Monday, February 2, 2009

Overcome Fear by Challenging Fears Positively

Fear is a primitive life-saving emotion. Whenever man was threatened in the jungle by a tiger or a wild boar, the biochemical reaction was to get adrenalin pumping, get the whole self on high alert and pump extra blood in the system. This often helped us save our lives. The fight or flight response helped man get out of danger.

True, there are two types of fear – biochemical and emotional.

The first is automatic, while emotional fear is individualized. For example, people may react differently to Halloween fear pranks. The reactions may range from scared but enjoy the fun to scared and haunted by the pranks. Fear hits the emotional button first before the brain reacts saying, “hey, don’t worry it’s just a spooky Halloween joke”.

How do we manage and handle emotional fear positively?
Let’s take a common fear – visiting the doctor. Why do we fear to meet a physician? Because we think our digestion problems may be diagnosed as some dreadful disease such as cancer. Or we may have to undergo endoscopy and scans.

We can handle this by analyzing the fear. What happens if you go, the doctor will diagnose the problem, prescribe medicines and you’ll be on the road to recovery. Perhaps, something dreadful has been avoided by the diagnosis and treatment. Look at the benefits, they far outweigh the negatives.

Fear and Excitement
You may wonder why people enjoy Halloween or those scary rides in theme parks. Or visit haunted houses. They are kicked up by the rush and excitement. They know well that after that scary excitement they’ll be fine, nothing will harm them.

Fear of Heights
I have vertigo. I’m not comfortable peering out of windows of high rises. I happened to go on an outbound program at work. We went rappelling. How did I conquer my fear of heights? I volunteered to try it first. I challenged my fear. I went up the high rock, sat and looked down and said I can do it. I’m confident. I decided to enjoy rappelling. I enjoyed it. I overcame my fears.

So the best thing to do is understand your fear. Look at the positive side – the benefits of working on it. Challenge your fear. Tell yourself you’ll be better off purging the fear of your mind. Do it now.