How to Cope with Your Fears through Mindfulness - dummies

How to Cope with Your Fears through Mindfulness

By Shamash Alidina, Joelle Jane Marshall

Here are a few tips for coping with your anxiety and fears from the UK’s National Health Service. Many of them are about acceptance and moving towards your fears, which is also of course the mindful way:

  • Take time out for a break. Even a 15-minute walk around the block or a hot bath can help give you some space to see the big picture.

  • Ask yourself, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ It’s usually not that bad, and not as scary as you thought.

  • Face the fear. For example, if you’re scared of parties, go to parties and stay for some time. Eventually the fear subsides.

  • Welcome the worst instead of running away from it. If you’re terrified that your panic may cause a heart attack, trying thinking yourself into a heart attack. It’s impossible and your fears around this dissipate.

  • Don’t expect perfection. Life is messy; sometimes, aiming for 80 per cent perfect can help.

  • Visualize a calm and peaceful place for you. For example, imagine a beach and notice the colors, smells, sounds and feelings.

  • Get some sleep. If at night you can’t sleep and find yourself trying to fall asleep – stop. Instead, try and stay awake! The effort of trying to sleep can make you feel anxious and actually prevent you from sleeping.

  • Reward yourself when you do overcome your fears. If you have a fear of enclosed spaces but still managed to get into the lift, have some tasty chocolate as a treat, watch that new DVD, take a walk in a beautiful place or get your nails done! Whatever makes you happy.