Getting Your Life Back on Track by Breaking Free from Your Worries, Cares and Anxieties
Let’s take a closer look at the subject of fear today because it’s one of the strongest emotions we experience.
If you’ve ever experienced the raw, jagged edge of stomach-churning fear, you’ll know exactly how disabling it can be. It’s like an emotional tsunami that can be so overwhelming that it effectively paralyses you and takes away all of your energy and initiative. And fear is one of the most commonly-felt emotions that shows up in our lives on a daily basis. It’s so pervasive that some would say it’s becomes the main driving force in people’s lives. Yet, we pay a very high price for this primitive reaction. It costs us dearly in terms of our health, our wellbeing, our creativity, our happiness and our success. So, if you really want to improve the quality of your life, then it’s time to free yourself from the bonds of fear.
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. – Bertrand Russell
Perhaps we should start by asking ourselves where all this fear comes from. A brief glance at any typical news channel will instantly confirm that the world appears to be a very scary place. But that’s largely due to the way that news items are specifically chosen and highlighted in order to grab our attention. And in a fiercely competitive world, social media cynically resort to sensational headlines to lure us into their domains. Fear triggers our primitive survival instinct. We always want to know more about any possible threat or danger. We’re hard-wired to respond to any potential problem. So, we instantly gravitate towards the danger signals that are triggered by fear-mongering headlines or images. It’s amazing how easily we can be persuaded that the world is on the edge of destruction. Every single day.
But it’s incredibly helpful to remember that fear is a massively distorting influence in the way we see ourselves and the world around us.
The more we focus on the fearful aspects of life, whether they’re real or imaginary, the more we limit our perspective. Because fear narrows our field of view. One of the classic symptoms of fear is – tunnel vision. So, we’re less likely to see and understand the bigger picture when our attention is focused on whatever potential threat has just grabbed our attention.
Fear is only as deep as the mind allows. – Japanese Proverb
So, how can we combat this bizarre fixation with all things dangerous, frightening and disabling?
Let’s start with the all-pervasive news on social media. It can be very helpful to bear in mind that all the news you pick up has already been filtered and processed. It represents the views of the individuals who wrote the story. The views may be helpful and informative, reflecting as near as possible the underlying facts of the story, but news articles are referred to as stories for a good reason. You can check your connection to the story by checking your emotional reaction. Learning to remain calm and completely detached from the stories is a wonderful discipline to cultivate. You’ll find that your tendency to feel anxious in the face of scary stories is dramatically reduced. You’ll feel more centred and calm and more in control of how you feel and that’s a much better way of responding to the torrent of disasters that fill up the news channels.
Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our bodies also react very strongly to the fear instinct. That’s why it’s so helpful to relax your shoulders, unclench your jaw muscles and take a couple of deeper breaths. These simple techniques tap into our ancient fear response mechanism and turn it down to where it’s supposed to be. Immediately. In fact, it’s almost impossible to feel afraid when your shoulders are relaxed and you’re breathing more slowly and deeply. It’s a perfectly effective way to tame your fear response and restore order to your thoughts and feelings.
We also need to turn our attention to brighter and more positive images. This is where a personal vision board can work wonders. It functions as a simple collage of carefully-chosen images that you create for yourself as a way to reflect the completion of your goals and dreams. It can act as a powerful counterweight to all the negativity that invades your senses on social media. By focusing your emotional energy on your carefully-chosen images and imagining that you’re already experiencing the success that’s associated with the pictures, you can tune your emotional wavelength to the higher frequency realm of personal success and fulfilment.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.– Jack Canfield
Fear is evolution’s emergency response to danger. It’s a potent force that can kick-start the adrenaline flow to help us run away or stand and fight. But how often do we deploy the fight or flight response during the course of a normal day? The reality is that we’re using it almost all the time. It’s only when you take a step back and look at people’s posture that you realise how stressed everyone is. And they’re feeling stressed – just like you – all the time. Twenty-four seven.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Facing our fears and exposing them to the laser light of reason – or the irresistible force of deliberate action – offers a more effective approach to neutralising the old habits of fear and stress. Turning our reasoning powers onto our fears and anxieties can instantly disarm them. Fear is, after all, a primitive, instinctive reaction. The higher brain functions of logic and clear thinking are directly connected to the part of the brain that generates the stress response and, when we deploy our reasoning powers, the brain shifts from stress to creativity. And that shift can happen in moments.
Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them, they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight. – Orison Swett Marden
Learning to face your fears and anxieties can be deeply empowering. It can be a source of profound growth and produce exhilarating feelings of personal liberation. It can also mark an evolutionary step forwards in your personal development. Fear can exert an extraordinarily powerful grip on our minds as well as our bodies. But when we learn to neutralise this archaic reaction, we learn how to free ourselves from its chains and that’s when we begin to see the world from a much more positive perspective. We’re more likely to notice opportunities. We’re more likely to respond to problems with confidence and creativity. We recognise feelings of motivation that encourage us to pursue our goals with vigour and determination. These are some of the natural consequences of freeing ourselves from old and limiting habits – and they arise naturally when we step beyond the narrow confines of our fears.
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale Carnegie