As much as we, as humans have to deal with the things around us every minute of our existence, we are bound to experience and go through a wide range of emotions. But while we go through it, we often forget to grow through it.
Growing up, we are taught how to deal with anything and everything physical but anything that exceeds this realm is rarely thought about, let alone dealt with. And fear is one of the examples.
It is okay to be fearful sometimes but if something is disrupting your ability to deal with life daily, maybe it needs your attention. Sit back and notice how and why you feel a certain way. Slowly try taking your mind off it and remind yourself that this world is full of pleasant things too. Take time. Be kind to yourself. Give your mind the comfort it needs and then… just as our physical body heals itself, you will see your mind healing itself too.
Let’s Make You Forget That Scary Moment In Your Life!
Here is what you need to do when you decide to embark on this journey.
Look your fear in its eyes
The first step of any journey is always hard to take. And this one might sound similar to all the first steps ever taken. Hard.
Your emotions may sometimes act like cranky children. If they are loud, they need your attention. Now attending to them is a job that will take time and solitude, but this one thing is what assures you a better relationship with yourself and your fears.
- Put your Journal to some use
Remember how when we were kids, writing a diary was more of a fun task to do? Well, turns out it sometimes is one of the best tools to deal with life in your adulthood. Take out your diary and write about what you fear.
While you do this, remember not to trivialize your emotions. If you feel it, it is a big deal. Period.
Ponder upon why you feel a certain way. Write down what you think are the reasons behind your fear.
For example, ‘I am afraid of cats because I have a bad memory of a cat plunging on to me and scaring me when I was a kid.’
- Stir up the artist in you
If you aren’t able to write about how you feel or what you fear, it is okay. You can always try drawing it. Or sketching? Painting? Coloring? Writing? All of these are various forms of art and employing them will not only help you channel your emotions, but also will help you feel better through the serotonin release it might cause in your brain.
- Always validate your emotions
Now that your brain knows exactly what it is afraid of, do not let it feel like a loser. You could be afraid of something as small as an insect to some bad memories related to trauma. Know that all of it is valid. You are afraid of something and that is okay. Every human goes through a set of complex emotions every once in a while. So does that make everyone a loser? No, it doesn’t. It just makes you… human.
Calm yourself down
It is quite a possibility that the fear of something has activated the ‘fight or flight response’ in your body. Maybe, you feel anxious, upset, or just too tired.
This means that you need to relax and some of the best ways to do that are:
- Deep breathing
One of our biggest weapons we have with ourselves is our breath. May sound outstretched, but it’s true. Besides the important role of breathing in bringing our cells the oxygen they need, there is one very important thing it does, it activates the part of our nervous system which is responsible for keeping us calm- the parasympathetic system. And wasn’t this the goal we were looking for?
When stressed, the human brain is prone to think only about stressors and the thing that is triggering the fear is the last thing that you want to think about. Meditation aims at taking your thoughts off from anything other than the present moment. The good news is, when you are sitting alone in your room with an alert posture, all that the present moment contains is you and your breath.
- Spirituality, if you like it
If you are a spiritual person who likes finding solace in faith, this could be a nice moment to do that. Remind yourself of the things that matter. And the bigger truth you believe in. This might help you differentiate between what’s real and what your brain thinks is real.
- A friend in need is a friend indeed
With the advancement in technology, contacting a friend comes so handy. Why not make use of it? In moments of fear and vulnerability, calling a friend could be a good idea.
Talk about them if you don’t want to talk about your fears at the moment. This can help you take your mind off what is bothering you.
If you want to talk about your problem, doing that would be great too. Be vulnerable. Be honest. It is a safe place and it is okay.
Call them over to your place, if possible. Nothing can replace the physical presence of a loved one.
Hug your friend. You need oxytocin.
- Play your favorite music
Music is known to calm troubled nerves. But there are some points that you might want to keep in your mind.
If a specific piece of music reminds you of your fears, avoid listening to it.
If there are good memories associated with a piece of music, be it soft or pop, it is highly recommended. Play it! And while you do that consciously remind yourself of the happy memories associated with it.
- Bathing is a go-to if you will
Taking a long bath. Using your favorite soap. Throw in a bath bomb, or bath salts, or an essential oil. Enjoy its scent. Feeling the flow of clean fresh water on your body. All of this is so calming to hear. Doing it can bring you somewhere near the calm, if not to it.
- Do what a yogi does
It is not just an exercise. It is an experience to align your mind, body, and soul.
Hard times like these can be particularly hard if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself. Yoga can make you feel better about yourself. You don’t want to miss out on that.
