How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety?

All of us experience fear from time to time. Certain situations can arouse anxiety in some of us. The question is how can we overcome those uncomfortable emotions?

First step- Don’t deny your fear or anxiety. Keep in mind that denying an emotion isn’t going to make it go away. When you know that fear is a natural response to certain situations in life, you become more tolerate towards it. You wish it to vanish, but in order for that to happen, you shouldn’t fight it. Recognize that there is a fear and accept it. This fear can’t hurt you in any way and therefore there is no need to fight it. In most cases, we choose to fight our feelings and get angry at ourselves. This approach can only intensify the unwanted emotion. Example- let us assume that you are headed toward a job interview and that you are eager to get the job. You are excited and you fear whether or not you will get the job. You know that you need to think clearly and impress the interviewer in order to get this competitive position. One possible response is to get angry at your fear. You try to reject your fear and calm yourself for the interview, but the harder you push against your fear only intensify it. The second possible response is to accept that there is a fear. You can remind yourself that it is only natural to have a certain amount of fear before an interview. You can also remind yourself that no matter what happens, you will still remain the same and the people who love you, will continue to love you, no matter what. When thinking at this manner, it is possible to diminish the fear and have a much more positive attitude towards the interview.

Second step- Analyze the situation. Is there really a reason to be afraid? You should analyze the situation. Remind yourself that a job interview, a date, an important test or any other situation that might cause you to be afraid, can do no harm for you. On the other hand, a hurricane, a tsunami or an earth quake can sometimes cause a lot of harm. In those cases a certain amount of fear, can help the person that is in danger to function more rapidly. The “fight or flight” response that is felt during fear or anxiety, was supposed to help us survive dangerous situations. When encountering a real danger, the “fight or flight” response that we feel, can make us ran more fast or do anything much more efficiently. Therefore this response was “designed” to help us. The problem is that in our days, we seem to see many situations as fearful ones. We need to stop and think, if there is really something to be afraid of.

Third step- You need some positive thinking. It is well known that positive thinking is an efficient antidote for fear. When you see all the positive aspects of your life and give thanks for them, you will feel that you are lucky. Feeling this way will cause you to seek more proofs for being lucky. That will cause you to see your life as an adventure with good surprises, instead of a long route with bad things that might happen to you on the way. It is all a matter of perspective and you can choose in which manner to see things. Becoming more positive isn’t something that is done instantly. But, cultivating more and more positive thinking can help you see your life in a much brighter perspective.

For conclusion, I can only wish you success and happiness. You can read more on bad habits and how to get rid of them. Feel free to write your opinion in the responses.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

It’s quite funny, we desire to get more and more comfort, But the true freedom is found outside our current boundaries. Protecting your comfort zone may seem as the most reasonable thing to do, but taking risks and moving out of that zone, can bring you many great gifts. So where to start your journey?

I believe awareness is the first step and it precedes any major change in your life. I think that spending some time alone each day in order to reflect can really put your life on the fast track. In today’s culture we rarely have a few minutes for ourselves to sit and think quietly. Thinking and being aware to what you are currently doing in your life is one of the best formulas to get better. I try to spend half an hour a day reflecting, thinking what am I doing right and what am I avoiding from doing, just to protect my current comfort zone.

Put it a goal to do the things you know you need to do, whether you like it or not. When you put on a new pair of shoes, they are not so comfortable at the beginning and it may take some time for you to get use to them. The same way goes with every new habit you try to adjust for your life. Undergoing some discomfort for a short period of time can bring you great rewards for the future- the question is what do you prefer? The best thing about getting out of your comfort zone is the sense of “high” that you get every time you manage to do something that was considered impossible by you.

I want to share a short story from my past. A few years back, I needed to give lectures from time to time. I must say that only thinking about standing in front of a large crowd made me very nervous. Anyhow I knew only one thing- my goal was to get out of my comfort zone (which in this case was avoiding as much as I can from giving lectures). I didn’t make it a goal to give the best lectures in the world. I made another goal- to tackle my fear, to face the discomfort and win. I set a goal to make as many lectures as I could and to take each chance I have to acquire more experience. The first time I was nervous, the second time was much better and after 10 more times It felt pretty natural for me. I don’t know what stops you and where are the boundaries of your comfort zone, but you should make it a goal to expand those boundaries and to aim to act as if you have no restraints.

