Claudia Kinser-April 7, 2017-Sophomore
What are some of your deepest fears? This is a strange question coming from me, seeing as you might not even know me. In fact, this is a question that you usually ask someone once you know them pretty well. But really, what are you afraid of? (Please take our poll at the bottom to answer that question.)
Personally, I am afraid of thunderstorms, spiders and other bugs, unknown people or places, flying, public speaking, needles, death, roller coasters, clowns, and the list goes on! The most common fears are flying (aerophobia), public speaking (glossophobia), heights (acrophobia), spiders (arachnophobia), small spaces (claustrophobia), blood (hemophobia), needles (trypanophobia), clowns (coulrophobia), and loneliness (monophobia).
If you have a fear that affects your daily life, what can you do? Here are some tips that I have found helpful.
- Acknowledge that it’s okay to be afraid!
- Try to identify your specific fears and what triggers them.Investigate your fears and do a little research.
- Remember that everyone is afraid of something!
- Understand the symptoms of fear. Does your heart race? Do you feel dizzy? Do you feel powerless or detached? Are you sweating? Do you have overwhelming and sudden anxiety? Are you panicking?
Once you discover your fears, begin to gradually expose yourself to the source of them. When you begin to face your fear, verbalize how you feel! For example, imagine yourself minding your own business, and all of the sudden you see a spider slowly crawl up your wall. You could verbalize your fears by saying “This spider gives me the creeps!” The next time you see a spider, your fear response may be lowered. Whenever you begin to feel fear arise, try to reflect on the positive side of your specific fear. For example, I am terrified of death, but I’m grateful that I value my own life enough to be afraid of dying.
Learn how to calm yourself down. Try breathing techniques, and learn to relax your body. When I am faced with my fears, I calm myself down by tricking my mind. I count the numbers one through ten, however not in order. By not counting them in order, my brain is forced to think harder to count rather than focusing on panicking. Finally, see your fear as a lesson. Fear can aid us in the aspect of identifying problems and solving them effectively.
Running away from your fears only makes it harder to face them in the future. When you do confront them, you lower your stress level, making it easier to relax, you will feel more capable, and you will feel in control of your own life.
Sources: FearOf.net, Wake Up Cloud, Symptom Find