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To Feed or to Soothe Your Fear?
Right now. Here. In this moment. You are safe.
Because you are able to take the few minutes needed to read this, in this moment, you are safe.
Welcome to “Fearland”
Many of us have struggled with fears throughout this year — and understandably so. There is so much happening that we have no control over. There is so much that is up in the air. Things are moving and changing quickly. We see things happening that we thought we would never see or experience.
All of this and more can lead us down the path of fear, worry, anxiety, obsessiveness, and overwhelm. You may be finding yourself struggling to stay above the line more so than you have at other times in your life.
There is nothing wrong with you if you have been feeling this way. You are not weak. You are not defective. You are also not doomed to feel this way forever.
And, it is within your power to decide what you will and will not allow into your world (your mind, your heart, your senses, your space) that sticks to and builds upon the fear and worry and anxiety and obsessiveness and overwhelm.
Fear is a healthy feeling. It can help keep us safe. It alerts us to danger. It helps us recognize when we need to take action, to do something different, to run, to hide, to fight, etc.
How often, though, do we allow ourselves to turn the unknown into the might happen into the will happen? How often do we feed ourselves more and more of the stuff that leads our beautiful minds down the path of the worst-case scenario? For many of us the answer is: all too often.
Hello, “Fearland” — here we come.
Feeding Our Fear
The absolute truth is that we are going to feel fear at times (this is a good and healthy thing) but we can greatly impact how much we feed our fear, as well as how we soothe our fear.
What you feed grows.
If you are feeding your fear a diet of the 24-hour “news” cycle, what your crazy Aunt Ruth has to say about ALL THE THINGS on social media, the updates from your old grade-school friend with whom you’ve really had nothing in common for 30 years, the latest horror stories, or anything else that adds to your worry, anger, anxiety, and overwhelm, you are not doing yourself any favors.
I know you have heard from me (and Charlie) many times about how impactful what you consume is to who you are and your well-being — and here I am, saying that again.
I truly believe that you know what works for you and what does not, what feeds and nourishes your whole being, and what does not.
It can be simple to know the changes you want to make, but not easy to make them. I acknowledge that. I see that. I feel that. I know that from much experience. And, now, I’m going to leave that there and slowly walk away from it. Do what you will with it. ;-)
How to Soothe Your Fear
Even if we have great boundaries around the ways that we feed our fear, the truth is that we are still going to feel fearful at times. So, how do we soothe ourselves when fears come knocking?
Aside from when we are actually in danger and in unsafe situations what can we do to help calm our fears?
There are many practices and tools we can utilize to help soothe and calm ourselves when we are feeling fear. From prayer to tapping (EFT) to exercise to writing to meditation to havening and so much more.
Specifically, today, I want to share with you a short list of affirmations that you might consider using when you are starting to feel fearful or even when you are just uncertain or nervous or worried.
You can use these in any number of ways, but if you want just one simple suggestion or idea here it is:
1. Choose one of the following short phrases (affirmations) that most calls to you in the moment and based on what you are feeling:
I am safe. I have choices. I am powerful. I am not alone. All is well. I have everything I need. I am the creator of my world.
2. Spend 30 – 60 seconds breathing deeply while slowly repeating that affirmation to yourself (out loud or in your mind).
It’s amazing what just one minute of mindfulness can do for us, and how we can interrupt ourselves from spiraling or walking further down an unhelpful path.
Even if you don’t want to address “what you feed grows” in this moment, I really do believe that just a short 1-minute break when you find yourself in fear can be incredibly helpful and bring you back into your power.
If you feel like you are ready to address both the feeding and the soothing of your fear, my invitation to you is two-fold:
1. Identify one place (yes, just start with one) where you see that you are feeding your fear. Ask yourself how you can replace this one action with one that feeds your sense of empowerment rather than your sense of fear.
One example would be: if you notice that the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is look at the breaking news on your phone — and that every time you do that, you feel anxious or fearful or icky — make the choice to play your favorite empowerment tune first thing in the morning instead. Start simple.
2. Follow the simple suggestion above about choosing and using an affirmation.
Remember that there is nothing wrong with you if you are feeling fear during this time. It is normal.
This post is meant to remind you that you are powerful. You are the creator of your own world. While it may be true that there is much in the larger world that we may not feel great about, we are fortunate to still get to make choices about what we allow in and what we create for ourselves. Honor yourself by making choices that nurture the beautiful person that you are.