Taking the time to stop and think pays off, to analyze why we do what we do and what stops us from doing or achieving what we want. I try to take the time and find new ways to get better in my life- to challenge myself, to stretch and getting where I want. It’s an endless road, but it’s rewarding- getting out of your comfort zone demands a lot of courage and persistence, but the satisfaction and happiness that come along with it make it all worthwhile.

How to Get Rid of Bad Habits?

We all know the feeling of doing something which seems wrong, but nevertheless we still do it. We all sometimes crave for one more piece of cake, even though we have eaten more than enough….It can also be the cigarettes that some of us wish to smoke, when we consciously know that it is bad for our health. Worries are another example of bad habits, since they cause us a lot of tension and anxiety and 99% of the things we worry about, never come true. So how can we overcome our bad habits?

Well, our first instinct, is to fight the habit. This is exactly the reason, why most times we try to overcome a habit, it comes back. We give so much energy for rejecting the habit, that it just empowers it. In order to leave a habit behind, you need to just let it go. When you face your current situation with courage and look at your bad habits directly – you see that you are only human and it’s normal. After facing the habits and not denying them, you should try to get rid of them by being more compassionate towards yourself. Instead of beating yourself for doing what you do, you need to give more love and compassion to yourself – this is the key for moving forward. How can you do that?

Start by being a good friend to yourself. Yes…Your relationship with yourself, are probably the most intense one you ever had. Nevertheless, we only sometimes stop and think, if we are being kind enough to ourselves. It seems that we feel comfortable to say terrible things to ourselves, that had we said them in public, we probably won’t had any friends left. When we go to eat another piece of chocolate cake, we might beat ourselves afterwards and say things like ‘I can’t believe I did it, I’m already fat and now I am getting even fatter…I am so irresponsible… maybe there is something wrong with me… etc. Had we say things like that to the people we know, we won’t had any friends left. It seems that we feel comfortable enough with ourselves for not being kind enough. The key for leaving the unhealthy habits behind, is to realize that this attitude only gives more strength to the habit. When you love yourself, you don’t want to do bad things for yourself. When you give more love to yourself, you don’t wish to fill yourself with another piece of cake or another cigarette. When there is someone you love, you make your best to take care of him – you don’t stuck another cigarette to his mouth, you don’t fill his mind with endless worries, etc… You need to treat yourself like you treat the ones you love – When you will act this way, the bad habit will vanish.

For conclusion, try to be a bit more compassionate towards yourself. You might be overweight at the moment, you might smoke a lot or worry too much. But, the main issue is that you still deserve love and compassion and this is the key for change in your life. It reminds me of a nice metaphor – Once the sun and the wind argued who can cause a person to take off his coat. The wind said, it can do it for sure and it started to blow. The wind blew as hard as it can, but the man just kept holding his coat harder and harder. After all its efforts, the wind gave up. Finally, the sun came out, showed it sunny rays and the man instantly removed his coat.

What Is Personal Development?

The term personal development is so often used. What is it? Why do we need it? I will share with you my own opinion.

It is a path the individual takes to spread out his greatness to the world. It’s an endless journey of self-improvement. You start the journey by setting goals and by making a commitment to get the best in life. There will be setbacks, but your eyes should remain focused on achieving your dreams. Is there a single point that symbolizes the attainment of the highest wisdom and reaching to your ultimate potential? I will try to answer it in the next lines, by giving an example.

When I travelled through India and Nepal I was intrigued by the bodhisat philosophy. According to the Buddhists, one should try to attain enlightenment in his journey through this universe. He might not achieve it in this life time (they believe in reincarnations), but never the less it should be his highest goal. By enlightenment they mean the attainment of complete control over one’s mind and gaining compassion and wisdom to see things as they really are (without the common desire and aversion that accompanies most of our views). So, it seems that there is a single point that symbolizes the end of the personal development path (at least for the Buddhists). The question is- is there a higher point than that?

When I explored more the eastern philosophy, I discovered there are many streams of Buddhism. One of the main streams, called Mahayana, defines the point of ending the journey only when all other beings attain enlightenment as well. So, it seems that there is a higher goal to strive for after achieving our own desired dreams. It just proves one simple idea- this is an endless road and there will always be a higher cause to pursuit.

For conclusion, walking this endless road, becoming better today than yesterday, and then better tomorrow than today- throughout one’s life- is a true image of the way of personal development.