How to let go of fear for a healthier mind
Everyone feels fear at some point in their lives. From the time when we have to start playschool or ride a bike without stabilisers to the day when we set crucial exams for a university degree or the equivalent, life is full of pretty scary times.
However, while a little bit of fear can be good for you in the sense that it's motivational, some people have a tendency to let it take over them – and that's when it can become harmful for the body and mind.
Perhaps you know you're working in a toxic environment but you're too afraid to quit because you don't know where you'll go next, or maybe you're frightened that a loved one will break up with you or even die.
Constantly mulling over these fears turns them into psychological poison and they will eventually damage your mental wellbeing and maybe even your health – after all, stress has been proved to lead to heart problems and tension can cause muscular pain.
Eventually, those fears will build up and build up until we have no choice but to deal with them – and while we're letting them build up, we're not finding a solution for them, even though it might be a relatively simple one.
After all, as author of The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle pointed out: "The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life."
Put simply, fear is simply a state of mind, like anger manifested as a form of defence. It comes about because we have begun to assume we can control everything, instead of accepting that this is impossible.
For example, if a person has a fear of losing someone, they resist the fact that it could actually happen. However, this unhealthy fear changes the way the person acts, thereby pushing the person away anyway. The resistance that fear causes makes the original fear come true, which leads to more fear and negativity.
We carry so many negative emotions, but we need to learn to change our behaviour and let go. The moment this happens, the fear loses its power – it's like switching on the light to confront the monster in our childhood bedroom, only to find it was a discarded dressing gown all along.
Most things are nowhere near as scary as we think they are when we face them – just like riding that bike without stabilisers. It was OK in the end, wasn't it? And if we never let go, we can never feel the opposite of fear: the jubilation of having achieved something tough.
So, how do we take the first steps to letting go of our fears? The first thing to do is acknowledge what's making you unhappy. Is it your job, or your relationship perhaps?
Next, take a look at how you have been addressing the problem so far. Unfortunately, ignoring it and resolutely watching Friends re-runs every night until you can go to bed doesn't count. As we mentioned before, problems get worse if you ignore them.
On the flip side though, venting about your issue constantly isn't going to help either. For instance, if you are stuck in a job you really hate, going for a lunchtime walk with a colleague and moaning about it for an hour won't solve the problem, It'll make you ruminate on it and it'll give that fear power.
The next step is to work out how the issue is going to be resolved. If it's clear that the problem won't alter – in the work analogy above, the job will always be dead-end – then you need to take the initiative and change yourself.
Like the title of the famous self-help book, feel the fear and do it anyway. Let go and face what scares you. To do this, you need to trust that no matter what happens, you'll be all right. You have faced dark times before and come through them.
Obviously, you need to be a little bit sensible here. Don't quit your job if you have nothing lined up and might fall behind on your mortgage because you've got no money. But do quit if you can move on to pastures new and try something different.
Even if your fear is something that will really hurt you, face it. A good example is acknowledging an older relative has an illness that will eventually take them from you. If you pretend it's not happening, the shock when it actually does will be immense.
Instead, face the fact that the worst is happening – feel the emotion of this like a child would and allow it to release and begin to heal you already. Cry and stamp your feet if necessary; at least the fear will lose its power. Hopefully not all of your fears will be this tragic and sad, but this should help you when they are.
For smaller things that are holding you back, affirmations could help. When you feel that tightness rising in your chest, say 'I live in a safe world' or 'I trust the process of life and release the past'.
And if you're thinking about making a change but have been dithering on the metaphorical diving board, try it. If you don't, the regret could eventually be worse than the initial fear.
To chat about your fears and taking positive action to overcome them, give one of our psychic life coaches a call today.