How to Deal with Irrational Fears


Everyone has some irrational fears. Maybe you’re scared of spiders or being alone in public places or crowds. Fear is a natural part of human life, and some fears are justified. Others, irrational fears, you know you shouldn’t be afraid of but still are despite your logic. Fear is a primal instinct that has protected humans from danger in the past. But sometimes our brains perceive something as dangerous when it’s very harmless. This is an irrational fear. 

Irrational fears can be difficult to deal with effectively. You are trying to override a primal instinct in your brain and that can be extremely difficult to do. Being able to calm yourself down in a scary situation is a very important tool for overcoming your fears. However, you must expose yourself to your fears in a safe and controlled manner. You never want to jump into a situation that you are unsure you will be able to handle. Breathing is a very helpful calming technique. When you start getting that panicked anxiety feeling, start taking long deep breaths. Diverting the focus away from the thing causing you the fear is the very first thing you should do. Personally, I have a fear of the city, so when I have to go to the city, I divert my focus with music, breathing, and small coping mechanisms, like cracking my knuckles. 

It is important that you attempt to conquer your irrational fears in little doses because the natural response to facing something perceived as dangerous head-on can be more detrimental than helpful. Starting to associate your fear with positive things, such as friends, music or even food can help your brain stop perceiving your irrational fears as threatening to your well-being. Imagining the best and worst possible outcomes can help bring a logical perspective to your moment of fear. Thinking rationally about the very worst outcome usually brings the fact that the worst outcome is not too bad to light.

Fear is both beneficial and detrimental to us as humans. Fear helped our ancestors survive, but now it can be pretty inconvenient depending on what you’re scared of. The most important thing to do is breathe, and think logically when facing your fears. Remember that fear is something that affects everyone, not just you, and no matter how fearless someone may seem, they get scared too. It takes a real fearless person to face their irrational fears head-on.