- Mental Health
7 Simple Steps to Fix Your Fear
The Hideous Face of Fear
What is fear? Fear can manifest in many different ways. It may sound funny, but I’m afraid to write about fear. It’s as if fear is actually “Fear,” this little mean-looking, wrinkly creature that lives deep inside of me. Imagine “Slimer” from Ghost-Busters, but pink and wrinkly instead of green and slimy. This creature doesn’t want me to write about fear because it is afraid, too. He’s afraid that I’ll kill him by becoming aware of his insidious ways.
I think we all have some version of this creature inside of us. Yours probably doesn’t look the same as mine. It might be helpful for you to take a moment and think about what your Fear might look like. Is it purple and orange with fangs and a moustache? Does it wear a disguise, like a trench coat and a top hat? For some of you it may resemble someone from your past who hurt you in some way.
It may also be helpful to name your Fear. You may continue to call him or her “Fear,” but giving it a different name serves to take even more of its power away. If you call it “Wendell,” for example, it may not seem as frightening. In renaming Fear, you are asserting control over your own internal world. You are in charge.
Once you’ve put a name and a face to your fear, you’ve already gained considerable power. Your fear is no longer that indefinable shadow figure lurking in the corners of your mind. Now that it’s tangible, you can begin to work with it. Notice that I did not say work against it. This is key.
When I say that it is possible to work with your fear, I do not mean that you should join forces with it and begin to scare yourself. I mean that you should work with it’s energy. This is an important distinction. The principle is that of the martial art Judo: using your opponent’s energy against him. As he moves toward you, you step to the side and trip him. His own force will carry him forward onto his face.
When working with your Fear, the same idea can be applied.
Do Not Try This at Home
"Sometimes when I get nervous..."
Fear and Anxiety: Kissing Cousins
Anxiety and fear overlap quite a bit. Fear is an emotion. Anxiety is an emotion as well, but it has an addeded physical component. Maybe your stomach is gurgling or your muscles are aching. Your neck is tense or you have a headache. All these symptoms can come from anxiety, and they can be experienced in a range from uncomfortable to debilitating.
The good news is that the symptoms of anxiety are simply misdirected energy. Essentially, they’re your body using your own energy against itself. When you become conscious of your Fear, when you give it a face and a name, you take away its power. The magical part is that you still have all this wonderful energy to work with.
You can now do positive things with the same energy that was causing you pain!
I Feel My Fear Most Right Now in My...
7 Simple Steps Toward Taking Control of Your Fear
I’m not saying this is the easiest process since toasting toast, but here are some simple steps you can follow in order to take control of you fear:
- Name your fear.
- See it’s face. Really picture it.
- Where is he/she in your body? He/she may move to different spots at different times.
- Accept its presence: “I know that you are there, Fear, and I accept that you are there.”
- Put it in it’s place: “I know that you are just energy, and you will pass through me soon enough. In the meantime I will be using your energy to do positive things for myself.”
- Do something for yourself! Go for a run. Take a soothing bath. Spend time with your family. Spend time away from your family. Read the newspaper. Eat something delicious.
- Tell Fear you will be making the decisions from now on. He’s welcome to stay around, but you’ll be using all of his energy to do all of the fun things you want to do.
Okay, I’ve given you some tools. Now go out and use them!
The Muppet Babies turn fear into imagination. Go figure.
- Best-Selling Author Eckhart Tolle: Excerpt on Fear
- Anxiety and Panic Disorders Center: Panic Attacks, Phobias, and Treatments for Anxiety Disorders
Panic and anxiety disorders affect an estimated 2.4 million Americans. Panic attacks are twice as common in women as in men. Find panic disorder and anxiety attack information including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and effective treatments.
- Fear and phobia
Description of exaggerated fear , anxiety and related problems as one of the harmful, negative emotions.
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