Today, I’ll tell you a story about fear. As you could notice, a wave of fear has fallen on the Earth and put a veil of worry over many of us and our small universes. There are thousands of specialists encouraging people not to fear, not to fall in the trap of excessively worrying, not to be anxious about what is happening, not to watch or listen news about it. “Think positive, some of them they say!”. Behind those encouragements, rarely you can find a good tip or advice on how to get rid of the fear by yourself. It feels to me that many of those exhortations, hide a product or a service you must buy so you can get to what they say to do or not.
For me, was hard to make fear a conscious choice. When this has started, I
experienced a feeling of worry. Honestly, all the good “advises” I read out there, I perceived them as a form of denial or invalidation of my feelings.
“How not to feel the fear if I feel it?” It is there. I feel it. I know it. Is rooted in my mind. Is telling me that I want to survive, and my mind is continually searching for options to do so.
When trying to think positive, to watch only comedies and thankful messages, I only show to my feelings a form of rejection. I postpone the moment when they will show up again, more forceful.
I agree we should fear not. But the key question is HOW? How can you really not fear? And please, be truthful to yourself. Are you really not afraid, or just play hide and seek with your own feelings?
So, let me share 6 of my strategies to befriend my fear:
Strategy 1: acknowledge it is there. To yourself. Don’t
have to post it on social media. This simple thinking “I am a bit
afraid”, might be the biggest step you take in dealing with fear. This
means accepting it: seeing it, hearing it, feeling it. “I see you. I know
you are there might actually make a big difference”. Is very important to
limit the time spent in this type of feeling, so after you say these words, you
may try to lift our eyes up to the sky, or the ceiling, and spend some good
seconds like this.
Strategy 2: acknowledge that fear is there to help. As one of NLP principles says, every behavior is triggered by a positive intention. This principle was part of the beliefs system of Virginia Satir. It means ” that whatever a person does, they are in fact attempting to fulfill some positive intention (of which they may not be aware)“. In your case, fear is there to keep you alive. It wants you to live and be healthy. So, this is what you need to focus on – this positive intention. You want too to be healthy and stay alive. Does it mean you have an ally ?? Probably yes! You can choose to tell it: “Hey fear, I see you, I hear you, I feel you and I know you want me to be healthy. I want that too.” Again, when it feels too intense, you can lift your eyes up and spend some time like this.
Strategy 3: give fear a name. It can be “fear” or something else… This way you dissociate of it. It is no longer part of who you are. It will become…. just another part that is not yours or inside of you.
Strategy 4: breathe. Breathing always helps. Focus on the flow of the air in and out. Few times. If you can, move, dance, workout, it will be even better. You can move with your fear, or try to see its rhythm. You may observe, how the breaths or moves of the fear are: are they ample, light, relaxing moves or short, fast contracting ones? Alternate relaxing breaths or
moves with the ones of the fear and just observe how you perceive that flow of relaxation-fear-relaxation. When you feel that you are going too deep in the fear energy, re-focus your attention to the breath and observe how the air flows in and out, in and out….
Strategy 5: focus on what is happening now in our body. You can do this by scanning our body from the feet toes to the head observing what you see, hearing what you hear, feeling what you feel. Observe where tension is, and where you feel relaxed.
Strategy 6: meditate, relax, do art. It always helps as it keeps you in the present moment.
Few resources I found and are free:
- Deepak Chopra and Oprah are offering free meditation about hope.
- Music is always relaxing. It is preferably to listen instrumental sounds. My favorite is Nocturnes by Chopin. When I listen, I imagine myself in a big opera 100+years ago, listening that music. Instant healing of the soul, peace of the mind and goosebumps!
- Draw your emotions, paint mandalas, write, collage or model. An option is to create beads jewelry, sewing or any other activity that require your complete attention and presence.
Strategy 7: talk to a specialist. This helps a lot, especially for the people who don’t have too much experience in dealing with themselves and their emotions. There are a lot of people willing to help out there. Look for one!
All of these, help me to stay anchored in present and fear less or not at
all. I am not denying what I feel, not hiding in activities like: watching movies, compulsively reading positive messages, books or abandoning myself in vices. I stay, I face, I acknowledge, I reflect, I say thank you and move on. I do some of these activities several times a day, or not at all – depends on the day. But I choose to do something every time the feeling appears. This way, I show to myself that I am here when I need it. If I could, you may as well! It’s worth a shot.