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We are all afraid of something: spiders, snakes and dogs. Although some fears seem silly, like my fear of birds, they are reasonable.

But what happens when the source of your fear lurks in the shadows of your mind?

Lately it seems like I am afraid of everything, especially when it relates to those I love. When I text someone and they fail to reply, I fear that I may have wronged them in some way. When I call someone I love and they don’t answer, I fear that they may be hurt. When I am invited to leave my house, I fear that those around me will judge me for being so weird. For the longest, I tolerated this fear and considered it normal.

But last night things changed.

I found myself watching Bull and I suddenly felt the need to cry. I was on the verge of tears because the fear of being alone the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I am surrounded by people that love in me ways I could never imagine. However my anxiety has a way of convincing me otherwise. As I was about to begin my ugly cry, a friend texted. In that moment I realized that fear is a smokescreen that prevents you from seeing the happiness and love that is abundant in your life.

Here are a few tips that will allow you to see past the smokescreen and overcome some of your fears:

Bring that fear into the light

Take a moment to acknowledge your fear. Recognize where it comes from without any judgement. Ask yourself: Is there any truth behind this fear? Is my subjectivity making the fear look bigger than it actually is? Keep in mind that the thoughts behind your fears are not necessarily true.

Rewire your brain

When a thought that triggers your fear comes up, ask yourself is there is any truth behind it.  Develop a mantra; a simple phrase can change the manner in which you view things. “I am a mountain and my fears are mere pebbles”. Repeat your mantra until you realize the truth in your strength.

Breathe

When you become afraid, you start taking quick, shallow breaths. Your heart rate increases and your begin to panic. The best thing to do in this instance is to breathe. Taking slow, deep inhales to slow down your heart rate and calm your mind. Victorious breathing and alternate nostril breathing are great breathing techniques that you can incorporate in your daily life to combat any fear that creeps up on you.

Win the little battles

Make a list of all the “little” fears you have and try to tackle each one every day. Moving out of your comfort zone helps to reinforce your mantra and show you that your fears are not necessarily your truth.

There is no shame in being afraid; do not allow fear to hinder you from being the best version of yourself.

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Ros Limbo
mulemwa.limbo@gmail.com

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