How to overcome fear: what it is and how it works

Having reached the end, people laugh at the fears that tormented them at the beginning.

How to overcome fear? What it is? We will tell you a lot of useful and interesting things about this irreplaceable feeling.

Living in fear is very unpleasant, because it is essentially a cage that limits us. When we start to be afraid of something, we stop acting, withdraw into ourselves, and try to run away from frightening situations.

Before we figure out how to overcome fear, let's find out what this natural instinct is and how it works.

Destructive methods of overcoming fear

Fear is classified as a negatively colored emotion. Experiencing states of severe anxiety is very painful, so people, as a rule, look for any ways to quickly get rid of fear.

Chemical addictions

As a result, they make many erroneous actions that, instead of easing the problem, on the contrary, aggravate it. Such actions include drinking alcohol, uncontrolled use of sedatives, eating emotions with sweets, and smoking.

Of course, all these options for getting rid of fear are a road to nowhere. They allow you to disconnect emotionally only for a short time. Therefore, a person regularly returns to the tried and tested method to feel relief. As a result, increasingly larger doses of “anesthetic” are required. This is how bad habits and addictions are formed.

Non-chemical addictions

More sophisticated and hidden ways to escape from negative experiences include immersion in some kind of activity that fills all a person’s free time. A person strives to constantly be in the company of other people, immerses himself in work and computer games. As soon as he is left alone for a while and cut off from his usual activities, an inexplicable feeling of anxiety arises. A neurotic person, without understanding why, turns on the phone, starts scrolling through the news feed or calling friends - just to get distracted and not have to deal with the contents of the subconscious, ready to emerge in forced silence.

Another way to cope with psychological stress is compulsions. This is a thoughtless, obsessive repetition of the same actions, often of a ritual nature and supposedly preventing frightening events. For example, counting, knocking on wood, snapping fingers. Compulsive behavior helps to partially turn off consciousness and get rid of an attack of fear. In turn, phobias force you to change your entire lifestyle so as not to encounter frightening objects and circumstances. But such tactics result in the price of a significant reduction in the quality of life and personality degradation.

Where do anxious experiences come from?

Anxiety and fear are natural emotions that nature has endowed humans with. In a difficult situation, they help him, mobilizing physical and mental resources, and in a moment of danger they can even save his life.

But in some people these negative states appear as if for no reason. In fact, there is a reason, it’s just hidden deep in the subconscious. For example, people who have experienced serious difficulties or severe shocks begin to fear that a similar situation may happen again in the future.

There is a category of people who have a weak nervous system. They tend to worry and worry when faced with any unforeseen situation.

Pessimists are also often worried and afraid. A negative outlook on life makes a person expect a bad outcome from almost any event. And if this really happens, the pessimist becomes even more confident in the correctness of his way of thinking, thereby strengthening his tendency to negative experiences.

How to get rid of fear in a healthy way

Don't blame yourself for bad habits that you developed as a result of trying to get rid of attacks of fear. At a certain stage of development, this was the only way known and available to you to overcome fear. But if you want to grow as a person and be a truly happy person, you need to look for other methods on how to get rid of fear.

People often wonder how to kill fear in themselves, not realizing that any, even the strongest negative emotion is their friend and assistant, signaling some kind of problem. It’s just that in the case of so-called irrational fears, the danger comes not from the external environment, but from the inner world of a person.

The source of fear in this situation is an erroneous perception of reality, obsessive negative thoughts and beliefs that interfere with normal life activities. Sometimes a person is his own worst enemy. By internalizing and maintaining negative mental attitudes in his mind, he inevitably drives himself into the net of stress. The problem is that destructive thoughts that create anxiety are perceived by a person as an objective reality, and not errors of perception.

Paradoxically, human thinking is largely an unconscious and mindless process. Neurosis develops when a person ceases to control his imagination and the course of his thoughts. If you want to get rid of fears and phobias, you need to learn to think differently than you do now. When dysfunctional and repetitive patterns of fear responses can be changed into healthier ones, anxiety disorders disappear.


