By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Don’t let fears control your life.
Fear has a role in our lives. If you’re in a dangerous situation, fear can warn you to be
cautious. Fear is an early warning system. It becomes a problem when you have the volume on your fear system turned up too high. It becomes like that burglar alarm system which goes off constantly and stops being useful. Often the fears people experience turn out to be false alarms. Here are some of the exaggerated fears that may be taking over your life.
Types of unhelpful fears.
How many of these types of unhelpful fears do you experience? If you could, would you be willing to give up those fears?
Fear of what others think.
Being afraid of what others might think of you, can leave you paralyzed and unable to act. There may be a few people, your boss, or your partner, whose opinions matter. But most of the time, what other people think about you is none of your business. Don’t let your fear keep you from doing things that might be beneficial and enjoyable.
Fear of not getting what you want.
Being afraid that you won’t reach your goal can prevent you from enjoying the process of growing and living. Don’t let your fear of failure and disappointment prevent you from trying. When you stay in the fear of not getting what you want, you devalue what you have.
Fear of losing or being out of control.
The idea that we’re in control turns out to be an illusion. Humans don’t control very much in life, we adapt. You can’t stop the rain; you can carry an umbrella. Life becomes more enjoyable when you stop trying to control people and situations and learn to adapt to a changing world.
Fear of the unknown.
This fear is based on the belief that the things you can’t see or don’t know must be dangerous. Often the unknown turns out to be enjoyable experiences you just haven’t yet tried. Many children resist trying new foods. The things we enjoy as adults were new experiences the first time we tried them.
Fear of feelings, sadness, loneliness.
Fear tells us we shouldn’t feel. Some people spend their whole life cut off from feeling, numb. Feelings can provide us with valuable information. Loneliness encourages us to seek out relationships with other humans. When you lose someone in your life, it is appropriate to feel sad. By avoiding loneliness and sadness, you also avoid being able to feel happiness and connection.
Fear of losing what you have.
Don’t let the fear of losing something take away the pleasure of having it. People are often afraid that a relationship will end, and so they avoid ever enjoying the companionship of that other person. Don’t lose out on the pleasure of doing things because you are afraid that eventually what you’re doing may come to an end.
How do you cope with fears?
Try some of the simple fear reducing techniques.
Many things you fear become less scary as you approach them. If you think about something, you want to do, act immediately. People who act in the first five seconds are engaged in action. Wait too long, and nothing happens.
Tell yourself positive things.
Tell yourself you can. Remind yourself that you can choose to do things. Avoid saying to yourself that you can’t or won’t. People who think negatively create unfavorable outcomes. People who believe that they can, accomplish many things others thought were impossible.
Make self-care, time for yourself, a priority.
Being constantly stressed out increases your fear. Not enough sleep makes you more anxious. Get plenty of rest, healthy food and allow yourself to make self-care a priority.
Do more things that scare you.
A great way to reduce fear is to stretch your comfort zone. Each day try to do something that makes you uncomfortable. Tackle things that scare you and notice how that fear loses its hold over you.
Learn more about the things that scare you.
The unknown is often scary. Make the unknown a known. As you have more information, what used to scare you begins to feel less dangerous.
Get better prepared, have the right tools and education.
You can reduce your fear by getting the education and learning the skills you will need to be able to accomplish whatever you set out to do. Having the right physical and mental tools can make the task less daunting.
Allow yourself to look and be silly.
Put yourself into situations where you can take a chance. Put on a costume, act, sing or dance. Take a chance and let others see you in a new light.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.