Halloween is a time of year when you can be scared, but it’s also a time of year when some people love being scared. The trick-or-treaters who come to my door know this very well: they always make sure to tell me that they’re not afraid, even though the costumes they wear are downright terrifying (at least in my opinion). But we don’t always love to be scared. It can be scary to watch movies about monsters or go on roller coasters because we’re afraid that something bad might happen—and it does! So why do we still do these things? It’s because being scared can help us develop emotional resiliency. In fact, one study found that people who experienced fearful situations tend to have more self-esteem than those who hadn’t faced scary events before . So if you’re feeling anxious about something today—especially if it feels like your anxiety isn’t going away anytime soon—don’t fret! There are plenty of ways for us all to increase our tolerance for scary feelings like fear and sadness while still having fun during the Halloween season and beyond.
Many people love Halloween.
Many people love Halloween. If you’re one of them, you may find that this is an exciting time of year filled with fun and celebration. It’s also a great excuse to get out and have some fun as well as get dressed up in silly costumes. If you’ve ever been scared by something on Halloween, it’s likely because your imagination runs wild with thoughts of ghosts or witches (or maybe even zombies). But if those fears were too much for you, that’s okay too—everyone has different tolerances for feeling frightened at any given moment!
Halloween is often the time we think about the emotion: fear; but there are many other emotions at play during this fun time of year—excitement being one example. The most important thing about Halloween is having fun; so go ahead and enjoy yourself without worrying too much about what other people think of your costume or whether or not they’ll believe your story about how those fake blood stains got on the back of your shirt!
How can you overcome fear and other scary emotions?
How do you overcome fear?
There are many ways of dealing with fear. Some people like to confront their fears, while others avoid them. Fear can be a natural human emotion that helps us stay safe, but it’s also one we may want to address so we know where the fear is coming from. When you feel scared, try to think about what caused this feeling. Did something happen recently that made you feel threatened or unsafe? If so, take steps so that doesn’t happen again (such as being aware of your surroundings). You might also need help from someone else if a situation makes you uncomfortable—just remember they’re there for support!
But we don’t always love to be scared. Including fear in our day-to-day throughout the other 364 days of the year.
We don’t always love to be scared. Including fear in our day-to-day throughout the other 364 days of the year.
Fear can be useful when it helps us to avoid danger, or when it helps us to avoid getting hurt. It is a natural response to danger and can help keep you safe in some situations. But, sometimes your fears get in the way of what’s important for you, or what would be useful for you at that moment.
Fear can become a problem if it doesn’t serve any purpose or becomes too strong for no reason at all!
What can you do each day to help increase your tolerance for scary feelings?
- Feel the fear in your body. Fear is a physical sensation, and so it can be felt in your body. Try to identify where you feel most tense or uncomfortable when you allow yourself to feel afraid. For example, do you notice that your shoulders are hunched up? Or do you notice that there’s a knot in your stomach?
- Connect the feeling with an experience from the past. When we have scary emotions, they often come from past experiences we’ve had that have been associated with those emotions—even if they don’t make sense now! Try to connect this current emotion with an earlier one in order to understand where it came from and why it’s present today.
Make a list of words that describe feelings. Put them into two piles. One pile has words that describe feelings you like, the other pile has words that describe feelings you dislike.
To start, make a list of words that describe feelings. Put them into two piles. One pile has words that describe feelings you like, the other pile has words that describe feelings you dislike.
- Take some time to think about this, and don’t force yourself to choose if you don’t want to.*
- Make sure to include “fear” and “scared” in your list.*
Are there any words on your dislike list, including “fear” or “scared,” that sometimes cause you to avoid situations or activities?
As you think about this question, consider whether there are any words on your dislike list, including “fear” or “scared,” that sometimes cause you to avoid situations or activities.
For example, someone might fear going to the dentist and so they avoid going to the dentist’s office. Or they may fear public speaking and therefore never volunteer to speak in front of a group. When we avoid things because of our fears, it can make us feel frustrated and unhappy because we’re missing out on important parts of life.
If so, pick one of those situations or activities and brainstorm ways to feel more comfortable doing it.
If you feel like your emotions are getting in the way of important activities, relationships, or work, then it’s time to give them some attention. In order to change a habit that is holding back your progress in life, take steps toward making things more comfortable for yourself.
Make a list of things that make you feel uncomfortable when they occur:
- Example: Not knowing what people think about me
If this is a problem for you, there are ways around it. You could ask someone who knows you well what they think about your behavior when these situations come up. You could also talk with other people who have similar feelings and brainstorm ideas on how best to handle their emotions during stressful situations.
Sitting with scary feelings isn’t easy, but it helps build emotional resilience!
Sitting with scary feelings isn’t easy, but it helps build emotional resilience! You can practice sitting with scary feelings by
- thinking of a scary feeling you’ve had in the past
- describing what that feeling was like in your body and mind.
- imagining yourself experiencing that same feeling again
- trying to stay present with the feeling without reacting or trying to change it. This is called “sitting” with your feelings.
It’s okay if you feel scared or nervous when you’re trying something new. It’s a normal part of life! And the more you practice feeling those scary emotions, the more comfortable you’ll become with them. So take some time today to think about what might be making you feel uncomfortable right now, and brainstorm ways that might help make things easier for yourself.