This applies not only to fears, but to life in general.

Limit communication with anyone who doubts your success, who sows doubts and uncertainty in you.

If most of your communication you receive neutral or negative emotions from a person, then your body is accumulating another portion of negativity, which, at every opportunity, increases the feeling of fear.

The role of cognitive distortions in the development of fear

Cognitive distortions (errors in thinking that are common to each of us) give rise to many groundless fears. For example, two people find themselves in the same life situation - they need to propose to their girls. Of course, there is a possibility of failure. But how such a scenario for the development of events is perceived differently depending on the type of person’s thinking.

An optimist will regard refusal as an invitation to work on himself. Find out the reasons why the girl said no. He will try to change in order to achieve a positive response, or decide that it is worth finding another person as a life partner. A pessimist perceives a possible refusal as a life catastrophe, confirmation of his unworthiness. If he is sure that he cannot love anyone else, pictures of forced loneliness will loom in his mind. If, in addition to the above, a person is convinced that “loneliness is terrible,” then imagine the level of panic that will seize him at a crucial moment. Will he even be able to decide to propose and, perhaps, find out the “terrible” truth?

How to get rid of anxiety and fear through thought control

Such absurd and bad thoughts about various things occur to any person from time to time. Any thought, in turn, causes an emotion. It is important to understand that those thoughts that cause intense fear are based on deep and unconscious erroneous attitudes. They cannot be taken into account when assessing the situation.

For example, a fear thought: my partner will definitely leave me. Variants of erroneous beliefs that resulted in fear:

  • people cannot be trusted;
  • being abandoned is humiliating;
  • I'm not worthy of love.

Fear thought: if I go to work, my husband will be angry with me. Variants of erroneous beliefs that resulted in fear:

  • I must devote all my time to my husband;
  • if someone is angry with me, then it is my fault.

Remember that you yourself give power to certain thoughts that end up frightening you. There is a huge gap between the accidentally flashing unpleasant thought “I will be left alone” and a firm, but nevertheless unfounded conviction in this. You yourself take a step towards fear by giving your attention to negative thoughts. The mind is designed to seek confirmation of any thought you focus on. That's why it's so important to look at things from a positive perspective. After all, by cultivating confidence in future success in any situation in the present, you inevitably rise on the emotional scale above fear - to hope, enthusiasm and anticipation.

Root Causes

In order to successfully cure your phobia, you need to understand where it came from. Let's look at the most common reasons below.

  1. Ignorance. As a rule, phobias arise in this case if we have to do something for the first time. We are afraid of the unknown: what if we feel hurt, embarrassed, uncomfortable, or laughed at. A person is tormented by constant bad thoughts, internal tension, feelings of fear and stress, and sometimes even cowardice. Therefore, overcoming fear becomes a vital task.
  2. Negative experience. It has a direct bearing on why we begin to live with a feeling of fear of repeating a mistake we once made. We strive at all costs to avoid the pain, resentment, and loss that we experienced in the past. In this case, working with pain and correcting fears is especially important.
  3. Fear of death. The strongest and most common phobia in society. A person is afraid of losing his life or losing a loved one. In psychotherapy, there are certain ways to overcome fear that help you stop being afraid, relieve nervous tension, cope with anxiety and overcome suspiciousness.

How to overcome your fear with positive thinking

Positive thinking is not about burying your head in the sand, but about organizing your thoughts. Most people are very scrupulous about the quantity and quality of food they consume, understanding the importance of a healthy diet for their body. But with regard to thoughts, the same selectivity is absent.

Be careful with the media. Stop mindlessly scrolling through social media and the news. Most messages are structured in such a way as to grab people's attention. And the easiest way to do this is by broadcasting frightening information and relishing the details of various disasters and natural disasters.

Many wonderful events happen in the world every minute - healthy children are born, people find new friends, fall in love, get better, get to work safely in their car without any incidents. But that doesn't make good news. And as a result, the world is presented through the media as threatening and dangerous.

