How do I Stop Fear?

B. Miller

There are various methods that can be tried to stop fear; this includes facing the fear head on, attending therapy to discuss and overcome the root cause of the fear, or practicing methods of relaxation to stop the effects of fear. Some methods, such as deep breathing techniques or positive affirmations, can be used to stop fear that can progress to anxiety or panic attacks. Each person's method for stopping fear may be different.

Skydiving is one way someone could face his fear of heights.
Skydiving is one way someone could face his fear of heights.

There are many reasons one might need to stop fear. Some fears are based off of frightening or stressful events that happened in one's past; other fears might seem irrational and are not based on any real events, but still feel very real. The brain is not generally capable of distinguishing between fears real or imagined, and the methods for dealing with both types of fear may be the same. Some people find that one of the most effective ways to stop fear is to actually face the fear in a safe environment.

Talking with a therapist can be helpful if a person can't stop fear on their own.
Talking with a therapist can be helpful if a person can't stop fear on their own.

Obviously this method will not work in every situation, but in many cases, it can be very helpful. If one has a fear of public speaking, for example, one of the best ways to stop fear might be to put oneself in the situation. It may take more than once, and it may be necessary to practice relaxation methods while confronting the fear, but many people find that their fears are not nearly as scary as they had imagined once they finally confront them.

A fear of dentists can be overcome by learning more about common procedures.
A fear of dentists can be overcome by learning more about common procedures.

Other people find that when they feel fear or anxiety beginning, they can stop it with a simple word or action. One might say "Stop!" to oneself, for example, or may say something positive such as "There is nothing to be afraid of," or "You can do it." Though it may seem silly, positive affirmations and a refusal to entertain negative, fearful thoughts in the brain is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stop fear. Taking some deep, diaphragmatic breaths can also help to prevent fear from worsening.

Uncontrolled fear may lead to a panic attack.
Uncontrolled fear may lead to a panic attack.

Of course, some people find they cannot stop fear on their own. In this case, talking with a therapist can be quite helpful. A therapist may be able to provide specific advice for dealing with and overcoming certain fears, particularly if they are related to a traumatic event in one's past. It is certainly possible to overcome fear and no longer feel trapped by potential anxiety or panic attacks.

Using positive affirmations can help an individual stop fear.
Using positive affirmations can help an individual stop fear.

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