08/16/2012 08:50 am ET Updated Oct 16, 2012

Stop Fear Before It Starts

I recently posted a blog on stopping fear before it starts. For many people, though, this is much easier said than done. And as I pointed out, after 20, 30, 40, or 50-plus years of conditioning your own fear response, it can take some time to undo.

What should you do in the meantime? I have a few suggestions. In this week's blog, we'll discuss the first: proactive coping. Proactive coping is an upfront effort to ward off your fears and potential stressors. So in other words, instead of stopping fear in its tracks, you are stopping it before it even starts. Sounds good, right?

So how do you do that? The first thing you need to figure out is how susceptible you are to the potential stressors in your life. Some of us seem to be stress magnets, whereas others seem to fly through their days without a care in the world (I really envy those people, too). What makes one person more susceptible to stress than others? There are a number of things involved, but it boils down to how healthy you are to begin with. Do you avoid tobacco? Get enough sleep? Eat healthily? The idea is this: The more worn down your body is from the daily grind, the less likely it is you'll be able to deal with potential stressors.

The fix, then, is relatively simple. Do more things on this list to increase your health. According to the research, here are the six things that are the most important:

6 Ways To Stop Fear In Its Tracks

In sum, if you want to become fearless, you need to take care of your health first. Your body won't be able to ward off or cope with potential stressors well if you don't take care of yourself. So go talk to a friend, watch a funny movie, run a mile. Becoming fearless has never been so easy!

Stay tuned for the next installment: "Coping with stressors after they've occurred" or, "I just screwed up. Now what?"

For more by Mary Pritchard, click here.

For more on becoming fearless, click here.