How to get rid of fear30.05.2022
Fear suppresses our will. Fearing something, we submit to fear, we begin to live under its yoke. Therefore, the first thing to do in order to get rid of fear is to realize that fear is a part of you, and not the biggest and certainly not the most important. You are the master of your life. It is from this position that it is worth starting to work with fear. Independently or with the help of a specialist, having mastered various techniques specially designed for this purpose.
Fear is a basic human emotion that arises from a sense of danger. And both real and imaginary. This is where the catch lies: how to distinguish one from the other? Agree, if a person is afraid, then in his mind the cause of fear is a completely real thing. Even if it’s an alien attack. What can we say about the fear of being left without a livelihood, losing loved ones or dying from an incurable disease … Yes, being bombed is perhaps more dangerous than in an elevator. But if a person is scared (and after all, some people don’t get scared even under bullets!), Then the thoughts and sensations that arise in this case are the same in both cases.
Why is fear needed?
The main function of fear is to warn a person of an approaching danger so that he can mobilize and take certain actions according to the “fight or flight!” principle. In other words, fear helps a person to survive.
At the physiological level, the mechanism of fear is as follows: the body releases the stress hormone, the neurotransmitter adrenaline. As a result, a person’s muscle tone increases, blood pressure rises, and the heartbeat increases.
The problem arises when fear begins to interfere with our lives, paralyzing the will and transforming into various types of anxiety disorders (including generalized, anxiety-depressive, panic) and phobias (fears associated with specific situations and circumstances).
According to psychologists, today about a third of the world’s population (from 15 to 40 percent) suffers from anxiety disorders.
Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder
- obsessive thoughts about possible problems and failures;
- low self-esteem;
- mood swings;
- constant conflicts;
- anxiety, fussiness, irritability;
- decreased ability to concentrate;
- reduced social activity, self-isolation.
- rapid pulse;
- increased sweating;
- motor tension;
- breathing problems (feeling short of breath);
- digestive disorders (including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea);
- heart diseases;
- pain in various parts of the body;
- sleep disorders.
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can have both biological and psychological, social causes. Before starting treatment, specialists, as a rule, first check the function of the thyroid gland, exclude pathologies of the cardiovascular and endocrine systems. And only then do they proceed to the analysis of the psychological portrait of the client’s personality and his lifestyle. Here, factors such as:
- busy work schedule (burnout);
- conflict relations in the family;
- not fully worked out childhood psychological trauma;
- illness and death of loved ones.
Anxiety disorders can be diagnosed together with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, paranoia, bipolar disorder, and alcohol or drug addiction.
Why are anxiety disorders dangerous?
Constant fear is not only psychological discomfort. Without exception, all spheres of a person’s life suffer: social connections, personal life, work and health … Focusing on their experiences, abandoning potentially traumatic situations, a person ceases to live a full life, loses friends, often experiences financial difficulties …
Possible negative consequences for the body:
- psychosomatic diseases (allergies, asthma);
- cardiovascular disease (increased risk of heart attacks and strokes);
- diseases of the digestive system (ulcer, gastritis);
- obesity, bulimia;
- susceptibility to SARS and various infections;
- sexual dysfunction (cycle disorders and anorgasmia in women, impotence in men).
Anorgasmia is the absence of orgasm with sufficient sexual stimulation.
Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
The choice of treatments for anxiety disorder is always decided by a specialist. Only he can decide whether psychotherapy will be enough or if additional medication is needed. Below I will briefly tell you about both of these directions.
- Psychotherapy implies, first of all, the use of methods of cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic therapy, as well as special techniques and exercises, having mastered which, the patient can independently regulate his condition.
- Medications may include sleeping pills, sedatives, medications for the acute symptoms associated with anxiety disorders, and antidepressants.
In addition to psychotherapy and drug treatment, physiotherapy (electrosleep, hydrotherapy and reflexology) is also used for anxiety disorders.
How to deal with anxiety on your own
The line between natural anxiety and anxiety disorder is sometimes difficult to distinguish, and self-treatment of the latter threatens to aggravate the condition. Therefore, I do not recommend that you self-medicate. The advice of psychologists, which I will give below, is relevant in cases where fear has not yet become an integral part of your life. The recommended exercises can also be used as an addition to the therapy carried out by specialists.
- breathing practices (diaphragmatic breathing);
- muscle relaxation;
Working with thoughts and feelings
1. Written analysis of your fears:
- What can happen?
- What can I do right now to prevent this from happening?
- What will I do if an unwanted event occurs?
2. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones (work on correcting self-esteem, rationalizing fears).
3. Keeping a diary, recording your thoughts and emotions (with obligatory dating), which allows you to identify the connection between ongoing events and emerging emotions.
4. Switching attention (touch cold, wet, turn on music, count cups, go outside, etc.).
5. Speaking out everything that worries you (to a loved one, an animal, just alone). Be sure to listen!
The main thing to keep in mind is that you can and should work with fears. So, if you see that fear is taking up more and more space in your life, do not give in to it, but find the courage to admit the problem and start solving it.
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- Boone M, Gregg J, Coyne L: Avoidance. 25 micro-practices that will help you act despite fear. – MIF, 2021. – 224 p.