Reading time: 4 minutes
Wouldn’t you like to be someone with the tools that help you with mastering your fears and anxiety more easily?
And would you say yes to having a short guide to mastering them and put you back in the driver’s seat of life?
A life where they no longer can bring you to your knees. Or worse, paralyze and stop you in your tracks.
Like a snake that appears to hypnotize its victim, fear can hold us in its grip getting in the way of the dreams we have for a happier, healthier more prosperous future.
Yet truth be told the victims of these snakes aren’t really hypnotized, as folklore would have us believe, the more scientific explanation is that they’re paralyzed by fear.
Just as we can be, with our brains caught up in anxiety and fear creating a cycle of uncertainty, and ‘what if’ scenarios that we feel powerless to overcome.
But the ‘what if’ might not even happen, because ‘what if’ your crystal ball is on the blink?
Whether we’re feeling fear or anxiety, or both, they are signals to alert us to be on the ready for danger.
And when I speak of anxiety, I’m definitely not talking about the level of anxiety of those with anxiety disorders that get worse over time.
Here I mean the type of anxieties that are normal reactions to our everyday stresses.
And let’s face it fear or general anxiety actually just don’t feel good.
So is there a solution? Here’s my short guide to mastering fear and anxiety, which is far from perfect, but can work pretty well if you work it!
Face it and fix it!
You need to be afraid to stop being afraid. Seriously.
You need to take a little time with your fears. Get closer. And make them bigger.
Take a second and think of your worst fear right now.
Hold your horses for a New York minute. Didn’t I just say fears don’t feel good. I did – and I know it stings a bit, but stick with me.
As soon as you recognise a fearful thought, label it. “I’m experiencing a fearful or anxious thought.”
That’s all it is, a thought and keep reminding yourself of that each time the thoughts pop up…oh and they will!
But here’s an astounding truth. Fearful or anxious thoughts only have power over you if you react to them.
Turn off the spotlight and you’re halfway there to mastering your fear and anxiety
We have a lot of useless thoughts happening all the time. And yes there’s a role for fear in our life, if you’re ever on safari and spot a lion, don’t jump out of the jeep to give it a hug!
Let fear keep you physically safe…that’s its job. It’s not meant to haunt you, just keep you safe from physical harm.
Your every day fears or anxieties don’t really exist in the outer world of effects, it’s the inner world of cause where anxiety and fear dwell. In our minds/brain.
And scientists have made a jaw dropping discovery about anxiety cells in the brain.
New research shows that there are anxiety cells encoded in the brain and they’ve discovered how to increase and decrease levels of anxiety in mice using a technique in which light is used to switch these neurons on and off.
Mazen Kheirbek , Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and member of the Weill Institute for Neurosciences at UCSF says”
“We can control activity levels and anxiety by turning light levels up and down…”
And Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, which helped fund the research tells us
The discovery of anxiety cells is just the latest example of the “tremendous progress” scientists have made toward understanding how anxiety works in the brain….If we can learn enough, we can develop the tools to turn on and off the key players that regulate anxiety in people.
In the meantime we can do something to help ourselves in mastering fear or anxiety. We can use the power each of us inherently have, deep within. The power of imagination in action.
Choose your outcome
Form the daily habit of thinking of the things you want to see, have and experience in your life, allow your subconscious to do its job. Which is to mold your ideas and feelings into a matching reality.
Keeping your conscious mind busy with thoughts of happiness, success, health and abundance helps keep out those fear and anxiety thoughts.
You have the ability to call up any image or feeling or concept you choose. Dust off this ability and begin training your conscious mind to focus on expecting the best.
Here’s where the laws of habits come into play. The mind is a creature of habit and you can’t think both positive and negative thoughts at the same time. One must dominate.
It’s up to you to rearrange your thoughts to stay focused on the outcomes you want. This is what helps you fight fear.
Who best survives possibly catastrophic scenarios?
Those who are practiced in choosing the outcomes they want.
A great example of this:
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot in the lung by an attempted assassin.
This was a pretty serious event. Possibly catastrophic for a man in his seventies.
But you couldn’t help thinking he would be okay when he was reported to have said to a journalist “Don’t worry about me. I’m the type of person who always heals quickly.”
What a brilliant, powerful healing belief. What a great outcome to choose.
And amazingly, he was back at work within days!
You don’t need to wait for a catastrophe to strike to use this practice. You can choose your outcome every day. It’s a tonic for the mind. And your imagination will be a willing partner in your success.
Keep these points in mind
You are not your thoughts and they are not you. You don’t tell yourself you are broken if you break a leg. You just say your leg is broken. The same is true of fearful anxious thoughts. Tell yourself, “these are just my thoughts, instead of I am afraid, or I am anxious.
Get close to what you’re afraid of and repurpose the fear into something so ridiculous that it makes you laugh out loud. Take these thoughts to the extreme. It won’t kill you. It will just make you stronger.
Stop anticipating the worst case scenarios, the’ what if’s’ that tend to be about something awful, which is simply telling your mind/brain to turn on the anxiety neurons. Start to anticipate the best possible outcome. The one that puts a smile on your face. Practice daily.
Freedom is on the other side of fear. And just because we are feeling fearful or anxious it doesn’t mean we have to let these feelings run in our life. The opposite is true.
Head towards whatever scares you the most. Repeatedly. Soon you’ll discover that fear has less power.
In the immortal words of Joseph Campbell: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
Encourage one another.