Feeling the fear... How to overcome your fears.
I have had a fear of heights since I was a child. I can pinpoint it to a single event that started a lifelong desire not to go anywhere high. No end of trying to tell my brain I was still on the ground would help. Many outings have been difficult because of it, for example, an afternoon trip on the London Eye where I spent most of the time looking at the floor.
Recently, I had a surprise opportunity for me to face my fear of heights. I’d enlisted the services of a local photographer to do a photoshoot at several locations to get a bank of social media and marketing photos. Walking the cliff paths I thought of ways to overcome the fears that we all have. It got me thinking about some of the about some of the ways in which we can help ourselves overcome our fears.
An obvious one right? But when our bodies go into fight or flight, we often forget to breathe and either hold our breath or have shallow rapid breaths. Take time to concentrate on your breathing and practise triangle breathing. Here’s a link to triangle breathing; https://elizabeth-kipp.com/3-easy-breathing-techniques-release-anxiety/
This involves imagining you are in a place where you feel secure and calm. Another idea is to change the setting you are in, for example imagining the scene is on a television screen or computer screen as opposed to being real.
Instead of catastrophising or thinking the worst, try to think about the evidence around the situation. Think “How often is this fear actually likely to happen?” In my situation, the path was a well worn path which showed it was popular and if there was any part of it that was unsafe, then the path would have been closed to the public.
Talking to someone you trust about your fear can be helpful. Talking to a counsellor may be particularly helpful if you feel that talking to your friends or family would result in ridicule or unhelpful comments. The counselling relationship is confidential and there is no judgment or agenda.
When you have faced your fear, no matter how big or small that fear is, take some time to tell yourself “Well done!”, and maybe treat yourself to something you enjoy. A walk in the park or watching your favourite film. Too often we are tougher on ourselves than we would be on someone else, so be proud of yourself and give yourself the credit you deserve!
If you are looking for ways to overcome a fear in your life, please contact me to see how counselling can support you.