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 one: Write down exactly what you are afraid of and why. Research shows that putting your fear in writing can be empowering giving you more confidence and helping you realise that some things you are worried about are plain ridiculous.

Step two: 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. Psychologist says this instills courage.

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

Step four: Eat more turkey, cheese and nuts. They all contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps people feel less anxious. Drink a big glass of orange juice before you have to face any fear, vitamin C lowers stress hormones in as little as 15 minutes.

Step five: 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 directions put a few drops on your wrist or on your tongue until you feel calmer.

Step six: 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 fear with this technique known as exposure therapy.

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

Did you know kids are terrified by clowns? A poll conducted by an English university found that all 250 patients in a pediatric ward were afraid of clowns, a condition known as coulrophobia.