If you feel your fears are illogical, these approaches might make sense

Sometimes, our fears don’t seem to make much sense. They seem illogical, irrational, and downright confusing.

I know this all too well because I’ve experienced it firsthand. Fear can take hold of us in mysterious ways and we often struggle to understand why.

But believe me when I say, it’s not just you. Many of us grapple with fears that seem disconnected from reality. And the good news is, there are ways to make sense of such fears.

In this article named “If you feel your fears are illogical, these approaches might make sense”, I will share some strategies that have helped me and might just help you too. These are not one-size-fits-all solutions, but they offer a starting point for understanding and confronting your fears.

1) Recognizing the irrationality

One of the first steps in tackling illogical fears is acknowledging them.

Sounds simple, right? But it’s often easier said than done. Fear, as we know, can be an overpowering emotion that clouds our judgment and reasoning.

Consider this, we all have fears that seem to be beyond logic – the fear of spiders, heights, public speaking – just to name a few. But if you stop and think about it, you may realize there’s no real reason to be scared.

The trick here is recognizing that our fear is irrational. This doesn’t mean dismissing or belittling your fear. Instead, it’s about understanding that your fear isn’t rooted in reality.

And remember, it’s okay to have fears. It’s even okay to have illogical fears. The aim here is not to eliminate fear but to manage it, to prevent it from controlling your life.

So start by acknowledging your fear. Understand it for what it is – an emotional response rather than a rational reaction. This simple act of recognition can set the stage for more practical strategies to manage such fears.

2) Facing the fear

After recognizing your fear, the next step is to confront it, head-on.

Now, this might sound daunting. And trust me, I’ve been there. Let me share a personal story.

I used to have an irrational fear of dogs. It didn’t matter if it was a tiny Chihuahua or a massive Great Dane – every dog made my heart pound with anxiety. This fear was illogical because I had never had a negative encounter with a dog. Yet, the fear was real and intense.

So, I decided to face my fear. I started small by spending time with a friend’s extremely friendly and well-behaved dog. Initially, my heart would race, but gradually, I became more comfortable around her. I learned that most dogs are friendly and pose no threat.

This didn’t happen overnight. It took time and patience, but eventually, my irrational fear subsided.

Facing your fears isn’t easy, but it’s an effective strategy for dealing with illogical fears. Remember to start small and be patient with yourself. You’re not aiming for an overnight transformation but gradual progress.

3) Practicing mindfulness

When it comes to managing fears, mindfulness can be a powerful tool.

Mindfulness is all about being present – paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment.

A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) significantly reduced symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, a condition characterized by chronic and excessive worry.

The beauty of mindfulness is its simplicity. It doesn’t require any special equipment or location. All you need is a quiet place and a few minutes of your time.

You can practice mindfulness by focusing on your breath, observing your thoughts and feelings, or even while doing everyday tasks like washing dishes or walking. The goal is to stay present, without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Incorporating mindfulness into your routine can help you manage your fears by making you more aware of your thoughts and feelings, including those related to your fears. It allows you to notice when fear arises and respond to it in a calm and grounded way.

4) Seeking professional help

It’s important to remember that there’s no shame in reaching out for help.

If your fears are affecting your daily life or causing significant distress, it might be time to seek professional help.

Therapists and psychologists are trained to help you understand and manage your fears. They can provide you with tools and techniques to cope with your fears, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is a type of talk therapy that can help you change negative thought patterns that lead to fear and anxiety.

While it can be daunting to reach out for help, remember that doing so is a sign of strength, not weakness. You’re taking control of your fear, rather than letting it control you.

So don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re struggling with your fears. It could be the first step towards regaining control over your life.

5) Embracing self-compassion

In our journey to make sense of our fears, it’s crucial to remember to be kind to ourselves.

Dealing with fears, especially those that seem illogical, can be frustrating. We may feel impatient, scared, or even disappointed in ourselves. But it’s in these moments that we need to extend compassion towards ourselves.

Self-compassion is about understanding and accepting ourselves, fears and all. It’s about acknowledging that it’s okay to be scared and it’s okay to not have all the answers.

Remember, we are all human. We all have fears, and we all struggle with them from time to time. You’re not alone in this journey.

So, practice self-compassion. Speak kindly to yourself, nurture yourself, and be patient with your progress. You’re doing the best you can, and that is more than enough.

6) Trying exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is another effective approach to dealing with illogical fears. It involves gradually and repeatedly exposing yourself to the situation or object you fear.

Here’s how it worked for me. I used to have a fear of flying. The mere thought of being thousands of feet above the ground in an airplane would send shivers down my spine.

I decided to try exposure therapy. I began by simply watching videos of airplanes taking off and landing. Gradually, I progressed to visiting an airport, then sitting in a stationary plane, and finally, taking short flights.

With each step, I felt my fear diminishing. By repeatedly exposing myself to flying, I was able to rewire my brain’s response to the situation. Today, although I wouldn’t call myself a frequent flyer, I can board a plane without my heart racing.

Exposure therapy may not be comfortable, and it’s certainly not a quick fix, but it’s an approach that has proven to be effective for many people in managing their fears.

7) Practicing relaxation techniques

When fear takes hold, our bodies often go into fight-or-flight mode. Heart racing, palms sweating, breath becoming shallow – sound familiar?

To counter this, relaxation techniques can come in handy. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and yoga are all methods that can help calm your body and mind.

Deep breathing exercises, for instance, can help slow down your heart rate and bring your attention away from the source of your fear. Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body, helping to promote a sense of calm.

Yoga combines physical postures with deep breathing and meditation, making it an excellent practice to manage fear and anxiety.

By integrating these relaxation techniques into your daily routine, you can equip yourself with the tools to calm your body’s fear response and bring about a sense of peace and tranquillity.

8) Understanding it’s a process

Overcoming fears, especially those that seem illogical, is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. It requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to face the discomfort that comes with confronting our fears.

It’s important to remember that progress might not always be linear. There may be setbacks along the way. But each step you take, no matter how small, is a step towards managing your fears.

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Millions of people grapple with similar fears and there are plenty of resources and support available to help you navigate this process.

So be patient with yourself. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small they may seem. Every step forward, every fear faced head-on, brings you closer to a life where your fears no longer hold you back.

Final thought: It’s part of being human

The complexities of human emotions and behaviors are intertwined with our unique personal experiences, perceptions, and yes, even our biology.

Fear is a particularly interesting emotion in this regard. It’s deeply ingrained in our survival instinct, designed to protect us from danger.

But when fear becomes illogical, when it detaches from any real threat, it can be puzzling and frustrating. Yet, it’s important to remember that even these irrational fears are part of the human experience.

According to renowned psychologist Carl Jung, “What you resist, persists.” This could not be more true for our fears. Ignoring them, pushing them away or labeling them as ‘illogical’ often gives them more power.

So if you find yourself grappling with fears that seem illogical, remember that you are not alone. It’s okay to have these fears. And it’s okay to struggle with them.

The approaches we’ve shared in this article are not cure-alls. They’re steps towards understanding your fears, managing them, and ultimately reclaiming your life from them.

So next time you’re faced with an illogical fear, pause for a moment. Acknowledge your fear, understand its irrationality, and remember – it’s all part of being beautifully human.

Picture of Graeme

Graeme

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