If we can hold our anger, our sorrow, and our fear with the energy of mindfulness, we will be able to recognize the roots of our suffering. We will be able to recognize the suffering in the people we love as well. Mindfulness helps us to not be angry at our loved ones, because when we are mindful, we understand that our loved ones are suffering as well. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Fear can visit us in many different ways. We can feel anxious because we are planning to go to a social event. We may hide or deceive our lover rather than share destructive information. Fear may cause you to run from a room when a “friendly” mouse, cockroach, or spider come to visit. We may even look to fight because we’re feeling fearful. Whatever it may be fear seems to “paralyze” us and our relationships.
Since our coping mechanisms toward fear has proven to be destructive I want to recommend we all try, “Hello Fear, how are you today? Do you want to tell me why you are bumming me out right now?”
Fear can guide us and inform our being. However, all too often we will look to evade it. This desire to elude our fears can leave us in an even more vulnerable place. Without conscious awareness and understanding of our shadow side fear can continue to dominate. In these two check-in questions we honor how important fear is, the knowledge it can provide, and the willingness to understand the wisdom it can bring. As a added bonus, I like to add humor and light heartedness. This friendly tone can help make any soul journey a bit more bearable.
The fact is that the creation of fear is not an overnight process. Fear is formed from years of social and familial experiences: abuse, learned phobias, war, trauma, humiliation, nonverbal behavior, etc. These experiences shape our awareness of what is “bad” and should be avoided. This makes our fear a defense. Our fears have once guided and protected us. So we can say, “Thank you Fear for being my shield, but I am okay now. I got this one.”
Like with so much, fear is mended and aided with awareness. It may be helpful if you are experiencing the symptoms below to contact (share) with a (your) therapist.
I wish you peace and love along your journey towards freedom from fear.
Physical Symptoms of Fear
- Tightness in chest
- Tightness in throat
- Oversensitivity to noise
- Weakness in muscles
- Lack of energy
- Hollowness in stomach
Behavioral Symptoms of Fear
- Sleep disturbances
- Appetite disturbances
- Social withdrawal
- Avoidance of reminders
- Searching/Calling out
- Restless over activity
- Clinging to reminders
- Treasuring objects
- Having awareness of your Fear
- Identifying how you express your Fear
- What are the situations that trigger your Fear
- using behavioral techniques to reduce fear and stress.