It doesn’t matter what name you use– fear, worry or anxiety it all means the same thing; you’re scared! The important question though is of what? Whether fear blind sides or creeps up it has the power to leave us all frozen in its wake at times and the capacity to completely ruin your day, week, month or even your year!
It’s essential therefore to take the fear out of fear… Learn to see it not as something to be scared of, but something that has a purpose and can be used for your benefit.
Firstly we have to understand why we feel anxious, terrified, panicked or concerned and acknowledge if the fear is in our head, clouding our perspective, or if our feelings are actually towards a real threat in our environment, so we can use this information and act on it.
Then we will no longer be slaves to fear, but masters of its purpose!
Fear – Appropriate Response To An Unsafe Environment
Do you disregard your gut when it tells you there’s something wrong? Perhaps you brush away those uncomfortable sensations assuming you must be wrong, being silly, weak and simply imagining it.
Like all mammals your body is connected from head to toe with a highly sensitive nervous system, which in part is designed to alert you to external danger and internal desires and part of your natural navigation system to help you thrive, as well survive!
Reactions to potential external danger starts in your body…
Your brain is alerted to a ton of sensory information gathered through our physical senses [felt, hearing, smell, taste, sight, balance, movement and spatial awareness].
It then assesses all this information and initiates an emotional response for you to acknowledge and act upon, whether that is to move away, stand your ground or move closer to.
By brushing away this natural response and relying only what you see and hear, you leave yourself weak and susceptible to misunderstanding and corruption by those around you, as well as by your own perception.
No other animal would leave it self so vulnerable by only go with what it sees, or wishes to see…
The Dangers Of Disregarding Your Fear Response
This sensory information is also essential to developing healthy relationships, intimacy, fulfilling physical needs such as hunger or thirst and the choices we make for our growth, well-being, joy and success in life.
Of course most people generally don’t want to eat you, or kill you, but that doesn’t mean that the environments and people we surround ourselves with cannot be harmful to you emotionally and mentally.
By ignoring your instinct you could be placing yourself in environments, or engaging with people because you’re attracted to how they look, but in truth they are unhealthy, unsafe, cold or toxic.
As animals we’re designed to minimalize wasting our energy and only fight when necessary, so moving away from threats is always the first option and to defend the second, if moving away is not possible or inappropriate for the situation.
Useful Tip: If you’re unsure if the danger is real, the best way to tell is that the ‘wrong’ feeling will get more intense.
Ignore it and you will begin to feel dark, heavy, very tired and irritable, because you are not taking action on the information you’re being given!
If generally you feel balanced and OK, but have noticed you’ve become unsure, doubtful, anxious and feel off balance, this is sure sign that you’re having a response to that one area of your life that is toxic, unhealthy or unsafe for you in reality!
NB; If sadly you’re in a real dangerous situation, speak the truth to someone you trust or a professional (don’t hold secrets), do everything you can to get help and get out – you deserve to feel safe!
F.E.A.R. – The Illusion Of Fear
F.E.A.R. stands for False, Evidence, Appearing, Real…
This fear is created in our minds, not as information from our bodies and is based on past painful experiences, which twists our perception of the here and now.
Our judgement of everything around us becomes clouded by fearful thoughts such as;
- I’m not good enough
- I’m too much for other people
- I make mistakes, I’m not perfect, I’m a failure
- People criticise, judge or reject me if I’m different, or stand up for myself
Which all boil down to one core belief based on dependency and survival;
“I am scared, because I don’t feel safe and can’t look after myself”
The world has not altered, we have. We retreat and shrink within away from the object we perceive as a threat – such as people in general [social anxiety]
Our perception has shifted from being our present age, to being mentally and emotionally a child dependent on others to care for us and to keep us safe.
The objects of our perception are then elevated to the status of a domineering idol that we must play out rituals to placate and revere for hope of their mercy and therefore be safe.
Useful Tip: If you engage fully with the feelings of anxiety, feel it and acknowledge it in your body and breathe, it will firstly intensify and then just as quickly dissipate, because it’s only an illusion in your mind – nothing more!
Killing The Illusion, Healing the Past – The 5 Steps To Healing F.E.A.R.
I’m sure you do not want to stay trapped as a victim replaying your painful history, feeling powerless and believing its reality.
