Whenever I am really nervous about something, my first inclination is to work out. I mean I've worked out before interviews, before getting on a plane, I thought this was due to some personal defect, but apparently it serves a purpose.
Working out gives fear an outlet. Your heart has a reason to pump, your breath has a reason to become ragged. That helps your mind say Hey, I'm not dying, I'm just working out!
Which research has found, is actually quite powerful. If you work out for 20--0 minutes prior to engaging in something you know you are afraid of, you can use up some adrenaline. Exercise also helps to get control over your stress hormones, which reduces anxiety too. It releases endorphins and reduces tension in your body. What's not to like?
These elements work together to help counteract what your body would normally do in a fear based situation, helping you to regain control over your internal systems.
When I see that white mask staring back at me in the hallway for no good reason, I say, Andrea&look in the hallway there is nothing there. I look, even though I don't want to.
By doing this, I override my fear response. It may not happen overnight, but every time you consciously override that response, that fear will have less control over you. Does it take work? Yes. Can it be done? Yes.
Fear serves an incredibly important evolutionary role but some of us find that fear disrupts our lives. When this happens, our fear response has gone too far and it has to be reigned in. It's not easy to overcome our fears, but it can be done. You just have to be willing to take that first step.
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