Fear: Friend or Foe

Fear is part of human nature. It is the response to a frightening situation be it physical, emotional or psychological. Intense and prolonged fear of certain objects, places or situations can result in the development of mental disorders like Anxiety Disorders.

It is normal for example to be apprehensive about a tough exam that is coming up. That way, you may be motivated to work hard. Fear can help you avoid a dangerous situation like a speeding vehicle. However, excessive fear can be detrimental to your life. For example, you may experience symptoms like shaky hands, sweating, stomachache, heart palpitations and loss of concentration every time you enter an exam room to the extent that you fail to write anything. This can get in the way of your education. In such cases, I would recommend you to seek professional help.

I would like to share some tips that have worked for me when it comes to exams. I have found that PREPARATION always sets my heart at ease. I try to put in the hours to study, practice and reflect on the different topics that I have covered during the semester. If I don’t understand something, I ask my lecturer or classmates. I also have a very detailed timetable to manage my time; I include moments of resting and relaxing. I allocate more study hours towards subjects that are challenging. So far, it has worked for me. I also try to steer away from procrastination because it brings pressure the closer we get to the exam day. Whenever I think of procrastinating, I ask myself “Is it worth it?”. That always works in setting my mind back on track. Preparation brings in a sense of confidence. To that, I add positive self-affirmations like “I
am a winner and I will ace this exam!”.

After all is said and done, you will realize that fear can be either a friend or foe depending on how you respond to it. If you feel that fear is disrupting your life, you should talk to someone about it; talk to your friends, parents or teachers. You can also talk to a mental health professional. Please, always remember that you are not alone. There are people who can help and support you.

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