How do you respond to thoughts that creep into your brain and fill you with worry? Especially when you don't really know what's going on? The Unknown is horrible place - kind of like a black hole - that dread and fear. It always seems as if it's not so "black" once we enter into it and find out what's actually going on, even if it's not great news.
We have the hardest time dealing with something that we can't deal with - the Unknown. Perhaps that's because we are made for action and planning and analysis, none of which we can do when we don't know what we're up against. Once we know what's happening, then we can put our skills to work and come up with the appropriate strategy, gather the proper support system, figure out what resources are needed and where to get them, etc. This is one of the reasons terrorism is so much worse for the psyche than flat out war (this is not a political statement - I'm just trying to show the similarity). With war - we know who the enemy is and generally have gathered enough intelligence to know how they operate so we can prepare our counterattack. However, with terrorism, everything is hidden until the terrorist act is perpetrated. And their method of attack is spontaneous and can even be different every time. This uncertainty and the Unknown is what leads to the "terror" in terrorism.
When we are faced with the Unknown we often feel terror.
Here are some famous quotes about fear which I think might help when we find ourselves consumed by fear:
- The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
~H. P. Lovecraft
I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.
“I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
How can you respond better when you are besieged by fear? The way you respond will pave the way for more of what's coming your way. For example, if you are experiencing pain and begin to worry about whether you'll have this forever or what might be causing it, your pain will be magnified the more you worry. Soon, not only will you become paralyzed and you won't be able to do anything at all but sit and worry more but your pain will intensify proportionately to the amount of worrying you're doing. This is actually a great example of the law of Attraction in action - you get more of what you focus on - in this case you're focusing on your pain so it's a given that you'll get more pain.
Try to find some other way to deal with your fear. Say affirmations over and over again even if you don't believe them. Remember that a belief is a thought you keep thinking over and over again. Keep saying the affirmations and they will begin to be embedded in your mind. Try these favorites of mine:
- "Everything always works out for me"
- "Nothing and nobody can interfere with my xxxx (fill in what you want - such as "my health and well being"), not even myself". It's important to add the "not even myself" in this one because we are usually the ones that will mess things up or get in our own way.
I also recommend EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). This is a phenomenal technique that allows you to work with the meridians in the body and essentially apply energy medicine to your own body. This definitely works to reduce the anxiety surrounding your issue and if it's pain, EFT will often remove the pain as well. It's easy and free and you have nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time - and you have plenty to gain!
It also helps to have a support system that you can talk to when you need to express your fears. It's beneficial to express them and get them off your chest, so to speak. But make sure your support system will listen but not allow you to wallow for long. Explain to them that you're just looking for someone to listen and then to help them divert their attention.
Examine how you respond when you start to worry about something. Then investigate how you can change your patterns. Try to be as positive as you possibly can. This is not that easy I know but it will definitely be beneficial if you can figure out a way to change your responses.