F.E.A.R projections are based on real emotional responses to your environment in the past, which you could not act on at the time.They keep reappearing in the present, because your mind and body is trying to put to bed these experiences, so it can heal.
This repetitive pattern is like being stuck on a race circuit, going round and round until you win your race; so here’s how you win…
1. Accept that your fears are a projection of the past.
2. Acknowledge they are real feelings, being played out in the now, so they can be healed.
3. Accept that on some level you felt scared, unsafe and lacking in what you needed in your childhood/past environments
4. Accept that denial, avoidance, self-blame -‘it’s my fault, I must be bad or wrong — not them’ is not working anymore.
5. Alter your behaviour to respond appropriately to the projected fear scenarios, just as you would if the potential threat was real – Move away, stand your ground or move towards ( once safe)
So the next time the fear hits you and you feel yourself shrinking into a victim frozen in time – stop and calm down!
Use these seven simple steps to help you, then take action by doing a different response than you’ve done in the past and if you don’t get it right first time – try, try again…
Your ultimate aim is to get off that race circuit and be free to live in the here and now responding appropriately to life when it happens, instead pf projecting, anticipating, or pre-empting it.
Remember unless someone is really out to eat you, kill you or physically harm you, then you’re not in the danger you think you are and you will not die from making a mistake…
7 Ways To Calm Down, So You Can Take Action & Stop The F.E.A.R Pattern
1. Accept Reality: Voice out loud at least 3 times (it can be in a quiet voice – do not do it in your head!) you age and date of birth – for example I would say; “I am 38 years old and I was born…”
2. Let Go: Take at least 6 deep breaths – never under estimate the power of real deep breathing, it calms your whole nervous system.
How to deep breathing correctly – Deep breaths must be with the aim to slowly inhale as much air as you can in through your nose and expand your chest, wide and upwards. Then exhale slowly as much air as you can through a soft mouth, as though you were trying to blow a huge pile of dead leaves in front of you.
3. Cool Down – If you can head to the bathroom and rinse your wrists gently under cold water. When we’re scared our skin gets hotter because our nervous system is over stimulated and blood rushes to the surface. You can combine points 1 and 2 with this if you have a mirror, as it is good to see your face whilst saying your age.
4. Get Grounded: Slip your shoes and socks off and get barefooted feel your feet on the ground, scrunch your toes up and stretch them out. Focus your mind on the sensations in your feet and how they feel in contact with the floor and how the ground feels on your skin – aim; to get out of your mind, into your body and as far away from your head as possible
5. Stretch: All fear is tension and needs to be released, so we need to stretch it out just like a dog or cat. Bottle it up inside and all that adrenaline will stay in your body making you more alert. So stretch out your feet, hands, arms, legs and your neck and your back if you can, as you breathe deeply and gently.
6. Walk: Fear is linked to your animal flight response and so your body wants you to move; walk or run to get away of the perceived threat. So don’t ignore it move, take some space and if you can get some fresh air to breath. [This is essential if you get panicky in bed – get up and stand on your bare feet]
7. Connect: Make eye contact, smile or even physically touch someone you trust – a hug is ideal, but this may not always be possible, so touching a shoulder will suffice. It’s most important to reconnect with another human being ideally or with a pet and recognise you are not alone and see yourself reflected in reality and not in the fear perceptions in your head.
Moving away is always the easiest manoeuvre to protect yourself, but sometimes it’s not the appropriate response for your growth or the situation. Sometimes we are expected to stand our ground and stand up for ourselves; tall and brave, defending your beliefs, choices, thoughts and right to be here and that can be as simple as saying no and really meaning it!
Every time we respond appropriately to our emotional and instinctual responses to and deal with situations as they happen we become stronger and confident, no longer hindered by the past.
Nature did not give you this gift for nothing…
So take charge of your fear, don’t see it as the enemy, but accept it as a piece of vital information that makes you stronger and can guide your actions and choices towards your best interests!
About the Author
Jo Warwick is a therapist, energy healer, & creator of www.rediscoverthemagic.com She works with women to feel safe, strong, confident, look great and trust in love, relationships and life once more. Visit to download your free copy of the “Calm, Confident & Looking Great In Just 10 Days” self-help programme. She is also a guest contributor to The Mind Unleashed
Featured image: SilverWoodHypno
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