How to Overcome Any Fear

Whether it’s heights, flying, or public speaking, a profound fear can compromise the quality of your life. Don’t live with yours another minute.

You will need

  • A journal
  • notebook
  • or paper
  • Foods high in tryptophan
  • Orange juice
  • Soothing essential oils

Step 1 Write it out Write down exactly what you’re afraid of and why. Research shows that putting your fears in writing can be empowering, giving you more confidence and helping you realize that some things you’re worried about are plain ridiculous.

Step 2 Have a mantra Pick an encouraging mantra like ‘’I can handle this’ or ‘Nothing can harm me,’ and repeat it in your head whenever you have to do something that scares you. Psychologists say this instills courage.

Step 3 Make a fist The next time you have to do something scary, make a fist, hold it for 10 seconds, then release. Sounds silly, but this reduces fear by relaxing muscle tension.

Step 4 Eat more turkey Eat more turkey, cheese, and nuts. They all contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps people feel less anxious.

Step 5 Use soothing oils Use soothing essential oils. Available in health food stores, they have been used to battle stage fright, face frightening medical procedures, and deal with trauma. According to the directions, put a few drops on your wrist or under your tongue until you feel calmer.

Step 6 Face your fear Face your fear—again and again and again. Research shows that repeatedly confronting your fear can suppress your fright response. In fact, experts say up to 90% of phobics can overcome a specific fear with this technique, known as ‘exposure therapy.’

Step 7 Ask your doctor Ask your doctor about medications that have shown promise in reducing fear when a person is faced with the scary situation.