What are you really feeling - Your guide to facing your fears
What’s your biggest fear? Most of us have one – whether it’s a big fear or a small one, and while having fears is a natural part of life, we all try to find ways to cope with our fears as we navigate our day to day. And with so much going on in the world at the moment, it’s no wonder that you might be feeling more uncertain or fearful than usual. However, facing our fears is not always so easy. Sometimes fear stops us from achieving our goals, from starting new things and from making the most out of life. The good news is that we can all learn to manage our fears, we just need to figure out how. So, Bach™ Original Flower Remedies has a few tips to help you overcome fear and live life to the fullest!
Self-awareness and self-control
The first step to facing your fears is to know exactly what it is that is scaring you. Journaling can help you process your emotions and get to grips with what you are currently tackling. Meditation and focusing on the present could also help you become more self-aware and in tune with your fears. Check out psychologist Dr Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions, which helps break down our primary emotions, and see where you stand. Are you feeling apprehensive or are you feeling a more intense feeling of terror? Is your apprehension leading to a more positive reaction of awe, or is it making you submissive? You can also make a habit of checking in with yourself whenever something is worrying you. Close your eyes and answer these seven questions:
- How am I feeling right now?
- How fearful am I on a scale of 1 to 10?
- What is it that’s scaring me?
- What is the worst-case scenario?
- What is the best-case scenario
- What will I gain from this?
- What will I lose from this?
Goal-setting can help you navigate any feelings of apprehension or fear and can help you tackle problems with a clearer mind. Try our step by step process to creating realistic, achievable goals:
- Know the 'why' and get excited. If we know with absolute clarity the reason why we are doing something, and how we will feel once we do, automatically, we increase our chances of success.
- Get honest. Ask yourself what you would lose, and how you would feel if you didn't follow through on your goals. Keep a written reminder somewhere for when you need it!
- Make the goals achievable for you. Make a plan, set targets, deadlines, actions, and tell people. As soon as we do that, the stakes are higher. Also, find someone you can be accountable to if you don't do what you say.
- If you believe, you can achieve. Catch any negative thoughts before they escalate, and simply stop them in their tracks. The mind has a tendency to frighten us, and it's important that we move ahead anyway, proving the true strength of the human spirit.
- Take action and acknowledge every achievement. Too much thinking can delay you, put you off, or stop you completely in your tracks. Just keep on walking forwards. Any small step is a small step in the right direction. Acknowledge each one, dare to be bold, and continue to remind yourself of the why, the what you would lose, and the feeling you will feel when you achieve all your goals.
Breathing exercises are a great way to bring your focus back to the present and can help you process your emotions and fears. Here are a few you can try out:
Diaphragm breathing (what we call baby’s breath)
When babies are born, they are not taught how to breathe. They just do what comes naturally. I would like you to be aware of your natural baby breath.
- Sit or stand with your feet firmly flat on the floor
- Now imagine a triangle that begins at your belly button; the other two corners of the triangle are on your hips. Inside that triangle there is a ball or a balloon.
- When you take a breath in, visualise the breath slowly inflating the ball or balloon. At the top of the breath hold for a few seconds and then release slowly, deflating the ball or balloon and pulling your navel in to your spine
- Repeat this a few minutes and notice what changes you are aware of.
Resistance breathing (or alternate nostril breathing)
Are you a left nostril or right nostril breather? This is an ancient brain balancing breathing technique that is designed to produce optimum functioning in both sides of the brain (it has two hemispheres).
- Place a finger under your nostrils and exhale through your nose. One nostril will be working harder than the other. This changes according to activity and it swaps thought the day
- Close your right nostril using the back of your left thumb.
- Inhale from your left nostril to the count of four.
- Let go of the right nostril and gently pinch the left nostril with your left ring finger and hold for the count of 16.
- Exhale through your right nostril for eight counts.
- Repeat on the other side, swapping over fingers.
Energising breathing (what we call bellows breath)
This exercise is called ‘bellows breath’ as it mimics the working of bellows that used to fan a fire. When practising this exercise be ready for an energising workout as it is the ultimate exercise for energy and power.
- Sit up in a comfortable position with your feet flat on the floor
- Stretch your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in, like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head.
- Close your eyes and relax your stomach muscles.
- Now begin to breathe as forcefully as comfortable through the nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation. The diaphragm should expand and contract in conjunction with your breathing. The pace should be about one second for inhalation and about the same for exhalation.
- Do a round of 10 repetitions and then inhale completely and hold your breath for 1-5 seconds and then
- exhale completely.
- This completes round one so take a short break.
- Slowly work your way up to doing five rounds.
Being scared isn’t always a bad thing – it is a natural human reaction to things that might be a danger to ourselves (our fight or flight response) and therefore conquering them isn’t always the solution. Sometimes we just need to accept that there are things in life you might not want to do. For example, not all of us are going to climb Mount Everest or jump out of a plane – and that’s ok. You shouldn’t feel inferior simply because you are scared of doing something and somebody else isn’t. FOMO – the fear of missing out – has become more prevalent due to things like social media, but you shouldn’t get too bogged down about those things. Instead, take a moment to think of all of the things that you are confident about, the things you know you can achieve, and any accomplishments you have already had in your life. Remember that little moments can be just as important as bigger ones.