2020 was a year that created a good amount of fear, and it feels like it’s trickled into 2021.
It seems as though people are more afraid than ever in our society. And, like all feelings, it’s justified. With more news about awful events around the world taking place, it seems inevitable. Fear can be paralyzing. It can take over our lives and make us feel helpless.
So, how can we best manage fear?
First, it’s important to understand (and accept) that often, what we fear most will never actually occur. It’s so easy to spend disproportionate amounts of time worrying about things that will never be a reality in our lives.
Seneca says it all. He was really onto something 2,000 years ago. I usually don’t use three quotes, but they are all so good:
“Many are harmed by fear itself, and many may have come to their fate while dreading fate.”
“There are more things…likely to frighten us than to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”
“What I advise you to do is not to be unhappy before the crisis comes; since it may be that the dangers before which you paled as if they were threatening you, will never come upon you; they certainly have not yet come.”
Here are a few scenarios and techniques that I lean on when I find myself feel fear creeping in:
- Accept that you cannot control the universe.
- What is the worst-case scenario? I’ll bet it’s not likely to go all the way there.
- Face the fear and jump in.
- Talk with somebody about it.
- Don’t make up stories that probably won’t come true.
- Reward yourself when you get through it.
- Remember to breathe.
Fear is normal. It’s not the feeling of fear that can cause negative effects in your world, but how you choose to deal with it that will make an impact in your life.
Life is good. – Jeff
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