Mandatory Disclosure

How to overcome your biggest fears?

You may be wondering (lots of people do)… what is Fear? What about Worry? Are these things the same or they are different? Let’s think about these words for a minute.
Fear is the feeling we get when our body and brain tell us that we could be in some kind of Danger. Fear tells us to protect ourselves. But sometimes fear also stop us from doing things we might enjoy. Worry can feel like a type of fear that sticks around in our mind. We worry about scary things we could happen. We worry about things that probably won’t happen at all (like monsters under the bed). Even though we know some things aren’t real, our worries can still feel very real! Our imagination can be a lot of fun sometimes, but it can also get us to imagine lots of things to worry about.
Have you ever wondered why do we worry or even panic about some things but other people might say “nothing to worry about it”? So why does our mind tell us to worry? We are born with certain responses and reactions that help keep us safe! Our body and brain have some smart ways to DEAL WITH DANGER! These are called the 3 Fs:
Fight: stay and defend or stand up for ourselves
Flight: get away from (or flee) the danger quickly
Freeze: Stay still and do nothing while our mind goes blank.
In addition to that, there are 2 more ways people sometimes react to this:

1.Be around people who help us feel comfortable.
2. Find a way to stay present and think about the problem by asking-
Am I really in danger?
What would make me feel calm?
Who or what might help?
What steps should I take?
Fear and Worry can help us feel protected and keep us safe. If something threatens us, it’s important that we feel fear so we can get away from the danger. But it’s also important to be able to tell we are in real danger or if our imagination has only made the danger seem real (or at least bigger than it really is). This means that the stronger our imagination is, the more real these things can sometimes feel.

Now, I will be telling you how to get out from this vicious cycle.

Here are some Mindful hacks –

  1. Practice STOP
  • S- Stand up and breathe. Feel your connection to the earth.
  • T- Tune into your body. Scan your body and notice physical sensations or what your feeling, what thoughts you are getting?
  • O- Observe. Lift your eyes and take in your surroundings. Observe something in your environment that is pleasant and be grateful for it and it’s beauty.
  • P- Possibility. Ask yourself what is possible or what is new or what a forward step is.
  1. Pause and take one to three deep breaths. Say ‘step back’, ‘clear body’ Or ‘relax’. Focus on your breath. Imagine you are inhaling blue air in and exhaling red air out. When your mind wanders notice it. Then bring your attention back to your breathe. Each time your mind gets distracted and follows a thought, just notice and get back to your breathing.

Here are some fun activities to try-

  1. Worry Jar Technique – A worry jar is a place for you to put your worries so you do not need to keep thinking about them. It is like storing them or putting them away for safe keeping. Fix a time slot every day. And write down your daily issues.
  2. Create your worry monster – Material: Watercolours, Straws, watercolour paper. Use your deep breathing skills and spread the paint and create the monster. Give him a name and fill in the blanks –
  • Monster show up when (triggers) _______ happens!
  • When He comes, I behave _______!
  • I usually feel _____.
  • When I am angry I can do ______________________ to calm myself down.

Successful change always starts with awareness. If you are not aware of what is going wrong with you, how are you going to fix it? The more awareness you develop regarding your worry/ fear the faster you will change for better.

Article by:

Ms. Mugdha Chandorkar.

MSc Clinical Health Psychology

University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

RECBT Practitioner

Child Counselor, CMIS