Conquer Your Fears

Fear is really just a feeling. Our three experts offer their top tips for coping to help you

We’ve been raised to act like superwomen, but too often, secret anxieties keep us from being who we really want to be. Now finally vanquish them—and soar.

Analyze the Fear
Take it apart and examine it closely. Life coach Valorie Burton says a good way to do that is through journaling—writing down what you’re afraid of and why, then exploring where that worry might have started. The power of journaling has been scientifically proven, Burton says. “One study even showed that journaling can boost your immune system.”

Stay in the Moment
“One thing that has proved to be effective in overcoming fear is mindfulness—staying in the moment and not projecting into the future,” says author Angela Neal-Barnett. When we’re in an anxiety-producing situation, our tendency is to get into a downward spiral of worst-case what-ifs, she says. Rather than focusing on every dismal possibility, stop and take a nonjudgmental look at what’s actually going on. Don’t worry about what might happen. Focus on what is happening, and do what you can do in the moment.

Maintain Healthy Habits
“When we internalize fear, we may overeat or use substances to cope with it,” says psychologist Anita Thomas. Self-medicating may alleviate your sense of dread temporarily, but it sets you up for other problems later. Instead, turn to activities and practices that make you mentally and physically stronger. When you’re eating right, resting well, and exercising your body and mind, you’ll start to feel stronger than your fears.

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