Facing Your Fear

What is the most important part of overcoming you fears? Well, according the Anxiety BC, its exposure to them. Now, this is not necessarily what I wanted to hear as it sounds incredibly uncomfortable. I’m terrified of spiders and the thought of voluntarily being around them seems ridiculous. However, exposure is an important part of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), which is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety.

According to Anxiety BC, we should face our fears gradually and repeatedly. Make a list of the things that cause you anxiety and start out by facing things that cause you the least anxiety and work up to things that cause you the most anxiety. Then, do them over and over again.

Of course, one part of this is figuring out which fears are rational and helpful, and which are not. For example, if you fear walking around alone downtown at night, that is not a fear to face. Like that, some of our fears are beneficial; they keep us from doing reckless things. Other fears, however, like fear of crowds, elevators, job interviews etc. are not intrinsically dangerous. These are the fears that we can overcome.

If you continue to expose yourself to anxiety-causing situations, not only will you fear these situations less, you will also gain self confidence, which will help you deal with the anxiety that remains.

Anxiety disorders are the most common of the mental disorders, so you can be sure that you are not alone if you worry more than is healthy. Here are some great resources to learn all about anxiety disorders and self-help strategies:

CBT Self-Help Toolkit

UBC Mental Health Awareness Club – Dr. Fleming’s Talk

Mind.org.uk – Anxiety

Canadian Mental Health Association – Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Canada