Fear is pervasive these days.
It may feel overwhelming at times.
Although there is a certain comfort in living in fear (maybe it makes us feel less helpless, like we are doing something), it really does not ever improve a situation.
I believe that in the pursuit of optimal health, we should all be looking for ways to move away from fear and toward love.
How do we do this?
I have a handy-dandy 6-step method for moving away from fear and toward love.
*I strongly suggest you go through these steps by writing each one down. Let loose on some paper.
- Name That Fear: Identify the fear and give it a name. Think about its implications and why you are afraid. With this activity, your fear should lose some of its power.
- Go There: Consider worst-case scenarios. If your worst fear comes true, what will happen? Why does this bother you?
- Get Out Your Crystal Ball: Can you say with certainty that your fear will actually come true? Like, are you 100% sure it will happen? Be honest here. Unless you are a gifted fortune-teller. You will have to admit, you do not know for sure it will happen. Does this make you feel a little better now?
- Helpful or hurtful? Now that you know there is no guarantee your fear will come true, can you find any reason for holding on to that fear? Be honest. Is there ANY benefit to hanging on to it?
- Lose the Thought: Now I want to borrow from Byron Katie’s work in “Loving What Is”. Ask yourself, “How would I feel without that thought?” Usually, the answer is something along the lines of relief, free, happy, etc. Do you feel a little better now?
- Move Toward Love: Now that you have found that you can’t guarantee bad things will actually happen, the fear does not help you, and that you would feel better without the fear, how about finding something to feel good about? I always find that at least one of the following thoughts will make me feel better right away.
- Appreciation: for being alive, for my health, for my children, for the birds, etc
- Self-Love: focus on the fact that I am infinitely lovable even with all of my flaws (and so are you)
- Awe: focus on something that I am in awe of, for me, it’s usually the Hudson River, my pets, and my kids (not necessarily in that order, lol)
- Presence: bring yourself into the present moment, smell the air, feel the wind, listen to the birds, feel the seat you are resting on and your feet on the floor, be totally present at the moment with all of your senses. Unbridled happiness can really only occur by being absolutely present in the moment.
- Find something good. If all of those above are just too much to ask for you in the moment, just find one thing that makes you feel even just a tiny bit better. It could be the fact that you are alive. Or maybe it’s that you have healthy children. Sometimes I like to say things like, “I like the idea of being happy.” OR “Happy thoughts are nice.” OR “What if I felt better right now”.
None of these thoughts are about “positive thinking” and they are certainly not blissed-out thoughts. They simply are thoughts that will make me feel a little bit better.
And that’s all you are looking for is an open-door. A door you can enter to just feel a tiny bit better. And then you can try to find another thought that feels a tiny bit better, and so on until you do truly feel a bit better.
As long as you let that nebulous emotion of fear linger and lurk, usually under the surface, it will have power.
Fear is a thought that is evoking an emotion.
Go back to your thoughts to root it out.
Bring it into the light. Examine it. Call it’s bluff and reassert your power.
Move to thoughts that make you feel better.
You are the only person that can control your thoughts.
One of my favorite questions to ask myself is, “How does that thought make me feel?”
If the answer is anything but “good” or better, I gotta get on it.
This is the path away from fear toward love.
It takes a willingness to change, mindfulness, and the discipline to do something about it.
Click on the link below to learn more.