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MENTAL HEALTH

3 Tested Ways Reading Psychology Helps You Master Your Fears

Facing your inner demons becomes fun, exciting, rewarding, and healing. All at the same time.

Photo by Mike Kotsch on Unsplash

Medium was the first platform that introduced me to the sweet and short bursts of powerful psychological wisdom three years ago when I graduated from college and wanted to get complete control of life. It’s like entering an ocean of opportunities disguised as obstacles for you to overcome.

What started as hunger for practical self-help turned into a timeless blessing for mental health disguised as words and lessons from generous people worldwide.

We’re all fighting the same battle in our heads. Sharing the journey of triumph over our inner demons is what makes your story an inspiration for generations to come.

Psychology is a vast field about understanding the functioning of the human brain. This domain keeps getting bigger and bigger as we learn more about how our brain surprises the scientific community nonstop.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Aristotle

As we all learn, sooner or later, happiness comes from within. The higher purpose behind this faith is that the beginning of all wisdom starts with knowing — and accepting — yourself first, with all the scars and privileges that come as a packaged deal.

I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t find shelter in psychological wisdom three years ago.

But, here I am, religiously and successfully applying the wisdom I learned about the human mind to accelerate my self-improvement journey.

Here are three ways you can do it too.

#1. Face your fears.

Fear is the unknown factor that stops us from stretching our limits. It’s the unfamiliar situations that tear our neurons and activate our fight-or-flight mode.

Fear is a powerful defence mechanism that keeps us safe when you understand its evolutionary reason.

The threats our hunter-gatherer ancestors faced from animal predators are no longer present. However, the mentality to stay constantly alert remains in the form of fear of the unknown.

When you embrace curiosity to question yourself about why you feel negative emotions so strongly, repeating the same question in your head gets you to the crux of the answer.

Fear is your mind’s way of saying, “Something’s not right, bud. You better help me figure it out before I start screaming like a bitch.”

Reading psychology will change your perception of fear. It will make you more curious to investigate your reaction than submitting to complacency.

#2. Understand cognitive biases.

It took me more than five years to correctly understand the meaning of the word bias.

In cognitive science, biases are the almost-unshakable and mostly outdated beliefs we develop from experience.

The pattern our brain builds throughout life makes us fly too quick to conclusions without considering all the variables that significantly affect — and may rectify — our decision.

Biases help shorten the decision-making time to save mental resources for the future. But, they don’t always lead to the correct answer.

Understanding your cognitive biases is an effective way to improve your decision-making skills and burn the self-critical attitude every time you make a wrong decision.

Learning about all cognitive biases takes time.

That’s why I focus on one bias at a time. Depending on the frequency of occurrence and impact on my decision-making, I also expand my attention to other biases.

#3. Develop empathy.

Over two decades, your mind has carried you with immense grit and courage while surviving a global financial crisis and a pandemic. It wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t have supportive people around you.

Empathy is the unique power to understand the other person’s feelings to help them in a way you needed help but never got it.

Reading psychology has made me a better friend. It has made me a conversationalist.

It helped me to go from a super-introvert anxious guy to becoming a boundary-respecting extrovert in the past five years. This overdue and rewarding transition in my interpersonal behaviour still helps me break the ice in unfamiliar social settings.

When you shower empathy to help the people around you, you become a source of positive emotions in their eyes — even thinking about your name floods their faces with a wide, infectious smile. That’s the power of empathy.

Think about the last joke someone told you that made your day by forgetting your problems and laughing your ass off.

Closing thoughts.

There are so many benefits of using psychology for self-improvement that covering them in three points would disrespect the power of the human brain.

Still, to avoid TMI and give you some pointers on how you can master your fears with the power of psychology the way I am doing it for the past three years, here is a recap for your memory:

  1. Face your fears. They are hidden signs that show what you’re good at and have the chance of becoming exceptional if given an opportunity.
  2. Understand cognitive biases because decision-making is a revered trait to put you in the top 1%.
  3. Develop empathy because the ultimate purpose of life is service to humanity.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
Albert Einstein

If you want to receive more stories like this, my lifelong learning newsletter is for you.

Sanjeev is a mentor, writer, and fitness enthusiast from India. He writes about lifelong learning, personal growth, and positive psychology. When he’s not engaging with students in solving their doubts or busy writing, he’s sweating either in a workout, vlogging or playing with his cat, Jim. You can also find him on Instagram and Twitter.

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Sanjeev Yadav

Sanjeev Yadav

Writer • Mentor • Recovering Shopaholic • IITR 2019 • ✍🏼 Personal Growth, Positive Psychology & Lifelong Learning• IG: sanjeevai • List: sanjeevai.ck.page