Mental Health - Overcoming Your Fears

Fears are such a strange thing. I would know, I have so many of them in my brain. I know I shouldn't be scared but boy, I'm scared. As many of you know I suffer from mental health problems, to be exact I have ptsd, ocd, gad and depression. Each of these things have caused me to have fears which in turn has given me even more. Sods law, right? I remember fears popping into my head when I was five at school about my home life. My head told me if I picked up all these leaves and put them in my pockets everything would be okay. Hello OCD. This was the point that fears started to control me and this was also the point when the doors were left open. I'm now 23 and I have more fears than ever. Growing up the way I did, having a breakdown the way I did has scarred something in me. I'm scared to be alone, this could be in the flat or out. I'm scared I have something wrong with me such as a awful illness. I'm scared of sick. The list goes on and on. The problem is you can sit and tell someone this for three years, been there, but it won't go away. There isn't a magic word for a fear, only action. 

The only way you can overcome your fear is to expose yourself to it. It's such a awful thought when you are so scared, but it's the only way to kick it in the butt. I have overcome many fears, one was flying which I did last year and it was such an amazing feeling looking out the window and saying I DID IT! I thought today I would share with you some tips with you on over coming your fears from what I have learnt and put into practice!

1. Talk to someone
The first thing I recommend is talking to someone. This is so important as you need someone to have your back during this time. It could be your family, partner or doctor. Just having someone involved helps you feel less alone and they can offer advice and it's extra support!

2. Learn what you are scared of
Knowing your fear inside out is key to loosing it. When did it start? Who was with you? What happened? Why are you scared? Ask these questions and write down the answers, keep them with you. Knowing the fear teaches you where it came from and what triggered it in turn you will know what you need to face.

3. Think to the worse
Think of what you are scared of and think the worst thing that can happen. If your scared of being sick think yourself sick, if you are scared you are going to have a crash, think yourself to have a crash, scared of a panic attack, think yourself to have one. You just can't! The chances of these things happening when your facing a fear is so slim, it's just your brain protecting you but it's not healthy. Doing this puts everything into a perspective and you will see what you are thinking isn't true!

4. Make a plan
Have a plan for facing your fear. Maybe someone could be with you on the first few times. For example, lets say you are scared to go on a bus. The first thing is to learn the bus route then go on the bus with someone for one stop. Keep doing this till you are okay, then go alone to that one stop. Once you have got used to this keep going till the second stop. Having a plan gets your mind ready and also helps build up your confidence!

5. Look at the evidence against your fear
Fears are nasty little things. They make you think the worst every time. It's time to build a case against it. Lets say your fear is telling you when you have a panic attack you will have a heart attack. Truth be told this has never happened so that is evidence against it. Some people are just scared of having a panic attack because they are awful, truth is what is the worst that will happen? You know it will pass and you have always been okay so why is this different? 

6 Learn Mindfulness
Mindfulness got me over some of the hardest things I have had to face. It grounds me, aids my anxiety and helps me stay calm. Breathing in a calming way is the best thing you can do. You can learn this yourself with books and apps and also with CBT. When you are facing your fear use mindfulness as a way to cope and as a back up if you feel you might have a panic attack, trust me it can stop them!

7. Think of what you have done in the past
Think of your first day at school, work, ect. You were scared and worried but everyday you did it and now you can do it blindfolded. If you are not in work or at school think of something you have done that was scary at the time but isn't now. Any fear can be beaten, just look at what you have achieved over the years! What you have done, dealt with and can do. This can be beaten! 

8. Face them head on
The longer you can leave it the worse and harder it's going to get. I understand that is a hard thing to hear, believe me I know! The truth is you need to face it as soon as you can. Take it slow and keep building on your achievements, every time you face it plan the next attempt. The more you do it the less scared you are, it's as simple as that. With the help of people, plans and rewarding yourself that fear will be gone soon!

You can do it! I promise!
What fears are you facing?
Have you had to in the past?
Let me know down below!

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