Stop watching news that does not lead to joy, but only, on the contrary, increases the level of anxiety. Fill your brain with only pleasant food for thought. Switch your attention to watching comedies and entertainment programs, reading life-affirming novels and communicating with optimistic people.

Only you can determine whether a certain thought is positive or limiting for you personally. If a thought brings you pleasant emotions, then it suits you and should be included in your belief system.

For example, you want to change your profession, but you are afraid of the inevitable changes. Possible thoughts that may come to your mind:

  • I’m unlikely to earn income doing what I love (negative thought);
  • but there are people who somehow succeed (positive thought);
  • the chances of succeeding are too small - I will waste my time and energy (negative thought);
  • It is better to fail than not to try at all (positive thought).
  • all successful people are selfish (negative thought);
  • people will envy me (negative thought);
  • my friend will definitely support me (positive thought);
  • if I succeed, I can help others (positive thought);
  • people don’t have money to pay for my services (negative thought);
  • I want too much from life (negative thought);
  • no one will be better off if I give up on my dreams (positive thought).


A pathological reaction of the body worsens a person’s quality of life and negatively affects relationships in the family and at work. The life of a person living in a world of constant experiences becomes limited, constrained and meager.

At an advanced stage, fear completely covers a person’s consciousness and drives him into a stupor. As a result of such a reaction, a person develops serious disorders not only in the psyche, but also in physiology. The main symptoms of phobias:

  • blood pressure destabilization;
  • deep depression;
  • adrenaline rush;
  • in women - premature onset of menstruation;
  • stomach upset;
  • dryness and lump in the mouth;
  • constant panic attacks;
  • cardiopalmus;
  • trembling of limbs;
  • paleness of the skin;
  • deterioration of general condition;
  • increased sweating.

These signs appear in almost all types of fear. Having discovered them in yourself, you need to take action to eradicate the problem. Whether these symptoms appear partially or completely depends on the person’s physiology, as well as his or her characteristics of responding to stressful situations.

How to remove fear through meditation

Meditation is a useful skill that allows you to disconnect from the negative influence of the external environment, cope with an anxiety attack or obsessive thoughts. Just 15 minutes of practice a day can provide mental rest and significantly reduce stress levels.

There is nothing difficult about meditation. You just need to retire, sit comfortably, close your eyes and begin to concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. At first, you will notice how your mind is bombarded with various thoughts. You can't allow yourself to be carried away. But at the same time, there is no need to try to suppress thoughts. Treat the thoughts that arise like passing clouds. Notice impartially the appearance of another thought and return to breathing.

When you learn to separate yourself from thoughts and the emotions that give rise to them, becoming an outside observer, you will gain control over your emotional state. Being an impartial observer helps you rise above your emotions and choose more uplifting thoughts to think about. Even when you find yourself in stressful situations (dismissal, divorce, death of a loved one), 15 minutes of meditation helps you find positive thoughts and develop a healthy reaction to the event.


Good video, I recommend watching it, many examples and situations are discussed here.

The most important thing is to seize the moment and start achieving. We are hindered by fears, laziness and existing stereotypes - throw them away. We are all afraid of making mistakes, but any mistake is a life experience. As we gain experience, we become stronger. Don’t be afraid of action, be active and you will achieve everything you want. Don't forget to smile while doing this! Good luck, friends! And yes, it’s better to start right now. Action is your main credo from now on!

Please tell your friends about the post, let's make the world a better place Together!

How to remove fear using visualization

There is another effective way to overcome fear. Try to work with your imagination. Every day before you go to bed, draw pictures in your mind of how you successfully cope with a situation that frightens you.

Let's say you have agoraphobia, and the thought of leaving the house, even to the nearest store, frightens you to the point of horror. Your task is to go to the mall only in your imagination. Imagine how one fine day, when the weather is good outside, you get dressed and leave the entrance. The sun is shining, there are friendly people around, and you yourself are in a great mood. Enjoying your walk, you reach the end of the block and enter the store. Shopping slowly and with pleasure, and then successfully returning home. Gradually, a positive image will be fixed in the subconscious, and the fear of going out will pass.

