As my daughter and I prepared for a trip to Tennessee she expressed to me that she was experiencing some fear and anxiety about the plane ride. “Take-off and landing are the worst parts,” she stated. So of course I kicked in to full therapist mode. We discussed what about the flight made her uncomfortable. Were her symptoms physical or emotional? What were some of the outcomes she feared? I reminded her that she had been on flights to and from home two years ago and had done well. We discussed what helped her stay calm during those plane rides. We packed her book bag with comfort items and items that would help distract her during the most anxiety provoking times of the flight.
Fear and anxiety about a situation, place, or task can be overwhelming. Without a support system or some life strategies many people find that the feelings of fear and anxiety can limit their ability to perform in life and limit their opportunities. These fears may also present themselves in the form of physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches.
I have often found fear to be one of the most interesting and complex emotions. Fear can motivate a person to improve certain aspects of there life. Fear of diabetes may cause a person to eat better and exercise more. Fear of losing a job may motivate someone to go back to school to make themselves more knowledgeable or marketable in their career. However, fear can also be debilitating. Fear of not wanting to be alone can cause someone to stay in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship. Fear of being rejected can cause someone not to apply for a promotion at work. Fear can have a positive or a negative impact on a person’s life.
Three tips I have found for dealing with fear in life are:
Identify the fear and play out all possible scenarios. Go over in your mind what could have in each possible scenario. Sometimes, once we have played out the outcomes in our mind we realize that they are not as scary as we might have thought.
Address any physical symptoms. It is difficult to make a clear decision if your body is having negative physical symptoms. Headaches and stomach pains can leave you unable to perform. Learning relaxation techniques and seeing your primary care doctor can be extremely productive.
Talking to a professional. Seeking the help of someone who has experienced a s similar problem or has training in dealing with fear and anxiety is always helpful. Many times we tell ourselves that we are alone when dealing with a difficult situation. This though only increases fear and anxiety. Help is available.
* If you or someone you know are struggling with fear and anxiety, help is a phone call away. You can call 919-618-6526 or email at email@example.com to set up an appointment with a therapist.