Changing How you respond to fear
Over the past few months we have seen and witnessed so many violent and frightening occurrences. The racial tension and conflicts over one’s civil rights has been reminiscent of the 60’s. I have endured intense conversations of racial inequalities and current unjust legality of it all with my kids, as I’m sure many of you have to. However, I’m overwhelmed at times with the thoughts of “what in the hell is going on" to "when is all of this going to change?” Recently, on FB, I discovered a video on the critical shift in violence and discrimination against African Americans due to the beating and murder of Emmett Till. It left me spellbound by how time does repeat itself. Are we in different times due to technology, sophistication, and/or time itself? Are we merely repeating cycles of humanness that never seem to change? One thing is for sure; the constant thing in life is change. I've spent many years trying to deny, ignore, and run from many changes in life, but inevitably change usually wins and I had to adjust. Wouldn't it be fantastic to change how you respond to fearful thoughts and feelings? Having a change of heart about how you respond to your fears can kick start a new way of living.
Change Your Heart, and Your Mind Will Follow
Whatever is going on in the world today, there are somethings I think we could do differently; when feeling fearful and unsure of the realities we're facing. Whether its the #BlackLivesMatter movement or the #ImWithHer (Hillary) democratic campaign, we all see how fear often runs the people of our great country. So instead of fighting it with more fear and unfortunately hate, why not do somethings differently to incite individual effective change which could possible lead to, at some point, national or global change. There are a few things I do to allow myself the opportunity and space to release my fear. The following questions have been quite helpful when I feel my emotions taking over me. Three questions I ask myself:
1. Is what I feel true? This question I often ask of myself and my clients when they're facing a barrier to make a decision. So often we are all in our feelings due to a thought that may not even be true. Check your heart, search your mind, and obtain facts to the truth of what you're thinking and feeling. Many times on social media we will see things and become emotionally connected before we have found out if it is factual and/or holds significant truth to it. I've violated this action many times. However, if I ask this question and investigate the facts, many times my emotions and erratic behaviors are short lived or erased completely. Truth is one variable in which we often ignore or flee from in order to be a part of something. Think of how often on social media people repost or share information thinking they are right or helping a cause or a victim, only to find out later it was a lie or inaccurate data. Find out the truth to your fears.
2. How does this thought make me feel? Our emotions are many times unclear or cloudy but we know we feel something uncomfortable or unknown. Being informative of what we actually feel can be tricky at times but again investigating how you feel is important before acting out irrationally. For example, anger is usually a go-to emotion because it is widely seen and usually gets alot of attention and response. However, anger is usually never the primary emotion; it is the secondary one. Feelings such as jealousy, envy, humiliation, hurt, and disappointment typically trigger us to become angry. Assessing your emotional response to your fear is also a great way to slow down and not become impulsive.
3. Who would I be without this fearful thought? I love this question because it causes me to see an alternative viewpoint as well as a better possible outcome regarding my fear. For a good laugh, If I was not afraid of Trump becoming President, where would my focus be? How would I feel most of the time? Would I have less stress and emotional fatigue to deal with other, more important things? This investigation allows me to solve my own issues with fear and design a better way of coping or ending my fear.
Life will always bring about change and at times fear along with it. Our perceptions of these changes can greatly increase our fear or erase it. The longer we live, the more we see and experience the vast amount of change all around us. Being able to control the fear offers us a little power and control over the effect of the change itself. I have accepted that change is inevitable, I hope this post provides you with a different perspective of change, as well as a new way to challenge it. If you found this blog to be of value, feel free to check in later as I discuss other transitions!!! Any questions? Comment down below! Kisses, Dr. Torre Helping you, #BEBRILLIANTLYU