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Fear of the Unknown: 3 Strategies for Overcoming Anxiety

Everyone has experienced fear at some point in their lives. No one is exempt from this feeling. It is also common to have a fear of the unknown. Unfortunately, fearing the unknown can prevent you from living life to the fullest. However, if you examine the root of your fear of the unknown, this will help you to overcome it.

In this blog post, we will explore how fear of the unknown can sabotage your recovery. We will also recommend healthy coping skills for overcoming fear and explain how The Guest House can support you in minimizing anxiety.

How Does Fear of the Unknown Surface in Recovery?

Fear is the body’s response to perceived or real danger. It is a natural reaction that is built into your bodily system to keep you safe. However, sometimes the fight-or-flight response goes on overdrive and reacts to completely safe situations. This is what happens when people have a generalized fear of the unknown. When fear becomes a sustained reaction, it’s often referred to as anxiety.

The fear of the unknown is a common experience during recovery. This fear may cause you to not speak up or resist attending a 12-Step program due to not knowing what will happen as a result. Acting out of fear will often cause you to be overwhelmed during recovery and eventually self-sabotage. Several ways that the fear of the unknown can surface in recovery are:

  • Not reaching out to healthy support people
  • “Forgetting” individual counseling sessions
  • Having trouble being honest
  • Feeling intense anxiety in new situations
  • Seeing uncertainty as a threat to your well-being

Just the thought of wanting to make a change can produce anxiety in the mind. It is easy to get caught up in thinking about all the “what ifs” of your recovery. However, this thought process leads you to the fear of the unknown. The goal is to understand how your body reacts to the fear of the unknown and practice healthy coping skills to limit these responses.

How Does My Body React to Fear of the Unknown?

When you experience anxiety, your body’s stress hormones are released and cortisol and adrenaline are activated. Although these hormones are important when you’re in imminent danger, they are not helpful when you’re trying to adjust to new situations in your life. Your body may react uniquely, depending on the scenario that is happening in your life. However, several physical symptoms of fear of the unknown may include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Sweaty palms
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Stomach issues
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears

These are not all of the symptoms; however, they are several of the most common ones. Fortunately, you can manage your symptoms in a variety of ways. You have more control than you realize of how your body reacts to fear of the unknown. However, you must practice healthy coping skills to find your way to the other side of fear.

Healthy Coping Skills to Overcome Fear of the Unknown

Many healthy coping skills can be utilized to overcome the fear of the unknown. You are in control and have the key to unlocking greatness in your recovery.

One of the first things to do is to recognize that this is something you need to get through. The fear of the unknown is not something you can just get over. Recognizing the root of the fear is the first step. Incorporating healthy strategies to overcome your thought process will decrease the body’s response. Below are three strategies that can decrease your fear of the unknown.

#1. Journal About Your Fears

Journaling can be a helpful strategy to overcome the fear of the unknown. Writing your thoughts and feelings on paper is an empowering experience. After all, how are you supposed to discuss your fears if you have not processed them? Journaling gives you a space for releasing negative thoughts and feelings. You do not have to permit anyone to read these entries as they are yours and yours alone.

#2. Yoga and Meditation

Several relaxation techniques can benefit you no matter where you are on your recovery journey. Several of the most common practices are meditation and yoga. These have been known to decrease anxious thought processes and assist with calming your central nervous system. Also, contrary to most people’s beliefs, you do not have to be flexible to practice yoga. All you need is a desire to relax, grow, and learn.

#3. Talk Therapy

At The Guest House, we recognize that talk therapy is one of the oldest forms of therapy and continues to be beneficial for most people. Speaking with a professional therapist can do wonders to alleviate the fear of the unknown. When you can talk about your fears, you no longer allow them to have control over you.

You have the power to take action on your own behalf. At the Guest House, we are hopeful that you understand that you are only a phone call away from leaving your fear of the unknown behind and starting to live your best life.

Every person experiences fear in their lives at some point. It is that feeling of the hair standing up on the back of your neck or getting goose bumps. No matter how your body reacts, you know what fear feels like for you. Yet, fear of the unknown does not have to limit you. You may just need to discuss your fears with a professional therapist and identify the underlying cause. You are not alone in this endeavor and always have the support of The Guest House. If you or someone you know is struggling with the fear of the unknown in recovery, please do not wait. Give us as call at (855) 483-7800 today.