Rationalization, observation

Overcoming the fear of death, fire, water, lack of money, etc. must begin with the process of rationalization. It is worth looking at the situation correctly. Of course, every person is afraid of dying. This is facilitated by our survival instinct. Such fear is understandable. But being afraid of dying every time you go out is illogical. In such cases, you need to remember the likelihood with which such an event can occur. If there is no war outside the window, no stones fall from the sky, the probability of dying is small. Especially if a person looks around and avoids obviously dangerous situations (for example, crossing the road at a red light).

You should definitely look at your fears rationally. This allows you to gain control over them.

Overcoming the fear of speaking should begin by observing other people. Don't think that you are alone in your feelings. A huge number of people are afraid of this. The difference can only be in the degree of intensity of the atypical emotion. However, all people are nervous before going on stage. Especially if you need to perform alone, without a group. Watching how other people deal with similar unpleasant feelings can help you overcome your own fear.

How to overcome your fear in an extreme situation

In a state of panic, a person is in an extremely emotional state and has difficulty understanding what is happening around him. If you have an idea about how to overcome fear and stop hysteria, then you are able to take control of your condition. Try the following:

  1. Perform a breathing exercise: inhale through your nose for 4 counts, hold your breath for 1–2 seconds, exhale through your nose for 4 counts, hold your breath for 1–2 seconds, and so on.
  2. Calming movements: Lean forward, completely relaxing your head, neck, shoulders and arms, hanging freely downwards. Breathe slowly and deeply, and then slowly rise up. If you feel that you cannot calm down the fear and still feel trembling in your body, try to move: walk, swing your arms. This will help neutralize the release of the stress hormone adrenaline into the blood.
  3. Washing with cold water will help you come to your senses and put your disturbing thoughts in order.
  4. Take action. Focus on other people's needs rather than on your own worries and anxious thoughts. Nothing mobilizes internal resources more than love and a sense of responsibility for your neighbor.

Why are we afraid for no reason?

Some people are unable to slow down the rapid activity of their amygdala (amygdala), so they take horror stories from films and literature too close to their hearts, as if something really threatens them in real life.

The same feeling is experienced by a person suffering from a phobia or post-traumatic stress disorder. Uncontrollable fear “overstimulates” his amygdala, putting the body in a state of stress and preventing the prefrontal cortex from soberly assessing the situation.

Deeply ingrained negative memories of past experiences play a crucial role in the emergence of this irrational fear. Thus, someone who has survived a car accident shudders for a long time even from the simple squeal of the brakes. Then this conditioned reaction fades away, but the memory of the original sad event does not disappear anywhere and can make itself felt again if a similar situation arises.

You might like: What is psychosomatics in simple words: reasons and examples

Scientists at Western University in London found that traumatic episodes cause long-term activation of neurons in the amygdala and hippocampus. This means that a person may have a feeling of increased anxiety associated with the subject of fear for a long time, depriving him of the ability to function normally and enjoy life.

Preparing for the worst-case scenario

Another way to overcome fear is to get used to the worst-case scenario. Sometimes it seems to us that some things are simply unbearable. But when tested, our psyche turns out to be much stronger. For example, you have a fear that you will be fired from your job.

Cross the line in your thoughts that you are afraid to cross. Let's assume this scenario. What will you do after the event occurs? Have to look for a new place, and there is no guarantee that you will find it quickly? Will you have to save hard? Will you become financially dependent on your spouse and get into debt? Imagine all the possible options that frighten you, and think about what actions you will take if you fail. Having done this exercise in your thoughts, you will find that instead of fear, you feel an energy surge and a desire to act.

How to overcome fear by transferring experiences to the future:

How to remove fear from the subconscious

To overcome fear, you need to work with its root cause. Many of our fears seem groundless and irrational. This happens when the psyche defends itself in order to minimize the power of negative experiences. Often, in order to justify the emotion, the unconscious comes up with a false explanation for the existing fear.

