“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”
– Arthur Somers Roche
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. I would go as far as saying that fear is up there with both love and hate. Even though one can argue, and many have, that fear is more an instinct than a cognitive emotion. While this whole area of psychology it still being debated and research, the simple way to put it is that even without the power of reason, you can still feel fear. However, I believe that fear has become a lot more than the protective mechanism to make us reach when there is perceived danged.
We are going through one of the most complex times in recent history. War is going on in the middle east, but it was also brought to our shores. There is an economic downturn and people are losing their jobs. Our economic system is in shambles right now and even though I am optimistic, there is still fear all around.
An anxiety attack is something that I never heard about when I was younger. Now it is part of our culture and often discussed in movies and TV as the alternative to one of the stars of the show having too much stress when they present heart attack like symptoms. The real question is, how do you deal with it? How do you deal with that build up of worry that eventually turns into an uncontrollable river?
Determine what you have control over and then do something about it. If your budget has been cut down because you do not have a freelance job on the side anymore, then adjust accordingly. If a bank is going to foreclose on your house, do not ignore the letters, call them and try to work something out. If you are afraid that you might lose your job in the current months, get as much out of your insurance as possible now, get your teeth cleaned, new prescription glasses, get into the 3 months subscription mail plan if you take medicines regularly.
When fear strike quickly find out if it is real, and if it is truly going to affect you and deal with it. Come out with a plan of action. If the fear is not real, then learn to not worry about it. Dealing with actual situations instead of worrying things that “could” or “might” happen is a lot more productive.
Last but not least, in this difficult times, appreciate and thank your family and friends. They are the people that will help you determine if a fear is real or not. Talk to others, ask for advice. Even if people worry more than you do, it is good to see someone else be irrational about something, that can help you get a grip on your situation. Dialogue is powerful when it comes to fear, because once it is out there it does not have the same effect. Do not let fear rule your life, quit watching TV if you have to.