You see the world which you have made, but you do not see yourself at the image-maker. You cannot be saved from the world but you can escape from its cause – A Course in Miracles.
I was talking to my friend, Karen, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and she asked if I could write a post on Fear, and I said, “Of course.”
My definition of fear:
Fear is the emotion that arises with the thought of losing something. It could be losing face, i.e., getting embarrassed in front of others, losing our loved ones, losing our possessions, losing a job, losing peace of mind, losing dynamics in a relationship, losing money, etc.
What creates fear?
- One is the anticipation of seeing or experiencing undesirable things, events or undesirable interactions with people.
- Dwelling on something that may result in undesirable feelings like anger, sadness or depression.
- Brining past experiences that resulted in undesirable feelings like mentioned in # 2, to a current situation and assessing presence in the light of the past.
This undesirability brings discomfort, physical and emotional pain and perceived danger that we want to avoid at all costs.
Fear is a form of Ego:
I don’t know what psychologist say but I have concluded that ego expresses itself in several ways. Most commonly recognized forms are:
Another form of ego, I believe, is fear. A lot of emotional illnesses are due to fear. Fear is also the result of attachment to things, places and people. When fear overwhelms our body, we tense our muscles without realizing and then over time we feel tired all the time and want to sleep. This tiredness, ultimately, can result in depression and anxiety.
Anxiety arises due to the fear about what will happen to us or we have wasted our life. Depression ensues when we think no one cares about us so we feel isolated and build a wall of silence around us. Many a times instead of facing our fear we want to take a pill that numbs our senses in order to avoid facing our fears. But the only way out is by recognizing our fears and letting them go.
Effect of fear on our body:
Types of Fears:
There are two types of fear:
Obvious fear: This fear is very obvious because it is caused by tangible things such as fear of losing a:
- Loved one
- Control over other people, ie, people no longer are afraid of us or to our shouting and badgering. People not listening to us – Though this is semi-tangible.
Subtle fear: Subtle fear is indirect fear. We may not, or rather we are not aware that what we are going through is fear because our thoughts are redirected elsewhere. We project our feelings towards us or onto other people instead of recognizing that our feelings are the result of fear. Some of the projections are given in the table below.
|Overwhelming Thoughts||Underlying fear of||Resultant feelings of||Physical toll on body|
|I’m not good enough – putting oneself down||Being alone||Insecurity||Feeling tired and sleepy all the time|
|People do not like me – projecting our fear onto others||Rejection||Social anxiety – people are mean||Constricted muscles, headache, heavy shoulders|
|I’ve not done anything today or this week||Not good enough||Feeling guilty||Muscle tightness around the girth|
|I’ve to do so much work compared to others||Injustice||Victimhood, anger||Feeling tired and sleepy all the time|
|People don’t appreciate me, no matter how much work I do for them||Being judged by others||Victimhood||Heavy body and comfort eating|
|People take advantage of me||Being treated unjustly||Powerlessness||Allergies and head feels swollen|
|People are judging me||Rejection||Bad||Tense facial muscles, especially jaw muscles|
|I have to constantly improve myself||Being inadequate||Self-sabotage, no self appreciation||Tired and heavy body|
|I don’t want to change||Losing control, having to change||Powerlessness, staying stuck||Fast palpitation and mood swings|
|I can’t decide because I don’t want to face the results of my fear||Being hurt, pain||Low self esteem||Tiredness and dragging oneself through the day|
|Dwelling in the past – my family didn’t love me||Injustice||Victimhood||Heavy heart, sleepy with lack of energy|
How does fear affect our daily routine?
- Forgetting things that we have to do.
- Feeling a big head, like there is fog.
- No energy left.
Tools to deal with fear:
We always have a choice! Rather than giving into fear and resultant tiredness, depression and anxiety do the following:
- STOP talking and thinking about it
- Remember no one makes us feel the way we feel
- Give gratitude for what we have
- Go for a walk
- Read a self-help book
- Do refelexology once a week. It slows the mind chatter
- Have a cup of coffee
- Affirmation and positive self-talk
- Meditate, especially to raise your vibration
How to tackle fear when it attacks:
- Stay in the present moment. Focus on breathing.
Acknowledge the feelings, be it pain, muscle tightness or any other kind of discomfort, in your body. Stay with those feelings instead of resisting them. Think what happened during the day and when did the feelings arise. Think if there is a co-relation between what happened and the feelings.
2. Recognize the triggering point and laugh and play with it by saying: I caught you, or you are it. Put it in a pink bubble and release.
3. Face the fear. A while back I had to attend a dinner that was hosted to welcome new employees and I was one of them. I always love attending functions but the problem was that I had to drive in snow and in single digit temperature – Fahrenheit.
I was extremely stressed out about driving because I had never driven in snow. During the drive my mouth was dried, I was swallowing after every few minutes in order to moisten my mouth, my heart was beating fast and I even had cold sweats. But I thought I will go no matter what. Later I realized that it was fear of having an accident. I never went through those feelings even when driving in worse conditions.
If or when everything else fails then follow this motto: