It is a fact that today we are living in a society of Fear. And it this is true in the stories of our patients that come here everyday.
Big shot corporate people drowned by stress and burnt out, why? Because of fear of losing their job, the daily triggers of not getting their quota, or worse, not performing as expected by their bosses.
Parents who have worked so hard for their families, tirelessly day and night, for the daily fears of not being able to provide, and end up forgetting about their health. And the sad irony is, they end up using all that they have worked hard for for decades to buy medicines for their now depleting health and get into those expensive therapies. Yes, we face this sad reality of our family heroes.
I remember myself in my early twenties and how I got myself a screamingly painful stomach ulcer. Looking back, I can honestly say, all because of fear. And that is simply the fear of failing - failing my family, my workmates, my boss, and my self.
So how do we stop fear? Can we manage it? Can we actually get rid of it? How?
The answer is NO.
Why? Because fear does not exist.
Fear actually means, "False Evidence Appearing Real"
Let me ask you, how many times did you fear or even just worry something to happen and actually happen?
Very rare right.
Like right now, let's have an experiment.
Are you in a state of fear? If generally not, then good.
If you have a facebook account then I would gladly invite you to spend at least 5 minutes reading the posts on your newsfeed. (Especially now it is just after elections!)
Done? Be aware of the images, the stories, the videos, the shout-outs, most especially the speculations, and compare how you felt before and after.
See difference? I'm sure there's a big shift in your awareness, and I'm sure a chunk of it is fear.
But, if you don't have a facebook account, good for you!
What I'm saying is it's the stories that runs in our minds that create fear. And most of the time they are false. Yes, you may see stories that are not related to your present life like the turmoils in other countries, or the graphic images of people getting in an accident, but it's our thinking that they could happen to ourselves at any given time that can help fear to settle in.
Back to the question, if we can't get rid of it, how do we deal with it?
Some people would even want to call it mindfulness.
In simple terms, it's being aware of the thoughts or stories that runs into your head. It's like watching a movie inside your mind. The good thing is we have innate power to change whatever movie we wanted to see. But this takes relearning, and a lot of practice.
As kids, we were raised, in the culture of fear from our parents. Remember the "the police is coming" or the "monster in the dark" and the infamous, "headless priest". Since our young age, we were programmed to do things through fear, and reprogramming it takes some work. To start with, here are 4 life tweaks on how to deal with fear:
- Start with simply being aware of your thoughts. And check in if this thought is sponsored by fear, or sponsored by love.
- Pause and take a deep breathe. Big breathe in, big breathe out.
- Learn to meditate. A simple meditation of stepping back and taking a pause from anything you are doing for even 2 minutes just to check in with yourself will help a lot.
- And deliberately learn to switch the movies that are playing in your head. Create and watch more positive and fun movies. You might be watching the "Drama of my Life" expand your mind and watch instead the "Adventures of My Life". See the difference?
Once again, this is not something that happens overnight, but start today and see the big difference once you stop watching those false evidences appearing real.
Friends, to wrap it up, the best way to deal, handle, manage, fear is simply by not dealing, handling and managing it! Again, it doesn't exist. Instead, let's create thoughts that expand our lives, not contract it. And together we learn to enjoy what's happening in our minds, not what's happening in the world.