Dec 11, 2011

Fight Your Fright

Fight Your Fright
Being, scared is common when you are exposed to scary situations, that is, the ones threatening your very existence (or that seem to do so). It's good for you to feel that way because it drives all you energy and concentration instantly to deal with the threat. Fright is a natural emotion. However, it would be a problem if you feel scared without any potential danger threatening your life. Fight it once and for all if it does happen to you.

1. Identify Your Fright. At some point in your life, every one of you must have felt scared. You feel scared when something is threatening your life: war, a natural disaster like a flood or volcano eruption or being in the teeth of a wild tiger. This kind of fear usually doesn't bring about any psychological problems at the moment of the threat and it will disappear right after the threat is over. But very often, threats are only imagined; they don't really exist in real life. In this case, you feel scared because you think your very existence is at stake. Included in this kind of fear are fear of public speaking, fear of commitment, fear of failure, fear of flying and any other fear where the threat isn't real Because this threat only exists in the mind, it is only from your mind that the solution to this problem will come. Think about the worst possible thing that could happen to you in a frightful situation. When you fear public speaking, for example, you'll feel better if you realize that nobody ever dies from embarrassment, This in turn boosts your confidence.

2. Control Your Mind. Fear caused by a real threat takes place when you are face to face with a potential danger threatening your life. It disappears by the time you're away from that threat in terms of time and place. Unreal, unnecessary, imagined fear, on the other hand, starts in your mind. It's a kind of thought or fantasy that lasts as long as you believe that what you're fantasizing is real. To stop this kind of fear means to stop believing that it's real. Coping with it is entirely depen¬dent on your willingness to put an end to it. Stop fantasizing about any unreal threats right now! The ghost you see in a horror movie will never ever terrorize you when you're alone in the bathroom.

3. Use Your Senses. Real and imagined threats can only be distinguished by means of your senses. You can judge that something is real if you can see, hear, taste, smell or feel it. A volcano eruption is thus a reality because you can see the dust and flame coming out of its crater, smell the dust, hear the volcano's rumbling noise and feel the earthquake or vibrations caused by the eruption. On the other hand, if you close your eyes and start fantasizing that there is a volcano eruption, it’s not a reality but only a fantasy, it exists only in your mind. So, if your ears, eyes, tongue, skin and nose don’t pick up any real threat, there is no threat at all. You are only scaring yourself through your fantasy.

4. Experience it. Once you feel scared about an unreal threat, you would be overwhelmed with this unreal scary situation or you would feel as if you were in the middle of it. One way to find out whether the threat you're fantasizing is true or not is by experiencing it. To experience means to expose your senses to the threat. For instance, if you are scared of heights, you would never realize that riding on a roller coaster is not life-threatening unless you experience it. Once you know that riding is in fact not dangerous-after you experience it you will be less scared when you ride on it for the second time. In this particular case, to experience is to realize. 

5. Say the Opposite. Some of us sometimes suffer from irrational fright. Irrational fear happens if your senses cannot identify any potential danger threatening your life. Ridiculous as it is, you often can’t discern or run away from it, especially when your mind is fully overwhelmed by it. According to Tony Schirtzinger - a therapist living in Mitwaukee - when you look deep enough, you will find that all fear has a subconscious connection to a specific death fear, you scare yourself by having an irrational thought of dying in a particular situation. For instance, if you are scared of darkness, you will think, “I would die sleeping in a dark bedroom”. Knowing that there is such a fear deep in your mind helps you to understand why your fear is so strong. One way to avoid being irrationally scared is by saying the opposite of what you believe will threaten your existence. For instance, the opposite of the above thought is “I will not die just because I sleep in a dark bedroom”.

6. Think Clearly. Just saying the opposite of what you think is threatening your life is useless if it is not based on clear thinking. So, if you realize that the odds of dying in a plane crash are a million to one, for instance, you can suppress your fear of flying in a plane. It means the possibility of this accident happening to you shouldn't be taken into account if you want to fly. Otherwise you'll feel as if it could really happen to you.
The same is true when you are scared of a dead body. Have you ever heard a case where a dead body comes to life and attacks people? If you are so sure that such a case has never happened, why get scared? A dead body coming to life, a ghost terrorizing people and such stuff can only be seen in movies, a fictitious work. Again, as Tony Schirtzinger said, this fear has something to do with the death fear deep in your mind. 

Now think of the atmosphere at a party or other occasion where death is distant. Nobody feels scared because the atmosphere doesn't remind anybody of death.

So, let's be cool and always try to think clearly whatever we do and face. Life is too beautiful to be scared about, isn't it?
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