5 Ways To Conquer Your Fears In The New Year
Forget resolutions. What if you could harness the same energy you did making lists of things you want to achieve into overcoming things you never thought you could? If personal experience isn’t proof enough, mounting research shows achieving a goal requires a fair amount of bravery to make it happen.
Whether you want to run your first Blue Cross Broad Street Run, lose weight, or finally be debt free in 2017, don’t let fear be the thing that holds you back! These five time-tested methods will help you overcome anxiety and finally say, “I did it” without any hesitation.
1. Practice your own mantra. When that little voice tells you that you can’t achieve something don’t listen to yourself; talk to yourself. Positive self-talk — saying “Yes, I can” — literally will make it happen in real life. In fact, athletes who practiced positive self-talk before competition improved their performance, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology.
At a loss for words? Think about how a coach, a close friend, or a family member would help talk you through the process or situation you’re trying to overcome. In the same study, researchers found when athletes repeated directions from their coach they were able to focus on their performance, and when they needed to boost endurance they repeated encouraging words from a teammate.
2. Breathe. It’s the one exercise so simple you barely consider it a workout, but harnessing the power of your lungs for a moment can open a world of opportunity outside of fear, anxiety, and depression. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reported that people who practiced yogic breathing (think: the deep ‘om’ your yoga teacher encourages you to take) helped people manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Find your inner Zen by practicing a 20-minute yoga routine once a day. Some studies indicate that regular yoga practice can improve your breathing, heart function, reduce stress, and improve your overall quality of life.
3. Embrace the unknown. When you’re not sure of an outcome, it’s easy to fall back into your comfort zone. But here’s all the more reason to keep pushing: Research shows that harnessing your anxiety or fear of the unknown can actually energize you more so than when you envision the ideal situation playing out.
4. Go for it. Sometimes fear can protect us from danger — it’s the reason we resist touching a hot stove after all. But, we all know there are also times fears overrides our courage to try new experiences we might actually enjoy, like taking a spin class or hopping on a rollercoaster with friends. Here’s the ultimate way to overcome those fears: Do them anyway — don’t give your mind time to craft an elaborate worst-case scenario — just go for it.
5. Own your mistakes. With so much of our lives broadcast on social media, it can be hard to remember that everyone makes mistakes before achieving the awesome end result they post on Instagram. Just because you miss a workout, grab a cookie, or spend a little more than you budgeted on a pair of new shoes don’t let a minor misstep throw off your momentum toward your long-term goals. Beat your fear of failure by embracing what you learn from it and how it makes you better (and stronger) along the way.
For more information on how Independence Blue Cross can help you “Live Fearless” in 2017 visit, ibx.com.This is a paid partnership between Independence Blue Cross and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio