5 Ways to Overcome Fear Instantly

Thursday, June 26, 2014


The 5 Ways to Overcome Fear
Proven methods to stop fear for good.

  1. Yoga
Yes, I have a yoga bias, but it’s actually scientifically proven to reduce stress-levels. Seriously, as far as workouts go, yoga is the most effective at combating long and short-term stress and it’s also the easiest to implement in your daily life. Whenever you’re feeling anxious, impatient, or otherwise stressed out, take yourself into Tree Pose (balance on one foot with hands in prayer position in front of chest). It’s an instant way to feel more grounded. Plus, establishing a regular yoga practice will help you become more mindful of your mental and physical health which is always a bonus.

2. Meditation
Personally, I think meditation is pretty boring, but having a simple practice memorized can really be helpful during stressful times. You’ll have to find what works for you, but here’s a basic breathing exercise to help you become more mindful and less fearsome:

  1. Find a mantra that is soothing to you. This can be anything. Mine is “il bel far niente” which translates to the beauty of doing nothing. (as a constant overachiever, doing nothing is my worst fear)
  2. Repeat this mantra slowly as you take a full inhale. And again as you exhale.
  3. Keep breathing and repeating the mantra until your focus has shifted from the thoughts/situation bothering you, and you calm down.


3. Take Control
You know how when something freaks you out, you tense up? Your whole body kinda freezes as your brain tells your muscles to contract. To overcome this fear response, it helps if you take the control. Literally. The next time you feel like freezing, practice consciously squeezing one muscle at a time. If you’re sitting, try clenching one of your thigh muscles, hold for three seconds, and then release. If you’re standing, squeeze one of your fists together as hard as you can, hold for three seconds, and release. When you take conscious control one muscle at a time, you’ll feel calmer instantly.

4. Smile
When you’re scared, smiling is often the last thing your body feels like doing, but the act of smiling has been proven to behave as an instant soother. If you have trouble forcing yourself to smile, try to think of a funny memory you have (it’s always a good idea to keep a few of those on hand). You might have to hold the smile for longer than is comfortable, but trust me: before long, that forced smile will be a real one.

5. Give a Hug

Hugs are instant stress-relievers. Touching releases the feel-good hormones oxytocin and serotonin into our brains which instantly soothes frazzled nerves and provides a deep sense of comfort. If nobody is around to hug, wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a loving squeeze. It can have the same effect.

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