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We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that this article will help you to stop fear from controlling your life. The bad news is that you’ll be facing it head-on (actually, it’s all good news).
It is human nature to avoid our fears. But by continually avoiding the “boogeyman” within, you ultimately become hostage to the monster. Once you face your fear - and give the boogeyman air – it will lose the ability to rule your life and dictate your decisions. Fear is real, but most of the things we fear will never happen and aren’t likely to hurt us. What will hurt us is living a smaller life with a lot of limitations.
Your ability to confront, deal with, and act in spite of your fears is the key to happiness and success. The best way to conquer fear is to face it head-on, but it’s important to do it in a healthy manner that helps you move past the fear, rather than in a way that traumatizes you.
We have a few strategies on how to face your fears head-on:
- Name your fear. Say it out loud. Sometimes merely stating what your fear gives you the strength to deal with it. When you ignore fear it grows, when you face it, it shrinks.
- Physically take time out. If you’re in the grip of fear it’s hard to think clearly, so take a breath. Distract yourself by taking a short walk, making a cup of tea or having a bath.
- Look at the evidence. Do your research, get the knowledge based on facts, rather than speculation. For example, if you’re afraid of flying and you research the statistics, you will learn that the probability of death on a commercial jet airline is 1 in 7 (in comparison to 1 in 600 from smoking). Off course less tangible fears (such as a fear of public speaking) don’t necessarily have statistics to help you with perspective but, you can learn more about public speaking strategies, to help you feel more confident.
- Talk to someone that you trust. Talking about your fears often shrink them down to size.
- Practise by acting “as if” you are unafraid. Stand up straight, smile and be confident as if you already have the courage you desire.
- Take baby steps. If you’re scared of crowds, for example, find a small crowd to be in for a little while – like a queue at a supermarket checkout. If at first, you don’t succeed, try again.
- Get a sense of proportion. How big of a deal is it really if it happens? Is it even likely to happen?
- Get help. If your fears are debilitating and you don’t have much success dealing with them on your own, seek the help of a mental health professional.
Remember to appreciate your courage. Every time you don’t allow fear to keep you from doing something that scares you, you’re making yourself stronger and less likely to let fear stop you from leading the life you deserve.
You are not defined by fear, be mindful of that.
Source: themindofsteel.com, briantracy.com, lifehack.org, success.com, verywellmind.com, psycom.net, psychologytoday.com, forbes.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.