August 4, 2015 at 2:18 am #81184EvelynParticipant
Is there anyone out there with the constant worry of every aspect of your own life? To live is to fear. I fear everything. I’m afarid of falling in love, I’m afraid of letting anyone in my life. I’m afarid I might get very ill someday, I’m afarid of loosing everyone I love around me, friends, family, etc. I’m afarid of being happy. I’m afarid of being unhappy. I’m afarid someone will hurt be bad. I’m afraid to make misstakes, I’m afraid something awful is just waiting to happen me. I’m afarid of people. I’m afraid of living. I’m actually afraid of everything that involves around living. Which in a way has made be not live to the fullest. I want to live, I want to not let fear interfere in every aspect of my life, because it just makes you so frikking pharalyzed.
Is there anyone out there with the same thoughts and feelings?August 4, 2015 at 7:14 am #81195Bethany RosselitParticipant
Fear is your subconscious mind’s way of keeping you safe. Your mind’s job is to scan for possible threats and sound an alert if one is detected. You’ve probably heard this “alert” referred to as the fight-or-flight response. This response prepares a person to face the perceived threat, by increasing heart rate and breathing, and causing their thinking and awareness to become very focused (but also very limited, as finding and dealing with the perceived threat is all they are able to do).
The issue is that this response spirals. When a person is in fight-or-flight, their mind goes into overdrive, scanning for more threats. Soon the person experiences what you have described–a life that is nothing but fear.
So what is the way out of this spiral? I will share with you some of the steps that I help my clients to go through:
1. Calm your physiological reaction. When you notice the spiral, the first thing you need to do is calm down. Do a breathing exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer, or even take a walk. I strongly recommend (and use) a specific breathing technique and yoga nidra.
2. Make sure your basic needs are met. Hunger, thirst, and lack of sleep are all direct threats to survival, and they will worsen the fight-or-flight response, putting your mind on high alert. Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet, and even research diets to help with anxiety. Drink lots of water, and get at least 8 hours of sleep. These things need to become non-negotiable.
3. Understand what is causing the alert. The threats your mind is detecting are based on PERCEIVED threats. It is a matter of perception. Figure out what it is that your mind thinks is the problem. Choose one fear and really look at it. For example, why are you afraid of letting anyone into your life? What are you afraid will happen? Why are you afraid of this? What is your answer based on? What evidence do you have that it should be true? And why?
4. Find and redefine the underlying assumption. Look at your answers to the questions above. What is it that your mind is assuming? Are there other possibilities? For example, if I were assuming that people will stab me in the back, and my “evidence” was that every friend I have had talked behind my back, shunned me from the group, etc…then I could look at other explanations. It is possible that I am drawn to people who are in fear, and my inability to establish boundaries led to them having these behaviors.
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Overcoming fear takes time. Redefining can take years, but you will notice that you are experiencing less fear each time you do it.August 4, 2015 at 8:37 am #81203anitaParticipant
Adding/ expanding on Bethany’s perfect answer, as perfect and thorough an answer as I can imagine, is this:
“Every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.” That is some fear is unavoidable. It is part of living in this temporary body and in this world. I have been one of the most fearful people on the planet and am in the healing process. It is a process. Being in the process I am making this point: expecting to be fear-free is unrealistic and will keep your fear greater than it can be, it is counter-productive, will not work. Just as it is not realistic to ignore that we will all die, it is not realistic to expect to eliminate fear and live fear free. That very challenge of living with fear is very personal, every one of us, individually, has to find a way to live with fear.
anitaAugust 5, 2015 at 4:51 am #81256EvelynParticipant
Dear Anita & Bethany,
Wow thank both for your replies first of all and thank you for the great advice as well. I don’t think I actually looked at it from that angle, always thought I should fight to be fear-free instead of accepting fear as a part of life. I think if I can let myself be one with fear instead of fearing fear perhaps I can find it easier to meet all the things that I fear in life. I think I’ve always thought I could keep myself safe if I eliminated all the things I fear, instead I have just made the fears bigger. This also lies in my head, because my thoughts are my biggest distractions in life. I sometimes create things that haven’t even occurred or will occur. I create a event in my head and almost positive of the outcome. But that’s just it, life has no guaranteed outcome and those who can accept this and just role with life as it comes at you, they are the happy ones.
Again, thank you both so much for your replies!