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7 Things To Remember If You Want To Get Over Fear Successfully

7 Things To Remember If You Want To Get Over Fear Successfully

Fear prevents us from pursuing that which we feel is risky, even if such pursuits are what we see as true to ourselves.  Fear paralyzes and prevents us from experiencing life at its highest level of wholeness.  It holds us back.  To properly transcend the chains of fear (which are often perpetuated by self-conscious and delusional behavior) there are some basic things we should remember.

1. Fear relies on your perspective.

Jerry Seinfeld has a joke about public speaking.  He quotes a statistic he read, which stated that the average person fears public speaking more than death.  In other words, at a funeral, they would rather be in the coffin than give the eulogy.  This is a reminder of the loss of perspective fear can impose upon us.  You can only fear that of which you are convinced is a threat. Changing your mind allows for relief from fear.

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2. Meditation gives you the tools to conquer fear.

Even five or ten minutes of meditation daily can improve your response to fear.  Meditate on that which you fear. Let the reasons behind the fear be revealed and contemplated.  Dig deep without overwhelming yourself. Meditation helps us realize that fear is often not grounded in reality.  You can get over it with diligence and mindfulness.

3. Empathy destroys fear.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone you imagine to be fearless, or at least unconcerned with whatever particular fear you find is holding you back.  Try to understand their microcosm of experience, their unique individual perspective.  What is it ideologically that allows them to not fear X or Y?  What adaptations in your own thinking can you allow for that will get rid of your fear?

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4. Taking action will set you free.

The hardest part about conquering fear is the psychologically-inflicted torment we perpetuate upon ourselves every time fear prevents action.  Build yourself up enough that you allow yourself to take risks.  Confront what you fear.  It will not be easy, but fear’s worst enemy is its own reflection in a mirror.  Face fear and it will disappear.  If the emotion holds you back from doing something you truly want to do, work towards mindfully pursuing what you fear. This will help you realize it has no power over you.

5. Focus on the present.

Most of our anxieties are imposed by the haunting past or looming future.  Practice being comfortable with whatever you have to deal with in the present.  As you focus less on external circumstances and learn to simply be in the now, fears will fade away into the background.  In the present, we have very little to be afraid of.  Future expectations diminish and concerns about past actions become irrelevant.  Do what you can with what you have, right now.

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6. Write it down.

The subjectivity of thought can magnify our fears and make them seem more imposing than they really are.  Convert your fears from ideas into words; contextualize them.  Write down what it exactly it is that you are afraid of and ways you believe you can work towards eliminating your fear.  In organizing your ideas on paper, you’ll find a level of clarity unachievable exclusively in your own head.

7. You’re not alone.

We all have our fears, hopes and dreams.  We all slip up and focus more on the past and future than the present.  Find a valuable support system for overcoming your fears.  Build an exchange in which you and someone else help one another psychologically overcome that which you are afraid of.  Learn to communicate your insecurities with others and, in articulating your fears, you will be taking a step towards eliminating them.

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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