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Tips for Dealing with Fear

Tips for Dealing with Fear

Right now it seems every where we turn, the discussion around us is about the Coronavirus.

We’ve experienced epidemics like this before, but each time it can be scary. Let’s talk about positive ways to deal with the fears that are running rampant around the world right now.

When dealing with any fear the most important thing to ask yourself is “is this happening right now?”. Sounds simple, right? But your mind might say something like “no, but…what if…”

Regardless of how your mind responds, just keep asking “am I ok right now, at this very moment”.

Most of the time we are fearful about the future and what could happen, but in the present moment, we are actually fine (aside from feeling anxious).

Grounding yourself in the here and now can be a powerful antidote to fear. 

To ground yourself, really feel your feet on the ground, use all of your senses and identify the sights, sounds, smells etc around you right now. Deep breathing and meditation are amazing ways to calm and ground your central nervous system.

Have a conversation with your fear and keep reminding it that right now you are ok. Treat your fear like a scared child or friend, reassure it that you are ok right now, and that you will do every thing you can to stay that way. There are two options, one you will get sick or two you won’t. All we can ever know for sure is what’s happening right now.

Next I want you to focus on the fact that if you do get sick, you can and will handle it.

You will go to the doctor, rest and take care of yourself. We have to ask ourselves “what can I control in this situation?”. This is what leads people to go to the store and stock up on supplies, this can give a sense of control that you are doing what you can, just in case. Then though, we have to try to let go and live our lives.

Fear thrives on fear, so the more you can distract yourself and focus on the life that’s occurring around you, the less you feed the fear. Keep this in mind regarding how much news you are watching and how often you are engaging in conversations about this. Yes we should all stay informed, but know yourself and your limits of when it’s too much.

Fear can be paralyzing so let’s focus on actions you can take to feel stronger.

Prolonged fear can be a stressor to the body which can impact the immune system, so take charge by doing things that help to build up your system. Here are some examples: proper sleep and rest, exercise, staying hydrated, eating well, yoga, meditation, connecting with friends (not just discussing coronavirus), relaxing doing something you enjoy.

Some fear right now is unavoidable, but how you respond to it is a choice. Make the right choice for you and your well being. Focus on gratitude and what you can control, don’t fuel the flames of fear. If you feel you need more support dealing with the anxiety, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kathy Most
Therapist in Westfield, NJ
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