No matter where you look, there’s fear, isn’t it!! Whether you watch the news or just spend some time checking your social media, I’m sure you’re also seeing a lot of fear, nervousness and uncertainty.
Is fear normal? From a biology perspective, It’s a primitive emotion, to keep us safe. So, it’s absolutely normal.
But have you fully considered the consequences of living in fear? Have you also noticed that when you stay in fear for too long, it actually reinforces it which means that you become fearful. There’s a level of unease that starts to develop isn’t there?
Research has shown that when we live in chronic fear, it can produce a number of health problems such as:
- A weakened immune system
- Cardiovascular damage
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Memory problems
- Reduced brain reactivity
- Mental health problems
But herein lies the paradox. Giving in to your feelings reinforces them, but ignoring them just makes them come back.
So how do you find balance between feeling your emotions and keeping your level of positivity up? How do you honor what you’re feeling but not give in fully?
As you read this, my invitation is to start practicing these steps to overcome fear.
- Identify what you’re feeling right now. Name the emotions.
- Ask yourself if you’ve felt those feelings before. Chances are you have felt those feelings before when you have dealt with another crisis. This is how the brain operates. When we face a situation that the brain considers as something to be feared, it goes into fight or flight response mode.
- Ask yourself where in your body you are feeling them. Once you can identify the emotion, identify where you actually feel it in your body.
- Think about what you would like to experience instead. How do you really want to feel? Focus on the positive feeling.
- Take the palm of your right hand and put it where you’re feeling the sensations in your body. Take long deep breaths into that part, breathe out the discomfort.
- Bring in the image of what you’d like to experience into your mind’s eye and focus on that.
Come back to these steps whenever you feel yourself freaking out.
Remember, it’s normal to feel fear. It’s our body’s way of telling us that there is something unsafe and to be cautious. But there are many things that are beyond our control, like the pandemic for instance.
You may or may have already realized that we can’t control external circumstances. The only thing we can control is our reactions, isn’t it !!
With this knowledge in your forefront, come back to these steps now when you are struggling.