For example, a man is afraid of dogs. At a meeting with a hypnologist, it turns out that a deeply suppressed feeling of one’s own inferiority became the reason for the development of the phobia. The feeling of being a victim, the lack of healthy aggression and the inability to defend one’s interests in relationships transformed into a fear of animals. The logic of the unconscious is this: it is better to be afraid of dogs than to admit your inadequacy.

Identify the subject of fear and try to understand what it may be symbolically associated with. It is important not to deny emotions, not to push them far into a corner, but simply to deal with the source of their occurrence. For example, acrophobes are afraid not so much of heights as of uncertainty, claustrophobes are afraid not so much of closed spaces as of restrictions in actions. Of course, such self-analysis is quite a difficult task. If none of the methods described above on how to get rid of phobias and fears on your own did not help you, it is better to contact a competent specialist.

How to overcome your fears with psychotherapy

Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy and suggestive therapy are considered the most effective methods of dealing with fears.

How to overcome your fear with hypnotherapy

Contrary to various myths and prejudices, the influence of hypnotic suggestion on the human psyche has been quite well studied. Suggestive therapy is recognized by official medicine as an effective and fast-acting method of treating anxiety disorders. Phobias can be easily removed by modern psychotherapists in just a few hypnotherapy sessions. It all depends on the severity of the person’s condition and the experience of the hypnologist.

We recommend contacting psychologist-hypnologist Nikita Valerievich Baturin.

Hypnosis allows you to bypass mental defenses and identify the true causes of fears. It often turns out that fear arose in early childhood as a result of a traumatic situation. Hypnosis allows you to gently and effectively work with psychotrauma, since the person is in a relaxed trance state during the session.

How to overcome fear using self-hypnosis:

Cognitive methods of psychotherapy involve working with a person’s ideas about himself and the phenomena, events and objects that frighten him.

How to overcome fear with modeling

More often the method is called training. From the point of view of cognitive psychology, a phobia is an incorrectly developed reaction to non-threatening situations. But just as a person once learned to react to a certain stimulus as a source of danger, he can learn to perceive the same object neutrally.

The psychologist uses his example to show how you can cope with a situation that provokes an attack of fear in a client. For example, he teaches a client who is afraid of spiders how to kill them with a firecracker. As a result, the person’s perception of the feared situation changes.

How to get rid of a phobia using desensitization

The essence of the desensitization method is the gradual and systematic immersion of a person in a traumatic situation under the supervision of a psychotherapist in order to develop a kind of immunity to the stimulus. Let's say a person has a fear of public speaking. The first immersion in a frightening situation occurs only in the client’s imagination. The hypnologist analyzes his reactions and teaches relaxation methods. Then the sessions go beyond the psychotherapist's office: the person tries to perform in front of his best friend, then in the family circle. And only after he learns to control his condition and get rid of fear in these situations, the client tries to perform in front of unfamiliar people on a real stage.

How to conquer your fear with the flood method

The method involves rapid and intense confrontation with the feared object in order to reintegrate repressed emotions. The person should be directly exposed to the fearful stimulus for as long as possible (30 minutes to an hour). In this case, relaxation and distraction techniques are not used to reduce the level of fear. As a result, the psyche adapts to the source of stress, and the fear goes away.

The advantage of the flood method is the rapid achievement of a positive result. Usually only two or three sessions are enough to completely get rid of fear. Of course, the flood method is quite harsh. Therefore, it is almost never used in the treatment of childhood fears. Flooding provokes a serious physiological load on the body, and therefore has contraindications (heart problems, bronchial asthma).

A psychotherapist will assess your condition and select a method of dealing with fear that is right for you. Do not be afraid to seek psychological help and endure strong fear. If necessary, the specialist will prescribe medications to help relieve anxiety and panic attacks.

( 2 ratings, average 5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]