Fear and how to cope with it

Similar to happiness and anger, fear is also one of the natural emotions experienced by everybody. There might be many reasons for us to be scared at times. Some people may be afraid of darkness, different types of animals, some may fear heights, some exams, some speaking in public and so on. Sometimes people are scared of real things or sometimes of imaginary things such as ghosts. After natural and manmade disasters and accidents, it is especially common for people to feel scared. One of the primary reasons for excessive fear, panicking and being startled could be due to natural disasters such as landslides, floods, earthquakes and manmade accidents, destruction or death. Overall, fear is an integral part human life.

Remember that sometimes it is not necessary to react to fear immediately. It may also be unnecessary to discontinue the important work you have been doing due to fear. For example, when a student fears of an exam and because of it she works harder, it may actually result in a better outcome. So mild fear can help us!

If you fear more than usual or if you have problems in your daily life and it is difficult to complete your usual activities, because of excessive fear, you can apply some of the tips given here to face it:

  • First of all, find out the reason of your fear and try to understand as much as you can about it. Also, try to understand your reactions to it, including what thoughts or emotions feartriggers in your mind and how you feel in your body. For example, notice if you breathe faster?
  • Try to continue important matters despite fear, it may disappear naturally over time. Be patient.
  • Often, if family members, friends, and neighbors stay together, help and assure each other, it is easier to cope with fear.
  • Voluntary participation in community activities and ceremonies that take place in the neighborhood may also help.
  • Talk about your feelings to the people close to you that you can trust, but be cautious. If we talk and discuss our fear in great deal again and again, images and memories of these accidents keep coming back to our mind. Then, the intensity of our fear is increased. For example, it is better not to talk about the earthquake over and over again. Instead, try to engage yourself in other activities, do not follow unnecessary rumors and gossip.
  • In case of disaster related fears, it is also better to stay away from news and visual images on television and other media that show audio visual content related to disaster and death. Protect the children from seeing the news and images of violence and disastrous accidents.
  • Make sure you have a regular daily routine - eat at regular times and get a good night's sleep.
  • Try various tips and tools on our website, including the audio-visual materials on deep breathing, mindfulness and grounding.

If these coping methods do not help you and your daily life becomes increasingly difficult, please seek professional help from a psychosocial counselor, a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

For more information please contact TPO Nepal.