How to overcome fear of fainting

This article is about overcoming an irrational fear of fainting. If you regularly feel light-headed, dizzy, or faint unexpectedly, please seek medical advice.

Dana wrote…

“Hello, about 2 years ago I pierced my finger with a staple while opening a package and fainted at home. Ever since then I have had a chronic fear of fainting again.

It’s whenever I go out in public the consistent thoughts of ‘I hope I don’t pass out’ just play through my head like a tape recorder and eventually I just panic and have to go sit down to calm down, and get a grip on reality that it’s not real and that I physically have no reason whatsoever that I would pass out.

I truly believe that I won’t pass out and the thoughts are irrational and also its not really ME thinking this stuff but my mind running wild and its almost like a habit to think this way. I try to live in the present moment but I just feel sometimes that its so hard to break from these irrational thoughts and control my mind.

What would you suggest I do to finally take control of this thought and eliminate it for good? Thank you so much!!!”

© Geeta Nambiar

This is a great case of our minds being dysfunctional — not serving our best interests. I can relate to your problem, I remember I was very “mental” back in school…

I used to run through difficult/embarrassing scenarios in my mind, and of course that attention made the problem worse…

Naturally, I assumed I needed to THINK about the problem in order to get rid of it and solve it (BIG mistake!) For example, I remember going through a spell where I kept thinking “I hope I don’t blush. It’ll be terrible if I blush, everyone will look at me and that will be really embarrassing”…

And then of course I would imagine how embarrassed and awkward I would feel if I blushed, and guess what… I would blush… How’s that for a self-fulfilling prophecy? :-) And of course, but for the thought, and then the attention to the thought, it would never have happened.

Of course, what I should have done is NOT given that thought my attention. Equally, to overcome your fear of fainting, you want to calmly NOT give your attention to the thought “I hope I don’t pass out”. What you want is calm distraction. However, stressing about NOT thinking the thought won’t do… that’s just another form of attention to it.

In the same vein, the frustration you feel when the thought pops up is counter-productive. That trains your brain that this is important, that this is something that needs your attention, a problem that needs resolving. This is TOTALLY understandable of course, we’re trained to put attention on perceived problems.

But what you want is the opposite — you want a calm decision to simply not engage with the thought, to calmly distract onto something else right away…

And that Dana, is how you overcome fear of fainting :-)

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8 thoughts on “How to overcome fear of fainting

  1. Hello, nice thoughts. Unfortunately, the reason behind the fear is also the speculation of what will happen when one feels like he is going to faint…what will he do? and what will happen afterwards?
    will he stay dizzy or very sluggish? will it happen again? when such minds do not have the solution for the constant worrying, distractions are not helpful, at least im my case. The constant fear of being very tired and feeling like fainting does not go out of my mind. My life turns around this and this only…
    What do you advise?

    Like

    1. Hi,

      If you’re fearing fainting because you feel very tired, this article is not for you. In that case, the fear of fainting is rational, it has a clear cause. If this is your situation, it’s important to correct all 6 lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your tiredness:

      https://happy.guide/2009/12/05/big-stuff

      If your fear of fainting is purely psychological ie. if you feel physically fine and it’s just an irrational fear, then distraction/ignoring is the solution, by definition, because thinking about it IS the problem.

      Best wishes,
      James

      Like

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