The Antidote to Poisonous Fear in 14 Easy Steps
Fear is complex.
We all face it at some point in our lives. At first you may think Fear has arisen in the present moment to protect you. Indeed we are born with a mechanism for Fear to keep us safe when real harm threatens.
Young children are relatively free of Fear until an adult warns them of potential harm OR they meet harm face to face. Burning little fingers on a hot oven door, cutting themselves on a knife or pair of scissors, or having a close call when carelessly crossing a busy street are good examples of experiences that teach healthy fear and respect for the idea that there are dangers to consider.
On the other hand, Fear can appear when no imminent danger exists. In part this is due to a human tendency toward negativity bias, a term referring to how we too often catastrophize before weighing ALL the facts, taking careful consideration of multiple points of view, or determining if the perceived danger is any greater than the dangers humanity has always faced. Keep in mind that “facts,” as positioned in the news, are often viewpoints supported by their advertisers.
We are helped along in our Fears by media
advertising and “the news” who bombard us with dangers that might happen, could happen, or surely will happen if we don’t keep our Fear detecting apparatus on high alert. Insidious media channels brainwash the unwary into fearing our friends, family, neighbors, and strangers for the sole reason of differing opinions, skin color, social status, religious and political belief.
Fear is a trickster! Fear misleads you to doubt yourself when you might otherwise make easeful decisions. Fear plagues your mind with stories that bear no truth. Fear tells you that more is better even when you have more than enough. Fear stops creativity in its tracks and finds you spinning your wheels as you agonize over solutions to everyday problems.
Fear, if it lives within you for too long, shortens your life.
Fear drags you through the dirt of “I’m not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, spiritual enough, busy enough. Fear leaves you burned out, wiped out, panting for breath, estranged from yourself and others, depressed and unable to give your mind, body, and heart the care needed.
If Fear is the monkey on your back here are a few suggestions for flicking that critter away (no offense to monkeys!):
- When Fear stalks you, turn off the news and social media. Get outside, get some exercise, learn yoga, read a book, or pursue a hobby instead.
- If you must check world and local news on occasion, make sure to visit a variety of media other than mainstream. You may be surprised what you learn.
- As soon as you feel Fear begin to slither into your mind and gut, do not try to chase it away. Fear has messages for you! Spend some quality time with it.
- Ask yourself, “Is this thing I am afraid of a true threat? Is the Fear mine? If not mine, who was the person who struck this mark of terror into my consciousness?” If you determine that the Fear is unwarranted and does not belong in your set of world perspectives, seek therapy to understand why the fear, pinned on you by others, remains to fuel your behavior.
- Think of unhealthy Fear as an entity you can talk to. Sit Fear down in a chair and tell it you have had enough and you want it to go. The unhealthy Fears you hold onto may have helped you as a child or young adult, but they are hurting you now.
- Never make decisions or choices based on fear. Make your determination with a clear mind and heart that this is the right thing for you.
- Set aside a small corner of your home that is yours alone. Place mementos and photos that speak to who you are and who you wish to be. Take time each day to go there to contemplate not only your fears, but also your joys, dreams, and milestones.
- Breathe deep into your torso, down through your abdomen, and down into your legs and toes. Repeat.
- Jot down everything you are grateful for.
- Read aloud your gratitude list upon rising in the morning and before going to bed.
- Post your gratitude list in several predominant places around your home — on the bathroom mirror, on the fridge door, beside your desk. Place lists in unexpected places so there is no chance of forgetting what life is providing for you.
- Meditate on all you are grateful for in your life at present to sync your mind and heart, an aid to turning your mind toward what is good rather than what you fear. HeartMath meditation works well: https://youtu.be/KZmVP9tcqfE
- Talk to a friend you trust.
- Pray. Whether you pray to God, angels, your ancestors, or simply have a conversation with your higher self, immerse yourself in quiet time. Ask how to manage and reduce Fear. Answers will come.
Heart Seeds© 2020 by Robin Reichert
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