What are you afraid of? What makes your hair stand on end?
FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Research shows that 85% of what we worry about never happens. That means only 15% of what we worry about will actually take place.
I don't know about you, but that makes me want to tackle what I am wasting my time worrying about.
When we feel a threat of some kind and our brain triggers a response. One part of our brain goes into immediate action; excreting stress hormones to either fight, flight or freeze. This is all emotion and happens automatically. It's at this time we feel all the stress in various parts of our bodies.
Other parts of our brain interpret whether the threat is real or false; this is higher level thinking and this is the area of our brain that assures our emotions that we are okay. This is where we want to spend our time.
If you find yourself living in fear, there are a few strategies to get our brain to cooperate.
One strategy is to contrast. Looking at your situation and comparing it to something else; for example, you can compare past success in overcoming a stressful situation to your current fear. Or you can think to yourself: this is not that bad; this problem could be worse; it could be (you fill in the blank). This helps us look at things logically.
Another strategy is to reframe your situation. When we reframe our situation, we look at things from different perspectives and intentionally shift our thinking (the opposite of this is ruminating, which we will discuss tomorrow).
When we reframe we may say things like, "what opportunities am I missing here?" "what's the funny part of this situation?" "how can this situation help me grow?"
Another strategy is to question yourself. "What's the worst thing that can happen?" "If the worst thing happens how will I get through it?" "Will this matter in my life, five years from now?"
One more thing you can consider: meditating on what is true.
Remember FEAR is false evidence appearing real. You do not need to live in fear. You have a choice.
What are some strategies you have employed while dealing with fear?