6 Tips for Managing Persistent Fears and Anxieties

– Posted in: Anxiety
Artwork by Maria Yakunchikova

Artwork by Maria Yakunchikova

We all have fears and anxieties from time to time, but for most people they trouble you today and are gone tomorrow.

It’s when these fears and anxieties become persistent that they threaten to derail your life. Your every moment, your every thought is taken up by negative thoughts. You feel overwhelmed and it seems that everything is happening at once.

Stanley Popovich is the author of today’s guest post. He is a Penn State graduate who struggled with fear and anxiety for 15 years. He has written a book based on his personal experiences in overcoming his fear, as well as on interviews with a variety of professionals. 

The book, “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” is easy to read and comprehend. It presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. It is available both as a paperback and as an ebook. For more information and a number of helpful free articles, visit his web site, “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear.”

Everybody deals with anxiety, fears and depression, however some people have a hard time in managing them. Here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their most persistent fears and every day anxieties.

Overwhelmed? Break the task down into small steps

When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success. 

Take a break when everything happens at once

Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could get some fresh air, listen to some music, or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. 

Visualize a red stop sign to conquer fearful thoughts

A person should visualize a red stop sign in their mind when they encounter a fear provoking thought. When the negative thought comes, a person should think of a red stop sign that serves as a reminder to stop focusing on that thought and to think of something else. A person can then try to think of something positive to replace the negative thought.

Carry a notebook of positive statements and affirmations

Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your small notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.

Take one day at a time. Focus on the present

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep. We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.

Take advantage of the help available

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.

Patience, persistence, education, commitment are key

Dealing with our persistent fears is not easy. Remember that all you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and take things in stride. Patience, persistence, education, and being committed in trying to solve your problem will go a long way in fixing your problems.

What do you think?

Stanley Popovich has some good tips to help overcome persistent fears and anxieties. What I like about them is that they are simple, easy to remember, and easy to do. It goes to show you that it doesn’t take a clinical psychologist to make effective suggestions to help others in their lives.

Guest posts are a great way to expand the variety of voices and outlooks here on Anxiety, Panic & Health. Each one of us has experiences that would be helpful to others. If you think that you would like to write a guest post, I have a new page entitled “Guidelines for Guest Posts” that covers how to go about it. Click on the link, or look under “Reference & Info” in the rightmost sidebar.

  • Can you share any techniques that you use to set aside fears and anxieties?
  • Have you used any of Popovich’s techniques? Do they work?
  • This was a short post. Would you like to see more of this type post in the future?

Artwork by Maria Yakunchikova (1870-1902), entitled “Fear,” 1893-95.

©2009 Anxiety, Panic & Health. All rights reserved.

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6 comments… add one
Reid Peterson May 6, 2009, 11:21 am

Very nice tips. I feel compelled to add one though. Remember to take a deep breath! Perhaps the stop sign visualization is also a great reminder to breathe deep, which helps you slow things down.

Mike May 6, 2009, 11:54 am

Thanks for your comment, Reid!

Yes, deep breathing helps to calm you in so many situations. It is very helpful with significant stress and Anxiety Disorder sufferers. Thanks for the reminder!

Curiously, there are two breathing suggestions for dealing with a panic attack, both involving holding your breath:

1) If you’re not able to breathe or choking, slowing down your breathing, breathing deeply, holding your breath, then slowly blowing it out as if you were blowing out a candle works very well.

2) If you are hyperventilating, breathe deeply and hold your breath as long as you can. This can calm hyperventilation quickly.

See the section on “What is the treatment for panic attacks?” in the Panic Attacks reference article.

aaron whitlow November 18, 2009, 8:46 pm

i have bad anxiety and i cant figure out… why me??? it gets better every once in a while but its wierd i will get to where i cant think about anything at all i want it gone if somebody thinks they can help hit up my email……..

Gerovital Romania August 11, 2010, 6:49 am

I just discovered your blog, very interesting and helpful. Thanks

hoa tuoi dep May 9, 2017, 2:13 am

I just recently found out that I had anxiety and have had it for awhile. I wish someone had shown me this list a lot earlier. Hopefully I can help someone else.

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