By Christina Raccuia

Fear overwhelms us all sometimes. We feel like we’re going to die. It’s an overwhelming feeling of impending doom and we don’t know what to do except to run, as these feelings can take over. However, as crazy as this may sound the best thing to do is to stay and face the fear and not escape.

  1. First, try to recognize what is happening. Recognize that your body and mind are panicking. Try to let the feelings be instead of acting on them, because these feelings can’t hurt you. You have been triggered and all the stress hormones, firing off in your body, are trying to get you to safety. But there is no real danger, and responding with fear only exaggerates the panic.
    The trigger can be an argument or being cut off in traffic. But the stress reaction is over the top and you’re producing high level of stress hormones. The stress response is so high and quick, as if a wild animal were chasing you, and you would have to run and move very quickly in order to get to safety. But there is no animal. So recognize the feelings, ride it out, and it WILL pass.
  2. Try to diffuse the fear. Use your rational mind to counter the fear and make your thoughts less scary. Let the thoughts and feelings be and remind yourself that there’s no danger. Try not to give in to the urgency to act, instead sit with the feelings and they will pass.
  3. Remind yourself, with your wise mind, that there’s nothing scary and that nothing or no one will hurt you. This way you talk yourself down and don’t add more fuel to the fire.

Remember it’s not the situation but our reaction to the situation that creates anxiety and panic.

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