In many people's lives, fear can be a very real, almost tangible influence, and I feel that a lot of us stumble along with no clear idea how to handle it. In our society, to show fear means weakness, so we do our best to hide what we are feeling, or even to eliminate the emotion altogether. We take harmful drugs and medications, we use avoidance tactics, and we'd sooner die than admit that we have a problem.
As someone that has lived with anxiety most of her life, I can attest to the fact that it's not helpful to be told to knock it off, and overcoming these fears is not as easy as flipping a switch, like the media has led us to believe. If you're fearful, it doesn't mean you are weak. It means that you are human.
I'm not a professional physiotherapist. I haven't even formally studied anxiety. My advise comes from personal experience.
Do's and Don'ts of Handling Fear
Acknowledge to yourself that you have a problem
Weigh the benefit vs. risk ratio before intentionally facing something that scares you
Keep in mind which fears are rational, and which ones don't make sense (knowing something is silly won't make the fear go away, but it will help you reason things out)
Remember to breathe, always
Stay clam as much as possible
Think things through as often as you can
Know that this condition doesn't make you weak in any way; in fact, it may even mean that you are stronger than avarage
Have escape plans, in case you unexpectedly find yourself in a frightening situation
Go out of your way to hide the problem; it will only stress you out
Avoid everything that scares you all the time or exhaust yourself by frequently placing yourself into frightening situations; moderation is key
Ignore your fears, even if they do fall under "irrational"
Forget to breathe deeply and evenly whenever possible
Panic more than you can possibly help
Act without thinking, if you can take a moment to think
Hang around people that would put you down
Force yourself to stay somewhere if you know you can't handle it
Of all people, I know what it feels like to grapple with wild, irrational fear, but I also know how rewarding it is the moment a fear is faced for all the right reasons, and good things often happen after we do something hard.
However, I also know just how damaging it can be to push yourself too hard because you want to feel "brave."
Remember, you don't have to conquer any fear overnight. Analise both risks and rewards, and don't you ever let anyone tell you that you are weak.
Above all, don't try to make yourself stop feeling.