Distractions can help
This is one of the easiest ways to get rid of your easily tangible emotions. The key is to not think about it for a while and you will find yourself reaching the other side of the road soon.
- Dance it out
Dancing increases the blood flow throughout your body and helps your mind take a route towards some other thought like, ‘What arm to move now.’
- Exercise your way through
Exercise is a more organized way of doing what dancing does. It is known to be of great help in managing a wide range of emotions and in making your heart race, this time… not because of fear but because of the serotonin and epinephrine boost, it caused. And those are some important brain chemicals!
- Hop in the ground with the sporty you (and your friends, of course)
Playing a sport is a great way to bond with your friends and yourself. Take out that basketball and get to the court. Run. Shoot the ball. Be competitive. Laugh it off.
- Laughter is the best medicine
If a scary movie is making you feel scared, you can always lessen its effect by watching a funny movie, video, or show after it. Laughing can generally help you lighten your mood when you are distressed. It does a good job and it is cheap. So, why not?
- Embrace the bookworm inside you
Are you one of those people who enjoy reading? Well, then you can put this hobby of yours to use and distract yourself from all the stress your mind has been fed with lately.
- Create a cleaner environment
Believe it or not, your surroundings have a huge impact on your mood. And one of the best ways to bring this fact to use is by cleaning. Cleaning is highly therapeutic for most people. It can easily distract you and make you feel better for doing house chores all along.
- Indulge in arts and crafts
Making art is a particularly therapeutic practice. Remember, what you make doesn’t have to be perfect. Do not waste away with the thought of wanting it to be just as you want it to be. Enjoy the process of making something. You could draw, sketch, paint, knit, make some pottery, embroider, cook or choose absolutely any another outlet that you feel comfortable with.
- Your pet understands
Spending time with your pet can give you a sense of belonging. It will make you feel that you are not alone. And their cute, little gestures can make you laugh and make you realize how simple life can be at times.
- Make happier memories
The human brain performs well at forgetting something when it has newer memories to make. Plan a trip to the beach nearby. A picnic. A visit to an amusement park or even a visit to a friend’s place could do the job just as well.
Avoid encountering triggers (for a while)
While you are on a journey of self-healing, it might be the best idea to work in a place you feel the most comfortable with.
- Sleeping in the dark is not a rule
If for whatsoever reason, you feel uncomfortable with sleeping in the dark, don’t force yourself to be otherwise. At least for a while, be kind with yourself. It is okay to sleep with the lights on, and no this wouldn’t take your adulthood away from you.
- Doors can stay opened (or closed)
If you feel discomfort or claustrophobic by closing the door, leave it open. Let a bit of light from the outside and enter.
If you feel unsafe by leaving the door opened, well there is always an option to close it. This can make you feel safer and in control.
- Find a sleep buddy
For some time, it is okay if you don’t feel comfortable sleeping alone. You can sleep next to someone you trust. This makes going to sleep particularly easier. You can talk to the person before going to sleep. Hold their hand. But while you do that, take care that the other person does not feel uncomfortable.
- Get sufficient sleep
Scary events or things can directly affect how we sleep. Staying awake can eventually lead us to replay the things we ought not to think about. Try inducing sleep through meditation for sleep, sleep hypnosis, or counting backward.
If that doesn’t help, you might want to see a doctor.
- Stay away from news channels
While your mind has so much to process and figure out, feeding it with any sort of negativity, no matter how real, is not a good idea. You not watching the news for some time won’t turn the world’s map around. Just let things be for a while.
A professional can help you figure it out
No matter how aware we become of our emotions, there still is a huge possibility of us misjudging our emotions, triggers, and self-soothing techniques.
If you are someone who isn’t fond of asking for help, this can be hard for you. But all along, you need to remind yourself that nothing is in place if your mental health isn’t where it is supposed to be.
Take your time. And when you feel okay, reach out for help.
A professional is there to guide you through as you work on yourself.
They can help you by:
- Behavioral therapy
Dealing with emotions, especially when you are new to it, is a hard thing to do. But as hard as it may sound, it is of particular importance. If your emotions are not dealt with heads-on, they can turn into disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder or a range of personality disorders. Even if it doesn’t affect you as badly, unresolved emotions can leave behind scars and an effect on your actions for the rest of your life. Would you want that to happen?
Neither do we.
Fear, like all other emotions, is completely normal and valid. Dealing with fear may feel like a hard nut to crack, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll become a pro at it.
Follow these instructions, and most importantly, stay patient with yourself. Rome wasn’t build in a day and you are just human! You can’t expect yourself to recover from something in the flick of a switch.