it, why you get scared and what to do about it. Do sound out in the comments below about your phobias and how you overcame them.

Are you unable to overcome a certain fear or phobia? It’s alright, we are here to help. Get in touch with YourDOST Experts for professional, sympathetic advice on how to overcome fear and phobias.

Dr. Shireen Stephen

Dr. Shireen Stephen is your special friend at YourDOST. She has a Ph.D in Health and Industrial Psychology and an M.Phil. in Masters in Counselling Psychology. Over the last 10 years, she has worked in the capacity of a counsellor, research scholar, editor, and lecturer. Dr. Shireen Stephen is your special friend at YourDOST. She works with young adults to help them cope with lifestyle changes, family issues, emotional issues, anger management, depressions, relationship issues, etc. She has conducted numerous online workshop modules on choosing the right life partner.